$9.3 million state-of-the-art education centre launches at Westmead

Engineer Dr Tegan Cheng, Seven Hills MP Mark Taylor, biomedical engineer Jonathon Lillia, WSLHD executive director (nursing & midwifery and clinical governance) Joanne Edwards, biomedical engineer Elizabeth Wojciechowski and NSW Minister for Education Rob Stokes.

A $9.3 million teaching and learning centre, officially opened at Westmead Hospital today, is the first major infrastructure collaboration between the University of Sydney, Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and the $1 billion Westmead Redevelopment project.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes was on-hand to launch the Westmead Education and Conference Centre (WECC), a new creative space to inspire flexible learning and teaching activities.

The WECC level one, located in the heart of the hospital, has four new teaching areas, including case study and cabaret rooms, specifically designed to encourage an inclusive teaching style, along with the huddle, a small informal ampitheatre for collaboration.

Mr Stokes said the new areas were created in consultation with the university and leading educational institutions around the world to support Westmead’s diverse students, educators, researchers and clinicians.

“This will open up great opportunities for students and researchers at Westmead to have the opportunity to engage with leading experts, with strong records of applying their research for better community health outcomes in areas ranging from bioinformatics to infectious diseases, cancer genomics to children’s health,” Mr Stokes said.

“The centre supports their discoveries and expertise being shared firsthand with students and colleagues.”

University of Sydney students Ban AL-Attiyah and Nafeena Fero with NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes, Member for Seven Hills Mark Taylor and University of Sydney vice-chancellor Dr Michael Spence.

University of Sydney vice-chancellor Dr Michael Spence said: “the renovation of the WECC is the most recent stage of our ongoing commitment to western Sydney and to supporting the highest quality teaching and research at Westmead.

“Our presence in western Sydney will unfold over the next 15 years and our second campus will be the University of Sydney’s second home.”

The Westmead health, education and research precinct currently supports around 2000 students and 13,000 scientists, clinicians, educators and other professionals and the figures are expected to grow to more than 6000 students and 30,000 staff by 2036.

The University of Sydney is one of several partners at the Westmead precinct, which includes four hospitals, three medical research institutes, two universities and the largest research-active pathology service in the country.

Western Sydney Local Health District acting chief executive Prof Beth Kotze said the new facility would benefit the diverse Westmead community.
“The transformation of this space was really in response to Westmead’s changing workforce,” she said.
“We wanted to create a space that could be used by people from all professional backgrounds – from researchers to students, to hospital staff.
“The WECC reflects Westmead’s commitment to innovation, knowledge sharing and collaboration and being at the forefront of healthcare, education & training.”