Investing in future workforce

DESCRIBED as an investment in the future New England health workforce, the University of Newcastle’s multi-million dollar Tamworth Education Centre was officially opened yesterday. 

The $19.4 million centre, located in Johnston St, is home to the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health (UoNDRH), providing laboratory, tutorial and study facilities for students in nursing, medicine and a range of allied health degrees including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition and dietetics, social work, speech therapy and medical radiation science.

The centre, built with federal funding assistance, was opened by Senator John Williams and University of Newcastle vice-chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen. 

Professor McMillen said the Tamworth Education Centre was an investment in the future New England health workforce, providing a technology-rich learning environment for tomorrow’s health professionals.

EDUCATION HOUSE: The new $19.4 million centre is a prominent landmark in Tamworth’s education landscape.  Photos: Geoff O’Neill 090514GOA03

EDUCATION HOUSE: The new $19.4 million centre is a prominent landmark in Tamworth’s education landscape. Photos: Geoff O’Neill 090514GOA03

She said the new building included high definition video-conferencing and tele-health capabilities to connect university staff and students with other campuses and partners across the world. 

“The education centre also increases UoN’s capacity to enhance its support for clinical placements, with an upgrade to existing UoNDRH facilities at the Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital and additional on-site accommodation for more than 50 students,” Professor McMillen said.

“Clinical placements are a core component of our world-class health education degree programs, providing the opportunity for students to put the valuable theory they have learned in the classroom into real world practice. 

“Last year, some 500 UoN students completed a clinical placement in the Tamworth region.” 

Professor McMillen said the refurbishment of facilities at the hospital included an extended clinical skills laboratory, tutorial rooms and a student hub area.

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