Feature image for the article 'A University’s Rich History Displayed through a Visual Narrative'

To commemorate the University of Western Australia’s centenary this year, ten large and individually themed panels together with a series of totems have been specially designed to take the public on a visual journey which tells the story of the state’s first and one of the country’s most prestigious universities.

Decorating the lower and upper galleries of the University Club of Western Australia located on Hackett Drive, Crawley, the panels incorporate the themes: Indigenous Commitment, River, Students, Grounds, Built Environment, Regional Western Australia, Culture, Treasures, Leaders and Heraldry. Each panel is a reminder and a celebration of the University’s journey from its humble beginnings to being one of the top 100 leading tertiary institutions in the world.

Designed as a pro bono project by leading design firm Hames Sharley together with the University Club of Western Australia, the panels are a collection of image montages that include portraits of past state and federal premiers who are UWA Alumni, historical photos dating back to the 1900s through to the highly successful ‘LUMINOUSnight held earlier this year.

Hames Sharley’s Principal of Interior Design, Cathal O’Byrne says the work showcased, is an accumulation of five months of research undertaken by the team and the unwavering support provided by the University Club of Western Australia’s General Manager Gary Ellis and his team of people.

“The concept behind the panels and totem poles stemmed from the question ‘what defines and measures a university’s achievement’. Ten themes and a timeline were developed in response to showcase the University of Western Australia’s achievements both visually and in a narrative context,” said Mr O’Byrne.

“A huge amount of research and data collection from the old archives took place by our team together with members of the University Club and the University itself to make sure that each milestone was documented correctly on the totem poles and panels. Many of the images people will see on these panels, have not been viewed for decades or at all therefore, providing a very intimate and educational insight into the University’s life.”

Each panel measures 1100mm x 1840mm and was custom built by builders ‘Method Building Solutions’ and installed onsite together with the totem poles.

“We are delighted to house such a wonderfully crafted exhibition of the University’s history. Without the support of Hames Sharley, this simply would not have been possible. Their enthusiasm, guidance and commitment to detail has been exemplary, the results of which will be enjoyed by many for years to come,” says Mr Ellis.

The Panel displays and totem timeline are open for public viewing at the University Club from 9am to 5.30pm daily.