Brisbane connections

Get connected with other UQ Business, Economics and Law Alumni living in Brisbane.

There is a vibrant community of UQ alumni living in Brisbane, including a team of dedicated volunteer ambassadors who are eager to build the community and remain connected to UQ.  There are opportunities to connect with fellow alumni at events and through social media platforms, providing key industry contacts, mentors and employment opportunities from the wider business community.

Brisbane Alumni Ambassadors

 Benjamin Donovan

Director of Best Practice Industry Connections, Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland Government
UQ qualifications: Master of Development Economics 2015

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Ben is an experienced public servant with a demonstrated history in the Queensland Government. He has led teams, worked on projects and delivered services in several government portfolios in both central and line agencies. His current substantive position is the Director of Policy Analysis and Engagement in the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Career highlight was building a high performing team and capability that managed the Queensland Health digital portfolio.

His areas of expertise include, economics, portfolio management, strategy and public policy. He has a Master of Development Economics from the University of Queensland and a Bachelor of Urban Development from the Queensland University of Technology. Ben is also a certified practitioner of Management of Portfolios (MoP®).

In his spare time Ben enjoys bush walking and running. He is an active member of the Brisbane Central Toastmasters Club that meets fortnightly and aims to help members improve their public speaking and leadership skills.

His advice to new graduates: “Your career is an ultra-marathon, it’s important to define and revisit your goals, be patient whilst waiting for results and most importantly be kind to yourself and others. Unlike university, the real world is complex, uncertain and constantly changing, so be inquisitive, prosecute your assumptions and continue to invest time in being a better version of yourself.”

His favourite memory while at UQ: “Attending my Crisis Governance and Development classes (which was a policy elective) is a cherished memory. Attendees had to read a selected journal article prior to attending the tutor and would then summarise for the class. The class would then dive into a policy discussion. I seem to recall coffee and biscuits being provided which helped fuel great discussions and learning sessions.”

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Katrina King        

General Manager - Capital Solutions, QIC
Co-Chair, Brisbane Alumni Ambassador Council
UQ qualifications: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) 1992, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) 1996, Master of Business Administration 2020

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Katrina has more than 25 years’ experience in financial services and is responsible for leading QIC’s product innovation and development. Katrina works with our investment teams to drive our research and thought leadership program as well as developing product innovation across our capabilities. She has responsibility for the product and corporate information teams and oversees all of QIC’s product development and governance.

Katrina previously held several roles in QIC’s Global Liquid Markets Group. Most recent as Head of Research and Strategy where she led a team responsible for the outlook on various credit, rates, inflation and currency markets.

Prior to joining QIC in 2006, Katrina worked for JPMorgan. She started in Australia and moved to JPMorgan in New York, Tokyo and London in various roles in product development, research, structured credit and syndication.

A recent career highlight for Katrina has been working with the Queensland Government through COVID to help with economic outcomes.

Her advice to new graduates is, "Be curious, keep your learning curve steep and reach out to your networks".

In her free time Katrina enjoys hiking, travelling and reading.

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Annie Leeks

Annie Leeks

Partner, Jones Day
Co-Chair, Brisbane Alumni Ambassador Council
UQ qualifications: Bachelor of Laws 2003

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Annie Leeks has in-depth experience in high-pressure litigation and arbitration having acted for major corporations in a wide range of industries, including health care, mining, energy, financial services, aviation, sports, and construction.

Annie has a particular focus on resolving and managing high-stakes disputes for energy sector clients with cross-border operations, including in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Laws from The University of Queensland in 2003, Annie moved to Canada and completed a Master of Laws at the University of Toronto.

She joined Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP as an Associate before moving to London and accepting a position with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Annie returned to Queensland in 2010 as a Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills where her experience included acting for a leading construction contractor in a domestic ad hoc arbitration arising from alliancing contracts on the A$5 billion Brisbane Airport Link project.

After more than five years at Herbert Smith Freehills, Annie joined Virgin Australia as Lead Legal Counsel and Virgin Australia Group Privacy Officer.

In 2016 Annie joined Jones Day where she is now a Partner, and said she considers herself fortunate to have ended up at a collaborative and inclusive organisation.

Her advice to new graduates is to remember that “Your career is a marathon, not a sprint!”

In her free time, Annie enjoys travel, hiking and yoga.

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Caitlin Philp

Caitlin PhilipYoung Alumni Ambassador, The University of Queensland
Paralegal, Herbert Smith Freehills

UQ qualifications: Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws (Hons) 2021

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Caitlin has recently graduated with a dual degree in Commerce and Laws (Hons). Her honours thesis topic investigated the challenges of anonymity to the taxation of cryptocurrencies.

She has undertaken several vacation clerkships with corporate law firms, and in 2022 was appointed to a Graduate position with Herbert Smith Freehills where she has previously spent time as a paralegal.

Caitlin has previously worked with an arbitrator as his associate which gave her a firsthand view of top advocates in action and a deeper understanding of commercial disputes. 

Post-graduation, Caitlin tries to keep up with plenty of activities outside of work. Particularly with the university, which makes a diverse range of hobbies with different groups of people so accessible, something she values. 

One of Caitlin's favourite memories is a short-term exchange to Berlin where she studied International Economic Law at Humboldt University. It was in January 2020, just before COVID-19 hit,  Caitlin says she is extremely grateful to have had a month to experience the joys of Berlin.

Caitlin is very musical: she has played classical piano since the age of ten and loves going to live music gigs with small Brisbane bands. She recently attended a music and arts festival where one stage was devoted to Indigenous artists and was introduced to an amazing ‘didgitronic’ band that used the digeridoo in hip hop tracks. 

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Samuel Walpole

Samuel WalpoleBarrister-at-Law
UQ qualifications: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws (Hons) 2016

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Samuel Walpole is a barrister practising in commercial, regulatory and public law. Samuel was previously an Associate to the Hon Chief Justice Allsop AO of the Federal Court of Australia and to the Hon Justice Philippides of the Queensland Court of Appeal. He also worked as a Legal Officer at the Australian Law Reform Commission in the areas of Corporate Crime and Financial Services Regulation.

Samuel holds Bachelors of Arts and Laws (First Class Honours) degrees from the University of Queensland, from which he graduated as Law Valedictorian and with the University Medal in Law. He subsequently read for the Bachelor of Civil Law at Wadham College, Oxford as an Oxford-Hackney Scholar, graduating with Distinction.

Samuel is an Adjunct Fellow at the University of Queensland, where he lectures in the postgraduate Commercial Equity Course. He has published in a number of domestic and international journals, including the Law Quarterly Review, Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, Australian Journal of Corporate Law, Australian Journal of Administrative Law and Trusts & Trustees. He is also a Director of the UQ Law Alumni Association.

His advice for recent graduates is to be passionate and engaged about the work you are doing, and about your career; find ways to give back and enrich your professional life – such as by getting involved in committees or organisations; be kind and genuine in your dealings with others; consider further study or a period living abroad or in another city.

Samuel has many great memories from his time at UQ: participating in the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot coached by Justice Sarah Derrington; editing JATL’s Pandora’s Box Law Journal and working with Professor Craig Forrest on the Australia and New Zealand Maritime Law Journal; researching issues of private law theory with Professor Kit Barker; the general camaraderie of the Law School and law alumni community.

In his free time Samuel enjoys travel; music and art; TV; reading and writing; learning about new things and meeting new people.

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