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Professor Rufus Black - Hobart University Dinner - 03.05.19

Play video: Hobart University Dinner Speech

Southern Future

Building a shared vision of how we could be a university of and for the city

The work and planning underway on the long-term redevelopment of the University’s southern campus is guided by a set of important principles:

Commitment to our Aboriginal community, history and culture

The first is to honour the tens of thousands of years of culture and wisdom on our island and to ensure that it sits at the core of our new campus. Our move to the new campus has to start with a deeper reconciliation with Tasmania’s First People. In this, we have been wonderfully served and supported by the leadership of our Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aboriginal Research and Leadership, Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter.

Maggie and her team have guided us to design a broad Aboriginal heritage survey so we can understand the stories from when this place was just nipaluna, not nipaluna/Hobart. As we design the new campus, we will continue to work closely with the Riawunna Centre to ensure that Indigenous history and wisdom are reflected in the things we build and green spaces we develop.

Respecting Hobart’s historical legacy

Secondly, we are determined to make sure that we honour the Hobart city vision and that our “rich, historical legacy is respected, shared and celebrated whilst we welcome and encourage the new”. Over the next several months we will start archaeological exploration at several of our city sites to investigate and appropriately catalogue the history of these places. The heritage management plan for the Domain is progressing and is expected to be complete towards the end of the year. This work by Lovell Chen, a preeminent firm in the field, will help guide how we bring new life to the University’s original home with a framework to care for the buildings and community values of this important site.

Building a shared vision

Thirdly, we are committed to building a shared vision of how we could be a University of and for the city. To do that we will need to listen carefully to the Hobart community to create that vision together.

We need an effective way to bring people together and create a shared vision of the things which are important to them. We’ve chosen the process of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and in the form of a two-day summit to do so.

The summit, which will be held at the end of November, will help imagine what it will mean to create a city which is more equitable, prosperous and sustainable. The outputs of this event will help inform master planning, helping to shape the social, architectural and environmental character of the new Hobart city campus.

The days will build upon existing work such A Community Vision for our Island Capital and the RACT’s Greater Hobart Mobility Vision.

A broad range of stakeholders have been invited to attend the summit, including a representative cross section of students, staff, alumni and community stakeholders.

Working together to create a better city

Hobart has both significant opportunities and challenges as it develops. We have started to work with the City of Hobart and other parts of government to ensure our move to the city helps create better long-term solutions to questions of transport, parking and housing, which are understandably matters of broader public concern.

Starting to chart our course

We are also starting engage with partners such as Gensler, a leading integrated architectural and design firm. The most complex aspect of our reimagined campus will be the STEM and library and we need to start now to build our understanding of that task. Gensler will work with our colleagues from the College of Science and Engineering, our Academic Division including Library and Student Services, and the Southern Future team to deliver a needs analysis of this part of the campus. This work will then inform master planning and building design, which will begin once the outputs of the community consultation are known.