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New health building to grow health workforce

Group of people in a casual meeting with laptops and refreshments, engaging with a standing older gentleman.
The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) meets with allied health students at the University of Southern Queensland Ipswich campus.

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley have overseen the start of work on the University of Southern Queensland’s new Health Building at its Ipswich campus.

An official sod-turning ceremony was held yesterday (April 3) at the future site of the health building, which the Governor-General said was a vital investment to grow the nation’s health workforce.

“Linda and I are delighted to help launch an important initiative for the region, for Queensland and, indeed, for all Australians,” the Governor-General said.

“It is important that we help unlock the potential of our young people, create career pathways and build a highly-trained, connected workforce to support those in need in our community.

“I commend all involved in reaching this point and look forward to watching the facility’s progress in coming years.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the new three-storey building would accommodate the significant growth in School of Health and Medical Sciences students and provide more than 3000 square metres of space for learning, teaching, and research.

“Over the last nine years, we’ve established our Ipswich campus as the region’s destination for healthcare education by increasing our program offerings, forging strong community and industry partnerships, and undertaking world-leading health research,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“Our graduates are having a profound impact on people’s lives, but we must continue to respond to the healthcare needs of our communities by expanding access to education and putting students in the best position to excel.

“Our commitment and investment in health, combined with our focus on connecting education, research, and innovation with regional Australia’s needs, means this impact will continue to grow well into the future.”

An increasing burden of chronic illness, an ageing population and the rising costs of health treatments and technologies have led to a significant demand for healthcare workers and services, especially in rural and remote areas.

The new building will bring together the University’s teaching and research in key health areas, including occupational therapy, speech pathology and physiotherapy, as well as sport and exercise, paramedicine, nursing and midwifery, and biomedical sciences.

The University has welcomed more than 100 students into three of its newest allied health programs (physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology) at Ipswich this year with enrolments to increase in coming years.

Key features of the new building include:
• Technologically enabled, flexible teaching spaces for all programs
• Cutting-edge exercise and sporting facilities and equipment
• State-of-the-art PC2 laboratory facilities for medical sciences teaching and research
• Dedicated areas for students to connect and collaborate

The Ipswich Health Building is due for completion in September 2025.