Friday, July 8, 2022

UNE and Council unite to create Armidale ‘Learning Region’

Leaders from Armidale Regional Council (ARC) and the University of New England (UNE) have formalised a commitment to work together to develop Armidale and the region as a ’Learning Region’. 

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) demonstrates the commitment to a long term partnership to achieve mutually beneficial goals, Council said in a statement.

At a recent meeting between executives including the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice- Chancellor, UNE presented initiatives underway as a part of their 10-year Future Fit strategy, which links directly with the wider Armidale agenda and compliments core UNE goals, while ARC executive presented a forward plan and growth initiatives. 

UNE Vice Chancellor, Professor Brigid Heywood said the MOU with Council heralds a new era of cooperation and collaboration between UNE and ARC to drive the success of Armidale.

“The agreement between UNE and ARC demonstrates our intention to support each other in our strategic endeavours. It will empower the Armidale regional community by keeping its best interest at the forefront of key activities undertaken to advance the region and develop the city,” she said.

“UNE and ARC have recently demonstrated what can be achieved through our collaboration with the creation of NOVA in the Armidale CBD at the old library site. The building was made available by ARC and renovated with a $1M investment by UNE. It now hosts inclusive co-working space for community, business, organisations, groups and individuals.

“I look forward to working more closely with ARC as the potential of our two organisations is developed. A working group with meet every six weeks to monitor the progress of the MOU and look for opportunities for collaboration.”

General Manager of Armidale Regional Council, James Roncon said solid and enduring relationships amongst influencer organisations were critical to the future of the Armidale Region. 

“Being able to engage and collaborate on the key initiatives that align our respective organisations makes perfect sense; where the alignment is not there, we simply support one another’s endeavours.”

“In my view this is exactly what our community would expect us to do for the betterment of the region,” Mr Roncon said.

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