EIGHT years of community passion culminated on Thursday night with the official opening of Busselton’s first university.
CQUniversity’s new Busselton Study Centre was opened by CQUni vice chancellor Scott Bowman and City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley.
Professor Bowman praised the City and community for embracing and encouraging higher education in the region.
“You’ve welcomed us with open arms, one of our rules is we only go where we are wanted and you’ve made us feel very welcome,” he said.
“People often ask what the CQ stands for but here it just means Busselton, this is Busselton University – this is your university now and we will do whatever you want us to do to support your vision for future of CQU here.” He predicted the future to be ‘massive’ for the centre, and detailed how the Townsville campus outgrew its premises within nine months.
CQUni first established itself in Busselton with a study hub in the Community Resource Centre.
The new premises on Peel Terrace, in the old Visitors Centre, features state-of-the art video conference facilities, meeting rooms, private study areas and casual student lounges.
The location is shared the Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry, creating a hub for business and education.
City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said it was a ‘no brainer’ to get behind the push for higher education in the Capes region.
“There is a huge opportunity for higher education in regional areas and it really is the way of the future,” he said.
“This centre give teens an opportunity to study here without having to relocate and adults a chance at further education.
“As a visitors centre it provided great information on the region, and now it will provide a lot of information for people in the region.”
The initiative for higher education began eight years ago, when a motion by former councillor Tom Tuffin passed through the Capes Regional Organisation of Councils to establish task force to attract a university to the region.
Forrest MP Nola Marino, who has also championed higher education in the region, sent a video message from Canberra to congratulate all involved in the process.
Busselton Study Centre coordinator Angela Bancilhon said the inclusivity of the university was what set them apart.
“We intend to turn this property into a vibrant and welcoming space for students to study and connect with each other,” she said.
“We pride our self on who we include and not who we exclude.”
Source: Busselton Dunsborough Mail.