James Cook University has officially launched its new Cairns City Campus at 36 Shields Street.
Pictured L-R: Liz Bong, local artist Paul Bong, whose work was represented in the new building, JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding, Traditional Owner Henrietta Marrie (who gave the welcome to country) and JCU Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Engagement Officer Tarneen Callope.
The five-storey building features start-of-the-art teaching, study and meeting facilities, as well as a moot court where law students will hone their courtroom skills. The campus can be accessed by all JCU students for individual or group study.
“We are delighted to be further expanding our presence in Cairns,” Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said.
“This year marks JCU’s 30th year in Cairns,” Professor Harding said. “Before our founding supporters secured the spacious campus at Smithfield, JCU classes were taught at TAFE and staff initially worked in rented premises in inner-city suburbs. So it’s especially fitting that our newest facility is in the heart of the city, close to where we began in 1987.
“This morning, I recommit this campus and the University to be an economic and social engine for Cairns and the broader Far North Queensland community, to bring the power of our education, research and engagement to bear on the growth and wellbeing of this exceptional region.”
Law and business subjects, particularly in the Master of Business Administration, will be taught at the campus in response to community requests for after-hours teaching in the city centre.
The Dean of the College of Business, Law and Governance, Prof David Low said the campus would allow JCU to work more closely with civic and business leaders.
Generalist Medical Training (GMT), which sits within JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry, has its offices at JCU’s new Cairns City Campus, providing medical education to doctors who are training to be GPs in the Cairns coastal region.
“The campus will also be an important resource for the 180 JCU medical students who are already based in the city, as well as nursing and allied health students who are completing placements here,” Dean of Medicine and Dentistry Professor Richard Murray said.
“Having GPs train with JCU in the same building means we can provide continuity of support for both medical students and JCU graduates who are choosing to work and continue their training in our region.”
The building’s interior features the work of local artists Brian Robinson and Paul Bong. About 50 local contractors have been employed on the project, designed by MMP Architects and constructed by CPB Contractors.
“It’s an inviting and inspiring place, showcasing the Tropics,” Professor Harding said. “We see it as a meeting place, where students and regional professionals can develop their skills, where we can add value to the Cairns and regional economies and where tropical knowledge of many kinds will be shared.”
Business groups and other community organisations will be able to hire the boardroom and training spaces, which include a high-tech boardroom with teleconferencing and catering facilities
The ground floor features a ‘shop front’ point of contact for enquiries from potential students and other members of the public. The facilities will also host seminars, alumni functions, and short courses provided by JCU for companies seeking professional development for their staff.
Linden Woodward, JCU Media, 04 1979 1564.