VC Welcome to first cohort of USC Bachelor of Medical Science students - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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VC Welcome to first cohort of USC Bachelor of Medical Science students

21 Feb 2018

I acknowledge that this meeting is being held on the traditional lands of the Gubbi Gubbi/ Kabi Kabi Aboriginal Nation. I pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Welcome to everyone and I was going to say congratulations, especially our new Bachelor of Medical Science students, but on reflection, I think I should share this around a bit and acknowledge the contributions of family and schools in getting these young people into this room today.

And to our first Bachelor of Medical Science students very warm congratulations. You really have triumphed in an extremely competitive selection process and have the opportunity to make a difference to society that just doesn’t happen in many professions outside medicine.

Since its inception in 1996, USC has had an over-riding mission – to ensure that local students have the choice of doing things at home – why is that so important?

Well, to study away from home you are looking at living expenses of around $20k a year and over a medical degree that adds up to a lot of money even before you start tallying up HECS. And most families in our region just can’t afford that sort of money. So, offering a pathway to medicine is something we have been working on for a long time.

And it’s something that has caused me a lot of sadness because once the announcement was made about the Sunshine Coast University Hospital our students in Biomedical Science, Paramedic Science, Nursing and the like, on a pathway to medicine started asking me whether this meant they wouldn’t have to leave home to realise their dreams. Sadly, the answer until October 2017 was, “I’m sorry but…”

And whether you like history or not, the history of today’s event explains why USC is so pleased to see you here today.

So here we go – almost ancient history but I think it’s worth hearing.

May 2005 Beattie announcement for new hospital at Sippy Downs $500 million
August 2006

Location moved to Kawana and project downsized (Gordon Nuttall affair)

July 2011

- SCUH joint venture agreement: Health, USC, TAFE, UQ

- Academic Planning for UQ feeder

February 2012

UQ Withdraw (fallout resignation of QUT, VC and DVC)

26 September 2012 First sod turned for the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (Newman)
March 2013 SCHI joint venture agreement: Health, USC, TAFE
3 February 2014

- Commitment deed to negotiate with Griffith to become a party to the joint venture agreement

- Academic Planning for GU feeder

11 November 2014

- Bachelor Medical Science accredited

- GU won’t formally join SCUH/SCHI until 50 starting places secured

21 March 2017 SCUH Opens (no medical school) – first intake of patients
19 April 2017 Official Opening of SCUH by Queensland Premier and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
October 2017

- GU finally gets its 15 extra places

- Bachelor Medical Science launched

30 October 2017 SCHI Agreement: Health, USC, TAFE, Griffith University
February 2018

You’re here!!! (We would have preferred the first class in 2014) -  Welcome