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2018 Award Winners

James Menzies

Volunteer of the Year
James Menzies

Dr James Menzies has supported 19 international students since he commenced his volunteering 5 years ago through the Talking With Aussies Volunteer Program.

His dedication to the well-being of students is apparent through his regular communication of progress to the coordinator.

His willingness to take on students from any background or subject areas is notable, his motivation being that students need support with their English language skills and very often a social connection as well. Dr Menzies’ energy and enthusiasm for the program is an inspiration to everyone.

Elisabeth Cobos

Student Volunteer of the Year
Elisabeth Cobos

Elisabeth has been a Student Health & Wellbeing Ambassador for the past two years, contributing to numerous initiatives, including Mental Health events, Sexual Health resources development and the student health and well-being forums. Her volunteer role involves project management and Elisabeth has contributed to the planning, implementation, promotion and review of multiple projects.

Now as a Senior Ambassador, she is managing her own project team, conceiving of and running a project to help support students who have parenting or caring responsibilities. In November the team ran a special ‘Parents & Carers Fun Day’.

She has introduced community BBQ’s to help increase engagement with the student body as a whole. Elisabeth has been a constant source of inspiration for the program, helping to shape and improve it through her proactive attitude and engagement.

English Language Centre

Student Volunteer Group of the Year English Language Centre

The English Language Centre’s Intercultural Program provides a positive and engaging experience for International Students. The program includes weekly Coffee & Chat sessions, monthly Cross-cultural conversation sessions and fun events and activities around Adelaide.

With over 100 volunteers; this year alone they have engaged with over 1500 international students.These volunteers interact with students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

They are passionate, generous, resourceful and supportive to all the international students and have. improved the program by going over and above what is required in their role. For international students this program is a valuable contributor to their personal growth, learning, well-being and confidence.


Community Volunteer Group of the Year

Peggy, John and Daina have committed a day a week for almost 10 years to support the operation of the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study.

The study is one of the longest running and most comprehensive longitudinal male aging research that has advanced our understanding of risk factors for and early warning signs of diabetes and poor heart and metabolic health, reproductive health, mental health and cognition, sleep and musculoskeletal health and men’s use of health services.

The research is also a vehicle for the training of students and future research leaders. They have tirelessly applied their professional skills, knowledge, organisational abilities as well as their passion for research to support this important study in the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health.

2018 Volunteer Award Nominees

  • Matthew Nelson, Health & Medical Sciences Peer Mentor

    Matthew has been a peer mentor since 2016, he has contributed approximately 116 hours and his continued commitment has provided targeted one-one-one assistance for mature age students and others returning to study with the aim of bridging the gap between University services, student support and academic staff for new students.

    Matthew regularly receives feedback on how he has inspired several other students to become mentors/volunteers in other aspects of University life, which has been for him quite humbling and he really feels like he has made a real difference to his mentees student experience.

  • Fiona Fraser, Health & Medical Sciences Peer Mentor

    Fiona has been a peer mentor since January 2017; she has assisted students from those who are completely overwhelmed and struggling to attend classes to high performing students who want to maximise their university experience.

    Fiona’s main focus has been and continues to be, student well-being. Through her involvement in other student societies Fiona has organised events intended to help students stay engaged which strongly aligns with the programs student retention focus. She actively participates in feedback sessions for the program, contributing new ideas, and seeking out opportunities to promote the program to other students.

  • Adrian Duran, Health & Medical Sciences Peer Mentor

    Adrian has assisted over 11 first year students from the Faculty Health & Medical Sciences. He has offered assistance with the student’s transition into university life, offered referrals to student support services as well as guidance regarding course-specific and general university issues.

    He meets weekly with his mentees either online or face to face. He answers general questions and concerns about University and he also provides content for the Peer Mentoring Facebook page.

    He has helped with re-design and improvements to the program and contributing feedback at groups sessions offering suggestions to improve the overall mentee experience.

  • Kristen Manser, Health & Medical Sciences Peer Mentor

    Kristen has contributed over 65 volunteering hours to support and assist new students to the faculty as well as helping at events such as Open Days.

    Due to her wealth of knowledge and her welcoming and approachable nature she has succeeded in gaining the trust and respect of her mentees creating a real sense of belonging amongst the group.

    Her dedication and commitment is also demonstrated by her involvement in an initiative which is hoping will be introduced in 2019 for all School of Nursing students. Her aim is to create a support system which will increase the support currently offered to all Nursing students.

  • Elise Prior, Health & Medical Sciences Peer Mentor

    Elise has been a peer mentor since January 2017. She willingly volunteers for student engagement and peer mentoring events all whilst contributing to a number of other committees and boards throughout the University and completing her own studies.

    Over her mentoring Elise’s mentees’ needs have been diverse; some have benefited from forming a one-on-one connection, having someone to confide in during tough times, getting to know their fellow mentees, and others have followed her lead and taken the opportunity to join student clubs/become involved in campus life with her encouragement. She recently recruited one of her mentees to become a mentor in the program in 2019.

    Elise is dedicated to ensuring she contributes to our students experience creating a sense of belonging whilst sharing her experiences about her life as a Uni student. Her warm and welcoming approach instills confidence in and respect from both her mentees and peers alike.

2018 Volunteer Group Award Nominees

  • Lex Salus Ambassadors Program

    Lex Salus is Latin for ‘Law and Well-being’ and is an Adelaide Law School initiative aimed at promoting law student awareness of good mental and physical health.

    Lesley, Tina and Gaida have been dedicated to this program since 2017 by actively running free events and fun activities for law students to encourage them to engage and talk with their peers.

    These amazing Ambassadors have been providing peer support and a student’s perspective of ‘Law School Life’ by sharing their experiences, challenges and insights. They continue to demonstrate exceptional dedication by coming up with new ways to engage with more law students, including launching the “Lex Connect” Program this year.

  • Health & Medical Sciences Peer Mentoring Program

    Introduced in 2015 the Health & Medical Sciences Peer Mentoring Program provides valuable support and assistance to new students and encourages student engagement with staff and existing support services offered by the Faculty and the University.

    In 2018 the program was supported by 48 student mentors, who volunteered 300 hours to provide information and support to 178 new student mentees. The overall feedback from the mentees has been very positive, confirming the benefit from the program and that they would highly recommend the program to other first year students.

  • Talking with Aussies Program

    Now in its 23rd year, the Taking with Aussies program matches international students with a local volunteers for the purpose of regular English conversation practice and social connection.

    Over 180 volunteers provide international students with a highly sought after opportunity to practise their English conversation skills on a regular one-to-one basis and to network with local Adelaideans. Talking with Aussie volunteers come from all walks of life, with their primary motivation being to ‘give back’ and to foster inter-cultural communication.

    For the volunteers it is a chance to offer an international student a chance to participate in Aussie lifestyle, to exchange language skills and to learn about other cultures. The Talking with Aussies program has been a great success and impacted on thousands of students over the past 23 years and was awarded with a Years of Service Award.

  • Urrbrae House Flower Arrangers

    Located at our Waite Campus, Urrbrae House is a Heritage Building visited by thousands of people a year. The volunteers are incredibly dedicated to their tasks by coming in every week to select, collect and arrange flowers and foliage of a high standard. Many also volunteering in other areas of Urrbrae House.

    This small dedicated volunteer group are constantly challenged with the outdoor environment, but they continue to achieve excellence in their flower arrangements for all to see.

  • Wine Alumni Steering Group

    The Wine Alumni Network was created in 2012; it’s focus has been to bring together alumni from the four key wine disciplines of viticulture, oenology, wine business and wine marketing from both Roseworthy Agricultural College and the University.

    The Network bridges the gap between students and alumni through a number of initiatives, including the Graduating Class Dinner. Through the network there is a unique opportunity for old and new alumni from all areas in wine to meet and learn from each other.

    The steering group continue to create relevant and exciting opportunities for alumni to get involved, foster old relationships and make new connections.

  • University Collections Tour Guides

    The success of the University Collection’s Tour Guide Program would not be possible without the enthusiasm and dedication of its six volunteers.Tours are offered every Tuesday and Thursday between March to November, with special request tours being run additionally to provide an insight into the Tate Museum, the Public Art Collection, Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building, Roseworthy and Waite Campuses.

    By sharing the social and built heritage of the University through insightful, often tailored, tour guides promote a more comprehensive understanding of the University’s history and its place within the wider community. Their consideration of tour attendees’ interests and requirements ensures that the most relevant information is imparted.

    Since 2012 the tour guides have hosted more than 400 individual tours with over 4,500 attendees.Their love of the University is revealed in every tour they give.

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