Uni Hub Spencer Gulf has a new face at the helm with the appointment of Brenton Vanstone as chairperson.
Mr Vanstone was announced as the new chairperson after Dr Jen Cleary stepped down from the position at the recent annual general meeting.
Mr Vanstone brings to the position a wealth of experience and knowledge, having 19 years experience as a councillor in local government - six of those spent as mayor of Port Pirie Regional Council.
He has also held positions such as chair of the Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group (Spencer Gulf Cities), deputy chair of the Provincial Cities Association and as the current deputy chair of Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North.
Mr Vanstone was also involved in the initial development phase of Uni Hub Spencer Gulf through his involvement with Spencer Gulf Cities and for the past 12 months has been deputy chair of the Uni Hub Spencer Gulf board.
Mr Vanstone acknowledged and thanked Dr Cleary for her work with Uni Hub Spencer Gulf, particularly in the early stages when the idea of a community owned tertiary education centre for the region was still being developed.
"I commenced the initial journey with her all those years ago as my role as chair of the Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group," he said.
"Jen was actively involved in developing the model for the Uni Hub after visiting the Geralton University Centre in Western Australia."
Mr Vanstone said Uni Hub Spencer Gulf now had more than 70 students with strong support for Port Augusta's opening next year.
"Port Augusta has eagerly embraced the idea of having tertiary education delivery in their city. In particular, Port Augusta City Council and Business Port Augusta have been strong advocates," he said.
Mr Vanstone said the Uni Hub model has been of interest to other regions who are keen to establish a stronger university presence in their area.
The Hub is now one step closer to having a university-level accredited clinical learning space in the region.
"There has been increasing interest in establishing a clinical learning space at the Port Pirie Regional Health Service which will not only benefit nursing students, but potentially broader allied health education delivery as well," Mr Vanstone said.
"This will be really important if we are serious about growing the skilled workforce in the region."
"We have received tremendous support from the Port Pirie and Port Augusta communities. It is also important that we continue to build our relationships with local, State and Federal governments to ensure the Uni Hub can continue to grow and expand the opportunities to deliver first-class university education and a skilled workforce in our region."