I rise to make a statement on the Deakin University annual report 2008. At the
beginning of the reporting period the Deakin University council approved a new
strategic plan entitled ‘Delivering effective partnerships’, which will be in
place until 2012. From my experience with the university I could not think of a
more appropriate title to underscore the responsive, progressive, innovative and
relevant projects and programs Deakin University is undertaking in partnership
with a range of organisations, communities and the different levels of
government in Victoria and Australia.
Although a relatively young university, Deakin is well and
truly part of the nucleus that makes up this state. It is deeply entrenched in
the work to advance this state. It is responsive and understands the uniqueness
of Victoria. It is pivotal in providing first-class education for students.
It also homes in on the needs of rural and regional Victoria.
It has close connections with the business community, and it also conducts
first-class research at the international level.
Not only does it provide for students, businesses and research,
it provides a whole range of opportunities for this state through its projects
and programs. I would like to quote a passage from the introduction to
‘Delivering effective partnerships’ by the vice-chancellor, Professor Sally
- Deakin does not aim to compete with or to emulate other universities; its
focus is on developing its own distinctive position in the higher education
Deakin University recognises the important role it plays in
partnership with a range of organisations and communities to provide for a
It recognises and takes advantage of its many unique advantages
that help to provide for rural and regional Victoria and those who find it
difficult to access higher education in this state.
The obvious example is the Deakin medical school, which is a
partnership between the state and federal government as well as a number of
hospitals and clinical schools in Western Victoria Region. The medical school
was opened in the reporting period of this annual report. It has had a
subsequent intake of 120 first-year medical students. It provides very strong
links to rural and regional Victoria and the rest of the country. This will
address the severe shortages of doctors and surgeons in rural and regional
Only weeks ago I personally attended the first birthday of the
medical school, along with the Minister for Health, Daniel Andrews. I had the opportunity
to speak with students who relayed to me that they were thoroughly enjoying the
course and were really looking forward to hands-on training with rural and
regional general practitioners in western Victoria.
The basis of ‘Delivering effective partnerships’ is centred on
the premise that Deakin will best achieve its goals by working in partnership
with people and groups who are external to the university. This is evidenced by
the close engagement the university has with rural Victoria. In the reporting
period, Deakin also signed a joint memorandum of understanding with three TAFE
institutes, two of which are in regional Victoria.
The university also conducted research to assist in increasing
the satisfaction and retention of Deakin’s remote students.
It also undertook outreach activities at regional and rural
schools to encourage students to aspire to attend university, and it continues
to enrol the largest number of higher education indigenous students of any
university in this state.
It is of infinite worth to have a university such as Deakin
within the electorate, because it is progressive, it is visionary and it has
immensely valuable projects, programs and partnerships to further enhance this
great state of Victoria. I commend the report to the house.