Amplified, Redefined: Protest for Change

Amplified, Redefined: Protest for Change

26 April – 11 May

Curated by Amelia Saward and Ella Shi:
George Paton Gallery.

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The university’s student union has been a constant yet ever evolving part of campus life since its beginnings in 1884. Mirroring the changing student demographics over the decades, the union witnessed the rise of women and queer students and more recently the rise of an international student population.

Whilst going through numerous structural shifts and redesigns since its inauguration, the union has functioned as a mirror to student change and protest, from the original Old Museum Building, to the current 1960s modernist building and hopefully into the shift of the union closer to Grattan St in the near future. As well as forming a student hub on campus the union has been at the height of national and international issues of its time, participating in student action against the White Australia Policy, the Vietnam War and the liberation groups of the late 1960s and 1970s, among many other
causes. Architecturally and spatially moving with change, the building houses a progressive student spirit that reaches far beyond the walls.

This exhibition presents the history of UMSU’s autonomous departments: Women’s, Queer, Indigenous, Disabilities and People of Colour, positioned alongside a surveying of the student union’s place at the forefront of progressive social action for over one hundred years and as representative of the ever evolving student body. Modern day ephemera is displayed alongside early images of student life, a range of student publications and newly commissioned artworks by VCA students, portraying the multifaceted ideals of social progress and student representation housed within the union.



IMAGE: LEFT Rebuilding of Union House, University of Melbourne, circa 1967-1968. Black and white print, 11 x 16.5cm.
University of Melbourne Archives, 2017.0071.00652. Copyright owned by University of Melbourne Archives.