The collective minds of government, secondary and tertiary education, industry and business representatives have begun to work together to generate university opportunities in the Manning.
The steering committee for the Taree Universities Campus project met for the first time this week to create preliminary plans for the project to come to life.
One of the key drivers behind the project, Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said early discussions have proved positive.
"We're taking tertiary education to the next level in the Manning and Great Lakes region," Dr Gillespie said.
"We want to garner their (committee members) interest in a various range of things including what areas of study people are interested in.
"We just want to get all the people who are connected to potential students of the campus and see what they feel we should be looking at offering. This is where the project kicks off."
Early requirements for the project include an established legal entity and a broader project membership. Holding the inaugural meeting inside the Taree chambers was fitting, according to MidCoast Council general manager, Adrian Panuccio.
He said the project presents an opportunity for the chambers to be re-purposed as the campus once the relocation of Taree and Forster staff to the former Masters site on Biripi Way is complete.
Many university administrators, hierarchical figures and vice chancellors expressed their interest in the project.
University of New England, University of Newcastle, CQ University and Country Universities Centre representatives shared their views and visions at the meeting.
Schools invited to be part of the project include St Clare's High School, Taree High School, Chatham High School, Great Lakes College, Wingham High School, Manning Valley Anglican College and Taree Christian College.
Lisa Proctor, Maurie Stack, Graham Brown and Jono Kennewell, from the local business and industry sectors, completed the 20 strong group.
Myall Lakes MP Stephen Bromhead was absent from the inaugural meeting but will be a part of the process.
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