“We would love to see the whole community involved in O-Week – from Monday, February 19 to Friday, February 23,” said Carl Rallings, Group Director, Student Services.
“There are over 2000 commencing students coming to study at our three campuses at Lismore, Tweed Gold Coast and Coffs Harbour who represent a tremendous economic and cultural boost to our region.
“They come from all over Australia and from more than 60 different countries and we should be honoured and delighted they have chosen to study here.
“They bring in a lot of spending power as well as injecting tremendous social diversity.”
Exciting plans are underway for O-Week, which kicks off with a huge free breakfast celebration for all commencing students at Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples.
On hand to welcome students will be Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark and Indigenous elder Aunty Irene Harrington who will give the ‘Welcome to Kuntri’.
The official opening of O-Week will be held the following day at the Whitebrook Theatre with Professor Jenny Graham, Executive Dean, Health and Applied Sciences, welcoming students and staff at a ceremony commencing at 9am.
A visit by David Gulpilil, acclaimed Aboriginal actor, tribal dancer and peace and social justice activist, will be a highlight of O-Week.
Mr Gulpilil will give a talk on peace and healing at the Whitebrook Theatre from 12 noon to 1pm on Tuesday. It is extremely rare for him to appear in public, so this is a fantastic opportunity to meet with this interesting and important Australian.
This year some innovative ideas are being trialled for O-Week including free bus tours for new students to familiarise them with the local area, a mega pool party at Lismore Memorial Baths and a rally-style Great Chase challenge across the Lismore campus with lots of prize give-aways.
The bus tours are being sponsored by Kirklands Buses and Lismore Visitors Information Centre as a way in which to help orientate students to their new community.
Students will learn about Lismore’s many cultural, scenic and shopping destinations said Simon Kaldy, who is organising O-Week activities with Anne-Maree Wilkinson, both staff members in Student Services.
“We will be running the usual campus tours daily but decided this year that students would also benefit from being shown around Lismore by an expert tour guide,” Mr Kaldy said.
“They will learn where everything is like the rainforest and riverside walks, cafes, art galleries, library, the sport and recreation and health facilities, and Lismore’s excellent shopping streets and complexes.
“This year we have partnered with local businesses to help provide valuable knowledge for our students while promoting the city’s many excellent retail outlets.”
Throughout O-Week there will also be fantastic live entertainment and street theatre in the plaza and the Uni bar.
Lots of O-week activities have also been planned for students on the Tweed Gold Coast and Coffs Harbour campuses.
At Tweed Gold Coast, students will be treated to four free barbecue and pizza parties, a UniGig party night at the Cooly Hotel and campus tours.
At the Coffs campus, activities include a breakfast barbecue, an ‘icebreaker’ party, a game of paintball, a ‘Hollywood glitz and glam film night’ and a toga dance party.
Sponsors for this year’s O-Week celebrations include: Lismore City Council, Kirklands Buses, Norco, Farmer Charlies, Dominos Pizza, Corporate Express, Red Bull, Optus World, Ansell and McDonalds.
Photo: Simon Kaldy and Anne-Maree Wilkinson, from Student Services, are busy planning O-Week festivities. Media opportunities - media are welcome to attend the following O-Week festivities: • Welcome breakfast for new students, 9am Monday, Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples. • David Gulpilil’s public talk on peace and healing, 12 noon – 1pm, Whitebrook Theatre, Tuesday. • Survival Tour of Lismore CBD bus ride on Wednesday or Thursday. Bus leaves Campus Central bus stop at 12.15pm for the 40-minute tour. • Great Chase Rally on any day from Monday to Friday. • Lismore Memorial Baths pool party, 3pm – 6pm, Friday.
Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer, 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.