The sun was out for the first time in over week as celebrations marking Taree Universities Campus's first anniversary commenced at Taree's riverbank.
On Thursday, December 9 it was one year since Taree Universities Campus (TUC) opened its doors to the wider community.
Representatives from universities attended the event, as well as students both current and aspiring, to hear the different education experiences of members of the TUC community.
Addressing the crowd, TUC board member and Birpiri Elder Russell Saunders shared his journey from not being able to read or write, to now working in schools across the State.
Uncle Russell recalled his first day in a classroom being "so nervous," never thinking he would be where he is today.
"The boy who couldn't read or write, he is now on the board of the (Taree's) Universities Campus," he said.
Uncle Russell said his passion with the universities campus is to make sure young Indigenous people don't have to move away from their families to receive tertiary education.
The boy who couldn't read or write, he is now on the board of the (Taree's) Universities Campus.- TUC board member and Birpiri Elder Russell Saunders
Dr Alison McIntosh, TUC chair, thanked the university's partners and the wider Taree community for the ongoing support of the campus.
"We believe we are increasingly experiencing positive winds of change in the Mid Coast.
"TUC aspires to make a difference and we like to think we are one of the drivers of that change."
Dr McIntosh said she understands TUC has a long way to go in so many ways, however the guiding star is the importance of staying true to the mission - to create learning and opportunities close to home for Mid Coast residents.
TUC is currently operating rent free from the Stack family until mid way through 2022, but hopes to secure a new premises for the future of the campus.
The team is trying to secure Federal government funding to permanently operate out of the former MidCoast Council office building on Pulteney Street.
TUC CEO Donna Ballard said she is hopeful they will secure the funding.
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