The initiative was announced by the Minister for Education Dan Tehan today.

La Trobe University will receive $6.3 million for the NEXUS Program – an initiative to recruit local university graduates, including those with a strong commitment to regional communities, over two intakes of at least 40 participants each in Victoria in 2020 and 2021.

It is part of a $21 million Federal Government education initiative to drive recruitment of community-engaged teachers, focusing on placements in regional, rural and low socio-economic areas in Victoria. 

Head of La Trobe’s School of Education Professor Lynn Bosetti welcomed the announcement and said she looks forward to working with communities and schools to deliver the program.

“We are pleased that La Trobe University has been recognised as a leader in Victoria for research, teacher education and our established links to urban and regional communities,” Bosetti said.

“The NEXUS Program will fully integrate preparing culturally diverse teachers in these communities, providing community mentors and conducting much of the teacher education on school sites and in community centres.

“It’s great that Victoria is the starting point for the program and that our state’s future teachers can be the first to benefit from this. 

"Our hope is that this pilot will eventually be replicated on a national scale.”

La Trobe Professor Jo Lampert and Associate Professor Joanna Barbousas will also undertake research on the impact of program – designed as an alternative pathway to becoming a secondary school teacher.

La Trobe University’s Vice Chancellor, John Dewar, said he was thrilled the university would be playing such a vital role in the delivery the rural education workforce.

“At La Trobe we well understand the importance of superb teachers; they are the backbone of a strong and successful education program, and have a profound impact on the lives of children and communities,” Dewar said.

“It is essential that students from all parts of Australia should have access to the best teachers and we are proud to help train an education workforce for rural and regional communities.

“I am pleased that the university is part of this initiative, and hope it will make a positive difference to the lives of Australian students,” he said.