Strategies for developing an inclusive narrative of institutional identity for young universities: some Australian examples

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    Australia has a relatively young higher education sector modelled on European traditions including the development of material collections in support of teaching, research and community engagement. Increased competition within the sector provides an impetus for constructing distinctive organisational identities. Historic milestones can be a trigger for institution-level thinking to develop and articulate unique organisational narratives. Strategies to do this require programs that engage different communities (staff, students, alumni, external partners) in a multilateral discourse to help identify, construct and celebrate key organisational characteristics. Macquarie University, in suburban Sydney, Australia, is a medium sized institution with a range of museums and collections and a distinctive "greenbelt" campus setting that is approaching its 50 th anniversary (in 2014). This paper reviews a range of proposals involving the university's museums and collections for the anniversary year with a focus on those that provide opportunities for different communities to engage in proactively shaping institutional identity. Similar programs from other Australian universities are also discussed. The paper stresses the importance of an institutional level approach to material collections and a perspective on academic heritage as an inclusive, evolving process rather than a singular institutional narrative.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2013
    EventPositioning Academic Heritage: Challenges for Universities, Museums and Society in the 21st Century - University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
    Duration: 18 Nov 201320 Nov 2013


    ConferencePositioning Academic Heritage
    Abbreviated titlePositioning Academic Heritage


    • institutional identity
    • museums and collections
    • anniversaries
    • stakeholder engagement


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