La Trobe University has welcomed the Federal Government’s appointment of a Regional Education Commissioner to advocate on behalf of the sector and improve access to tertiary education for regional, rural, and remote students.
Former Minister for Regional Development the Hon Fiona Nash has been appointed as the inaugural Regional Education Commissioner.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO congratulated Ms Nash on her new role.
“As the leading higher education provider in regional Victoria, La Trobe University is committed to creating pathways and opportunities for people living and working in rural and regional communities to pursue higher education,” Professor Dewar said.
“Fiona has always been fiercely passionate about regional development and making a difference in the lives of regional Australians.
“La Trobe looks forward to working constructively with Fiona in her new role to advance rural education pathways and attainment for young people across rural and regional communities.”
Ms Nash served as Senator for NSW between 2004-2017 and held the key regional portfolios as Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Regional Communications and Minister for Rural Health.
While in opposition she also held the portfolio of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education where she worked closely with the regional university sector and successfully advocated for changes to the independent youth allowance to give rural and regional students fairer and more equitable access.
Since leaving federal politics Ms Nash has worked in regional higher education in the role of Strategic Adviser, Regional Development at Charles Sturt University.
The Commissioner will monitor implementation of reforms from the Napthine Review and encourage increased participation in higher education across regional Australia.