New CDU Nhulunbuy facility to lift remote education

New CDU Nhulunbuy facility to lift remote education

Charles Darwin University (CDU) has expanded its Northern Territory-wide presence with the purchase of a new facility in Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula in East Arnhem Land.

The Top End facility is earmarked for a CDU learning hub that will increase access to education and training for the people of Nhulunbuy and support nearby communities in the wider region.

The commercial property, purchased in January 2023, will be used for the University’s vocational education and training (VET) and higher education programs.

Once refurbished it will feature a student training facility with a workshop, a 24-hour study area and an administrative centre including student services and staff offices.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said investment in the Nhulunbuy site demonstrates CDU’s long-term commitment to the region and reinforces its position as the University of Northern Australia.

“The new facility will help Charles Darwin University train and educate more remote Territorians – helping them gain the knowledge, skills and experience they need to thrive in their local communities,” Professor Bowman said.

“It will also help define Nhulunbuy as a destination for quality education and training and position the Gove Peninsula as a centre of educational excellence.”

This vision is shared by the Gove Peninsula Traditional Owners who see Nhulunbuy as the service hub for the region and are seeking to lift education and training services on the Peninsula to benefit the wider East Arnhem Land region.

To this end, CDU’s investment coincides with the Northern Territory Government’s move to change the classification of the Gove Peninsula, including Nhulunbuy, from regional to remote on January 1.

The new remote classification, proposed by CDU in December, means Gove Peninsula residents are now supported by a remote funding structure that increases NT Government subsidies for delivery of VET courses.

The classification change has seen funding for course delivery for Registered Training Organisations such as CDU increased from 15 to 70 per cent of the industry rate.

CDU Associate Vice-Chancellor for the East Arnhem Region Alice Doyle said the remote classification has important implications for access to education and training in Nhulunbuy.

“The new funding structure improves the feasibility of training delivery and, in turn, makes CDU VET programs more accessible for Gove Peninsula students,” Mrs Doyle said.

“More affordable training underpinning the range of short course and qualifications that CDU offers to Gove Peninsula residents also helps the University deliver on national Closing the Gap objectives to benefit First Nations people.”

Mrs Doyle said development and maintenance of the CDU site will provide a boost for local industry in creating jobs and the facility will receive an Indigenous name to be chosen in consultation with Traditional Owners.