Celebrating the opening of our dedicated space for First Nations community
This week the Library have officially opened a dedicated space for First Nations students, staff and the wider community. Named Marrang, a Kirrae Whurrong word meaning ‘great meeting place’, the room is located in the Warrnambool Campus Library and is intended as a space for work, study, meetings and more.
The room was officially opened on Wednesday, with an event featuring a Welcome to Country and smoke ceremony performed by local Gunditjmara and Kirrae Whurrong man Lee Morgan. Morgan also led the audience in a rendition of his original ‘Reconciliation Song’.
‘This is a community space,’ said Tom Molyneux, a Gunditjmara man and Deakin’s Manager of Indigenous Inclusion. ‘It happens to sit on Deakin’s campus, but this is also ancient Country. We hope the community feels welcome here, whether you are a Deakin student or staff member or not.’
The event was attended by a mix of Deakin staff and the local community, including Peek Whurrong Elder Uncle Rob Lowe. Deakin’s Warrnambool Campus Director Alistair McCosh spoke of the vision of this space to bring First Nations people, particularly youth, onto campus. ‘We want to work in collaboration with our community on how to best use this safe and inclusive space and explore what opportunities we can offer,’ he said.
Deakin’s University Librarian Hero Macdonald spoke of libraries as places of ‘discovery, connection, ideas and culture’. Being located in the Library, they hope that Marrang will support greater connections with community, and encourage engagement with Deakin Library’s rich cultural heritage collections for the benefit of community. Visitors on campus are welcome to explore the Library’s collection and get expert research advice from the Librarians, with free community memberships available.
The creation of this space is aligned with Deakin Library’s strategic goal of advancing human-centred and inclusive knowledge systems and spaces. Our hope is to offer something similar at each of our campus locations – so watch this space in 2023.