University boss says campuses will keep best and brightest in Ipswich

Three months into her role as University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geraldine Mackenzie (above) says the two Ipswich campuses are well placed to support the city’s population growth.

The foundation head of the USQ Springfield School of Law returned to the university in September after serving in senior positions at Bond and Southern Cross.

Prof Mackenzie said she was committed to shaping a university that responded to community needs.

“I’m a really strong believer in giving back to the community – it’s one of the best things you can do in life – and that extends to USQ,” Prof Mackenzie told Ipswich First.

“USQ has been very well received by the Ipswich community – this is their university.

“Having campuses at Ipswich and Springfield is a real game changer in terms of making education accessible.

“We have more than 1,500 students at Ipswich and are closing in on 2,500 at Springfield. We’re a regional university with big ambitions and big achievements.”

A keen gardener, cook and distance runner, Prof Mackenzie said the local USQ campuses had two distinct personalities.

“At the Ipswich campus it’s about working closely with the community,” she said.

“Ipswich has a strong focus on health with great facilities and a Bachelor of Paramedicine that really sets the campus apart.

“The beautiful heritage buildings and peaceful green grounds really suit the health professions.

“Our Springfield campus is very much focused on the professions of law, media, engineering, aviation, information technology, business and commerce.

“The campus has a real buzz about it and a vibe of innovation that fits well with the energy and age of the surrounding community.”


Prof Mackenzie returns to USQ as it celebrates 25 years as a university and 50 years as an educational institution.

Students started at the Springfield campus in Semester 1, 2007 and USQ took ownership of the Ipswich campus formally run by The University of Queensland in January 2015.

Both campuses continue to evolve and offer new and exclusive areas of study, putting Ipswich people in Ipswich jobs.

“The way in which students want to learn now is very different to 30 years, 20 years and even 10 years ago so we have to be responsive to that,” Prof Mackenzie said.

“We want people who study here and graduate here to stay here, work here and have their families here.

“We want to keep the best and brightest minds in Ipswich and we see USQ as an integral part of this community moving forward.”

GALLERY: USQ Springfield

USQ through the years

  • 2004, July 8: First sod turned at the site of the Springfield campus.
  • 2006, August 11: USQ Springfield officially opened by the Hon Julie Bishop MP.
  • 2007, Semester 1: About 350 people start studies at Springfield.
  • 2014, March 5: Engineering Laboratory and $1.2 million Health & Recreation Club open at Springfield.
  • 2015, January 7: Ipswich campus formally transferred to USQ.
  • 2015, August 10: $1.7 million clinical simulation labs open at Ipswich.
  • 2015, August 26: $45 million Building B opens at Springfield.
  • 2016, Semester 1: Springfield launches Bachelor of Aviation and Ipswich launches Bachelor of Midwifery.
  • 2016, June 20: Psychology and Counselling Clinic opens at Ipswich.
  • 2017, March 1: Midwifery Simulation Centre and Paramedic Simulation House open at Ipswich.
  • 2017, October 27: $1 million Boeing 737 flight simulator goes live at Springfield.
  • 2017, Semester 2: The first cohort of Bachelor of Paramedicine students is farewelled at Ipswich.

Learn more about major milestones in Ipswich.

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