First graduates to step out of new building

Published 7 December 2017
Jemma Matthews Jemma Matthews in front of the new 500-seat lecture theatre

The new six-storey building at Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus will host its first graduation tomorrow (Friday, Dec 8) when 421 students are honoured in front of family and friends.

Most of the graduands will have witnessed the construction of the highly-anticipated Building C during their degree at Southern Cross University Gold Coast and are thrilled to become the first to receive their awards in the 500-seat lecture theatre across four ceremonies.

The $40m federally-funded project is the third building to be constructed at the Gold Coast campus, adjacent to the Gold Coast Airport, and is a valuable community asset for the southern Gold Coast.

Bachelor of Podiatry graduand Jemma Matthews will become the first from her degree to be awarded First Class Honours, before she takes over her brother’s business in Carrara ‘The Gold Coast Nail Laser Clinic’.

“I was initially exposed to podiatry as a 15-year-old doing work experience, later I managed our family podiatry and osteopathic clinic in Melbourne for five years,” Ms Matthews said.

“An ideal opportunity has arisen for me to step into an established modern clinic that provides a wide variety of podiatry treatments including laser for fungal nails.”

Jemma recently returned from an end-of-university celebratory trip to China with her mum and said it was “still sinking in” that all her hard work had paid off.

“Southern Cross University Gold Coast is an incredible facility with dedicated supervisors and lecturers and a great location - it’s a winning combination.”

The University’s first Pedorthics graduand Adam Smith will also graduate with others from the School of Health and Human Sciences, and those from Law and Justice, Business and Tourism, Education, Arts and Social Sciences, SCU College, Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples and the School of Environment, Science and Engineering.

For more than 18 years Adam Smith has made external full-body bone bracing, from head helmets to ankle braces, most recently through his business Technical Orthotics. So when Southern Cross University became the first in Australia to offer a degree in Pedorthics, he decided to formalise his training with plans to expand his business.

“For orthotists, it’s about redistributing pressure from an injury and I like to extend that further through pedorthics to help people back on their feet and walking again through a stable connection to the ground,” the Park Ridge resident said.

“I have been developing my skills in the specialised field of orthosis for a long time so being able to complete this qualification so close to home will enable me to provide bracing and connectivity to the floor in one holistic treatment.

“It is a privilege to be the first graduate in Australia to complete this degree, and to be able to do so in a state-of-the-art lab that overlooks Kirra Beach, the best view on the Gold Coast.”

In 2018 Southern Cross University Gold Coast will offer new degrees in digital business, a combined law and creative writing degree, the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathic Studies) previously offered only in Lismore, and an online double degree in law and psychological science.

All Graduation ceremonies are broadcast live here with recordings remaining available for a short time after the event.

Media contact: Jessica Nelson 0417288794,