The Mayor of Blacktown, Councillor Tony Bleasdale; NSW Member of Parliament for Blacktown, Stephen Bali; and Executive Director of Training Services NSW, David Collins, officially opened the Macquarie Community College Blacktown campus on 25 February. The College simultaneously celebrated its 70 anniversary, under the headline “70 years of new beginnings” (see photo).
Mayor of Blacktown, Cllr Tony Bleasdale, remarked upon the strong growth and great diversity within the Blacktown community, noting that Macquarie Community College, with its long history in the area and relationships built through serving the community, was a very welcome return to Main Street.
Mr Stephen Bali, Member for Blacktown, echoed talked about the importance of community and the importance of educating and passing on knowledge to the next generation, and how the area’s local Aboriginal community had shown the way. He thanked Macquarie Community College’s Board of Directors for having the vision to return to the heart of Western Sydney and helping some of the most vulnerable in society: “How do we engage people and help the ones who have fallen through the cracks and think that the world is against them? What Macquarie Community College does is, with the wonderful teachers and support staff in the college, gives that opportunity to say ‘yes you can do it’”.
Macquarie Community College CEO, Theresa Collignon, chaired the session, and Auntie Julie Jones, a proud Dharug woman, started the event with a warm Welcome to Country, beautifully delivered in language.
Dr Don Perlgut, CCA CEO (pictured below, with Theresa Collignon) and Evelyn Goodwin, CCA Manager of Policy, attended the launch, along with about 50 others, including Austin Whitehead, Director of Training Sector Governance, Skills and Higher Education, NSW Department of Education; Western Sydney Training Services NSW managers Glen Gallagher and Edwina Burge; and Carolyn Blanden, Principal of Warakirri College.
“CCA is thrilled to see Macquarie Community College’s return to Blacktown. New South Wales adult and community education providers have a crucial role to play in the Western Sydney region, and the College is leading the way by expanding its services in the Blacktown area. It’s a great day for our state’s community colleges,” said Dr Perlgut.
About Macquarie Community College
Macquarie Community College (MCC) has been well known in the Blacktown and Mt Druitt area for the last 20 years. The college has been able to establish its reputation and loyal following for the provision of quality Migrant English language classes and VET skills for residents of Western Sydney. In Blacktown, the College now offers a range of subsidised and fee-free courses under the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled, ACE program and the NSW JobTrainer/Skilling for Recovery programs to eligible students. Courses include employability skills targeting jobseekers, English language and digital literacy and full qualification Community Services courses for careers in high growth industries such as aged care, disability and child care as well as business.