Local partnerships

Deakin plays a leading role in forging productive, long-lasting relationships with key cultural, sports, civic, research and philanthropic organisations in the wider Geelong region.

Our partnerships support specialised maths and science programs, collaborative technology research, identifying community health needs, raising funds for charitable causes and widening access to education for the Geelong community.

Deakin University - Geelong Cats Partnership

Deakin is a member of the Elite Sponsor Group supporting the Geelong Cats. The sponsorship has paved the way for a multi-level working agreement between the two iconic Geelong institutions. The mutually beneficial partnership encompasses sport science, player development, community development, internships, student engagement, joint research initiatives, graduate employment and provision of an alternate training venue.

The Deakin–Cats alignment is a great reflection of Geelong as a highly respected destination for sport, education, tourism, lifestyle, employment and living.

The partnership represents five key areas:

Deakin Cats Community Centre

The Deakin Cats Community Centre (DCCC) is an 800 square metre facility on the ground floor of the Players Stand at GMHBA Stadium. It includes a computer lab, meeting room and multi-purpose area. Fitted with the latest technology, the space is purpose built to facilitate community education and learning.

Deakin's core mission in the DCCC is to raise educational aspirations within the community, as well as bring people together across social boundaries and diverse interests. The centre unites Deakin and the Geelong Football Club (GFC) in their joint commitment to support and serve the region through community development and inclusion. By combining resources, the University and the club offer the state-of-the-art facility free of charge to multiple community groups.

Since its completion in 2013 the DCCC has enabled 70,000 visitors and 54 different community organisations to deliver health and wellbeing sessions. With 50 per cent of total use attributed to community groups, the DCCC has helped the GFC achieve its vision of greater engagement with the broader Geelong community.

Learn more about the DCCC and its programs

School of Exercise and Nutrition Science – Geelong Cats High Performance Team Collaboration

This long-standing partnership has strengthened since Deakin’s School of Exercise and Nutrition Science introduced its sport science course in 2013, based out of the state-of-the-art Regional Community Health Hub (REACH) building at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus.

The partnership fosters a hive of activity between the Cats and the University. This includes performance analysis, mutual use of physical facilities including the football club's gymnasium, theatre and high performance facilities, student internships and practicum placements, research opportunities, an adjunct appointment and match day contributions to the performance team.

The football club maintains regular student placement programs for exercise and sports science students and identifies student engagement opportunities within day-to-day activities. The club also provides research opportunities for research students.

The ‘Geelong Way’ program gives 10 undergraduate students the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at the Cats in the lead up to, and on, match days. Students are extensively involved in pre-season training and testing, conducted at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus. They are also involved in specialised testing for the club's draft and pre-season training program.

Many third year undergraduate students have completed their practicum unit with the Cats. One honours student is also placed at the football club each year to undertake collaborative research. Access to player data is provided for research and teaching purposes.

The Geelong Cats provide the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences with access to their high performance gym and facilities, as well as access to and involvement in their VFL staff and programs.

A jointly appointed Research Fellow in exercise and sport science and a joint appointment (consultancy basis) in the area of nutrition and dietetics now share time between the Geelong Cats and Deakin.

The Geelong Football Club also employs a number of Deakin graduates across all areas of their business.

Alternate training venue

The Cats alternate training venue is Deakin's Elite Sports Precinct at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus. Built to the exact proportions of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the players make use of the precinct to prepare for games at the MCG.

The Elite Sports Precinct also features significantly in the Cats pre-season training schedule. The club's VFL and VFLW teams also make substantial use of the venue.

All activities can be supported by exercise and lecture facilities at the Regional Community Health Hub (REACH) building.

Find out more about the Elite Sports Precinct

International and domestic student engagement program

Deakin's international students are connected with their peers as well as local community through a unique supporting platform at the Geelong Football Club (GFC). The Deakin University – Geelong Cats International Student Program consists of an annual Deakin Cats Footy Clinic (DCFC) for 100 international students.

The clinic is held at Simonds Stadium and enables international students to:

  • meet GFC Players, staff and Half Cat mascot
  • learn how to kick, handball, mark, tackle and barrack
  • tour Simonds Stadium
  • tour the GFC museum
  • compete in competitions and prizes
  • receive 100 match reserve seat tickets along with domestic students for a designated game.

Media and video coverage supports the annual program.

Geelong Cats AFLW

Deakin was the first organisation to support the Geelong Cats VFLW team for the long-awaited first season in 2017. We're proud to expand the partnership as the team now embarks on its promotion to the ALFW league.

Many of the Geelong Cats players study with us at Deakin and we support the Cat’s player welfare staff to cultivate all aspects of player development, including course and career advice, access to education, the Elite Athlete Support Program and facilitating connections for employment.

Find out more about the Geelong Cats AFLW team

Geelong Arts Centre

Geelong Arts Centre’s Deakin University Theatre Season

Deakin University is the principal partner of the Geelong Arts Centre Deakin University Theatre Season.

The relationship reflects Deakin's commitment to support the community, innovation, the arts and outstanding spaces and people.

The sponsorship recognises the role arts and culture plays in terms of the region’s economic development. The partnership secures the future of the annual Theatre Season that brings some of our leading performers and theatre companies to Geelong.

The Geelong Arts Centre and Deakin relationship stretches back more than 20 years, with the arts centre managing shows and events at Deakin’s 1500-seat Costa Hall at the Waterfront Campus.

Deakin and Geelong Arts Centre are strengthening partnerships particularly with the School of Communication and Creative Arts and we are providing avenues for students, staff, alumni and their families to enjoy live theatre throughout the year.

Vision 2 Geelong CBD project

Vision 2 was the initial stage of a project to regenerate the Geelong CBD.

Deakin entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Greater Geelong, the State Government and the Committee for Geelong to work on a vision for the development of the city's thriving Waterfront Precinct.

The project supports the city’s ongoing sustainability initiatives and success.

Run Geelong

Deakin students and staff are always strongly represented at the annual Run Geelong, Australia’s biggest regional fun run.

This annual event raises money for the Geelong Hospital. We actively promote the event at our Geelong campuses and in university publications.

In 2013 the Deakin team raised over $10,000 and won the Corporate Run Geelong Challenge. Richard Colman, Deakin alumnus and Paralympics gold medallist is also a Run Geelong ambassador.


Deakin partners with Diversitat, a local not-for-profit community service group that supports multicultural communities and the disadvantaged in the region. 

In particular, the two organisations work together on the Reuniting Families Christmas Appeal, providing refugee families with much needed assistance with visa applications for family members still overseas. 

Currently, refugee families within the Geelong region have limited, if any access to free or discounted support to navigate these complex requirements and processes.

Diversitat raised $7500 with the generous support of the Geelong community and Deakin committed to match – dollar for dollar – funds raised with this appeal. 

Deakin is also contributing to long-term capacity building for our newly settled refugees by providing opportunities for access to tertiary study.

Learn more about Diversitat

Geelong Symphony Orchestra

Deakin is the principal partner of the Geelong Symphony Orchestra, offering Deakin’s Costa Hall as its home. We ensure the Geelong community experiences classical music by extending complimentary passes to Geelong secondary school students. The GSO provides a forum for our local talented musicians to practise and perform in town.

Learn more bout the Geelong Symphony Orchestra

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race

Deakin is partnering with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race for the third year to run the 2019 Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race. The race is held in and around Geelong on Saturday 26 January and will be shown live on TV.

The partnership allows a number of Deakin staff, students and Alumni to access complimentary entries for the People’s Race.

Find out more about the race

Give Where You Live

Deakin is a Gold Partner of Give Where You Live. Our contribution adds to generous donations from businesses and organisations in Geelong that are distributed to projects and groups that address disadvantage among areas and families in Geelong.

We work together to build better communities by providing grants and delivering programs that help provide educational and employment opportunities and support people experiencing life crises.

Find out more about Give Where You Live

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The Gordon

The Gordon is Victoria's largest regional stand-alone TAFE. Deakin and The Gordon have enjoyed a long-standing partnership that provides recognition of studies at The Gordon with recognition of prior learning.

As part of the Deakin pathways program, the two organisations have now extended this partnership. The Gordon students now have a guaranteed pathway into higher education at Deakin after completing their diploma.

Learn more about TAFE pathways

Research partnerships


BioLAB, the Victorian BioScience Education Centre provides educational programs to school students and teachers.

Located at Belmont High School, BioLAB is one of six specialist science and mathematics centres in the state, inspiring the next generation of leaders in the fields.

Deakin signed a lead partnership agreement with BioLAB in 2011, enabling the continued delivery of a number of exciting initiatives including:

  • primary level biology, chemistry and the human body
  • sports psychology and mathematical analysis
  • genetics
  • anatomy, physiology, exercise science and statistics
  • biotechnology
  • nutrition
  • biomechanics
  • materials technology.

The partnership helps give rural and disadvantaged students access to the centre, its programs and a range of exciting career possibilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Visit the BioLAB website

Strategic Alliance (Barwon South West Region)

The collaboration between Deakin and the Department of Health and Human Services (Barwon South Western region) began in 1998. The alliance harnesses the skills, experience and research capabilities of Deakin University staff and uses them to contribute to government service planning and development.

It ensures that Deakin's researchers are working on projects that have been identified as priorities for the government, including chronic disease prevention and mental health prevention strategies. The evidence Deakin researchers gather has the ability to impact policy decision-making to improve healthcare in the region and contribute to the development of major government initiatives.

The alliance also develops a coordinated and strategic approach to Faculty of Health student placements in the Geelong area. Placements addresses the needs of Deakin University, the Department of Health/Department of Human Services and the health and community sectors.

Geelong Technology Precinct

A mini Silicon Valley, the Global Technology Precinct (GTP) at our Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus provides facilities for conducting leading research, proofs of concept and fostering industry co-location.

Deakin's successful partnership model has encouraged more than 40 industry collaborators and partners to join them in the GTP. These include Carbon Revolution, Chemgenex, CSIRO, Cytomatrix, Quickstep and VCAMM.