CQUNI SPOTLIGHT – Featuring Vice-Chancellor Prof Scott Bowman

In this very last CQUni Spotlight, we pay tribute to outgoing Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Scott Bowman. Over almost a decade, Prof Bowman has transformed CQUniversity’s reputation, making it not only Australia’s largest regional university, but also one of the top two per cent of universities in the world. What has always been at his core, however, is that he is a believer in tertiary education, his community, his staff and students – and most of all, his family. We wish he and his wife Anita, the very best with their retirement.

What is your favourite film of all time?
My favourite film in the world is Love Actually. It’s a film we play every Christmas in my family. I particularly enjoy watching it because they really hate it and groan all the way through, but I really like putting them through the torture.

What was a recent highlight of your life?
A recent highlight in my life and in fact one of the greatest highlights ever, was my farewell party at the Rockhampton campus. Carol and Mel from my office arranged for my son and daughter, along with my grandchildren, to come to the event. This was a total surprise to me, in fact I think it is the first time I have been completely surprised as an adult. Having my family there could not have been a better gift to me.

What is the best thing about being at CQUni?
The best thing about working at CQUni is the people. Every member of staff and every student has an interesting story to tell. Sit down with any of them even for five minutes and you will find out incredible things about their lives. I just wish I could have had more time to listen to their stories.

What is your favourite karaoke song and why?
My favourite karaoke song is Anarchy in the UK by The Sex Pistols. It always reminds me of the times I sing this with Andy Bridges during gatherings of the University executive. Working with the incredible executive at CQUniversity is always fun, but the happiest times are when we are kicking back doing karaoke.

If you weren’t living in Rockhampton, where would you be?
When we retire we are moving back to Cairns. If I was not living there I would love to live in Alaska. There is something about the cold and remoteness of the place that really interests me. Unfortunately, Anita would never live anywhere except the tropics.

If your office was burning down, what would be the one thing you grabbed on your way out the door?
That is a really difficult question, but it would either have to be Carol or Mel. I guess which one I chose would depend on how nice they had been to me that day.

What is a motto or phrase that you live by?
The phrase or motto that I live by is ‘Onwards and Upwards’. I think when we have either successes or failures you just have to get on with things and try and move forward.

What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you?
The luckiest thing that ever happened to me in my life was marrying Anita and having two great kids. The greatest thing that ever happened to me in my professional life was being appointed Vice-Chancellor at CQUniversity.

CQUNI SPOTLIGHT – Featuring Nicole Thomson

Prior to joining CQUni’s Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM), Nicole Thomson spent 20 years travelling the world and singing professionally with a capella sextet, The Song Company. Over the years she’s been head-hunted by singing and musical organisations both nationally and internationally, including Musica Viva and Sydney Children’s Choir – yet for the past six years she’s chosen to call North Queensland home. Throughout her career, Ms Thomson has performed in 18 countries and in more than 30 different languages.

What is your first memory?
I don’t think in pictures, so this is a hard one, but my first childhood story was when I was in Grade 2, and had run in a school race, come last, and ran up to my mother and triumphantly stated, ‘I didn’t win, Mum, but I did my best!’ (Sadly with athletics, the story has not changed!)

Are you a CQUni Alumni? If so, what did you graduate in?
Yes, I graduated with the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary and Adult Education in 2017 and am currently undertaking a Masters degree.

What was a recent highlight in your life?
I was awarded the 2018 Distance Educator of the Year award from CQUniversity. What an honour.

What is the best thing about being at CQUni?
I love the opportunity of being able to pass on the skills that I’ve learned as I’ve travelled the world performing and helping our students understand that you can still have a profitable career even if you are from a regional area.

Who has made an impact on your life? Why?
My grandparents, Sir Albert Abbott CBE and Lady Gwendoline Abbott were a large influence on my life. From them, I learned to appreciate everyone in every position, that politeness is never wasted and that it is your choice whether you are content with life, or not. They were a gracious couple who helped shape Mackay and kept it moving forward.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I am still an active performer, so I do some rehearsals and other projects when they arise around the country, and I also am the Musical Director and conductor of the Mackay Choral Society Inc., so that keeps me rather busy. I would also like to establish an International Choral Festival, as I have some choirs from other countries that would like to come and work with me.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would ask people to do two things – to be grateful and to perform one random act of kindness each day.

What’s the biggest way a student has inspired you?
I have been inspired by the sheer tenacity of some students who struggle to break through in some way, but refuse to give up as they fight. They do make it, by the way, but sometimes it takes a while.

What is a motto or phrase that you live by?
Slow and steady wins the race – but fast and quick is better! (Thank-you Gran!)

Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
I have been fortunate to work with some celebrities such as Russell Crowe and Jessica Mauboy. I have also performed for Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and the Royal family of Malaysia (Alor Star region).

CQUNI SPOTLIGHT – Featuring Ben Robertson

CQUniversity Emerald campus ITD Contractor/Developer Ben Robertson loves enabling staff and students to achieve their goals by making sure the IT equipment they are using works for them. He also enjoys helping people to help themselves in regards to technology, by providing insight into the cause of the issue they are having problems with.

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CQUNI SPOTLIGHT – Featuring Tina Stritzke

CQUniversity Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) Case Manager Tina Stritzke has arguably, one of the most diverse jobs in the world. Every day she meets people from a variety of nations and backgrounds, not only helping them to learn English and settle in to their way of life, but also welcoming them into the Australian community.

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CQUNI SPOTLIGHT – Featuring Dr Farzaneh Tahmoorian

Having recently come on board as a new Engineering Lecturer, Dr Farzaneh Tahmoorian has already made CQUniversity’s Mackay Ooralea campus her home. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere has made her settling in much easier and she is looking forward to a successful career in teaching and research at CQUni.

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Lack of sleep and alcohol – recipe for Melbourne Cup disaster

By Gambling Researcher Hannah Thorne

Thinking of betting on the Melbourne Cup? If you sleep too little, or drink a bit too much – maybe you should think again.

Australians are prolific punters, spending more money gambling per person than any other nation. However, Australian gamblers also experience a high amount of harm from gambling. Harm from gambling comes in many forms. It could be arguments with your partner about gambling and feelings of guilt, all the way up to not being able to pay bills, depression, anxiety and even suicide.

These gambling-related harms can stem from making bad gambling decisions, such as spending more time or money gambling than originally planned or gambling more to try and win back the money you lost.

We all know that drinking alcohol can cause us to make poor decisions and this is not good when you are gambling. A lesser known fact is that being sleepy can cause similar decision-making deficits as being a little drunk, making this also not great for your gambling.

Our CQUniversity gambling research unit did a study that looked at a group of people who gambled regularly and tracked their behaviours, including drinking and sleeping habits, over the course of a week. We found that there was a group of people in our sample that were different from the rest. These people were likely to gamble more than other people, drink more than other people, and get less sleep than other people.

These people that drink and gamble more, while also sleeping less, may have a common personality trait that causes them to do this. Whatever personality traits may be leading this group of people to drink more and sleep less, it is likely that these people are at a heightened risk of experiencing harm from gambling, since gambling whilst tired and intoxicated may lead to them making poor gambling decisions.

So, if you know that you are someone that may drink more and sleep less than the average person, have a think about your gambling and whether you are setting yourself up to fail. Perhaps betting on the Melbourne Cup is stacking the odds against you when trying to make healthy decisions about your gambling?

CQUNI SPOTLIGHT – Featuring Ellie Kilpatrick

CQUniversity Townsville Bachelor of Laws student Ellie Kilpatrick is a single mum who has turned her life around for the better. As a recipient of a CQUniCares Appeal Scholarship this year, Ellie has been able to focus on completing her studies without having to worry about finding the money to pay for textbooks. *Photo supplied by subject

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CQUNI SPOTLIGHT – Featuring Morgan Lewis

CQUni Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Diploma of Professional Practice (Co-op Engineering) student Morgan Lewis is looking to elevate perceptions of engineering and her recent success as a recipient of a Downer Scholarship will go a long way to helping her achieve that goal. Downer came on board this week as the 2018 CQUniCares Appeal Lead Donor with a $100 000 donation.

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