In 2014, community and engagement at the University had a heightened focus with the appointment of Professor Kent Anderson as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Community and Engagement) in October. This exemplifies the University's commitment to engagement with the wider community.
UWA's campus came alive for our annual Open Day with an estimated 20,000 people attending the prospective student and community event. This was followed by a successful 'UWA Postgrad Week', a new initiative aimed at promoting postgraduate studies. The week produced a record attendance at the annual UWA Postgrad and Honours Expo.
With a digital first approach, the University websites were mobile device optimised and the home page revitalised to include panoramic spotlights, daily news updates and video content. UWA's social media platforms expanded to include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook followers jumped with a 37 per cent increase. UWA alumnus Tim Minchin's graduation speech 'Nine Lessons' topped the YouTube ratings Australia-wide with more than 2.2 million views.
The highlights from alumni engagement in 2014 included—
Donor support for UWA continues to grow with over $223 million raised for the New Century Campaign—more than 56 per cent of its $400 million target. Some 9000 members of the UWA community have supported the campaign, resulting in—
This shows the power of collective giving, as illustrated in impact stories shared at the December In Celebration of Giving event, where UWA thanked roughly 300 UWA supporters, and a $5 million McCusker Foundation donation to establish the McCusker Centre for Citizenship was announced.
In 2014 UWA Publishing produced a total of 35 books. Coverage in print and broadcast media continued to be a strong feature resulting in excess of $4 million in advertising equivalent value. A strong presence on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and partnership with the West Australian newspaper drove many sales.
In 2014 UWA Publishing presented 80 launch or festival events for its books with a total audience of 4400. A total of 32 trade titles sold 30,000 copies across Australia and through Amazon globally, and e-books started to become an income source with more than 2000 sold globally. UWA Publishing books continue to be shortlisted in awards and won a WA Premier's Book Award in 2014. A pleasing aspect of 2014 was that five books were published by UWA staff, and 11 by UWA graduates.
The Cultural Precinct oversees University Museums, which includes the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, the Cruthers Collection of Women's Art and the Berndt Museum. In 2014 UWA Museums attracted more than 50,000 visitors to 10 exhibitions; co-published three books, a journal, a CD and 10 catalogues; hosted three professional placements; and held two roundtables with visiting arts professionals (in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Studies). Staff within UWA Museums also presented 31 public program events, gave 21 tours and managed 28 visits from internal and external groups.
The 2014 program was Perth Festival's most ambitious in its 62-year history. There was a larger program, higher box office target and higher paid audience target than in any previous Festival. PIAF achieved its highest box office sales ever with $5,188,704 for the core program and more than $6 million for the whole Festival; total attendance was 378,340; philanthropic income also saw a significant boost showing increased individual buy-in to the Festival; independent media monitoring assessed the value of media coverage for the 2014 Festival at $15 million. The words of UWA Festival Founder, Professor Fred Alexander, a 'Festival for the People' remain true. Films at Somerville and the Perth Writers Festival were centrepieces of the program and the diverse and large audience attending School Day, Family Day and the Writers program on campus exemplify the community support.