University students acknowledged for cultural heritage research excellence
  • Wednesday 27 January 2016
Sunshine Coast Council Award for Excellence in Cultural Heritage Research presentationTo be acknowledged for your academic achievements is every student’s dream.

Today (January 27) not one but two University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) students become deserving recipients of the inaugural Sunshine Coast Council Award for Excellence in Cultural Heritage Research.

Each year one Bachelor of Regional and Urban Planning student and one Bachelor of Arts (or other Bachelor degree) student will be chosen on merit to receive the award.

This year’s recipients are planning student, Bethany Williams-Holthouse and history student Roxanne Giles.

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council valued the region’s rich and diverse heritage.

“For this very reason, the Cultural Heritage Levy was introduced in 2009 and today it provides ongoing funds towards a range of heritage-related initiatives,” Cr McKay said.

“In addition to the Heritage Levy, there is no doubt that the next generation will play an important role in protecting our region’s stories, traditions and places so they can continue to be celebrated and experienced by future generations.

“What better way to encourage this role than by rewarding students at our local university, who are endeavouring to protect and share the story of our historical record.

“I am honoured to present the inaugural Sunshine Coast Council Award for Excellence in Cultural Heritage Research to two outstanding USC students who I am sure will play a role in ensuring our heritage remains an ongoing story of who we are.

“The Award is a $200 bursary which will assist them with furthering their studies.”

Lecturer in History from USC’s School of Social Sciences, Dr Amy Clarke, said the University was pleased to be able to work closely and collaboratively with the Sunshine Coast Council. 

“Heritage is an important asset of the Sunshine Coast region and we have always encouraged our students to do research in the local area and utilise council’s cultural heritage resources,” she said.

“It was fantastic to see the Heritage Levy and funding initiatives for heritage in the community get a further boost with the release of the Sunshine Coast Heritage Plan 2015-2020.

“USC was further delighted with the announcement of the Sunshine Coast Council Award for Excellence in Cultural Heritage Research which is a welcomed new opportunity for planning and heritage students to be acknowledged for their education achievements.

“The Award was this year, and will continue to be, presented to two students who achieve a High Distinction in their final grade and generated useful and original research on heritage in the Sunshine Coast region.

“Bethany and Roxanne demonstrated a strong understanding of local history and planning issues, and importantly the ability to apply this knowledge in Queensland and Australian heritage contexts across a variety of assessment tasks including a major research project and presentation.”

Dr Clarke added USC are looking forward to working with council on new local heritage research, both in the ‘Heritage: Australian and Global Contexts’ course, as well as in more advanced research courses for history students.

“Research completed by our students in 2015 included ‘forgotten’ cemeteries and burial sites in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the heritage landscapes of Montville, Maleny and Buderim, and the industrial and agricultural heritage of Nambour,” she said.

“This research helps to further define the image and identity of the region and contributes to the natural advantage of the region.”