Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has labelled a new TAFE NSW Diploma course being offered for the first time in Narrandera a game changer, saying it will better enable the community to grow its own leaders of tomorrow.

The Diploma of Leadership and Management will be delivered at the new, state-of-the-art Connected Learning Centre and covers a broad range of subject areas, including leadership behaviour, communication at work, innovation in the workplace, diversity, risk, and work, health and safety.

Ms Cooke said the new course would help local businesses better retain and train senior staff while also helping stem the tide of young people leaving the community to seek education and training elsewhere.

“Recruiting and retaining senior staff is a constant struggle for businesses in communities like Narrandera and anything that will assist in keeping those staff in the town is a potential game-changer,” Ms Cooke said.

“We also know that the so-called ‘brain drain’, where some of our best and brightest young people leave their communities to study elsewhere and never return, is a serious issue.

“If we can offer those young people education and training pathways in their home town, they are far more likely to stay.

“Our region offers such enormous advantages in terms of lifestyle and affordability over the larger centres but that must be supported by great opportunities to further your career, which this Diploma course offers.

“I’m proud to be a former TAFE NSW student and it enabled me to stay in the community I love and establish my own successful business here.

“The NSW Government recognises how critically important access to quality education and training are, especially in regional areas, and that’s why we’ve made a significant investment in the state-of-the-art new Connected Learning Centre at TAFE NSW Narrandera.”

Narrandera Mayor Neville Kschenka echoed Ms Cooke’s sentiments, saying the course could help mould the town’s future business leaders.

“This is exciting news for Narrandera to have such a great opportunity to upskill its future business leaders, without having to travel to study,” Cr Kschenka said.

“I think it will help alleviate the ‘brain drain’ from Narrandera and reduce the need for local businesses to look out of town for senior staff.”

The course will be delivered by Riverina businesswoman, and TAFE NSW teacher, Shirley Virtue, who still manages her family business and has an extensive project management and marketing background.

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Leadership and Management Peter Charker said the landmark Diploma course was suitable for people employed across a range of different industries.

“The course allows students to take what they learn and apply it in their own workplace,” Mr Charker said. “It’s suitable for those currently in work who are in a supervisory role and want to more effectively lead their teams.”

The Diploma of Leadership and Management can also be studied online, when and where it suits students, via TAFE Digital.

To  find out more about the Diploma of Leadership and Management, call 13 16 01 or visit