Under a newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Brimbank Council and Victoria University have affirmed their commitment to work together to help improve local employment, education, learning, health, wellbeing and socio-economic opportunities for the Brimbank community and Melbourne’s West.
Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou said the MOU builds on and formalises an existing relationship, and will be leveraged as part of the COVID-19 recovery process, to take advantage of opportunities to strengthen and benefit the local community economically and socially
‘Council is extremely excited to be joining forces with Victoria University (VU) through this MOU, to align our combined learning networks, services, and efforts to achieve impact in uplifting the communities of Melbourne’s west.
‘The massive government investment in our region through projects such as the Sunshine Super Hub and Sunshine Priority Precinct, will solidify Brimbank as the capital of Melbourne’s west. They present huge potential opportunities around economic development, industry and innovation, jobs, skills and learning pathways.
‘We believe this MOU can be a game-changer for how a local council and higher education institution can engage to align local learning pathways from local neighbourhood houses, right through to higher qualifications. This MOU will help us reimagine how council and VU can partner to help improve local business, job, skill, health and wellbeing outcomes.
‘We have tremendous potential to work together across these, and other opportunities to improve local socio-economic outcomes, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Council has identified leveraging this VU MOU as a key component of its Recovery Strategy to COVID-19.
‘Under this MOU, our joint focus will be on improving economic and social outcomes for key communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities, young people and economically vulnerable communities.
‘The MOU is consistent with our Transforming Brimbank 2020 Agenda, which seeks to build strategic partnerships across the community to help advance the priorities of the Agenda, including the need for a new Business, Skills and Jobs Working Group, and the need to implement the Western Rail Response Strategy,’ Cr Papafotiou said.
VU’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Dawkins, said ‘We are incredibly proud to be a part of the communities in Melbourne’s west, which has been the home of VU for over 100 years. Our partnership with Brimbank City Council will create new opportunities to work with local industry and community organisations and expand access to vocational and higher education and training which will provide the knowledge and skills that underpin a vibrant local economy and a healthy community.
‘Our two campuses in Brimbank are becoming an integral part of the Brimbank community. Our Sunshine Campus is within the heart of the priority precinct, and is home to a new skills hub and our St Albans Campus is home to a new Cyber Security Centre, which neighbours with the Sunshine Hospital, the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and the St Albans Health and Wellbeing Hub.’
‘We are looking forward to embarking on this next chapter with the City of Brimbank. The signing of this MOU signifies an important step in our relationship that will see the link between us strengthen to the benefit of our community.’
Guided by the MOU, Council and VU will collaborate in a range of different areas, including development of the Sunshine Priority Precinct, research initiatives for community impact and benefit, learning, skills and economic development programs, and planning for the future St Albans Campus. The MOU will remain in place for an initial period of three years, with an option for renewal.