13 August 2013
The University of the Sunshine Coast will officially open its $5.5 million, state-of-the-art study centre in Gympie tomorrow (Wednesday 14 August).
USC Gympie – which includes a 75-seat lecture theatre, tutorial rooms, a high-tech nursing simulation space and a skills development laboratory – was built earlier this year with funding from the Federal Government’s Structural Adjustment Fund.
The two-storey, 1,740 square metre facility was constructed by Hutchinson Builders on State Government land at the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE campus on Cartwright Road.
It will be jointly opened by President of the Senate and Senator for Queensland John Hogg and Queensland’s Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education Saxon Rice.
Media are invited to the opening event from 11am to noon (which will be preceded by a traditional Indigenous smoking ceremony).
Other dignitaries attending the opening will be representatives of the Gubbi Gubbi Nation, State Members of Parliament from Gympie, Maryborough and Hervey Bay, Gympie Regional Council councillors, and officials from USC, TAFE and Education Queensland.
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the establishment of USC Gympie was an important milestone for the University and for the region.
“Thanks to the assistance of the Federal and State governments, the University has been able to broaden its footprint geographically and engage with a community that has wanted further education opportunities for a long time,” he said.
Assistant Minister Rice said she was pleased that the facility was now open for business, as it will play a vital role in training future professionals in Gympie.
“The Queensland Government’s joint investment will allow the University to expand opportunities for regional students in vital areas such as nursing, teaching and pathways to gain access to other tertiary programs,” she said.
“This is a fantastic result for the University, current and future students and the local community, and showcases technological innovation which will continue to benefit generations to come.”
There are currently more than 70 students enrolled at USC Gympie, studying a range of programs, including Nursing Science, Primary Education, Headstart and the Tertiary Preparation Pathway bridging program. Business and Commerce will be offered in 2014.
— Terry Walsh