A public face for university in the CBD

Lincoln BertelliSouth Western Times
ECU team leader Annemarie Pankhurst works from the university’s space at Maker & Co, part of a plan to improve accessibility.
Camera IconECU team leader Annemarie Pankhurst works from the university’s space at Maker & Co, part of a plan to improve accessibility. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Taking up residence at Bunbury building Maker + Co is one part of Edith Cowan University’s plan to increase its community presence, South West campus dean Lyn Farrell believes.

The university has been one of the tenants at the creative space, located on the corner of Victoria and Symmons streets, since August.

The Shore Lines writing festival was hosted there and Ms Farrell hopes the venue will get more use in 2017.

“It is about having a CBD presence,” Ms Farrell said.

“We have staff working out of there and also use it to hold events.

“My vision for next year is to have open lectures and tutorials in that building, so we’re a little bit more embedded in the community and increase our profile and access.

“We want to be a university that everybody sees as being for them, so having a CBD presence means people can access and see us.”

Ms Farrell said the idea of an unstructured “shared space for creative purposes” appealed to her and fitted in with a changing idea of how people learnt at universities.

ECU is also planning to introduce a creche in time for next year, which Ms Farrell said tied into the overall aim of meeting the community’s needs.

The creche would operate every day to help students with children while they were on campus.

“The whole thing is about attracting and retaining students and we are already hearing interest in the idea,” she said.

“We would probably employ a pool of casual people to run it.”

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