MBA students recognised for excellence

29 Jan 2014

An ex-Detective Commander, a Sports Physiotherapist, and a talented flautist were amongst the award recipients at the 2013 UQ Business School MBA Awards Evening.

The year-end formal event, which celebrated the successful completion of the program by 65 graduating students, was held at Customs House and emceed by Ben Southall, UQ Business School Ambassador and former winner of ‘Best Job In The World’ (a Queensland Tourism initiative).

The evening also featured a keynote speech by Founder and Managing Director of Emberin, Maureen Frank.

Maureen, who is also a UQ Business School alumnus, spoke of her career journey – the highs the lows - and how she made the transition from a Mergers and Acquisitions lawyer in London, to ultimately becoming a nationally renowned mentor for women in business.

The evening concluded with a number of awards for excellence in leadership, community service and academic achievement, which were presented to outstanding students selected from a competitive field of nominees.

Chris Henderson, who has recently launched his own consultancy and is pursuing a new business venture, was the recipient of the MBA Director’s Award for Leadership. Dr Sarah Kelly, MBA Program Director, said that Chris is an exemplar of collaboration, giving and initiative.

“Chris brought extensive international experience in engineering, project management and supply chain management to the program, and generously assisted and led fellow students throughout the MBA journey. He also achieved a GPA of 6.3, an excellent result,” she said.

Chris said that the MBA program offered many opportunities for the students to test their performance as leaders in different circumstances, not just academically.

“Working on diverse projects, I was able to develop new skills and learn from other members of the cohort. To receive the MBA Director's Award for Leadership was a great honour,” he said.

The Service to the Community Award went to Stephanie Taylor, an ex-Australian Federal Police Commander who has lead national teams in counter-terrorism, child safety, and who has received national awards for her service.

Currently a QGC Risk and Governance Advisor, Stephanie participated in several Social Economic Engagement Program (SEEP) projects throughout her time in the MBA, developing strategic operations plans for non-profit organisations such as Lilly House. 

Dr Kelly said that Stephanie had demonstrated a genuine community and social concern throughout the program, in her career and in her everyday life.

“Stephanie is an outstanding role model, encompassing the contribution that is possible with the skills, knowledge and experience derived from the MBA,” she said.

Mark D’Arcy was the recipient of the Dr Margaret Mittelheuser AM and Morgans Ltd Prize in Accounting and Finance. 

This award, in honour of Australia’s first female stockbroker, is given to the student who has excelled in accounting and finance.

The judges said that Mark was a quiet achiever, but a very highly respected member of the MBA cohort.

“Achieving a GPA of 6.9 for his MBA accounting and finance courses is a stellar result,” they said.

The Academic Excellence Award, which recognises outstanding academic performance based on GPA result, was presented to three students this year:

  • Amanda Kilmister, a Sports Titled Physiotherapist at Performance Rehab
  • Mathew Tibbett, CIO of The Anglican Diocese of Brisbane
  • Justin James, General Manager of Operations for Square Resources.

Each of these students achieved a GPA of 6.5 or above.

The final acknowledgement, the Top MBA Award, was presented to Nadene Lee, who graduated with an overall GPA score of 6.9.

The judges reported that Nadene was an exceptional student who has contributed to several SEEP projects throughout her enrolment, is a talented flautist, and has also given birth to two children, now aged one and four, during her studies. She has also recently launched Glare Consulting in Sydney.

Nadene said that receiving the Top MBA Award was an honour and an immensely satisfying close to a period of life-changing personal and professional growth.

“The award affirms the value of sustaining commitment, pursuing excellence and creating professional networks of people who are dedicated to initiating positive change within organisations and society,” she said.

Dr Sarah Kelly added: “Congratulations to all of our 2013 award recipients. I also extend my congratulations to the 65 students who graduated with their MBA. That on its own is a fantastic accomplishment, and one that could only have been achieved through your hard work, unwavering commitment, and personal sacrifices. Well done, and we wish you every success in your future.”