Myer Family endows Flinders Chair in Rural Education

Flinders University aims to address inequalities in educational opportunities for rural and remotely located young Australians with the backing of a $1 million grant from Myer Family Philanthropy’s 2009 Commemorative Grants Program that will establish a new Chair in Rural Education and Communities.

The new position will commence in the School of Education in 2009, and will further enhance the University’s strong reputation in the field of rural education.

The Baillieu Myer Chair in Rural Education and Communities will focus on teaching and research designed to improve access to high quality, relevant and affordable education for people who live in rural Australia. It is the first time the University has established an endowed chair in the field.

“This is a significant acknowledgement of the importance of rural education and communities to Australia’s sustainability,” Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, said.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities, Law and Theology at Flinders, Professor Faith Trent, said she expected the Chair to have a significant and enduring impact.

“We envisage there will be increased retention of students, particularly boys, in rural schools and Vocational Educational Training, together with increased retention of teachers and health professionals in rural and remote locations,” Professor Trent said.

Selection of an incumbent will follow a national and international search.

Flinders was one of only two Australian higher education institutions to receive funding from the 2009 Commemorative Grants Program, which marks the 75th anniversary of the Sidney Myer Fund and 50 years of The Myer Foundation.

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0 thoughts on “Myer Family endows Flinders Chair in Rural Education

  1. Congratulations to all those involved in this excellent initiative – would like more information (executive summary?)
    Interested in link with Federal Government’s regional development and education initiatives but especially state links via regional development board framework (DTED) and Regional Communities Consultative Council (advises Minister), SA Works in the Regions (DFEEST), TAFE Regional Institute.
    Would like to collaborate in regional profile development and engagement with regions
    Access and Retention agendas / Uni initiatives across teaching, research and community engagement, crossing boundaries?
    Professional Development links eg, Australian College of Education, Adult Learning Australia

  2. I agree with David, great to secure such a creditable grant. However, there is a major lack of information (even about why it was successful) and no links to anything or anyone, so we are somewhat in the dark. Surely the Chair itself (as I understand, it’s a teaching/research position) is not ‘the’ strategy to retain rural studentship and keep people in regional communities, there must be unique, research-based multi-level initiatives to achieve these very worthy goals? Do these include some community engagement strategies involving say Flinders staff or students with local communities e.g. extending the successful Inspire Mentoring program to at-risk regional communities? Could the info contained in the application to the Myer Family Program be included in the article or link to an informative webpage about the program? This would benefit others at the University (such as Science Education Centre, Careers & Employment Liaison among others) and outside that would like to engage and support the Chair/purpose. As a colleague remarked to me recently, horizontal integration would be very useful at Flinders.

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