Friday, January 13, 2012

Off to a flying start

Even though I haven’t had a chance to fly my plane yet in 2012, we are certainly off to a flying start at CQUniversity.

My holiday started just before Christmas with my wife Anita’s 50th birthday party in Cairns, which was a 1960s-themed party. It was a groovy fun night which we shared with close friends and family. As you can see I got into the 1960s swing of things!

So after a wonderful Christmas break, it’s great to be back in the office with so much happening already this year.

With our QTAC offers up from this time last year, 20 new programs ready to kick off for Term 1 and loads of construction projects in progress across our campuses, I’m very excited about what this year will bring.

Something we will be focusing closely on this year is widening university participation among underrepresented groups of people. CQUniversity recently gained around $3.3 million in Federal Government funding aimed at breaking down barriers to university through outreach to schools and engagement with indigenous communities between now and 2014.

CQUniversity has established a good track record and evidence of success for Widening Participation projects, which are designed to raise educational aspirations without promoting any particular degree or campus.

CQUniversity currently works with 33 high schools and 107 primary schools to build collaborative partnerships, raise aspirations and smooth students’ transition into university and TAFE programs.

I am also very pleased to see staff moving into our newly refurbished research precinct in Rockhampton – the Central Queensland Innovation and Research Precinct (CQIRP). Our IT and Facilities teams have been working hard to have the new space ready for the start of the year and I must say it is looking very impressive.

This week also marks the first official week of operation of the Appleton Institute, our new research facility in Adelaide. Professor Drew Dawson and his team of human factors researchers have now fully migrated to CQUniversity and, by all reports, are settling in nicely to their new home. I look forward to exploring ways of better integrating our Adelaide operations into the University as the year progresses.

CQUniversity Noosa has also had a facelift recently. Head of Campus Kevin Tickle tells me the new library space and collaborative learning areas are absolutely state-of-the-art and I’m sure our students will benefit greatly from these new facilities.

Construction of the Queensland Government’s Trade Training Centre on our Mackay campus continues, which is a significant project for Mackay and will help initiate the commitment we have to CQUniversity becoming Queensland’s first dual-sector education provider. CQUniversity Mackay also had an early Christmas present last month with the finalisation of new clinical nursing facilities.

A number of cutting-edge developments for the Gladstone region are also on the horizon for this year.

Among the proposed developments are a much-needed marine research and rehabilitation facility, an early childhood education and training hub, and a mixed-use affordable accommodation complex for students and the wider community. I look forward to sharing more details on this as things progress.

I hope everyone has had a relaxing and safe holiday break with their loved ones and are feeling refreshed and ready for the new year. I get the feeling 2012 is going to be a big one!

With all this activity to keep us busy, and preparing for our new intake of students, I hope I get the chance soon to fit in a quick flight before the rain sets in.

1 comment:

Peter Valentine said...

Very Hawai'in Scott - great holiday gear!