The proposed Moondani Balluk courtyard is a landscape on Country, a place of coming together. It is an expression of both place and Country, an opportunity to share knowledge through the landscape expression of Country. Positioned in the heart of Victoria University’s campus, the site demonstrates a new approach to our urban condition – where if we care for Country, Country cares for us. Here Country is alive and speaks of a new urban future, of a Planetary Health Commitment – Our place on Aboriginal Country.
At the centre of this project is Moondani Balluk, the Indigenous Academic Unit of Victoria University. Integral to the design process has been a continuous honest and respectful collaboration with Moondani Balluk. This landscape is designed to serve them, continuing to grow and evolve with them as the Academic Unit and the wider University engage with the different spaces that will be created.
Influenced by the lava flows that formed the landscape that the Campus sits within, the Moondani Balluk Courtyard aims to expand this expression of Country. With pavement stripped away, the ground is opened up for water movement and penetration, plantings that respond to the site conditions and that express this place on Country. This includes the use of gravels, boulders and bluestone paving with a yarning circle at its centre.
Footscray campus, Victoria University
Jon Shinkfield, Watkin McLennan, Thomas Chapman