Regional Universities: Anchor Institutions Transforming their Regions Conference

By Professor Adam Shoemaker, Vice-Chancellor, Southern Cross University

It is often said that universities both prepare for, and anticipate, the future.

There is no doubt that this predictive power is needed now more than ever.   Federal and NSW state elections loom in 2019.  The most serious drought in a generation is afflicting both Queensland and New South Wales.   Regional employment and voter attitudes have never been more important to all sides of domestic politics.   And new forms of industry—from Medicinal Cannabis production to Regenerative Agriculture; from drone aviation to precision aquaculture—all beckon.

That is why the conference Regional Universities: Anchor Institutions Transforming their Regions could not be more timely or important.

The Regional Universities Network is proud to partner with Higher Ed Services to present this event.  The conference is being held in Building C at the Gold Coast Campus of Southern Cross University.  Just as the location is unique—on the border between two states and just a short walk away from Australia’s sixth-largest airport at the Gold Coast—the topics and policy implications are distinctive as well.  What can Australia learn from regional educational developments in other nations?  What alliances can be formed on behalf of the 20% of Australian tertiary students who study at a regional campus in every state and territory?  What role is there for regional peak bodies in policy formation?  Who actually speaks for citizens—and Indigenous citizens—in these areas?

The conference brings together representatives from more than 20 different organisations in four nations to explore these themes.  The conference has a specific mandate to generate impact:  in government; for local councils; for disadvantaged regional students; in legislation.  Senior federal ministers and shadow ministers have been invited. Media representatives and student government representatives will attend.  And predictive solutions will be found.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Gold Coast campus of Southern Cross on Thursday 18 October 2018.

Professor Adam Shoemaker is the Vice-Chancellor of Southern Cross University (SCU)

The Regional Universities: Anchor Institutions Transforming their Regions Conference will be held on 18 and 19 October at Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast Campus.