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Creative arts students ready and raring to go in new CQUni course

A life-long love of music led David Cashman from cocktail piano gigs to a role as Professor at CQUni in Cairns, where he will lead the new Creative Arts degree.


Cairns CQUniversity Professor David Cashman says he was born to be a creative.

“It’s just the way my brain is wired,” Professor Cashman says.

“When I was 18 months old we’d go to church and I was playing back the hymns I’d heard that day.

“I speak the language of music – it exists in my head,” he says.

“I was always going to be a creative.

Professor Cashman has been appointed Head of Program for the new Bachelor of Creative Arts that will be offered on-campus in Cairns from 2017.

“The Bachelor of Creative Arts is based around real-life experience from working in the creative industry,” Professor Cashman says.

“A lot of people say you don’t become an artist and make money, which is somewhat true, so this program was designed to make amazing artists who can end up with money-making jobs.

“Sure, there’s an artistic side to the degree, then there’s the side that revolves around the industry and what is happening in that space.”

Professor Cashman says the Bachelor of Creative Arts is a course that’s grounded in the day-to-day reality of living and working in ‘the best profession in the world’.

“It’s made for people that are passionate and creative. Creative Arts is not something you do by half.

“Dancers will be spending 12 hours on the dance floor, actors will be performing from the first year and musicians will be submitting 15 minutes of music a term in the first year.”

The program has exit points including a diploma after one year, associate degree after two years and the full degree after three years. Students can also decide to do an honours year and a Master of Arts as well.

“The reason I introduced the exit points is because I was watching huge intake numbers when working at another institution and a lot of students would leave after a year, or two with nothing but a huge debt and I really wanted to avoid that,” he said.

Professor Cashman says he’s looking forward to bringing the Bachelor of Creative Arts degree to life in Cairns.

“We have enrolments coming in with a good cohort of students already raring to go,” Professor Cashman says.

“Cairns is a lovely city and I’m very grateful that our Vice Chancellor Scott Bowman is very committed to both the arts and Cairns,” he says.

“I’ve run large departments before and this is a great opportunity for me. To have a VC that has such a positive approach about the arts is a blessing. I’m the envy to quite a lot of my colleagues at other universities.”