Health facilities at the Coffs Harbour campus

Discover the newest Health Sciences Building in Australia at Southern Cross University.

Book in for a tour of our state-of-the-art laboratories
A picture of the Health sciences building at Southern Cross University Coffs Harbour camous
Image of the CHEC Health and Human Science Building

Healthcare is the largest growing sector in Australia.

In the last year the health workforce grew by 4% in Australia and 7% here in Coffs Harbour.

At the moment Coffs Harbour has very few Occupational Therapists around.

I think they predict a 30% growth by 2024.

The new building brings together our multidisciplinary expertise across the university and it allows us to integrate it with practice.

I do Healing circles, Yarning and Healing circles.

I've been holding circles now for years and this is the first one on an education campus.

Circle work is so simple yet it's profound. For me to give that platform to others, to be able to do that, that's precious.

Future students now have access to state-of-the-art, high-speed, motion capture systems, which allow us to track the human movement using computer models.

In-built force platforms, photo-electric timing lights, and metabolic carts, where we can do breath-by-breath analyses of physiological requirements, in both sport and exercise.

Height adjustable kitchen, benches, and height-adjustable kitchen cabinetry. Adaptable bathrooms, two different types of ceiling track hoists here. Things that we as O.T's would prescribe usually for clients.

Specialised mannequins in our simulation labs that can be used by both our nursing and our midwifery students.

Southern Cross University is the best place to study psychology in Australia according to Good Universities Guide for 2019 and 2020.

It's really exciting that our Psychology students can access these facilities. It gives us loads of opportunities, in terms of conducting research, or they can take units that are delivered down here.

So they can make the most of all of these different new exciting facilities that we've got here.

Discover the newest Health Sciences Building in Australia

The $12 million Health Sciences Building is a dynamic gateway health precinct to Southern Cross University in Coffs Harbour.

Boasting a stunning passive solar building design and inspired by the biomechanics of movement, it incorporates an integrated running track that passes externally and internally, allowing for the capture of synchronised movement data.

Facilities include hands-on technology that literally changes the shape of a work-space to support clients of all abilities, exercise science labs that measure the tiniest movements in a runner's stride, and simulation mannequins with lifelike symptoms to create clinical learning scenarios.

The building contains:
  • Seven laboratories
  • Innovative teaching spaces
  • An external yarning circle learning space which features local Indigenous medicinal plants
  • Multi-purpose learning and research spaces
  • Cutting edge occupational therapy labs fitted with specialised adaptive and accessible kitchen, laundry and bathroom teaching spaces.
The facility accommodates teaching in:
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Sport and Exercise Science
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Exercise Science and Psychological Science


Running track laboratory

A running track flows through the building to teach mechanics for movement, applied biomechanics, motor control, motor learning and more. The lab provides for biomechanical analysis of movement with an infrared motion-capture system and synchronised force plate.

Female student running

Study of human body systems

Teaching spaces have been customised for the study and analysis of human body systems including circulatory, respiratory, metabolic systems at rest and during exercise. Equipment includes ergometers (bikes/treadmills), metabolic cart and a lifting platform.

people in sport lab

Occupational therapy spaces

Cutting edge occupational therapy spaces feature specialised adaptive kitchen cabinets and benches, tables and a mix of manual and electric bathroom fittings. Students will experience two different types of ceiling hoists.

man in wheelchair accessing kitchen

Teaching laboratory

A smaller teaching laboratory is connected via a wooden footbridge to the external learning space. The personal skills lab is suitable for small group learning in mental health, exercise psychology and Indigenous health.

Interior of health sciences building

Hospital ward simulation

Replicating a four-bed hospital ward, the clinical skills lab offers Nursing, Midwifery and Occupational Therapy students the opportunity to learn a wide range of clinical skills, including patient handling, wound care and patient assessments.

2 students standing by hospital bed

Simulation mannequin laboratory

Specialised high-fidelity mannequins in the simulation laboratory can be programmed by staff to simulate nursing and midwifery scenarios. Teaching and technical staff can watch and assess the students from the control room via room cameras and one-way glass.

student with mannequin

Clinical sciences laboratory

A large clinical sciences laboratory features twin screens with the ability to use a central room camera to share learning across the whole class. For example, the camera may be zoomed into a hand splinting demonstration for Occupational Therapy students learning to make hand splints.

Female nurse student walking through health lab

Yarning and Healing Circle

This is the first Yarning and Healing Circle on an educational campus. It is a flexible learning and meeting place where students and teachers can hold external sessions. It is also a place where people in the community can gather and sit down together for a shared purpose.

Indigenous art

Psychology labs

As a student you have access to seven psychology laboratories for learning and conducting your own research.

Our psychological science graduates consistently rank Southern Cross University as #1 in Australia for overall quality of education experience, student support and learning resources (Good Universities Guide 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020).


Electroencephalogram (EEG) allows for sensitive assessment of physiological signals that reflect thinking and emotional reactions to a range of visual and auditory stimuli. The EEG Lab operates a BrainVision 64 channel EEG with both wet and dry cap capability.

EEG machine

Eye Tracking Lab

This lab is equipped with the EyeLink 1000 Plus, the world’s most precise and accurate video-based eye tracker. Eye tracking technology is a useful tool in assessing changes in memory and cognitive abilities in older adults and as an index of persistent effects of concussion.

eye equipment

Applied Emotions Lab

This lab delivers multi-methods, translational research on the effects of increasing emotional competence and literacy. The cross-disciplinary work to emerge from the lab focusses on pleasure and emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) more generally, and on the relationships between these and wellbeing, productivity, creativity and resilience.

Box full of soft toys with smiling faces on them

Language and Reading Lab

Here we conduct research on language and reading-related research in children and adults. This includes first and second languages and writing systems as well as language use in different contexts. Much of our research focuses on the under-researched languages and writing systems of south and southeast Asia. We have international collaborations in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, China and Europe.

eye tracking equipment

Contact the Faculty of Health

Executive Assistant to the Executive Dean

Donna Simon
T: +61 7 5589 3224
E: [email protected]

Associate Dean Research

Professor Marianne Wallis AM
M: +61 427 633 708
E: [email protected]

Associate Dean Education

Professor Fiona Naumann
T: +61 7 5589 3470
E: [email protected]