Deakin and Glenelg Shire Council sign new collaboration agreement

Media release

11 February 2021

Communities in Victoria's South West are set to benefit from a new agreement between Deakin University and Glenelg Shire Council which will focus on increasing local participation in tertiary education and help unlock the economic potential of the region.

Signed today at Portland Maritime Discovery Centre by Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin and Glenelg Shire Council Mayor Cr Anita Rank, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) identifies several key areas of co-operation.

Professor Martin said the agreement provides a framework for greater collaboration that delivers real benefits for the local community, economy and environment.

"At Deakin, collaboration underscores everything we do," Professor Martin said.

"Glenelg Shire Council has provided great support for Deakin researchers over the years on projects investigating the Bonney Coast upwelling system and the impacts of historical fishing and future climate change on the short-finned eel.

"The MoU signed today allows us to make real progress on not just research projects like these, but also our shared goals for the community as reflected in Deakin's new 10 year Strategic Plan and Council's draft 2040 plan.

"Together, we will build new pathways that provide better access to tertiary education for local residents and a stronger and more diverse local economy that focuses on the area's strengths such as agriculture, manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism.

"South West Victoria is known for its awe-inspiring landscapes and both Deakin and Council are committed to exploring new initiatives that will help protect the environment and Indigenous heritage of the area, including the UNESCO world heritage-listed Budj Bim Cultural Landscape."

Glenelg Shire Council Mayor Cr Anita Rank welcomed the MoU, citing it as an important step for "safeguarding the future of regional education opportunities".

"As we recover from the impact of the global pandemic, it's more important than ever to ensure people have access to opportunities to learn, upskill and obtain qualifications close to home," she said.

“By strengthening our relationship with Deakin, we can help to provide increased access to jobs, skills and education pathways, particularly for young people.

“We thank Deakin for their ongoing support and collaboration, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to help achieve a vibrant future for the South West.”

Deakin's Chief Executive Officer of South West Victoria Grant Sutherland said Deakin has been a vital part of South West Victorian communities for over 45 years and this engagement is expanding across all areas of the University's operations.

"New industry and government partners now call Warrnambool campus home and research activity continues to grow – most notably the Hycel project is up and running. We've added new courses such as the Food and Agribusiness major and there has been an increase in the level of interest in studying at the campus," he said.

"We look forward to continuing to play a central role in the future of not just Warrnambool, but the entire South West Region; our increased collaboration with Glenelg Shire Council is another important step forward."

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