27 May 2024

Green light for UOW's Health and Wellbeing Precinct concept plans

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Aerial photo of the Innovation campus and ocean.

The site of the proposed Health and Wellbeing precinct at the Innovation Campus. Photo: Keyton.

The proposed $250 million Health and Wellbeing Precinct on Wollongong University’s Innovation Campus is a step closer to reality.

The Southern Regional Planning Panel has given the project’s concept plan the green light following Wollongong Council’s recommendation for approval.

When complete, the site at the southern end of the Innovation Campus will include a residential aged care facility co-located with an early childcare facility, independent seniors living apartments and community and wellness facilities.

UOW says the precinct will be Australia’s first intergenerational university community, “a place for living, learning, working and growing in an environment that supports complete physical, social and mental health and wellbeing”.

UOW Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor David Currow said the precinct was underpinned by a social mandate to address health inequities within the region.

“With this project, UOW seeks to build on our strengths and reputation for leading health education and research, particularly in aged care, dementia and mental health,” he said.

READ ALSO UOW Health and Wellbeing Precinct a unique campus, catering to all generations

“Our ageing population creates a number of complex challenges and opportunities for our community, which go beyond the absence of disease,” Professor Currow said.

The Planning Panel’s approval of the concept plan means the university and its development partner Keyton can continue with the planning and design process for the precinct, including the early stages of site preparation.

It will include dedicated university spaces within each building to embed research and education activities, along with an extensive, landscaped public space known as the “green heart” to be designed with involvement from the university and local First Nations community.

Keyton CEO Nathan Cockerill said the company was proud to continue to partner with the university to develop the precinct.

“This is a significant development that will benefit the broader Illawarra community, including employment, university placements and research opportunities on campus, as well as much-needed housing options for seniors,” he said.

“The Keyton independent living community within the precinct will allow residents to age in place surrounded by a landscape that supports a healthy and active lifestyle.”

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