Along with all the members of the Study Cairns 2020 Management Committee I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to international education in our region. While there is no doubt we face some challenges, Study Cairns continues to strive towards a robust future, building upon the foundations built by business and industry leaders in our region.
Cairns is a destination chosen for study by over 25,000 international students from over 34 countries each year, along with domestic students who choose to study away from their Australian home base. The Cairns Student Hub is now well established as an integral focus point for these students, with a program of events and network opportunities enthusiastically supported by both students and industry.
The Study Cairns Executive Committee is committed to reinforcing the brand of Cairns as a serious education destination. In order to do this, it is important we work closely with our stakeholders and have a common narrative that depicts the strengths of Cairns in all industries. I am very proud to have represented Study Cairns on the 2020 ‘Cairns TNQ Convoy to Capital Q’ in Brisbane. The 51 delegates from 12 different industries made a huge impact across Brisbane’s Parliament House over two days of conferencing. I was there as part of the education team to request support for Cairns infrastructure including the University hospital, the Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub Stage 2 and 3, the University High School at Cairns SHS and the CQUniversity CBD Campus. Representing Study Cairns offered a great opportunity to talk with other industry members about our association and I was impressed with the number of Ministers who understood the significance of international education to the Cairns region.
Bernard Salt’s presentation at the 2020 Future Tourism event highlighted the ongoing potential of international education, which contributes $166 million to Cairns. However this figure represents only 1.84% of the state enrolments so Cairns has a lot of opportunity for continued growth. Salt’s presentation highlighted the circular flow of income with international students contributing $45,000-$60,000 pa to the local economy. Increases in international student numbers in other regions and states has been a key to increased infrastructure, investment, professional services and population growth which are necessary for the Cairns region to thrive.
Programs underway in 2020 include the FNQ iiHub, the Japanese Alumni Project and the Study Queensland Talent Project which is merging with the current employability app platform.
Study Cairns understands that employability is a key motivator for students. This project aims to showcase the incredible opportunities in Cairns, celebrate past international talent and in doing so, attract more talent to Cairns. We aim to help students build their professional skills to complement their education and through this project Cairns will become renowned for supporting international students and nurturing high quality talent. In turn, the region will continue to attract talent, investment and increase our population, resulting in a thriving ‘global regional city’.
2020 is a time for us to band together, form new partnerships and to continue working on projects that support our region as a highly sought-after destination for international education.
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank our partners in Study Queensland and Cairns Regional Council, both of which provide ongoing support to ensure we can offer full assistance to international students while supporting all our members.
President, Study Cairns