UWA Self-Guided Audio Tour Script
Welcome to your self-guided tour of The University of Western Australia.
Over the next hour or so, the tour will take you around the Perth campus, starting and finishing at Student Central.
In case you didn’t know already, UWA was the State’s first university after being established in 1911, and building began over a decade later in 1929 on a 51-hectare site.
Let’s get started!
- Student Central
- The Oak Lawn
- Reid Library
- New Fortune Theatre
- Octagon Theatre
- Somerville Auditorium
- Forrest Hall
- Winthrop Hall
- College Row
- Sunken Garden
- Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery
- Irwin Street Building
- Bayliss Building
- Guild Village
Student Central is a one-stop shop for our students, with services to help them throughout their uni journey. It’s the place to go for enrolment and course queries, academic workshops and drop-in sessions as well as transition services. Student Central also houses our UniMentor program, our Careers Centre, Admissions, our Future Students Centre, and International Student Support. If you’re interested in undertaking exchange overseas, get in touch with the Global Learning Office who also sit at Student Central, or get to know what’s available in Student Wellbeing, from our medical centre and counselling services, to chaplaincy and more.
As a UWA student, there are tonnes of places to hang out before or after class. One of the picks of the campus is the expansive Oak Lawn. Heaps of food trucks park here over the week, so students can grab some lunch and chill out under the shade. The lawn also plays host to fun Guild events like Cultural Festival, Social Justice Week, Envirofest and De-stress Day – with kittens, dogs, chicken and piglets!
Welcome to UWA’s Reid Library, which receives more than one million visitors a year. The library recently underwent a massive transformation to its ground floor, offering more innovative and future-focused learning spaces for students. It’s hard to imagine when the library first opened back in 1964 there was a loan limit of just three books per reader. Now, undergraduate students can borrow up to 30 items, and higher degree students and staff have unlimited loans! Did you know the University has six libraries in total? Apart from Reid, there are libraries for Law; Music; Medical and Dental; Special Collections; and Education, Fine Arts and Architecture.
If you’re wandering around our Arts area, be sure to stop here at the New Fortune Theatre. This Arts building is home to a small family of peacocks! Since they were donated to UWA in 1975, our magnificent feathered friends have become as much a feature of the school as the architecture itself.
The Octagon Theatre is considered the heart of theatrical life on campus. The venue hosts opera, classical and popular music, dance, theatre, stand-up comedy, seminars and other performances. It also operates as a lecture theatre during the day. The multi-use theatre was designed by architect Peter Parkinson and opened in 1968. It’s a favourite venue for the University, with its removable thrust stage offering intimacy with the audience. Other parts of the theatre include a green room, two large dressing rooms and a 120-square-metre rehearsal studio.
Conceived by Senate member Dr William Somerville in 1927, this charming auditorium was designed to resemble a cathedral of Norfolk Island pines. Crowds gathered for the first official performance in 1945, and following World War II, it became the principal venue for summer school performances. Today, the auditorium is used for Perth Festival’s film season from November to April each year. The gorgeous setting holds up to 1000 cinema-goers on cute deckchair seats with grassy picnic areas also on offer. In 2018, for the first time, you can book the historic tree cathedral for your wedding or private event.
Forrest Hall is an exciting accommodation development that will attract and inspire top scholars and rising research stars who are attending WA universities on Forrest Research Foundation Scholarships. Overlooking the magnificent Swan River, the $15 million-dollar building has been made possible by Andrew and Nicola Forrest. The accommodation site is on the corner of Mounts Bay Road and Hackett Drive, and features around 45 high-quality, modern self-catering apartments, ground floor common areas, beautifully landscaped grounds and parking facilities.
Built in 1932 and known for its iconic clock tower, Winthrop Hall is the centre of university life. At the end of their studies, students dress in full academic regalia for their graduation ceremony here. The hall also hosts heaps of events from lectures and concerts, to balls and exhibitions.
Be sure to take in the stunning marbled mosaic floor in the foyer which was made from marble brought from locations including Rome, Belgium and England. Also notice the stained glass windows, Aboriginal motifs on the ceiling and large pipe organ.
Over the decades, Winthrop Hall has been lucky enough to welcome prime ministers, heads of state, presidents and even Her Majesty the Queen in 2011.
Directly across the campus sit our five residential colleges. These are St Catherine’s, St George’s, Trinity, University Hall and St Thomas More. One of the best things about living on-campus is your proximity to the city, the Swan River and Kings Park!
Currently, our residential colleges are home to 2000 UWA students, and each college offers a world-class living and learning environment wherever you come from. All our colleges provide a full calendar of events, academic support, leadership opportunities and fantastic facilities. You can also use living on-campus to extend your learning, create lifelong friendships and connect with the community around you.
Looking to take some time out? Grab some lunch or a book and head for the stunning Sunken Garden! This shaded, picturesque spot is a beloved location for performances and is a favourite for couples’ wedding ceremonies. The garden came about when construction of the nearby Hackett Memorial Buildings in 1932 left a vacant space hole. The area was then redesigned by a professor to include gardens, ponds and a terraced lawn that makes it the intimate amphitheatre it is today.
This special gallery produces and presents a diverse exhibition program of Australian and international art every year. It also plays host to touring exhibitions and academic and public events, most of which are free to attend. The gallery opened in 1990 and currently houses works from the UWA Art Collection, the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art and the Berndt Museum Collection. Altogether, there are more than 2500 works. Just outside the gallery, you’ll notice the sculpture Homo fallible by Hans Arkeveld which stands at the entrance.
The Geology and Geography building is home to our School of Earth and Environment which includes the captivating Edward de Courcy Clarke Earth Science Museum. Each year, more than a thousand school students are treated to rare experiences at this museum, such as touching a meteorite and handling some of the State’s unusual minerals.
Entry is free, and the museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30am to 5pm and on Saturday from 2pm to 5pm.
Welcome to the Irwin Street Building. This is what comprised UWA in 1913 before the Perth campus existed. The University was originally located on Irwin Street in the centre of Perth, but the building was rebuilt and restored by Convocation and officially re-opened on the Perth campus in 1987.
Did you know, the Australian Heritage Commission has listed it as a Heritage Building and it’s also one of the 100 treasures of UWA!
This stunning five-storey building is the largest and most technically complex building on campus. The Bayliss Building is home to our School of Molecular Sciences and was named after Emeritus Professor Sir Noel Stanley Bayliss, an eminent Australian chemist whose name was given to the mineral ‘baylissite’. Inside the 17,000-square-metre complex, you’ll find a ton of facilities, along with an impressive DNA double helix design on the west wall of the central atrium, and the intricate Penrose tiled floor. There’s also advanced labs on every level to suit our students’ needs.
Guild Village is the heart and soul of campus life at UWA. Here you’ll find cafes, food trucks, student services, shops and club activities all in the one spot. The Guild is home to more than 120 clubs and societies and the Village offers services such as medical care, a hairdresser, newsagent, pharmacy, ATMs, shoe repair, key cutting and more. Head to Guild Volunteering to discover ways to give back to the community or approach Guild Councillors for help navigating uni life. Nearby is the Refectory which houses a delicious array of food including Subway and Boost outlets, as well as the Tavern which hosts heaps of fun events every semester.
This concludes your tour of the UWA Perth campus. Thanks for joining us and we hope you enjoyed it!
Don’t forget to come in and visit the team at Student Central who can help out with your enquiries anytime.
There is so much more to see and do, so make sure you come back soon.
See ya next time!