Legacy Award recognises Prof Scott Bowman from CQUniversity
Delivering on Cairns’ potential as a two-university city has earned CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman a Legacy Excellence Award from the local Chamber of Commerce.
The Legacy Award was presented on 16 June 2018 during the Cairns Business Excellence Awards, known as the BEX Awards.
It recognises Professor Bowman for his significant contribution to Cairns, in the fields of professional excellence, business growth and community benefit.
Before becoming Vice-Chancellor of CQUniversity in 2009, Professor Bowman was Deputy VC of the Cairns campus of James Cook University.
He and his wife Anita built a house at Machans Beach near Cairns and sent their children to local schools.
These years in Cairns left a permanent impression on Professor Bowman, who took his understanding of the immense potential of Cairns to be a domestic and international study hub to his new role at CQUniversity.
He began discussions with his network of civic leaders and contacts in the Cairns business community about the opportunity for Cairns to become a two-university city.
In 2012, CQUniversity opened a modest study centre to service its cohort of distance education students already in the region.
This milestone gave CQUni the confidence to continue a regime of campus investment aimed at growth and meeting local workforce needs.
Professor Bowman spearheaded the formalisation of many key partnerships with local industry which drove CQUniversity’s strategic direction in terms of student teaching and training.
By 2015, Professor Bowman’s commitment to making Cairns a sustainable two-university city had seen CQUniversity completely outgrow its initial study hub facility.
In October of that year, Professor Bowman was joined by the civic, business and community leaders of Cairns (as well as staff and students) to officially open CQUniversity’s iconic new ‘Cairns Square’ campus in the heart of the CBD.
The new multi-million dollar campus allowed CQUniversity to introduce even more courses, accept more students, and hire more local staff. The new campus features state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities and contemporary study and recreational spaces.
CQUniversity’s local student numbers have grown in excess of 1000 students – many of whom would have otherwise left Cairns to pursue study in another city, or worse, not undertaken any study at all.
These students have begun graduating and entering local employment, enriching the professional skill sets of the local workforce, value-adding to the local economy, and providing for their families.
The CQUniversity Cairns campus has strong links to both community and industry and is committed to playing a pivotal role in the economic and social development of the Cairns region through its partnerships and research capacity.
CQUni Cairns supports the CQUniversity Cairns Taipans, a community partnership that spans more than six years and is a valuable component of our community engagement agenda.
Currently, CQUni Cairns’ flagship research initiatives include the Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities and the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research which provide data and key recommendations for the Cairns community.
CQUni Cairns continues to support local organisations and initiatives such as the Business Liaison Association, Cairns Chamber of Commerce, Industry Queensland (CCIQ), Advance Cairns and Study Cairns. These industry connections are a cornerstone of CQUni’s commitment to delivering industry-relevant courses to students.
Importantly, CQUni’s courses are designed alongside industry to deliver real-world knowledge and skills through work integrated learning opportunities, practical learning experiences and project-based learning.
In 2017, Professor Bowman launched an aspirational campus concept proposal that he is actively seeking Government support for – the $54.7 million Campus and Community Impact Plan. The $54.7 million proposal comprises five new industry kick-starter projects centred around a much larger, permanent campus base capable of accommodating more than 2500 local and international students in the heart of the CBD.
Professor Bowman has recently announced that his retirement will take place at the end of 2018, after a decade in the role as Vice-Chancellor.
His success in completely transforming CQUniversity’s reputation and business model into one of the largest, fastest growing and most impactful Universities in Australia will always be credited to his leadership. But it is the infectious culture of ‘giving back’ and social responsibility that he engineered within the university community which will truly define his enduring legacy.