2018 Award winners
Volunteer of the Year
Dr James Menzies has supported 19 international students since he started his volunteering five years ago through the Talking With Aussies Volunteer Program.
His dedication to the student's wellbeing 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.
Student Volunteer Group of the Year
The English Language Centre’s Intercultural Program provides a positive and engaging experience for International Students. Their program includes weekly Coffee & Chat sessions, monthly cross-cultural conversation sessions and fun events and activities around Adelaide.
With more than 100 volunteers, they have engaged with more than 1500 international students in 2018. 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, wellbeing 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.
This is one of the longest running and most comprehensive studies on longitudinal male aging research. This study has advanced our understanding of risk factors 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 training students and future research leaders. The volunteers 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 and Medical Sciences, Peer Mentor
Matthew has been a peer mentor since 2016, and he has contributed approximately 116 volunteering hours. His continued commitment has provided targeted one-on-one assistance for mature age students and others returning to study.
Matthew regularly receives feedback on how he has inspired several other students to become mentors/volunteers and he really feels like he has made a real difference to his mentees student experience.
Fiona Fraser, Health and Medical Sciences, Peer Mentor
Fiona has been a peer mentor since January 2017. She has assisted a variety of 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 wellbeing. Through her involvement in other student societies, Fiona has organised events to help students stay engaged. 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 and Medical Students, Peer Mentor
Adrian has assisted more than 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 with his mentees weekly, 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 improvements to the program by contributing feedback at groups sessions and offering suggestions to improve the overall mentee experience.
Kristen Manser, Health and Medical Sciences, Peer Mentor
Kristen has contributed more than 65 volunteering hours to support and assist new students to the faculty as well as helping out at events such as Open Day.
Because of her wealth of knowledge and her welcoming and approachable nature, she has succeeded in gaining the trust and respect of her mentees by creating a real sense of belonging among the group.
Her dedication and commitment is also demonstrated by her involvement in an initiative which she hopes will be introduced in 2019 for all School of Nursing students. Her aim is to create a support system which will increase the support offered to all Nursing students.
Elise Prior, Health and Medical Sciences, Peer Mentor
Elise has been a peer mentor since January 2017. She willingly volunteers for student engagement and peer mentoring events, while contributing to a number of other committees and boards throughout the University and completing her own studies.
Elise’s mentees’ needs have been diverse: some have benefited from a one-on-one connection by having someone to confide in during tough times and getting to know their fellow mentees. Others have followed her lead and taken the opportunity to join student clubs, and have become involved in campus life with her encouragement. One of her mentees recently applied to volunteer in the 2019 Peer Mentor program.
Elise is dedicated to ensuring that she contributes to our students' experience by creating a sense of belonging and sharing her experiences about her life as a Uni student. Her warm and welcoming approach instills confidence and respect from both mentees and peers.
2018 Volunteer Group Award nominees
Lex Salus Ambassador 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. They have been 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 students' 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 in 2018.
Health and 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 local volunteers for the purpose of regular English conversation practice and social connection.
More than 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, and their primary motivation is to ‘give back’ and foster inter-cultural communication.
For the volunteers, this 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 thousands of students over the past 23 years. It was also 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. They come in to Urrbrae House every week to select, collect and arrange flowers and foliage. Many also volunteer in other areas of Urrbrae House.
This small dedicated volunteer group is 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. They are focused on connecting 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. With the network initiatives, there is a unique opportunity for 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 and provide an insight into the Tate Museum, the Public Art Collection, Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building, Roseworthy and Waite Campuses.
By sharing the University's heritage through insightful and tailored tour guides, this volunteering group aims to 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 more than 4,500 attendees.Their love of the University is revealed in every tour they give.