02 September 2021

In December this year I retire as Principal. I have enjoyed my 19 years in the role and leave with the College in good shape. I reflect on the history of Marcus Oldham, how the institution was established on a bequest and the contribution in the early years of its entrepreneurial founding Principal Ivo Dean.

The College was established and remains closely aligned to the sectors it serves. History shows that the agricultural industry has been through difficult times.  Marcus Oldham has also been through difficult periods but going into its 60th Year of operation in 2022 – the College’s future looks very bright.

Marcus Oldham has grown and developed over the past two decades evidenced by new courses, buildings & facilities, landscapes, and plans for the future. Having ideas and aspirations is one thing. Being able to fund the growth and development is another. The Foundation led by Ant Baillieu has achieved a lot. In addition to the many scholarships and bursaries donors provide to support students, significant infrastructure projects have been completed.

Construction of the new student accommodation, the Douglas Boyd Centre, the Ivo Dean Centre, the Student Recreational Hub, the Scobie and Claire Mackinnon Stables and extensions to the Buckland Wing and Library have greatly benefited our students. These projects are the direct result of the Foundation’s work. The fundraising effort of the Foundation has kept Marcus Oldham at the forefront of agriculture and equine education.

Marcus Oldham has set its next five-year Strategic Plan. The direction to become a premier University College specialising in agriculture, agribusiness and equine management is ambitious and will require significant funding to achieve the outcomes.  The Foundation’s role over the coming years will be just as important to the College’s future as it has been in the past.

A sincere thank-you to everyone who has supported the College Foundation to this point.  The continued advancement of Marcus Oldham and excellence in what we are able to offer our students, is largely because of you.

Dr Simon Livingstone