Murdoch’s new Building 360 will be known as ‘Boola Katitjin’ – which translates to ‘lots of learning’.
Professor Andrew Deeks revealed the name at an uplifting ceremony on site.
The Noongar name was chosen by Dr Richard Walley and endorsed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group.
“Boola Katitjin will be a transformational project for Murdoch, offering a world-class learning environment designed with students at its heart,” Professor Deeks said.
Dr Walley said he was inspired to choose the name through looking at the building’s purpose and function.
“When you have a building that has many different levels of learning and many different functions and facets – that's boola, that’s many. And when you’re learning and acquiring knowledge and passing knowledge on, that’s called katitjin. So it’s quite natural to name the building Boola Katitjin, which means many facets, many levels of learning,” he said.
Multiplex Regional Director Chris Palandri said Boola Katitjin was now more than 70% complete and on schedule to open for Semester One, 2023.
“It’s an exciting time on the project with Boola Katitjin truly taking shape. Over 1,250 pieces of timber have been installed on the project to date, with a total of 1,700 pieces of timber to be used in total – significantly reducing the embodied carbon within the building compared to a typical concrete structure.”
Professor Deeks also revealed the success of the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre’s four-year strategy to attract and retain Indigenous students.
From 2012-2016, Murdoch had 74 Indigenous students graduate, while from 2017-2021, there had been 229 completions, with the majority being undergraduates.
Pro Vice Chancellor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership, Chanelle van den Berg, said the results from their intensive strategy showed that creating the right environment for Indigenous students on campus was paramount.
“All the research shows that student support and student success is inherently relational, and we have a dedicated and passionate team who deliver services with a coordinated approach,” Ms van den Berg said.
“Since the implementation of a strategic approach to Indigenous student success, we have seen increased numbers of enrolments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, retention at almost parity with non-Aboriginal students and completion rates increasing each year.
“I can’t wait to see how Boola Katitjin helps our students feel even more connected and supported.”
The building will accommodate up to 60% of the university’s teaching requirements once complete.