La Trobe Mildura RAB Chair appointed

La Trobe University today (18 May) announced the appointment of Ms Simone Heald as Chair of the Regional Advisory Board (RAB) of the University’s Mildura campus, succeeding Dr John Cooke, who is retiring from the Board.

Simone is Chief Executive Officer of Sunraysia Community Health Services and a member of the Regional Advisory Board since 2016.

Simone said she looked forward to her new role as Chair of the RAB for La Trobe’s Mildura campus, having been a member of the Board for the past six years.

“I am looking forward to chairing La Trobe’s Mildura Regional Advisory Board, which is so important in ensuring local community need is included in all University decision-making,” Ms Heald said.

“Ensuring equity of education and the availability of key skills in our community is a key role for the campus, and the Board helps lead that.”

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO welcomed Simone’s appointment, pointing to the strong partnership between Sunraysia Community Health Services and the University.

“Under Simone’s leadership, Sunraysia Community Health Services has partnered closely with La Trobe University to deliver the health and community care professionals that are very much needed in the Mallee,” Professor Dewar said.

“This partnership has extended from securing La Trobe students on placements, to upskilling Sunraysia Community Health Services staff, through to engagement in research and industry PhDs.

Simone’s deep knowledge of the needs of the Sunraysia community and her understanding of the University make her ideal for the role of Chair of our Regional Advisory Board in Mildura.”

Professor Dewar also acknowledged and thanked outgoing RAB Mildura Chair Dr John Cooke.

“I want to extend my very sincere thanks to John Cooke for his leadership of the Board since 2012,” Professor Dewar said.

“John has helped steer the growth of the University in Mildura and worked with the Board to ensure courses were available locally that delivered the skills Mildura needed. Thousands of nurses, social workers, teachers, accountants and other professionals have graduated from the campus to work in the local community under John’s tenure as Chair.”

John was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Science (honorary) from La Trobe University in recognition of his contribution in the fields of natural resource management and community service achievements in 2015.

The other members of Regional Advisory Board in Mildura are Julie Chambers, Marcus Guthrie, Anne Mansell, Dennis Norton, Sharyon Peart and Glenn Stewart.

Media Contact: Claire Bowers – - 9479 2315 / 0437279903