Bass Coast Health partners with Country Universities Centre to train medical workforce


More people are pursuing fulfilling careers at Bass Coast Health (BCH) thanks to the Bass Coast Country Universities Centre (CUC).

The Wonthaggi-based centre is a study space where students are supported by staff and have access to free internet, dual-screen computers and tutorial space.

BCH staff, as well as undergraduate healthcare students, are accessing the services of the CUC while they undertake universities studies, allowing them to pursue further education close to their homes without travelling to Melbourne or the Latrobe Valley.

The CUC will play an even greater role in the provision of higher education support to local students now that Wonthaggi Hospital is an accredited training site for nursing students of Federation University.

Kate Brosnan is a Registered Student of Undergraduate Nursing (RUSON) working in Wonthaggi Hospital’s Sub-Acute Ward. She is studying her Bachelor of Nursing through Federation University at Churchill and recently registered with CUC.

She is undertaking group work in the tutorial room at CUC, working with other students.

“It is a wonderful meeting place and a safe place to access after-hours rather than meeting at other people’s homes where there are distractions,” Kate said.

Gabrielle Dixon works with BCH’s Learning and Development Team as a Clinical Support Nurse – Community Nursing and is studying her Masters of Wound Care through Monash University.

She has been attending CUC for 18 months and appreciates having a dedicated study space.

“I mainly come here to do discussions online, tutorials and assignments. I enjoy meeting like-minded people and having access to high-speed, reliable internet,” Gabrielle said.

The CUC is open from 5am to midnight seven days a week and students have access to half-hour activities such as resourcefulness and academic support, and social events such as lunches so they can enjoy a similar social environment to university.

Michelle Barnes is BCH’s Allied Health Clinical Educator and has been a student at CUC for two years while she studies a Master’s degree in Public Health.

“It’s convenient having a dedicated place to study so close to town and to my children’s school,” she said.

Centre Manager Andrea Evans-McCall said the CUC was presenting opportunities to country students to pursue their dreams, while upskilling the staff of local employers such as BCH.

“If we were not here, not as many students would be able to access higher education. If young people leave the area to pursue study, they are less likely to come back and work locally,” she said.

Andrea and students are supported at CUC by Sibby Wilson, Centre Support Officer, and Karen Crinall, Learning Skills Advisor.