Business leader is Outstanding Alumnus for 2020


A business leader whose collaboration skills brought about success for a large group of companies in Papua New Guinea while also tackling the widespread community issue of domestic violence has been named USC’s Outstanding Alumnus for 2020.

Colin Vale of Caloundra, who graduated with a Master of Business Administration from the University in 2010 while leading the Anitua Group on Lihir Island in PNG, was among four winners announced today.

USC’s Regional Achievement Award went to 2010 Business graduate Raphael McGowan of Mooloolaba whose social enterprise, called ‘bakslap’, produces a sunscreen application device.

And the Rising Star award was shared by 2016 PhD graduate Dr Krystina Lamb, who is now researching renewable and hydrogen energy technology, and 2010 Business (Tourism) graduate Ali Couwenberg, who is a senior property marketing professional in Melbourne.

Colin, who completed his MBA at USC while working in PNG on a fly-in fly-out basis and raising three sons with his wife, Lynette, on the Sunshine Coast said he was thrilled to be named this year’s Outstanding Alumnus.

“I’m super impressed that I’ve received this award,” he said. “I think it’s fantastic and very much appreciate it.

“When I was in the classrooms here (at USC), I often thought I can take this straight back to the workplace and then implement those things.”

Under Colin’s leadership as Executive Director of the Anitua Group, the organisation transformed into the most successful and largest landowner group of companies in PNG, growing to more than 4,500 staff and 20 companies ranging from mining, security, property, construction, camp management, retail, investments, logistics, farms and drilling.

Colin also demonstrated his commitment to the people of PNG through training, personal development and initiatives that resulted in a reduction of domestic violence.

“One of the things I was most proud of was the elimination of violence against women campaign that we undertook, starting on Lihir in Papua New Guinea,” he said.

In his initial role on Lihir as a hospitality manager, Colin noticed many of his female staff were subjected to domestic violence. So he led a massive program across the Anitua Group to educate all employees that domestic violence was unacceptable.

“This included meetings with employees and partners as well as having all males employed by the Group and partners of females pledge to end domestic violence,” he said.

“Anitua joined forces with White Ribbon and the Business Coalition for Women and we were instrumental in initiating the fight against domestic violence – first within the Group and then the greater Lihir and other parts of PNG.”

After almost three decades of working overseas, Colin recently returned to the Sunshine Coast and started a health and fitness centre, Impact Strength and Fitness, at Warana. He describes the centre as “edgy, fun, modern and motivating” and plans to franchise it.

Regional Achievement Award winner Raphael McGowan had worked in Sydney after graduating in 2010 and became involved in initiatives, such as cycling and walking across the USA and Australia, to raise awareness and funds for research for melanoma skin cancer.

In 2017, he returned to the Sunshine Coast to create his sunscreen application device 'bakslap'. Working from USC’s Innovation Centre, his first product was designed, manufactured and launched with the involvement of more than 30 USC students, and he gained a Sunshine Coast Business Award.

Dr Krystina Lamb is now based at the National Hydrogen Materials Reference Facility at Griffith University in Brisbane, which has had a significant impact on promoting hydrogen technology in Australia.

In 2018, she and her team at CSIRO demonstrated a world-first technology of producing ultrahigh purity hydrogen from ammonia, with the technology helping to unlock the potential of renewable hydrogen energy.

Ali Couwenberg (nee Marshall), works for international property and infrastructure group Lendlease. She is currently leading the marketing and placemaking for Melbourne Quarter, a $2.9 billion development and sustainable urban regeneration project in Melbourne’s CBD.

Applications to study at USC in 2021 are now open.

2020 Outstanding Alumni Award winners (4)

Business Lifestyle University & TAFE

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Will taps into power of gaming for career inspiration 19 April 2021 | Gympie gaming enthusiast Will Averillo is so impressed by the power and artistry of computer games that he’s taken his pursuit of a career in the rapidly growing game design industry to the next level. More information...
USC to stage 20 graduation ceremonies 01 April 2021 | USC will stage 20 graduation ceremonies next week to celebrate the academic achievements of students who have completed degrees over the past two years. More information...
Bright prospects for Rubie and her graduate family 06 April 2021 | USC’s week of graduation ceremonies from 6 April will be a quadruple celebration for new Maroochydore State High School teacher and double USC graduate Rubie Orman. More information...
University transforms life of Chancellor’s medallist 05 April 2021 | From interning at the Australian Embassy in Japan to graduating with near perfect results, Raymart Walker says his experience at USC has gone beyond all expectations. More information...
Disadvantage and adversity behind Qld’s high sudden infant death rate 17 February 2021 | Queensland’s first large-scale study of all sudden infant deaths to date has identified key factors contributing to the state’s persistently high annual death rate of babies. More information...
Oral ketamine doses promising against chronic suicidality, study finds 08 February 2021 | A new study from USC Australia has found that oral doses of ketamine administered in a clinical setting can provide a rapid-acting treatment for chronic suicidality. More information...
Back to uni helps businesswoman banish COVID déjà vu 12 January 2021 | While the resurgence of COVID-19 is causing deja vu for many business owners, Fiona Roberts is looking forward to “another amazing year” in 2021. More information...
USC Clinical Trials seeks healthy volunteers for malaria study 05 January 2021 | USC Clinical Trials has partnered with the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane to investigate whether an approved anti-malarial drug can be used more extensively to counter malaria – a disease... More information...
Driller digs deep for career as doctor 06 January 2021 | A former fly in-fly out mines driller who recently graduated from USC with a Psychology degree is taking his career change even further in 2021 after getting into medicine. More information...
Free USC course can open new career pathways 07 January 2021 | With many adults reassessing their career options as 2021 begins, USC is offering those looking to upskill or reskill a free course as an introduction to higher education. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service