Positive psychology focus for new student residence
Kooloobong Village celebrates official opening.
With a unique focus on positive psychology, the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) latest accommodation project is more than just a place to study, eat and sleep.
Recognised as the world’s first positive residence and based entirely on the scientific principles of positive psychology, Kooloobong Village was designed to foster lifelong wellbeing in students who live at on-campus accommodation, giving students the building blocks to flourish.
The second stage of the University’s most recent large-scale accommodation project will be officially opened today, Friday 13 April, by UOW Chancellor, Ms Jillian Broadbent AO.
Located amidst a bushland setting on the edge of Mount Keira, Kooloobong Village lines the south-western end of the University’s Wollongong campus and houses a diverse population of undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The vibrant hub that is Kooloobong Village houses more than 1200 students, with 800 brand new beds released earlier this year as construction was finalised.
UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, said putting student wellbeing at the centre of the accommodation project helps to create graduates who are responsible, respectful, tolerant and collaborative contributors to their communities and workplaces.
“We have implemented a number of peer-led support programs at Kooloobong Village to further enhance the focus on positive psychology. These programs include healthy lifestyles, academic support, drug and alcohol awareness, mental health awareness and sexual violence prevention,” he said.
“The University has a longstanding history of supporting our local communities and we are already seeing our Kooloobong Village residents getting involved in community service activities and charity fundraising events.”
The three buildings that comprise this latest expansion of Kooloobong Village have been named Jeroo, Jerrara and Jurunga by the local Indigenous community.
“The act of giving traditional names to places is a complex process – they are not to be seen as labels or places; these names are gifts from the Aboriginal people to the wider community that will be honoured by the University,” Professor Wellings said.
Kooloobong Village caters to students who wish to be close to the University and live independently, being responsible for their own cooking and cleaning.
The precinct comprises a mix of newer and older style studios, premium studios and four and five bedroom units. The newer units feature self-catered accommodation comprised of single studio rooms, premium single studio rooms, and four bedroom units. The units within the older Building 37, which has been progressively undergoing renovations, are all five bedroom units with shared shared bathroom, kitchen and dining facilities.
Students have access to a range of modern facilities, including indoor and outdoor cinemas, BBQ facilities, music rooms, movement space, gamers lounge, a sound-proof music room, activities room and meditation/yoga prayer spaces, in addition to study lounges and communal areas. The new facilities complement the existing outdoor facilities, which include a basketball court, games room and other communal spaces.
Kooloobong Village is the result of UOW’s vision to provide modern, high-quality, on-campus accommodation for Australian and international students, and is the second of two recent accommodation expansion projects for the Wollongong campus, the first being the nearby postgraduate accommodation complex Bangalay.
The project forms part of an innovative public/private partnership under which UOW licenced its accommodation assets to the Living + Learning Partners consortium in 2015.
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