The achievements of Uni Hub Spencer Gulf were recognised on November 2 as part of the Port Pirie University Centre’s fifth birthday celebrations.

The event was a chance to reflect on the Uni Hub journey, from its early beginnings as a concept through to its current success in providing tertiary education opportunities for people living in the region. 

Uni Hub Spencer Gulf Chair Brenton Vanstone said the Uni Hub’s Port Pirie University Centre was the first of five, with subsequent centres opening in Port Augusta, Kadina, Port Lincoln and Roxby Downs.

“We now have 275 students studying and staying in the region,” he said.

“We make education and training locally accessible so that we can retain those who pursue a higher level of skills and education.

“We remain committed to our original charter – a local, not-for-profit organisation, operating university study centres and partnering with universities to invest in the local delivery of qualifications to address the region’s professional workforce strategies.”

Uni Hub Spencer Gulf Director Student Services Kim Gregory reflected on the growth of the Uni Hub, starting with three nursing students five years ago, compared to the current figure of 70 nursing students across the five Uni Hub centres.

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the faith of the students. A lot of them took a leap of faith because no one knew what the Uni Hub was when we first started,” she said.

“Back then, if you wanted to study university you had to go to Adelaide, that was it.

“But we did something consistently, right from the start – and that was to always have a positive conversation with everyone who comes in and see us.

“And it doesn’t mean their pathway is going to be university. But we always sit with them and give them a positive conversation about a pathway that suits them – whether that be university, VET or school.

“Our motto has always been everyone leaves one of our centres with a positive conversation and an understanding of what might be best for them. We don’t need them to be one of our students to succeed, but we need them to be in our community and prosper.”

Pictured at the 5th birthday celebrations of the Uni Hub’s Port Pirie University Centre were, from left, Port Pirie Regional Council mayor Leon Stephens, Uni Hub board chair Brenton Vanstone, Port Pirie University Centre Manager Rhys Millington and Uni Hub CEO Anita Kuss.