What’s so great about the Orange campus?

It may be a cliché, but it couldn’t be more correct – Charles Sturt University’s Orange campus is a perfect mix of big and small.

Set in the foothills of Mount Canobolas, our Orange campus combines a relaxed country atmosphere with state-of-the-art facilities for mostly science and allied health students.

But there is so much more to it…

A history unlike any other

Before joining the squad of Charles Sturt University campuses, the Orange campus had three previous owners.

First established in 1973, the site offered courses related to the management of agricultural business. The Orange Agricultural College, as it was officially known as, joined the University of New England (UNE) from 1990–1994. However, it is then transferred over to the University of Sydney. By 2000, The Orange Agricultural College was dissolved and taken up by Charles Sturt in 2006.

“The College operated during a period of great change in Australia in both the tertiary education and agricultural sectors,” said Professor Kevin Parton, the Head of Campus at CSU in Orange (2001–2011). “As a consequence, it was constantly battling to maintain its identity and independence, while delivering innovative programs relevant to the primary industries it served.”

So much in store

Hannah Bourke works from the Orange campus as the Acting Senior Creative for the Charles Sturt Division of Strategy, Marketing and Analysis. Having spoken around the grounds, Hannah came across some truly extraordinary facts that you can’t miss…

  • We have the Girinyalanha Aboriginal Nature and Bioscience Park which was created in partnership with the Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council. The Park features a yarning circle, pathways, as well as medicinal and edible plants for research projects.
  • Because Mt Canobolas was once a volcano, Orange is situated on rich soil which serves perfectly to produce cool climate wines. The vines formerly from the old chardonnay vineyard at have been replanted in other wineries around the region.
  • Senior Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacy, Dr Christopher Parkinson, says, “Orange has more university medals per student than other campus.”
  • Dr Parkinson also revealed a potential malaria drug, that is more active than current drugs, was discovered on Orange campus.

It may not be so hush, hush now, but if you happen to visit the Orange campus, Charlie would love confirmation as to whether rumours of a secret, hidden golf course are true!

Forward thinking

Partnerships Coordinator for Charles Sturt’s Sustainability Team, Georgie Stuart, listed some of the great ecological efforts located on our Orange campus:

  • Charles Sturt Orange is decorated in approximately 3,000 trees.
  • Frequent sighting of the Scarlet Robin means it is the campus’ flagship species.
  • The campus is equipped with more than 2,400 solar panels (806 kW) which provide our buildings with clean energy
  • The distinctive heritage concrete water tower is a renowned nesting spot for a pair of Peregrine Falcons. Amazingly, the pair have lived there since 2007. A research project known as ‘Falcon Cam’ has been run by one of our academics for over 12 years which documents the breeding and feeding habits of the birds. Falcon Cam is livestreamed on the web and has attracted a world-wide following. Peregrine Falcons are fearsome hunters and lay claim to being the world’s fastest animal!
  • Charles Sturt’s Sustainability team have established substantial biodiversity zones across the campus which are managed to promote native flora and fauna. A current project is being delivered in partnership with the local Summer Hill Creek Landcare group, Department of Primary Industries and the local council removing invasive vegetation along Summer Hill Creek then re-establish native shrubs and grasses.
  • Consistent with the focus on water management by the wider Orange community, Charles Sturt has implemented a range of measures to increase the water efficiency of the campus, including: removal of the farm from town water, rainwater harvesting, installation of flow control devices in taps / showers, regular checking of sub-meters and engagement materials for staff and students.

A highlight of regional NSW

Even though it is 260 kilometres west of Sydney, Orange is an exceedingly progressive city. The 38,000 residents enjoy acclaimed vineyards and boutique shopping experiences. So, if you plan to trip to the Central Tablelands, April 2022 will feature Orange Food Week, Australia’s longest running regional food and wine festival. It is a calendar event you can’t miss!

Charlie contributor, Michael Hanrahan, says, “a day without clouds, wind and a cold snap is an enigma. When these days do come, students will flock to outside tables and grassy patches.”

If you didn’t know already, Orange is renowned for being immensely hot in the summer to snowing in the winter. Michael says, “Nothing can describe the feeling of watching 60 students from various backgrounds rushing onto the oval to have a snowball fight.”

“Charles Sturt Orange is lucky enough to be surrounded by paddocks, which bring a variety of four legged friends. Seeing the odd sheep or cow grazing next to the dorms, on the oval or even on the University Road is not uncommon.”

If you are looking for more information about Charles Sturt’s Orange campus or wish to study there yourself, head to the Charles Sturt locations page.