Northern Australia is set to benefit from the combined academic and research powers of its three major universities, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the Northern Australia Universities Alliance (NAUA).
Under the newly signed MoU, Charles Darwin University (CDU), Central Queensland University (CQUniversity) and James Cook University (JCU) will partner on projects that support the social, environmental and economic development of Northern Australia.
The three universities will seek joint funding opportunities, share knowledge, deliver integrated education and training courses, and work on research projects that benefit agriculture, regional health, water security, renewable energy, and indigenous leadership outcomes in the north.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said the partnership between the three universities would explore and progress strategic opportunities to significantly benefit Northern Australia.
“We know that there is real benefit in working together with other universities in the north to deliver positive impact for Northern Australian communities,” Professor Bowman said.
“By creating a collaborative alliance, we can achieve our vision of being Australia’s most connected University and making a difference in communities in the Northern Territory and Australia’s north.”
As a part of the NAUA, a Northern Australian workforce strategy will be developed to address labour market needs across the north in health, social services, education, agriculture, mining, renewable energy, the environment, disaster resilience, tourism, and digital capabilities.
JCU Vice-Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the new alliance will harness the collective knowledge of all three universities to benefit Northern Australia into the future.
“Our aspiration is to grow and deploy our collective strengths, expertise and presence to develop and retain the skills and capabilities of industry and community across Northern Australia,” Professor Harding said.
“Being based in the north, all three universities share both the context and operating challenges that are unique to Northern Australia to deliver for these communities for years to come.”
CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp said the partnership was a strong example of institutions working together for the future of Northern Australia.
“Northern Australia possesses agricultural, mineral, cultural and environmental riches that are the envy of the rest of the country. It’s time that we put our combined academic and research expertise behind Northern Australia to really supercharge its potential for growth and development.
“We’re confident that Northern Australia will go from strength-to-strength over the coming years as a result of this collaboration,” Professor Klomp said.