2019 Award Winners

Our volunteers and their exceptional contributions to the community were recognised at the annual University's Volunteer Achievement Awards on Thursday 5 December. Congratulations to all those nominated this year.

Photos from event

Volunteer of the Year

volunteer of the year, Mr Haig Miller

Haig has a unique volunteer role within the University Archives Volunteer Group. Each week Haig custom-makes housing for fragile archival materials. He travels to the University and measures up whichever item is waiting for him and then returns home to work in his own workshop, using his own tools and often materials to construct each new housing.

Haig’s work allows other volunteers to access fragile material to create listings and indexes whilst minimising risk. His work extends the life of the original material and directly enables the University to preserve and protect unique collections. 

Student Volunteer of the Year (joint winners)

2019 Student Volunteer of the Year, Oliwia and Cheryl

Oliwia Derda (pictured left) has been a Peer Assisted Study Session Leader since July 2018 facilitating study sessions for Sciences and Engineering Computer and Mathematical Sciences. She has co-lead an online pilot project, working to foster academic success and stronger sense of belonging between Sciences students on North Terrace and Waite Campuses.

Oliwia trained to use a number of new technologies, prepared and facilitated weekly online activities, reflecting and reporting on issues and success of these. She has supported the learning and engagement of over 100 students during her volunteering.  

In 2019 Oliwia took on a new initiative in helping sciences students who were struggling with English language proficiency as well as course content. Oliwia travelled weekly to the Waite Campus to help these students, alongside her regular volunteering duties.

Cheryl Wong (pictured middle) as been volunteering as an Adelaide Graduate Award Ambassador since July 2018. Sheis a positive representative and role model for the Award and has shown a high degree of commitment to volunteering while balancing her studies. 

Cheryl has volunteered for multiple University events including Open Day O’Week, Children’s University Graduations and many more. She is also an Arts Peer Mentor and volunteers in the wider community through her local church and Channel 44. During her role as an ambassador she has been involved in running hub stalls, events as well as developing and running a student-led initiative called Game Changer Networking. She has participated in Focus Groups sharing her ideas on how to improve the student experience and has sat on student panels talking about her involvement in volunteering.

Volunteer Group of the Year

volunteer awards

Now in its 24th year, the Talking with Aussies program matches international students with a local volunteers for the purpose of regular English conversation practice and social connection. Over 200 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.

2019 Volunteer Award nominees

  • Dr Alan Reddrop, Talking with Aussies

    Alan has been a Talking with Aussies volunteer for 11 years and during this time he has supported 17 international students. Due to his interest and contacts in Business and China-Australia exchange, he has frequently been instrumental in helping students to further their careers by connecting them with opportunities in Australia.

    Alan’s contribution is one of dedication and sustained motivation to see the program succeed. He has an investment in bringing out the student’s talents in their chosen area and seeing them head in the direction of their dreams.

2019 Student Volunteer Award nominees

  • Kristen Lucas, Adelaide Graduate Award Ambassador

    Kristen has been an Adelaide Graduate Award Ambassador for the past year and during this time she has actively contributed to many events and has provided ideas and feedback on how to improve the program; including the new employability website.
    Kristen effectively balances her study commitments alongside a wide range of extra-volunteering activities including the Intercultural Program, Talking with Aussies and Peer Mentoring. 

  • Tam Tran, Student Health & Wellbeing Ambassador

    Tam is a Senior Volunteer for the Student Health & Wellbeing Program and for the past 12 months she has contributed over 80 hours to important events such as; Health Week, University Mental Health Day, RUOK Day, Safer Campus Stall just to name a few.

  • Adele Woolhouse, English Language Centre's Intercultural Program

    Adele has been volunteering since October 2017 and in that time has given her time to the Intercultural Program which assists English Language Centre students with Orientation, Campus & City Tours and excursions throughout Adelaide.

    Adele has been studying a Bachelor of Language, her knowledge and understanding of learning another language makes her very relatable and provides a sense of comfortableness. She can converse in Chinese, Japanese, French and of course English.

  • Tanveen Lamba, Adelaide Graduate Award Ambassador

    Tanveen has been an Adelaide Graduate Award Ambassador for 17 months helping her peers through events and public speaking. She has ran successful networking events with high attendance and has provided feedback to helping to improve the program. 

    Tanveen is highly dedicated to her role and acts as a champion of the Award, encouraging fellow students to get involved in volunteering and other extracurricular activities.

  • Emily Hack, Women in STEM Program & ECMS Ambassador

    Emily has been a volunteering since late 2017. She is a senior ambassador for the Women in STEM Program which provides a range of workshops in leadership, career development and entrepreneurship. Emily encourages women to pursue careers in the growing fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

    She is committed, professional and truly wants to help support women into Engineering.

  • Pallavi Akkineni, Student Health & Wellbeing Ambassador

    Pallavi has been a Student Health & Wellbeing volunteer since February 2018. Pallavi also volunteers for the Adelaide University Union through the Rotaract Club and Indian Students Society.

    As a Psychology student she is passionate about mental health and was a key coordinator of the “Mindfulness Monday” Program which supports people experiencing mental illness.

    She is dedicated, professional and shows leadership to new volunteers.

  • Jerome Huang, Adelaide Graduate Award Ambassador

    Jerome has been volunteering as an Adelaide Graduate Award Ambassador for 18 months promoting the program and sharing his experience and encouraging others to join which has seen a significant increase in new participants.

    Jerome is passionate about helping his fellow students which is why he also volunteers with the International Peer Mentor Program and the Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences Ambassador Program.

  • Jessica Bell, IQ Global Connect Ambassador

    Jessica has been volunteering as an IQ Global Connect Ambassador for 2 years and has promoted the program to fellow students which has seen a significant amount of students connecting with others and sharing their culture.

    Jessica presents at various events about her own personal experience through the program and is the student voice for improving the program and has contributed to the success of it.

2019 Volunteer Group Award nominees

  • Dental School Volunteer Patient Program

    For dental students, learning to communicate with patients can be challenging and sometimes frightening, and it often happens when patients are anxious or in pain. Since 2001 the dental patient volunteers have helped students with these challenges by engaging in communication role-plays and do so with commitment, passion and empathy.

    One of the program tutors told us that “the dental patient volunteer program is vital to prepare students for interacting professionally with patients – it gives them the tools, confidence and perspective to engage as patient centred clinicians”