Dunedin was treated to a glimpse into the future of healthcare and possibilities for the New Dunedin Hospital through the eyes of youth earlier this month.

The Hills Cluster of Dunedin schools (Wakari, Maori Hill, Halfway Bush, Kaikorai, and Balmacewen Intermediate) put on a public exhibition of their Project Based Learning work - all centered around real life design challenges associated with the New Dunedin Hospital project.

Students employed emerging technologies such as Virtual and Augmented Reality, coding, app development, room designs and robotics. Southern DHB CEO Chris Fleming and New Dunedin Hospital representatives were on hand to offer feedback and encouragement to the students at the exhibition launch, which was the culmination of some genuine and rewarding community involvement in the New Dunedin Hospital project.


Project Based Learning consultant and Hatch Education Director Phillipa Dick said this was a great chance for children to have a genuine connection to a project that's set to change their own community.

"We are excited to explore our young people’s ideas around wellness and health for the future and connecting this to the Dunedin Hospital rebuild." said Ms Dick.

"We have encouraged our young people to have ‘blue sky’ thinking and hope that project designers may feel inspired by the thoughts of minds unencumbered by limitations and budgets! The ability for us to connect with a real-world experience and real-world experts is invaluable. Many of our young people will, in fact, have jobs either in the build or running of this hospital.”

New Dunedin Hospital Programme Director Mike Barns has been thrilled with the partnership between the project, and the Hills Cluster of Dunedin schools.

“This has been a wonderful opportunity for genuine community involvement with the project. Engaging young minds and developing students’ connections to new thinking in healthcare and this large project is something we’re proud of, and will continue to foster.”

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