Our main teaching campus, located in Benetook avenue, opened it’s doors in 2003 but La Trobe University's history in Mildura goes back much further than that. We commenced delivering courses in the district through, Bendigo CAE, in 1988. The first students were enrolled in Business and Applied Sciences and the lectures were conducted at SuniTAFE. A regional shortage of social workers encouraged locals to approach La Trobe’s Bundoora campus and consequently a Social Work degree commenced in 1989 - in collaboration with SuniTAFE.
From 1990 onwards other programs were offered, then in1991 La Trobe merged with Bendigo CAE and the La Trobe University College of Northern Victoria emerged. It was then, our current Head of Campus, Dr Deb Neal, first established her connection with La Trobe and became the first Mildura based employee in 1991.
La Trobe has many champions of our campus in the community. In 1993 the La Trobe University Regional Advisory Board was established with Brian Grogan, as the founding chair. Our Benetook Avenue building is named after Brian, as he led a campaign for the establishment of the standalone site. That site opened in 2003. Our current Regional Advisory Board is chaired by Dr John Cooke. Dr Cooke was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University in 2015 for his contribution to the field of natural resource management, leadership and community service.
In 2006, Anna and Don Carrazza donated the 29 Deakin Avenue building to us and Social Work and our Businesses courses were taught out of there until the end of 2015. Now most teaching and all academic staff are located at our Benetook Avenue campus. The 29 Deakin Avenue building now accommodates ad-hoc classes and our One Button studio. It is also a meeting place for our researchers and open to our community partners for their use.
From 1990 onwards Fine Arts, Business, Nursing were offered and then more recently we’ve added a suite of health science offerings, an MBA and Agribusiness last year.
Over 50 years, the University has produced more than 180,000 graduates from over 100 different countries. There are an estimated 1600 graduates living and working in this community and around 1000 of those graduates are from this campus.
By having a physical presence here in Mildura, we give students who are unable to relocate to acquire a university education, an opportunity that might not otherwise have been possible for them. Equally important are the students who could move to a city but who are persuaded by our presence in the community to remain here, close to family and friends.
Mildura is a very important part of La Trobe history’s and it embodies what our University is all about.