Dear students, what a year it has been! From the liveliest of welcomes, with Campus Fest, we’ve been go, go, go this entire year and I couldn’t be more proud of our students, staff and all we have achieved.
I was very grateful to have the opportunity to take a walk down memory lane with this story of my time as a student at UOW on the We Are UOW series – a look at the people and connections you form during your University years. It’s been truly wonderful seeing so many of you taking on the opportunities to connect and enjoy university life. I have such fond memories of my time here, and I hope that you can create something similar during your time at UOW.
In 2022, we were so lucky to welcome students back on campus to celebrate their graduations alongside their peers, with friends and family there to witness this milestone. In fact, over 5,000 UOW students from our Australian campuses got to do just that.
We saw COVID-19 restrictions ease and study abroad well and truly possible again – with many students finally able to travel the world and experience life in other cultures, as they’d once hoped.
We got through another federal election, and watched as floods ravaged and continue to ravage parts of QLD, NSW and VIC. We called for climate action during Global Climate Change Week and UOW proudly announced its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030.
We held our inaugural and very successful Respect Week, with Grace Tame – former Australian of the Year – bracing the UniHall stage in a moment we’ll never forget.
Wollongong city played host to the 2022 UCI Road World Championships, which came with some shape-shifting for motorists, but overall made the most of our beautiful coastal city, and sent imagery of Wollongong across the world in the biggest sporting event the Illawarra has seen. Wollongong also received Bike City status – one of only 18 cities in the world – with UOW becoming an official Bike City partner.
So much has happened, from TV features of UOW’s Wollongong campus on Gardening Australia, to witnessing history play out as UOW students were invited to a live address from His Excellency Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine.
We held a very successful Open Day, Science Week (and all the other weeks!), ongoing careers workshops, Clubs and Society meet ups, 160 gigs at the UniBar and so much more.
UOW researchers continued making an impact, discovering innovative ways to do things, winning awards and utilising funding for ground-breaking research. And UOW maintained its world class rankings among the top global universities.
I really couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved this year. After the pandemic years, there’s no denying we had a lot of work to do to recover the ground we had lost, but we’ve come through and we will continue to do so.
I encourage each of you to continue striving, attending events, making new connections and pushing yourself in your studies.
We also have a new and exciting initiative coming in 2023 to welcome you all back to campus – we can’t wait to share this with you in the new year!
Please always remember, this university exists to help make your dreams a reality, so we hope you will continue to make the most of the opportunities that your time at the University of Wollongong presents. We’re certainly grateful to have you with us and to be part of your journey.
Thank you for another wonderful year and enjoy your well-deserved break.