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Southern Cross welcomes high schools to University campus


Sharlene King
9 March 2022

As many as 1800 high school students will resume their studies on Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus after their own schools have been inundated.

Trinity Catholic College Lismore has relocated students and teachers to the University, with the Living School to follow soon.

Vice Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin said the co-location of the schools on campus was an extraordinary partnership forged in the adversity of the devastating floods.

“We work hand-in-hand with the education sector across the region and being able to offer high ground, teaching facilities and the right infrastructure to help high school students return to their studies is central to our mission,” the Vice Chancellor said.

The high schools will operate in dedicated parts of the campus, away from University students and staff.

Trinity Catholic College Acting Principal Jesse Smith said partnering with Southern Cross guaranteed the viability of student learning in the wake of the flooding.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to the Vice Chancellor and his Executive Team for the warm welcome we have received,” she said.

“As our College campuses are being assessed and remediated, this partnership provides certainty for our students, staff and families.

“Our current Year 12 cohort endured the disruption of the 2017 flood event as Year 7 students, but our partnership with Southern Cross will allow them to return to classrooms to continue their education.”

Finding space for the schools is a priority for Southern Cross even as it juggles a myriad of requests to use its campus as a foundation for flood recovery planning.

Hundreds of tonnes of donated goods are being processed at a distribution centre established on campus to be shared among victims of the record-breaking deluge.

The campus is also host to five recovery hubs, each one led by key agencies assisting the recovery of the region. The hubs will focus on:

  • Business recovery
  • Legal support
  • Banking access
  • Community Recovery
  • ADF and Police HQ

Lismore Police has relocated its headquarters to the East Lismore campus, the Australian Defence Force has set up camp on the university tennis courts, a medical centre has been established to treat flood evacuees and there is even a mobile vet on hand to attend to rescued pets.

“It’s a community emergency. This is what Southern Cross does. It is what the whole Northern Rivers community does. We look out for each other,” Professor Carlin said.

Meanwhile the core business of Southern Cross continues with thousands of students returning to studies on March 7, with Lismore classes delivered online for the first term.