CQUniversity Cairns Community Impact Plan

CQUniversity has unveiled an ambitious $54.7M funding proposal designed to stimulate new industries in the North and generate maximum community impact.

CQUniversity Cairns Community Impact Plan


CQUniversity's unique vision for diversity, outreach, engagement, research, learning and teaching, and inclusiveness combined with its growth aspirations and expansion of student success, have led to it being recognized as one of the top 500 universities in the world.

CQUniversity has been active in Cairns for many years mainly through its distant students, but around about five or six years ago, we’ve decided to have a physical presence in Cairns and opened our study centre, which was a tremendous success. We followed this up with the campus and we've invested a lot of university money in bringing some exciting new programs to Cairns. We've opened a campus right in the heart of the city, but we think we can do much more in Cairns.

We've proved that we can be great corporate citizens with our sponsorship of the Taipans and engagement right across the business community. We're asking for quite a modest investment from government to really make CQUniversity in Cairns a success, to really add something to the community, and contribute to the ongoing development and success of Cairns.

Since establishing a presence in Cairns only five years ago, CQUniversity has rapidly grown from a small study centre to a large CBD campus with over a thousand students, and employing nearly 150 locals. CQUniversity now wants to permanently cement and expand its presence in Cairns to create a campus that delivers maximum impact to the community and its industries.

We've been working with industry and working with community leadership groups to develop a plan that is both meaningful and impactful on the region.

CQUniversity has invested heavily in the region and has identified several priority investment initiatives that have the potential to bring about major social and economic benefit to Cairns.

The addition of Central Queensland University to Cairns in 2012 has added enormous value to the city and surrounding regions. Cairns is now a two university city. Central Queensland University's flexible delivery options and unique courses, including Creative and Performing Arts and Engineering, have impacted Cairns in very positive ways attracting new students to the city and providing opportunities for locals to complete university in their home town.

There is a real opportunity to make Cairns Australia's newest and most attractive post-school education hub, allowing us to attract domestic and international students to the region. This will create a buzz for the city and will contribute to employment creation and economic growth.

The CQUniversity Community Impact Plan was designed by the community and its industries and seeks to:

  • establish a purpose-built CQUniversity CBD campus capable of accommodating 2,500+ domestic and international students
  • diversify the local economy by supporting new and emerging industry workforce needs through training education and research
  • provide stronger educational pathways for local students from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • galvanize the status of Cairns as a thriving education hub and two university city
  • unlock the potential of the Cairns CBD to attract international students
  • accelerate the growing political, policy and societal influence of the world's First Peoples
  • help drive a thriving performing and creative arts culture and enterprise in Cairns attracting established and emerging talent to the region
  • position Cairns as the Asia-Pacific’s leading hub for aviation innovation research and training "Locally based aviation training is vital to the development of our industry and our region."
  • develop a North-Queensland first high-performance sports teaching and research laboratory firmly embedded within the city's only professional national sporting team, the CQUniversity Cairns Taipans "The establishment of a professional sports centre of excellence here in Cairns would mean our region is leading the nation when it comes to research and education in the professional sports environment."

The CQUniversity Cairns Community Impact plan is designed to have a direct and tangible impact on the region, driving positive change and bringing about long-term sustainability and success for the local communities and industry, and underpinning the future prosperity of Cairns and the far north.

With a presence and Cairns, CQUniversity has the potential to establish a world-class think-tank and research centre that is specifically concerned with the issues facing the world’s First People. Support for the centre will provide an avenue for First People to promote timely evidence-based research and the coordinated delivery of education and development activities.

To do this, CQUniversity will require support to invest in these aspirations. This will include:

  • $30 million for a permanent new Cairns CBD campus
  • $16 million to develop a state-of-the-art aviation and engineering centre for excellence to be based at the Cairns International Airport
  • $1.2 million for the establishment of a First Peoples think tank and research centre
  • $2.5 million for a modern performing and creative arts precinct to be used for teaching research and community events
  • $2.5 million dollars for a professional sports centre of excellence
  • $2.5 million to expand current high-impact research capabilities in Cairns and the far north.

The university has provided locals with choice and flexibility when it comes to education, and the research being conducted by the university in the region is already having an impact. I'm very keen to see CQUniversity further cement its presence in the region and to see Cairns become the home of two world-class universities. The extension of CQUniversity in the region will further influence policy and decision-making by government and non-government groups alike, helping to unlock the full economic potential of the Cairns region.

CQUniversity recognizes the remarkable potential of the Cairns region and is ready to work with the community to meet this potential. An investment in the CQUniversity Cairns Community Impact Plan is an investment in the region and an investment in northern Australia.