The University of New England has launched a newly refurbished study lab for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to support them in their learning journey.
The study lab, which is located in the Oorala Aboriginal Centre, is accessible to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students 24/7.
Commenting on the project, Centre Director Mr Greg Davison said it was the right time to upgrade the study lab to create an environment that support students to be more successful in their studies.
“We know having a dedicated space to study is central to our students’ success. The refurbished study lab allows our students to come together, to network and to meet with their tutors in a culturally safe environment,” Mr Davison said.
“The study lab is technologically advanced, quiet and accessible. It’s lighter, brighter ambience and bigger working spaces are exactly what our students asked for.”
The Oorala Aboriginal Centre opened its doors in 1987. The original study lab for students was opened in 2007 as part of the dedicated building.
“From the start of this project in early 2017, students and staff were central to the consultation and design process. The original study lab was over a decade old and needed extensive work to meet the requirements of our current students,” Mr Davison said.
Bachelor of Arts student, William Fraser, was one of the first people to use the revitalised study lab.
“It’s amazing to have such a useful space, its feels inclusive and easier than going to the library,” William said.
Ongoing nursing degree tutor, Rebecca Bloomfield was also taken with the space and commented that “the atmosphere is fabulous, it’s so much brighter and cleaner.”
While, Bachelor of Nursing student, Julie Eggins said that the whole place is better to work in. “The two screens makes it so much easier to do assignments and I love the calming colours!”
The refurbishment of the study lab began in October 2018. During this time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were provided with temporary study space in Dixson Library.
The benefits of the new space include larger workstations that allow for technology such as dual screens, laptop benches with more charging stations, bigger and better lit tutorial rooms and upgraded lockers.