JCU to open Cairns City Campus

James Cook University is excited to announce that it will open a campus in Cairns’ central business district.

The Cairns City Campus will be located adjacent to the School of Arts building within the prominent Shields Street Heart redevelopment. It will provide a wide range of teaching, student, and corporate facilities over multiple levels of 36 Shields Street. Students will be able to access the facilities from morning to evening, seven days a week.

JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the campus’ opening is another milestone in the growth of the university in Cairns.

JCU Medical School
Artist’s illustration of the Cairns City Campus (Image: JCU)

“We are delighted to be announcing that we will be expanding our presence in Cairns. It’s wonderful for JCU to be extending its footprint into the heart of the city, and at such a fantastic location,” Prof Harding said.

The Head of JCU’s Cairns (Smithfield) campus, Professor Robyn McGuiggan said the new campus will benefit JCU students, staff and the broader community.

“This development will allow JCU to expand its teaching and student services in Cairns, and work more closely with our civic leaders.”

The Dean of the College of Business, Law and Governance, Prof David Low said the campus will allow JCU to develop an even deeper level of engagement with local business, legal and tourism leaders.

“The campus will be an asset to the community. It’s as much about teaching, learning, and research as it is about community engagement and support. For example, the boardroom will offer video conferencing facilities, so that community groups such as the Cairns and Townsville chambers of commerce could have joint meetings at the campus,” Prof Low said.

In a first for an Australian university, the Cairns campus site will also provide postgraduate General Practice Registrar training, an initiative funded by the Australian Government through the Australian General Practice Training program.

Generalist Medical Training (GMT), which sits within JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry, will use the new Cairns City Campus location to provide medical education and administrative support to doctors who are training to be GPs in the Cairns coastal region.

The Dean of Medicine and Dentistry Professor Richard Murray said, “We have wanted to join up the medical training program ‘pipeline’ for students and doctors in our region for quite some time.

“Having a strong local base for general practice training is especially relevant for Cairns and the Hinterland—areas where communities need more GPs. Operating this program in conjunction with medical student training at the Cairns City Campus helps create a pipeline to a career in general practice and enables more doctors to consider training and staying in northern Queensland.”

“Not only will this new campus provide a home for undergraduate medical students and GP Registrars (trainees) in Cairns, it will also cement JCU’s partnership with the new Primary Health Network for north Queensland, which will be sharing floor space with JCU in these premises,” Prof Murray said.

The Cairns City Campus will cover more than 1,000 square metres of floor space and offer the following services:
  • It will feature a range of innovative, flexible learning and teaching, meeting and informal gathering spaces, including a Collaborative Learning Area, which will offer the latest technology and design to promote flexible learning and innovation, including extremely high-speed WiFi.
  • Students and GP Registrars will be able to drop in to use computers and study in the CBD.
  • Law and business subjects will be taught at the campus, responding to community requests for after-hours teaching of Master of Business Administration subjects.
  • It will feature a moot court providing Law students with practical courtroom training.
  • Training and classes will be provided to JCU medical students in Cairns.
  • The new GP Training program, Generalist Medical Training, will have its Cairns office located in the building, with provision for all GP Registrar training and events and collegial interaction between Cairns-based GP Registrars and medical students.
  • A state-of-the-art boardroom will offer teleconferencing and catering facilities, allowing JCU to engage more directly with business and the local community.
  • Business groups and other community organisations will be able to hire the boardroom and training spaces.
  • The ground floor features a ‘shop front’ point of contact for enquiries from potential students and other members of the public.
  • The campus will host short courses provided by JCU for companies seeking professional development for their staff.
  • Post-graduate classes will be offered, with the CBD location making it easier for people to attend lectures, tutorials, or tap into online learning opportunities.
  • The facilities will also be used to host seminars and alumni functions.
Locally based companies are encouraged to apply for the contract to design the campus.

JCU will invest approximately $10M in the campus, which includes leasing, fit-out costs, and staffing.

Medical students and GP Registrars will access the campus as early as next month. It’s expected to officially open in first Semester 2017, after design and fit-out works are completed.

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