When I first came to Charles Sturt, I was located on the Bathurst campus. For a good three and a bit years, I lived, slept, learnt and breathed on the Bathurst campus, and I loved it. It was my home until COVID hit and then it very much wasn’t my home anymore as I want from being an on-campus student to online. But there is always a world outside that campus, and that is a world that is very much worth exploring.
If you are an online student or even if you have been attending a particular campus for the duration of your time as a student, find some time to go exploring. You never know what you might find. And as a bonus, you can be a little productive too. I visited the library and was able to borrow a book for my uni work. Here are a few fun facts about the Port Macquarie campus.
The koalas and the wildlife
The flagship species for the Port Macquarie campus is the koala. The campus is a known refuge for a number of endangered species, including koalas and swift parrots, and I did also make best friends with a kookaburra.
Charles Sturt runs a biodiversity monitoring initiative to engage students, staff and visitors in recognising and reporting animal sightings via the Facebook page and biodiversity boards installed across the campus. There are also lots of signs to warn motorists that there may be a little koala wanting to cross the road.
While I was at the campus, I unfortunately did not lay eyes on an actual koala (trust me, I was trying), but I did in fact see a statue of one. I got the pleasure to meet Professor Eugene Eucalyptus, one of 80 individually designed one-metre high Hello Koalas sculptures located around the Port Macquarie district. Professor Eucalyptus, who is number four of the 80 koalas, is part of the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail. The trail is open every day of the year and is completely free! I accidentally found Oceania, koala number one, when I was heading home and stopped off at the Port Macquarie McDonald’s for a frozen coke. See, they are everywhere!
Ease of use
I travelled to the campus with Port SRC representative Brandon Wallace, who took me around and showed me the campus. The first thing that I noticed, naturally because I am such a savvy shopper, is that there is a shopping centre literally on campus. Several restaurants and biggest of all, Coles. How handy is it that a whole three minutes from the on campus accommodation and campus itself. Pretty handy if you ask me.
Then there are the brilliant barbeque facilities that you can use, along with the student kitchens which are available for use too. Nothing like relaxing in the great outdoors while eating a burger that you made yourself.
One of the first things I came across on the campus was a huge rainbow set of stairs. The stairs, as well as a mural on campus have been painted by Port SRC and Bachelor of Creative Industries (Design and Visual Arts) students in celebration of IDAHOBIT Day (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia). Below you can see the finished stairs, but also some action shots from when they were being painted.
Just like the other Charles Sturt campuses, there are a range of sustainability initiatives under way. The Port Macquarie campus is one of Charles Sturt’s flagship sites for the inclusion of ecological sustainable design principles into the campus development.
The overall campus masterplan and approach to designing individual buildings has placed a strong emphasis on minimising our environmental footprint and reducing impact to surrounding biodiversity. There are also a lot of solar panels on the campus, with approximately 1,150 panels all providing the campus with the energy it needs.
For the car nerds out there just like me, there are electric vehicle (EV) charging stations located in Carpark 2 which can be accessed by staff and students.
I also came across some signage throughout the campus where I could learn about key features of the campus and how it has become a sustainable place to learn and work.
So get out there when you can and go exploring. There is something new out there for you to enjoy on all of the other Charles Sturt campuses.