The Living Pavilion
Connecting Indigenous knowledges, sustainable design, live art and stunning Indigenous plantings, The New Student Precinct team was proud to partner with The Living Pavilion.
The Living Pavilion Vision
The Living Pavilion (1 May - 17 May 2019) was a transdisciplinary project connecting Indigenous knowledge, ecological science, sustainable design and participatory arts.
The New Student Precinct partnered with The Living Pavilion to temporarily transform the landscape at the site of the future home of the Melbourne University's Institute for Indigenous Development, Murrup Barak, with plantings, artworks, performances, talks and gathering spaces that celebrate the natural environment.
The design, development and curation of The Living Pavilion were guided by the same pillars of Indigenous engagement, developed by Greenshoot Consulting, that have governed the Indigenous engagement strategy for the New Student Precinct.
The Living Pavilion was a co-production and collaboration with THRIVE Hub (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning), Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub (CAUL) of the National Environmental Science Program, the New Student Precinct, and CLIMARTE’s ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 Festival. The Living Pavilion’s major horticultural and design partners are Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and Ecodynamics.
- Approximatley 60 events were held over the duration of The Living Pavilion event
- An incredible 1,867 individuals attended ticketed events
- 39 First Nations People were proudly involved in The Living Pavilion at every level from producing, presenting, researching, performing, to consulting and more
- 7 formal research projects and 2 student led research projects were informed through the project
- 24 students were employed via The Living Pavilion, including 4 internships
- 5 early learning classes visited The Living Pavilion, totalling approximatley 180 children
- 1 orchestral piece was composed and 1 song is currently being produced for The Living Pavilion
- 2 professionally produced videos illustrating the event's evolution are in production
To view the full Living Pavilion program including designs, biographies of our artists in residence and a summary of programmed events, please click the button below.
Contribute to research at The Living Pavilion
Did you attend an event, workshop or performance at The Living Pavilion? Did you connect with the idea of creating green, sustainable space informed by Indigenous knowledge? Is there Is there any feedback that you have for the team?
A team of researchers from across Melbourne are undertaking a series of studies to understand whether a temporary festival space can successfully transfer knowledge and evoke a sense of 'place'. To complete a short survey that will inform the future of the New Student Precinct and the city of Melbourne as a whole, please click the button below.
The Opening Ceremony
The Living Pavilion was opened by Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell, The Honourable Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Aunty Dianne Kerr (Wurundjeri), and New Student Precinct architect Mr Jefa Greenaway (Wailwan/Kamilaroi). Attendees were welcomed to celebrate the land upon which the Pavilion sits with performances from Ms Mandy Nicholson (Wurundjeri) and the Djirri Djirri Dance Group, with Mr Mitch Tambo (Gamilaraay/Birri Gubba) of True Culture. Speeches highlighted the relationship of the short-term activation to the site's eventual transition to the new Welcome Ground landscape, as part of the New Student Precinct.
In his opening address, Vice-Chancellor Maskell spoke of the discussions he had with Indigenous elders when he first arrived at the University of Melbourne, and how these life changing discussions emphasised the importance of “education, diversity and place.” He noted that he believes that these principles that are central to the purpose of the University of Melbourne and that The Living Pavilion was an event that encapsulated these principles in action.
Ms Mandy Nicholson (Wurundjeri) leading the Djirri Djirri Dance Group
The Living Pavilion in the Media
The Living Pavilion was shared far and wide. Read on to explore the numerous articles focusing on the Pavilion's plant selection, commitment to championing Indigenous Knowledge systems and storytelling.
- Plants Tell Stories of Cultural Connection, Landscape Australia
- Plants Tell Stories of Cultural Connection, Pursuit
- Melbourne University Acknowledges Indigenous Ecological Science in Kulin Nation, SBS NITV Radio
- Melbourne Reimagined with 40,000 Native Plants in 'Living Pavilion', The Age / Sydney Morning Herald
- Melbourne Reimagined with 40,000 Native Plants in 'Living Pavilion', Newsline
- The Living Pavilion Celebrates Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability, Green Magazine
- Can Theatre Fight Climate Change?, ABC Radio National
- Installations Highlight the Cultural Importance of Indigenous Plants, The Age / Sydney Morning Herald
- Interview with Zena Cumpston and Tanja Beer, Gardening Australia
- Interview with Zena Cumpston, Gardening Australia
The Djirri Djirri dance group performing at the Opening Ceremony
Artist in residence Stephanie Beaupark leading a weaving session
Artist in Residence The Orb Weavers in performance