JCB has been appointed Lead Indigenous Architect for the new Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity (AFSE) Hub. This will be a space for AFSE staff and Fellows to live, learn and collaborate through an engaging new fitout embodied with Indigenous ways of knowing and being, located in the New Student Precinct at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus.

The Hub will be an inspiring and creative space for staff and visitors, and a welcoming place for Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders from Australia, New Zealand and across the Pacific. This will allow Fellows, staff and Elders to gather, collaborate and share knowledge, as they address the world’s most pressing problems.

"It's great to continue our valued relationship with the University and build upon our existing knowledge of the site," says Veryan Curnow, Associate Director.

"Having completed the Urban Design Framework and Early Enabling Works for the New Student Precinct, we’re looking forward to integrating the AFSE Hub within the Doug McDonell building and with the cultural and academic opportunities that have been identified." 

JCB is undertaking Indigenous engagement and Indigenous-led design. "To us, Indigenous-led design means we start projects by listening to and being guided by Indigenous voices with the cultural authority to speak on behalf of Country and the project," explains Sarah Lynn Rees, Indigenous Advisory and Engagement Lead. "We’re really looking forward to working together to dream up AFSE’s new home." 

The new Hub will achieve the University’s ESD requirements, as well as address cultural sustainability. Through the project JCB will seek to understand how the design can support a culturally safe work environment and allow the program to thrive as it develops roots in the new cultural heart of the campus.