Speech given by the Governor at the opening of Victoria University's City Tower Campus
First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we are gathering, and I pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and to Elders of other communities who may be with us today.
I am delighted to join you here today to officially open Victoria University’s newest campus – the VU City Tower Campus.
When, this time last year, I had the privilege of installing the Hon Dr Steve Bracks AC as your 7th Chancellor, I spoke of the fact that for more than a century, Victoria University has maintained an ethos of transforming both the lives of its students as well as the communities around them.
I spoke of VU’s strong links to industry and embedded community partnerships, its innovative Block Model of teaching and the opportunities afforded to students both vocationally, and more broadly equipping them for life as well as a living.
This new campus is the tangible embodiment of your ethos and a hallmark of your innovative approach to higher education.
It consolidates three VU city campuses into the one building to become – I’m told – the tallest and largest example in the world of a dual sector University, with Higher Education and TAFE side by side.
It is exciting. Bringing those campuses together will enable a critical mass of learning and enhanced opportunities for connections and collaboration.
With the top four floors reserved for industries relevant to the diverse range of courses taught here, there is a seamless integration of industry and learning.
The partnerships forged, and the internships and placements that will take place, will no doubt go far in preparing your students for their careers after university.
Of course, I particularly like the location of this campus. It is familiar territory for me and my husband, Tony after a combined 80 plus years in this legal precinct.
And, as the proud Patron of the Sir Zelman Centre housed here, I appreciate what an advantage it is for Law students to be so easily exposed to the courts and the official and legal offices nearby.
I recall that on my first day of Articles, I was asked to go to the Supreme Court Library. Although an absolutely iconic part of this precinct and my new profession, I’d never seen it before. And, when sent to the Titles Office, I had to pour over a Melways to find it!
Of particular note is that this fantastic VU building and vision has been realised at a time when our CBD is, by necessity, being reimagined. Students, academics, researchers and industry partners will become an integral part of what will be our different but, equally exciting, city centre.
I see VU as an ‘anchor tenant’ if you will, in that process.
When it comes to the building itself, its environmental credentials can be celebrated.
And from my visit today, I note that each classroom is different, although each one provides a dynamic and interactive environment – very different from the soul-less lecture theatres of my university days.
Congratulations to everyone at VU for the realisation of this project. It is a bold project, completed in challenging and distracting times. Well done on staying the course and succeeding with this handsome and practical new university campus.
Shortly, I will have great pleasure in cutting the ribbon to declare the Victoria University City Tower Campus officially open.