Joan van Lieshout
Joan van Lieshout

New MoU strengthens ties

THE long-standing relationship between Tweed Shire Council and Southern Cross University was strengthened yesterday, when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by both organisations.

Tweed Shire Mayor Joan van Lieshout and SCU Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark put their signatures on the document at the university's Brett Street campus yesterday afternoon.

The agreement will lead to increased opportunities for activities including arts and cultural projects, research and professional development programs.

Representatives from both organisations gathered as the pair put pen to paper to formalise the university and council alliance.

The MoU has allowed a working party to be established that will work on the joint projects that will come from the relationship.

Prof Clark said the relationship between SCU and the Council began back in 2001, when land for the Brett Street campus was purchased.

“We have worked closely with the Tweed Shire Council for a number of years and are pleased that this new agreement formalises those ties,” Professor Clark said.

“We are looking at a range of activities that will provide benefits for the Council, the University and the wider community.”

Cr van Lieshout, welcomed the agreement.

“On behalf of Tweed Shire Council, I warmly welcome this Memorandum of Understanding with Southern Cross University as it marks a new era of co-operation and communication between two large and vital organisations which are so important to the future growth and prosperity of the Tweed,” Cr van Lieshout said.

She said the construction of new SCU campuses on the border made her especially excited about the MoU. The new campuses brought the skills the shire needed to the area and allowed local children to stay on the Tweed to obtain further education after school.

“This collaboration will encourage the growth of mutually beneficial connections between Council and SCU and encourage an open exchange of information and expertise which will be of greater benefit to the Tweed community.”

Professor Clark will retire at the end of August and in a recently presented farewell speech titled A Vision For Our Region, he told the audience a university played an important role in the community - especially in regional areas.

The signing of the MoU comes after he urged the Tweed to get all the benefits from the university it could.

“It can be the difference between a small business moving to town because there is a university here,” he said last month.

MoU projects • Aged services initiative • University student work placement and scholarships at the Council • Involvement of SCU students in tourism and business promotions like National Landscapes • Development of Council staff

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