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Engaging with our Communities

At Southern Cross University community engagement is a collaborative process connecting the University with communities in an exchange of knowledge, expertise and experience. Through engagement with our communities we create inspiring student learning experiences, innovative and relevant research, and ultimately, stronger and more vibrant communities and regions.

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Live Ideas

Live Ideas (sml)

Engaging with communities is at the heart of our strategic plan. Southern Cross University's vision is to be "recognised for enriching our communities through the excellence of our scholarship and the achievements of our graduates". Our founding Act describes a principal function of the University as "the provision of courses of study or instruction across a range of fields, and the carrying out of research, to meet the needs of the community".

SCU launched Live Ideas in 2015 to support the increase in community engaged learning and research by streamlining the process for partner organisations to propose staff and student projects. Live Ideas provides opportunities for SCU students and staff to work with community partners for mutual benefit.

Anyone can submit a project idea, and any SCU staff or student can apply to join a project. Once your application to join has been approved by the Live Ideas team you will be provided with detailed information on the project and the partner organisation's contact information. If you are interested in partnering with SCU on a teaching or research project we have a new online project noticeboard called Live Ideas with an easy to use online project submission form.

Sustainability As catalysts for development in our regions, we strive to be a leader in environmental, social and economic sustainability through teaching, research & campus operations.


Partnerships Collaboration and partnership are at the heart of how we engage with communities to create relevant education experiences, research and knowledge exchange.


Community EngagementEngagement underpins our scholarship: we create inspiring student learning experiences; innovative & relevant research; and stronger, vibrant communities.

Community Engagement

ShowcaseThe Excellence in Community Engagement Awards celebrate exemplary community engagement by SCU staff. Read the Stories of Engagement inspiring profiles.

Showcasing Community

Connecting with SCU

SCU's community engagement is facilitated by the Sustainability, Partnerships and Community Engagement (SPaCE) team. For general enquiries there are information desks located at each campus. If you are considering study at SCU, you can get in touch with our dedicated Future Students team.

  • Partnering with Communities
  • SCU nurtures connectivity with diverse organisations through the SCU Partner Network. The team in Sustainability, Partnerships and Community Engagement (SPaCE) are responsible for facilitating connection and collaboration with communities and provide an easy connection point for organisations interested in partnering with the University. Southern Cross University celebrates its partnerships through the partnership category in the annual Excellence in Community Engagement Awards. If you are interested in partnering with SCU on a teaching or research project we have a new online project noticeboard called Live Ideas with an easy to use online project submission form.

  • Creating Pathways to University
  • SCU has created innovative pathways to help you achieve a university qualification. We take great pride in the fact that we have one of the highest levels of students who are the first in their families to go to university. SCU College provides supported study opportunities for students who have their hearts set on attending Southern Cross University but are under-prepared to immediately embark on a Bachelor degree.

    SCU is committed to increasing access and participation to higher education through a wide range of our outreach activities. Our UNI-BOUND high school outreach program partners with schools in low socio-economic communities. The SCU Head-Start program provides opportunities for year 11 and 12 students to gain direct entry and advanced standing.

  • Supporting Communities through Quality Services
  • Located at our Lismore and Gold Coast campuses, the SCU Health Clinic is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of local and interstate communities by providing high quality allied health services. Our clinic is essential in assisting students with education, research and practical experience in the health care industry, whilst applying empathy and compassion for the people we serve as health practitioners.

    The Environmental Analysis Laboratory in Lismore is an Australian leader in providing high quality analytical results and assistance to environmental, agricultural and industry managers. The Laboratory rapidly adopts new techniques through its connection to SCU researchers and provides a competitive analytical service that has benefited thousands of organisations in regional and metropolitan Australia.

    SCU's commercial include the SCU Fitness for You (Lismore), Southern Cross Catering (Lismore) and The Deck SCU Unibar (Lismore).

  • Providing Regional Leadership and International Exchange
  • At Southern Cross University our staff contribute significantly to the development of communities, regions and nations through community engaged service as part of their workload. For example staff contribute countless hours representing SCU an many boards and committees spanning economic, cultural, social and environmental spheres. This is a key aspect of translating our knowledge into tangible benefit and impact. In addition to teaching and research that is undertaken by our staff in partnership with communities, the University provides opportunities for SCU students to study overseas and for international students to study here. In 2015 SCU International was ranked number one in Australia for their support to international students by the International Student Barometer.

  • Teaching and Research Partnered with Communities
  • A key part of the student experience at SCU involves undertaking learning in a range of community contexts. Called 'Community Engaged Learning' the University has a policy to increase opportunities for experiential learning in all undergraduate degree programs. Community Engaged Learning opportunities involve clinical placements, practicums in schools, internships in industry and business, community-based learning in partnership with community organisations and volunteering.

    Academic schools within SCU align curriculum and assessment items in response to local and emerging issues, community needs and capacity building opportunities across sectors and disciplines. Similarly, the University's various research centres, groups and networks are focused on their role in generating and applying knowledge in fields that are regionally relevant and globally significant. SCU's Stories of Engagement profiles the diversity of exemplary teaching and research that is partnered with communities that has been undertaken at the University.

  • Developing and Showcasing Excellence
  • Southern Cross University is actively developing a culture of 'engaged scholarship'. Through the annual SCU Excellence in Community Engagement Awards we showcase community engagement as an integral aspect of SCU teaching and learning, research and service. The SCU Stories of Engagement program profiles exemplary community engagement undertaken by staff through online case studies and an annual series of seminars. The Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice offers SCU academic staff the opportunity to gain a postgraduate qualification in academic practice, that includes an elective 'Community Engagement: Scholarship and Practice'.