Linda Nieuwenhuizen Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO

Whether it was by accident or design, Greater Shepparton’s compact footprint has created a city with the great bones and the potential for an exceptional future.

In the north is our health and care precinct with hospitals, aged care and concentration of allied health and medical services. To the east in our manufacturing precinct, home to iconic brands including Furphy, Pental and SPC and more than a quarter of our region’s manufacturing jobs that are key to our transport and logistics industry. In between is our education precinct with two universities, GOTAFE and our secondary college campus with its tech and trade facilities.

There are more industry and education facilities across the city but as Australia grapples with the challenges of securing and developing today and tomorrow’s workforce, our city’s bones are sending a signal. We have an advantage to explore new models of ‘learning and earning’, of micro-credentialing and in fostering genuine collaboration and exciting innovation between education and industries.

There are a few missing building blocks like a clinical school, maybe a food innovation hub and we need to upgrade tech and trades facilities. But filling in the gaps further underscores the unique education, research and innovation ecosystem we have on the doorstep of our CBD.

Add in our existing research facilities at the Smart Farm, Dookie and the University of Melbourne medical campus, and our renewable energy resources, and we have the fundamentals to lead the way in solving some of the world’s most pressing health, energy and food challenges. Our past may have been by accident, but our future is ours to design.