Deakin University today marked the official beginning of its 40th anniversary, at its Geelong headquarters, with a travelling exhibition celebrating the public identity and achievements of its namesake, three-time Australian Prime Minister Alfred Deakin.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said “Alfred Deakin: from journalist to international diplomat” was an opportunity to reflect on the University’s growth from its Geelong origins into Australia’s ninth largest university.
“When the Deakin University Act was first written in 1974, we were proud to adopt the Deakin name, as it was synonymous with vision and foresight,” Professor den Hollander said.
“Today, our University has over 47,000 students, alumni networks across the globe, more than 3,600 staff, countless innovations and a strong presence in our diverse campuses and communities.
“Our founding goals were to develop lasting relationships with rural and regional communities and offer an educational experience that widened participation for students from diverse backgrounds.
“These goals are still the essence of every day at Deakin as we push the boundaries of the digital frontier and expand our community and industry connections, world-class research and global reach.
“We remain as committed as we did in our beginnings to our regional base – our communities may now be borderless thanks to the wonderful opportunities technology has brought us, but everyone needs a home and ours is still right here where we started, in Geelong.
“The creation of Carbon Nexus is one example of how far we have come: a research institution at our original Waurn Ponds campus that is helping to reshape the manufacturing future for the region.
“By matching our students with key industry and community leaders we will ensure our graduates are work-ready, responsive to changing economic needs and equipped with the intellectual firepower, capacity and skills that will prepare them for a future we can only begin to imagine.
“We know the possibilities for our future are truly limitless and we are focused on asking: ‘What’s in store for the next 40 years?’”
Professor den Hollander said it was appropriate that the University looked to the future through the lens of history, reflecting on the life of Alfred Deakin.
“Alfred Deakin was a man ahead of his times, strengthening our international ties as a three-time Prime Minister in the turbulent early years following Federation,” she said.
“We are proud to be named after Alfred Deakin and equally proud to be presenting this wonderful exhibition that explores his extraordinary development from young journalist to Prime Minister.”
Alfred Deakin: from journalist to international diplomat includes a series of graphic installations with copies of photographs, letters, documents and anecdotes highlighting his public life as a young journalist, diplomat, orator, writer and one of Australia’s most prominent politicians.
University Librarian Anne Horn said the exhibition was an example of how Deakin’s rare and valued collections had been built to support teaching and research endeavours.
“These collections are an asset to the Geelong and regional communities, and this exhibition is a wonderful illustration of this,” Ms Horn said.
The exhibition opens at the Atrium Gallery at Deakin’s Waterfront Campus in Geelong and runs from8 April to 9 May. It will then travel to the following locations throughout the year:
- Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool: 19 May – 27 June;
- Deakin Burwood Campus, University Library, 28 July – 3 October;
- Portland City Library, 27 October – 5 December.
Click here for more information about Deakin University’s 40th Anniversary events and celebrations.