ACU is tackling a shortage of healthcare professionals in Ballarat and the surrounding region.
Australian Catholic University (ACU) will help to tackle a shortage of healthcare professionals in the Ballarat region by offering local training opportunities for aspiring physiotherapists for the very first time.
A new degree in physiotherapy will be available at ACU’s Ballarat Campus from 2017, with up to 50 student places.
The Department of Employment has projected that jobs will grow in the Ballarat region by 6,900 in the five years to November 2018, with the largest projected growth in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
Physiotherapy students will have purpose-built facilities on campus and access to laboratories, hospitals and health services in Ballarat and other regional centres. ACU has a close partnership with established health providers in Victoria, which will provide student placements for the four-year course.
ACU Chancellor Mr John Fahey AO, Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven, Ballarat Campus Dean Associate Professor Joe Fleming, Executive Dean Health Sciences Professor Michelle Campbell, and representatives of hospitals, health and education groups were among the dignitaries at the launch.
Professor Craven said the University’s reputation for strong academic leadership and world-class research and its partnerships with health providers were a potent formula for ACU to deliver quality higher education for students in regional Victoria.
“ACU has a long-established relationship with Ballarat community and the organisations that work in the area to provide critical health services,” Professor Craven said.
“The new physiotherapy degree will add an important component to the breadth of our health courses in Victoria and nationally which align with the growing research strengths for the University.”
CEO of St John of God Hospital Mr Michael Krieg said the University had identified a significant gap in services that the new degree would address.
“As our population ages we face increasing demand for services such as physiotherapy, and there is no other training provider in our region. Until now, anyone wishing to study physiotherapy has had to travel to Geelong or Melbourne. We are delighted ACU has taken the initiative to train local students, and St John of God Ballarat Hospital is a proud partner of this venture,” Mr Krieg said.
ACU is the only truly national university with seven campuses in Ballarat, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide. ACU Ballarat offers undergraduate courses in nursing, paramedicine, education, theology and philosophy.