UTS Shopfront Community Program began in 1996 as the first program of its kind in an Australian university.
The initial concept for the Shopfront as a "community research and advocacy centre" came through a Steering Committee within the UTS Department of Social, Political and Historical Studies. The committee members were Paul Ashton, Karen Coleman, Eva Cox, Heather Goodall, Jeannie Martin and Rosslyn Reed.
Seeding money came through Quality Assurance Funds and the program began in 1996 aiming to:
Articulate and extend the corporate citizenship and civic responsibilities of the University by providing services on a pro bono basis [and] develop genuine cross-faculty and cross-discipline collaborative research and learning and teaching activities, based on a culture of equity, diversity, social responsibility and mutual respect.
UTS Department of Social, Political and Historical Studies (1995) 'Application for Funding for a Social and Community Research and Advocacy Unit: The Shopfront'
While a university-wide program, for the first three years of its existence Shopfront was hosted by the (then) Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.
During a restructure in 1999, ongoing funding was approved by the then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tony Blake, and the Vice-Chancellor's Committee. UTS Shopfront is now part of the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion under the portfolio of Verity Firth, Executive Director, Social Justice.
- UTS Shopfront opens as the first program of its kind in an Australian university. "To articulate and extend the cooperate citizenship and civic responsibilities of the University by providing services on a pro bono basis and develop genuine cross-faculty and cross discipline collaborative research and learning and teaching activities, based on a culture of equity, diversity, social responsibility and mutual respect." (1995 'Application for Funding').
- First Shopfront Projects! Including anti-homophobia video.
- First Shopfront Coursework Collaboration with "Community Project" (now Socially Responsive Design) Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications.
The Blackfriars School closed its doors at the end of 1989, and the next years witnessed talk of residential towers and car parks, but in 1996 the University of Technology, Sydney took up residence in the old heritage-listed buildings for what they call their 'Shopfront', where community-based projects are undertaken with collaborative inputs of skills and resources from the University students and staff.
Shirley Fitzgerald (2007) Chippendale: beneath the factory wall, 134. Halstead Press
- Shopfront Show Day and information session. An opportunity for Shopfront to showcase its work and stakeholders to come together and share their engagement stories and experiences.
- Alison Page wins scholarship to study Indigenous architecture in Canada based on the results of her Shopfront project.
- Ongoing funding for Shopfront secured and Shopfront moved to portfolio of the DVC International and Advancement (WIlliam Purcell).
- Successfully tendered to the NSW Department for Women - grant included funding for three community fellowships ($100,000).
- UTS Shopfront launches Community Research Elective.
- 100 projects completed.
- Wins UTS Social Justice Human Rights Award.
- Results of Community Fellowship at Miller. Film 'After the Bell' wins under 18 Penrith Valley film festival.
- Success with research tender to the Community Relations Commission on impacts of September 11 ($60,000).
- Shopfront included in compendium of best practice engagement initiatives.
- 'New Girl' short film developed through Community Fellowship wins third prize at the Silent Cells national youth film festival.
- Successful research tender with Department of Planning on lessons learnt from place-based projects.
- Working with Southern Cross University to develop its Regional Gateway community engagement program.
- Invited to give keynote address on university and community collaboration in Norway at Community-Campus Partnerships conference.
- Facing Fear: Community anti-racism work after September 11, 2001 forum to present results of research to community members and organisations.
- Awarded an Australian-American Fulbright for Professor Philip Nyden from Loyola University in Chicago to visit Australia.
- Launches Academic Research Series.
- The quality of the community program was recognised in 2005 when UTS Shopfront received a National Award for Community Engagement and Teaching at Parliament House in Canberra.
On receipt of the award, the then UTS Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Ross Milbourne, said:
Shopfront not only serves the community, it well serves the reputation of UTS and helps us to fulfil a very important role of a university, that of social responsibility and engagement with those we are expected to serve - the community.
- Ten year anniversary!
- Shopfront launches first edition of Student Research Series.
- Establishes UTS Shopfront Community Research Fellowship.
- ARC Linkage Success – Cultural Asset Mapping in Regional Australia (CAMRA) [$2.5mil].
- Public Relationship Institute of Australia (PRIA) mentors Public Communication students working on community projects.
- Kate Pacey wins Alumni Award for her work on Aboriginal Stone Artefacts.
- Monograph 'Doing The Rights Thing: Approaches To Human Rights And Campaigning' by Damien Spry published.
- Cultural Asset Mapping for Regional Australia (CAMRA) a five-year ARC Linkage project commenced in 2008. CAMRA was a partnership with the University of Wollongong, the University of Sydney, the University of New England, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Local Government and Shires Association, Regional Arts NSW and local government partners.
- Gateways Journal launched in partnership with Loyola University.
- Student team wins Malian Foundation Award for work on Shopfront Project (Parramatta Female Factory).
- Jacqui Gothe awarded research fellowship for her work with remote Indigenous communities in far North Queensland.
- Linda Leung awarded research fellowship for her work on refugee's use of technology.
- Gateways partnership with University of Cape Town (UCT). Mentoring fledging university engagement program at UCT.
- 500 community projects completed.
- Shopfront moves to the Tower Building from our Blackfriars office.
- Grant awarded by Arts NSW to develop the Empty Spaces Online project.
- Monograph Rough Living: Surviving Violence and Homelessness by Catherine Robinson published.
- Shopfront turns 15!
- Art in Prisons research report published with Arts Access Australia
- UTS: SOUL Award developed under the guidance of DVC International and Advancement.
- Shopfront named by the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship as one of the world’s top six exceptional community engagement programs.
- UTS Shopfront launches the student volunteering program UTS SOUL Award to extend our community engaged activities and further develop the University’s social justice agenda.
- All Culture is Local book is published by UTS ePress, mapping good practice in community cultural planning in local government
- 750 community projects completed.
- Shopfront's Lisa Andersen and Natalia Nikolova from the Faculty of Business win a National Teaching and Learning Citation for their collaborative development of the subject ‘Applied Management Consulting’
- SOUL students have logged 20,000 hours of volunteering from 2013 to the end of 2014
- Shopfront is awarded second place in the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship as an exemplar model of a university’s commitment to community engagement and social responsiveness in higher education. Professor Attila Brungs, Vice-Chancellor and President of UTS, said:
UTS is strongly committed to the ongoing support and development of Shopfront, which has proven to be an integral part of meaningful, collaborative, mutually impactful community partnership for almost 20 years.
- Shopfront turns 20!
- Receives the UTS Vice-Chancellor's Human Rights & Social Justice Award and is a finalist in both the Australian Financial Review's Higher Education Awards and the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.
- 78 community projects were successfully completed as part of UTS student coursework
- 19,457 hours of extra-curricular community volunteering were logged by SOULies through UTS SOUL Award during the year, and 122 students received the UTS SOUL Award
- Gateways : International Journal of Community Research and Engagement had 24,613 readers during the year - the highest number of downloads in 10 years of the journal. Gateways Volume 10 was launched in July at the Talloires Leaders’ Conference in Xalapa, Mexico, featuring articles by previous winners of the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship.
- Two scholarly articles examining Shopfront’s community coursework process were published: Creating Shared Value Through Service-Learning in Management Education (co-authored by Lisa Andersen and Natalia Nikolova) and ‘Useful, Usable and Used’: Sustaining an Australian model of cross-faculty service learning by concentrating on shared value creation (Lisa Andersen)
- Ten-year anniversary of Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, our refereed, open access, online journal.
- Shopfront brought under the aegis of the UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion, launched to unify UTS's efforts to contribute to a healthy, sustainable and socially just society.
You can read more about our history in our annual reports.