Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Domestic Violence Education and Research is part of the solution

Today is White Ribbon Day, a day for us to reflect and make a stand when it comes to violence against women. Unfortunately this year we have heard too many stories of women being harmed by their partners or ex-partners, tragically most with fatal consequences.

The issue of domestic violence is serious and real, and each and every one of us must play our part in putting an end to it. It is also something that can happen to anyone, regardless of who they are and their background.  There are many ways we can play a part, by doing things like taking notice of the signs that someone may be in trouble, speaking up when you can see someone is in a dangerous situation and teaching our kids about respectful behaviour.

The other way we can find a solution to this problem is through research and education. By researching why domestic violence happens and its subsequent impacts, we will be best placed to develop education programs that help to prevent it from happening and can ensure professionals who work with victims of domestic violence provide the best care, support and advice.

Stopping this terrible epidemic is everyone’s responsibility and I am extremely proud of the work CQUniversity is doing when it comes to making a difference. In particular the Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (CDFVR) is doing some incredible things when it comes to research, raising awareness of domestic violence issues and engaging with communities. To find out more about the Centre and the fantastic work being done please visit

Head of the CDFVR Associate Professor Annabel Taylor (second from left) with her colleagues at the centre's Mackay Headquarters. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

John Abbott to become CQUniversity's next Chancellor

I’d like to congratulate Mr John Abbott who has today been announced as the University’s new Chancellor, taking over from Mr Rennie Fritschy who will retire in March 2016 after more than 10 remarkable years in the role.

Professionally, John is an engineer and has held a number of senior management and corporate governance positions across industry sectors including power, oil & gas, minerals processing, mining, chemicals and engineering services. Through his work he has established a number of very strategic national and international contacts in places such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, USA, Europe and the Middle East.

John has also been involved with the University for more than three decades, first as a tutor at the then Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education and most recently as a member of our University Council.

Throughout the years John has shown his keen dedication to the University and during his tenure on Council  has contributed to the University’s current success. He is deeply committed to our continued growth and to ensuring the University achieves its Strong to Great vision. To this end, John is extremely enthusiastic about playing a lead role in making sure CQUniversity emerges as one of Australia’s truly great universities in the years ahead.

Having lived in regional Australia for most of the past 37 years, and currently based in Gladstone, John is also passionate about the role universities play in promoting and stimulating regional vitality and growth, and uncovering opportunities that will play a part in the advancement of regional communities. As part of this he has a keen interest in community and industry engagement, and creating valuable long-term partnerships that will contribute to greatness and opportunities for our students.

I am sure you will agree that John’s connection with the University and his wealth of experience, make him the ideal candidate to become the next chancellor of CQUniversity.
John Abbott will be officially installed as the third Chancellor of CQUniversity on 6 March, 2016. 

Please join with me in congratulating and welcoming our next chancellor on his appointment.

I also look forward to congratulating our current Chancellor Mr Rennie Fritschy and showcasing his tremendous record of achievements early next year in the lead-up to his official departure.   

Me pictured here with John Abbott, following the announcement of his appointment as CQUniversity's third Chancellor

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Robots and astronauts - not a Hollywood blockbuster just a regular day for @CQUni students

I just stumbled across two very cool videos while checking in to see what's been happening at CQUniversity. I won't go into too much detail as I think these clips can speak for themselves but I can't remember having this much fun when I was a uni student. 

With CQUniversity Engineering now offering a Mechatronics major, it seems an ideal time for some of the more advanced students to focus on related projects - robot legs and a robot hand.

While not exactly requiring an arm and a leg (more like a hand and a leg) to complete the projects, the students did put a lot of work into their creations, with the help of Engineering technical team members Ian Tomlinson, Simon Cumming and Troy Simpson.

Three CQUni Aviation students were also recently  tasked with testing a spacecraft module simulator before it was shipped to the Gold Coast to Gillmour Space Technologies.

According to CQUniversity’s Aviation Discipline Leader Ron Bishop, it was an exciting experience for the students.

The students worked with technicians from Gilmour Space Technologies to improve systems and operation of the spacecraft simulator. 

CQUniversity offers Aviation programs from Diploma through to Bachelor level out of its Bundaberg campus and online.

Graduates from the programs find employment in the aviation, aerospace and IT industries. The Bachelor program enables students to study topics such as aerodynamics, aircraft systems, meteorology, navigation, pilot licences and ratings, air service operations, flight services and handling emergencies.

Speech Pathology graduates have the final word

The first-ever cohort of Speech Pathology students from CQUniversity are about to graduate, but before they do, they are tackling some tough questions about the industry in which they will soon work.

This week the graduating class of just eight students made their final year research presentations to an audience of lecturers, family and industry representatives on topics such as ‘Recruiting speech pathologists for the future’, ‘Telehealth – the way of the future?’ and ‘Helping you help your children’. The first of the presentations resonated with the CQUni Speech Pathology staff who were also keen to learn more about strategies to recruit professionals to rural and regional areas.

Through their research, the students discovered that speech pathology students were more likely to stay and work where they graduate – a common trend in a lot of health professions. Therefore Speech Pathology students graduating from regional areas, such as Rockhampton, are more likely to seek employment in a regional or rural setting.

CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) program is accredited with Speech Pathology Australia which enables graduates to practice as qualified speech pathologists upon graduating.

Speech pathology is practiced in a wide variety of settings – schools, hospitals, aged care facilities, universities, kindergartens, rehabilitation centres, private practice and mental health services.

The University’s four-year program requires students to gain competencies in a range of practice areas such as speech, language, fluency, voice, swallowing and multimodal communication, enabling them to work in a variety of settings.

Throughout the program students are also required to complete work placements in a range of settings, ensuring students are job-ready upon graduation. These include specifically designed clinics which operate out of CQUniversity’s own Health Clinic as well as work in private or public practice.  

Congratulations to our first graduates from the program. It is very exciting to think that your skills will now benefit communities across Australia and the World.