Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Assistant Minister for Education Victor Dominello today officially opened a new multi-million dollar Aboriginal Learning Centre at TAFE Western Institute, the single largest provider of vocational education and training for Aboriginal people in Australia.
Mr Dominello was joined by Member for Orange Andrew Gee at the unveiling of the Winhanganha Aboriginal Learning Centre at the March Street Campus in Orange.
“The NSW Government is proud to invest $3.9 million to build this first-class vocational educational facility which will enable the TAFE Western Institute to grow its current enrolment of 7,000 Aboriginal students.
“We want to encourage more young Aboriginal people to learn a trade or obtain a vocational qualification at TAFE and this learning centre will offer students the resources and equipment they need to get skills they require to find employment.
“With state-of-the-art technology, including videoconferencing, its impact will extend well beyond Orange by offering vocational education opportunities to students across western NSW, including some of the region’s most remote Aboriginal communities,” Mr Dominello said.
“Winhanganha is a Wiradjuri word which means ‘to know, think and remember’.
“The name is apt because the centre will be a hub for the transfer of knowledge and skills, particularly in health and children’s services, creating a benefit not just for individual graduates but also the broader Aboriginal population across Western NSW.”
Member for Orange Andrew Gee said the NSW Government’s investment in TAFE Western Institute reflected its strong performance in vocational education and training.
“Today’s opening is a proud day for TAFE Western and an important milestone in the development of the educational infrastructure that young people in our region need to get the jobs of the 21st century.
“The learning centre has been fully funded by the NSW Government and will feature clinical health facilities, extra nursing resources, student learning spaces, interview rooms as well as multi-purpose rooms for students and local community groups,” Mr Gee said.
TAFE Western manages 24 colleges and enrols more than 37,000 students each year and offers expertise across construction, mining, healthcare, primary industry and information technology, among others.
Last year TAFE Western’s Orange College had over 10,276 enrolments.