NZ’s best make USC home base for sport and study


Brianna and Mark Orams

USC’s High Performance Student Athlete (HPSA) program has welcomed New Zealand’s top Under 18 female stand up paddleboard athlete into its team.

Brianna Orams has transferred from Victoria University of Wellington to study a Bachelor of Environmental Science at USC and make the Sunshine Coast her home base while she trains for upcoming international SUP competitions.

“The weather and location on the Sunshine Coast are huge drawcards,” Brianna said.

“The training facilities at USC are beyond belief and up there with the best I’ve ever seen, plus there’s also an amazing level of study and sport support network through the HPSA program, so transferring my studies here made a lot of sense to me,” she said.

“I’ve grown up around the ocean my entire life and I’ve always wanted to build a career that contributes to making the world a better place.”

Brianna isn’t the first member of her family to make the move to USC.

She’s moved in with her mum and dad – USC Professor Mark Orams – on their yacht moored at Mooloolaba Marina.

Professor Orams was appointed as Head of Tourism, Leisure and Event Management 12 months ago, and is currently acting in the role of Dean of Graduate Research.

An accomplished and highly decorated yachtsman, Professor Orams is an international expert in coastal marine tourism of more than 25 years and holds a position at the Auckland University of Technology.

Having completed his PhD in the early 1990s based at Moreton Bay researching the impact of tourism on the local dolphin population, Professor Orams said he’s thrilled to have returned to South-East Queensland and to be working directly with postgraduate students.

“There’s no denying that USC is a committed, serious research institution, but based on the types of academics it attracts due to the incredible locations of its campuses, it’s also a wonderfully relaxed university and that’s a very special combination,” Professor Orams said.

“It gives me great comfort to work somewhere that has a deep sense of purpose to support and encourage research, and where every student is worthy of investment.”

Like his daughter, Professor Orams is also happy to have slightly more hospitable waters to play and work upon.

“The recent experiences I’ve been able to have out sailing with whales and dugongs and other marine life are simply amazing. To combine my personal passions with my academic career is a very lucky position to be in,” he said.

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