Building a healthier community: Coffs Harbour

The 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, the $12 million facility incorporates an integrated running track that passes externally and internally, allowing for the capture of synchronised movement data.

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
  • Speech Pathology
  • Sport and Exercise Science
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Exercise Science and Psychological Science

Browse our health programs

New Health Sciences Building at Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour campus. (2:19)

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.

Open area with indigenous artwork on structure

The yarning and healing circle has been modelled and named after Aunty Bea Ballangarry

Discover the newest Health Sciences Building in Australia

Interested in a career in health? Come to Coffs Harbour to study in this exciting new health and human sciences learning space.

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.

Book in for a tour of our state-of-the-art laboratories to explore your study options.


Hogbin Drive
Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

Woman running as her movement is tracked

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.

Man studies exercise output of woman in background

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 lifting platform.

Man in  wheelchair in specially fitted kitchen to meet his mobility needs

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.

Hallway with glass side rail

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.

Two people in white coats at a hospital bed

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.

Student practices on mannequin in 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.

Woman in white coat walks past hospital bed

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.

Signage and indigenous artwork on building

Healing and Yarning Circle

The Yarning and Healing Circle 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.