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Place and Community Framework

The Drivers of RMIT’s Approach

A long history of place-based impact

RMIT’s approach to place and community is driven by three core features:
  • A long history of place-based impact
  • A commitment to a sustainable and inclusive future
  • Using RMIT locations as platforms for innovation.

In 1882, RMIT’s founder, Melbourne philanthropist and grazier Francis Ormond initiated what would now be regarded as a public private partnership by pledging £5,000 to build a working men’s college. Ormond’s philanthropy kickstarted the development of an institution founded with a clear aim to create spaces for public education in the developing city of Melbourne.

RMIT sprung up around the needs of city workers who acquired new skills in the evening to equip them for a rapidly modernising world, with learning spaces interwoven with the fabric of the city and designed to complement working life. Since our early beginnings as a technical trade school with just 200 students, RMIT has evolved and grown with the cities where we operate.

Through the past decades, deliberate moves to reimagine campus buildings have created an institutional identity that not only reflects RMIT’s values, but has also helped define Melbourne’s unique character and urban culture.

Today RMIT owns and occupies a significant 6% of buildings in the CBD. RMIT is one of Melbourne’s formative and enduring anchor institutions; “tightly connected to and strongly grounded in the current and future wellbeing of a specified place” (Smallbone, Kitching and Blackburn, 2015).

RMIT now engages with diverse learner cohorts across several campus precincts and localities. Expansion into new jurisdictions over the last three decades has brought new opportunities and modes of engagement, along with new partnerships and specialisations. Our locations are now highly diverse and exist across Australia, Southeast Asia and Europe. Across all these places, we make the same kind of commitment to the communities in which we are embedded.

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