Public Sector Unearthed

Sunday November 5, 2023

A regional study hub to call home with Libby Beattie and Olivia Sice

In episode 4 of the Public Sector Unearthed podcast, we shine a light on the incredible human stories behind the Regional University Study Hubs.

Hearing from the program delivery point of view, we talk to Libby Beattie, assistant director in the higher education division at the Department of Education. Libby, driven by her own experiences growing up in a regional area, passionately discusses her role in the Regional University Study Hubs project. She also talks about how the program is revolutionising education accessibility in remote areas of Australia.

Olivia Sice is currently doing a master’s degree in health service management from Griffith University, which she’s pursuing at the Broken Hill hub. Olivia shares her personal journey and the sense of community she’s found in this unique educational environment.

Listen in as Libby and Olivia highlight the APS Reform’s emphasis on placing people at the heart of policy and services, showcasing the direct impact of public servants on community development. Gain insights into the challenges and triumphs of higher education in Australia’s remote regions, and discover the passion and dedication driving this transformative initiative.

This episode’s Unearthed wisdom: Equal access to resources and community support empowers individuals from remote areas to pursue higher education and positively impact their communities.




Libby Beattie

Libby has been an assistant director in the regional policy Team, higher education division at the Department of Education since August 2019. The regional policy team has primary responsibility for managing the Regional University Study Hubs Program, as well as overarching policy development relating to regional and remote higher education. Prior to joining the regional team, Libby had been at the Department of Education since 2016, including a stint as Departmental Liaison Officer in the Minister for Education’s office in 2018-2019.

After completing high school in Wagga Wagga in regional NSW, and a degree in journalism at the University of Canberra, Libby started her career as a radio journalist with National Radio News, a nation-wide radio news service based at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, from 2011 to 2015. She then made the move to the APS in a communications role, before shifting across to policy and program work, where she has found her passion working on measures that support people in regional Australia to pursue higher education.

Olivia Sice

Olivia is placed with the Far West Local Health District and based in Broken Hill, where her first rotation is within the office of the Chief Executive. Olivia holds a Bachelor of Nursing from UNISA and is committed to excellent remote health service delivery that provides high quality person-centred culturally safe and respectful care across our communities in the Far West. Having worked as a registered nurse in many areas in rural, regional and base hospitals for over 12 years, Olivia has a broad understanding of healthcare access and delivery in rural and remote settings.

Over the two-year program, Olivia hopes to gain as much knowledge as possible to be an effective and passionate leader, promote awareness and advocate for our communities, to affect positive change and strongly promote healthcare and patient equality. Olivia wants to lead by example, empathy and compassion, staying true to her ‘girl from the bush’ roots with a strong focus on collaboration.

Outside of work, Olivia is a mother to 4 who loves to travel with the family in the caravan seeing our own backyard, and has a love of animals, gardening and being in the outdoors.

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