2023 has been a year of growth, new achievements and milestones for Uni Hub Spencer Gulf.
This is according to the Uni Hub’s Chief Executive Officer Anita Kuss, who reflected on the organisation’s journey over the past 12 months.
The year kicked off with the opening of the Uni Hub’s new Port Lincoln and Roxby Downs study centres – which according to Ms Kuss experienced strong growth in student numbers.
“Our existing university centres in Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Kadina continue to flourish, with new funding agreements in place for ongoing operational support through the Commonwealth’s ‘Regional University Centre’ program,” she said.
Earlier this year the Uni Hub celebrated the graduation of seven graduates across the fields of nursing, teaching and psychological science.
“In a metropolitan context seven graduates isn’t much. But for our regional communities, seven new professionals is significant,” Ms Kuss said.
“It’s seven professionals who already call this region home and whose new skills and knowledge not only opens new doors and career opportunities, but also helps to build local capacity and capability of the community.”
She said in the past year the Uni Hub has been playing an increasingly significant role in local schools, promoting the huge scope of professional careers and the local university study options available in the region.
“This career support is filling a much-needed gap as workforce shortages continue to escalate and employers look towards local options to ‘grow their own’ skilled workforce,” she said.
Council partners continue to underpin our operations in each of the communities the Uni Hub supports, Ms Kuss said.
“The Port Pirie Regional Council, Port Augusta City Council and the Copper Coast Council and our newest local government partners – City of Port Lincoln and Roxby Council, along with our founders – the Spencer Gulf Cities, continue to back us and provide ongoing support, advocacy and trust that we will deliver for their communities.”
Ms Kuss also acknowledged the importance of the Uni Hub’s university partners – CQUniversity, Flinders University and University of Adelaide.
“They have been part of the Uni Hub journey right from the start and we thank them for being brave enough to try some new ways of delivering higher education to regions, to push the boundaries and to be flexible enough to grow with us,” she said.
“We have also had tremendous financial and in-kind support from many local businesses, community organisations and individuals.
“This support has taken many shapes – from grants and donations, student scholarships or sponsorship, through to discounts on purchased goods and services; access to technical and professional advice; advocacy and support.
“Many of these contributors have done so quietly and without the desire for recognition. On behalf of the Uni Hub we thank you sincerely. Without the support of the community, we have no reason for being.”
Ms Kuss also reflected on the work of the Uni Hub board and staff who she said had worked tirelessly during 2023.
“Thankyou to the Uni Hub board members for their leadership, passion and commitment to the cause and to our Uni Hub staff – who come to work every day determined to make a difference.”