CUC Macleay Valley Officially Launches
03 May 2021
Country Universities Centre (CUC) Macleay Valley was officially opened on April 30, 2021. The event was headlined by several guests, including the Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan MP, the Kempsey Shire Council Mayor, Liz Campbell, and the CUC Board, who joined with community members to celebrate the opening of the Centre.
The Centre has been operational to students since early March and already close to seventy students have registered to use the Centre’s incredible facilities.
The Centre provides students with access to study spaces, computers, high-speed internet, and video conferencing equipment to assist with their studies.
The Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan, said that the Centre’s opening is a wonderful milestone for the Kempsey community.
“Students, at any Australian University, now have access to an outstanding Centre dedicated to assist them with their study right here in Kempsey,” Mr Conaghan said.
“With quiet study spaces, state-of-the-art IT equipment, administrative and academic support, our young people have the resources to help them succeed, and the choice to stay here with their family and friends whilst gaining a university degree.”
Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, said the Centre will enable more Macleay students to obtain a higher education qualification.
“It is important we provide a range of innovative learning opportunities for local university students,” Ms Pavey said.
Kempsey Shire Council Mayor, and CUC Macleay Valley Board Chair, Liz Campbell acknowledged the efforts of both Council staff and the CUC team in creating the Kempsey Centre.
“Both Council and the CUC Macleay Valley Board have long recognised that local education is fundamental to our community,” Ms Campbell said.
“The parents of Kempsey have for too many generations seen children leave the Shire to go to university. We have worked towards creating a university presence for Kempsey since 2012 and now, with the support of the State and Federal Governments working with the Council, the community board and the CUC, we have one in the heart of Kempsey’s CBD.”
CUC General Manager, Douglas Martin, acknowledged the significant contributions towards the establishment and operations of the CUC Macleay Valley from Government.
“Young Australians in major cities are twice as likely to be university educated as regional students. CUCs are helping level the playing field to address that disparity,” Mr Martin said.
“We want more people in regional communities like Kempsey to engage in tertiary education while remaining in their local area, developing skills and qualifications that will help them secure local jobs.
We are very grateful for the support received. Together the NSW Government and the Commonwealth have co-invested in a model that is showing great promise in regional communities across NSW and Australia.
Importantly, our CUCs are community-driven and managed. We thank and recognise the Macleay Valley community and the Kempsey Shire Council, who have worked tirelessly to create this fantastic Centre. This Centre belongs to the Kempsey community, the champions who fought to establish it and its students, who we believe will do incredible things.“
The Managing Director of Gowings Bros, John Gowings, the landlord of the CUC Macleay Valley Centre welcomed the opening of the CUC Macleay Valley.
“Gowings are pleased that such an important regional educational resource as CUC has chosen Kempsey Central as its home,” Mr Gowings said.
“Its presence continues to build on our vision of the centre as a true community hub since the successful opening of Riverside Movies in 2019 and we wish them every success.”
With the announcement of Regional University Centres funding in June of last year, the CUC has four operational new Centres in Parkes, Wonthaggi, Roma and now Kempsey. The CUC network will continue to expand this year when it opens two additional Centres, across three new locations including CUC Balonne (St George and Dirranbandi, QLD) and CUC Southern Shoalhaven (Ulladulla, NSW). The CUC’s network has expanded to regional New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.