UNSW Alumni Reconnect at the Roundhouse Revival

7 December 2018 

The Roundhouse has been the beating heart of UNSW campus life for almost 60 years, seeing hundreds of thousands of patrons through its doors since its opening in 1961, including many of the alumni who joined us on Friday 23 November to celebrate the Roundhouse Revival.

The main attraction were two popular headliners, The Potbelleez and Furnace and the Fundamentals, with a reception for valued alumni and donors before the main event.

To thank UNSW's generous donors, the Division of Philanthropy hosted an intimate reception in one of our upstairs function rooms to unveil a new name and plaque for the room, ‘The Singapore Room’, in honour of the Singaporean donors. Guests were greeted with cocktails and canapés, with an acoustic singer filling the room with soft tones and a warm ambience.

Mr David Gonski, UNSW Chancellor, reminisced on his university days with nostalgic memories of dances and debates at the Roundhouse and reflected on the significance of the iconic building to the UNSW community.  

“The Roundhouse is, for every alumnus of UNSW, an incredible building…it was the heart of the place, something deeply identifiable at UNSW, and an incredibly innovative place architecturally. I’m delighted we are all here today to celebrate its rebirth. It’s a wonderful reconstruction of a great building and I hope you enjoy tonight as much as I know I will.” 

Among the attendees, His Excellency Kwok Fook Seng, High Commissioner of Singapore; Professor Ian Jacobs, President & Vice-Chancellor at UNSW Sydney; and Dr Jimmy Koh, PBM Chair for Singapore Advisory Council, were also invited to speak. Following the formalities, guests were encouraged to join the party that was in full swing downstairs. Guests at the reception had the option of stepping out onto the mezzanine level to enjoy the concert from above or moving downstairs to join the buzzing crowd. 

With rising music levels and guests filling up the Main Room, the venue evolved into the thriving venue that the Roundhouse was designed for. Guests on both levels enjoyed two fantastic performances, including Furnace and the Fundamentals treating guests to a surprise conga line through the crowd on the dance floor! New memories were made, and old ones celebrated by long-time friends gathered to relive their university days at the helm of a new era for the Roundhouse.  

After the event, one UNSW alumnus who came with her husband (graduated in ‘83 and ‘84) expressed how much she enjoyed the night. 

“We saw many great gigs at UNSW in our day from Split Enz, INXS, Violent Femmes, Nick Cave, Hoodoo Gurus, Mental as Anything. Friday night brought back many fun times and a great sense of joy and belonging. Two generations of family alumni came along so it was particularly special for us to dance down the front with our daughters to Furnace and the Fundamentals. The band was the perfect choice – infectious energy, exceptional execution, and a great song for every generation”. 

With the Roundhouse now hitting its stride as a working venue, we’re gearing up to welcome the 2019 intake of new students during Orientation Week, with a stellar lineup of events for the week and term 1. Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting announcements over the coming weeks.  

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