Community courses

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Community courses

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Our continuing education courses provide the community with opportunities for lifelong engagement with USC. Whether it is for personal or professional development we have a course to suit you.

JP and CDec training
Justice of the Peace and Commissioner for Declarations training

Have you thought about becoming a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations?

Before you can apply to become a JP or CDec in Queensland, you must complete the 10276NAT Course in Providing Community Justice Services. The Queensland Justices Association (QJA) is conducting training courses at our USC campuses. Handbooks and learning resources are supplied, and morning and afternoon tea is provided. Students should bring their own lunch, a note book and pen.

The QJA is Queensland's largest provider of the 10276NAT course and includes 12 months complimentary membership so that you can keep learning and continue to be supported after the course ends.

For more information and to register visit: www.qja.com.au  

Where: USC Sunshine Coast
When: CDec course Saturday 6 July 2019 or Saturday 19 October
JP course Saturday 6 July and Saturday 13 July 2019 or Saturday 12 October and Saturday 19 October (essential to attend both days)
Time: 8.30am–4.30pm
Cost: A$270 CDec course and A$350 JP course

Where: USC SouthBank
When: CDec course Monday 15 April and Wednesday 2 October 2019
JP course Monday 15, Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 April or Wednesday 2, Thursday 3 and Friday 4 October 2019  (essential to attend all days)
Time: 8.30am–4.30pm
Cost: A$270 CDec course and A$350 JP course

Where: USC Noosa
Noosa Drive, Noosa
When: CDec course Tuesday 22 July 2019
JP course Tuesday 22 July and Wednesday 23 July 2019 (essential to attend both days) 
Time: 8.30am–4.30pm
Cost: A$270 CDec course and A$350 JP course

Where: USC Gympie
71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
When: CDec course Monday 1 July 2019
JP course Monday 1 July and Tuesday 2 July 2019 (essential to attend both days) 
Time: 8.30am–4.30pm
Cost: A$270 CDec course and A$350 JP course

Where: USC Caboolture  
Cnr Manley and Tallon St, Caboolture
When: CDec course Monday 15 July 2019
JP course Monday 15 July and Tuesday 16 July 2019 (essential to attend both days) 
Time: 8.30am–4.30pm
Cost: A$270 CDec course and A$350 JP course

To register and for more information about JP and CDec training Tel: +61 7 3392 2455 or visit: www.qja.com.au

Website design and development
Website design and development for beginners

HTML and CSS are the foundational markup codes used to designate the information and design of a website page. In this course you will learn from an expert the basics of these codes and build your own small site from the ground up.

You will learn the principles of website design and how to design a website targeted to a specific audience.

This course is for anyone who had ever tried to learn these codes and given up or is interested to learn from the beginning.

Students must have computer literacy and a laptop and will be building their site in class.

Educator: Patrick Walsh

Duration: 6 weeks
Cost: A$400
Time: 6-8pm
Date: Commencing Tuesday 26 February 2019

How to register: For more information and to register visit the event page.

Website creation with WordPress

WordPress is one of the largest free content management systems in the world. In this course, you will learn the basics of building your own website or blog using WordPress. Topics cover the fundamentals of free WordPress software, how to install it on your hosting account and how to create a beautiful website or blog tailored to your individual audience.

Educator: Patrick Walsh 

Duration: 6 weeks, 2hrs per week
Cost: A$350

For more information or to register your interest please email us.

Business skills
Grammar Fundamentals

Do you write letters, reports, emails, blogs, web content, speeches, novels, funding submissions?

Are your words a joy to read?

Refresh your English grammar skills and punctuate like a pro. In this half day workshop, our grammar guru will increase your knowledge of fundamental grammar and punctuation rules including those tricky apostrophes and commas, sentence structure, and capitalisation. Spot a split infinitive in a second. This lively course will help you to understand the correct use of English grammar and punctuation, and become a more confident writer.

Educator: Irene O’Leary is an accomplished teaching professional in tertiary education. She has taught academic writing and study skills for students at universities across Queensland and Victoria.

Duration: half day
Cost: A$75

How to register: For more information and to register your interest email us.

Introduction to Project Management

What does it take to be a good project manager, and what happens (or should happen) between the start and close of a project?

This course offers an overview for small business owners and/or employees who find themselves running projects but may not feel that they have the structure, system or strategy in place to achieve the best results. You will:

  • learn how to apply key elements of best-practice project management theory to small and medium projects
  • develop an understanding of when to out-source activities or to keep them in-house
  • have a checklist and an understanding of what needs to be considered when planning a project
  • understand that projects and people are inextricably linked.

This is a hands-on short course where you will put theory into practice, so it is essential to attend on both days (two evenings).

Educator: Dericka Frost holds a Master of Business Administration and is a tutor in the USC Business School in the areas of corporate governance, social responsibility, and business ethics. Her broad professional career has included experience in recruitment, project management, and business administration.

Duration: Two x 3 hour workshops delivered over two evenings
Cost: A$150

Date: 19 March and 26 March 2019 (essential to attend both days)

Time: 5-8pm

How to register: For more information and to register visit the event page.

Public speaking skills

Present like no-one's watching: Taking the pain out of public speaking

Public speaking is one of the most feared of all human activities, which is why good speakers are so respected. They have conquered the fear and have dared to share their passion and vulnerability. They have experienced the liberation of being able to communicate!

This practical 6 hour short course is presented in two sessions over two nights.The workshops are delivered in a supportive environment, and you will receive individual feedback.

Educator: Dr Lynette Maguire is an author, presenter, researcher and social commentator. Lynette graduated with her Doctoral degree from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2015 with the University’s highest award for a graduating student the Chancellor’s Medal.

Duration: Two x 3 hour workshops delivered over two evenings
Cost: $150

Date: 27 March and 3 April 2019 (essential to attend both days)

Time: 5-8pm

How to register: For more information and to register visit the event page.

Creative arts
Mastering Photography: Getting the most out of your camera

Make the most of your camera, and master those pictures of people, places and cats! If you’ve always wanted to learn more about photography, this six-week course is designed for beginners, and takes a practical, hands-on approach to moving beyond Auto mode. Learn the tips and tricks from an industry professional, and get better acquainted with the camera you know and would like to love.

What you will learn:

  • Camera functionality
  • Recognising lighting conditions and characteristics
  • Understanding white balance and the colour spectrum
  • Basic editing of digital image files
  • The art of good composition
  • Choosing the “right” image.

What to bring:

Your own DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Educator: Andrew Mortimer has been a professional photographer for over 20 years, specialising in wedding, corporate and portrait photography. He is also an experienced educator in photography at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Classes are: Thursdays 5pm to 7pm, with a Saturday afternoon three-hour beach field trip.
Duration: 6 weeks
Cost: A$250

Date: Commencing Thursday 7 March 2019

How to register: For more information and to register visit the event page.

Creative writing

This course explores the fields of both fiction and non-fiction (memoir), and will help you better understand a wide array of techniques used in creative writing. It will equip you with the fundamental skills required to write effectively and with confidence. Throughout the course, you will experiment with finding your own 'voice’ and developing your personal writing style. Writing techniques and topics such as plotting, structure, character development, language choice, dialogue, point of view, significant detail, setting, and theme will be investigated. Outcomes for this course include, developing insights into personal writing style and direction, gaining the skills required to produce engaging written work in a chosen writing genre, producing a sample of written work, and practising editing techniques for prospective publication. There will be in-class writing exercises each week, and short at-home readings to be completed.

Course outline:

Topic 1: Sourcing creative ideas for writing short fiction and memoir, key features of engaging/entertaining narrative

Topic 2: Investigating the short fiction form, exploring the difference between short stories and flash fiction, key features of engaging/entertaining short fiction, investigating the story pyramid

Topic 3: Developing characters in short fiction and memoir, round versus flat characters, methods of characterisation, crafting memorable characters

Topic 4: Explore setting, roles/functions of setting, crafting a believable setting

Topic 5: Point of view and dialogue, types of point of view, purpose/s of dialogue, tips for writing great dialogue

Topic 6: Exploring theme in short fiction and memoir, theme versus topic, techniques for developing theme (including symbolism), discuss Hemingway's Iceberg Theory (in relation to theme)

Educator: Dr Eileen Herbert-Goodall is a writer and an experienced editor. Eileen is Director, Field of Words, the writing organisation dedicated to helping writers grow. She also teaches high school students through USC’s Creative Writing Excellence Program. Eileen has had many pieces of non-fiction and short fiction published and is the author of a cross-over novella titled The Sherbrooke Brothers. She is presently working on her second novella and a collection of short stories. She holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts.

Duration: 6 week course, 2hrs per week
Cost: A$350
Time: 6-8pm
Date: Commencing Thursday 21 February 2019

How to register: For more information and to register visit the event page.

Creative writing masterclass

This 6 week course explores the fields of fiction and non-fiction (memoir), and will help you better understand a wide array of advanced techniques used in creative writing. Each weekly workshop is designed to help you build upon their existing writing skills. Prior writing experience and knowledge is favourable, but not essential. Throughout the course, you will practise techniques designed to add texture, depth and sophistication to your writing, such as methods for brainstorming original and engaging plotlines, manipulating time, space and distance in narrative, developing a unique voice, and using experimental literary devices.

Outcomes for this course include, developing deep insights into personal writing style, gaining and implementing knowledge related to advanced writing techniques, as well honing the skills required to produce high quality and entertaining written work. You will be also invited to complete a short narrative (fiction or non-fiction), which you can share with the cohort. There will be in-class writing exercises each week, and short at-home readings to be completed

Educator: Dr Eileen Herbert-Goodall is a writer and an experienced editor. Eileen is Director, Field of Words, the writing organisation dedicated to helping writers grow. She also teaches high school students through USC’s Creative Writing Excellence Program. Eileen has had many pieces of non-fiction and short fiction published and is the author of a cross-over novella titled The Sherbrooke Brothers. She is presently working on her second novella and a collection of short stories. She holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts.

Duration: 6 week course, 2hrs per week
Cost: A$350
Time: 6-8pm

How to register: For more information and to register your interest please email us.

Writing nonfiction: From planning to publishing

This six week course will introduce you to the techniques you need to write nonfiction and the knowledge you need to understand the Australian nonfiction market. It is designed for writers of all nonfiction genres — from cookbooks to self-help books to history — with a special focus on narrative nonfiction (true stories that read like fiction). Topics covered include: developing ideas that appeal to publishers; learning how to conduct research, including at archives, online and in the field; plot, structure and chapter planning; methods for crafting character, setting, theme and dialogue; the ethical and legal issues that accompany writing about real people and events; and how to pitch nonfiction to publishers.

Educator: Dr Jay Ludowyke is a narrative nonfiction author and academic. She teaches writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast and has been employed in local government and public libraries. Jay was the recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award (a $75,000 scholarship) and her writing has appeared in esteemed literary and academic journals. Her book Carpathia: The extraordinary story of the ship that saved the survivors of the Titanic was published by Hachette Australia in July 2018.

Duration: 6 weeks
Cost: A$300
Time: 2 hrs per week

Date: Commencing Tuesday 16 April 2019

How to register: For more information and to register visit the event page.

Writing fiction for tweens, teens and young adults

Could you be the next JK Rowling or Neil Gaiman? Learn about creating relatable literature for young readers, in this two-part writers’ series that will transform your storytelling with genre essentials for a very specific and discerning audience. We know they have a huge following of older readers too! Avoid the clichés, pick up important tips, and uncover the myths about writing young adult fiction. If the Hunger Games are gnawing at your inspiration, join this course to release your potential in the thriving young adult book market.

The course is held over two consecutive Wednesday evenings from 5.30-8.45pm. It is essential to attend both classes.

Session 1
1. Understanding your audience and effective writing practices
2. Where do I start? Developing and mapping the story
3. Creating believable characters and the importance of voice
4. Setting as foreground, setting as background

Session 2
5. Pimp your writing: the elements of great writing
6. Grammar, punctuation, editing and editing again
7. The pitch and audience feedback
8. Submission for publication

Educator: Dr Lynette Maguire is an author, presenter, researcher and social commentator. Lynette graduated with her Doctoral degree from the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2015 with the University’s highest award for a graduating student the Chancellor’s Medal. Lynette’s young adult novella, Lepidoptera, is a fast-paced grunge text addressing many of the issues facing teens today.

Duration: 2 weeks
Cost: A$150

Date: 13 March and 20 March 2019 (essential to attend both days)
Time: 3 hrs per week

How to register: For more information and to register visit the event page.

Art in the Dark

Do you love art but want to experience more than just painting? This 6 week course gives everyone the opportunity to create art, working with a variety of mediums throughout the course. You will be encouraged to focus on all your senses, not just your vision, and the process rather than the outcome.

Art in the Dark is held in a relaxed, immersive and stimulating setting, assisting to make this a unique and rich experience. You will develop the skills to use for introspection, creative inspiration and relaxation, and each piece of work is created without judgement. There is no pressure for a certain outcome although results might deliver an astonishing amount of visual delight and artful expression!

No previous experience is required.

Educator: Katrin Terton holds a Bachelor Degree in Art Therapy and Art Education. Katrin has had solo and group exhibitions in Germany and Australia, has been a finalist in various art prize competitions and also developed and facilitated various creative workshops throughout her career. In 2017 Katrin received a RADF grant to develop a new body of work for a multi-sensory art exhibition – Beyond Sight – to make her work accessible for blind, vision-impaired and sighted individuals and at the same time create awareness among the sighted population. Her work is often process oriented with a focus on the tenuous, liminal elements of the world around and within us, on transformation and impermanence.

Duration: 6 weeks
Cost: A$350

Date: Commencing Wednesday 27 February 2019
Time: 6-8pm

For more information and to register visit the event page.

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