Governor officially opens state-of-the-art social sciences and creative arts building

Building dedicated to retiring Chancellor in recognition of outstanding leadership

Governor officially opens state-of-the-art social sciences and creative arts building

A new state-of-the-art creative arts and social sciences building has been officially opened today, Wednesday 23 September 2020, at the University of Wollongong (UOW) by New South Wales Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC.

The four storey, multi-purpose building has been designed to attract, engage and develop the very best creative talent to ideate, design, create and facilitate meaningful engagement in response to the themes and issues facing society.

It features a visual arts gallery, two theatre spaces, music performance, rehearsal, recording and production facilities, a fully equipped newsroom, digital design studio, maker space, simulation labs and indoor and outdoor teaching facilities.

The formal ceremony dedicated the new Social Sciences and The Arts building to retiring UOW Chancellor, Ms Jillian Broadbent AC, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the University, naming it the Jillian Broadbent Building.

The University envisions the building becoming a key driver of innovation and growth in the Illawarra region thanks to the opportunities it provides for creative expression and skill development.

Her Excellency the Governor thanked Chancellor Broadbent for her governance and leadership of UOW throughout her 11-year term, which has contributed significantly to UOW becoming a global success story. The Governor also praised the University for creating such a high-quality venue as part of providing a foundation and inspiration for living and working towards a better life for everyone.

“I congratulate UOW for delivering on its vision to support communities by engaging them through creativity,” Her Excellency said. “The University is headed in the right direction by being an institution providing world-class facilities in which students, staff and local communities can upskill themselves, explore creativity and be equipped to compete on a global stage.”

“I am confident this new building will live up to its vision and play an important role in Australia’s economic and social recovery post-COVID-19, by equipping the workforce of the future.”

UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor, Paul Wellings CBE, said the social sciences and the arts play crucial roles in a well-functioning society by influencing policy, improving accountability and helping inform decisions for the betterment of society.

“The creative industry is one of the most dynamic and robust sectors in the world that contributes to overall wellbeing, improves cultural diversity and boosts economic growth.

“This new facility is built to attract and develop the best social sciences and creative arts minds and to provide a forum for new thinking, innovation, learning and creative expression that will help drive growth within our communities.

“UOW welcomes communities to visit the new building and benefit from using its state-of-the-art simulation labs, galleries, theatres, studios, editing suites, newsroom facilities and informal learning spaces.

“We are pleased to be providing a high-quality academic teaching and research facility aligned with the current and future needs of the cultural and creative industries.

“The Social Sciences and The Arts building, the Jillian Broadbent Building, will act as a much-needed driver of innovation, learning, growth and skill development in a post-COVID-19 world,” Professor Wellings said.

The Australian Government’s Bureau of Communications and Arts Research has calculated that cultural and creative activity contributed nearly $112 billion to the Australia economy in 2016-17, or 6.4% of our gross domestic product. This sector, which has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, has been identified as crucial to Australia’s recovery.

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