Their career paths couldn't be more different' but the four recipients of CQUniversity's 2021 Alumni Awards agree on the secret to their success: putting people first.
The annual awards recognise high-achieving graduates across four categories' and the 2021 recipients represent CQUniversity's diverse student cohort. They are:
- Outstanding Alumnus of the Year: Sheila Doyle' Master of Information Systems (1996)
- Alumnus of the Year for Industry Excellence: Kumar Parakala' Master of Business Administration (2000) and Master of Information Systems (1993)
- Alumnus of the Year for Social Impact: Tandi Kuwana' Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing (2017)
- Alumnus of the Year for Early Career Achievement: Jodie Mlikota' Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation (2018)
Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp paid tribute to the recipients' saying they reflected CQUniversity's values of leadership' openness' and can-do attitude.
"Over their careers' and especially through the challenges of COVID-19' these alumni have all found resilience through innovative solutions'" Prof Klomp said.
"More than that' they've proven themselves true trailblazers by supporting people around them' across their teams and communities'" Prof Klomp said.
"These are qualities we're proud to foster at CQUniversity' through our commitment to life-changing education' and I congratulate the Alumni Award winners for their achievements."
Global Business Services Leader at Deloitte and leading a team of 1800 people' Ms Doyle was commended for her influential leadership in global organisations' and for championing change' innovation and technology to deliver impressive solutions.
With the career motto "nothing is impossible"' the COVID-19 pandemic saw the digital trailblazer transition her own team' and the Europe' Middle East and Africa workforce' to remote operations.
Ms Doyle started with CQUniversity while working in Singapore before moving to Melbourne' and said her studies helped her appreciate the importance of growing strong networks.
Originally from Hyderabad in India' Mr Parakala moved to Rockhampton to study with CQUniversity' and the decision launched a global career in digital transformation and connecting people.
Now the President of GHD Digital in Chicago' he says his studies gave him confidence to think big' and to make meaningful community connections.
Ms Kuwana and Ms Mlikota also took inspiration from their CQUniversity studies.
Both received scholarships to attend the annual Ashoka U Exchange social impact conference in the United States. The opportunity was part of CQUniversity's role as Australia's only Changemaker University' recognised by global network Ashoka U.
Ms Kuwana went on to found My Mental Wellness Consultancy' offering mental health support and education programs to refugee and migrant communities in Western Australia.
And Ms Mlikota created Gathar' a digital dinner party platform connecting chefs' cooks and grazing table stylists with people who love to entertain. Since founding in Cairns in 2018' she has led the organisation to secure seed funding from private and government investors' and expanded into 10 new Australian markets.