NeW Space officially opens
The official opening of NeW Space by the Premier, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP was an opportunity to celebrate the journey that led to construction of what is now arguably Newcastle’s most iconic building.
On Friday 25 May a cast of familiar faces huddled into the room on the 8th floor overlooking Nobby’s on a spectacular autumn day. Emcee Chancellor Paul Jeans presided over the formalities which included a very warm and celebratory welcome to country by Aunty Sandra Griffin and musical trio Jacob Ridgeway, Kat Waria and Freya Atkinson.
The Premier spoke of the important role UON is playing in contributing to its community and the region and how keen the NSW Government is to continue to support the University’s efforts.
“When we embarked on the revitalisation policy for Newcastle and the Hunter, the University was already moving forward. It already had a vision for the future,” the Premier said.
“What is happening here will attract students from all around the state and the nation, and as someone who was the first in my family to attend university, I know what special opportunities that will provide for others,” she said.
These sentiments were echoed by the Minister for Education, The Hon. Rob Stokes MP who spoke of the transformation of a people lives, education and a city.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen thanked the many people who helped make NeW Space a reality.
“The existence of NeW Space has not depended on the commitment of just one leader at just one moment in time – it has depended on the commitment of many leaders across many moments in time,” she said.
“Being a University there is a fairly copious paper trail from around 2005 which tracks the remarkable patience, persistence and commitment of at least four Chancellors, members of Council, two Vice Chancellors and their committed senior executive, leaders and staff across the university.
“Political support for the bids came from not just one government group – but from all levels of local, State and Federal government - and across party lines,” the Vice-Chancellor said.
“To everyone in this room who said ‘yes’ to helping, supporting and contributing when it mattered – thank you.”