Dear Students, As we approach the short Autumn mid-session break, I want to wish each and every one of you a relaxing and restorative time. Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you will take it as an invitation to pause, recharge and refocus before returning to your studies.
Let’s celebrate our student community
I also wanted to take a moment to celebrate the achievements of our outstanding UOW student community. Just recently, eight of our students were announced as recipients of the 2023 Westpac Trust Scholarships. These scholarships aim to drive positive change and build global connections, and I am thrilled that UOW was highly represented in this round.
Charlotte Mills, Rhyda Demaagd, Mela Hoffman, Matthew Bond, Lauren Sheppard, Connor Weir and Samantha Exposito were each awarded the Westpac Young Technologist Scholarship, which recognises students who are passionate about technology and using its power for good. And Rohan Simms is the first-ever UOW recipient of the Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship, allowing him to spend up to two semesters in Asia to forge cultural experiences and network opportunities. Big congratulations to you all!
The Westpac Trust Scholarships are just one example of the many opportunities available to UOW students to pursue their passions, develop their skills and make a positive impact in the world.
Making UOW safe for all
I am equally proud to share that last week, I had the pleasure of meeting two brave third-year medical students, Tara Passlow and Anna Kynaston, who have launched an online resource for medical students to tackle discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment. Called the Discrimination, Bullying and Sexual Harassment Guide, it provides essential information on how to report and seek support in the event of bullying or harassment incidents, both on and away from the University.
Tara and Anna built on their lived-in experiences of spending long periods of time on placements and away from UOW. They told me the rates of sexual harassment and assault across universities and among junior doctors in NSW are alarming.
Discrimination, bullying and harassment are unacceptable, and every person at UOW deserves to feel safe and respected. Please speak out if you see or experience any behaviour that goes against our shared values of respect and inclusivity. I am grateful to Tara and Anna for taking such an important step towards creating a brighter and more inclusive future for all.
Just a reminder that our amazing SARC (Safe and Respectful Communities) team is here to help out with anything you might be going through – whether it’s sexual assault, harassment, domestic and family violence, bullying or discrimination. So, if you need someone to talk to or just want some advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. And I invite you to take a moment to review The Discrimination, Bullying and Sexual Harassment Guide online.
Campus name changes
In other news, the University of Wollongong is changing the names of some of its campus locations to better reflect their local communities and strengthen connections between campuses and surrounding areas.
The following campus locations will be renamed:
- UOW South Western Sydney becomes UOW Liverpool
- UOW Southern Sydney becomes UOW Sutherland
- UOW Batemans Bay becomes UOW Eurobodalla
- UOW Bega becomes UOW Bega Valley
All other campus locations will keep their current names.
This change will make it easier for students and the wider community to understand where campuses are located. Plus, it will highlight the vital role that these campuses play in supporting students throughout our metro and regional network.
Regardless of which campus you study or work at, you’re all part of the big UOW family.
Graduations are (almost) upon us!
And for all our graduate students, I hope you’re getting ready for your big day. This year’s graduation ceremonies will be momentous, marking the end of your academic journey and the beginning of your next adventure. I cannot wait to celebrate with you and your loved ones and to witness the bright futures you will undoubtedly create when you move away from UOW.
Once again, I wish you all a restful and rejuvenating break, and I look forward to seeing you back on campus soon.