Regional Development Australia - Wheatbelt
An Australian Government Initiative

Wheatbelt set to get a Regional University

RDA Wheatbelt is very excited to announce that our application to the 2022 Regional University Centres (RUC) funding round has been successful. Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education made the announcement in Gingin.
 
The submission was made in response to an identified need for access to higher education facilities within the region.  After many months of research, engagement with stakeholders and the Regional Universities in Geraldton and Albany, a hub model has been developed utilising current infrastructure.  Initial hubs are being planned for Narrogin, Merredin, Wongan Hills and York, it is anticipated that some of these facilities will become operational in Semester 2 of 2022.  
 
The regional university centre will provide access to internet, computers, printers, video conferencing and more importantly, a student support person who will assist students with navigating university life, all at no cost to the student.  Any student, regardless of what university they study with, will be able to access these facilities and support.  
 
Discussions with Curtin, Murdoch and Uni SA have identified courses ready to deliver which have a market in the Wheatbelt in terms of current and future career pathways.  These include nursing, education, art/cultural industries, agriculture, ag tech, mining and renewable energy.  Discussion with stakeholders have also commenced to enable student placements within hospitals and industry sectors.  Additional courses and universities will continually be added to this list.
 
The RDA Wheatbelt Director Regional Development Mandy Walker believes this funding is an important step in showcasing the Wheatbelt as a modern, smart region where you can pursue a workforce ready career pathway “The Wheatbelt is home to some of the most innovative businesses, farming systems, industry, and service sectors in the State who are willing to partner with us.  Our model for a regional university enables those people already in the workforce to access additional study options and for our school students both regional and returning from boarding school, an opportunity to connect with a future focused career path”.
 
Chairman Terry Waldron said “I am so happy and excited for our regional communities who will benefit by having a means to attract and retain residents within their towns.  We know that around 60% of people who study in the regions stay in the regions to work, this will be a great outcome for our hospitals and schools, as well as our key industry sectors of agriculture and mining. I would like to sincerely thank the industry and local government partners who came on board early on to support this application and contribute to our success in securing funds.” 
 
Employment opportunities will be generated with a full time Director and four part-time Learning Support Officers (1 in each of the 4 locations). When ready, these positions will be advertised on our website www.rdawheatbelt.com.au via a media release and through other advertising.
 
To be kept up to date with the RUC developments, please forward your details to Pippa Harris admin@rdawheatbelt.com.au ;
 
For media enquiries please contact Mandy Walker, Director Regional Development  mandy.walker@rdawheatbelt.com.au ;