Secret tourism business to be revealed

SEVEN global megatrends influencing the future of tourism will be in the spotlight at this year’s University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Fraser Coast Open Day in August 2015.

With a new tourism major being introduced to the University’s Bachelor of Business program on-campus in 2016, Dr Elizabeth Saxon will present a 30-minute session introducing prospective students and visitors to the trends.

USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said the new program, headed by Dr Saxon, would allow Fraser Coast students to study tourism close to friends and family without leaving the region.


Ebony Andrew (left) and Danielle Mares talk with USQ Lecturer Elizabeth Saxon about the tourism degree.

“Hopefully those students will become business entrepreneurs, strengthening the local labour force and growing the economy,” Professor Thomas said.

Dr Saxon said her Open Day session titled Secret tourism business: the global megatrends affecting our future would outline the far-reaching impacts of tourism across the world.

“Businesses are built on tourism, relationships shaped by it and communities engaged (and enraged) by it,” Dr Saxon said.

“Visitors and businesses are affected by a variety of social, technological, economic and political factors as well as the natural environment.”

Meanwhile, Kingfisher Bay Resort Group General Manager David Hay said he was delighted to hear USQ Fraser Coast would offer tourism subjects at a tertiary level from 2016.

“As tourism is a major industry in our region it is a very exciting step to see that people who aspire to a career in this industry will be able to gain tertiary qualifications without having to leave the Fraser Coast,” Mr Hay said.

“There is a growing need for those who wish to make it their career to have higher level qualifications and access to these studies in our region which has been restricted to external options in the past.

“The decision by USQ to expand their offerings to include tourism is very welcome by those of us in the industry who seek to employ people with the appropriate level of skills and education.

“I congratulate USQ for making the decision to offer these majors in conjunction with your business degrees and I look forward to seeing the positive results for our region in the future.”

Dr Saxon has a PhD in sustainable tourism and has lectured extensively at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in economics, policy, planning, anthropology and tourism.

She also has extensive experience as a sustainable tourism consultant with national and international tourism businesses, governments and organisations.



Feature photo: Hervey Bay is home for the humpback whales from August to October attracting tourists from across the globe.

More jobs for tertiary educated people on horizon

FRASER Coast is growing as an employment destination for people with tertiary qualifications.

That’s the opinion of University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Vice-Chancellor & President Professor Jan Thomas after the university held its Student Advisors Information Day (SAID) on June 4.

Professor Thomas said USQ Fraser Coast had experienced a 47% increase in QTAC applications this year, suggesting that more students were wanting to study and find employment locally.

She said that with the rapid expansion of construction projects in the region including about $230m in property investments over the past 18 months with the new St Stephens Hospital and Stockland’s Shopping Centre, industries such as professional services, health, social assistance and education were all increasing in terms of output, value and employment.

“Paralleling that, we’re seeing greater demand for qualified people to work in those industries and USQ is developing programs that align to those needs, “Professor Thomas said.

USQ Fraser Coast Executive Manager Brett Langabeer said the annual SAID event was designed to better equip advisors when supporting students with their future career choices.

“As we move into the future, more qualified people will be needed in the health sector providing more employment opportunities locally,” he said.

“The sessions covered topics of interest to the staff who work with students intending to make the transition to university life in the years ahead.”

Information was shared on USQ’s study areas such as humanities and communications, engineering and built environment, health and community, sciences, business and commerce, law and justice, education, information technology and creative arts.

Topics also included pathway programs and admissions as well as counselling, disability and Indigenous support.

Representatives from 10 Fraser Coast high schools attended this year’s Student Advisors Information Day.

Among them was Deb Lovell from Maryborough’s Riverside Christian College who said: “I love coming to these events, you always learn something new. Things change all the time so this event keeps us up-to-date on scholarships and anything else that may have changed from one year to another.”


Photos: Kristen Hooper (left) and Deb Lovell from Maryborough’s Riverside Christian College chat with USQ Lecturer (Diversity and Inclusive Education) Stephen Hughes.

Awards for community programs

THE ORGANISERS of two University of Southern Queensland (USQ) programs have been honoured with an award that recognises and encourages exceptional community service by USQ employees.

FCHP: LEARN and BEAMS have each won a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Community Engagement and Service, with Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Verbyla presenting the certificates during a staff ceremony at USQ Fraser Coast last week.


The Fraser Coast Health Professionals: Local Education and Research Nexus (FCHP: LEARN), led by USQ staff Associate Professor Jennifer Kelly and senior lecturers Dr Jamie Shield and Julie Martyn, designed and ran a program of fortnightly workshops throughout 2014 covering health practice, management and research topics.

“We wanted a multi-discipline program that would cater to all local health professionals and relevant organisations. Most importantly we wanted affordable access to ongoing education for Fraser Coast people who work in health-related areas,” Associate Professor Kelly said.

More than 450 health professionals attended workshops throughout 2014 with representatives coming from medicine, nursing, midwifery, dietetics, science, research, social work, disabilities, dentistry, aged care and private healthcare.

Building Engagement and Aspirations through Mentoring in Schools (BEAMS) is a volunteer peer mentoring program aimed at widening tertiary participation.

USQ students regularly visited Fraser Coast schools throughout 2014 to interact and support students in their classrooms. Mentoring also enhances USQ students’ skills and knowledge to increase their employability.


BEAMS project officer Tracy-Madonna Wylie said there had been an increase of the number of USQ mentors and their involvement in the local state high schools, particularly working with students from low socio-economic backgrounds.

“Winning this Award was particularly exciting for the USQ Fraser Coast as 2014 marked the launch of the BEAMS program in our region,” Ms Wylie said.

“Congratulations should also go to the local high schools that have been very supportive of this program and the wonderful USQ students who trained as BEAMS mentors and volunteered their time and expertise to work with the high school students.”

USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas congratulated everyone involved in winning this year’s awards for outstanding community engagement.

“Their work was selected from high quality nominations across USQ’s campuses at Toowoomba, Fraser Coast, Springfield and Ipswich,” Professor Thomas said.

Next year’s FCHP: LEARN program was launched at USQ Fraser Coast on December 16. Workshop topics in 2015 will include superbugs, healthy teams and much more.

For more information on the 2015 FCHP: LEARN program, please visit the USQ website at



USQ Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Verbyla (centre) presents a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Community Engagement to USQ Fraser Coast BEAMS representatives Tracy-Madonna Wylie (left) and Elle Green.

Feature photo (top): USQ Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Verbyla (left) presents a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Community Engagement to FCHP:LEARN representatives Tania Wiesmayr-Freeman, Julie Martyn and Ruth Newby.