Connecting with the community
The Faculty of Arts has a long-tradition of community engagement. For more than four decades, Arts faculty staff and students have sought to initiate and develop mutually advantageous partnerships within, and beyond our campus perimeters.
School of Creative Arts
Our annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival has evolved into a major regional event, allowing us to showcase our learning, teaching and research in a way that is accessible, entertaining, and beneficial to the broader regional economy.
In conjunction with Artsworx, the School also delivers an annual season of high quality, and often challenging artistic and cultural experiences designed to showcase the talents of our emerging artists. Our stage plays, gallery exhibitions, residential schools, concerts and performances, typically attract more than 100,000 patrons annually, along with significant corporate sponsorship.
Springfield campus’ Phoenix Radio contributes to community engagement by allowing students and people from the local community to use their facilities to undergo training. Our broadcast journalism students also undertake voluntary work in support of Toowoomba’s local community radio station, 4DDB. Similarly, at our Fraser Coast campus, you’ll find students from our Bachelor of Human Services program providing free (supervised), year-round counselling services via the Hervey Bay Neighbour Centre.
School of Humanities and Communication
Our contact with the community continues through the Dean’s lecture series, the Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize, and our participation in local events such as the Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival.
Through our research, our staff are continually connecting with local, regional and international indigenous communities, migrant groups and ethnic minorities in places as diverse and distant as China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, and the remote south-western Arnhem Land region of the Northern Territory.
Open Access College
Our Open Access College staff work within the local community to provide support for new Australians. The College has a strong commitment to social inclusion and provides fee-free preparatory programs to all domestic Australian students. It also offers a range of support services for students who are from groups who are under-represented in higher education.
The College also has links with the Corrective Services and prisons for our Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP). Prisoners at all Queensland correctional centres have access to a range of rehabilitative, vocational and education programs and services. TPP is one of the programs that gives prisoners valuable skills and qualifications to help obtain employment on release.
The Centre for Australian Indigenous Knowledges (CAIK)
CAIK has a continuing commitment to, and involvement with, the Indigenous community of the Darling Downs region. This is realised through the Centre's participation in community-based events, such as NAIDOC Week, and other important dates for the Indigenous community.
The Centre also aims to involve community members, especially community Elders, when the Centre and USQ are hosting significant events such as student graduations. Local Elders also utilise facilities at the Centre to conduct regular meetings.
Artsworx is the Faculty of Arts ‘production house’, charged with enabling and delivering accessible arts and cultural experiences in regional Queensland. The centre presents an annual season of quality cultural experiences showcasing both emerging artists from within the Faculty and professional guest artists, in collaboration with a range of community and corporate stakeholders.
Key community engagement activities include:
- the residential McGregor Schools, which has been providing master classes for visual artists, musicians and theatre students for more than four decades
- Children’s Theatre Week, which has introduced young audiences to the joys of live theatre since the 1970’s
- the annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival, which has become one of USQ’s flagship public engagement activities, allowing our students to publicly showcase their talents within the context of an outdoor main stage.
Dean’s public lectures
Beginning in 2011, this free public lecture series reflects the Faculty’s interest in exploring new avenues for meaningful community engagement. Presented by local, national and international speakers, the lecture series aims to raise public awareness and encourage debate on issues of domestic and global interest.
The lecture series has allowed us to take our research and scholarship into the community, through forums and forms that are both accessible and interesting.