University of Melbourne Magazine

State of the Arts: New buildings, new engagements and new partnerships

  • The William Macmahon Ball Theatre

    The William Macmahon Ball Theatre

    I am delighted to have this opportunity to share some exciting new developments in Arts. In 2014 the Faculty will commence one of the most significant infrastructure projects in its history. As part of our commitment to providing staff and students with world-class teaching facilities, the Faculty will redevelop the Arts West Building located across Professors Walk to the west of Old Arts into the principal teaching space for the University’s Bachelor of Arts.

    The project will provide the Faculty with a signature building, showcasing our disciplines and University and Faculty collections. It will offer new and innovative spaces, including laboratory spaces designed to support the object‑based inquiry essential to many of our disciplines. The new facility will enable the Faculty to develop its approach to teaching and transform the learning environment for students enrolled in Arts.

    The project follows in the footsteps of works already undertaken in the Old Arts Building to provide new and dynamic teaching spaces such as the William Macmahon Ball Theatre (pictured). Offering a “teaching in the round” experience, the theatre has already hosted the first part of the Faculty’s 10 Great Books Masterclass series, where 10 books that have profoundly altered the way we experience the world are being presented across the year by 10 celebrated scholars. From classic novels to philosophical and political treatises, from antiquity to modernity, this series is designed to get our Arts community members discussing, understanding and challenging the legacy of great books.

    FROM LEFT: Professor Mark Considine, Dean of Arts, Mr Arthur Huck, Mrs Jenny Ellis (Mcmahon Ball's daughter) and Professor Brian Ellis.

    FROM LEFT: Professor Mark Considine, Dean of Arts, Mr Arthur Huck, Mrs Jenny Ellis (Macmahon Ball’s daughter) and Professor Brian Ellis.

    This is the first in an annual series that will present a different list of works each year. I’m also proud that Arts has been able to offer not only new teaching spaces but also new opportunities for our students. This year, Arts is sponsoring the Melbourne Accelerator Program, which aims to raise the culture of entrepreneurship on campus and offers support through a range of workshops, programs and events for bright ideas at all stages of development.

    This will provide benefits for students throughout the Faculty but particularly for the cohort currently undertaking professionally oriented programs in our Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Melbourne School of Government and Centre for Advancing Journalism, where innovation and partnership are key ingredients for success.

    This is an exciting time for the Faculty, and I hope you enjoy the other important news in this Broadcast about the Faculty’s continuing engagement with our alumni, our important work on scholarships, our commitment to teaching and research and building new links and partnerships that strengthen our community