Event Speech

Official Opening Griffith Student accommodation.

Prof. Megan Smith - Executive Dean, Faculty of Science CSU

It is my great pleasure to be here today, today represents a journey for me particularly because when we setup the Charles Sturt University, Three Rivers DRH, we had a long history and as Susan and everyone here would know, we had been bringing students with rural backgrounds into our university, teaching them in our health programs and we know that between 50 – 65% and sometimes more go out into those rural areas and that’s where they practice.

So, if we look at the workforce around us our graduates are helping our community, our relatives and all of us as well and that’s really important and we’ve been doing that for a long time.  We thought that being able to access something after University Department of Rural Health means we are able to do that better.

We are incredibly grateful we have this opportunity and join the community and we are very pleased that the funding came our way.

When we sat down and said what do we do with the money, that’s the question, how do we best use it? I recall when we did the launch of the RDH, one of the things we said was, we have this money we need to use it well.

One of the things was to say, what makes the difference to students actually being on that journey of making a decision to study in rural Australia, to have a positive experience and therefore want to come back and accommodation kept coming up again and again.

It’s an absolutely critical factor that determined if someone is able to go on placement and stay there and feel safe and have it be affordable and all of the reasons that made it a positive experience. So it was a bit of a no brainer for us that accommodation had to be high up the list.

The other no brainer was where do we look to when we needed to have accommodation and Griffith was a really obvious, critical place where we looked at instead, there is so much opportunity and so much need but there are few students going there and what’s going to make the difference.

So the journey was, let’s buy a house, which I promptly handed to Chris, and to come through today and now see this, and to see our journey and see a student in it is actually like saying, wow, now that’s been realised.

Thank you to everybody who’s been involved along the journey, supported it at various stages because this is absolutely fantastic.

Talking to Judy the other day about how many students we’ve got coming here is a game changer and absolutely changes what it will look like for the future and hopefully we’ll see students wanting to stay on, just fantastic, so well done everybody.