Charles Sturt University Port Macquarie breaks new ground with policing degree

New ground: The NSW Police Academy and Charles Sturt University have joined forces to bring the first residential component of the Associate Degree in Policing Practice to the Port Macquarie campus.
New ground: The NSW Police Academy and Charles Sturt University have joined forces to bring the first residential component of the Associate Degree in Policing Practice to the Port Macquarie campus.

Port Macquarie's Charles Sturt University campus is hosting the first residential phase for students studying the Associate Degree in Policing Practice.

Thirty five students attended the first day of the program on Friday.

The decision means participants in the course are not required to travel and stay in Goulburn.

Commander of the NSW Police Academy, Chief Superintendent Rod Smith, said the decision to host a residential component in Port Macquarie would help participants overcome some hurdles.

"Traditionally, we would hold two, 16 week sessions in Goulburn for the ADPP course," Chief Supt Smith said.

"However, by providing session one of the online course over 32 weeks and the residential component here on Port Macquarie's CSU campus, it enables candidates to remain closer to home where they can maintain their work commitments.

"This also helps in reducing travelling to Goulburn, which is a challenge for those from further afield.

"Students here for the residential part of the course will participate in mostly practical scenarios while the online component covers law investigations and decision-making.

"The practical aspects of the course at the CSU campus will apply to the academic components."

As well, the academy has commenced integrating interactive video components from Goulburn into the Port Macquarie campus.

Executive dean at CSU, Professor Tracey Green was quietly confident the trial would be successful.

"CSU is looking for opportunities to run residential schools here in Port Macquarie but also at other regional sites," she said.

"This is a great initiative. We will have more people coming through the CSU campus in Port Macquarie, which improves our accommodation numbers and that, in turn, has good financial benefits for the local business community.

"Importantly too, participants in this course now have the ability to remain closer to their home base while starting their career in policing."

Professor Green said further courses for police will be offered during traditional downtime periods at the campus.

"We've offered in-service courses in Port Macquarie too which means police don't have to attend courses in Sydney or Goulburn," she added.

High praise: Commander of the NSW Police Academy, Chief Superintendent Rod Smith with course participants Kane Dennis and Ashley Strong.

High praise: Commander of the NSW Police Academy, Chief Superintendent Rod Smith with course participants Kane Dennis and Ashley Strong.

Two participants in the first residential component of the course were Lismore's Ashley Strong and Port Stephens' Kane Dennis.

Both praised the Port Macquarie CSU campus as "a first class facility".

Ms Strong said the opportunity to complete her residential in Port Macquarie would mean less commuting.

"We have already looked at the possibility of bringing my children down to Port Macquarie for a brief stay," she said.

"We are taking this on as a whole family experience.

"As well, I feel really confident in the training being offered here.

“When we do graduate, we will have a great tool belt to act confidently when we are in our community."

Mr Dennis said he noticed the similarities between his Port Stephens home and Port Macquarie.

"That just makes things a bit more comfortable," he said.

"But I still expect a lot of hard work and a great experience.

"I'm really confident of getting through this and succeeding."

Both agreed the opportunity to continue with work commitments while studying the ADPP was a positive step.

It is fantastic to see the facility more broadly used.

Leslie Williams

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said the initiative was good news for the CSU campus but also the wider community.

"It is fantastic to see the facility more broadly used," she said. "There are great benefits for the economy and for the students."

Superintendent Paul Fehon praised the CSU Port Macquarie facility as state-of-the-art.

"Hosting the residential in Port Macquarie means that some participants don't leave that network of family that is sometimes vital," he said.

"I think this is a really good outcome for the region."

Regional manager, Mid North Coast, NSW Business Chamber Kellon Beard said it was a great initiative.

"It is good for CSU and it is good to see more business coming into the city," he said.

"More people studying and utilising the campus could, hopefully, see these participants get a good insight into what Port Macquarie has to offer.

"In turn, they could return as a visitor or even relocate," he said.

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