Kay Kent

University Fellow

University Fellow Citation delivered by Senior Professor Eileen McLaughlin, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health at the University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of Kay Kent as a Fellow of the University on 18 April 2024.

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Kay Kent. Kay Kent stands as an all-round extraordinaire, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of many students. Her tireless and selfless contributions span three decades at the University of Wollongong and continued even after retirement. Kay’s exceptional service to the university, unwavering support for students, and profound impact on the broader community make her an exemplary figure deserving of commendation. Kay’s journey with UOW commenced in December 1988, and for 30 years until her retirement in December 2018, she became an integral part of the university community. Kay dedicated herself to supporting the University in a diverse range of capacities, from vigorously participating in student recruitment drives across the Illawarra and into the far west of NSW, to welcoming students at enrolment days and orientation, and providing personalised guidance for generations of students within the Faculty of Science, Medicine, and Health. Kay’s commitment extended beyond the campus borders, reaching regional, rural, and remote communities. As the Student Support Officer and Administrator of the University of Wollongong’s Student Health Alliance for Rural Populations (SHARP), Kay made a substantial impact on thousands of students, particularly those from rural, Indigenous, and international backgrounds. Her efforts highlighting her inspiring work with this alliance were recognised by Wollongong City Council in the 2014 Australia Day Community Awards. Her involvement in the “Check It” program, aimed at promoting awareness of men’s health, and her continuous contributions to the local community through volunteering for Illawarra Cancer Carers exemplify Kay’s dedication to community well being. Post-retirement, Kay’s commitment to UOW and its students remained unwavering. Founder of the Goodwill Hunting Initiative, which provided incoming students with essential homeware items donated by university staff and members of the community, Kay continued to drive this impressive initiative, coordinating receipt and preparation of donations and overseeing their distribution to students at the beginning of each academic year. An example of her ongoing dedication to the university community, Good Will Hunting proved instrumental in fostering a sense of care and support for new students. In recognition of her exceptional contributions, Kay Kent has been twice awarded Vice Chancellor Awards (2010, 2015) and received Life Membership by the National Rural Health Students Network in 2009. Her legacy of outstanding service to UOW have earned her this University Fellowship, which remains a shining example of the transformative power of genuine care for student wellbeing, tireless dedication to community, and love for the University. Chancellor, it is with great privilege that I present Kay Kent to be admitted as a Fellow of the University of Wollongong.