Hawkesbury campus Provost

A message from Peter Pickering, Provost, Hawkesbury Campus

Welcome to the Hawkesbury Campus, the largest (1300ha) and arguably, most historic campus within the Western Sydney University network.

This beautiful and lively campus is set in the heart of historic Richmond, at the foot of the Blue Mountains, on the flats of the Hawkesbury River.

The Hawkesbury campus carries on the tradition of NSW's first Agricultural College. Founded in 1891, the Hawkesbury Agricultural College lands include many buildings of historic importance, including the Walter Vernon designed Stable Square which was built in 1895 and has recently been painstakingly restored and refurbished.

The campus is home to the School of Science and Health and the School of Nursing and Midwifery as well as specialist research facilities like the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) and the EucFACE (Eucalyptus Free Air CO2 Enrichment) experiment and sustainability developments on the Riverfarm. The campus is also home to a large number of professional and support staff of the University - with most of the Division of Finance and Resources based here - including Information Technology and Digital Services, Capital Works and Facilities, Financial Operations and Commercial and Estate Planning.

Be sure to explore the many wonderful facilities that the campus has to offer as well as get to know our friendly and helpful staff.

Top of the list is the recently refurbished Graham Swain Library (G1) which now includes a new dual entry to link the library back into the heart of the campus, to provide better linkage between the precincts and to improve the standard and amenity of the building.

The historic Stable Square (K4) has undergone a significant adaptive re-use renovation to provide new, contemporary accommodation for Student Support Services, Student Central, uwsconnect, the bookshop, a cafe and updated amenities. This precinct is a focal social gathering point and meeting place on campus.

Another historic building on campus to have recently undergone a face-lift is Memorial Hall. This building, built in the 1920's has long been a focal point on campus and commemorates the service of HAC students in the Boer and Korean Wars and the two World Wars. The building has been immaculately restored and the adjacent 'Fairy Circle' now serves as a beautiful entry to the campus. This venue hosts a very well-attended annual Anzac Day commemoration and the service this year will be especially significant, marking the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.

The Hawkesbury campus also boasts some cutting edge technology and facilities. The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) has rapidly become the leading centre of excellence in ecosystem function and environmental responses to changing climates with a strong reputation for delivering research outcomes of the highest quality. With a unique suite of world-class research facilities, the Institute collaborates with Australian and international institutions. The HIE building has user friendly communal spaces, state-of-the-art lecture theatres and laboratories and facilities for post-graduate and research students.

Another highlight of the campus is the Forensic Sciences building or our 'crime scene labs'. This facility, designed in collaboration with the NSW Police Force, has enabled the consolidation of all crime scene investigation teaching and research activities on the Hawkesbury campus. It features a motor vehicle accident examination laboratory, crime scene scenario room, teaching spaces and labs and an outdoor forensic archaeology examination area.

The Hawkesbury campus is also home to the EucFACE experiment, which is the world's only Free Air CO² Enrichment experiment in a native forest. EucFACE is designed to predict the effects of rapidly rising atmospheric carbon dioxide on Australia's unique native forests. This innovative experiment aims to predict decades in advance the effect of exposure to rising CO² levels in native forests, animals, soils and grasses.

We also take great pride in making our campus as 'green' and 'sustainable' as possible. The landscaping on campus makes extensive use of native plants and the presence of a working farm on campus provides an ongoing and living link with the agricultural past of the institution. 

Our campus and facilities here at Hawkesbury have much to offer and whether you are a student, staff member, or a visitor to the campus, I encourage you to explore the campus and familiarise yourselves with all that it has to offer and to be active and engaged in life on campus, either by getting involved in the Campus Life Committee, Students Representative Council, or just actively participating in the many events held on campus.

Your active engagement in campus life will give you the fullest enjoyment of the diverse campus community and wonderful facilities that the Hawkesbury campus has to offer.