In 2017 the University continued to invest in and develop its strong engagement with the Western Australian community.
The UWA-founded Perth Festival provided an exciting start to the year with the spectacular opening event, Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak exploring the beauty of the WA landscape. This event was attended by 110,000 people. The festival continued to tell hundreds of stories through a rich program of film, theatre, dance, visual arts and literature.
UWA's Cultural Precinct enjoyed a successful year with more than 50,000 people attending exhibitions held on campus. The Batavia exhibition, Giving Voice to the Voiceless, Country and Colony and Being Tiwi, was a highlight drawing more than 14,000 people to see works highlighting the impact of the Batavia shipwreck, one of the darkest chapters in Australian maritime history. Another successful event was Inclusive Arts Week — an exhibition aimed at improving accessibility in the arts for everyone in the community by using new technologies and non-traditional ways of showing art.
University Theatres expanded its Young People's Performance Season to the delight of 10,000 students. One performance highlight was Bell Shakespeare's performance of Macbeth, while the AWESOME Festival included the ever-popular theatrical performance of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, one of the most-read and famous children's books of all time.
UWA's commitment to the prosperity and welfare of the people was never more evident than in 2017. The New Century Campaign concluded with over $430 million raised directly supporting UWA students and world-class research. Over 12,000 donors contributed.
Through the University's Community Partnerships Program we forged several new partnerships as well as continuing to support more than 40 local community initiatives. In partnering with the West Coast Fever netball team, we expanded our research and provided volunteering and work placement opportunities for students.
The University also cultivated strong industry partnerships. Our long-term collaboration with Chevron was recognised at the 2017 Business Higher Education Round Table by receiving the Outstanding Collaboration in Research and Development Award. UWA's rock art research was a finalist in the awards, supported by Rio Tinto.
In international engagement, UWA deepened ties with Sungkyunkwan University in Korea, with a delegation of 15 visiting Seoul in September. We welcomed the first group of eight students funded by Argentina's scholarship agency BEC.AR into UWA master's courses in Agriculture and Biological Sciences, and launched a collaboration with RISTEK-DIKTI in Indonesia.
Throughout the year the University cultivated strong local and international partnerships. The New Century Campaign was supported by more than 12,000 donors and exceeded its $400 million target, directly supporting UWA students and world-class research.Professor Kent AndersonDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Community and Engagement)
A campaign to engage future students and show them the exciting study opportunities at UWA was launched. In 2017 the total number of UWA students was 24,327. The University continued to attract WA's top school leavers with our median ATAR rising to 93. At the same time, the number of postgraduate students increased by 1,136 and our international students increased by 17 per cent.
We celebrated the inaugural UWA Innovation Quarter awards — a competition encouraging staff and students to showcase their ideas and creativity; and in partnership with the Big Issue's Big Idea, 200 students competed at a national level presenting life-changing social enterprise ideas.
Graduates continue to have a lifelong relationship with the University through Convocation of UWA Graduates and in 2017 the University welcomed Dr Doug McGhie as the new Warden of Convocation. More graduates than ever before engaged in the life of the University with almost 3000 alumni volunteers contributing their time and support throughout the year.
In media engagement we had more than 4000 items in Australian media alone featuring the achievements of our staff and students. We enhanced our internal communications, keeping staff and students up to date through the weekly UWA Forward, a monthly Senior Leaders Brief and all-staff forums. UWA's magazine Uniview received a new look and launched a digital version.
The achievements this year could not have been possible without the commitment of staff, students, graduates and academics. We look forward to continued success and wide community engagement in 2018.
Professor Kent Anderson
(Community and Engagement)