Celebrating 130 years of the Hawkesbury campus

Western Sydney University is proud to mark the 130th anniversary of its iconic Hawkesbury campus.

In celebrating this milestone on Wednesday, 10 March 2021, the University acknowledges the traditional owners of the land the campus resides on, the Darug and Darkinjung people. It also pays homage to the campus’ antecedent institute, the Hawkesbury Agricultural College, established in 1891.

According to Provost and Vice-President (Finance and Resources), Peter Pickering, the long and rich history of the campus, which includes distinguished achievements in the sciences, is to be commemorated.

“Located in the Hawkesbury Valley and spanning 1300 hectares, the campus has strong and enduring connections to the agriculture industry, the local communities that surround it, and the many alumni of the University that spent time within its grounds,” said Mr Pickering.

“Today, the campus’ heritage is reflected in its cutting-edge research and facilities. It’s also evident in the high-quality teaching it offers across a range of disciplines, including environmental science.

“Through preserving the unique history of the campus and by continuing to innovate in our research and teaching, the Hawkesbury campus has a bright future.”

The campus hosts the School of Science and the School of Nursing and Midwifery, along with world-class research facilities and many crucial administration functions. It is also the centre of the University’s AgriPark Strategy.

Its leading research facilities include the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment —a renowned centre of research excellence in ecosystem function and environmental responses to changing climates.

The Institute’s work includes the ground-breaking ‘EucFACE’ experiment, which is the world's only Free Air CO2 Enrichment research facility in native Australian forestry. It also conducts research in the University’s state-of-the-art greenhouse facility, which is increasing efficiencies in water and energy use in horticulture.

In addition, many original and architecturally significant buildings remain, such as Stable Square, built in 1895, and the Quadrangle Buildings, constructed between 1895 and 1907. In 2019, the University was pleased to open the refurbished R Precinct as part of its extensive works to update and preserve the Quadrangle Buildings.

The Hawkesbury Farm, which has played a role in the agricultural teaching and research of the campus, still operates today and offers students an opportunity to observe sustainable farming practices.


10 March 2021

Media Unit