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Campus News : July 2011
www.uow.edu.au University of Wollongong Campus News July 2011 11 America with software development, servicing and technical support, including a help desk. Eighty percent of Bond's staff are UOW graduates. Tony moved Bond's office from Sydney to Wollongong soon after establishing it. "Technology allows us to service our clients anywhere in the world. It is possible to work on a client's site or equipment literally within seconds," Tony said. "We chose Wollongong 14 years ago for several reasons. Cost of office space was a factor, but so was quality of life and access to better staff. "We have great access to well-trained graduates from UOW who want to stay in the area, as well as people who have been commuting to Sydney but are looking for jobs closer to home. "Since moving to Wollongong we've also had incredibly low staff turnover -- much lower than the industry average and the lowest of any Bond office in the world. This has great advantages in the retention of corporate knowledge and continuity for our company." Tony said the manager of Bond's Hong Kong office had joined the company after studying for his Masters degree in Wollongong. "He worked for us here for a couple of years before going back to Hong Kong to open our office there. One of the technical engineers in Hong Kong was looking to do his Masters, and chose UOW so that he could continue to work part-time while studying." Tony was elected president of the region's ICT cluster in 2010, and is determined to build stronger networks and collaboration between companies in the expanding sector so that they grow and prosper, benefitting each other and promoting the region as an ICT hub. "Wollongong has so many competitive advantages for our industry, including lifestyle, lower office- space costs and lower staff turnover than the capital cities," Tony said. "The University of Wollongong produces more ICT graduates than any other university in NSW, and many are phenomenally talented. If we don't engage them they have to go -- to Sydney and in many cases overseas." NH ANITA MULROONEY Bachelor of Arts 1990 Graduate Diploma in Commerce 1996 UOW Alumni Development Group chair Anita Mulrooney says the role allows her to "give something back to the University that has given me so much over the years". Anita, who is General Manager of Marketing and Communications at Illawarra-based national health insurer Peoplecare, took on the chair's role of the Alumni Development Group in 2009. She says the group's main role is to provide strategic advice about UOW's alumni programs to engage with alumni and maintain connections for the benefit of both parties. She believes it is "hugely important" for graduates to remain connected, both for their own professional development through involvement with UOW events and to contribute to the University's future development. "Many of our alumni contribute in numerous ways including participating in UOW events, volunteering in various roles throughout the University, and contributing financially to scholarships and research," Anita said. "We all know what amazing successes UOW has achieved over the years and the ongoing contributions of alumni have certainly contributed to this. And so many alumni have told me how important this connection is to them, because it enables them to make a real difference to an institution that's done so much for them." Anita reconnected with UOW through the Commerce Faculty's Career Ahead program, which she has participated in since its inception in 2007. "I loved the idea that business people in the community could mentor Commerce students to help them through their quest to find employment after graduation," she said. (Career Ahead has proven so successful that it has been extended to all faculties). Joining the Alumni Development Group was a logical progression, while Anita also mentors a second year Commerce/Law student through the Smith Family's Learning for Life program. Anita completed her Higher School Certificate at Hurlstone Agricultural High School and said she chose UOW because of the location, campus and educational standard. "I also fell in love with the Illawarra and while I never expected to stay, I made it my home and I'm still here 25 years later!" said Anita, who lives at Mt Kembla with her husband and six-year-old son. "I started my Bachelor of Arts focusing on English and French literature because I'd planned to do a Diploma of Education afterwards and become a high school teacher." Anita urges graduates to stay connected However, that plan changed when she landed her first full-time job as a trainer and documenter at the National Electronic Interchange Service, followed by a management trainee's position at Australian Health Management (ahm) in Wollongong. She spent 13 years at ahm, including two years in Thailand as a technical advisor to ahm's offshore operations in Thailand and Indonesia. Anita joined Peoplecare in 2006 and says it's her dream job. "I love working for an innovative organisation where we are continually able to try new approaches and we love to think outside the square," she said. "As a high performing, not for profit organisation, we are constantly looking for more effective, and high tech ways of achieving our organisational objectives and I love that innovative culture and the freedom to explore different avenues. Peoplecare is large enough to have the infrastructure to deliver exceptional results in our industry, but small enough so that you can move very quickly and see the impact of our work immediately." "It's fantastic being able to design and implement strategies that are different to what everyone else is doing, like our funky new branding which recently won a global branding award and our current program to deliver first aid education to the Illawarra community." Ms Mulrooney urged alumni to visit the 60th anniversary section of the UOW website, and hopes anniversary activities will encourage more graduates to consider re-connecting with the University through the Alumni Network. NH Anita Mulrooney