Taree Universities Campus chief executive Donna Ballard said courses available from next year will cater to the needs of local students

New role: Donna Ballard has started work as TUC chief executive. She envisions
New role: Donna Ballard has started work as TUC chief executive. She envisions "a vibrant and energetic space full of colour and people, full of exciting things and a place people want to come to." Photo: Scott Calvin.

We hope we can provide the education to get those skills so people stay here and we build up our workforce, employment opportunities and economic growth

Donna Ballard

Newly appointed Taree Universities Campus (TUC) chief executive Donna Ballard said courses will embody the needs of the Mid Coast.

The campus will offer courses in businesses, health, social sciences and agribusiness from early next year.

Mrs Ballard said businesses were surveyed by the campus board to determine what areas of study needed to be covered.

"We hope we can provide the education to get those skills so people stay here and we build up our workforce, employment opportunities and economic growth," Mrs Ballard said.

Mrs Ballard, from Wingham, recently started work in her new role.

She was selected from a strong field of candidates from across Australia. The board felt Mrs Ballard had the best attributes for the position.

With a bachelor of business with a double major in marketing and management, an associate diploma in accounting at the Taree TAFE campus and jobs as an accountant, finance manager, marketing manager and business manager, she is more than qualified for the position.

"I feel very connected to this area and that's going to help me immensely in trying to deliver what this wonderful board has in mind," Mrs Ballard said.

More recently, Mrs Ballard is recognised as Wingham Akoostik Festival founder and coordinator alongside her husband Kevin.

Mrs Ballard with Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie and board members at the recent announcement.

Mrs Ballard with Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie and board members at the recent announcement.

She said the campus will not be a competitor to other learning centres and programs in the Manning.

"We want to work collaboratively with other campuses already here in Taree," Mrs Ballard said.

"We're in for collaborating and developing and putting another layer on things, not competing against anything already existing in the market."

Meanwhile, campus acting chair Dr Alison McIntosh said the project continues to be supported by the community. Many locals will be called on as tutors across a variety of disciplines such as business, engineering and health.

"Local industry and businesses are going to be so crucial," Dr McIntosh said.