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Historic $10M Commitment to Powerhouse Ultimo Renewal

September 23, 2022

Image credit: (L-R) UTS Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) Professor Michael McDaniel; UTS Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Andrew Parfitt; Fashion Designer Jenny Kee; NSW Arts Minister the Hon. Ben Franklin; Powerhouse Trustee Beau Neilson; Powerhouse First Nations Director Emily McDaniel; Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah.


Powerhouse today announced an extraordinary $10 million investment into the future of Powerhouse Ultimo by Foundation University Partner, University of Technology Sydney.

This significant investment reinforces the University’s ongoing commitment to developing the next generation of Australian creative industry leaders. The University will collaborate with the Powerhouse to establish Australia’s leading creative industries precinct which will focus on supporting and amplifying NSW creative industry talent. This partnership will boldly reimagine and activate the Ultimo precinct, realised through the landmark $480-500 million renewal of Powerhouse Ultimo, the most significant in the museum’s stellar history.

“The partnership provides an incredible boost to the NSW creative industries sector in the heart of a thriving precinct anchored by the landmark Powerhouse Ultimo renewal. It will support NSW creatives across all stages of their career and dramatically expand the profile of Australian design and fashion on the national and global stage,” said Minister for the Arts, Ben Franklin.

“This investment by UTS will generate incredible vocational opportunities for NSW local and regional students and emerging practitioners to develop lasting industry connections and skills that will serve them at the cutting edge of the global creative industries,” said Minister for Skills and Training, Alister Henskens.

UTS will become a partner of the Powerhouse Ultimo creative industries academy, which will deliver an immersive education and professional hub that connects local and regional students with industry leaders. Work-integrated learning opportunities will extend to student internships plus potential work experience with key collaborators.

First Nations will be a key collaborative focus area, establishing joint programs with the future UTS Indigenous Residential College and collaborating to integrate the UTS Galuwa Experience (an existing program for Indigenous high school students) into First Nations programming at Powerhouse Ultimo.

“This exciting new partnership will deliver world class immersive creative industry experiences for students from across NSW and will see the University’s own students, staff and researchers embedded into the life of the museum and across our collaborative industries precinct. The potential to share facilities and generate collaborations between students, researchers, museum staff and Creative Industries Residents will elevate the creative industry output of NSW,” said Professor Andrew Parfitt, UTS Vice-Chancellor and President.

Research will be another core focus, with intention to expand original research and industry development across the creative industries sector, made accessible via Powerhouse public programs. UTS research students will have the opportunity to collaborate with Creative Industries Residents and utilise the resources of the Powerhouse Archives.

“This groundbreaking partnership provides a platform to activate the revitalised Ultimo precinct, through the delivery of major events, festivals and industry programs. The collaboration will elevate Powerhouse Ultimo’s renewed focus on fashion and design by connecting the museum with researchers and industry professionals at the forefront of design innovation. Together, Powerhouse and UTS will create a world-class creative industries precinct in the heart of the CBD. We thank UTS for their visionary investment into the future of Powerhouse Ultimo,” said Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah.

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Kirsty Randles | Powerhouse | 0402 021 717

Heather Nolan | UTS | 0491 157 409

Emma Dunn | Minister for Arts, Ben Franklin | 0427 292 170

About UTS

UTS is a leading university of technology located in the heart of Sydney’s innovation precinct.  With more than 40,000 students, UTS has a distinct model of learning, strong research performance and a leading reputation for industry and professional engagement.  Underpinned by social impact and a continuing commitment to sustainability, UTS is rated the No.1 ‘young’ university in Australia in the QS and Times Higher Education rankings.

About Powerhouse

Powerhouse sits at the intersection of arts, design, science and technology and plays a critical role in engaging communities with contemporary ideas and issues. We are undertaking a landmark $1.4 billion infrastructure renewal program, spearheaded by the creation of the flagship museum, Powerhouse Parramatta; expanded research and public facilities at Powerhouse Castle Hill; the renewal of the iconic Powerhouse Ultimo; and the ongoing operation of Sydney Observatory. The museum is custodian to over half a million objects of national and international significance and is considered one of the finest and most diverse collections in Australia. We are also undertaking an expansive digitisation project that will provide new levels of access to Powerhouse collections.