Hearing the call of the bush

When you live in the glorious bustling city that is Melbourne, sometimes you crave the fresh air of the bush and the space and serenity of Victoria’s regions. As part of a broad partnership with the local Indigenous community, artists and farmers, the University of Melbourne defies its namesake - building deeper connections between its city-based and regional campuses in a bold strategy.

The Engagement at Melbourne Strategy 2015-2020 aims to enrich our learning, teaching and research by building closer ties with the wider community.

Engaging the Goulburn Valley will strengthen industry, government and community partnerships to further build meaningful connections between our city and regional campuses, - interweaving intellectual, economic, social and cultural life.

The University of Melbourne has a longstanding presence in the Goulburn Valley region, with a number of faculties delivering world-class education at our Dookie and Shepparton Campuses. Our Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Rural Health, and the Academy of Sports, Health and Education contribute to the thriving research and learning culture in health, agriculture and Indigenous education.

By engaging the local community, the University intends to expand its reach and deepen ties with the Goulburn Valley arts sector and Indigenous community.

Our Campus in the 21st Century

Our Campus in the 21st century (OC21) was developed by the University community in a series of workshops that explored the qualities wanted across all campuses and precincts. It is the formal response to the University of Melbourne’s strategic plan Growing Esteem and is integral to how the University will plan for the future, and to developing high-quality campus-based experiences for diverse communities.

The Goulburn Valley Engagement will support our campus in the 21st century through the following:


Connecting our campus to broader regional and national issues, Dookie Campus’ state-of-the-art Robotic Dairy contributes research into milk production of local and international relevance. Through self-milking technology methods, the ultra-modern answer to milk production connects education, workplace engagement and research in a project that has received both local and global attention.


With campuses on lands of the Yorta Yorta nation, Goulburn Valley regional engagement focuses on connections with first nation’s people through aspirations of economic development and community connections.

Collaborating with cultural partners Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) and building on existing community aspirations for a new art facility the University offers strong ties to its city-based campus, Victorian College of the Arts to develop cultural programs, distinctive performance-based activities, artist residencies and student placements. Through a range of artistic expression, this engagement will build on the local character and regional imprint while diversifying the economy through education and exhibitions, with an important focus on Indigenous communities and family.


With opportunity for expanding existing rural and allied health programs, research placements and other learning opportunities, Dookie Campus has the potential to provide accommodation, social spaces and industry place-based learning environments, offering students and staff a unique regional experience.


Dookie Campus Farm Estate is a living laboratory with its broad acre farm, dairy, orchard and bush reserve. Through close partnerships with both industry and the community, the University’s Dookie Campus aspires to cultivate a culture of research, education and innovative technology to rival its city-based counterparts.