A coal mining town in rural Queensland provided the backdrop for the light bulb moment which redirected Kerby Aleckson’s career plans.
The 25-year-old Gold Coast student was working as a construction labourer installing temporary accommodation at Moranbah, northwest of Mackay.
“I realised how satisfying it can be turning pieces of dirt into functional development,” he recalls.
“From not having a goal before, now I realised what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be.”
Soon Kerby was back at Griffith University, enrolled as a business student majoring in in real estate and property development. He had previously stepped away from a degree in health science, feeling it wasn’t for him.
“Study has come easier to me (this time around).”
Kerby’s change of direction gained another boost when he received the 2016 Peter Trathen Memorial Scholarship for Real Estate and Property Development, an award presented each year by the Property Council of Australia to a student with a passion for real estate and a demonstrated ambition to work in the industry.
“I am looking forward to working in property once I complete my studies and graduate later this year,” says Kerby, a double degree student who combined property development and real estate with economics to give his qualifications added weight.
“It’s a very interesting property world at the moment, from big scale economic influences on the property market to foreign investment from China in the local market.”
Kerby received his award from Stirling Hinchcliffe MP, Minister for the Commonwealth Games, at a Property Council of Australia event to mark two years to the start of the Games on the Gold Coast.
“It is a great honour to receive this award,” he said. “The event also provided me with a valuable opportunity to meet and network with industry leaders in the room.”
Established in 2011, the scholarship recognises the contribution of Peter Trathen to the Gold Coast property industry and business community following his move from South Africa in the early 1990s to work on the development of the Treasury Casino in Brisbane. In 2000 he took the lead role in the development of the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre.
“Peter was a strong and passionate advocate of education and continuing professional development, and he actively encouraged young people to seek out careers in the property industry,” Dr Shane Barry, Griffith Business School, said.
“He was very involved in shaping the Real Estate and Property Development major at Griffith and students gained valuable industry insights when he delivered guest lectures.”
Dr Barry also thanked the Property Council of Australia for its continued commitment to the industry scholarship which rewards the successful student with $5000 worth of Property Council of Australia membership, events attendance, professional development courses and industry publications.