Deakin Logo

Welcome to Deakin Res

  • Blog
  • 5 min read
  • Posted September 2020

blog-welcome-to-deakin-res-2478 x 1396
blog-welcome-to-deakin-res-2478 x 1396

Well what a time to start a blog! Welcome to the very first “official” Deakin Residential Services (DRS) blog post, and indeed I write this confined to my home office, amidst the most unprecedented, challenging, and downright weird year in our history. All thanks to COVID-19 of course. We will have more to share about the challenges of COVID and the inspiring response from our residents and team in due course, but for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy an easy read. In today’s first ever blog I journey through the history of student accommodation at Deakin University, and indulge in a few rather sanguine predictions about the future to come.

Since the very beginnings of Deakin University over 40 years ago, students have called our campuses their home. For many of those years, the numbers of students living on Deakin’s campuses remained quite small in the scheme of things, but nonetheless the rich traditions of supportive residential communities and academic excellence were born. The last decade of course, has seen the development of student accommodation at Deakin follow a very different trajectory. Growing from 920 beds across Burwood, Geelong, and Warrnambool in early 2012 to nearly 3000 today, the past few years has seen an incredible rate of growth and change for our on-campus communities.  

My own involvement with Deakin began in early 2012, joining the ranks of this first-class institution in order to drive the successful opening of the first large scale accommodation development on campus, a state of the art, 7 storey, 400 bed facility in Burwood.  Then, in 2013, I had the opportunity to lead the creation of Deakin Residential Services Pty. Ltd., a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the University, which assumed ownership of all student accommodation facilities on campus from 2014. DRS is a rather unique beast among student accommodation providers, being neither directly managed by the University, or a privately owned commercial enterprise. We receive no funding allocation from Deakin, but nor is any returned, creating a fabulous opportunity to focus solely on delivering for our students. Our mission is to sustainably manage and develop outstanding and market leading student accommodation premises, services, and support for Deakin students. It is one we live by every day.

Of course, shiny new buildings and a purpose-built corporate structure are but a small part of successfully creating and growing our wonderful on-campus communities. Deakin Residential Services has an incredibly critical role to play in enhancing the student experience of the students living on campus during their time studying at Deakin. Since 2016 we have operated all student programs, events, and support structures through a comprehensive experience framework. The framework canvasses the five pillars of academic, health and wellbeing, arts and culture, social and community, and leadership, provides a cohesive structure to guide all aspects of student experience delivery. Our dedicated Campus Life Teams produce a Student Experience Calendar tailored to life at each campus, facilitating a range of activities, events and campaigns throughout the year delivering programming aligned with each pillar of the framework.

Our community is also strengthened by our community values of RESPECT, well-established through the dedication and commitment of our residents, residential leaders, and our staff in sharing the responsibility of building and maintaining healthy and happy residential communities.

In 2020 we have tailored these approaches to fit the challenging environment we find ourselves in this year, and we look forward to sharing more about these unique approaches to the student experience in a future blog post coming your way very soon.

Looking forward into 2021, and I can’t help but feel optimistic despite the “annus horribilus” this year has been. Our latest major construction project is due to deliver an additional 320 beds of world class student accommodation at the Waurn Ponds campus in the new year, and providing some exceptional new facilities for all residential students at that campus in the process. We have reviewed our pricing structures for the Burwood and Waterfront campuses to ensure greater affordability post COVID, and look forward to welcoming more domestic students to those locations than ever before. Australia’s borders may be closed for now, but I remain hopeful that international students can begin to return to our shores in early 2021 in small numbers at least.

Whatever the future brings, I know that the students and staff that form our amazing communities will continue to motivate inspire me, never resting on our laurels as we strive to be the leaders in our field.

Written by

Profile photo of author Vincent Wilson
Vincent Wilson Chief Executive Officer

CEO, Director, and Industry Leader Vincent Wilson is responsible for the leadership of a large not-for-profit subsidiary of Deakin University with the primary purpose of sustainably developing and managing outstanding and market leading student accommodation premises, services, and support for Deakin students.

Deakin Residential Services

Our purpose is to sustainably deliver an innovative and outstanding student accommodation experience.

Sign up to our newsletter

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the unceded lands and waterways on which Deakin University does business. We pay our deep respect to the Ancestors and Elders of Wadawurrung Country, Eastern Maar Country and Wurundjeri Country where our physical campuses are located. We also acknowledge all First Nations Peoples that make contributions to our learning communities.

© Copyright Deakin University 2023. Deakin University CRICOS Provider Code: 00113B.