Little Hall sets new benchmark for hall of residence

Image of dignitaries with Little Hall plaque.
Left to Right: Allan Myers, University of Melbourne Chancellor; Paul Little, co-founder of the Hansen Little Foundation; Jane Hansen, Deputy Chancellor and co-founder of the Hansen Little Foundation; Peter Tregear, Director of Little Hall; Duncan Maskell, University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor; The Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency Linda Dessau AC; and Ms Dessau's husband, Mr Anthony Howard.

Little Hall - the new benchmark for student accommodation in Australia and made possible by the generosity of philanthropists Paul Little and Jane Hansen - was today officially opened by the Governor of Victoria The Hon. Linda Dessau.

The world-class hall of residence is part of the couple’s remarkable $30 million gift to the University of Melbourne which has also enabled the establishment of the Hansen Scholarship Program.

Now in its second year, the Hansen Scholarship Program supports 20 students annually whose personal circumstances might otherwise prevent them from studying at the University of Melbourne.

The Hansen Scholars receive free accommodation at Little Hall and support for living costs throughout their undergraduate degree. They are also encouraged to apply for post-graduate support through further granting to assist with their career development such as an internship, interstate or overseas placement or further study. Whereas every student who resides at Little Hall has access to pastoral care and academic enrichment programs, Hansen Scholars are also able to access a tailored mentoring and development program.

This year’s intake of Hansen Scholars are among the first group of students to move into Little Hall which is located at Lincoln Square - 300 metres from the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus.

Designed by acclaimed architects Hayball, Little Hall will complement the University’s existing colleges and halls of residences. The building spans more than 20,200sqm over 15 levels and caters for every student’s need while they study at the University of Melbourne. Little Hall features 669 ensuite bedrooms, multi-purpose study rooms, a cinema, a gymnasium, a rooftop terrace garden, a café and Wi-Fi throughout.

Paul Little AO, co-founder of Hansen Little Foundation, said the opening of Little Hall is the culmination of a vision to build not only world class but welcoming student accommodation.

“The Hansen Little Foundation’s vision was to differentiate Little Hall from any other hall of residence by combining the very best amenities and facilities with a unique environment that allows students to feel at home while they explore all academic possibilities at the University.

“I am delighted to say Little Hall has established a new benchmark for student living in a distinctive academic and intellectually rich environment.”

Jane Hansen AO, co-founder of Hansen Little Foundation and founding patron of the Hansen Scholarship Program, said the opening of Little Hall is an important part of her vision in the delivery of the unique scholarship program offered to its extraordinary recipients.

“Little Hall is designed not only to help and nurture students of today but also to develop our leaders of tomorrow. We have future-proofed Little Hall for the decades ahead and to ensure students from all walks of life have opportunities that will help them to realise their full potential and encourage others in their communities to also re-imagine their futures.

“Little Hall is one of the key elements of the Hansen Scholarship Program that sets it apart from other scholarship programs around the world. There is no other scholarship program that combines learning, pastoral care and development opportunities with a beautiful, purpose-built hall of residence like Little Hall. It provides a strong sense of belonging and purpose for all the scholars, who by next year will total 60 students every year.

Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell said Little Hall will represent Paul Little and Jane Hansen’s legacy to Australia for generations to come.

“On behalf of everyone associated with the University of Melbourne, I offer my sincere thanks to Paul and Jane.

“Their foresight to establish a scholarship program with this superbly designed, bespoke building at its core is truly visionary and extremely generous.

“By any measure Little Hall has set a new standard in student accommodation and will undoubtedly be a place that enables students to thrive, enjoy their time and optimise their experience at the University of Melbourne.”