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One of the classes currently running at the Yamba Connected Learning Centre. Image: Lynne Mowbray

TAFE NSW officially opens in Yamba

Lynne Mowbray |

TAFE NSW officially opened its doors to Yamba’s new Connected Learning Centre, on Tuesday last week.

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis was joined by NSW Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education and Member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee to officiate at the opening and to check out TAFE NSW’s first permanent presence in Yamba.

Mr Gulaptis said that the opening of this facility means that people from Yamba don’t have to travel to Maclean or to Grafton to study at TAFE to learn a trade.

“It’s a 21st century learning facility,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“It’s a great way of learning; it’s the new age, it’s the new way and I think that the people of Yamba really will take to it in droves, because it’s a fabulous learning experience,” he said.

During his inspection of the new facility, Mr Gulaptis took the opportunity to try out first hand, an example of virtual reality (VR) learning, using VR Goggles; which will form part of the delivery of learning in the future.

“It was terrific, because it resonates with you more when you’re actually physically doing something even if it is only virtual, you still retain it better than if you learn it in a text book,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“It’s the second best place to being out in the field doing it physically.

“Doing it virtually is the way to do it and that’s how they train pilots, so why wouldn’t you train your tradies and other professions, in the same way.

“It will just speed up the learning process,” he said.

Minister Geoff Lee said that the wonderful thing about Connected Learning Centres is they’re more than just a place of learning.

“Yes, they do give 21st century communications and people can actually dial in remotely to other students or expert teachers,” Mr Lee said.

“It also gives everybody the access no matter where you are, to actually receive world class education and training.

“But, what we’re also finding is that they are becoming the hub of the community; in other words, people are able to come and join together and not just for training, but for social reasons too and I think that that’s particularly important – especially in the regions. They really become the catalyst for communities.

“I can see that we have co-located services of health and day care etc and I think that precinct style environment is so important, to make it that hub for the community,” he said.

Mr Lee congratulated Chris Gulaptis (on securing the centre for the community), saying that he is a strong local member and anyone wanting anything done, should go and see him. 

“He’s certainly one that annoys every single Minister, because he always wants more and it’s appalling that he has such great assets here, when Parramatta misses out,” he said laughing.

For more information contact: TAFE Services Co-ordinator Melissa Moss – 6603 5035 or call in to the Yamba Connected Learning Centre, 24 Treelands Drive Yamba. Opening hours: 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday.