Health and learning set to flourish in Castlemaine

Bendigo TAFE and Dhelkaya Health are teaming up to establish a transformative Health and Learning Hub (the Hub) in the heart of Castlemaine.

The innovative regional initiative is made possible thanks to $4 million in funding from the Victorian Government and will bring job opportunities and vital training prospects to the region.

Bendigo TAFE CEO Sally Curtain and Dhelkaya Health CEO Sue Race were joined by The Hon Maree Edwards MP on site today to mark the beginning of the project which will involve a complete refurbishment of an underused hospital wing at 142 Cornish Street, Castlemaine.

(Image: At Dhelakya Health, Castlemaine Hospital  (external) | L-R: CEO Dhelkaya Health Sue Race, Bendigo TAFE Board Director  Anne Brosnan, Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards MP,  CEO Bendigo TAFE Sally Curtain and Campus Director Bendigo TAFE Dave Richardson)


Through the Hub, the two organisations will address skills shortages in the local health sector by offering training facilities for Bendigo TAFE’s Health Services qualifications, which may include allied health, nursing and aged care.

The collaboration with Dhelkaya Health will give Castlemaine and surrounding regional residents more choices to live, learn and work locally.  Additionally, Bendigo TAFE students will have direct access to placement and work opportunities in the health care industry.

Award-winning infrastructure design studio Architectus will design the Hub. They will focus on creating a flexible and multi-use facility that simulates real-life experiences and puts learning on display.

 The facility will include:

·         4 bed health care simulation space

·         2 bed aged care simulation (residential care)

·         home unit simulation (in home care)

·         general purpose classrooms, complemented by student breakout, storage, reception and a shared staff office space.

All spaces will be shared by Bendigo TAFE for training delivery and by Dhelkaya Health for training development for staff the graduate nurse program, external students and the Monash University GP program.

Once compete the first-class training and education space will:

·         align with local health workforce needs,

·         support modern learning and teaching practices, emphasising active, student-centric learning,

·         foster collaboration and teamwork among students, educators, industry affiliates and community partners, and

·         facilitate remote program delivery to cater to students' diverse needs.

A project builder will be selected later this year and construction will begin soon after, with students expected to start training on site in mid to late 2025.

This significant collaboration between Bendigo TAFE and Dhelkaya Health demonstrates a commitment to fostering skills and training excellence, expanding the pipeline of much needed qualified workers and strengthening Castlemaine’s healthcare infrastructure.

Quotes to be attributed

Minister for Skills and TAFE Gayle Tierney
“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.”

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
"I'm thrilled by the partnership between Bendigo TAFE and Dhelkaya Health, bringing job opportunities and essential training right in the heart of our community.

“I’ve been proud to commit to an expanded TAFE for the Castlemaine community – and it’s fantastic that works to deliver this are underway.”

Sally Curtain Chief Executive Officer Bendigo TAFE
“We are pleased to be working with local industry experts in Dhelkaya Health and our Victorian Government partners to deliver this much-needed training facility for the Castlemaine and surrounding communities.

“The new Health and Learning Hub will provide the region with improved access to quality training and facilities with clear pathways for rewarding employment in the industry.  

“Bendigo TAFE is training incredible students every day who are helping our partners like Dhelkaya Health relieve skills shortages in our state, particularly in health care which is vital for our regional communities.

Sue Race Chief Executive Officer Dhelkaya Health

“In partnership with Bendigo TAFE we will be able to facilitate career development pathways for students and staff, growing our own workforce to deliver the health, aged and community services needed by our local community.

“We are excited to be working with Bendigo TAFE to deliver the new Health and Learning Hub which will enable Dhelkaya Health to provide high quality, flexible and cost-effective learning opportunities relevant to our current and future workforce

“This is a critical development for the communities of the Mount Alexander Shire and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with Bendigo TAFE in delivering this important project.

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