Four members of the Griffith Sports College will end the year with new qualifications.

Sport scholarship students Alyce Burnett, Tameka Butt, Ash Southern and Matt Bevilacqua are celebrating undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the close of Griffith graduation ceremonies in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

Olympic kayaker Alyce Burnett (below) graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Griffith Business School, adding to the Bachelor of Communication she previously studied at Griffith.



While completing her postgraduate degree, where she majored in Public Policy, Alyce also competedin her first Olympic Games in 2016, advancing to the K2 500 final, and became K1 1000 world champion in 2017. On top of her sporting and academic pursuits, Alyce also runs a small digital marketing business and owns online retail label, Palmera Apparel.

Matilda star Tameka Butt has also consolidated her undergraduate education by completing a Master of Business/Master of Marketing at Griffith during the past three years. This degree is an addition to a Bachelor of Business completed from 2009 — 2014.

While studying her postgraduate degree, Tameka (right) has also excelled on the football field all over the world, playing club football in Australia and Europe but most notably catching the eyes of the world when she scored the winning goal in the Matildas’ historic first win over the United States at the Tournament of Nations in 2017. She has recently transferred to Melbourne City in the W-League after ten years with the Roar, and now has 67 international caps.

Olympian Ash Southern represented Australia at the Rio Games in water polo while she was also gaining a Bachelor of Business at Griffith. The powerful centre forward outside shooter who is originally from Ingham in northern Queensland also went to the London Games in 2012 and at club level she won an LEN Euroleague title with Greek champions Olympiacos in 2015. She majored in sport management and marketing.

Australian Ironman Matt Bevilacqua has shone on national and international stages while also studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at Griffith. With immense support from the School of Education and Professional Studies and Griffith Sports College, the Gold Coast star rose to the top of his sport, winning the 2017/2018 Nutri-Grain Ironman Series.

Photo: DEBRA Australia

Photo: DEBRA Australia

“I would say this was my main accomplishment in sport during the time I was studying for my degree,” Matt said. “It is a six-round series that takes place over the summer. Therefore, it takes up a lot of time.”

Matt (left) also managed five-week practicals at two Gold Coast schools with a hectic training and competition schedule, although the start of his practical placement at The Southport School was delayed by a day when he took advantage of an unexpected opportunity on the water in Tasmania.

“When I started the next day, I also had a broken thumb which meant a story to share with the students. When the practical ended I went straight into the Ironman series.”

Among the motivations that led Matt to a Bachelor of Education was the potential work as a relief teacher while also pursuing sporting goals. Now, with his degree in the bag, he plans to live that life.

“I want to go out into the workforce and start adding to what I’ve learned in the classroom, not let any of it go stale. I’ve learned a lot during my time at Griffith, I’ve learned how to grow as an athlete,” says Matt who also won the Molokai 2 Oahu paddleboard world championships in Hawaii during 2018.