Sharing Schools, Building Communities

An architect's render of the front of the Carlton Community Learning Hub

Dulux Gallery, Ground Floor, Glyn Davis Building, University of Melbourne, Parkville Campus

  • Exhibition

Is your local school a community hub? Could it offer more to students, families, and community members as critical neighbourhood infrastructure?  How can we improve the design of school facilities and extend their use to enhance community connection, wellbeing and resilience?

In the next decade, to match population growth, Australia will build hundreds of new schools and extend existing ones – presenting a major opportunity to apply new knowledge about how the built environment can support stronger communities and better education.

This exhibition showcases the latest evidence and expert advice about developing and sustaining schools as community hubs. It has been created and curated by the research team and partners in the Australian Research Council Linkage Project Building Connections: Schools as Community Hubs.

Discover the continuum of school-community connections, celebrate and investigate success stories, and find inspiration and key information for new hub initiatives.

For policymakers, school leaders, teachers, architects, designers, philanthropists, families and the broader community.

Dulux Gallery opening hours

Monday - Friday
10.00am - 4.00pm

The Dulux Gallery and Glyn Davis Building is wheelchair accessible. If you have any questions about your visit don't hesitate to email us at

The University is operating under Victoria's COVIDSafe Settings. All visitors to University of Melbourne campuses, including galleries, must be fully vaccinated (or have a valid exemption). Your vaccination information will be checked prior to entry. Find out more.

How does a school become a community hub?

The Building Connections research team have put together a simple framework outlining Principles and Factors that help schools work towards growing into a community hub.

Learn How to Hub Australia

What's On

*Please find videos of the special events related to our exhibition HERE.

Expert discussion panels
Why design matters for schools as community hubs
5.15pm Thursday 21 July
Malaysian Theatre, Basement, Glyn Davis building  MAP 
Chair: Associate Professor Ben Cleveland, Building Connections Lead Chief Investigator, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne

Simon LeNepveu (CHC Architects)
Jesse Judd (ARM Architecture)
Rahat Arain (Director of Curriculum and Learning, Al Siraat College)
Sandy Law (Law Architects)

Hear from our expert panel on the transformative power of design to make schools as community hubs work.

Free - book your ticket to Why design matters for schools as community hubs

Why hubs matter for community
5.15pm Thursday 4 August
Singapore Theatre, Basement, Glyn Davis building  MAP
Chair: Associate Professor Ian McShane, Building Connections Lead, RMIT University

Laurence Robinson (Brand Architects)
Caroline Menassa (Hub Coordinator, Broadmeadows)
Ruth Hamilton (Coordinator of Early Childhood Education and Care Services for the City of Greater Geelong)
Dr Tara Fritchitthavong (Manager Community Services and Social Infrastructure at Maribyrnong City Council)

Our expert panel will explore how schools as community hubs impact their neighbourhoods, compared to decentralised community education and services, and explain the gaps or pressure points in infrastructure, service planning and provision.

Free - book your ticket to Why hubs matter for community

Why hubs matter for schools
5.15pm Thursday 18 August
Singapore Theatre, Basement, Glyn Davis building  MAP
Chair: Professor Janet Clinton, Building Connections Lead, Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Lachlan Yeates (Principal, Cranbourne Primary School)
Justine Mackie (Formerly Principal, Ivanhoe East Primary; currently principal in residence at the Academy of Teaching and Leadership and Interim Co-Director for the Teaching Excellence Division)
Debra Gibson (Principal, Doveton College)
June McLoughlin (Executive Director, Our Place)

Frontline experts will discuss the impacts of schools as community hubs on teaching and learning experiences and outcomes, as well as on school-community relationships, and how these effects can be measured.

Free - book your ticket to Why hubs matter for schools

Lunchtime presentations
1.00pm Thursday 11 August, Dulux Gallery, Glyn Davis building MAP
Design Studio projects by final-year Master of Architecture students
No registrations required - free !

Designing hubs with communities
1.00pm Thursday 25 August, Dulux Gallery, Glyn Davis building MAP
Chair: Associate Professor Ben Cleveland, Building Connections Lead Chief Investigator, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Deborah McKoy is the Executive Director and Founder of the UC Berkeley Center for Cities and Schools at the Institute of Urban and Regional Development and a lecturer in the Department of City and Regional Planning and the Graduate School of Education. Her research and teaching focuses on the intersection of educational reform, urban & metropolitan planning, community development and public policy. Central to her work is the critical role young people play in urban and metropolitan change and transformation.

Associate Professor Ian McShane is a Lead Chief Investigator for the Building Connections project and a Senior Research Fellow at RMIT University's Centre for Urban Research. His research focuses on informal and formal education systems (especially museums, libraries and schools), local infrastructure and community services, and digital technologies.

A live, international, online conversation about when, how, and why we should involve the community and students in designing and developing schools as community hubs. Audience questions will be invited.

Free - book your ticket to Designing hubs with communities

Weekend activities for all ages
Build your dream hub in our makerspace  at the Dulux Gallery
10.00am - 4.00pm, Saturday 30 - Sunday 31 July (Open House Melbourne weekend)
10.00am - 4.00pm, Sunday 21 August (University of Melbourne Open Day)
No registrations required - free !

ARC Project Partners

Australian Research Council
Queensland Government, Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
Government of South Australia Department of Education
RMIT University
Brand Architects
Clarke Hopkins Clarke

Exhibition supporters

Modern Teaching Aids
Hear and Learn
​​​​​​​Total Tech Productions

Major partner

Image: Law Architects.