Why the New Master Plan?

JCU Townsville Campus

The new Master Plan for JCU Townsville Campus will integrate JCU’s Statement of Strategic Intent, University Plan and Academic Plan with its facilities, infrastructure, and financial resources.

It will be a student centric Master Plan intended to guide JCU’s growth for the next 20 years, and coordinate all of its precincts and parts to create a vibrant knowledge based community.

The need for a new Master Plan is driven by the University’s strategy to urbanise and modernise the campus, and fulfil its mandate to augment engagement with industry and the broader community.

The master plan will capture:

  • Short Term improvements
    Things to happen in the next 5 years
  • Medium Term strategies
    Development fulfilling known growth forecasts over 10 years
  • Long Term vision
    What might JCU look like 15-20 years from now

By looking at the long term as a priority, the University will be able to make decisions now which facilitate, rather than impede, the long term vision.


The ultimate success of the Master Plan will be very much influenced by the opinions, thoughts and ideas of everybody involved with the University, including the staff, students and external stakeholders.

The team has structured through April and May, a number of consultation sessions with all university stakeholders and the wider community, including:

  • Divisional groups
  • Task Groups
  • Colleges, Institutes and Centres
  • Staff and Students

This Master Plan will also place particular importance on the needs of our students – so to ensure the master plan meets (even exceeds) these needs, the project team is undertaking in excess of 200 hours of direct student engagement.

Before putting pen to paper, the team will listen to and collate the knowledge gained from all the surveys, consultations, and workshops.

Through May until December, the team will produce a responsive master plan, seeking further feedback on the way.

Project Process


The university has provided the project team with key objectives for the Master Plan, recognising that others may come out of the consultation process.

Objectives to date include:

Integrate JCU’s Statement of Strategic Intent, University Plan and Academic Plan with its facilities, infrastructure and resources. Integrate academic, research and engagement with sports and residential facilities.

Optimise connectivities with JCU’s Discovery Rise precincts, with Townsville Hospital and with the wider community context of the campus.

Create social vitality and engagement through built and landscape place-making, spatial interrelationships and the dynamics of a more urbanised form.

Impart an unmistakeable identity which embodies JCU’s global positioning and special importance to people of the tropics, including the Australian Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islander People as the first inhabitants of the Nation and the Traditional Owners of the land.

Create a Knowledge Community, connect and create stronger links with industry and the broader community through implementation of Discovery Rise.

Prioritise student life with experiences that can’t be had online and create the ‘sticky’ campus that students won’t want to leave.

Generate alternative scenarios which enable the University to respond nimbly to changing higher education futures.

As Queensland’s second oldest university, embody the site’s traditional ownership

Develop the Master Plan from ‘first principles’, mindful of but not dependent upon previous plans and studies.

Incorporate sustainability into every aspect of the built environment and enhance the campus’ distinctive asset of its natural environment.

Please feel welcome to add any other major objectives you believe the master plan should cover.

Have Your Say


The Project Team, led by Cox Architecture, brings together a unique set of skills and specialist expertise from a number of local and international consultancies.

Cox Architecture has undertaken many tertiary campus master plans around Australia, as well as in the UAE and Asia, the latest being for Macquarie University in Sydney and Griffith University in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. Cox Architecture were also the architects for several successful Townsville projects, including Thuringowa Riverway, the Flinders Street Revitalisation, Jezzine Barracks Redevelopment, and the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

Cox Architecture’s project team consultants are:

  • SpaceLogic
    Campus space rationalisation and student/stakeholder/staff consultation.
    University of Otago, NZ; University of Newcastle; Macquarie University
  • RPS
    Landscape architecture.
    North Shore, Townsville; Bluewater, Cairns; Brolga Lakes, Burpengary
  • 9point9 Architects
    Local architects.
    Bwgaman Development, Townsville; JCU Saints College; Watermark Tavern, Townsville
  • Umow Lai
    Environmental consultants.
    Deakin University Burwood Highway Frontage; Melbourne School of Design; Institute for Marine + Antarctic Studies, Tasmania.
  • Geoff Roberts
    Futurist and Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission.
    City Futures Research Centre Chair, UNSW