IT TAKES vision combined with leadership to initiate projects that have the potential to make a real difference - a positive contribution - to the life of a community like Cooma.
On Wednesday a large gathering of community leaders came together to witness the official launch of one such vision - the Cooma Universities Centre.
The Centre was born out of the frustration caused when it became clear a much-mooted Cooma Campus of the University of Canberra was a long way from being a reality.
So mayor Dean Lynch got together with the chief executive of Snowy Hydro Terry Charlton to see if they could create a Centre of Excellence in the South East.
The council provided the premises - the former Snowy Enterprise Centre in Bombala Street. Snowy Hydro provided funds and expertise - and now the purpose-built Centre is open for business.
It provides university education opportunities for local students. It is not a university campus, but anyone studying any distance education course through any university can base themselves at the Centre.
There, they can make use of top of the line PCs, broadband connection and links to online seminars.
It is envisaged that from next year universities will run some courses and lectures directly from the Centre - if there is sufficient support from the community in terms of enrolments.
The Centre will be able to accommodate 50 or 60 students - and on opening day there were already some people signing up.
At the opening ceremony Cr Lynch said the Cooma University Centre had the potential to change the town.
A big vision indeed.