3 October 2023

Journey of discovery begins as Wagga businesses help Transgrid create hi-tech public information hub

| Jarryd Rowley
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concept design for information hub

A concept design for the interior of the Transgrid Discovery Hub. Photo: Transgrid.

Construction has begun on energy giant Transgrid’s Discovery Hub, which will showcase the social, economic and environmental benefits of its future projects.

Executive general manager of corporate and stakeholder affairs Maryanne Graham said the new hub, at the old Elders building in Kincaid Street, would invite and engage community members, landowners and local businesspeople about Transgrid’s energy vision, major projects, employment and training opportunities, operations, and community-based activities across the region.

“A community space will be available for use by not-for-profit organisations for meetings, workshops and conferences, while a yarning circle will provide a culturally appropriate space to ensure recognition and active inclusion of First Nations people and acknowledge our presence on Wiradjuri Country,” she said.

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“The Transgrid Discovery Hub will also include a discovery space for community members and school students to explore power generation, electricity transmission, the transition to renewables, and careers in the energy sector, through visual and interactive experiences.

“Visitors will be able to learn about the history of electricity in the Riverina, from when power was first switched on in Wagga in 1922 right through to the region’s critical role in enabling Australia’s renewable energy future through major projects including EnergyConnect, HumeLink and VNI West.”

Ms Graham said the new centre would have external facilities including an electric vehicle-charging station and a solar-powered Wi-Fi and charging bench for mobile phones.

Transgrid has also launched a challenge to enlist local students to research and design an interactive and educational Discovery Pod to be based at the hub, with prizes including $5000 for the winning secondary school.

“We are inviting local high school students to research and design a discovery pod to explore the concepts of energy, engineering and environment in a fun and educational way using interactive audiovisual technology, games, a challenge, animation, video or presentation of ideas,” Ms Graham said.

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“Transgrid is also consulting local schools, teachers and educational professionals to design a program of activity at the centre to support in-class learning for secondary students.”

Ms Graham said Transgrid was committed to using local businesses and suppliers for the design and construction of the information centre as part of its commitment to invest locally and deliver facilities for Wagga from Wagga.

“We have already engaged a range of local companies to help us deliver the facility, including architects Sewell Design, builders Balding Constructions, furniture manufacturers Adaptive Interiors, graphic designers Sunday Collective, copywriters Frank and Earnest, and Applied Building & Grounds Maintenance, with more Wagga companies to be brought into the project shortly,” she said.

The Transgrid Discovery Hub is expected to be open to the public in early 2024.

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