Griffith renews partnership with Queensland Airports

Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Carolyn Evans with QAL CEO Chris Mills following the MOU extension announcement

Griffith University and Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) will continue their partnership for a further three years after renewing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said the extension of the MOU would provide valuable opportunities for Griffith students and QAL, benefitting Gold Coast business and industry more widely.

“Renewing the MOU ensures continued collaboration in the fields of aviation, customer-focused technology and tourism, giving more options for student internships and work experience, as well as industry-relevant joint research projects,” she said.

“We have Australia’s most highly recognised Aviation program and our Hospitality and Leisure Management subjects were ranked number one in Australia and number two in the world in the Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2019.

“It is partnerships like this which have contributed to our stellar reputation for producing industry ready staff who understand the needs of business now and into the future.”

“The MOU renewal follows three years of fruitful co-operation between the university and QAL, and new areas of focus will cover sustainability, understanding customer needs and requirements, accessing international markets and providing enhanced services.

“Gold Coast Airport is of critical importance to the continued growth and development of the Gold Coast region, and Griffith is pleased to contribute to its ongoing success and development through this partnership.”

QAL CEO Chris Mills said he was pleased the partnership with Griffith University was continuing because of its value to both organisations.

“There is a great deal of benefit that comes from universities and industries working together,” he said.

“The worth of this partnership was highlighted last year when QAL received the Outstanding Industry Partner Award from Griffith Business School.”

Thanks to the partnership, the connections between Griffith University and QAL include:

    • In 2019, nine Griffith students interned with QAL as part of their degrees
    • Several members of the QAL team are Griffith graduates, including two new members of the technology department
    • QAL Chief Financial Officer Amelia Evans is a member of the University’s governing Council
    • Various QAL leaders have guest lectured at Griffith University
    • QAL leaders participate in the Griffith Industry Mentoring program.

The MOU has been extended for three years and follows the original partnership agreement made in 2016.

Work Integrated Learning examples

Sinead Nealon at her 2019 graduation

Griffith Bachelor of Business graduate Sinead Nealon completed a three-month placement at QAL in 2019 as a key component of her Human Resource Management major, which she studied at the Gold Coast campus.

“QAL was 100 per cent welcoming and I was treated as a professional right off the bat,” she said.

“I was given responsibility for my own time management and I was provided all resources. It wasn’t like I had to ask for permission to do anything.

“They’d only just started the terminal project, so it was a busy time for them in the sense of growth for them.

“I got to see HR in practice, the full experience of what it is, what it looks like in the business.

“It further cemented that I was in the right spot and a company like QAL is the kind of company I’d like to be working for. It would be a dream job.”

Riley Mackay

Current Bachelor of Aviation Management student Riley Mackay completed a 13-week internship at QAL in Trimester 3, 2019, spending two days each week within the Gold Coast Airport Operations and Service Delivery Department.

“My primary tasks were to conduct a human factors-based review of the Aviation Safety Standard Operating Procedures (AVSAP SOPs) and to help implement the new 2019 GCA Airside Driving Manual focusing on the change management process and communicating changes to airport stakeholders”, he said.

“I also assisted the Manager of Operations and Standards and the Airside Operations Supervisor in their daily tasks.

“What I think makes a QAL internship stand out is that you get to do wide variety of working ranging from writing reports to assisting in carrying out airside serviceability inspections and audits.

“I have further developed my skills and knowledge, gained greater confidence and experience in the workplace and have made some great friends and industry connections.”

Riley said the opportunity was just what he’d hoped for when considering his study options.

“I chose to study at Griffith because of the university’s high reputation within the industry,” he said.

“The value of industry partnerships such as the one with Queensland Airports Limited is priceless.”