After 13 years leading the development and operations of CQUniversity's Mackay campuses' Professor Pierre Viljoen is set to wave the region goodbye' but not farewell.
Pierre has been appointed as President Director' CQUniversity Indonesia' and will head up the University's operations in Jakarta.
Pierre will step back from his current roles as Associate Vice-President (AVP) for the North Queensland and Hinterland Region and Chair in Automation and Future Work Skills on Friday' 16 December.
"It really is a bittersweet moment for me'" Pierre explained.
"Mackay is and will always be home to me and my family'" he said.
"I have loved every minute of my time in the region and will certainly miss the Mackay community and its 'can do' spirit.
"This opportunity in Indonesia is something that has come my way and it has shown me once again that life doesn't always give us what we want but rather what we need'" Pierre said.
During his tenure as AVP' Pierre has overseen CQUniversity's growth and development in the region to the tune of more than $120 million in new infrastructure investments and numerous new education and research initiatives.
The Mackay City and Ooralea campuses are now home to some 4'800 students and more than 250 staff across integrated vocational and higher education programs.
Pierre's work leading the University's engagement strategy has reshaped the institution and has led to some enormous opportunities for not only the University but importantly the Mackay region and its community.
Some of his major achievements in the Mackay region have included support for the development of Kutta Mulla Gorinna (KMG) Special Assistance School (based at the Mackay City Campus)' provision of a space at the City Campus for Mackay's first co-working hub 'Split Spaces' and the conceptualisation and development of the $25 million Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex on the CQU Ooralea Campus.
Other notable developments have included the new residential accommodation ($10 million)' the TAFE Trade Training Centre ($45 million) and establishing the Rennie Fritschy engineering facilities ($17 million) at the Ooralea Campus.
Pierre's continued efforts in engaging with the Mackay community has positively impacted not only the University and its reputation in the region but has led to numerous positive outcomes for the entire community.
Beyond his roles at the University' Pierre has also had several Ministerial appointments and positions on local and national boards including Engagement Australia' Reef Catchments' Mackay Hospital Foundation and Regional Development Australia (Greater Whitsundays)' from which he resigned as Chairperson at the end of October (2022).
"Higher education is vitally important in regions such as Mackay' and now' more than ever' regional universities such as CQU are critical to Australia's productivity and to the social fabric of our nation'" Pierre said.
"CQU Mackay has grown significantly in student numbers' infrastructure and course offerings over the last decade' however' I would also like to acknowledge those that have gone before me and whose shoulders I have stood' like Mr Clive Booth' Professor Philip Clift and Trevor Davison as well as all the staff and students' past and present'" Pierre said.
"CQUniversity Mackay's success is testament to the efforts of us all and I look forward to seeing it continue that trajectory"
Current AVP of the Western Australia Region' Professor Rob Brown' will follow Pierre's departure and will start in the position in mid-January 2023.