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USQ honours outstanding graduates at 2020 Alumnus of the Year Awards

Water safety advocate Eve Fraser is the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) 2020 Alumnus of the Year.

Six exceptional University alumni were honoured at a ceremony held at The Annex in Toowoomba on Friday February 21.

The USQ Alumnus of the Year Awards recognises outstanding graduates for their achievements within their professional and personal lives, and for being an inspiration to fellow alumni, current students and the wider community.

2020 USQ Alumnus of the Year: Eve Fraser, Bachelor of Business (2002)

Eve graduated from USQ in 2002 with a Bachelor of Business with majors in Marketing and Human Resource Management. During her time at USQ she started her own business, and as her studies progressed, so did the business. By the time she graduated, her swim school and training business Oz Swim Aquatics was well established. Today her business is an international success. For the past 10 years, Eve has also worked full-time as a case worker working with displaced people for the International Organisation for Migration which forms the migration arm of the United Nations. Eve’s Global Aquatic Project has seen her working with developing countries to address the barriers to participation and provide quality education to ensure every child has access to learn to swim programs. This project is reaching communities where the drowning statistics are tragically high. Since November 2018, Eve has trained over 500 teachers who in turn have delivered thousands of learn to swim lessons free of charge to those most in need in their communities.

2020 USQ Young Alumnus of the Year: Yee Kuan (Marc) Chua, Masters of Business Administration (2014)

Soon after graduating from USQ in 2014, Marc started his own sportswear company ULTRON in Malaysia in 2015. Today, ULTRON is known in the region as a leading sportswear brand. The brand has spread across 12 countries in Asia alone, and was awarded as Malaysia’s ‘Superbrand’ for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019. Marc has been recognised as one of the 100 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs of the year by Entrepreneur Insight Magazine Malaysia. He was also the winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award 2018 from the Malaysian Australian Alumni Association.

Outstanding Alumni Award: Alicia Doherty, Bachelor of Business (1998)

A Bachelor of Business graduate with a major in Marketing, Alicia has had an interesting career since her service in the U.S Army where she was trained as a UH-IH Helicopter Repairer and Aviation Life Support Equipment Specialist. She moved to Australia in 1994 which is when her connection to USQ began. From Oakey, she moved to Sydney and worked for Railcorp, The Australian Trade Commission and Events NSW, and served on the board of The American Club Sydney. Her next stop was Canberra, during which time she became President of the Canberra Australian American Association. As President, Alicia organised and presided over numerous significant commemorative activities that honoured Americans and Australians involved in the Battle of the Coral Sea, also known as ‘the battle that saved Australia’. Alicia is now the General Manager – Queensland of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Australia.

Outstanding Alumni Award: Guillermo Capati, Graduate Diploma of Municipal Engineering (1991)

Prior to his graduation from USQ with a Graduate Diploma of Municipal Engineering in 1991, Guillermo (Bill) Capati graduated from Mapua University, Philippines with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1973 and obtained his Master of Architecture Degree from the University of the Philippines in 1982. Bill is a Chartered Professional Engineer (Civil & Environmental) with over 40 years’ experience. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, Fellow of the International Water Association, and an Adjunct Professor at the Advanced Water Management Centre, University of Queensland. In 2009, Bill was named Queensland Public Sector Professional of the Year, and in 2013, Bill was awarded the Public Service Medal for Outstanding public service to the sustainable water future of the Gold Coast and the broader South East Queensland Region. In 2016, Bill was awarded the ‘Pamana Ng Pilipino’ Award, a Presidential Award from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. This award is given to Filipinos living overseas, who have brought their country honour and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession. To cap off an already impressive array of achievements, in 2017, Bill was named Engineers Australia Queensland Professional Engineer of the Year.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Eddie Fraser, Juris Doctor (2017)

Eddie Fraser graduated with a Juris Doctor from USQ in 2017 and was admitted as a Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2018. Eddie is employed as a civilian prosecutor at the Queensland Police Service (QPS), currently based in Toowoomba. Prior to this appointment, he was based in Mount Isa where he gained invaluable experience at the Gulf of Carpentaria court Circuit. Eddie has a strong commitment to social justice, and is an active community volunteer, having assisted the Caboolture and Surrounds Multicultural Association, the Moreton Bay Regional Community Legal Service, KYC Youth and Headspace.

Alumni Chapter Volunteer of the Year: Nandasiri Ponnamperuma Master of Business Administration (Finance) (2009)

Nandasiri Ponnamperuma graduated from USQ in 2009 with a Master of Business Administration majoring in Finance. Nandasiri has more than 30 years’ experience in the finance sector, having worked in a range of senior roles including tax and management consulting. At present he is precedent partner at Ponnamperuma & Co (Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and is founding member of The Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka. Nandisiri has been a committee member of the USQ Alumni Sri Lanka Chapter since 2015 and currently holds the position of Treasurer. 

Learn more about the USQ Alumnus of the Year Award.

Five people holding awards