By Sue Boyd
Chair of the Senate Centenary Planning Committee
A sundial created by Academy Award-winning graduate Shaun Tan; a weekend full of alumni celebrations; a spectacular light and sound show; and Faculty contributions to the community will all be part of our centenary celebrations in 2013.
While the Act of Parliament that established the University was passed in 1911, the University's first students were accepted in 2013. Next year's celebrations are an opportunity to celebrate our achievements and set the scene for a continuing world class contribution to the State, to Australia and the world.
We celebrate with pride the more than 100,000 graduates who have passed through our doors and been launched on their careers. We celebrate the pioneering contributions made by research and teaching in agriculture, medicine, science, human movement, music, mathematics, indigenous studies, education, literature, history, anthropology, geology, mining engineering, marine science and a host of other fields.
And we renew our gratitude to our founder, Sir John Winthrop Hackett, whose far-sighted and generous bequests established the university, and to the thousands of philanthropic benefactors who have contributed over the century, to our splendid buildings, to Professorial chairs, to scholarships, to sporting facilities and in many other ways.
The celebrations kick off on Friday 8 February with the Centenary Alumni weekend. The weekend starts with a welcome party for some 1,500 alumni expected to come ‘home' for the celebrations. They will be joined by the people of Perth, who will be invited on to the campus to celebrate LUMINOUS night - a spectacular light and sound show on Winthrop Hall.
On Saturday we will launch the centenary plant, bred for the occasion by the Friends of the Grounds, and launch the Centenary History, from UWA Publishing. Following the LUMINOUSnight will be a day of ‘luminous ideas', with special lectures and discussions. A Writers' Corner running the entire weekend will include readings and discussions by the many well known authors who come from our university.
The Centenary launch coincides with the opening of the 2013 Perth International Arts Festival - an ever more stimulating and successful festival which grew out of the University summer school and has a special relationship with UWA . World class festival events will be part of our celebrations. We're also preparing a centenary gift set of original music that will showcase the cream of the University's past and present musical talent. The Centenary Music project has been supported financially by a generous group of alumni music lovers.
The book of 100 Treasures from UWA, a perpetual diary featuring 100 of the University's most interesting objects and features, has also been produced as a lasting memento.
The Faculties will each mount a celebratory project during the year in the regions of our State. To be known as UWA Gives Back, the projects will take the centenary message to the wider community and highlight our work in the regions. For example, in the Kimberley a project focusing on children, youth and communities will cover writing, media, art, music, design and digital media; and in the Pingelly, Brookton and Narrogin areas the UWA Future Farm will coordinate agricultural research projects involving teachers, parents and students from local schools. In the Murchison a space research project will involve hundreds of schoolchildren.
Our centenary is a time to look back and celebrate, as well as launch ourselves into the next 100 years of service.
Published in UWA News, 23 July 2012