4 November, 2022
Alumnus of the Year
Pittsworth born and raised Simon Playford has been named University of South Queensland's Young Alumnus of the Year for 2022.
The former Pittsworth Primary and High School student graduated with a Bachelor of Law (with Second Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Business from the School of Law and Justice in April 2017.
Simon has maintained a desire to serve in his community throughout his study years and working life.
He served on the Board of Directors for the UniSQ Student Guild as President while completing his studies and was an executive member of the UniSQ Law Society (2015-2016).
After graduating he continued to engage with the university in activities occurring across learning and teaching, research and engaging, mentoring and developing alumni.
After five years working in private firms, Simon now serves as Legal Counsel for the National Heart Foundation of Australia, a leading charity fighting to end heart disease.
And that’s an issue he is personally driven to pursue, having experienced, as an eight year old, the death of his own father, John, to heart disease.
“Even as a boy I would go out doorknocking for the Heart Foundation,” he said.
He said his father’s death had given him the motivation to try to prevent other families going through what his had and this continues in the role he has today.
Simon said it was an honour to be named Young Alumnus of the Year.
“You don’t expect it to happen, or even to get nominated, but it’s an honour.”
On top of his high profile career, Simon remains committed to his volunteering and community roles.
He is currently the Independent chair for the Toowoomba Headspace Consortium and was elected by his Queensland peers to the inaugural Queensland Law Society Future Leaders Committee out of around 70 candidates.
He also represents the Law Society on the Law Council of Australia’s Young Lawyers Committee.
“You only get one life and you’re here to better it for other people,” Simon said.
“My perspective is, having had a higher education and being a lawyer, is a privilege – how many people don’t have access to a higher education? – and you might as well use that privilege to leave a better world, or community, in whatever small way that you can.
“It’s important to keep that going – help out, give back, volunteer in any way.”