High up in the hills above the Currumbin Valley sits some of the most beautiful and lush countryside of the Gold Coast hinterland. As you climb up Tomewin Mountain Road towards Freeman’s Organic Farm it feels as though you’re making your way to heaven and with the majestic views the property commands all the way back to the ocean, you could be forgiven for expecting to find the Pearly Gates perched there. Instead you’re greeted by the humble presence of a roadside fruit stand and the welcoming charm of the farm’s proprietor David Freeman.
David’s family has farmed this land for five generations, back to when it was established as Australia’s first banana plantation over one hundred years ago, a time when bananas were considered an exotic fruit consumed by the wealthy. Today Freeman’s Organic Farm has a diverse selection of produce – avocados, coffee, kale, peaches, plums, custard apples, sweet potatoes, broccoli, strawberries, mangoes and much, much more.
Lilly Luhrmann is a young woman of conviction. She is deeply concerned by the lack of support international students have received during COVID-19 from the Australian Government and as such has partnered with the State Government to launch the Study Queensland Luhrmann Appeal.
Lilly is the daughter of film director Baz Luhrmann and designer Catherine Martin, creators of hit films Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, and has been based on the Gold Coast since late last year when her parents began working on their latest project, a biopic on the life of Elvis Presley which stars Tom Hanks.
Study Gold Coast created the Student Support Sponsorship Framework this year to provide financial backing for member initiatives to directly benefit students in need as a result of COVID-19. The scope of the programs created by our member organisations were as varied as the needs of their students and demonstrated once again why our education and training sector continues to place the needs of our students as our number one priority.
Initiatives ranged from chef prepared frozen meals delivered directly to institutions to a camp for international boarding students who had been unable to see their parents for 6 months or more due to the extended lockdown.
It took some time before Kelvin Nyantika found his ideal study destination. “I just fell in love with this city, it reminds me so much of my home of Mombasa in Kenya,” remarked Kelvin. “There’s such a relaxed atmosphere here and the universities are so well resourced, I just wish I’d undertaken more research about what the Gold Coast had to offer before I left Africa.”
While Kelvin had at long last found his new home in 2020 it’s proven to be a challenging year for him, as it has for so many international students and that's where the Gold Coast Student Hub was able to provide assistance.
Earlier this month Mayor Tom Tate, Chief Innovation & Economy Officer Ian Hatton and Study Gold Coast CEO Alfred Slogrove took part in a virtual MoU signing with Da Nang. The Vietnamese city of 1.2 million people is the commercial and education centre of central Vietnam and also has a flourishing tourism sector. In establishing this relationship Cr Tate observed that both the Gold Coast and Da Nang share many similarities including topography (ocean, river and mountains) and industries (tourism, education, marine, innovation).
The Memorandum of Understanding to Establish Friendship and Cooperation is the first step in the creation of an international sister city partnership between Da Nang and the Gold Coast.
The need for support within our international student community has never been more keenly felt than during the COVID-19 crisis. With many students struggling to cope at this time Study Gold Coast has stepped in to help the city's international students with two key food relief initiatives.
The first has seen the creation of thousands of meals prepared by a skilled brigade of chefs and delivered frozen to students in need. The second is the establishment of grocery program with packs containing essential items made available to further assist Gold Coast students.
He’s a veteran of remote teaching - but two weeks into online lessons at Bond University, Dr James Birt has found time to learn a few new tricks himself. Dr Birt has been teaching remotely - as well as in person - for almost a decade.
The Associate Professor of computer gaming said he had been having a “great time” since Bond resumed classes for its students two weeks ago, with full class attendance and students from multiple disciplines learning about game design, virtual and augmented reality.
Australia’s largest luxury motor yacht builder Riviera, based on the Gold Coast, continues its commitment to fostering excellence by encouraging its apprentice graduates to participate in a new initiative aimed at enhancing their skills and career pathways.
Over a six-month term, graduates of the Riviera apprenticeship program team up with a mentor at Riviera’s Coomera production facility as part of Study Gold Coast’s Kickstart program.
Study Gold Coast has transitioned the Gold Coast Student Hub online allowing students to remain connected and supported during these challenging times.
The Virtual Hub was created in response to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 social distancing policies with Gold Coast Student Hub moving temporarily online to ensure Gold Coast students continue to receive the services, support and social opportunities that they’ve come to enjoy through the Gold Coast Student Hub.
"I didn’t think I could grow so much professionally in such a short period of time." Shreya Kulkarni is studying her Masters in Marketing at Griffith University. This is her remarkable account of her internship experience at HTG Solutions on the Gold Coast.