How do you think of the Bendigo Creek?
That’s what a dedicated bunch of Latrobe students have been asking the community for the past five weeks, using an innovative model of learning.
Today, they presented their findings to council and community.
Four groups stepped up to explain what they had learnt about the creek over the course of the subject.
The subject is a ‘CityStudio’ project, running for the first time outside of Vancouver.
In Vancouver, CityStudio aims to change the way students, councils and community members work together to create solutions for the city.
That’s what the LaTrobe students have been doing in Bendigo.
The first stage of the project involved students in discussion around the creek with council and the community.
It was last week that things got interesting.
On Wednesday and Thursday students took to Bendigo’s streets to ask the community about the creek.
One group even got up in the wee hours of Thursday morning to unveil a banner across Rosalind Park, reading @IloveBendigoCreek.
Public Health member Hannah Dwyer said the banner worked well to draw people’s attention to the creek.
“It was so good. People reacted, we got lots of honks,” she said.
The group also set up an eco-hub, which turned a section of the creek green.
Course coordinator Marcus Morse has been blown away both by the amount of effort students have put in, and the support of the community.
He was keen to run the model to tap into the potential students have to bring their ideas and energy to a project.
“It’s a way of engaging the creativity and the potential of the LaTrobe students that has an input into the city that is not always easy to achieve from a council point of view,” he said.
“That’s the thing about the subject, is the creativity and surprising ideas that the students come up with.
”It’s not about a permanent solution, it’s about trying to think differently and provoke different ideas and provoke a discussion.”
For International Relations student Ure Javkhklan, the subject has been about more than just learning content.
It’s been an a chance to build her confidence as an individual within the community.
“[It’s allowed] us to use our skills and knowledge to deal with real life knowledge, and really bringing our ideas for life,” she said.