Early years

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Early years

Breadcrumbs

The power of an idea

Unprecedented growth followed a 1970s development boom on the Sunshine Coast, one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations. In the 30 years between 1986 and this year, its population trebled from about 118,000 to more than 330,000 people, perched along the beautiful strip of beach, bush and mountains between Caloundra and Noosa.

By the early 1990s, it still did not have a university. This was anathema to the visionaries in its midst.

How did this coastal community reinvent its future to focus on education as a vocation? 

Read the story of USC’s early days from the people who created this history.

USC's first promotional video

A blast from the past. See the Sippy Downs campus as it was in the early years in this advertising from 1999.

Official opening

Major General Peter Arnison, Governor of Queensland, officially opens the University of the Sunshine Coast on 13 April 1999.

VC's opening remarks

Professor Paul Thomas opens proceedings at the official opening on 13 April 1999.

Step back in time - early years photo album

Secure your piece of history 

Visions is a vibrantly written coffee table book that tells the story of USC through the eyes of people who have shaped its past and are now taking the University – and the wider community – into the future.

Available now from the Co-op Bookshop. Purchases may also be made at the store, by phone or by email to usc@coop.com.au. The recommended retail price is $24.95.

USC Timeline

See the historical timeline of events that took USC from a greenfield to a thriving campus

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I fell in love with the place

Read an extract from "The power of an idea"

Pyjamas in Parliament?

Find out why Paul Thomas' bedtime attire was discussed in parliament

We have a student

Judy Jakeman tells the story of the first enrolment at USC

Keeping it in the family

I always wanted to get a degree, and I wanted to support Shari through hers

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