Mark Irvin was one of the first students to study at UOW Bega, commencing his first degree in 2001 and returning for postgraduate studies in 2007. He describes studying at UOW Bega to be one of the best things he could have done as it gave him the opportunity to stay in his local area that he loves and cares about so much. Now, as Manager of People and Governance at the Bega Valley Shire Council, Mark is able to merge his dedication to the prosperity of the region with his passion for education.
During his time as an undergraduate student, Mark was a Rural Ambassador and travelled to local high schools to share his experiences of studying at a regional campus. In 2008, he started tutoring a subject that he had previously studied at UOW Bega, which he continued for more than 10 years. Mark credits mentoring UOW students through this experience as one of his career highlights.
“I have had the privilege of “teaching” some of the smartest people I know, who have all gone on to have successful careers of their own.
“Just because we aren’t living in the “big smoke” doesn’t mean the quality of education you receive will be lower quality- it’s actually better!”
An advocate for vocational training and tertiary education for people in the area, promoting and working alongside many trainees, cadets and apprentices at Council, Mark enjoys nurturing a vital skills base that keeps local business and industry thriving.
He shares his gratitude for the opportunity to work with a wide variety of skilled people, and expressed admiration for the way his colleagues and the community responded to the rollercoaster that was 2020.
“I would have to say the biggest reward from working here has come about due to the events of the last 12-18 months. What our community experienced due to drought, then fires, floods, and now a pandemic is unimaginable. Despite what the community has been through, the people I work with have shown a level of resilience and commitment to each other and the community that I will never forget.”