An Asian business extraordinaire and a mover and shaker on Brisbane’s political scene were both recognised with outstanding alumnus awards at the Griffith Business School Alumni Network dinner on Friday night.

BHP Billiton China President Clinton Dines took out the Griffith Business School 2008 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award and Leader of the Brisbane City Council Opposition Shayne Sutton was named the inaugural Young Alumnus of the Year.

Clinton Dines received his award for building a successful career in Asian Business. A student in the inaugural Asian and International Studies program he first stepped on Chinese soil through a Griffith postgraduate exchange in 1979.

He pioneered Australian business success in China and is recognised as the most senior Australian corporate figure in the region for the past two decades. He is also considered one of Australia’s top five experts on China.

During his career he has held numerous senior roles and beat more than 140 applicants, including Australia’s current Prime Minister, for the top job at BHP Billiton China, which is the organisation’s largest market.

Ensuring BHP Billiton China is a good corporate citizen has been a part of Clinton’s priorities. In recognition of the plight of the Pandas, Clinton — through BHP — supports the Wolong Giant Panda reserve by sponsoring (through adoption) a number of pandas.

Shayne Sutton was recognised for achieving significant success early in her career. At the age of 25 she was the youngest woman to be elected to Brisbane City Council. As leader of the Opposition she also represents the Morningside Ward and is spokesperson for Infrastructure.

Shayne is soon to celebrate the birth of her first child and will become the first woman ever to have a child while leading a political party.

Before joining Council Shayne worked for her local Federal Member Kevin Rudd and as an Advisor to the Queensland Government. Currently she is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and highly involved with her local community.

Griffith Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) Professor Michael Powell said the School was proud to recognise these two outstanding individuals.

“As head of a Business School it is always rewarding to hear of students and alumni forging successful careers. It’s even more heartening when these students build their careers while making a positive contribution to society,” Professor Powell said.

“Both Clinton and Shayne are outstanding ambassadors for the Griffith Business School and the ideals we strive to imbue in our graduates. I would like to extend my congratulations to them both.”