Dr Neal spent her final nine years at La Trobe as the Mildura Head of Campus between 2013 – 2022 and was Mildura’s first ever employee, starting with the University in 1991.
The new nursing clinical simulation suite will be an extension to the Brian Grogan building and named the Dr Deb Neal Wing. They will feature two state-of-the-art clinical laboratories built to hospital standards.
Sandy Connor, Head of Campus, said Deb is synonymous with La Trobe in Mildura.
“Deb was instrumental in expanding the education program and adapting it to the changing policy environment and community needs. She also established our Teaching Schools partnership with local schools to enable extended in-classroom experiences for final year students and secure philanthropic support for participating students.
“Deb was also an incredibly generous supporter of our students, demonstrating her commitment with an unmatched record of participation in the University’s Golden Lanyard staff giving program,” Ms Connor said.
Dr Neal said without La Trobe, the region’s workforce would look a lot different.
“I am very proud to be part of the university’s legacy to the Mildura community. When I first started, I taught the district’s school leavers and later their mothers and siblings. It was a great pleasure to see mature age students commence on the campus, as we offered all four years of the education degree. These education students are now principals and leading teachers in our school.
“This building, this type of infrastructure and innovation will make La Trobe stand out. Why would you leave Mildura when you could study in a space like this?”
Construction on the labs has commenced and is scheduled for completion by the 2025 Academic Year.