Under Bunjil exhibition to launch Student Precinct’s new Outdoor Gallery

May 17 / 193

Under Bunjil editorial team members Wunambi Connor, Marley Holloway-Clarke, and Serena Thompson. Thumb shows collage detail from Under Bunjil Volume 3
Under Bunjil editorial team members Wunambi Connor, Marley Holloway-Clarke, and Serena Thompson. Thumb shows collage detail from Under Bunjil Volume 3

Artwork by VCA students through the Wilin Centre, and covers from Under Bunjil – the journal by Murrup Barak and UMSU Indigenous students – will be included in the first exhibition for the Student Precinct’s new Outdoor Gallery.

The Gallery was established in response to feedback from students following last year’s co-creation initiatives and consultation on the Student Precinct Project. It will take the form of three large light boxes and two art boards to display and showcase art work. 

Under Bunjil editor Serena Thompson, a creative writing student, says the journal – which includes poetry, art, photography and commentary – provides a voice for Indigenous students to unleash their creativity, and for all students to consider the issues and concerns that are top of mind for Indigenous young people.

“Under Bunjil is distributed through all our personal networks, and the many Indigenous students living in residential colleges, on campus, and online. It’s pretty widely accessible, not only the Indigenous cohort has access to it.

“We’ve recently even had one of our Indigenous PhD students bring a few copies over to the University of British Columbia where she’s visiting. So it’s hitting an international scale, which is exciting,” she says.

“We have existing networks with other first nations people as well through students who have done exchange, at Arizona University for instance, and we’re in the early stages of establishing relationships with Maori students in New Zealand.”

Under Bunjil team member Marley Holloway-Clarke says the journal is having a serious impact, with one of the articles  included as a reading for a University of Melbourne undergraduate subject.

“Publishing people’s stories about what they might have experienced growing up is so important in helping all of us understand each other and have empathy for differences as well as similarities,” she says.

Marley is from the Kimberley in WA and Serena from far north Queensland, while Wunambi Connor is from northern NSW.

“There are so many students from different places and different nations across the country at the University of Melbourne so to be able to take copies of the journal back home, so our friends and family can hear the stories and be encouraged to start telling their own stories, is a really important thing,” Wunambi says.

According to Communications and Co-creation Manager for the Student Precinct Project, Leah Hyland, the project grew out of a desire expressed by students via co-creation activity to improve their connection to each other and to the city.

“They wanted to have shared places and spaces, and be part of opportunities that give students influence over the development of activities and spaces for students.

“The Outdoor Gallery will sow the seeds of activity and engagement in the new Student Precinct, inviting students to be active collaborators and curators of ongoing exhibitions,” she says.

The Student Precinct Project is a major campus redevelopment activity designed to enhance the student experience, and reflects the significant growth at the Parkville campus over the past two decades. 

“With over 40 per cent of students now located south of Grattan Street, it makes sense to concentrate core student services and activities closer to the heart of the campus,” Ms Hyland says. 

Co-creation is the cornerstone of the Project, with the end-users – University of Melbourne students – partnering with the University as active contributors, decision makers, team members and ambassadors throughout all stages of the Project. 

Read more about the Student Precinct project

Register to attend the Outdoor Gallery Launch

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