Cleansing ceremony marks next phase in NeW Space precinct construction

Traditional ceremony marks next phase of NeW Space

08 July 2014

A traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony was today performed at the University of Newcastle's NeW Space site, as the project prepares to enter the next stage of development.

The ancient custom involves burning various native plants to produce a cleansing smoke. It is culturally appropriate to conduct such a ceremony at an occasion where the state of the earth is changed, and as a celebration of new opportunities. It comes as mine rectification works are set to begin on the site.

The tradition connects participants to the spirit world, and symbolises peace, healing and justice and is performed by Aboriginal people with specialised knowledge.

The NeW Space precinct, due to open at the start of the 2017 academic year, will host a range of University-supported activities including:

  • business and law programs
  • digital library services and information commons
  • collaborative learning and research spaces
  • facilities for engagement with industry, business and the community; and
  • social learning spaces.

NeW Space is supported by Australian Government funding of $30 million through the Education Investment Fund Regional Priorities Round, NSW Government funding of $25 million, and $40 million invested by the University.