NSA Toowoomba members visit UQ Gatton.
NSA Toowoomba members visit UQ Gatton.

NSA Toowoomba members visit UQ

FOR many members of National Seniors Association Toowoomba, the bus trip to UQ Gatton brought back many memories.

Some of us remember driving past along the highway, while others attended as students years ago or know people who were students there.

The old Queensland Agricultural College (QAC) opened as a combined agricultural college and experimental farm in 1897.

In 1923, it became the Queensland Agricultural High School and College and in 1942 much of the campus was requisitioned a hospital for the US Army.

Over the next three years, more than 19,000 wounded servicemen plus 3000 Army doctors, nurses and other service personnel passed through.

High school teaching was phased out in 1962 and the name changed back to Queensland Agricultural College and in 1971, QAC became one of Queensland's first colleges of advanced education with its own governing council.

Degree courses were introduced not only in agriculture but in areas such as tourism, soil and water conservation, environmental management, property valuation and food technology.

Then in 1990, QAC amalgamated with the University of Queensland and took on a new name - the University of Queensland, Gatton College - later changed to simply UQ Gatton.

With the transfer of the School of Veterinary Science to Gatton in 2010, more than $100 million was spent on new buildings and upgraded facilities. There are now more than 2000 students studying on the campus and over 500 staff members.

The campus has 430 students living in its Halls of Residence including overseas students from 36 different countries.

Earlier this year, a 3.275 megawatt Gatton Solar Research Facility was officially launched with more than 37,000 photovoltaic panels spread over 10 hectares of the campus's former airstrip.

The solar farm is capable of providing enough energy to power about 450 average Queensland homes and will save the equivalent of 5600 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

The array includes multiple mounting systems including fixed tilt, single-axis and dual-axis sun tracking technologies operating side by side providing the research team with comparative information on electrical and economic performance.

Another world first on a much smaller scale but also of great potential benefit has been the trial of a new injectable treatment for cancer in dogs.

So far, three dogs have been given a one-off injection of a potent immune stimulant directly into their tumours.

The tumours immediately started to disappear and there have been no signs of any recurrence.

The results are significant in that dogs are biologically much closer to humans than other laboratory animals, giving the hope that similar results could eventually be achieved with human cancers.

Other research in many areas of crop technology and animal husbandry are also continuing.

It was a real eye-opener to realise that such world leading research was taking place right on our door-step.

Coming Up

Our next bus trip on Thursday, September 17 takes us to Brisbane for a tour of City Hall, including morning tea at the Red Cross Café, and lunch at Broncos Leagues Club. Departure time is 7am, and the cost is $60.

Our next morning tea meeting will be on Thursday, October 1 when our guest speaker will be Professor Shahjahan Khan from the University of Southern Queensland. Professor Khan is President of the Islamic Council of Toowoomba.

Morning tea meetings are held at Regents on the Lake, 87A Perth St commencing at 9.30am.

The cost is $12.

For inquiries or bookings, phone June on 4635 9796 or Yvonne on 4638 5252.

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