GUC’s community focus wins National Award
Geraldton Universities Centre (GUC) was presented with the ‘Community Centric Award’ as part of the Australian Rural Education Awards ceremony held in South Australia last night.
The award recognises an organisation who has placed a regional, rural, or remote community at its centre.
GUC Chair Jody Beven and Director Natalie Nelmes were in the Barossa Valley at the National Conference for Regional, Rural and Remote Education to accept the award.
Mr Beven said the GUC was delighted to be recognised as the Centre had been born out of community lobbying in the early 2000s and ever since had been committed to meeting the needs of the local community.
“By providing opportunity for all local people and recruiting students to courses that address local workforce need, GUC has pioneered an innovative model over the past 20 years that allows university students to complete their degree locally,” he said.
“By doing so, GUC has produced 470 graduates to supply a professional workforce for Geraldton’s schools, hospitals, community agencies and businesses. Importantly,
6% of graduates have been Aboriginal students, providing inspiration and role models for future Indigenous students to follow.”
In addition to receiving the award, Ms Nelmes was addressing the Conference on the link between online and internal university student learning GUC had created.
“The cornerstone of the GUC model is the face-to-face, unit specific academic support provided to cohorts of local students enrolled in partner university’s online courses. Indeed, it is the very way GUC best responds to the needs of our community,” she said.
“GUC provides this support through local administrative and student support staff coupled with tutors from local industry professionals who foster the growth and development of students to become the future professionals the Geraldton community needs to thrive.
“This award is very fitting recognition for the community members who lobbied for better university access for local people and have continued to support it, and the staff that provide such passion and dedication to deliver it.”
GUC provides an exemplar, and actively assists, more than 25 Regional University Centres throughout Australia that have been funded by the Commonwealth Government since 2018.
Photo caption: L-R GUC Director Natalie Nelmes, Chris Ronan SPERA President, Hon Fiona Nash RRR Education Commissioner, and Jody Beven GUC Chair.
For more information, please contact Natalie Nelmes or Natasha Colliver – 9920 4400