New labs equip next generation of nurses

The ominous tone of a flat line chimes through TAFE Queensland’s Southport campus as student nurses furiously pump the chest of an interactive mannequin in the simulation lab.

One nursing student calls out ‘keep going’ as another hovers over the mannequin’s face with an oxygen mask. All while a teacher watches on from behind a glass panel, controlling the patient’s symptoms and assessing the student response.

This high fidelity simulation room is a critical component of a nursing students training and is one of the highlights in the new $10 million clinical labs at TAFE Queensland’s Southport campus.

This state-of-the-art facility is a 64-bed replicated hospital environment including two 4-bed simulation training rooms.

“Walking in is like stepping into a real hospital supplied with all the equipment you need to treat and care for patients,” said nursing student Sally Davis.

The Director of Health and Nursing at TAFE Queensland on the Gold Coast, Deb Blow said health students couldn’t be more prepared for the workplace after training at the Southport campus.

“Students are learning in life-like medical environment that will prepare them for employment when they go out into the industry. They will be very well versed with the equipment and familiar with the setting,” she said.

Ms Blow said the one of the most exciting additions to the new clinical labs is the augmented reality equipment with hologram patients.

“Students can put on a headset and see inside the human body as far as looking into the heart or a vein to get a deeper understanding of what they are learning in the classroom,” she said.

Not only do the new facilities cater for nursing students but also other areas of the health care industry including community, aged, disability, allied health, pathology, primary health and hospitals.

A specialised rehabilitation training room is complete with a medical rehabilitation treadmill, recumbent bicycle, stationary bicycles, parallel bars, practice stairs for rehabilitation, a diverse range of mobility aides and ceiling and mobile hoists.

There are also two training bathrooms with capacity for student participation and observation.

These new facilities have allowed TAFE Queensland to cater for the increasing student numbers at the Southport campus, with nursing and allied health enrolments up by 40 per cent over the last financial year.

TAFE Queensland’s Diploma of Nursing is the minimum level of study required to become an enrolled nurse in Australia and according to Seek data the national job growth for an enrolled nurse is predicted to increase 11.9% by 2024.

For more information about TAFE Queensland’s health courses or to apply visit or call 1300 308 233 and see where TAFE can take you.

Student project hits #3 on iTunes country music charts!

When local Gold Coast radio personality, Christo was challenged by country music star Casey Barnes to produce a country song in just three minutes he turned to TAFE Queensland for help.

The 102.9 Hot Tomato breakfast show host collaborated with music and sound production students from TAFE Queensland’s Coomera campus to record the vocals, play instruments and input creative direction to produce a high quality track in one of the campus recording studios.

Within weeks of it being officially released, the song titled ‘I don’t care (I want my dog back)’ hit #3 on the Australian iTunes country music charts behind world-class artists Keith Urban and Dolly Parton.

Eighteen-year-old music student, Taylia Puna contributed to the project with backing vocals and presented ideas for instruments to give the track a more country sound.

“It was such an amazing experience to see how a song can come together in such a short timeframe and it was extremly rewarding to be part of a project from the very start to hearing the final track,” said Taylia.

“Before this experience I’d never seen behind the scenes of how a song is mixed so it was eye-opening to comprehend how much effort is required to produce a song.”

The Maudsland teen, who is accessing the State Governments Job Trainer funding to study the Diploma of Music Industry said the experience was inspiring and unexpected.

“I was surprised to get such an interactive real-world experience this early on in my studies, we were only a couple of weeks into the course but it really helped me understand more about the production side of music and taught me different tricks to help develop my skills,” she said.

Meanwhile, Nathan Bruen who is studying a Diploma of Sound Production said he got so much out of the experience just from watching his teacher manage the project.

“I loved how Ben, our teacher and head producer for the project, included every student, listened to everyone’s ideas and tried them out. The way he nurtured Christo’s nerves on his vocal work, while still teaching a class was absolutely incredible,” said Nathan.

“A good producer is so important and that was a huge lesson from this exercise, as it was up to the production team to mould and shape the original idea into a country song that reached its full potential.”

“Ben really demonstrated in his industry knowledge and professionalism. He exposed us to his real world capabilities from his experience working with the country’s biggest names in music such as Amy Shark, yet he remained humble and took the time to explain the process to the class to enhance our own skills.”

“Overall the exercise helped me with the psychology of the studio, producing the best performance from the client, managing client expectations and all the technical aspects that come with it.”

The 38-year-old from Helensvale contributed backing vocals and some production ideas with guitars and said he was honoured to be part of it all.

“When I heard the final song for the first time I was so proud of what we’d achieved as a team and how well it all came together,” he said.

“Having this experience so early on in the course was a massive learning curve and very inspirational for the entire class, we’re still talking about it weeks later.”

Nathan said having a song that he worked on aired on radio and in the charts all be before graduating is a massive achievement and a testament to how well TAFE Queensland delivers training.

“I am so proud that my portfolio of experience is so diversified just by being a part of this course,” he said.

“My experience so far has exceeded all expectations. It has been one of the best decisions of my entire life, I should have started this course a long time ago.”

After the success of the track, Christo returned to the Coomera campus to collaborate with TAFE Queensland’s screen and media students to produce the music video.

The two-day shoot took place at Warner Bros. Movie World with students provided access to costumes and locations around the park to use for the production.

Together with their teacher the students produced a 3 minute 40 second clip and Christo was blown away with the end result.

“It has gone way past what I thought might be possible,” said Christo.

“The clip is just great. For such a polished outcome you wouldn’t think the students only just started their screen and media course in January.”

For more information about TAFE Queensland’s music and sound production courses or to apply visit or call 1300 308 233 and see where TAFE can take you.

Set sail and discover the stunning Gold Coast waterways with Sea World Cruises

With international borders closed, it’s time to explore your big, blue backyard. Water is at the heart of our city. It shapes and sustains our city form, our international image and our iconic water lifestyle. Our region boasts a network of spectacular waterways and natural assets spread over 1378 square kilometres just waiting to be discovered.

The team at Sea World Cruises offer a range of cruises for all ages and abilities and adventure seekers. Step out of the hustle and bustle with a leisurely morning or afternoon sightseeing cruise. Tempt your tastebuds with the finest regional flavours aboard a lunch or dinner cruise. Or get up close and personal with majestic 30-ton humpback whales during their annual migration.

The ultimate calm water cruising
A gentle breeze, chilled tunes, frosty drinks at the bar and tasty bites on the menu – a morning or afternoon cruise is the perfect way to kick back and relax. There is simply no better place to be on a sun-drenched afternoon than on the water drifting down winding canals, taking in local highlights such as Marina Mirage, Sea World, and Palazzo Versace from the 360-degree open top-deck.

Dining with the best views in town
Board the modern and spacious vessel, Spirit of Elston, for a delicious gourmet lunch or dinner cruise on the tranquil Gold Coast Broadwater. Take in views of the glittering Surfers Paradise skyline while enjoying the best local produce and seafood prepared by onboard chefs. Pair with a locally crafted beer, Australian wine, or a signature cocktail served in a whole pineapple.

Whale watching with the experts
Between June and October, the Gold Coast Bay becomes a watery playground humpback whale. Approximately 35,000 humpback whales pass our shores twice each year on their annual migration from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef. Be welcomed onto Spirit of Migaloo II, Australia’s most advanced whale watching vessel, to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience marvelling at the aerobatic skills of these playful and gentle giants.

Private charter & functions specialists
Are you planning your next event and looking for the perfect venue? You need to look no further with the most extensive fleet of vessels on the Gold Coast and a recently refurbished stunning Sunset Deck in Main Beach. From stylish affairs for a gathering of ten to parties and corporate events of up to 200 people, Sea World Cruises offers some of the city’s best event spaces with flexible catering packages to suit all budgets.

What makes Sea World Cruises stand out from the crowd and have guests come back year after year is a passion for what they do. As the city’s most experienced cruise company, they know how to make every guest experience special. Friendly skippers and crew love what they do and ensure every passenger leaves with unforgettable memories. From shimmering canals to the ‘humpback highway’ of the Pacific Ocean, there’s simply no better way to discover the Gold Coast.

TAFE Queensland interns impress employer

Gold Coast business owner, Steve Dalton believes choosing to study at TAFE Queensland instead of university made his interns more employable.

The founder of Refactor, a cloud software development company has offered employment to three of his recent TAFE Queensland interns who are now part of his full-time team.

“I have had interns from university in the past but since engaging with TAFE Queensland for our internship program I have been overly impressed with the students,” said Steve.

“The TAFE students have more practical experience and are eager to learn new things and build on their skills; whereas university students have had spent three to four years learning a lot of technical expertise that is somewhat impracticable.”

Steve said TAFE Queensland students come to him with a skillset that allows them to jump right in and get started with minimal support required.

“It is evident from my experience with these students that the TAFE Queensland software development course at the Coomera campus delivers industry relevant practical skills which they then build on across the various projects when they join Refactor,” he said.

“Not only do they have the right skillset but also the right attitude as they are willing to work as a team and are not afraid to speak up when they think we’re wrong or there is a better way.

“They also bring a lively, youthful vibe to the company and offer different perspectives which is refreshing.”

Since having such a positive experience with the TAFE Queensland software development students, Steve has also employed a TAFE Queensland school based electrical engineering apprentice.

To other local businesses looking at hiring interns, Steve said to look no further than TAFE Queensland.

“Connecting with TAFE Queensland is one of the best things I have done for my business and has been a personally rewarding experience to give back to the industry.”

For more information about TAFE Queensland’s software development programs call 1300 308 233 or visit

Building a career and connection with animals

As a teenager Sarah Leonard volunteered at the Animal Welfare League dreaming of a career working with animals; now more than 15-years later she finds herself amid a tiger dental emergency and discovering three joeys during a bilby pouch check.

The mother-of-three recently completed TAFE Queensland’s Certificate III in Animal Studies as part of a unique program with the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation.

“I have spent the last 12 months feeding tigers, handling reptiles, looking after the koala husbandry, helping with rescued wildlife while learning direct from industry specialists,” said Sarah.

“A stand out moment was being among an incident when one of the tigers broke his front tooth and had to be darted and put under anaesthetic. It was amazing just watching it all happen as the vet, vet nurses and the tiger keepers all worked together.

“I also got to do a pouch check on one of the bilby’s and she had three joeys in her pouch, it was so beautiful to experience.

“It has been truly amazing and above all I have gained a nationally recognised qualification which has given me the skills to persue my dream career as an animal carer, trainer or health officer,” she said.

Sarah was one of the first students to complete the exclusive program which sees 22 students selected each year via an application process to study at TAFE Queensland’s Coomera campus as well as one day a week on-site at Dreamworld.

These students are immersed with animals alongside Dreamworld’s animal keepers and wildlife professionals to obtain practical skills and obtain insight into the importance of the survival of native wildlife.

Upon graduation, Sarah took on a volunteer animal keeper assistant position at Dreamworld during peak season and is now furthering her education with a dual qualification in Pet Grooming and Companion Animal Services.

“Applying for the TAFE Queensland and Dreamworld program was easily the best thing I have ever done, it provided me with so many opportunities, wonderful experiences and given me the confidence to continue my studies,” said Sarah.

“Not only were my TAFE teachers knowledgeable, approachable and helpful but the wildlife team at Dreamworld provided me with skills that you can’t learn from a textbook.”

“I have also made some lifelong friends in my class who are likeminded and as passionate about the welfare of animals as I am,” she said.

Anyone interested in studying the Certificate III in Animal Studies at TAFE Queensland may also be eligible for the State Government’s JobTrainer funding with school-leavers, young people and job seekers able to complete selected qualifications for free or low cost.

For more information about TAFE Queensland’s Animal Studies courses or to apply visit or call 1300 308 233 and see where TAFE can take you.