The 2010 Young Alumnus of the Year was awarded to Steve Price, who graduated with a Master of Business Administration this year. Steve has had an exceptional career as a rugby league player, playing 313 games in the NRL, 15 Tests for Australia and 28 games for Queensland.

Steve has also been involved in a range of activities focused on providing service back to the community, including the Warriors Against Bullying (WAB) program, which focuses on teaching primary school students anti-bullying skills and enabling them to become positive role models for other students. He is also involved in the League of Libraries initiative, which aims to enhance literacy levels in primary school children.

Steve, one of the few NRL players to obtain a Masters degree, said he recognised the need for further qualifications to enable him to continue his career when he finishes playing.

“I’d love to be involved in the executive of the National Rugby League but the opportunities in the corporate field of the game are few and you need to be in a position to take them as they arise,” Steve said.

“Qualifications are important for that reason, and also for getting a job in the wider world.

“I owe a huge thanks to Southern Cross University because without their flexible and supportive approach to distance education study, there is no way I could have ever undertaken my degree while maintaining a professional sporting career.

“I hope I can serve as an inspiration to other sports people by showing them that it is indeed possible to get a university-level qualification while still being a competitive player.

“For me, gaining my degree and winning this award will hopefully open the doors to a new career in sport management.

“I have seen plenty of my high profile mates retire from rugby league thinking they would land a great job and earn as much as they did while playing sport – but they haven’t. These days you need a top degree in your back pocket if you want a good job and that is what Southern Cross University has provided me with.

“The degree is very well respected in the industry and that was a big factor in my choosing to study at SCU. Now, to win this award, is very special to me.”

Graduate College of Management: www.scu.edu.au/gcm or P: +61 7 5506 9364