Celebrating our remarkable alumni

Each year the Griffith Business School celebrates the remarkable achievements and successes of our alumni.

2018 Award Winners

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Caitlin Pearson

Caitlin Pearson is general manager of marketing and engagement at Macarthur Disability Services (MDS), a not-for-profit organisation supporting more than 1000 people with a disability and/or mental health issue, including their carers’ and families. Ms Pearson was recently named the winner of the 2017 Not-For-Profit Executive of the Year at The CEO Magazine's Australian Executive of the Year Awards for her role at MDS where her brand and sponsorship strategy led to an increase in the organisation’s fundraising revenue by more than 50%.

Ms Pearson has also volunteered her services to local charities and advised local council on accessibility and inclusiveness for people with a disability.

Outstanding International Alumnus Award

Thanuj De Alwis Goonewardena

Thanuj De Alwis Goonewardena has 27 years’ experience in hospitality, planning, design, construction and hotels. He returned to Colombo, Sri Lanka after graduating at Griffith University and took over the family business, developing the small hotel, into a mega city hotel. Mr De Alwis Goonewardena has also been involved in the design and development of numerous hotel, resort, home and office projects and won the "Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009" for his work in Sri Lanka’s hotel sector.

He is also a volunteer teacher and supported not-for-profit organisations focused on alleviating poverty and emergency response.

Outstanding First Peoples Alumnus Award

Delvene Cockatoo-Collins

A renowned First Peoples artist, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, is a proud Nunukul, Ngugi and Goenpul woman from the Quandamooka region of South East Queensland. As an artist and Indigenous advocate, Ms Cockatoo-Collins, is committed to telling, preserving and continuing the story of culture and country and received international recognition after designing the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games medals..

In 2012, Ms Cockatoo-Collins established a Minjerribah-based youth arts group and continues to draw artistic inspiration from the stories handed down to her, which relate to family, culture, history and the land.

Outstanding Alumnus

Amanda Hodges

Amanda Hodges is an international strategic business, investment and government affairs executive leader with more than 20 years’ service in senior leadership and diplomatic roles across the globe. Ms Hodges is expert in managing international operations and delivering key government programs, and is a strong supporter of Griffith faculty and students in South Korea.

Ms Hodges has found placements for Global Mobility Business Internship students in Seoul and facilitated high-level country briefing sessions for students and visiting faculty members.

2017 Award Winners

Outstanding Alumnus

Barry Thomas

As Vice President of Cook Incorporated, and Director of Cook Medical in Asia Pacific, Barry has more than two decades of international leadership and expertise in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. As well as working tirelessly to ensure people in Asia have access to high-tech medical devices, he also created the Young Leaders program to inspire a new generation of Cook Medical Employees.

He’s also been instrumental in spearheading a push for the Australian Government to implement the Australian Innovation and Manufacturing Incentive to retain talent and manufacturing on Australian shores.

Outstanding Young Alumnus

Penelope Twemlow

Penelope undertook a Graduate Certificate in Risk Management with Griffith and has achieved more in her early career than many achieve in a lifetime in traditionally male-dominated industries.

Starting out as a warfare officer in the Royal Australian Navy, Penelope worked her way up to Navy Chief of Staff, also holding position as a Police Investigator for the Australian Defence Force. Now, as a successful executive, she is CEO of Energy Skills Queensland, and Chairs both the Queensland Electrical Safety Committee and Women in Power, a not-for-profit promoting and empowering women.

Outstanding Entrepreneurial Alumnus

Kim McCosker

As a Bachelor of International Finance graduate, Kim never imagined writing a book to make cooking easy would see her career soar. Her book 4 Ingredients has sold more than 9 million copies and she’s scored a seven-book deal in the USA—a very difficult feat.

Kim feels particularly strongly about giving back to the community once you reach your own goals. Through the success of her 4 Ingredients brand she’s also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Outstanding International Alumnus

Bob Chua

This Bachelor of Business graduate has become an exemplary role model for business students in Australia and throughout the Asia–Pacific. Bob took his market research company Pulse from a small start-up, into a leading publicly quoted company on London’s PLUS markets. He has since built himself an impressive international career, living and working across the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US.

He is currently a Director of global technology and innovation company Dematic, a global leader providing a comprehensive range of intelligent intralogistics and Industry 4.0 Automation and Robotic solutions.

2016 Award Winners

Outstanding Alumnus

Professor Paul Simshauser

Paul graduated from Griffith with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Commerce. He is a former Chief Economist at AGL Energy and was the only Executive of an ASX-listed company in Australia to hold simultaneous roles of a full-time executive and a Professor of Economics at Griffith.

His passion and enthusiasm for energy policy, data-intensive and evidence-based research, and the welfare of energy consumers led him to the somewhat unusual move of transitioning from an ASX30 company executive to the Public Service.  At the time of winning this award Paul was the Director-General of the Department of Energy and Water Supply.

Young Outstanding Alumnus

Olivia Loadwick

Olivia Loadwick graduated from Griffith with a Bachelor of International Business and is now a nationally and internationally recognised corporate finance and corporate strategy specialist and an Associate Partner at McKinsey and Company.

She has amassed vast experience in takeovers, acquisitions, strategy, capital management and equity capital markets, and has advised some of the world’s leading companies in China, South Korea, North America, the Middle East, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Olivia has also provided policy advice to State and Federal Governments.

Outstanding International Alumnus

Dr William Chen

Dr William Chen graduated from Griffith with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and now has more than 20 years’ financial management experience with local and global high-growth companies in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods and retailing sectors, with operations in the Greater China and Asia Pacific region.

At the time of winning this award, William was Group Chief Financial Officer and General Manager (Hong Kong) for Hui Lau Shan Group, a dessert chain with more than 250 stores in Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia.

Previous Award Winners

2015 Outstanding Alumnus

Annabelle Chaplain

2015 Young Outstanding Alumnus

Jodie Fox

2014 Outstanding Alumnus

John O'Sullivan

2014 Young Outstanding Alumnus

David Morgan

2013 Outstanding Alumnus

Karl Morris

2013 Young Outstanding Alumnus

Sarah Bairstow

2012 Outstanding Alumnus

Dr Greg Story

2012 Young Outstanding Alumnus

Monique Jeremiah

2012 Alumni Commendation

Frank Byrne

2011 Outstanding Alumnus

Phillip Di Bella

2011 Young Outstanding Alumnus

Fabienne Wintle

2010 Outstanding Alumnus

Stephen Gregg

2010 Young Outstanding Alumnus

Bree Kloda