Olivia Mathisen, who works in Business Development, received the 2016 Griffith University Queensland College of Art Young Alumni of the Year award for her contributions to the design industry. Each Spring, the university holds a gala dinner and alumni awards night to celebrate outstanding achievements of alumni across the globe and recognise the significant contributions in their industry.
“I am very honoured to be the chosen recipient of this prestigious award,” said Olivia. “To be recognized for service to the industry gives me lots of joy as I truly believe in the importance of continually improving the industry that we work in.
In 2015, Olivia was elected Queensland Branch President and National Vice President for the Design Institute of Australia (DIA). She helps coordinate volunteer designers to promote and elevate the profile of the design profession within the global community.
“As Australia’s peak industry body for professional design, the DIA represents Australian design and designers both domestically and internationally,” said Olivia. “We exist to help Australia’s professional designers succeed in business and enjoy their working lives, while collectively growing Australia’s reputation as a Design Nation.”
The DIA brings together design practitioners with people and organisations who employ, commission, support and promote designers. Membership includes design practitioners and participants in Australia’s design industry. The professional members typically hold (or are studying for) a 3 to 4-year tertiary design qualification. Collectively, the professional members represent a broad gamut of disciplines in both established and emerging fields of design. They include (but are not limited to) spatial designers, communications designers, industrial designers, design educators, systems designers and design managers. Other members include individuals and organisations who understand the importance of design to Australia’s cultural identity and economy. They include manufacturers, people who commission and employ designers, and non-design professionals relevant to design practice.
Olivia added, "From fighting the good fight against replica copies, to celebrating home grown design talent, my DIA role varies from day-to-day. It takes up a lot of time outside of work hours, but I have a great team of volunteers behind me. Together I’d like to think we are making progress at both state and national level.”