Indigenous Planting in the Precinct

The New Student Precinct landscape architects, in conjunction with University academics in horticulture, have recently finalised the selection of plant species for the Precinct’s gardens.

The species selection process has involved careful curation of both culturally significant and exotic plants designed to enhance a sustainable campus in line with the University’s strategic aims. A critical review was conducted by A/Prof John Rayner and Dr Claire Farrell from the University’s Burnley Campus. Each plant’s suitability for the Precinct was assessed through a range of criteria including life expectancy and longevity, maintenance and planting diversity.

In addition to providing sustainable and attractive green spaces for the Precinct, species selection has ensured that the Precinct delivers on its commitments as a signature project for the University’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP 3). Plants from all 45 Indigenous language groups represented among the University’s student cohort, will be planted around the central amphitheatre and across the site. This work was led by native botany and land management expert with Ngarigo heritage (from Cooma, New South Wales), Charles Solomon. Further to this, the area west of the 1888 Building off Grattan Street will feature only indigenous plants, as will the Student Pavilion rooftop garden, which will also feature bush foods for consumption and use by students.

The project team will now work with A/Prof John Rayner to select a number of rare and endangered plants for installation in the Precinct. These plants will be propagated by planting experts at the Burnley Campus and relocated to the Precinct when the project is nearing completion.