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Annual CQUniversity Alumni Awards

CQUniversity takes great pride in the achievements our alumni are making in their world. Their accomplishments benefit both society and the University, advancing the common good and inspiring others. The annual Alumni Awards acknowledge and celebrate these achievements by our outstanding alumni in their professional field or community service activities.

Alumni Awardees 2021

Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Sheila Doyle

This award recognises a graduate of CQUniversity who has made an exceptional contribution to society and demonstrated the achievement of excellence in a professional context.

In 2021, we are proud to recognise Sheila Doyle for her influential leadership in global organisations, championing change, innovation and technology to deliver impressive solutions.

We congratulate Sheila Doyle (MIS, 1996)

Alumnus of the Year for Industry Achievement

Kumar Parakala

This award recognises a graduate of CQUniversity who has achieved to a high standard or made an exceptional contribution in their industry or profession.

In 2021, we are proud to recognise Kumar Parakala for driving growth as a global leader in Digital Transformation, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT), with a focus on modernisation.

We congratulate Kumar Parakala (MbusAdmin(GenMgt) 2000, MIS 1993)

Alumnus of the Year for Social Impact

Tandi Kuwana

This award recognises a graduate of CQUniversity who has made a sustained positive contribution through their collaborative social innovation work OR who has demonstrated significant social impact to a community or the University through volunteering.

In 2021, we are proud to recognise Tandi Kuwana for her advocacy in the field of mental health, specifically for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

We congratulate Tandi Kuwana (GradDipMHN 2017)

Alumnus of the Year for Early Career Achievement

Jodie Mlikota

This award recognises a graduate of CQUniversity who has demonstrated significant career achievements or positive impact on a field of endeavour or community cause within five years of graduation from CQUniversity.

In 2021, we are proud to recognise Jodie Mlikota for her entrepreneurship and energy in founding a successful and innovative start-up business ‘Gathar’.

We congratulate Jodie Mlikota (GradCertSocInnov 2018)

We congratulate the 2021 Alumni Award winners for their outstanding contributions and achievements. If you know of other alumni who are making a difference in their industry, role or community, please let us know so we can recognise them. Alumni can also be nominated by others or self-nominate for the awards using the Alumni Award Nomination Form.

Alumni Awardees 2020

  • Outstanding Alumnus of the Year - Mr. Sean O'Donnell Master of Business Administration, 1996

Commended for his role in promoting good governance and inclusiveness throughout his career in the banking and information technology sectors, and his significant leadership contributions to philanthropic causes and community organisations.

Bachelor of Psychology, 2011 and Master of Business Administration, 2016

Commended in recognition of her significant contribution to regional employment, disability, mental health, and training services through exceptional leadership and management, including the implementation of social innovations.

Bachelor of Environmental Science, 2015

Commended in recognition of his work to preserve cultural knowledge, and to develop modern business models to share this knowledge through education and sustainable Indigenous industries.

Doctor of Philosophy (Sciences, Engineering and Health)

Commended for his contribution to research, education and innovative practical application of cattle embryo transfer technologies, and enhanced relationships between the Vietnamese and Australian beef industries.

Alumni Awardees 2019

Bachelor of Business, 1991

Commended in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen across multiple industries, and significant community contributions.

  • Alumnus of the Year (Industry Achievement) - Mr. Wayne Blair

Bachelor of Business, 1994

Commended in recognition of his significant contribution to Australian film and performing arts.

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business, 1999 and Master of Business Administration, 2008

Commended in recognition of her work to create gender equality in business leadership through consumer empowerment and social change.

Doctor of Philosophy (Sciences, Engineering and Health), 2017

Commended for her contribution to research, education and innovative practical applications of environmental sustainability.

Alumni Awardees 2018

Bachelor of Business, 1988            

Awarded for his exemplary legal career and significant community contributions.

  • Alumnus of the Year (Industry Achievement) - Mrs. Tanya Orman Bachelor of Arts, 1997    

Awarded for her significant contribution to Indigenous Media, advocacy and role modelling for Indigenous people in Australia and Internationally.

Bachelor of Business, 2008

Awarded for his work to empower Nepalese women through Social Enterprise opportunities.

  • Alumnus of the Year (Early Career Achievement) - Mr. Paul Tabone Bachelor of Music Theatre, 2008

Awarded in recognition of significant success in pursuing an international Opera and Musical Theatre career.

Alumni Awardees 2017

No awards this year due to realignment of award timing

Alumni Awardees 2016

Graduate Diploma of Management, 1992 and Master of Business Administration, 1993

Commended for leading with integrity and a commitment to excellence in governance, and for his role in expanding humanitarian programs across his organisation to make a significant impact in India.

  • Alumnus of the Year (Industry Achievement) - Mrs. Sherene Devlin

Bachelor of Nursing, 2003

Commended for her outstanding contribution to the field of nursing and primary health care, recognised as the first nurse practitioner to specialise in Psoriasis Management in Australia.

Master of Business Administration (General Management), 2000

Commended for his long-term volunteer leadership in Education and the Arts, and for advancing the commercial relationship between Australia and Hong Kong through his significant contributions to the Australia Chinese Association of Hong Kong.

Bachelor of Music Theatre, 2006

Commended for her outstanding achievement in regional performing arts through the creation of a successful online children’s educational entertainment platform.

Alumni Awardees 2015

Graduate Diploma of Management, 1988

Commended for his work and enduring commitment to advancing the well-being of communities, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable members, in Australia and internationally.

  • Alumnus of the Year (Industry Achievement) - Ms. Joan Warner Master of Business Administration (General Management), 1999

Commended for her leadership, recognition of opportunities, drive for innovation, and advocacy activities in the Australian and Asia-Pacific commercial radio industry.

  • Alumnus of the Year (Volunteer Contribution) - Mr. Joel Buchholz Bachelor of Education (Honours-Secondary), 2003

Commended for his significant and beneficial volunteer contributions of time, energy and knowledge to the betterment of CQUniversity and regional communities.

  • Alumnus of the Year (Early Career Achievement) - Dr. Aleicia Holland    

Bachelor of Science (Biology) (Honours), 2009 and Doctor of Philosophy (Sciences, Engineering and Health), 2014

Commended for her significant early career achievements, and contribution to policy advancement and practical improvements in a field of research of international importance.

Alumni Awardees 2014

Graduate Diploma of Management, 1997Commended for passionate advocacy and a history of strong leadership for women's and children's rights worldwide.

Master of Learning Management, 2006 and Bachelor of Science (Psychology), 2016

Commended for her commitment to developing leadership potential in the education sector, and for her focus on continuous improvement and innovation throughout her career.

Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), 1992, Graduate Diploma of Management, 1994 and Master of Business Administration, 1996

Commended for his significant and beneficial volunteer contributions of time, energy and knowledge to CQUniversity, the Central Queensland region and the Engineering community.

Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op), 2005

Commended for his significant leadership in the Engineering industry, and his continued involvement with the CQUniversity Engineering program, early in his career.

Alumni Awardees 2013

Master of Sustainable Development, 2007

Commended for exemplary participation on the Rockhampton Regional Engagement Committee as a member and Chair. His ideas have created improved accessibility to CQUniversity for our communities.

  • Alumnus of the Year (Early Career Achievement) - Mr. Chris Shields

Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op), 2004

Commended for his commitment to pursuing development opportunities, leading to outstanding achievements early in his career. Chris is acknowledged as an excellent role model with natural leadership abilities and immense potential to continue to excel in his vocation.