These spaces are designed to be a collaborative hub for everyone, inspiring curiosity, creativity and respect when engaging with the past, present and future at the University.
Celebrating the site’s rich pre-colonial history, as well as the pivotal impact of the Student Union, artworks and installations have been integrated throughout the new and refurbished buildings and across the landscaping.
Student Art Prize
The University is committed to improving the lived experience of its Indigenous community. By generating opportunities for Indigenous students and staff to contribute to the design, creation and activation of its campuses, we can shape the physical environment. Through a University-wide open call, Indigenous students were invited to submit an artwork in response to the curatorial prompt Heal Country, Save Our Future.
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The University proudly partnered with The Torch to feature artworks created by Indigenous people who have experience with the Victorian criminal justice.
Artworks by emerging Indigenous artists involved in The Torch program are displayed as digital artworks throughout the site’s digital screens.
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The Identity Bricks Project invited Indigenous students, staff and alumni to share and embed their cultural stories and journeys in a permanent installation on the Parkville campus. Integrated into the structural columns of Building 189, the bricks serve as a creative recognition of this site as an Indigenous place with a continuing and diverse Indigenous presence.
Learn more about the Identity Bricks
The Path to Enlightenment
The intricate brickwork adorning the stairwell of the new Student Pavilion intertwines the new with the old. Featuring brickwork figures that once decorated the Alice Hoy building which formerly occupied this site (1957 – 2019), the symbols represent the role of education throughout a person’s life. Images include an owl, a padlock, keys, a staircase, and, finally, a sunburst of enlightenment.
Take a step back from the Arts and Cultural Building's facades and foyers and you may notice snatches of theatre performances past. A range of historical promotional posters from student productions ranging back to the 1980s have been embedded in the fabric of the new building, acknowledging the luminous cultural history of Union House.
Panels with Purpose
Iconic images from the University Archives have been reworked into acoustic panels featured in the Arts and Cultural Building’s theatres. Featuring prominent alum Anchuli Felicia King and comedy group D-Generation, the Student Union’s vibrant history of theatre watches over every performance.
Learn more about the Arts and Cultural Building
Daydreams in Class
After a series of workshops with students during exam week, artist Jason Phu collected messages and drawings and incorporated these into a striking set of wooden table artworks located in Building 168. The scribbles depict homesickness, political activism, unrequited love, secrets and poetry, it is a space for students to sit, read, relax and daydream as respite from the pressures of their studies.
A Student Rubbed Their Eyes
Melbourne-based artist and cartoon-journalist Sam Wallman produced the ten vignettes to celebrate the shifting relationship between workers, students and unionists. Located in Building 168, the work has an overview of moments of tension, solidarity and collective action in response to wider social and cultural movements.
Museums and Collections
The University of Melbourne’s cultural collections play an intrinsic role in teaching and learning, research and engagement activities.