The engagement process for CDU’s Greater Darwin campuses of the Future Masterplan produced some broad responses about our big issues but also drilled down into the perceptions and experiences of our wider CDU community.
These comments will play an important role in guiding our growth in coming years.
Your responses show that people are passionate about the campus and want it to be successful, with many concerned about the impact of the planned CBD campus on Casuarina’s long-term viability.
The notion of developing a Tropical Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM) and Health and Industrial Research Precinct was largely supported in conversations. The campus is seen as a key asset for the northern suburbs’ community, but essential to the future of the campus is achieving a sense of “critical mass”.
Some of the responses may have seemed at odds with each other. The campus was widely described as relaxed and quiet, but at the same time others saw it as deserted and not busy enough. Some talked of a sense of disconnect and fragmentation with a lack of spaces to just hang out and spend time, and a lack of reasons for broader community to engage with the campus.
Survey responses from campus users showed support for the practical learning spaces of hairdressing, commercial cookery, tourism and hospitality, and the Karawa restaurant.
There was support for more creative use of spaces for initiatives that engage the community. This included improving technology in rooms such as the lecture theatre to promote more use and consolidating community-used facilities to one area of campus – for example, moving hairdressing next to the beauty salon and restaurant. After hours access to facilities was also an issue.
There was concern about inadequate lighting, a lack of comfortable seating and social areas and the need for year-round outdoor space, and support for building the campus experience to give people reasons to stay beyond their class times.
The convenient central location was seen as a big factor in the campus’ favour, along with its clean modern feel. But many respondents felt there were opportunities for better links with the wider Waterfront precinct.
There was also a sense of disconnection from Casuarina campus and a lack of CDU social activities at the Waterfront campus.