Community Fellowship Award

Recognising relationships between the University and our community

The University of Wollongong launched the Community Fellowship Award in our 40th Year of Independence to celebrate and recognise relationships between the University and our community. Since its launch the Community Fellowship Award continues to recognise the ongoing relationships between the University and its communities. The Award is the highest honour the University of Wollongong can bestow in recognition of a community organisation.


2021 Community Fellowship recipient

Far South Coast Branch of Surf Life Saving NSW

The Far South Coast Branch of Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) was selected as the 2021 recipient of the Award, recognising its outstanding contributions in supporting communities during the unprecedented bushfire crisis of the 2019/2020 Summer.

As the devastating bushfires approached Far South Coast communities on New Year’s Eve 2019, selfless volunteers from the Surf Life Savings Clubs put everything on the line for their communities. Their actions embodied the organisation’s commitment to protecting and saving lives, and demonstrated great courage, resilience and community spirit.
Deputy Chancellor Dr Liz Magassy conferred the award on the organisation on 30 September. Dr Magassy congratulated the Far South Coast Branch on their commitment, dedication and unwavering generosity in the face of adversity.

“UOW and the Far South Coast Branch are very much aligned, and we both recognise that there is little distinction between our organisations and the communities. Rather, we are part of the communities we serve and we come together when times are tough,” Deputy Chancellor Magassy said.

Past recipients

The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) was selected as the 2019 recipient of the Award, recognising AIME’s significant services to improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students in Australia, including in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and far South Coast regions.

AIME has demonstrated outstanding passion, leadership and integrity, working fearlessly to transform lives and close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities through educational opportunity.

Chancellor Ms Jillian Broadbent AC conferred the award on the organisation on 20 June. Chancellor Broadbent said AIME was an organisation that had truly made a tangible impact on the lives of students throughout the world, helping to end the cycle of disadvantage.

“AIME’s impact has been profound and far-reaching; they have helped thousands of Indigenous students to believe in themselves and put them on the path to achieving their dreams,” Chancellor Broadbent said.

Community Fellowship Award for Community of Mudgee

The Community of Mudgee was selected as the 2017 recipient of this award to celebrate the outstanding civic leadership of Mudgee, Gulgong and surrounding communities and to recognise their exceptional contributions in sponsoring initiatives to support the University of Wollongong’s Graduate Medicine students.

These communities worked tirelessly to support initiatives to attract and retain health care professionals to provide the region with continuous access to quality healthcare. This is a vision shared by the University of Wollongong and the Community Fellowship Award honours those that gave their time, energy and resources to strengthen regional communities.

In conferring the award, the University of Wollongong thanks the people of Mudgee, Gulgong and surrounding communities for their dedication, commitment and generosity of spirit in welcoming UOW medicine students into the community and making their placements a positive experience.

Lifeline South Coast

Lifeline South Coast is the inaugural recipient of the Community Fellowship Award. The award acknowledges the life-saving work done by Lifeline South Coast as well as its 20 year long relationship with the University.

“Our relationship is multi-faceted: psychology students volunteer as telephone crisis support counsellors; we assist with research to strengthen Lifeline South Coast’s ability to undertake its suicide prevention activities as well as best professional development activities; and some library staff even help out at the Book Fair.”

Upon receiving the award, Lifeline South Coast Executive Director Grahame Gould said: “It’s not easy work to help a caller find a way forward when considering life or death … at times we become fatigued by the challenge.”

“However, Chancellor, we are nourished by the fact that we are working together to play our part in building a world where there is a sense of hope for everybody.”