Western Sydney University Transformation Hub now open for the people of Lithgow
Western Sydney University’s partnership with the people of Lithgow is entering a new phase, with the re-opening of the Charles Hoskins Memorial Institute building on Mort Street.
The Hon Andrew Gee MP, Federal Member for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, has joined with the Mayor of Lithgow City Council, Councillor Ray Thompson and members of the University and Lithgow communities to announce the new name and community focus for the University’s Lithgow site.
Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, said the building will be known as the Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra – Lithgow Transformation Hub.
“The city of Lithgow sits on the land of the Wiradjuri people. In acknowledgment and respect to the Traditional Owners and Custodians, the University consulted with the local Indigenous community and was bestowed the name ‘Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra’,” said Professor Glover.
“In Wiradjuri language, Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra translates as ‘Workmanship together, side by side’ – a fitting name for the Hub, given its intent to create a space where the Lithgow community can continue to come together with the University, share knowledge and resources, and work together towards a sustainable and thriving future.”
The historic Charles Hoskins Memorial Institute building was used by the University from 2014-2018, primarily as a teaching facility for The College’s Diploma of Nursing programs.
Since ceasing teaching activities at the site in late 2018, the University consulted a wide range of stakeholders and business and community representatives, which included holding a series of workshops to consider potential, alternate options for the use of the site.
Researchers from the University’s Institute for Culture and Society shared a ‘Re-imagining Lithgow’ discussion paper in 2019, suggesting the site be used to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, empowering the local community to overcome regional challenges.
Lead researcher, Associate Professor Louise Crabtree-Hayes, said ‘Transformation’ is a reference to the Hub’s focus on collaboration with industry, education and community partners in realising Lithgow’s future as a productive, sustainable city.
“The outcome of our consultations is that the site should be used as an open, shared space – where the communities of Lithgow can come together with the University for their mutual benefit,” said Associate Professor Crabtree-Hayes.
“In the Hub, we envisage a space where local students can come to use our state-of-the-art technology or Wi-Fi, or find a co-working or study space; while professionals and business-owners can use the Hub for their conferences, gatherings, meetings, events, residencies, exhibitions or pop-up labs.
“We also anticipate the Hub becoming a centre for engaged, practical, and collaborative research partnerships focusing on the future of industry, technology, enterprise, culture, wellbeing, tourism, and education in regional Australia, and see the potential for the Hub to attract world-class companies and talent to the Lithgow area.”
The Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra – Lithgow Transformation Hub is being established by Western Sydney University in partnership with numerous community, business, education, and service organisations, including Lithgow City Council and Wiradjuri elders. A Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra Advisory Group is being established, to oversee the activities of the Hub.
For more information, visit the Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra – Lithgow Transformation Hub expressions of interest form(opens in a new window).
29 April 2021
Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas
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