- Trio salutes 30 years of technological, organisational and operational change at Charles Sturt University
- University attracts diverse people to work and study in Bathurst, which boosts the economy and cultural life of the city and region
- Charles Sturt provides challenging and rewarding careers, flexibility to create work and home-life balance, and colleagues become lifelong friends
As Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) celebrates its 30th anniversary, a handful of staff at the University in Bathurst and Wagga Wagga are also celebrating three decades or more with the institution.
Ms Gina Davis, Ms Diane Fletcher, and Mr Antony Dusselaar can claim the best part of a combined century working at the University in Bathurst.
Charles Sturt Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann (on right in photo) congratulated the staff members, noting, “As I’ve said before, Vice-Chancellors come and go but it is our long-serving staff members who help to link the University to our communities and drive it forward in the tertiary education sector.
"We are really fortunate to have staff who love the University and the work that it does.
“I congratulate Gina, Diane and Anthony, and thank them for their service and contribution to the University.
“By their insightful, inclusive, and impactful contribution, they, and many other long-serving staff, have helped to inspire our students and graduates to create a world worth living in.”
Commonalities: technology and change
The three staff all cite the impact of technology as the most significant feature of their time at Charles Sturt.
Ms Davis (centre in photo), a solutions analyst in the Charles Sturt Division of Student Administration for the past six years, said, “Undoubtedly the biggest change I have seen in the past 30 years is the growth of the internet and technology as a whole, which has drastically changed the way we work and the way students study.
“In 1989 most of our administrative processes were manual paper-based and there were very few personal computers, mobile phones or laptops – a very different environment to what we work in now.”
“Charles Sturt University has managed to remain current in an ever-changing tertiary environment, expanding into the global market, and continuing to produce high quality, sought-after graduates.”
Senior client support officer (networks) in the Division of Information Technology (DIT) Mr Dusselaar (on left in photo) commenced at Charles Sturt in Bathurst in 1989 and has been employed here ever since.
“I think the biggest change I’ve seen in my time with the University is the transition to Charles Sturt’s online presence and the change to teaching that the internet has brought,” he said.
Ms Fletcher, workplace learning officer in the Faculty of Arts and Education Workplace Learning Team, said, “The University has developed and changed a great deal in the 30 years I have been working here.
“I have seen enormous changes in the workplace learning area, and am proud of the developments that have occurred and what we can offer students and external stakeholders.”
Economic and cultural impact
Another point the trio agree on is the significant impact the University has for the economy and cultural life of Bathurst.
“I believe it is very important to the Bathurst community to have a major regional university located here because it is such a major employer in the area,” Ms Fletcher said.
Mr Dusselaar agreed; “The University is very important to Bathurst as it is a major employer and financial contributor to the local economy.
“And with thousands of students coming to Charles Sturt in Bathurst, the purchase of food, goods and services within the district by those students contributes greatly to the economy and success of Bathurst.”
Ms Davis is even more emphatic.
“Charles Sturt University is vital to keeping Bathurst young and vibrant, by attracting a great diversity of people to our region, both to work and study, which in turn encourages our community to grow and flourish,” she said.
Each of the three long-serving staff have progressed through a range of roles in their time at Charles Sturt in Bathurst.
Ms Fletcher said the University has played an enormous part in her life. She is proud of what has been achieved and is very grateful for the career it has given her.
“I started at the University in March 1989 in what was then Student Administration, moved to the Examinations Office in April 1991, and then the Practicum Office in the School of Teacher Education in January 1993,” she said.
“My favourite role has definitely been my current role, working in the Workplace Learning Team in the Faculty of Arts and Education, which replaced the Practicum Office.
“I have lived and breathed workplace learning and am passionate about it, and I believe it is an enormous achievement to offer such diverse courses and for our students to be so employable when they complete their courses.
“I want students to have the best professional experiences possible and I want to make a difference to their time at university and their future careers.
“It is wonderful to see students gain teaching positions, and there is nothing better than having current teachers advise me that they like to support Charles Sturt University.
“They readily accept our students for professional experience placements because they too completed their course here and they think our graduates are well prepared.”
Ms Davis started her relationship with Charles Sturt University firstly as a student, then as an employee, and was formerly an analyst/programmer in the Charles Sturt DIT.
“The University has been a wonderful employer, providing a challenging and rewarding career as well as the flexibility to create a positive work/home life balance, with many colleagues over the years becoming lifelong friends.” Mr Dusselaar said, “A very large part of my life has revolved around the University in Bathurst, as my father was employed here from the early 1970s until he retired in 1999, and we overlapped for 10 years.”