Free family fun at USQ Fraser Coast Open Day

TRADITIONAL Indigenous games, farm animals, crafts and healthy food displays are just some of the many exciting activities people can enjoy while learning about higher education opportunities at the USQ Fraser Coast Open Day this Sunday.

In celebration of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (Sunday, August 4), the USQ Open Day will begin with a Butchulla elder doing Welcome to Country. A performance by the Goomblar Aboriginal Dance troupe will follow and education students will run traditional games throughout the day.

USQ Fraser Coast Executive Manager Brett Langabeer said the annual Open Day is not only a great opportunity to learn about the latest in course offerings at the Fraser Coast campus, but it also gives people the chance to see what resources are available to students, and provides a day out for families to enjoy.

As well as visiting Old McDonald Travelling Farm, families can enjoy craft activities and join in games, or visit USQ’s new state-of-the-art library and talk to the staff about services including discovering the world through new technology.

In the sciences laboratories and nursing wards, visitors can participate in hands-on activities including physical assessment, equipment and science displays, mobility aids, the Grog Test and the Glitterbug hand washing activity.

Mr Langabeer said that during Open Day, anyone who is thinking about university studies for themselves or their children can find out about USQ’s range of new programs and study areas including the new flexible delivery programs – Associate Degree of Engineering and Associate Degree of Construction (Civil).”

“Members of the public are invited to browse through the information stands for program details on all the degrees that USQ offers including business, law, creative arts, communication, education, health, science, engineering and Indigenous knowledge,” Mr Langabeer said.

“They can hear from the lecturers who will be teaching them and ask all the questions to which they need answers. A visiting law lecturer will be on hand to answer questions for budding lawyers, and career councillors will be available to help those who are unsure about which study or career path to take.

“There will be information on fees, how to apply and the different ways to get into university study, including our Tertiary Preparation Program and TAFE to University options. We’ll also have information on USQ’s Head Start program which allows high school students to study a university subject while still in school.”

USQ’s environmental science and sustainability lecturer Dr Andy Le Brocque and biomedical scientist Professor Lindsay Brown will have an information display and be talking about Eating sustainably: what is the health cost of fast food?, the topic from their Creating Waves Lecture Series at USQ Fraser Coast from 5.30 to 7.30pm, Friday August 2.

USQ Fraser Coast will also welcome about 80 high school students from Biggenden, Eidsvold, Mundubbera, Proston and Gayndah to Open Day as part of the

Uni Life program, which brings rural students to the campus in Hervey Bay where they can experience university life in a coastal setting and see first-hand that the lecturers are approachable and classes smaller compared to large city universities.

The USQ Open Day will run for three hours, from 10am to 1pm. Food and refreshments are available from the campus café, Bella’s Café on the Bay.

Everyone is welcome. For more information about USQ Fraser Coast Open Day, go to

Where: USQ Fraser Coast, 161 Old Maryborough Road, Hervey Bay.

When: 10am to 1pm, Sunday August 4.

CAPTION: USQ Fraser Coast nursing student Irana Gray shows Samantha and Grant Whiteside how the Glitterbug hand washing activity works at last year’s Open Day.

Psychiatry changes to air at USQ workshop

Dr Gavin Beccaria, Senior Lecturer, Clinical Psychology from USQ Toowoomba.

Dr Gavin Beccaria, Senior Lecturer, Clinical Psychology from USQ Toowoomba.

MENTAL health experts will discuss the implications of The American Psychiatric Association’s latest release of its diagnostic manual at USQ Fraser Coast on July 19.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is a guide that sets the criteria for health professionals world-wide to determine diagnosis. The $25 million revision is the result of research since the last version was published in 1990.

USQ Fraser Coast Senior Lecturer Dr Patrick O’Brien said the DSM-5 contains substantial changes from the DSM-IV-TR, and as a result, it has both supporters and critics.

“With proposed changes across each of the psychiatry diagnostic categories there are significant implications for both clinicians and educators alike,” Dr O’Brien said.

“Perhaps the most notable is the formalisation of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

“With the DSM-5, the children who could previously be diagnosed with either Autism Spectrum Disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome will be all diagnosed with ASD.

“Some experts are concerned the single spectrum diagnosis could result in treatments not being applied well enough.”

That and other changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5 will be covered at the USQ Fraser Coast workshop being presented by Dr Gavin Beccaria, Senior Lecturer, Clinical Psychology from USQ Toowoomba.

Discussion at the interactive and informative workshop will also include diagnostic systems and their limitations, surviving the pitfalls of diagnosis and accessing services.

Dr Beccaria is currently writing a book chapter on the DSM-5 for Wiley. Before moving to academia, he was the Director of Psychology in Toowoomba Health Service and managed 35 psychologists. His current research interests include evaluating clinical and counselling interventions, and problem solving training.

The workshop will be held at the USQ Fraser Coast Campus, 161 Old Maryborough Road, Hervey Bay, in the B104 Lecture Theatre on Friday, July 19 from 9am to 3pm. Cost is $60 including morning tea and lunch. Registrations close Monday, July 15. To register, visit



BEAT IT group discovers USQ’s outdoor gym


Fraser Coast councillor Robert Garland tries the headstand trainer in USQ’s outdoor gym, watched by fitness trainer Kim Polglase (centre front) and BEAT IT members. Photos: JOCELYN WATTS

LOCAL participants in the Australian Diabetes Council lifestyle program BEAT IT made an exciting discovery recently when they learnt USQ Fraser Coast’s outdoor gym equipment was available to them 24/7, free of charge.

BEAT IT trainer Kim Polglase and Fraser Coast Regional Councillor Robert Garland brought the health and fitness group to USQ’s gym as part of a 12-week program tailored for people living with or at risk of diabetes and other chronic lifestyle-related diseases.

“The group-based program is about creating a supportive environment of people with similar health issues while also introducing them to community fitness facilities that are easily accessible,” Ms Polglase said.

Officially launched in 2010, USQ Fraser Coast’s outdoor gym includes 19 pieces of equipment providing 27 stations, with a soft fall surface and shade sails. After dark, security lights automatically turn on when sensors detect movement in the area.

USQ Fraser Coast Executive Manager Brett Langabeer said the outdoor gym was designed to help students, staff and members of the community get into shape and keep fit.

“Community fitness groups are also welcome to use the outdoor equipment,” Mr Langabeer said.

The gym is located at the Hervey Bay campus, 161 Old Maryborough Road, Pialba, near the city library.

Ms Polglase said the next 12-week BEAT IT program would start in about two weeks.  Classes are run twice weekly, with each class including a combination of aerobic and resistance training exercises.

For more information on BEAT IT visit the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s website at:


Fitness trainer Kim Polglase (centre front) and Fraser Coast councillor Robert Garland (black singlet) introduce BEAT IT members to USQ Fraser Coast’s outdoor gym.