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Uni launches first Newcastle APS Academy Campus


The University of Newcastle (UoN) achieved another first this week, launching its maiden Australian Public Service (APS) Academy Campus.

It’s a major step forward for the federal civic agency as it demonstrates its commitment to reaching talent outside of Canberra.

Minister for Finance, Women and the Public Service Katy Gallagher made the trip to the Hunter to tour the facilities at Callaghan, alongside APS Commissioner Dr Gordon de Brouwer, Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO and the heads of the APS Data and Digital Professions Dr David Gruen and Chris Fechner.

The group met with program participants, which provided them with an opportunity to acknowledge the innovative partnership between the university and the Australian Public Service.

“We are delighted to be celebrating the launch of this campus and welcoming our new colleagues to the APS,” Dr de Brouwer said.

“These talented individuals will be supported by the APS Data and Digital Professions to build meaningful and rewarding APS careers as they shape a better data and digital future.”

The UoN precinct is the first of three APS Academy Campuses under the Australian Government’s pilot policy initiative to address data and digital skills shortages in the organisation.

It will offer those looking for a career change and students in the Hunter region the chance to join the APS.  

Professor Zelinsky recognised that the important alliance between the uni and the APS would provide meaningful experience and career opportunities for pupils.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the APS on such a ground-breaking affiliation, bringing together the government and tertiary sectors,” he said.

“By combining and focusing our efforts, we amplify the benefits for the UoN and its students, and the broader Newcastle community.

“For our pupils, it provides them with hands-on practical skills that will mean they are more employable and have the opportunity to build connections within their chosen field.”

Mr Fechner agreed.

“The APS Academy Campuses will support the pipeline of data and digital talent into the APS,” the CEO of the Digital Transformation Agency and head of the Digital Profession said.

“This builds on the suite of existing data and digital programs in place across the APS.

“And, it is supported by the APS Data and Digital Professions.

“Working together, our professions are supporting the APS to address the existing skills shortages facing the Australian Government and community and investing in the future of the APS.”

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