Image: Artist’s impression of the new NextSense centre at Macquarie University.
A proposal to relocate the former Royal Institute of Deaf and Blind Children to a new state-of-the-art facility on the Macquarie University campus has been approved by New South Wales Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes MP.
The Minister gave the major research, audiology and learning hub the seal of approval last week, with the new facility scheduled to open in 2023 at the intersection of Culloden Rd and Gymnasium Rd.
“The NextSense Centre of Excellence will boost Macquarie University’s position as a leading hearing hub and strengthen its research, audiology and healthcare assets,” says Minister Stokes.
“This move will bolster the strong partnership and collaborative relationship that exists between NextSense and Macquarie University and locating the new headquarters on campus will mean better research and collaboration, more resources and world-leading care and community services for those living with hearing and vision loss.”
State Member for Ryde Victor Dominello says that the new centre is an exciting development for the Macquarie Park Innovation District.
“This $74.5 million project locks in continued job security for nearly 300 employees and the creation of 250 new construction jobs,” he says.
“The sharing of resources and the opening of a new specialist preschool and primary school, and clinical services for children and adults will ensure families can reap the benefits of strong support and early intervention.”
The $74 million development is expected to open for the 2023 academic year and will include a clinical services centre, library and resource centre. The shared purpose and location will enable better research on sensory disability, support development of an effective and coordinated health and services model, promote best-practice inclusive and accessible education and world-class clinical evaluation, testing and diagnosis from industry-leading clinicians.
Vice-Chancellor Professor S. Bruce Dowton says the long-term partnership and co-location of Macquarie and NextSense is centred on a shared mission of impact.
“Together, we will better understand the causes of hearing and vision loss while developing therapies, technology, and research-informed educational and assistive platforms,” he says.
“The new NextSense Centre of Excellence on campus supports our further growth as the world’s preeminent hearing precinct, where academia, practitioners, and industry partners, such as Cochlear, can collaborate and provide leadership in hearing healthcare globally. It also brings unique opportunities for collaboration across research, education and service delivery to address broader questions in sensory loss.”
NextSense brings together RIDBC and its groups and services, including Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre (SCIC), Renwick Centre, Tarayle and RIDBC schools and preschools.