The Precinct Project aims to create a space that caters for a diverse student and staff population. The Precinct will be engaging with students and staff through the design process to ensure equity, inclusivity and access to indoor and outdoor spaces are integrated into the Precinct design.
Lowering the Ground Plane
During the co-creation process, DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) accessibility was identified as a major barrier to making the new Precinct welcoming for all students. In response, the need to lower the ground plane across the site was identified, including the elimination of existing terraces and stairs for greater accessibility. Many existing spaces at the University are not DDA compliant, making it difficult for students with accessibility needs to utilise retail, classrooms and arts and cultural facilities. By lowering the ground plane the Precinct site will return to it's natural level, becoming accessible to all students, staff and visitors.
Promoting Safe Spaces
Through co-creation research, students have reported feeling unsafe on campus due to a lack of activity in the evenings. The Precinct aims to provide 24-hour campus activation to ensure that students can feel comfortable on campus, regardless of the time of day. This will involve increased opening hours to study spaces and food, as well as additional security measures and improved lighting.
What Students Have Told Us
Initial co-creation initiatives revealed the ways students would like to see inclusivity incorporated into the Precinct design:
- Remove Points of Friction
Quick fixes to enhance the student experience. Things that make everyday life a little bit easier and more pleasurable.
- Fair Access
Spaces that can be accessed by all students. They’re not monopolised by a particular group, or for a particular purpose.
- Clear Social Conventions
Spaces that can be preserved to meet specific needs. Their use isn’t dictated, but social convention is clear to guide students’ behaviour.
- Student Hours
Spaces that provide extended access and support a range of academic and social activities. Certain spaces are available ‘out of hours’.
People Strategy 2015 - 2020
The University's People Strategy 2015 – 2020 outlines aspirations to support its people to thrive, manage and lead in a new political and social climate. It acknowledges that we live in an ever-changing landscape and that in order to compete as a global institution, we need to put our greatest asset, our people, at the forefront of our thinking. The strategy states that we will celebrate what is good about the University, and will stop doing some of the things we have done in the past that are no longer working. The Strategy focuses on four key areas: leadership performance, personal growth, our ‘offer’ as an employer, and diversity.
The following actions are outlined in the strategy:
- Embed diversity in all that we do
- Develop a University wide diversity policy
- Enhance governance
- Target high priority groups including:
- Indigenous staff
- People with a disability
- LGBTQI people
- Female representation in academic and leadership roles within the Professoriate, Leadership, University Council and STEM faculties
- Create a governance framework
- Monitor and measure diversity goals and targets.
At an emotional level, the role of the student precinct is seen as helping people feel comfortable in being themselves and helping them be confident to explore new things and meet new people. Student response to the co-creation process