UoN’s Outreach Trailer ‘out(fit)’

Filed under Community, News, UoN ~ by Press on  30 Oct 2019

DOTTY launch brings design services and resources to regional NSW communities.

The University of Newcastle’s School of Architecture and Built Environment volunteer collective, out(fit), has launched their newly built trailer, DOTTY, a mobile creative hub that brings design services to regional NSW communities.

DOTTY, constructed under a $123,000 grant provided by Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, enables out(fit)’s ethos that all should have access to good design.

out(fit) project officer, Shellie Smith, sees out(fit)’s role as building capacity, not just for the volunteers but for the community groups that out(fit) work with. She said while out(fit) facilitates the process, they empower their community partners to lead the design solutions.

We work hard to provide the vocabulary and skills required to be their own advocates,” she said.

When we’re gone, they’re still able to confidently navigate communicating with local government or community stakeholders and contractors.”

The trailer’s multi-purpose fit-out, which was designed in house by out(fit)’s team, can operate as a storage trailer, office, meeting space, exhibition facility and catering facility. Amongst other uses, it will facilitate mobile project management, community pop-up events and activations.

DOTTY is also wheelchair friendly.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation provided the $123,000 grant to fund construction of the trailer and also enable out(fit) to deliver at least five projects in its first 12 months of operation. out(fit) already has plans to visit Windale, Taree and Grafton.

out(fit) founder, Professor SueAnne Ware, said that a passion for good design and a commitment to improving spaces for vulnerable people is really at the heart of out(fit).

For Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation to see what we’re doing and support us means we are able to take our projects to the next level.” Professor Ware said.

Charitable Foundation Chair, Phil Neat said that the Charitable Foundation Board was supportive of the project because of the strong alignment with its values of supporting volunteers to deliver grass-roots projects to benefit those most in need.

out(fit) possesses a valuable combination of skills, enthusiasm and passion for assisting people who may be less fortunate. The Charitable Foundation is pleased to support out(fit) to use these skills to give back to regional communities,” he said.

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