Schools as Community Hubs International Conference 2020

Melbourne School of Design
The University of Melbourne
3-4 December 2020

Register here

Building Connections

The relationships between schools and communities are often complex. Educating young people invariably remains the principal goal, yet additional objectives commonly emerge. As cities around the world intensify and societal dynamics change, pressure on schools to become ‘more than a school’ appears to be increasing. The Schools as Community Hubs International Conference explores the expanded roles of schools, investigating how and in what ways schools may offer more to their communities – historically, currently, and into the future.

Given the ongoing nature of the global pandemic, the conference will now be delivered online.

We look forward to seeing you in December!

Date and time

The conference programme will be split across 2 days to support maximum participation across your time zones:

  • AEDT (Sydney/Melbourne/Hobart/Canberra): 9:00am – 1:00pm on Thursday 3 and Friday 4 December 2020;
  • ACDT (Adelaide): 8:30am – 12:30pm, Thursday 3 and Friday 4 December;
  • AEST (Brisbane): 8:00am – 12:00pm, Thursday 3 and Friday 4 December;
  • U.S. EST (Philadelphia/Baltimore/New York): 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 December;
  • GMT (London): 10:00pm – 2:00am, Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 December (rolled over to next morning);
  • CET (Paris): 11:00pm – 3:00am, Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 December (rolled over to next morning).

Key deadlines*

  • 5 December 2019: Call for papers opens (lapsed)
  • 24 February 2020: Abstracts due for blind peer-review (lapsed)
  • 17 March 2020: Notification of successful submissions (lapsed)
  • 24 August 2020: Conference paper of 1500-2000 words due for peer-review (lapsed)
  • 5 October 2020: Return of reviewer comments to presenters for inclusion in final paper for conference proceedings
  • 9 November 2020: Re-submission of final conference paper for publication in proceedings
  • 26 November 2020: Submission of pre-recorded presentations.
  • 3-4 December 2020: Conference dates.

* in Australian times.

Conference Program

Schools as Community Hubs Conference bannerDownload conference program**

Day 1

  • 9:00 Welcome Day 1 – Dr Benjamin Cleveland
  • 9:10 Keynote provocation - TBC
  • 9:40 Presentation Panel 1
    • School-Centered Neighbourhood Revitalization in Baltimore
    • The 21st Century Learning Hub: Lessons from a joint use school and community library project in regional Australia
    • Schools as community hubs: A case study approach to planning, designing, governing and managing social infrastructure
    • One too many: Scaling up a school as hubs approach
  • 10:30 Q&A / Facilitated Discussions
  • 11:00 Break
  • 11:20 Presentation Panel 2
    • Calvary Community Hub
    • The Family Zone: A school-based, multi-partnership approach to child and family wellbeing
    • Spatial Analysis of Community Hub Schools
    • Vertical schools as community hubs in high-density residential neighbourhoods
  • 12:15 Q&A / Facilitated Discussions
  • 12:45 Day 1 Reflections
  • 13:00 End of Day 1

Day 2

  • 9:00 Welcome Day 2
  • 9:10 Presentation Panel 3
    • Vertical Schools as Community Hubs
    • Antecedents of Schools as Community Hubs: The lasting influence of John Dewey’s philosophy and contemporary adaptations
    • Researching Education and Community Policy Settings for Schools as Community Hubs
    • Making it work: The maker community and high school partnerships
  • 10:00 Q&A / Facilitated Discussions
  • 10:30 Break
  • 10:50 Presentation Panel 4
    • Groundhog Day
    • Outside the classroom: Spatial considerations to facilitate school-community relationships 
    • Connecting Schools with Local Communities through Walkable Urban Design
  • 11:30 Q&A / Facilitated Discussions
  • 12:00 Building Connections: Schools as Community Hubs - insights
  • 12:30 Conference summing up (Guest facilitator TBC)
  • 12:50 Closing remarks
  • 13:00 Conference close.

** All times in AEDT. More information on speakers will be available after the double blind peer review process.

Registration fees

Speakers/Paper authors

  • 250AUD per paper - registered by at least one author/speaker
  • 95AUD per additional speaker -  general registration for additional registrants associated with each paper


  • 95AUD - General registration for conference participants
  • 45AUD - Discounted registration for conference participants (student/unwaged)

Please note: The proceeds from ticket sales will a) support production of the Conference Proceedings, and b) contribute to the Open Access fees for an edited book bringing together key insights from the Building Connections research project.

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This research is supported under Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects funding scheme [LP170101050]. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Australian Research Council.

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Partner organisations

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