Albany comes into its own
An undoubted feather in the cap for Albany, the Wave Energy Research Centre is just one of the initiatives launched in the city by the University.
With a recent successful Summer School Program, new student accommodation, increasing student numbers and a host of community partnerships under way, UWA has become integral to
transforming the former whaling port into a modern and thriving destination.
“We touch the community in so many ways,” says Jennifer O’Neil, Director of UWA’s Albany campus and resident in the area for the past six years.
She explains that the campus provides world-class tertiary education opportunities for both regionally based students and those wishing to experience the beautiful south coast.
The Albany campus is known for its field- and industry-based units, its strong connection to the wider community, its close-knit student body, its research in one of the world’s biodiversity hot spots and its focus on pastoral care for students.
“In addition, it contributes to the community via a strong, vibrant connection with the arts and cultural aspects of the region," she says.
New opportunities through Study InBroad
One new initiative on offer is the Study InBroad program, aimed at providing a different experience for students normally based in Perth.
Current participant Trent Moss says he was ready “for a new adventure in a place full of natural beauty and activities that suited my preferences – in particular, the surfing, diving, hiking and fishing!
I also liked the idea of a more personalised university experience. To say my experience so far has been excellent is an understatement.
“Our Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia and the new Wave Energy Research Centre are providing research that can only be effectively accessed in the region,” Ms O’Neil adds.
The high quality of the academics conducting their research in and around Albany is also a drawcard, she says. Among them is internationally acclaimed botanist Professor Stephen Hopper, known affectionately in Albany and elsewhere as UWA’s ‘plant man’.
His unbridled enthusiasm for the biodiversity in southwest WA is matched only by his passion for Indigenous land management practices.
“I find Noongar and Aboriginal cosmology fascinating and profoundly heuristic,” he says. What’s more, he says the South West is “the Cinderella of the world’s floristic regions” – overlooked for so long, it’s only now turning heads.
No comparable area on earth can match the age of discovery witnessed recently here.
Study InBroad participant Trent Moss says the amazing beaches are just one attraction of the south west.
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