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Revitalised Bendigo City Campus officially opens

The $60 million revitalised TAFE campus in the heart of Bendigo city has officially opened its doors.

Nearly 3,000 students pursue vocational training at Bendigo TAFE’s City Campus, which has undergone an incredible transformation over the past 20 months through funding from the Victorian Government.

Officially opened today by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews MP and Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney MP, the transformed campus features state-ofthe-art training spaces geared to improve learning experiences.

“These works deliver a vibrant and modern TAFE for the Bendigo region, tailor-made to support learning and training. It showcases the value of vocational training with the project’s head architect and many of the construction workers gaining their qualifications at Bendigo TAFE,” said Minister Tierney.

Featuring a mix of new and refurbished heritage-listed buildings, key elements of the revitalised campus include a new bakery and restaurant training facilities, hair, beauty and barbering salon, library, rehabilitation gym, life skills laboratory and an Indigenous education centre.

Bendigo TAFE Chief Executive Sally Curtain said the refreshed campus embraces the rich history of Bendigo TAFE in the community and its continued vision to train and skill a workforce for the future.

“This campus has been a vibrant feature in the heart of Bendigo city for 167 years. Thanks to funding from the Victorian Government, we are proud to deliver an improved educational precinct that continues to embrace its strong heritage in Bendigo city, while providing state-ofthe-art, fit-for-purpose facilities to train the workforce of tomorrow,” said Ms Curtain.

The redevelopment also featured strong collaboration from local community, including partnering with Djandak and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation to feature Dja Dja Wurrung cultural elements and knowledge across the building façade and landscaping.

A significant feature on the building façade is an impressive multi-storey image of Waa the crow, which is one of two primary moieties that make up Dja Dja Wurrung cultural and belief systems.

Ms Curtain said community involvement was a crucial element in developing an enhanced, open space campus for the community.

“Bendigo TAFE is proud to recognise and showcase the traditional land ownership of our city campus in the design of our new buildings, and we sincerely thank Djandak and Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation for partnering with us to create such memorable design elements,” said Ms Curtain.

“With enhanced open spaces and landscaping, the revitalised campus is now a vibrant and welcoming space for students and our local community to learn, explore and appreciate.”

Bendigo TAFE Board Chair Peter Harmsworth AO said that the campus now tells a full story in a way that it hasn’t before.

“The campus is something unique to the TAFE sector in Victoria – it is a reflection of the community and its history, and it will deliver economic benefits for Bendigo, central and northern Victoria for years to come,” said Mr Harmsworth.

Designed by award-winning architects Architectus and Six Degrees and constructed over multiple stages by Kane Constructions and joint venture partner Nicholson Construction (KNJV), the revitalisation project prioritised hiring local trades of approximately 800 workers, including Bendigo TAFE graduates and apprentices.

Ms Curtain said the creation of local jobs was an important feature of the project.

“In a year where Bendigo TAFE has been recognised with Teacher of the Year and Apprentice of the Year in the Victorian Training Awards, a significant feature of this campus revitalisation has been the number of local jobs, including Bendigo TAFE apprentices and graduates, that this project has supported,” said Ms Curtain.

Bendigo TAFE building design graduate and Architectus project architect Jayden Peacock said that it was enormously rewarding to lead the design of a project that is knitted into the historic fabric of Bendigo while being firmly focused on the future of the region and its people.

“I grew up in Bendigo and attended Bendigo TAFE, so this was a project close to my heart. The design of the new city campus aims to empower students to become agents in their own education, their training and their careers by creating spaces that cater to all kinds of learners – from hands-on, practical environments, to high energy collaborative settings, and quiet zones,” said Mr Peacock.

The revitalised city campus features:

New buildings –

  • Building G: Main entrance, customer service centre, new learning hub, new library, and hair, beauty and barbering salon.
  • Building J: New Indigenous Education Centre named Djjimbayang (in consultation with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation) which means teaching and learning, classrooms for english, Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and work education, a life skills laboratory and rooftop breakout space. This includes the relocation of Bendigo Technical Education Campus’ youth programs to the Bendigo City Campus.

Refurbished buildings –

  • Building E: New bakery and hospitality, barista, café and restaurant training facilities.
  • Building H: Visual arts classrooms and offices.
  • Building P: Rehabilitation gym and information technology classrooms.

Other features –

  • Enhanced disabled access and amenities
  • New utility infrastructure to improve efficiency and environmentally sustainability

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