From banners to eco-hubs, LaTrobe University students have spent the past weeks working on projects to re-imagine Bendigo Creek.
In the early hours of Thursday, five students unveiled a banner between the palm trees in Rosalind Park.
Reading ‘@lovebendigocreek’ the banner is designed to draw attention from passing traffic.
The group – one of four in the project – have been addressing the ecological sustainability of the creek.
The students have set up an eco hub, further into the park, to further engage with the community.
The subject is a ‘CityStudio’ project, an innovative learning model from Vancouver. The program has seen students engage not only with council, but with the community, to deliver real world solutions.
Course-coordinator Marcus Moores was drawn to the CityStudio model while in Vancouver, seeing how it tapped the potential of students and drew energy to the city.
Rather than delivering long term solutions, he sees it as a chance to engage the community to create creative and unique ideas.
“Within our university’s there’s a lot of untapped potential from our students,” Dr Moores said.
“This is a way to try and provide opportunities for students to really excel and bring their own backgrounds and talents to a project in a way that works with communities to get real word solutions onto the ground.”
The subject has drawn students from disciplines as diverse as archaeology and urban planning, all aiming to engage with council and the community.
Public Health student Hannah Dwyer has loved the project.
“It’s like the classroom serving a real world program,” she said.
“We have been working with the council… we have meetings with them regularly to see if what we’re putting forward is in line with what they want.
“It’s a program based around dialogue, so there’s a lot of discussion, a lot of community integration.”
Elsewhere, a group of dedicated students braved the chilly winds on Wednesday to brandish a banner until near Alexandra Fountain.
Their aim was to draw the community’s attention to the creek running underneath the road.
Group member Hayley Davis said they had been surprised by how little many people knew about the creek.
“We noticed that we’re proud of our gold heritage, and our architecture is promoted, and the creek is kind of this ignored, but very very prominent feature in our town,” she said.
“We’re very quick to go ‘it’s a problem, or it’s an issue that the town has to do with’. We’re looking at ways to look at it as an opportunity, or an asset or a place of potential.”