COMMUNITY leaders have come together this week to work through what a university in Tamworth should look like to best suit the city.
Plans for the University of New England's (UNE) proposed Tamworth campus are pushing ahead, and now local leaders have had their say to help design a tailor-made curriculum.
Tamworth Regional Council was represented at the two-day summit, and mayor Col Murray said the enthusiasm in the room was inspiring.
"We've got a very rare opportunity here where we're designing something from the ground up, so we've started with basically a clean slate ... and the responsibility rests with us to create something unique and very special and highly valued by the students of tomorrow," he told the Leader.
Leaders representing different aspects of the community were invited to take part in forming the next stage of the university plan, during a summit hosted by the UNE and the Tamworth University Strategic Working Group on Monday and Tuesday.
Cr Murray said members of the Aboriginal community as well as leaders in local industry went to the summit.
"It's been a really good strategic planning session ... I think we're really starting to get to the pointy end of the discussion now," he said.
The UNE's director of strategic research initiatives Professor David Miron said the summit was essential to bringing the best education possible to Tamworth.
"The focus of this is very much on community and industry, so if we don't engage with the community and the industry in Tamworth, it won't be successful," he said.
"This is about really listening to Tamworth, listening to the region, and understanding what their needs and what their gaps are in terms of education and training."
On the packed agenda over the two days, the summit heard from sectors like sports, technology, education, health, creative arts and tourism, Aboriginal culture, manufacturing and aviation.
Professor Miron said the UNE is taking on a unique approach, planning for a possible central campus in the city as well as a smattering of smaller centres in the heart of local industry.
Professor Miron said the UNE will take information gathered at the summit and in workshops over the past six weeks on board, to build a plan to present to the community by August 21.
And if the "energy" of this week's summit is anything to go by, he's excited to push on.
"It's been absolutely awesome, it's just such a great group," he said. "Tamworth is such an energetic city and there's so much goodwill ... it's an absolute privilege to be here in this community and be making this happen."
The story Community leaders do homework to design 'unique' uni plan first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.