E-news Issue 4
Monday, 07 June 2021
Charles Darwin University
CDU has appointed a new Associate Vice-Chancellor of Charles Darwin University in Alice Springs Jennes “Jay” Walker.
CDU has appointed a new Associate Vice-Chancellor of Charles Darwin University in Alice Springs Jennes “Jay” Walker.

CDU appoints associate VC in Alice Springs

A long-term Territorian with strong links to industry, government and the business sector has been appointed as Associate Vice-Chancellor of Charles Darwin University in Alice Springs.

Jennes “Jay” Walker, whose family connections with the Territory’s pastoral and tourism industries date back more than 30 years, began as Director of Regional Engagement and Development in 2018 before being appointed this week.

This is the first time that CDU has appointed an Associate Vice-Chancellor in Alice Springs.

“This is the first time ever this role has been around, which demonstrates the university’s knowledge and understanding of a place-based approach and that every region and geographical area of the Territory is different, with different people and needs,” Mr Walker said.

Mr Walker said he would focus on bringing campus life back to Alice Springs and introducing higher education offerings on site to ensure Territorians have an opportunity to stay in Alice Springs to study, as currently the only options are to study online or to travel.

“If you want to stay in Alice Springs to study, you should be able to do so. We want to reignite Central Australia and embed ourselves in the community as much as possible,” he said.

“We have advocated strongly to ensure that the regions are looked after and protected, and this is a step in the right direction.”

Mr Walker said CDU Alice Springs would look at expanding its short and evening course offerings with a focus on VET in areas such as art, creative industry, business, and trade skill sets.

He said that continuing to integrate Indigenous communities and educators into the education offerings at CDU Alice Springs would be key.

“We need to ensure Indigenous Territorians are recognised for the role they play in our community and ensuring that is incorporated into our training and delivery.

“Our staff have a detailed cultural understanding of the place and people, many have Indigenous backgrounds and experience and are a key part of the community’s fabric.”

CDU has also appointed a new regional Operations Manager its Alice Springs campus, long-term Alice Spring’s resident Jodie Summers, who has lived in Alice Springs for more than 20 years since 1997.

Jodie is highly connected within the local community and was the former business manager for the Desert Knowledge Precinct and Head of Governance at Alice Springs Town Council.

“My aim is to ensure the regional rebuild for CDU to take back ownership of the Central Australia region as the Territory’s preferred VET and higher education provider,” Ms Summers said.