She grew up in one of the most remote parts of the Territory, travelled across the country and the world, before finally returning home to the Territory and being made Charles Darwin University's Associate Vice Chancellor for the Katherine and Big Rivers Region.
Ms Haines took on the new role in July, and said one of her first priorities was to gain a broader understanding of what it was that the region needs, so that the university could better align delivery programs to community and regional requirements.
"One of my first goals was just to get out and find out exactly what people wanted and needed outside of just the areas that I have previously been working or involved in," she said.
"To find out what it was that people really actually need and want, rather than going 'oh we're gonna do this' and then everyone goes 'why?'"
"I need to be spending time talking to people, organisations, businesses and community representatives."
"While I feel like I have made a good start on this this since July, I have also been working on replacing myself in my previous team leader role, so I am aware there is so much more to be done and I am very keen to get things moving:"
She said one of the ideas from the approach was to run a "pop up MBA (Master of Business Administration) in Katherine.
"If there's consistent demand it will stay. But if you've done that, and captured the people that needed it in the community, you move on to doing a pop up...in something else," she said.
"Along with pop up degrees and higher education, it's about building the pathways to higher ed, to vocational qualifications, to employment and career opportunities. And I guess, finding out what people want to study because the popularity of things tends to change too over a number of years."
Ms Haines also welcomed a number of new Federal Government grants to the university for research and extension around agriculture, horticulture and drought resilience to complement research already underway in the NT.
She said it was important that NT and Northern Australia did its own research to combat the specific challenges it faces.
"I think it's vital unless we want to get left behind. "Yes, it is applicable right across the north of Australia. But we can't just look at (for example) what North Queensland are doing and go 'we'll follow along afterwards'," she said.
"We need to look after and build capacity in our own areas and industries and communities."
It comes as the university unveiled its Strategic Plan for the next five years, which includes a number of goals including expanding training and education programs for remote and rural areas.
Another goal for the university is to become the most recognised university for Australian First National training, education and research.
"We have fantastic opportunities ahead to secure a future that will lead us to be Australia's most connected university through making courageous decisions and delivering training, education and research that matters to the people of the Northern Territory," CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said.
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