Strategic Plan 2024 - 2028

We Change Lives

The CQUniversity Strategic Plan 2024-2028, We Change Lives reflects the commitment of CQUniversity’s people to its vision and values, and their steadfast belief in the transformational power of education when it comes creating life-changing opportunities and making our regions better.

The Strategic Plan 2024-2028 also sets out CQUniversity’s important role as an agent of profound social impact, by recognising that the University must play a role in the collective global pursuance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of this, the new strategic plan has been designed in a way that seeks to embrace and acknowledge all 17 SDGs, through innovative teaching, training and research excellence.

Through our values-based approach to our People, our Planet and our Partnerships, we will not only shape our own future as an institution, but that of a more equitable, sustainable and just world around us.

Education Futures

The Education Futures project that commenced delivery in 2022, has influenced the determination of CQUniversity’s strategic goals and priorities and the subsequent development of our new strategic plan. The Education Futures project focused on “zooming out” to take a broader look at the global future of higher education, training and skills development to understand the future landscape and CQUniversity’s place within it.

Specifically, this discovery work, invited individuals and operational areas from across the University to identify and explore the current and emerging global trends, social shifts and industry needs that will impact the way future universities operate. The project built a foundation that will allow CQUniversity to meet future change and challenges, while also realising and creating opportunities. It also delivered a framework that will help to future-proof operations and establish a distinct and unique competitive advantage for CQUniversity. 

This knowledge has guided the development of the University’s new strategic plan for 2024-2028 and represents an exciting opportunity for CQUniversity to activate university-wide research and learnings from the Project. For more information about how the Education Futures project informed the new Strategic Plan please review the paper Our Context: Informing Our New Strategic Plan

Our Pillars

Our people are our purpose, and their success is our legacy. We recognise that we need to create transformative life opportunities through fostering the talents and enhancing the potential of our students, staff, alumni, and communities.

We are committed to creating an environment of lifelong learning where people feel empowered and proud to learn, work and grow with CQUniversity. We will be leaders in providing innovative, accessible, supportive and flexible learning, engaged workplaces and enriched societies.

The strategic goals underpinning this focus are:


1.1 Access and Participation: Provide opportunity for all students, no matter where they are, to access high quality education and training that supports their unique needs and wellbeing.

1.2 Innovative Learning Experiences: Deliver vocational to doctoral education, bespoke training, and microcredentials for students and industry partners, through self-paced, flexible and digital learning options that meet the diverse needs of our learners, creating accessible entry points and clear progression pathways.

1.3 Career Readiness: Provide a curriculum that is informed by world-class research, market intelligence and co-created with our industry partners, embedded with authentic work-based learning opportunities, and driven by relevance to the needs of our students and employers, so they can confidently meet the challenges of the future.


1.4 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Create an environment that brings out the best in our staff, strengthened by a culture of equality, inclusion, flexibility and innovation so our staff are inspired to achieve and excel, and so they are held in the highest regard nationally and globally.

1.5 Healthy Work Environment: Ensure a safe and healthy work environment with a focus on personal and professional growth, wellbeing and work-life balance, where values-driven behaviour is exemplified.

1.6 Service Excellence: Foster a service excellence culture that is underpinned by evidence-based, ‘no-blame’ real-time feedback and where continuous improvement is actively embraced to ensure our structures, processes and practices empower our vision.


1.7 Alumni and Industry Networks: Connect and work with industry and our alumni to create, maintain and showcase a sense of belonging to the wider CQUniversity community.

1.8 Lifelong Learning: Respond to the needs of our communities, industry and wider society with targeted and relevant lifelong learning opportunities to enhance societal potential and research impact.

1.9 Social Innovation: Uphold the principles of social innovation within all aspects of our operations to support our students, staff, research, and the communities we serve to achieve positive social outcomes.

Aligned with the UNSDGs: 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17

Our planet is in our hands. We recognise that we need to contribute positively to our world by embedding sustainability, enhancing our digital and physical campus footprint, and driving research and innovation to address the challenges of our time.

We are committed to advancing our stewardship to ensure a sustainable future for the University and, in turn, build sustainable regions through our presence and research that aligns with societal needs. We are focused on striking the right balance with our investment decisions to ensure a positive impact on the planet.

The strategic goals underpinning this focus are:


2.1 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Uphold sustainability practices that remain in favour of a healthy planet at every opportunity and ensure the results of our decisions are socially responsible and are removed of any injustice.

2.2 Sustainability Knowledge and Practice: Embed the principles of sustainability into our education, training and research to drive a consciousness and understanding of sustainability.

2.3 Financial Sustainability: Optimise the University’s business model to ensure our financial security and our ability to be agile and responsive in times of disruption.

Place and Presence

2.4 Campus Optimisation: Balance our physical and digital campuses and create a technology-enabled university that fosters an environment for discovery, creativity, connection and wellbeing – an environment that continues to preserve the student experience as our centrepiece through modernised operations.

2.5 Co-location and Collaboration: Open our campuses to industry, employers, community partners, start-ups and commercial operators to co-locate and establish embedded relationships that provide mutual benefits.

2.6 Presence and Reach: Embody our commitment to accessibility and opportunity by strengthening our partnerships with regional university centres, enabling us to expand our reach and enhance student access.


2.7 Research Impact: Be the central hub for research in our regions by addressing the issues that matter most, cementing our unique power of place by undertaking research in practical and sustainable solutions, with national and international impact.

2.8 Researcher Training and Development: Support researchers who push the limits of current knowledge and share their research expertise and outcomes to improve productivity, prosperity, quality of life and global sustainability.

2.9 Entrepreneurialism: Deepen our entrepreneurial collaborations to encourage innovation and produce new technologies, new products and new businesses.

Aligned with the UNSDGs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17

Our success as a university relies on our engagement and collaboration with our partners. We recognise that we need to actively connect and collaborate to share knowledge and ideas that drive impact with mutual and wider benefit from our regions to the world.

We are committed to making a brighter future through drive and imagination in close partnership with our communities and stakeholders. We recognise and value our partners and actively develop our partnerships for the benefit of all.

The strategic goals underpinning this focus are:

First Nations Commitment

3.1 First Nations Voice: Collaborate with Australia’s First Nations peoples to strengthen our relationships with the custodians of the lands hosting the communities we serve, and work together with communities, government, and First Nations organisations to address injustice and provide equality of opportunity.

3.2 First Nations Success: Increase access to education, training and research for our First Nations peoples and provide the support systems for success.

Strategic Partnerships

3.3 Engaged Research: Collaborate with government, industry and community partners on research projects that matter to our regions and convert knowledge into tangible outcomes.

3.4 Alumni and Industry Partners: Engage and leverage our alumni and industry connections to create enduring relationships and opportunities.

3.5 Philanthropy Partners: Grow the culture of philanthropy across individual donors and social and corporate partners to enhance opportunities for our students and communities.

Regional Commitment

3.6 Create Aspiration: Enhance our commitment to schools-outreach and widening regional participation in education, training and employment.

3.7 Regional Impact: Be civic-minded and collaborative with government, industry and community in considering regional needs, seizing opportunities that deliver meaningful benefit for our local communities and industry.

Global Reach

3.8 International Partnerships: Collaborate with key international partners to expand our global reach, grow our international student diversity, gain access to international best practice and enhance our education and training capabilities.

3.9 International Research Collaborations: Develop a suite of international partnerships in key regions critical for research.

3.10 Global Exposure: Increase student access to international mobility opportunities, inward and outward, that encourages them to be global citizens and responsible leaders.

Aligned with the UNSDGs: 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17

Strategic Plan with Vice-Chancellor Nick Klomp


[Professor Nick Klomp] I am proud to be the Vice-Chancellor of a university that has such a powerful identity and purpose, not just as a world-class training, teaching, and research institution, but as an agent of profound change within the communities we serve…

It takes a highly specialised set of values, and a distinctly articulated strategic intent, to achieve the levels of inclusivity, accessibility and impact required by our diverse student cohorts and communities… Each of us should take confidence in the fact that this new strategic plan provides CQUniversity with the clarity of vision and purpose, to meet the current and emerging needs of our students and communities…

I am now delighted to be entering our next phase of growth, one that will see us hone in on our strengths while also embarking on ambitious new challenges…

Over the next five years, we will be guided by our new Strategic Plan: We Change Lives…

This new plan is centred around three important pillars – People – Planet – and Partnerships – which also align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals…

I am really proud of this strategic direction, and I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to its development… I would therefore like our people to be the ones to showcase what this plan is all about, because they are the people who will be instrumental in achieving our strategic vision … and who are already working hard to create impact and make our regions better. So please continue watching to learn more about our future direction and how we’re going to get there.

Strategic plan People title slide appears on screen highlighting the related SDGs 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17.

[Professor Michelle Bellingan] Our people are our purpose, and we recognise that we need to create opportunities, and foster their talents.

We are therefore committed to creating an environment of lifelong learning, where people feel empowered and proud to work, learn, and grow with CQUniversity. Through this commitment, we will be leaders in providing innovative, accessible, supportive, and flexible learning… as well as engaged workplaces for our staff.

Our contribution to learning and employment, will help to create vibrant and enriched societies.

[Associate Professor Ben Taylor] For students, this means seamless access and participation in all levels of higher education and training, which not only allows them to gain a qualification… but also enriches their skills and knowledge.

This access will be underpinned by our belief that everyone should be able to participate in education and meaningful work, at any point in their life, regardless of their geography, socioeconomic status, cultural background, or ability.

[Libby Warlow] Through this belief, we will become a lifelong learning partner for our students, by enhancing their confidence and supporting their wellbeing and development…

We will also support their unique learning and professional needs by delivering authentic experiences and industry connection…

Just like how the Oral Health team has created opportunities for students to gain real world practice, by taking our mobile dental kit into the community, to provide free oral health care to residents within nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.

[Lance Chorneyko] providing a curriculum and skills that are informed by world-class research, market intelligence and collaboration with industry will help students and alumni to confidently meet the opportunities and challenges of the future.

[Kaz Petersen] We will create environments for staff that bring out their best, by strengthening our culture of equality, inclusion, flexibility, and innovation. We will foster a culture of service excellence and continuous improvement… This will inspire our staff to excel so they are held in the highest regard nationally and globally.

[Dr Sean Peckover] Importantly, we will embrace each other’s differences, and ensure a safe, and healthy work environment, with a focus on personal and professional growth, total wellbeing, work-life balance… and cultural safety and reconciliation.

[Kaz Petersen] We will do this by being open, sharing our stories, and giving and accepting feedback.

[Steve Williams] We will influence society by creating impact, and challenging ideas through the principles of social innovation, which will be embedded within all levels of our operations.

This will benefit alumni and industry by increasing opportunities to engage and enhancing our connections with them.

We will also leverage our expertise and our facilities, to make our regions better… by nurturing innovation, and empowering people to identify, and implement solutions to the biggest challenges within their communities…

Just like what we have already done with the iActivate program, that supports entrepreneurs in developing social enterprises in regional Queensland.

Planet artwork title slide appears on screen and highlights the related SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17.

[Narelle Pearse] Everything we do has an impact on our planet… We need to contribute positively to our world by undertaking meaningful activity, that supports sustainability and addresses the current, and emerging challenges facing our world…

We will be recognised as responsible corporate citizens, with a focus on financial, social, and environmental sustainability. We will take our stewardship role within our communities seriously… to ensure a strong future for CQUniversity and the communities, and industries, that rely on our education, training, and research.

[Dr Shweta Singh] To do this we will balance our physical campuses with our digital presence to optimise the student experience and facilitate stronger more agile connections with partners right around the globe.

[Dr Angela Capper] Being guided by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, we will uphold our sustainability mission, by making and influencing decisions that reduce waste, and achieve results.

Sustainability principles will not just be adopted at a corporate level… they will be embedded within our curriculum, and within our research.

At CMERC, we are already contributing to the sustainability of our marine environments through our research projects… including my Drain Buddies project, that looks at capturing and analysing microplastics in drains… before they make it into our waterways, and on to the Reef.

[Associate Professor Linda Pfeiffer} We can also make a difference by harnessing our presence and place, by activating our campuses to truly become places for discovery, creativity, connection… and wellbeing.

We can achieve this through enhanced partnerships and co-location with industry, employers, and start-ups.

This can provide us with mutual benefit and enable us to expand our reach, raise aspirations and enhance student access.

Through my STEM outreach work, I have already worked with industry to establish STEM Central at the Gladstone Marina campus… a facility used by the entire community to inspire a new generation of STEM professionals and leaders.

[Sasha Job] Our research will help to influence decision makers and create stronger, more connected, more liveable, and more sustainable communities…

We will work to address disadvantage and the issues that matter most to our regions.

Entrepreneurialism will be encouraged, and our researchers will be supported to push the limits of current knowledge and share their research expertise and outcomes to improve productivity, prosperity, equity, and quality of life…

CQU researchers are already delivering for our industries and our communities with one example being my U-Beach PhD research that aims to improve beach accessibility for all.

Partnerships title slide appears introducing Partnership pillar and highlighting the related SDGs 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17.

[Professor Grant Stanley] Our success as a university relies on the quality of our engagement and collaboration with our partners…

We recognise that we need to actively connect, share knowledge, and contribute ideas that drive impact with far reaching benefits.

[Barb Miller] First and foremost, we will recognise all First Nations Peoples, and work with the custodians of the lands on which we live, work, and learn, to address injustice, progress our reconciliation journey; and provide equality of opportunity…

We can contribute to this, by improving access to career opportunities, education, training, and research for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples… and by providing culturally supportive systems for success.

[Dr Melinda Mann] Our work as part of the Jawun Research Centre, is helping communities to understand ways to improve Indigenous health and education outcomes… and our Australian-first Jilbay First Nations RHD Academy, is helping to attract and develop Indigenous RhD students, so that they can become experts and thought leaders who influence change.

[Dr Gary Fry] We will embed First Nations principles within our learning and teaching, to engage and connect Indigenous students, and to promote cultural understanding and competency among non-Indigenous students.

[Recheal Daley] Along with this, we will also provide dedicated training and education opportunities for Indigenous people, including the course I teach… the Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care… which aims to increase the numbers of qualified Indigenous primary healthcare professionals within the community, to improve health outcomes for our people.

[Francois Gallais] Collaborations with community, industry, and government partners, both here in Australia and overseas, will help to convert knowledge into tangible outcomes.

To support our ongoing delivery of education, research, and community engagement, we will actively seek out new opportunities to develop strategic partnerships, and continue to grow those that already exist.

We will also grow our culture of philanthropy, across individual donors, and social and corporate partners to enhance opportunities for our students and communities…

Our work in this area has already helped to ensure financial support and security for thousands of students facing financial barriers, to realising their potential and completing their education.

[Mellisa Taggart] Over many years, we have demonstrated a commitment to the regions, by providing opportunities to engage in education and research…

Our contribution has now evolved, with CQU playing an important cultural, social, and economic role in our communities…

As well as continuing to drive our schools outreach activity to promote participation… our new strategic plan, will see us seize on opportunities both big… like attracting funding for the new Cairns campus; and small… like the Regional Arts Development Fund grant that I secured, to commission an Indigenous mural, in the Mackay Ooralea campus cultural garden and yarning circle.

[Dr Alexandra McEwan] Our Global Reach will be expanded by growing our international research collaborations and partnerships, increasing the diversity of our student cohort…

and improving student access to exciting and life-changing global mobility experiences, just like the study tour I led to Vietnam, for law students, to learn about wildlife protection, and the illegal wildlife trade.

[Ruri Mijilenggonowati] doing this will encourage our students to become global citizens and responsible leaders who seek out chances to challenge conventions and make a valuable contribution to society.

[Graeme Innes AM] Regardless of your role and expertise, everyone plays an important part in delivering education, training, and research at CQUniversity.

Through this, you make an important contribution to your community.

We now have an incredibly important role to play in shaping a world we can be proud of… and our new strategic plan, will help to guide us all in delivering on our purpose.

[Professor Nick Klomp] It has been a privilege to work alongside our staff, our students, and our many stakeholders to develop a strategic plan for CQUniversity that is truly reflective of who we are… and where we are going.

I look forward to working with everyone to realise this new direction and to ensure CQUniversity meets the needs of People, our Planet, and our Partners.

CQUniversity’s Alignment with the Objectives

The Queensland Government’s objectives for the community are built around Unite and Recover – Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan. The objectives are long-term and can only be achieved by everyone involved working together. CQUniversity contributes directly to eight of the nine objectives by leading significant projects and initiatives with the aim to support and improve the quality of life for our Queensland communities.

The objectives our University contributes to include supporting jobs, backing small business, supporting Making it for Queensland and Building Queensland, growing our regions, investing in skills, backing our frontline services, and protecting the environment. Our contribution to these objectives will be achieved through our commitment to:

Continually innovate our learning and teaching practices to optimise and personalise the student experience, and meet constantly evolving workforce needs.

Consistently deliver resilient, engaged, work-ready graduates who are not only jobholders but job creators.

Be responsive to changing workforce needs in the design and delivery of programs and by leading research critical to the sustainability and prosperity of local industries and economies.

Utilise our reputation to be a positive influence on government policy wherever it relates to the training, education and research needs of the communities we serve.

Leverage our connection with government by delivering activities and programs that are relevant to the needs of community and industry.

Be known as a university that works directly with community and industry to design and deliver training and education that strengthens and builds capacity.

Dismantle current and future barriers to educational access and participation and inspire learning aspirations among diverse groups of students. We will support access and participation through the provision of sector-leading outreach, enabling pathway and support programs.

Provide world-class, transformative education and research for our students, partners and communities across Australia and internationally.

Produce graduates who have the knowledge, skills and drive to apply global and sustainable thinking to address complex social, economic and environmental challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

CQUniversity conducted direct consultation with several key stakeholders including partners within industry and the community. Our Council members, students, staff and alumni were also invited to share their ideas and thoughts and surveys were conducted throughout both the strategic planning process and through the delivery of the Education Futures project that preceded the strategic planning process.

Education Futures – Understanding Our Position

8 months of consultation

Global Trends

  • 2 workshops with ~20 identified staff working in related fields.
  • Over 600 staff responses to the opportunities and threats survey.
  • 1 council workshop.

Our Markets and Industries

  • 79 unique feedback submissions by regional industry partners.
  • 495 student responses to the student preferences survey.

Our Regions and Products

  • 10 regional workshops.
  • 2 workshops with the tertiary education senior leaders.


2 months of consultation 

Our Purpose, Vision and Values

  • 1 executive visioning workshop.
  • 1 council visioning workshop.
  • 1 town hall staff forum.
  • Over 300 staff responses to the strategic charter survey.

Strategic Plan

months of consultation

Our Strategic Goals and Priorities

  • 1 executive strategic directions and priorities workshop.
  • 345 staff responses to the strategic directions survey.
  • 1 council planning and strategy workshop.
  • 1 town hall staff forum.
  • 10 region engagement/ industry advisory committee workshops.
  • Over 500 responses to the new strategic plan survey from students, staff, alumni, donors, partners and stakeholders.

The CQUniversity Strategic Plan 2024-2028, We Change Lives, was approved by the University Council on 5 July and launched on 28 July 2023, with implementation of the plan set to commence on 1 January 2024.

The delivery of the new strategic plan will be led by CQUniversity’s Vice-Chancellor and President however, everyone who works at CQUniversity, regardless of their role, will have an important role to play in realising the strategic goals outlined within the plan.

Official reporting against the Strategic Plan 2024-2028, We Change Lives, will commence at the end of 2024 and be officially reported in the 2024 Annual Report that will be published in early 2025. Operational level reporting will also happen at regular intervals to ensure operational areas are on-track to achieve their goals.

The overall direction of the new strategic plan builds on the achievements of the previous strategic plan Our Future is You: 2019-2023. However, in developing a new strategic plan, the University has reflected on the results of consultation and the learnings from the Education Futures project to sharpen its vision and refine our strategic pillars, goals and priorities; to reflect our future-focus towards genuine accessibility, collaboration and connectedness across education, training and research. The new strategic pillars (People, Planet and Partnerships) capture the purpose and vision of the University and what it needs to become in order to overcome future challenges and realise new opportunities.

As an agent of profound social impact, CQUniversity recognises the important role it must play in the collective global pursuance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We believe it is critical to embrace the 17 SDGs and acknowledge that it is well within our capabilities and our values to work towards the creation of a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future for all.

The development of the new strategic plan was influenced by our values-based approach to our People, our Planet and our Partnerships, and the realisation that we must not only shape our own future as an institution, but that of a more equitable, sustainable and just world around us.

Questions about the new strategic plan can be directed to