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Celebrate your Mackay campus connection during anniversary fun day

Celebrate your Mackay campus connection during anniversary fun day

Published:16 March 2017

TOP: 2012 > CQUni Mackay’s Chiropractic Science degree was the first Australian program of its kind to be offered outside a capital city. Pictured are Masters students (from left) Melissa Pope with Georgia Tulloch and Ashley Thomas with Taryn Romain. SECOND: 2014 > CQUni Mackay’s $46 million Trades Training Centre was opened. Pictured are Cert III Light Vehicle and Mechanical Technology apprentices Shay Caruana, Brittany Bugeja, Cody Steindl, Todd Sherlock, Andrew Hodgen and Levi Crowley. THIRD: 2016 > CQUni Mackay formed a partnership with Split Spaces – Regional Queensland’s largest innovation hub. Pictured signing the MoU are Split Spaces Director Nick Bennett, Founder Jarryd Townson and CQUni's Narelle Pearse. FOURTH: 2017 > CQUni’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, and Campuses and Mackay-Whitsunday Region Professor Pierre Viljoen, Mayor Greg Williamson and Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry turn the first sod to mark the commencement of construction on the Mackay Regional Sports Precinct at CQUni’s Ooralea Campus. LAST: CQUniversity Australia has had a presence in Mackay for 30 years. (Picture taken in 1992, when CQUni was named the University of Central Queensland).

The year 1987 was a memorable one.

The Bangles encouraged us to 'Walk Like An Egyptian', the silver screen deemed Eddie Murphy 'The Golden Child' and actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore wed.

It’s also the year CQUniversity Australia (known back then as the Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education – CIAE) began offering higher education in Mackay, initially from a premises at the Mackay College of TAFE in Alfred Street.

This year marks 30 years of CQUniversity in Mackay, and the occasion will be marked with a family and community fun day on 25 March at the University’s City Campus, Sydney Street, from 10 am to 2 pm.

Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson will officially welcome guests at 10 am.

Celebration highlights will include children’s activities (a rock wall, jumping castle, balloons), a sausage sizzle, live music by local band Django,  a car display by Covered with Chrome, refreshments, interactive displays, a memory wall and more.

Anyone with a connection to CQUni – which could include (but is not restricted to) past and present students, lecturers, donors and stakeholders – are invited to share their experiences, journeys and future aspirations with/for the University either on the day, or online at

In line with the CQUni’s tag line 'Be what you want to be', children and teens are also encouraged to share their vision for the future.

All material received in advance will be displayed on the memory wall at the event.

Afterwards, the materials will be collated and buried in a time capsule that will remain unopened until CQUni Mackay’s 50th anniversary.

CQUniversity’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, Campuses and Mackay-Whitsunday Region, Professor Pierre Viljoen said the University had experienced many major milestones.

“Over the past three decades, we’ve emerged as one of Australia’s truly great universities,” he said.

“This includes recently being recognised as Australia’s first Changemaker Campus by Ashoka U – an exclusive group made up of only 30 other leading education institutions across the world.

“Additionally, CQUni was named in the world’s top two percent of universities by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017).

“Our reputation as a great university is being cemented and this can be attributed to the mammoth efforts of our staff, the hard work and commitment of our students, and the support from our community.

“We are proud of our achievements and will continue to build on these prestigious highlights right here in Mackay.”

CQUniversity Mackay timeline:

1987: The Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education (CIAE) established a centre in Mackay, initially at Mackay College of TAFE, Alfred St.

1988: The first year of the Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Teaching programs offered full time.

1990: Name change to the University College of Central Queensland.

1992: Name change to the University of Central Queensland. Ooralea Campus at Boundary Road was established and 250 students began their studies, supported by 11 full-time and 31 part-time staff. The University was granted official university status by the Queensland Government.

1994: Name change to Central Queensland University. Construction of the Asia and Pacific Studies Centre at Ooralea, opened by Queensland Premier Wayne Goss.

1996: Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) was established.

1999: Choices (a theatre project that promotes key safety messages to young people prior to Schoolies Week) was developed. Since then, Choices has been performed 250-plus times to more than 30,000 students.

2001: $4.85 million CQCM building opened at Ooralea by Premier of Queensland Peter Beattie.

2002: Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (QCDFVR) began operating from Ooralea Campus (the centre relocated to City Campus in 2014).

2008: Name change to CQUniversity Australia.

2009: CQUniversity Mackay entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hail Creek Mine to address the skills shortage across multiple disciplines in the region.

2010: $7.85 million Library building (Technology and Information Resource Centre) was opened by Deputy Prime Minister (and Minister for Education) Julia Gillard.

2011: $7.3 million three-storey student accommodation building opened at Ooralea Campus. A $4 million state-of-the-art Medical and Applied Sciences Laboratories facility opened by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh. A partnership with BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC) provided $1.1 million worth of scholarships to local school leavers.

2012: Chiropractic Science degree offered from Mackay City Campus (this was the first Australian program of its kind to be located outside a capital city). The University’s Bachelor of Science (Chiropractic) and Master of Chiropractic courses were officially endorsed by the Council of Chiropractic Education Australasia Ltd in 2016.

2013: A partnership with Pioneer State High School led to the creation of the Learning Excellence At Pioneer (LEAP) program, which provided assistance to talented students via enrichment projects linked to a number of CQUni discipline areas.

2014: $46 million Trades Training Centre opened at Ooralea Campus. CQUni merged with CQ TAFE to become Queensland’s first comprehensive university. The Mackay Biodiesel Project (a first-year VET project) at Ooralea's Trade Training Centre was officially launched.

2015: $16.6 million state-of-the-art Engineering precinct opened.

2016: CQUni forms a partnership with Split Spaces – Regional Queensland’s largest innovation hub – that operates at City Campus.

2017: The first sod is turned in preparation for construction of the $20 million (Stages 1A and 1B) Mackay Regional Sports Precinct at Ooralea Campus. (This is a collaborative project between CQUni, Mackay Regional Council and the Australian Government.) 30th anniversary of CQUniversity Australia’s presence in Mackay.