2016 was a successful year for the Community and Engagement pillar of the University with a continued strengthening of engagement between UWA and the wider community.
A number of local events took place, made possible through the University’s Community Partnerships Program.
These included the Shakespeare 400 Festival at Riley Oval which paid tribute to William Shakespeare’s work 400 years after his death, the spectacular Light the Night event which raised funds for the Leukaemia Foundation and PrideFest 2016, a celebration of WA’s LGBTI community and its contribution to culture and the arts. Through this partnerships program, UWA provided support to more than 40 community initiatives.
The appointment of new artistic director Wendy Martin to the Perth International Arts Festival saw the 2016 festival open with a bang. The spectacle Home at Elizabeth Quay provided audiences with a musical and visual journey through WA’s history and created a positive, memorable experience. It marked a new direction for the festival and welcomed diverse audiences.
In the cultural precinct, University Theatres expanded its engagement, launching new partnerships with high-profile theatre companies. The Barking Gecko Theatre Company premiered In A Dark, Dark Wood at the Dolphin Theatre and brought the popular Saturday Ensembles program to campus. Direct from the Sydney Opera House, Bell Shakespeare performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the excitement of thousands of high school students. UWA hosted several popular exhibitions throughout the year, with more than 50,000 people visiting the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, and the Berndt Museum unearthed many unknown treasures and celebrated 40 years since opening. UWA Publishing continued to win awards and receive excellent reviews of its books.
Maintaining its reputation as one of Perth’s premier conference facilities, UWA’s University Club received a Catering Institute of Australia Prix D’Honneur award for being Best Venue Caterer three years in succession. The University’s New Century Campaign continued its success with $331.8 million raised in philanthropic support for the ambitious $400 million target.
In the University’s new business development area, Innovation Quarter saw student entrepreneurs supported by a new collaboration between Bloom and UWA. Academic entrepreneurs were trained in the art of making a commercial pitch through the ‘Start Something’ program and some took part in CSIRO’s national ‘ON Accelerate’ program. Two $20 million Australian Research Council international research and training hubs were launched, and Woodside’s OceanWorks Futurelab was opened, a space to develop technology for ocean engineering.
Throughout the year, the University maintained a strong media presence. More than 5000 media items were generated through Australian media alone, promoting groundbreaking research and the many achievements of staff and students. The redesigned Uniview magazine was launched and a strengthened internal communications program kept staff and students well informed and engaged.
In Brand, Marketing and Recruitment, UWA won a Brand Excellence and Marketing Excellence award at the Australian Business Awards and Advertiser of the Year at the Campaign Brief Awards. A newly formed Digital and Creative Services team provided high-quality, creative online and print publications and the Future Students team drove a 38 per cent increase in international student enrolments. The amalgamated domestic and international Admissions team implemented a process to ensure students received offers earlier.
In international engagement, UWA joined forces with the University of Tasmania and western China’s highly regarded Southwest University to form Westa College. The tripartite program is the first undergraduate joint school to include an Australian university approved by China’s Ministry of Education and the first in China involving two Australian university partners working together.
The achievements this year could not have been possible without the commitment of staff, students and academics. We look forward to continued success and wide engagement in 2017.