President of the University College Council, Ms Jane Peck; Head of College, Dr Jennifer McDonald; and President of the UC Student Club, Ms Erica Roche welcomed Chancellor of The University of Melbourne, Mr Allan Myers AC QC as well as over 500 students, parents, alumni, governors, fellows, donors and members of the College community to the Opening of the UC Redevelopment Project on Wednesday 7 August, 2019.
Ms Roche thanked the President of Council and Members of Council, both past and present; the Head of College and her team of staff, both past and present; members of the College community; as well as all of those students who have previously been in and are currently in residence.
“This building can of course be considered just an arrangement of bricks and concrete, but I encourage you to consider it more as an environment in which many, many things are possible. The growth of this College opens doors to an even greater number and variety of students that will shape and be shaped by this place that so many of us call and have called home. And to me that is incredibly exciting,” said Ms Roche.
Mr Myers spoke of his delight in seeing the new facilities given his close association with universities and colleges over the course of his adult life.
The University is encouraging the creation of or itself building accommodation for around 6,000 students; the Colleges around the Crescent that are well established provide less than 3,000. There are still a lot of students that would benefit from a life that a College provides. The community life that can be enjoyed in College not only sustains those that have the privilege of it whilst they are at university, but it is very often the basis for life long friendships and connections that assist one in all sorts of ways in ones course through life.
I speak as one who knows who came as a young lad from a country town without any member of my family hitherto coming to university or indeed staying in school beyond the age of thirteen or fourteen. I know therefore what a College can do to help provide the environment and the support where one can study effectively and develop in ways that create, one hopes, good citizens and good people. All told, I spent eight years in College – it’s extraordinary isn’t it – both here and in England – one doesn’t expect that to happen nowadays – but still these Colleges and their community environment are a tremendous support in all sorts of ways and they encourage an atmosphere of study and provide companionship.
– Mr Allan Myers AC QC
Dr McDonald relayed the thanks of the college community to the Members of the College Council and Staff who delivered the project over the course of several years.
“As the well-known Chinese proverb says – ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. Our journey too began with a single step: the goal of building a new dining hall because our student numbers had outgrown our existing facilities. Little did we know it would indeed then become a journey of a thousand miles. As we gather here tonight at the end of that journey, there is much to celebrate,” said Dr McDonald.
Ms Peck acknowledged the key stakeholders in the project who worked so closely with the College to ensure the Project was delivered to such a high standard.
“To Lovell Chen, the architecture firm behind the design; Icon and Cockram, the company who delivered the build; KordaMentha, as development managers; Case Meallin, as project managers; NAB, as financier to the project; as well as the numerous other companies and individuals who helped out along the way, I say thank you,” said Ms Peck.
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