The Entrance of the Lithgow Campus Indicates its History
Photo Courtesy of WSU
Do you remember the Lithgow Campus? Did you know that it closed? Do you know that it’s back? Many students remember the Lithgow branch of Western Sydney University as The College, but this simple campus has had a world class revamp.
The Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra Lithgow Transformation Hub is the newest addition to the university’s portfolio of campuses. It is designed to allow for collaboration between the Lithgow Community and Western Sydney University. It is located in the Charles Hoskins Memorial Institute building on Mort Street and has opened to the public in May of 2021.
“Lithgow is only 1hr 15 mins by car from our Penrith or Hawkesbury campuses or a two-hour train ride from Penrith.”- Deb Barton
A photo from the opening of the Western Sydney University Transformation Hub
Photo by Sally Tsoutas via WSU
Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO mentions the meaning of the campus, “In Wiradjuri language, Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra translates to ‘Workmanship together, side by side’ – a fitting name for the Hub, given its intent to create a space where the Lithgow community can continue to come together with the University, share knowledge and resources, and work together towards a sustainable and thriving future.”
Associate Professor Crabtree-Hayes states the future for the hub, as they mention “In the Hub, we envisage a space where local students can come to use our state-of-the-art technology or Wi-Fi, or find a co-working or study space; while professionals and business-owners can use the Hub for their conferences, gatherings, meetings, events, residencies, exhibitions or pop-up labs.”
Deb Barton is the manager of the the Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra Lithgow Transformation Hub.
“Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra is a Wiradjuri term which broadly translates to Working together side by side. This reflects the purpose for the Hub which acts as a place for the Community, Governments, Business and Industry to come together to explore the range of possibilities for the region as it starts to make the transition to a low carbon economy.” says Barton.
She additionally mentions that the goals of the hub include: “Gateway to Wiradjuri, education for life, health and wellbeing, and the Lithgow Sprint.”
The Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra Lithgow Transformation Hub is Located in Lithgow
Photo Courtesy of WSU
Many students wondered about the campus’s disappearance and re-appearance. Deb Barton informed W’SUP News that pathway courses stopped at the end of 2018, and that there was community consultation as to what they wanted to see operating out of the space in 2019. The opening of the Hub was delayed due to COVID-19 but was eventually able to open in early 2021.
Student may also be wondering “Why choose Lithgow?” Deb Barton informed W’SUP that there were opportunities for the University to continue add value in Lithgow and it has the space that leant into the concept of Transformation. Although Lithgow is a regional community, it has recently started to economically align itself with Western Sydney. There are also many academics already working and researching in the area.
Barton assures readers that “Lithgow is only 1hr 15 mins by car from our Penrith or Hawkesbury campuses or a two-hour train ride from Penrith.”
Exterior of the Lithgow Campus before it was turned into the Transformation Hub
Photos Courtesy of TKD Architects
When asked what she would like students to know about the hub, Barton said: “We would love for students to engage with us as Ambassadors to raise aspiration for people of all ages in the Lithgow region about the value of undertaking tertiary education.
Alternatively, we would like students to consider coming to Lithgow for their work placement activities or considering the area as part of research they are undertaking.
If (university) students are in the area – call in and say hi, we would be happy to show you around.”
Deb Barton would also like to re-enforce that the campus is also accessible to the wider community. “The Hub is a safe and welcoming space for all community to come together. For any students living locally and studying on-line we have some computers and spaces available for quiet study or to connect face to face with other people.”
If you plan to travel to the campus, secure parking is available on sight. Additionally, Lithgow Train Station is nearby, with the 200 Bus taking you directly to the campus.
The Lithgow Hub is currently seeking expressions of interest for collaborations. It is currently located at 154 Mort St, Lithgow NSW 2790 and the contact number is (02) 6354 4505.
Editor’s note: Thank you to Deb Barton for her interview and for all her work with the Lithgow Campus.