The state Government of Victoria in Australia is set to establish a new healthcare and learning hub in Castlemaine, designed to provide essential training for individuals aiming to enter the healthcare sector.  

This initiative is expected to enhance local employment prospects and fortify the region’s healthcare services. 

The new health and learning hub project was unveiled by Bendigo West member Maree Edwards, representing the Victorian Skills and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Minister Gayle Tierney. 

It is a collaborative effort between Bendigo TAFE and Dhelkaya Health, which is a recently established organisation that brings together three healthcare services – Castlemaine Health, CHIRP Community Health and Maldon Hospital.  

It will be situated in a refurbished hospital wing at 142 Cornish Street in Castlemaine, Victoria.  

Once open, the centre will offer training facilities to support Bendigo TAFE’s health services qualifications, covering disciplines such as nursing, allied health, and aged care. 

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The partnership with Dhelkaya Health will support students in acquiring a wide range of in-demand healthcare skills, while also providing them with direct pathways to placements and employment within the local healthcare sector.  

The selection of a builder for this project is anticipated later this year, with construction commencing shortly thereafter.  

Training at the new site is expected to commence in 2025. 

Tierney said: “This new centre will create a hub of health excellence in Castlemaine, giving students access to world-class TAFE facilities right at their doorstep and creating a pipeline of essential skilled workers for the industries and communities that need them most, particularly in regional Victoria.”  

The project, which represents an investment of approximately A$4m ($2.6m) by the Victorian Government, is part of the broader A$170m Building Better TAFE Fund aimed at improving training facilities for students, particularly in regional areas of Victoria. 

The Building Better TAFE Fund also supports the development of a Centre of Excellence for Inclusion in Disability, Health, and Community Support at the Gordon TAFE in Geelong as well as new TAFE campuses in Melton and Sunbury.  

Victorian government said that it has invested over A$4bn in training, skills, and higher education, since 2014.