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Capricornia College marks 50 years housing the leaders of the future

Published:16 August 2019

TOP: Capricornia College residents Harsimran Gupta and Abeshek Nadarajah chat with a TV News crew about the forthcoming anniversary celebrations. BELOW: Students from a range of nationalities gather to preview the anniversary.

Over half a century has passed since renowned Mayor Rex Pilbeam lobbied residents, businesses, meatworkers and graziers, raising funding to construct the Capricornia College on the site of what has become CQUniversity Rockhampton North campus.

While it took three years to gather the funds, former Rockhampton Mayor Pilbeam knew the College would be integral to the success of higher education in the Beef Capital - and he was proven correct.

Things did not go entirely smoothly because the first arrivals had to sleep on mattresses in the canteen for a few days when work fell behind schedule. Students were paid to help the builders clean the site and finish off the project.

From humble beginnings, with Residential Block A hosting students attending the Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia), the College has since housed tens of thousands of students, many of whom have gone on to leadership positions across the globe.

While the College is part-way through a major refurbishment, it still hosts over 1000 visitors a year, including domestic and international students, sports and cultural groups, staff and university guests.

“Capricornia College is not just an accommodation provider as we pride ourselves in growing an inclusive and supportive community that has a positive influence on the social and personal development of our residents,” says Director Mark Williams.

“We have also been a great match-maker over the years as many couples have met here and gone on to become married … in some cases their children have returned to study with CQUni.”

One of those who met his wife at the College was Paul Cochrane, now a Senior Manager in Media, Communications and Marketing, who will be MC for the anniversary dinner on Saturday, 21 September.

The anniversary long weekend also includes a more informal Friday evening (20 September) function, a College open day on the Saturday (21 September) and a recovery breakfast on the Sunday (22 September). Details are via studentresidences@cqu.edu.au .