Launching Charles Sturt University Week in the NSW Parliament
last night The Hon. Morris Iemma, Premier of NSW noted “Charles Sturt University (CSU) is a story of incredible progress and success … [it has the] reputation as the great inland University, a reputation second to none”.
The Premier paid homage to the history of CSU and its predecessor institutions, noting that CSU had a history dating to the establishment of the Bathurst Experimental Farm and the Wagga Wagga Experimental Farm in 1895.
Mr Iemma said that “…a lot has changed in education and 1895 is long gone…”. He noted, however, the ongoing strength of CSU’s commitment to delivering education that meets high national standards to inland NSW.
“CSU is a university that believes very much in supporting inland communities … it is not waiting for it to be done by the big metropolitan universities, its doing it itself… This is just one example of a university of the future – a university founded on innovation,” he said.
CSU is “providing a secure economy for inland NSW. It has the people, the track record and the commitment for a secure and sustainable future. It should get the respect and attention it so richly deserves.”
Responding to the Premier, the Vice-Chancellor and President of CSU, Professor Ian Goulter, argued that inland communities are entitled to have access to a nationally recognised standard of education and research in their own backyards.
“Our communities do not need access to a broad professional education program because there is something different about our needs and aspirations, but rather because there is nothing different about our needs and aspirations to metropolitan communities,” Professor Goulter said.
“CSU delivers education and research in [its areas of strength], not simply because we believe that inland communities deserve the opportunity to study and research these issues locally, but because we are simply one of the best universities in Australia in these academic fields.”
The official reception in the Stranger’s Lounge at Parliament House was attended by over one hundred guests including the Minister for Fair Trading, Ms Linda Burney, MP, the Minister for Community Services, Mr Kevin Green, MP, the Member for Albury, Mr Greg Aplin, MP, Member for Bathurst, Mr Gerard Martin, MP, Member for Dubbo, Mrs Dawn Fardell, MP, and Member for Wagga Wagga, Mr Daryl Maguire, MP, alongside a range of other members of Parliament, director generals of Government departments, members of the CSU Council, major donors and CSU supporters and members of CSU’s senior staff.
The Premier also opened The Inland Portrait – A Photographic Exhibition. The exhibition showcases the work of senior photography students from CSU’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. The exhibition tells the story of CSU and its role in the lives of our inland communities through the eyes and words of CSU students. The exhibition will be displayed in the Fountain Foyer of the NSW Parliament House until 24 April. Entry is free to the public.
CSU Week is being held between 31 March and 4 April 2008. The NSW Parliament will host a public lecture today, 1 April at 5pm by The Reverend Professor James Haire from CSU’s Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACCC) on the topic ‘Islam and Christianity: can the two live in peace?’.