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Conversation Co helped La Trobe University speak with the surrounding community, current students and future residents about what a city born from a university might look like for community, industry and ideas to transform to a city of the future.

“You can already use many of the university’s facilities! Say what?”

This was our 5 second intro grab as we worked to stop passersby engaging with us at our recent pop ups. For many, using a university’s facilities (when not a student) was a stretch too far for their imagination. With the follow up response being ‘I am not a uni student’, or ‘I am too old to be a uni student.’

Local community groups and residents are already welcome onsite, they can use the gardens, the fitness centres, the library, health services and even child care.

With Melbourne’s population expected to grow to almost 9 million people by 2056, La Trobe has been identified as the anchor in the Victorian Government’s La Trobe National Employment and Innovation Cluster, one of seven clusters to be developed, to support the projected significant employment and residential growth in Melbourne’s North.

La Trobe University already knows and understands this perception and needs to reinvent its positioning, prior to working on this project, the project team had no idea many of the facilities were open to community use. It got us thinking, what other spaces or activities do we include or exclude ourselves from? As we move through life we limit the spaces we believe we are allowed to use. How do we make sure the welcome is more obvious!

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Conversation Co

Conversation Co proudly acknowledges and celebrates First Peoples of Australia and their ongoing strength in upholding some of the world's oldest living cultures. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands throughout what is now Victoria – where we live, conduct pop-ups, and engage with our communities – and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present. Conversation Co acknowledges First Peoples' sovereignty has never been ceded. The strength, resilience and pride of First Peoples, their cultures, communities and identities continue to grow and thrive today despite the impact of colonisation and ongoing experiences of racism.

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