Release type: Joint Media Release


Education partnership aims to improve access and participation across regional Victoria


Senator the Hon Anthony Chisholm
Assistant Minister for Education
Assistant Minister for Regional Development
Senator Jana Stewart
Senator for Victoria

Representatives from the Goulburn Murray Tertiary Education Partnership will hold their official showcase in Shepparton today to feature their work to improve access and participation for underrepresented students across the region. 

Assistant Minister Chisholm welcomed the partnership between La Trobe University, GOTAFE and the University of Melbourne, which also focuses on improving access to tertiary education providers for First Nations students and people from low socio-economic backgrounds. 

“This partnership supports the Albanese Government’s goals, identified through the Australian Universities Accord, to significantly increase tertiary education opportunities for students in regional areas.

“Improving pathways for regional students to further their education is the key, that’s why partnership initiatives like the Greater Shepparton Teaching Academy of Professional Practice are so crucial, because they focus on helping final year university students refine their skills before they enter the workforce.”

Senator for Victoria Jana Stewart, a Mutthi Mutthi and Wamba Wamba woman who grew up in regional Victoria, will open today’s showcase and said the partnership will make it easier for young people living outside the major cities to access high-quality education and training.

“The Goulburn Murray Tertiary Education Partnership is a big step to ensuring traditionally underrepresented cohorts – like First Nations and country students – get the same opportunities as anyone else looking to upskill. Your postcode shouldn't determine your access to education."

“La Trobe University, GOTAFE and the University of Melbourne are setting the example for other institutions in removing barriers for students in regional Victoria who want to pursue a tertiary education, while giving them the choice to stay close to their family, friends, and community.”

The University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell said the university is excited about working alongside the other tertiary-level partners institutions to bring more higher education opportunities to the region. 

“The quick work to find solutions to local education, training and workforce development challenges has spurred all the institutions involved and community into action,” Professor Maskell said.

“There is now a chance for the government to build on this solid base to elevate a thriving regional community by creating forums, events and information for families, young people and employers to understand workforce opportunities, ambitions and community-led research projects.”

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor Theo Farrell said the partnership would focus on boosting educational opportunities and attainment in the Goulburn Murray community.

“La Trobe University will expand on its established connections with the University of Melbourne and GOTAFE and we look forward to achieving our shared goals of building aspiration, alternative pathways to education and collaborative research opportunities,” Professor Farrell said.

GOTAFE Executive Director for Student Experience, Laura Baker said local students would benefit from the expansion of the already strong relationship between the higher education providers. 

“Students and our local community are already seeing the benefits of collaboration through events like our Taster Days, which invite local secondary school students to get a ‘taste’ of courses in different study areas at GOTAFE, the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University,” Ms Baker said.

“Our Grade 5 Aspiration Days and the commitment to the Academy of Sport Health and Education (ASHE) in Shepparton are further examples of how we’ve learnt to work incredibly well together in a way that’s adaptable to the needs of our students.”