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.

Living Pavilion, 1 of May to 17 May 2019

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.

Event Engagement

  • 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.

Living Pavilion Program

A sign reading Wominjeka in The Living Pavilion garden

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.

Help us by filling out this survey

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.

Wurundjeri-willam artist opening The Living Pavilion by giving the opening address

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.

Djirri Djirri dancers opening The Living Pavilion

The Djirri Djirri dance group performing at the Opening Ceremony

An artist creating grass weavings under a tree with two volunteers

Artist in residence Stephanie Beaupark leading a weaving session

A guitarist from band The Orbweavers singing among the plant life

Artist in Residence The Orb Weavers in performance