Southern Cross students navigate border studies

Published 22 September 2020
Nursing

A group of Southern Cross University health students has just completed their clinical placements in NSW despite the challenges of the Queensland border closure.

Southern Cross has campuses either side of the closed border – at Gold Coast and Lismore - and recently 14 nursing students from the Gold Coast have been undertaking placements in NSW as part of their degree.

Vice President (Engagement) Ben Roche said the students are heading home – but in somewhat unusual circumstances.

“The students will return to Queensland and have to undergo the mandatory quarantine required by the Queensland Government of anyone entering from NSW,” he said.

“When the students were negotiating placement, the potential risks were identified relating to possible closure of the border and the impact this would have on their ability to return back to Queensland and potential costs associated with that,” Mr Roche said.

“Our School of Health and Human Sciences has liaised closely with the students to arrange placement and provide ongoing support during their time in NSW.

“It has now worked out well for all in that the Government is assisting with the relocation.

“As a result of our advocacy, Study Gold Coast also became engaged with the issue and have secured a return pathway for these students back to their place of residence in Queensland.

“The students will have completed excellent nursing placements at these northern NSW hospitals. Study Gold Coast has championed the cause alongside Southern Cross, and Queensland’s COVID-19 policies are all adhered to."

Study Gold Coast CEO Alfred Slogrove added: “The Gold Coast Student Hub’s Student Support Officers have been assisting these students ever since this issue came to our notice. Additionally, the teams here have been acting as a mediator in helping to identify the next steps of escalation across various authorities and in preparing a case with support from the Government.

“The border pressure is a tricky issue for all to navigate but in this case, everyone has been working together to find the best solution and support the students.

“This is a great outcome for all as the students will graduate and go on to become a critical part of the health work force in Queensland. I am glad we could help, and it has resulted in such a positive outcome for the students,” Mr Slogrove said.

Media contact: Sharlene King +61 429 661 349 or scumedia@scu.edu.au