Bendigo Campus Head appointed

Margaret O’Rourke, a passionate advocate for regional and rural development and education, has been appointed to the expanded role of Head of La Trobe’s Bendigo campus after an extensive recruitment process.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO congratulated Marg on her appointment.

“Marg brings extraordinary leadership experience, deep connections across Bendigo and central Victoria, and outstanding business acumen to this significant position at our largest regional campus,” Professor Dewar said.

“Now is a critical time for Marg to be joining La Trobe as an ambitious strategy for growth at our Bendigo campus is realised over the coming years, in close collaboration with our many communities in and around Bendigo. She will help further strengthen our connections between the Bendigo campus, industry and the wider community.”

Marg O’Rourke said she was delighted at the prospect of leading La Trobe’s Bendigo campus.

"I am excited to bring a fresh approach to leading the Bendigo campus and expanding its engagement with communities across the Loddon Campaspe region. Starting or continuing tertiary education is an important and exciting decision for our students, and I want to ensure they have a positive and inspiring experience that connects them to future job opportunities in our communities,” she said.

“My skill set is very much focused on community engagement and relationship building, so I enjoy taking a people-first approach. I look forward to meeting with staff, students and community leaders to support the continued growth of La Trobe and working together to ensure the University’s presence adds to the vibrancy and liveability of the Loddon Campaspe region."

About Marg O’Rourke

Marg’s many successes include being the first Mayor of the City of Greater Bendigo to hold the position for four consecutive terms and is currently a Councillor.

Among her achievements on Council, she is a passionate advocate for First Nations People and has strongly supported embedding Traditional Owner engagement and recognition into City of Greater Bendigo practices, including support for dual naming key sites and the City’s Reconciliation Plan. As a Councillor she is also a member of the Bendigo Regional Manufacturing Group, which often partners with La Trobe University to propel local manufacturing opportunities.

Marg also has considerable business experience gained through various leadership roles, including previously as the Head of Customer and Community Engagement with Bendigo Telco and as the Area General Manager of Telstra Country Wide.

Confirming her commitment to regional education, she is currently Chair and Non-Executive Director of Bendigo Kangan Institute and guided the merger of Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute in 2014. The merger expanded the presence of education across regional Victoria and helped strengthen the important relationship between La Trobe Bendigo and the Bendigo Kangan Institute.

She is also on the V/Line Advisory Board and previously sat on the boards of Goulburn Murray Water, Bendigo Health and Bendigo Business Council (now Be.Bendigo).

Marg O’Rourke will commence in the role on 15 January 2024.

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