James Cook University and army reach agreement over education

James Cook University will become part of the Army Tertiary Education Program, enabling Australian Defence Force personnel’s Royal Military College studies to count toward a business degree at the university.

Commander of the 3rd Brigade, Brigadier Roger Noble, said the Australian Army made education a priority and said the arrangement would benefit applicants from around Australia and those on deployment.

“It is not just Townsville, so when they get posted or they move away they can continue to study online.”

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Brigadier Noble said the business degree was a good fit for the army, and he expected the agreement would expand to include other disciplines in future.

“I think it is an immediate fit because the army is a big business,” he said.

James Cook University and Lavarack Barracks were both officially opened on July 29, 1966, with prime minster Holt in attendance.

At the opening of the army barracks, Mr Holt remarked that Townsville was fortunate to have Australia’s first university in the tropics and an “outstanding military establishment”.

“It is said the pen is mightier than the sword and I suppose that argument still continues,” Mr Holt said at the time.

“Well, Townsville has both, and Australia needs both.”

Brigadier Noble said Mr Holt’s hopes for the university and army base and how they could interact and facilitate growth in the region had been visionary.

“He clearly understood that putting a major army base and a major educational facility in the north would help grow Townsville,” he said.

“I would hope the relationship goes beyond just formal courses and study, so what should happen here is we should be part of the dialogue that goes on in the community.”

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