Impactful research highlighted during Minister visit to Albury-Wodonga

10 MARCH 2022

Impactful research highlighted during Minister visit to Albury-Wodonga

Minister Alister Henskens visited Charles Sturt in Albury-Wodonga for a round table discussion, tour of the University's facilities and to hear about research that is making a difference.

  • Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology and Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens visits Charles Sturt in Albury-Wodonga
  • The Minister toured the facilities and participated in a round table discussion with key businesses in the region
  • The focus was on addressing the region’s skills shortage and growth opportunities for the community

The Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology and Minister for Skills and Training the Hon. Alister Henskens MP visited Charles Sturt University in Albury-Wodonga to discuss skills shortages and growth opportunities in the region.

Charles Sturt hosted Mr Alister Henskens on Wednesday 9 March, where he participated in a business round table facilitated by the University and Business NSW. Member for Albury Mr Justin Clancy MP dialled into the event virtually after being unable to attend in person.

The round table featured 25 key businesses, including TransGrid, Snowy Hydro and Millspec, to talk about the skills shortage and discuss opportunities in the region.

Mr Henksens then toured the University’s Aquatic Laboratory and met with leading researchers and PhD students to discuss topics including fisheries, environmental water, sustainable groundwater, wetland health, river management, regional manufacturing, hydropower technology and bushfire recovery.

Charles Sturt is conducting impactful research in the areas of agriculture, water and environment through the Gulbali Institute of Agriculture, Water and Environment and the $3.6 million Next Generation Water Engineering and River Management Hub.

The University is also shortlisted to receive a share of the $242.7 million Trailblazer Universities Program, which will further strengthen its ability to contribute to research and education to benefit communities, staff and students.

Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor Professor Renée Leon said the visit is an opportunity for the University to showcase the way it is making a difference to the world we live in.

“The research conducted by Charles Sturt University is striving to improve the environment, our economy and the lives of the people in our communities and beyond,” she said.

“The University has benefited from numerous initiatives and funding that is enabling it to achieve these research goals.

“This visit by Minister Alister Henskens and appearance by Mr Justin Clancy strengthens our connections with local and state government, which have both been crucial in working with the University to ensure community needs are met.”

Mr Henskens thanked Member for Albury Mr Justin Clancy MP for urging him to visit Charles Sturt University to see first-hand its world-leading research projects that are investigating ways to improve the Albury-Wodonga region and the state more broadly.

“Charles Sturt University’s Thurgoona campus is a vibrant regional centre, which boasts impressive research strength across diverse areas, including native fish breeding facilities, fish screen testing and bushfire recovery initiatives,” Mr Henskens said.

“The Freshwater Centre at Charles Sturt’s Thurgoona campus, in collaboration with industry, has developed innovative technologies to keep native fish in rivers and out of irrigation pumps and canals. These technologies have brought about many tangible benefits for our waterways and the health of our regional communities.

“A recent example of this was the important research undertaken by Associate Professor Melanie Massaro, who studied the impact of successful rodent eradication on native birds.”

Mr Clancy said the visit was a way to bring to attention the opportunities for growth and collaboration in the Albury-Wodonga region through the University, government and its partnerships.

“I invited Alister Henskens, Minister for Skills and Training, and Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology, to come to Albury and visit Charles Sturt University to hear about the opportunities that exist for manufacturing and innovation in regional communities, and the importance of educational pathways in regions, including TAFE and university,” Mr Clancy said.

“In Albury, we highly value having a strong TAFE campus and Charles Sturt as our local university. Both of these institutions are committed to preparing Albury’s school leavers for rewarding careers here and around the world.”

Business NSW Regional Manager Riverina-Murray Mr Anthony McFarlane said the Riverina and Murray regions are on the cusp of a new era of infrastructure, with projects in energy, rail, water, agri-tech and defence.

“Business NSW has been working with businesses and government to better match-make current and future skills needs of businesses to make sure we can capture the opportunity and grow the skills of tomorrow,” he said.

“Sessions like the roundtable with the Hon. Alister Henskens are important for businesses in co-designing the tertiary offerings of the future.”

Media Note:

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or

The Gulbali Institute of Agriculture, Water and Environment is a strategic investment by Charles Sturt University to drive integrated research to optimise farming systems, enhance freshwater ecosystems and improve environmental management, to deliver benefits across Australia and globally.

Photo caption: Charles Sturt Acting Strategic Advisor, Government Relations and Regional Engagement Ms Samantha Beresford, Minister Alister Henskens and Charles Sturt Interim Academic Director of the Gulbali Institute Professor Lee Baumgartner. Photo by Hayley K Photography 

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