Providing post-compulsory education options through 'new-look' rural partnerships

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The tree change phenomenon started around Australia from about 2003 and continues to this day, even into places like the Western Plains area of New South Wales. Relocating from the city to rural areas for a lifestyle change is attributed to this phenomenon. An ever-growing interest in post-compulsory education solutions that run parallel to this change offers tantalising scope for research and discussion, especially in the way that rural communities continue to redefine themselves in the face of sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds.At the very least, many of these communities are 'under siege' from the effects of environmental extremes as a result of climate change, shrinking resources, lack of access to services, and sometimes, through the effects of negative human intervention. Although there are opportunities for some individuals and particular sections of a community to prosper and get ahead, there are others who rely on strategic partnerships to offer community solutions where everyone can 'have a go'.This paper discusses a unique type of educational partnership - a co-enrolment program - between a rural technical and further education (TAFE) college and an inland national university (Charles Sturt University), whereby the challenges of delivering post-compulsory social work education to regional and rural communities is addressed in both philosophical and pragmatic ways. The situation will be discussed from several different angles, including how the programs run both in tandem with each other as well as separately, autonomously, but with a constant level of scrutiny that is a common thread in the precariousness of rural renewal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-117
Number of pages12
JournalRural Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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