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Virtual reality, simulation centres and nanotechnology will be among resources students use to develop skills in courses and programs at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Greensborough campus from early next year.

Melbourne Polytechnic is reopening the campus as a centre of expertise in health and community services, business and entrepreneurship, with state-of-the-art learning technologies and a contemporary learning environment.

The campus will also advance the development of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills of local secondary students with the opening of the Banyule Tech School onsite in 2018.

The Banyule Tech School will be one of 10 such schools established across Victoria in a $125 million construction program that forms part of the state government’s STEM education investment. The school will use leading-edge technology, including robotics and virtual reality, discovery and innovation to train students for success in a rapidly changing economy.

Melbourne Polytechnic campus redevelopment manager Skylie Massingham says the $10 million Greensborough campus redesign and refurbishment aims to create a vibrant and diverse community hub for study and work.

“The campus will support and service students, businesspeople, budding entrepreneurs and industry, not only through the provision of study courses tailored to meet community and industry requirements, but also through services provided by campus precinct partners,” she says.

Centre entrance. Image: Supplied
Centre entrance. Image: Supplied

These partners include the Melbourne Innovation Centre, the Banyule Nillumbik Local Learning and Employment Network, the Career Education Association of Victoria and the Diamond Valley Learning Centre.

Students can now enrol in short courses, certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas for 2017 study. Undergraduate degrees and postgraduate courses to master’s level will also be available in future years.

Prior to the campus reopening, Melbourne Polytechnic is running a jobs and skills centre at Greensborough Plaza, offering course advice.

The initial selection of certificates and diplomas ranges from health – individual support, community services and pathology collection; to business – accounting, marketing, communications and business administration; and plant and animal
studies – parks and gardens, and companion animal services.

The Greensborough campus will accommodate more than 1000 students at once and as a community precinct will have flexible opening hours, with the Melbourne Innovation Centre operating 24 hours, seven days a week.

Skylie says the refreshed campus includes a health simulation centre with hospital beds and a demonstration centre representing a residential setting where students can
develop and practise healthcare skills in real-life situations using simulation mannequins.

“Our students can experience working in a care home, or supporting people with a disability in their own homes and develop practical skills before going on work placements,” she says.

Proposed simulation suite. Photo: Supplied
Proposed simulation suite. Photo: Supplied

Tectura Architects accepted the challenge of transforming the 1980s campus into an innovative 21st-century learning community employing state-of-the-art technologies, as well as designing the new Banyule Tech School. Project architect Melika Grigg-Baycan says the new design has re-imagined existing buildings to give them fresh purpose in line with the goals of Melbourne Polytechnic and its precinct partners.

“We are catering for what the polytechnic wants to do now and what it will need to do in the future,” she says. “We have designed highly flexible learning spaces using operable and writable walls, extra width doorways and mobile joinery.”

The refreshed campus includes contemporary learning spaces with screens and flexible furnishings enabling teachers to work freely within the spaces; breakout areas, a horticulture lab, student lounge, cafe, auditorium and library, as well as the simulation and demonstration centres.

The Banyule Tech School will be a new two-storey building where groups of
students from local schools work with industry mentors to develop critical and creative thinking and solve real-life problems in an innovative high-tech setting with resources such as nanotechnology, robotics and virtual reality.

The Melbourne Innovation Centre, an internationally acclaimed business incubator, is also opening new facilities at the Greensborough campus. The MIC provides expertise, training, programs and networks to help participants generate and grow sustainable enterprises and create work opportunities and economic development.

At Greensborough there’s a collaborative working space for up to 30 people, 24 offices – including some with sliding partitions to form larger areas – a breakout area and small and medium-sized meeting rooms.

“The success of these types of spaces is based on the cross-pollination of ideas, so we have created an environment that promotes opportunities for spontaneous discussion and idea generation,” Melika says.

Skylie says Melbourne Polytechnic looks forward to welcoming its first students to the refreshed Greensborough campus in February.


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