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Outstanding Alumnus of the Year announced at annual Presentation Breakfast

25 Aug 2017 | Tags:
Man sitting on bench
USQ’s 2017 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Dr Kevin ‘Kev’ Carmody
As the sun rose on Friday (August 25), Alumnus of the Year Award winners gathered from different corners of the globe at USQ to celebrate the incredible achievements they have made since their graduation.

The top honour of 2017 USQ Outstanding Alumnus of the Year was awarded to Australian singer and song writing legend Dr Kev Carmody, who also received the Indigenous Service Alumnus of the Year award.

Kev grew up surrounded by the powerful traditions of Indigenous oral storytelling, learning the skills that enabled him to earn an education, beginning with a Bachelor of Arts at USQ in 1980. From here, he went on to forge an inspirational career.

In his acceptance speech, Kev reflected on his time at USQ during the 1970s, saying the University’s lecturers went the extra mile to ensure he had every opportunity.

“Winning this award was a complete surprise and I am so humbled. I don’t take it personally, but as a recognition of Aboriginal culture,” he said.

“This institute opened so many doors to my intellect. I’d never been in a library before, I didn’t go to school until I was 10, I was virtually illiterate, but they let me in the door from a welding shed and if it wasn’t for the lecturers here I’d still be there.

“I’m so inspired at my age of 70 by the other alumni award recipients, you gain so much strength from their stories.”

USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Verbyla
said USQ was proud of its graduates and their achievements and commended the 2017 winners and finalists.

“Recognition, like that from the USQ Alumnus of the Year Awards, allows the local and international community to learn about and celebrate the successes of USQ alumni,” Professor Verbyla said.

“Kev Carmody is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when there is a strong and inspirational voice committed to exposing people to culture and history, and promoting social awareness and the acceptance of diversity.”

The 2017 USQ Alumnus of the Year Award recipients have achieved great things in their professional careers, academic excellence, made a major contribution in community service or overcome significant adversity. The 2017 award winners are:

• Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Dr Kevin ‘Kev’ Carmody (Bachelor of Arts, 1980)
• Professional Alumnus of the Year
Michael Hayes (Master of Professional Studies, 2012)
• Research/Academic Alumnus of the Year
Dr Tracey Brickell (Master of Psychology, 2000; Doctor of Psychology, 2003)
• Community Service Alumnus of the Year
Mayor Mark Jamieson (Bachelor of Business, 1996)
• Indigenous Service Alumnus of the Year
Dr Kevin ‘Kev’ Carmody (Bachelor of Arts, 1980)
• International Alumnus of the Year
Shane Elson (Bachelor of Engineering Technology, 2001)
• Young Alumnus of the Year
Cara-Ann Simpson (Bachelor of Visual Arts, 2008; Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), 2009)
• Chapter Volunteer of the Year
Suresh Muttiah (Postgraduate Certificate in Business, 2010; Master of Business Administration, 2011)

Highly commended awards were also presented to:

• Highly Commended Professional Alumnus:

Air Marshal (Rtd) Geoff Brown, AO (Bachelor of Engineering, 1979)
• Highly Commended Research/Academic Alumnus:
Brett Cumming (Master of Applied Linguistics, 2010; Master of Education, 2013; Master of Education (TESOL), 2016)
• Highly Commended International Alumnus:
David Fairman (Master of Project Management, 2007; Master of Business Administration, 2009)
• Highly Commended Community Service Alumnus:
Allysha Jensen (Bachelor of Nursing, 2013)
• Highly Commended Young Alumnus:
Penelope Twemlow (Master of Project Management and Master of Business Administration, 2010)

More information about the Alumnus of the Year Awards can be found at