James Cook University

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James Cook University
James Cook University Armorial Ensigns.png
Coat of Arms of James Cook University
Former names
University College of Townsville (1961-70)
Motto Crescente Luce
Motto in English
Light ever increasing
Established 1961[1]
Type Public
Chancellor Lieutenant General John Grey AC (ret'd)
Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding
Undergraduates 14,185 (2012)
Postgraduates 4,109 (2012)
Location Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane, Queensland,

19°19′40″S 146°45′30″E / 19.32778°S 146.75833°E / -19.32778; 146.75833Coordinates: 19°19′40″S 146°45′30″E / 19.32778°S 146.75833°E / -19.32778; 146.75833
Campus Suburban and Regional
Affiliations IRU
Website http://www.jcu.edu.au
James Cook University logo.png

James Cook University (JCU) is a public university and is the second oldest university in Queensland, Australia. JCU is a teaching and research institution. The University's main campuses are located in the tropical cities of Cairns, Singapore and Townsville. JCU also has study centres in Mount Isa, Mackay and Thursday Island. A Brisbane campus, operated by Russo Higher Education, delivers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to international students. The University’s main fields of research include marine sciences, biodiversity, sustainable management of tropical ecosystems, genetics and genomics, tropical health care and tourism.


James Cook University, Cairns

In 1957, Professor J.D Story, Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland proposes a regional university college be established to cater to the people of North Queensland. At that time, the only higher education providers were located in the state capital Brisbane. On 27 February 1961, the University College of Townsville was opened.

After being proclaimed on 20 April 1970 as an Act of Queensland Parliament, the University College of Townsville became James Cook University of North Queensland on 29 April 1970.[2] The official opening of the university was conducted by Queen Elizabeth II.[3] The namesake is British sea captain James Cook, who is best known for discovering Australia. A year after JCU's proclamation, Cyclone Althea struck the Townsville region. This, together with the destruction caused by Cyclone Tracy in Darwin 1974, prompted the establishment of a cyclone research facility.[3][4] The Cyclone Testing Station started out as a small project of Professor Hugh Trollope and began its operations on 1 November 1977 as James Cook Cyclone Structural Testing Station.[4] The Cyclone Testing Station operates as an independent unit of The School of Engineering and serves as an advising member to the Australian Standards committee in areas of structural design, specifically wind actions.[5]

On 1 January 1982, JCU amalgamated with The Townsville College of Advanced Education located adjacent to the main campus in Douglas. The university established a presence in Cairns in 1987 and moved to its current location in the suburb of Smithfield in 1996. On 1 January 1991, the School of Art and Design of the Townsville College of TAFE was transferred to JCU.[2] The current name of James Cook University became official on 1 January 1998.[6] In 2003 the University opened an international campus in Singapore. The university further expanded its presence by establishing another campus in Brisbane, Queensland in 2006.

Coat of Arms explained[edit]

As a corporate body, James Cook University bears arms comprising four main elements – shield, crest (Captain James Cook’s ship, HMS Endeavour, in full sail), supporters (a pair of brolgas with open wings), and motto.

The University motto is Cresente Luce, which means light ever increasing. This motto was first proposed by Professor FW Robinson, professor of English at the University of Queensland, in 1962 for the then University College of Townsville. The university college was established as a college of the University of Queensland. Adopted in 1963, the motto remained unchanged after James Cook University of North Queensland was established and incorporated in April 1970, and later became James Cook University.

Campuses and other facilities[edit]

James Cook University operates three main campuses, located in the tropical cities of Cairns and Townsville in Australia, and the international city of Singapore. Russo Higher Education delivers JCU courses at its Brisbane centre on behalf of the University. The University also operates study centres in Mackay, Mount Isa and Thursday Island. These study centres provide programs and support for students living in rural and remote areas.

Cairns Campus[edit]

The Cairns Campus of James Cook University is located 15 kilometres north of the Cairns central business district, in the suburb of Smithfield. JCU moved to this location from its original inner-city site in 1996. Also located on the campus grounds are Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (QTHA) facilities, Australian Tropical Herbarium (ATH), the Australian Tropical Forest Institute (ATFI), JCU Dental, and The Cairns Institute. Over 4 000 students study at JCU Cairns, including about 410 international students.

Townsville Campus[edit]

JCU's Townsville campus is the University’s largest campus and is located on 386 hectares in the suburb of Douglas, near the army base and the lee of Mt Stuart. Around 12 300 students study at JCU Townsville, including over 1 400 international students. Close to the university is the new Townsville Hospital and Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE.[7] Originally located in the suburb of Pimlico, the University moved to its current site in 1967. The Discovery Rise[8] project was announced in September 2007.[9] The $1 billion project is aimed at redeveloping the University's Townsville campus.[10] Construction is currently under way and the project is estimated to be completed in 2015.[11]

Singapore International Campus[edit]

James Cook University's Singapore campus (JCUS) was opened in 2003. In February 2015, JCUS relocated to a new campus at 149 Sims Drive, ceasing operations at its previous campus on Upper Thomson Road, where it had been operating since July 2008. In 2012 there were 2,984 students studying with JCU Singapore. Courses offered include business, education, information technology, psychology, environmental science, and tourism and hospitality, to international and domestic students. All degrees awarded are accredited by JCU Australia.[12] JCUS is also certified locally by both EduTrust and the Council for Private Education and was given a "Gold Star" rating by EduTrust in 2015, the first private school to do so.[13]

Other facilities[edit]

JCU Brisbane, operated by Russo Higher Education, delivers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in business and information technology to international students, on behalf of James Cook University. JCU’s study centre in Mackay is called the Mackay Education and Research Centre (MERC) and is located at the Mackay Base Hospital. It accommodates the teaching of the Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Nursing Science (pre registration) as well as provide facilities for medical and dental placements. The Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health (MICRRH) provides training, development and support of the rural and remote health workforce and the management of key health issues in the rural and remote setting. The centre offers the Bachelor of Nursing Science with a special emphasis on rural, remote and Indigenous health care. There is also a study centre is located in the heritage courthouse building on Thursday Island, providing teaching and learning facilities for nursing and education students in the Torres Strait region, including the northern tip of Australia. The Thursday Island study centre opened in 2003.


The university serves as a catchment area for students from this region and beyond. In 2012, JCU's student population was at 20,913, which includes 6,348 international students.[14]

In 2001 the university took in its first medical students in its newly formed School of Medicine. An undergraduate veterinary degree was added to the university for the first time in 2006 and in 2009 the Bachelor of Dental Surgery commenced. Today the university offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in arts, social sciences and psychology, business and information technology, creative arts, education, engineering, law, medicine and health, multimedia journalism and languages, and science. Some courses are available externally.

James Cook University in 2007 became a member of Innovative Research Universities Australia (now called Innovative Research Universities). Innovative Research Universities (IRU) is a network of seven comprehensive universities committed to conducting research of national and international standing.

Organisational structure[edit]

The library at Douglas Campus
University Drive at Douglas Campus

The university is organised into faculties, schools, departments, research centres and institutes.

Faculty of Arts, Education and Social Sciences[edit]

  • School of Arts and Social Sciences
    • Department of Anthropology, Archaeology and Sociology
    • Department of Humanities
    • Department of Psychology
    • Department of Social Work and Community Welfare, including Centre for Women's Studies
  • School of Education
  • School of Indigenous Australian Studies

Faculty of Law, Business and the Creative Arts[edit]

Faculty of Medicine, Health and Molecular Sciences[edit]

  • Indigenous Health Unit
  • Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health (MICRRH)
  • School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition
  • School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences
  • School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences
    • Public Health and Tropical Medicine
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Physiotherapy
    • Speech Pathology
    • Institute of Sport and Exercise Science
  • School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering[edit]

  • School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • School of Engineering and Physical Sciences
  • School of Marine and Tropical Biology[15]

Centres of Excellence[edit]

  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  • Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote Populations
  • NHMRC National Centre of Research Excellence to Improve Management of Peripheral Arterial Disease


Research centres[edit]

  • Centre for Biodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapeutics
  • Centre for Biodiscovery and Tropical Infectious Diseases
  • Centre for Disaster Studies
  • Centre for Research and Innovation in Sustainability Education
  • Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change
  • Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Sciences
  • Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER)
  • Comparative Genomics Centre
  • Cyclone Testing Station
  • Economic Geology Research Centre
  • eResearch Centre
  • Language and Culture Research Centre


University rankings
James Cook University
QS World[16] 350
QS Life Sciences & Medicine[17] 274
ARWU World[18] 301-400
CWTS Leiden World[19] 158
Australian rankings
CWTS Leiden National[19] 5

JCU has consistently ranked in the top 400 academic universities world wide since 2010, as measured by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU),[20] achieving position 351 globally in 2013.[21] For 2012, JCU ranked in the top four percent of universities in the world by ARWU.[22]

In the Commonwealth Government's Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 National Report, JCU research received the highest ranking of 'well above world standard' (rating 5) in the areas of environmental science and management, ecological applications and medical microbiology.[23] The University also received an 'above world standard' ranking for research in the areas of materials engineering, immunology, tourism, biological sciences, agricultural and veterinary sciences, fisheries sciences, veterinary sciences, inorganic chemistry, earth sciences, geochemistry, and geology.

Residential colleges and halls of residence[edit]

St Mark's College
St Marks' College
University Hall

JCU's Douglas Campus in Townsville has seven on-campus residential colleges, which can accommodate 1,478 students. Services offered by these facilities vary from self-catering to fully catered, and support to students. They are situated in the tropical gardens of the campus.

Residential colleges[edit]

  • Saints Catholic College was formed in 2011 with the amalgamation of the Catholic Colleges of St Raphael and St Paul and the addition of a third wing, St Mary MacKillop Wing, in honour of Australia’s first Saint.
  • Saint Mark's College is an Affiliated Residential College of JCU and can accommodate 153 male and female students. The College enrols JCU students, primarily from regional and rural Queensland, but also from across Australia and overseas.
  • The John Flynn College was established in 1968. It is a privately run residential college providing accommodation for more than 200 Australian and International JCU students.

Halls of Residence[edit]

JCU manages four non-denominational halls for 770 students

  • George Roberts Hall opened in 2002 with 250 residents in unit style accommodation. Each unit consists of either three or four bedrooms located around an air-conditioned lounge and kitchenette and include modern bathroom facilities.
  • Rotary International House was established in 1990, with the assistance of Rotary Clubs. This small facility can accommodate 38 residents, about half being from overseas.
  • University Hall was the first residence to be established at the University and is at present the largest of the student residences with 291 rooms. It was established in the 1960s with the amalgamation of Dungragan for women, Stuart House for men and Olsen House for men.
  • Western Courts can accommodate 112 students and was established in early 2008 to offset the closure of Western Hall, a former Residential Hall at JCU.

Notable alumni and staff[edit]

This is a list of alumni and former faculty and staff of James Cook University, including preceding institutions such as Townsville University College and Townsville College of Advanced Education.

Notable alumni[edit]

Recipients of honorary degrees include:

  • Tommy George, Awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters for his work in ecology
  • David Hudson, Aboriginal musician
  • Silma Ihram, pioneer of Muslim education in Australia
  • George Musgrave, awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters for his work in traditional law
  • Percy Trezise, Awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of outstanding service to the community of Far North Queensland

Notable faculty and staff[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Brief history of JCU - JCU". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b On reverse side of all JCU official Statement of Academic Record sheets printed after January 1998.
  3. ^ a b "Townsville History (City Council)". Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Cyclone Testing Station". Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  5. ^ Structural design actions, Part 2: Wind actions. Sydney & Wellington: Standards Australia & Standards New Zealand. 2005. ISBN 978-0-7337-4473-0. 
  6. ^ "Higher Education Legislation 1998". Retrieved 2007-10-18. [dead link]
  7. ^ "TAFE Queensland North - TAFE Queensland North". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Discovery Rise". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Discovery Rise Media Release". Archived from the original on 2007-09-02. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  10. ^ "ABC News: James Cook Uni plans Townsville campus facelift". Abc.net.au. 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  11. ^ "Discovery Rise Timeline". Retrieved 2007-10-18. [dead link]
  12. ^ "James Cook University (JCU)". sguni. 
  13. ^ "Australian university campus in Singapore gets EduTrust Star ranking". The Straits Times. 15 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "2012 Student Statistics". Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  15. ^ "Official Website of the School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University". Jcu.edu.au. 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  16. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2014". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  17. ^ "QS World University Life Sciences & Medicine Rankings 2014". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 
  18. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 
  19. ^ a b "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2014". Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University. 
  20. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities". 
  21. ^ "QS World University Rankings®". Top Universities. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  22. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities
  23. ^ "Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 National Report". 
  24. ^ "Professor Porfirio Miel Aliño". Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  25. ^ "Paul R. Amato". Penn State. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Dr Wendy Drake". Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  27. ^ "Dr Rose Evaster-Aderolili". 
  28. ^ "Dr Colin Grant" (PDF). 
  29. ^ "Philippines typhoon: UK doctors speak from storm-hit country". November 17, 2013. Retrieved December 23, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Natalie James". Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  31. ^ "Nonlinearities in Microwave Superconductivity". Adsabs.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  32. ^ "[1206.4426] Nonlinearities in Microwave Superconductivity". Arxiv.org. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  33. ^ "arXiv.org Search". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  34. ^ a b "EconPapers: Search". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  35. ^ a b zimmermann@stlouisfed.org. "IDEAS Search: ledenyov". Ideas.repec.org. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  36. ^ a b "Creators Name is "ledenyov" - Munich Personal RePEc Archive". Mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  37. ^ "Joanne Mather". Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  38. ^ "Dr Glen Richards". Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  39. ^ "Dr Kate Russo". Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  40. ^ Browne, Sally (11 May 2009). "Women in Docs". The Daily Telegraph (News Limited). Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  41. ^ "Professor Ian Young". Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  42. ^ "Jim Burnell". Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  43. ^ Hatch, Patrick (5 April 2013). "Eddie Mabo's epic fight for land rights changed Australian law and histor". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 August 2014. 

External links[edit]