Callum Murphy, Callum Bucknell, Nicole Grey and Sam Croft. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

LA TROBE University students have used an Australian first model to show Bendigo Creek in a new light and the project has provided some surprising insights.

The City of Greater Bendigo has lauded the project that asked students rather than councillors to get community feedback on the creek’s future and how it can become regarded as the city’s green spine.

Many CBD workers would have noticed in the past month students at stalls, holding up banners at Charing Cross and encouraging drivers to acknowledge by honking that they were crossing the Bendigo Creek.

“Can you imagine me and other councillors waving a banner by the side of the road,” Cr O’Rourke said, inferring the council tends to draw criticism.

“People will only engage with us at a certain level, you have been able to engage people at a great level.”

The project used a CityStudio model that encourages a collaborative and immersive experience to solve real problems.

La Trobe senior lecturer in Outdoor Environmental Education Marcus Morse discovered the education model while visiting Vancouver and it is the first time it has been adopted outside of North America.

Over five weeks, students from a variety of disciplines collaborated in four groups to address a challenge affecting the creek.

The project is finished for now, but Cr O’Rourke said she hoped some of the students’ recommendations could be realised.