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Launch of new student accommodation honours one of Australia's most famous nurses

25 Mar 2013

An exciting new accommodation facility for students is to be officially launched this week by NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) and includes a tribute to one of Australia's most famous nurses.

Yarra House, a new 149 room accommodation facility for post-secondary students will be officially opened by the Member for Northcote, Fiona Richardson MP, on Thursday 22 April.

Yarra House provides an engaging, safe and supportive residential environment for post-secondary students.

“There was a demonstrated need for high quality, conveniently located on-campus accommodation for NMIT students,” says Anne Bambrook, NMIT's Director Client Services.

“Providing students with a place to live is one thing. We also wanted to offer an exciting community where residents can enjoy the complete living and learning experience,” she says.

Following an $11m refurbishment by NMIT, Yarra House now offers students a stylish choice of single, deluxe single and twin share rooms. All rooms have been completely refurbished with bright, modern decor and most feature ensuite bathrooms. Facilities include a games room, student lounge, shared cooking facilities, free on-site parking, BBQ zone, laundry, wireless broadband and air conditioning throughout, and a choice of meal packages.

Student safety and security are maintained through a main reception area, security patrols, electronic swipe card access to rooms and common areas and a live-in Residential Manager.

Other benefits include a Live, Learn, Grow Program (social, sporting activities and study skills tutorials) provided by Campus Living Villages who will operate Yarra House on behalf of NMIT.

Yarra House is open to NMIT students and those from other tertiary educational institutions.

Situated on NMIT's Fairfield Campus, Yarra House was formerly the nurse's quarters for the Fairfield Hospital (closed in 1996). NMIT took over the hospital site in 1999 and moved its Horticulture program from Parkville in June 2003 to make Fairfield NMIT's second largest campus (approximately 3000 students).

NMIT honours one of Australia's wartime nursing heroines

In acknowledgement of the Fairfield site's proud history as a medical facility, NMIT has named one of Yarra House's main recreation rooms the Vivian Bullwinkel Common Room in honour of WWII Australian Army Nurse, Vivian Bullwinkel (1915 - 2000).

Vivian Bullwinkel was the only survivor of the Banka Island massacre in 1942 when Japanese forces executed 21 of her fellow nurses. She survived three and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese before returning to Australia where she later became Director of Nursing at the Fairfield Hospital. Later on in her career she became President of the Australian College of Nursing and was awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal as well as being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire and an Officer of the Order of Australia.*

The Vivian Bullwinkel Common Room will be the location for the official opening of Yarra House.

*Source: Australian War Memorial website

Video - NMIT TV - Yarra House Opening

What: Launch of NMIT's new student accommodation facility - Yarra House.
When: Thursday 22 April 2010, 10 am.
Where: Vivian Bullwinkel Common Room, Yarra House, Yarra Bend Road, Fairfield.


Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.