The University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA) and Fremantle Ports have recently signed a partnership agreement designed to create new study, research, training and graduate opportunities for both organisations and the wider Fremantle community.
The four-year agreement was signed by UNDA Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of Campus (Fremantle) Professor Selma Alliex and Fremantle Ports Chief Executive Chris Leatt-Hayter on 16 May.
UNDA Chancellor Chris Ellison, Fremantle Ports Deputy Chair Kim Horne, members of the Inner Harbour Community Liaison Group, as well as university and port staff attended the signing ceremony on the UNDA Fremantle Campus.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) features a range of initiatives including jointly funded research scholarships, shared use of facilities for events, professional development opportunities for Fremantle Ports staff, and the port providing internships/prizes in health sciences, business leadership, and environmental studies for high-achieving students.
Benefits from the MOU flow beyond UNDA and Fremantle Ports to community based initiatives including environmental research, more community events and engagement on Victoria Quay, and bringing together education and industry to create a highly skilled future workforce in Fremantle and WA’s maritime industry.
An injury prevention and fitness program for Fremantle Ports staff will be run by the University’s Health Science students to kick-start the formal partnership, providing students with hands-on experience while improving health and wellbeing for Fremantle Ports staff.
In addition, the port will provide UNDA with a broad list of areas of interest for research and jointly funded research scholarships for postgraduate students.
The MOU is also set to benefit Fremantle Ports staff by offering options for both undergraduate and postgraduate study including professional development programs available through Notre Dame.
“When discussions first began in 2016, people from both our organisations had the foresight to see the goals we share and can progress together,” Prof Alliex said.
“There is so much we can achieve through our collaborations – these initiatives will positively impact Notre Dame right through from undergraduate to postgraduate programs, but more importantly it will allow the university the opportunity to be of service to Fremantle Ports.”
Mr Leatt-Hayter said UNDA’s own mission aligned with one of the port’s key community investment areas: supporting and encouraging education.
“It makes sense that we as neighbours work together and can turn our minds to the great things we can achieve for a better Fremantle and WA,” he added.
Past projects include UNDA marketing students working with the Port Operations Task Force to improve efficiency and cohesion, the results of which will be presented to the Task Force in early June.