A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Noosa Council and the University of the Sunshine Coast is set to pave the way for new education, research and on-the-job training opportunities.
Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart said the MoU would formalise Council’s strong working relationship with the university.
“We’re excited to strengthen our ties and work more closely to develop new opportunities for our community, the university’s students, Council projects and staff,” she said.
USC Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett said USC is committed to building strong partnerships with local government, community and business and she is confident that this agreement will lead to a range of significant outcomes for the region.
“Together we will seek to identify, promote and deliver research projects and activities that progress the economic, social and environmental development of the Noosa Council region,” Professor Bartlett said.
“This agreement presents great opportunities to assist local industries including tourism, provide work-integrated learning for our students, and contribute to important environmental initiatives.
“I am delighted to see this agreement come to fruition and look forward to establishing a close working relationship with the Council into the future.”
Councillor representation on a management panel will rotate annually, starting with Cr Karen Finzel for the first 12 months.
Cr Finzel said research projects involving PhD and other USC students to support Council initiatives, are among potential opportunities to be explored.
“This partnership may open up new professional development avenues for staff, as well as new educational opportunities for Noosa residents,” she said.
Cr Finzel said the partnership could provide new avenues for students to gain real-world work experience with Council business areas to help them graduate industry-ready.
The MoU will establish a working group of USC and Council staff to identify projects the two organisations can work together on.
“We may be able to link innovative businesses in the region with USC researchers to develop new products and services – there are all sorts of possibilities we can jointly explore,” Mayor Stewart said.
“The University of the Sunshine Coast is our major university. In addition to its campus at Sippy Downs, USC has maintained a physical presence in Noosa for almost 15 years.
“We’re pleased to formalise our working relationship with this Memorandum of Understanding,” the Mayor said.