The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas is being recognised as one of Queensland’s most successful and influential business leaders as a finalist in the 2016 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Professor Thomas is a finalist for the Public Sector and Academia Award, and is one of 23 finalists from across Queensland being recognised for their dedication to helping others succeed. Now in their 22nd year, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards champion women from diverse industries, ensuring their achievements are given the recognition they deserve, and continue to raise the profile of women in business.

Since becoming USQ’s second female Vice Chancellor in 2012, Professor Thomas has led a transformation program at USQ to boost research excellence, create greater diversity, and improve student outcomes. Professor Thomas is hoping to use the Telstra Business Women’s Award to elevate the vital role of regional universities in solving some of Australia’s and the world’s biggest problems, such as sustaining regional communities, securing our food future and integrating refugees.

To be a successful finalist, Professor Thomas had to fulfill Telstra’s criteria by demonstrating ‘the unique combination of skills required for professional excellence: the courage to take risks, sound financial management, strong leadership skills and of course, sophisticated business acumen allowing her to thrive.’

Winners of the 2016 Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Awards will be announced at a Gala Dinner at Brisbane City Hall on Friday October 14. State and Territory category winners will be flown to Melbourne for the National Awards judging, culminating in a glittering celebration dinner on the night of Wednesday November 16.

Words by Veronica Horvath
Image supplied by USQ