The University of Sydney today officially opened its first university-hospital space across multiple hospital levels, which includes ‘hybrid flexible’ teaching spaces for in-person and remote learning with world-class audio-visual systems, in ‘Block K’ of Westmead’s new Central Acute Services Building.
In addition to the dedicated University spaces, the 14-storey building includes two new emergency departments (one for adults and one for children), digital operating theatres and more than 300 patient rooms. It is a partnership between the University of Sydney and government collaborators the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Western Sydney Local Health District and Health Infrastructure.
The Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education and Member for Parramatta, the Hon. Dr Geoff Lee, and Western Sydney Local Health District chair Richard Alcock AO joined the University of Sydney Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AC and Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Stephen Garton AM for the official opening. Professor Robyn Ward AM, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Medicine and Health, presided as master of ceremonies to mark the occasion.
The University of Sydney has invested $88 million into the new hospital facility as part of the $1 billion Westmead Redevelopment Project to transform Western Sydney into a global health and education hub.
Minister Lee welcomed the University of Sydney’s contribution to developing the new state-of-the-art building at the heart of the Westmead Health Precinct.
“I commend the University of Sydney for its long history with Westmead dating back some half-a-century – we look forward to continued collaboration with the University in a shared vision in developing Western Sydney into a global health and education destination.”
Unveiling a plaque celebrating the University’s learning spaces in the new hospital building, Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson said the University had not faltered in its commitment to the development of Westmead communities and beyond.
“This is now one of the largest health, education, research and training precincts in Australia; our precinct partner collaboration is key to our successful activity at Westmead,” she said.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Garton said it was envisioned the establishment of a major second campus at Parramatta/Westmead as the NSW Government’s preferred education partner would indirectly add $13b into the NSW economy by 2050.
“We plan to help develop the knowledge base of Sydney’s geographical centre not only for the people of NSW but also to help solve critical problems that we face globally,” he said.
The University of Sydney at Westmead Block K includes:
- Clearly defined University spaces and central precinct meeting point;
- Almost 5000 square metres of the hospital building dedicated to the University;
- Hy-flex rooms with video conferencing; drop-down microphones from ceilings and collaborative conference and study rooms;
- Proximity for researchers and final-year student interns to emergency and acute services wards for education and research.
Professor Robyn Ward said the University areas in the new hospital building were designed to foster collaboration and help define a new sense of identity for staff, students and precinct partners.
“It is wonderful to see Westmead Block K already increasing integration between partners, further embedding our research, education and training across the Westmead Health Precinct and making great things happen.”