Uni Hub Spencer Gulf’s new Roxby Downs Coordinator, Katie Szabo, has a keen interest in providing opportunities for people in the local community.
“I am a passionate social justice advocate and I’m excited at the prospect of supporting people in the Roxby region to study while remaining local, and help contribute to growing the skilled and professional workforce in and around Roxby,” she said.
Ms Szabo’s recent appointment to the Uni Hub role is thanks to the Federal Government’s Regional University Centres program, which aims to remove barriers for regional and remote students to access quality education opportunities.
Uni Hub’s Roxby Downs outreach service was one of eight new centres announced by the Federal Government earlier this year which also included a new Uni Hub presence in Port Lincoln. This is in addition to renewed funding for the Uni Hub’s Port Pirie and Port Augusta University Centres.
The Roxby Downs Outreach Service will allow the Uni Hub to support local community members to study university locally and work with local employers to address skill shortages.
Ms Szabo said providing local opportunities to study at a tertiary level would help boost higher education outcomes for people in the Roxby Downs region.
“It is so important that people, regardless of their location, have the chance to study at university. The Uni Hub is about giving this opportunity to people who may not have previously considered it as an option,” she said.
“While students are enrolled as an online university student, Uni Hub provides the local, face to face support that can make a huge difference to whether someone sticks with study or not.
Where a student is studying with our partner universities, we can help with enrolment and subject selection, liaison with the university and advocacy for the student, academic tutor support, course placements and residentials.”
While Ms Szabo may be a relatively new face to the Roxby Downs community, she is already becoming a familiar face around town, meeting people through local events and as her role as a Scout Leader.
“I moved to Roxby with my partner who is a teacher. I was excited to move here to work and learn more about the unique Roxby community,” she said.
Katie herself has a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in costume making and has worked predominately in Opera as a Wardrobe Production Coordinator in Sydney and Adelaide.
Later she stepped away from the arts to work in community-focussed roles and went on to study a Graduate Certificate in Human Services Management.
“I’m looking forward to contributing to the community in this role and through other local community groups and forums,” she said.
“I love getting out in the community, meeting new people and having a chat.”