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partnerships that inspire UOW PARTNERSHIPS THAT INSPIRE


The UOW Office of Community and Partnerships facilitates connections between the University, our alumni, friends and the wider community. These people support the University to transform the lives of our students, enrich communities and contribute to the University’s pursuit of excellence. By supporting or engaging with the University of Wollongong, you can contribute to projects which break down barriers to higher education for disadvantaged students, bring together University experts and communities who need them and help leading medical researchers find solutions to major challenges facing society. This publication profiles just some of our current partnerships and outlines how these relationships strengthen the University and support real change in the wider community. We would like to show appreciation to those who have already engaged with the University and to inspire others to become involved. Monique Harper-Richardson Director of Development and Engagement Office of Community & Partnerships



Ben and Maiquilla have two things in common. Star Dragons player Ben Creagh and Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Law student Maiquilla Brown both overcame barriers to access a university education. As members of the UOW In2Uni team, both now help primary and high school age students to do the same.

In2Uni In2Uni is the result of a unique UOW partnership with the Department of Education and Communities which aims to lift educational aspirations and give school students access to the valuable opportunities of higher education.

“This work is so important in expanding the lives and chances for our students” Maria Gray-Spence Regional Director, Department of Education and Communities, Illawarra and South Coast Region

Teaming up to provide opportunity The St George Illawarra Dragons have a long-standing partnership with the University of Wollongong which provides opportunities for players to realise their own aspirations outside of football through study. In return they lend support to programs, such as the annual Indigenous Kids Fun Day and In2Uni.

“I was not the most academic kid. At first uni didn’t really cross my mind, but I realised I needed something for after footy. Having studied here now, I think everyone should have the opportunity to go to uni” In2Uni Ambassador, Ben Creagh

Launched in 2011, UOW’s In2Uni program trains current UOW students as mentors to work in the region’s classrooms to help students develop the skills to think about and plan for their future. In2Uni mentors work within the curriculum to teach students how to strive for excellence, set goals and how to realise those goals at university.

Partnerships that lift aspirations 45 1,000 15

In2Uni mentors work with

students per week across

high schools






primary schools participate in the In2Uni program

Year 6 students undertake the unit of work “Year Six and Higher Education”

“I tried many pathways to get into university. I wasn’t sure if my HSC marks would be good enough. I participated in UOW’s Alternate Admission Program, which offers Indigenous people a different pathway into university based on potential and personal character”

“Working with these kids as part of In2Uni is definitely a once in a life time experience. The encouragement and support we provide definitely has a positive impact” In2Uni mentor Maiquilla Brown



Partnerships that support Every year current students and UOW alumni partner to raise funds for UOW’s future. The Annual Fund is an opportunity for UOW alumni to contribute to current UOW causes, including the provision of learning and development scholarships, which allow students to overcome financial hardship. Our annual phone appeal is just one key element on the fundraising calendar. This involves current students making contact with UOW’s alumni to ask for their support. This connection between our alumni and current students allows graduates to show their appreciation for the opportunities they have gained from their own time at UOW by contributing to programs which enable current students to follow in their footsteps to succeed in their careers and lives.

To date alumni have contributed over

$360,000 to support UOW’s future and that of its students.

Since the program was launched in 2006,

47 Learning and Development scholarships have been offered to students in need.



The University of Wollongong’s alumni and friends support scholarships which provide valuable opportunities for students and ensure that social or economic disadvantage is not a barrier to achievement. Some of UOW’s scholarships are designed to reward academic achievement while others recognise personal attributes, sporting abilities and community contributions. However all have a life-long impact on the students, who become the inspirational problem-solvers of the future.

achievement UOW’s scholarships are supported by industry, community organisations and philanthropic individuals. Industry scholarships are based on mutually beneficial partnerships between corporations and the University. Talented UOW students are offered outstanding opportunities to become leaders in their chosen field while contributing to the company that supports them through their training. The 2011 Annual Fund team of current students would like to thank those who have given so generously.

“I am so appreciative of this scholarship. It means a lot that alumni are willing to make donations to support students who are experiencing financial difficulties. The Learning and Development Scholarship has given me the opportunity to continue my studies at UOW with less financial strain” Learning and Development scholar, Ashlea Rowland. Bachelor of Arts (Dean’s Scholar)





Rachel and Gracia are connected via our award-winning staff giving program, UOW Cares, which demonstrates the University’s commitment to community service and collaboration. Rachel Dyer coordinates the UOW Cares program. Gracia Ngoy is a volunteer at SCARF (Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families), which supports refugees settling in the Illawarra region. SCARF is one of 12 charities partnered with the UOW Cares program. These partnerships provide valuable support for people in need, they also facilitate a connection between the University and its diverse communities which cements UOW’s place as a source of strength and a driver for change in the community.

“UOW Cares is a powerful community commitment. Making regular donations through a workplace giving program is easy for staff and ensures regular income for charities” Rachel Dyer UOW Cares coordinator, Office of Community and Partnerships.

Partnerships that strengthen the community Engaging staff in caring for the community UOW Cares workplace giving UOW Cares has now been running for just over three years and in that time has raised more than $200,000 for the participating charities thanks to an outstanding staff participation rate. More than 300 staff are currently participating on an ongoing basis representing over 16% of staff. This is more than five times the industry average for 2009.* In 2011, UOW Cares teamed up with The Smith Family and Landcare to pilot a staff volunteering program, providing staff with the opportunity to make a difference in the community. Staff and students from throughout the University contribute their time, expertise and support to the community. In addition to UOW Cares other staff fundraising initiatives include the Pink and Blue Breakfast which supports breast cancer, prostate cancer, mental health awareness, health and medical research, student equity scholarships and emergency appeals.

“SCARF has helped me achieve so many things. Supporting SCARF financially is a wonderful contribution for UOW to make and helps SCARF volunteers to support refugee entrants to settle happily and participate fully in the wider community” Gracia Ngoy, SCARF Gracia fled her country of birth, the Democratic Republic of Congo, with her family during tribal conflict when she was only 10 years old. She now volunteers for SCARF to help others. Gracia is undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Media and Communications at UOW.

UOW celebrates community connections UOW’s annual Chancellor’s Awards recognise and encourage community engagement by celebrating voluntary service by community members and graduates of the University. Organised by the Office of Community and Partnerships the awards ceremony brings together the formal head of the University, Chancellor Ms Jillian Broadbent AO, and those who give their time to help others. The Chancellor’s involvement in this celebration reflects the importance placed on voluntary work within the University. *According to a Haystac Public Affairs report, the Australian average is 2.9%.

Since it’s launch UOW Cares has contributed over

$200,000 to charity



Fiona and John were brought together by a partnership connecting UOW expertise with identified needs in the community. Fiona Manning visited the home of John Roberts as part of a UOW health sciences study of nutrition in Meals on Wheels recipients in the Illawarra. Concerned by the high level of malnutrition among the elderly, researchers aim to identify methods to improve the nutritional value of the meals hundreds of elderly people receive in their homes across the community. The project was supported by the Community Engagement Grant Scheme (CEGS), designed to facilitate a connection between UOW researchers and real community issues, giving their work relevance and impact for the community. This annual grants scheme strives to provide funding to collaborative projects that are predominantly service-orientated and have a clear community benefit. The scheme encourages partnerships between staff, students and communities and often the outcome is an ongoing relationship which extends well beyond the life of the initial project.

“This project is something that hasn’t really been done before. UOW and Meals on Wheels have partnered up with the aim to improve the service for its clients, using the clients’ suggestions. This research is going to help us find new ways to combat malnutrition in the elderly and disabled community, which is unfortunately a very real problem” Fiona Manning, Dietician and UOW researcher

partnerships that improve lives The Community Engagement Grants Scheme opens doors to community based research and promotes access to UOW knowledge. Established in

2005 the scheme has distributed approximately

$300,000 to

40 projects to date.



“I receive the meals five days a week and for me they are very necessary. If they weren’t available that would knock me around. I think they are pretty good but it’s great that they want to improve them” John Roberts, Meals on Wheels recipient





Maxine and Richard were brought together by a mutual commitment to tackling dementia. Maxine Stewart and Richard Miller’s generous donations to medical research have enabled UOW to expand into a whole new area of examination into the genetic factors which may cause dementia. These gifts of $10,000 each opened up new areas for investigations and potential for limiting the damage done by a disease which is predicted to affect over a million Australians by 2050.

After more than five years working to reduce the debilitating side-effects of drugs used in chemotherapy, the UOW Cancer Drug Research Group has made a breakthrough in the development of a single injection solution using new formulations of chemotherapeutic drugs.

The University of Wollongong’s partnerships with philanthropic alumni and friends provide support for ground-breaking research into life-threatening and debilitating disease. Giving to medical research at UOW supports our work into areas including prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, macular degeneration, dementia, motor neuron disease and new cancer treatments. All gifts large and small contribute to long-term solutions for those living with illness and their families.

UOW is hopeful that further research funding will allow the Cancer Drug Research Group to commence crucial clinical trials of the new drug that will significantly improve the treatment available in Australia for cancer sufferers.

Supporting solutions for cancer sufferers

This progress is thanks to considerable funds from generous donors including; Illawarra Cancer Carers, Centre Link, the Robert East Memorial Fund and alumni.

Partnerships that change lives “Research that reduces the effects of dementia will reduce the cost of caring and the pain of the decline of a once vibrant and capable loved one which afflicts both sufferer and supporters” Richard Miller, UOW Donor

“In 2006 and in my early 60s, I graduated from the University of Wollongong with a BA in French. The whole experience was privileged and liberating for me and giving to the pursuit of medical research is a way of affirming my appreciation. Like many, I have been touched by someone with dementia and believe that further research into this insidious disease is vital.” Maxine Stewart, UOW Alumnus and Donor

Since starting their work, the Cancer Drug Research Group has received over

$650,000 in donations





Kim and Michael, students at UOW, were brought together to be part of the 60th Anniversary edition of the Alumni Network Digital Yearbook which aims to strengthen graduates’ connection with their University before they head out into the world. The 2011 edition was an extra special celebration for the students graduating in the University’s 60th Anniversary year. The Digital yearbook is broadcast online to alumni all over the world and is part of every graduation ceremony. Michael Cameron is studying a Bachelor of Arts (Community, Culture, Environment) at UOW’s Batemans Bay campus.

“The 60th Anniversary is about celebrating the UOW community. I am proud to have studied at UOW and I will take that pride with me when I leave this year” Kim Harlow, Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies

Partnerships that connect the past with the future ENGAGING ALUMNI IN THE 60th YEAR A strong and engaged UOW community is a powerful driver for progress at the University, in the region and society as a whole. Networks of partnership which are formed here at the University create spheres of influence in the future. UOW has a long-term commitment to staying connected with its alumni community, and the 60th Anniversary has provided the perfect opportunity to employ new interactive technologies to support an increased level of connection. In its 60th year, UOW is approaching 100,000 graduates and recognises the growing Alumni Network as a valuable resource of expertise, support and mentors for the next generation of UOW students. The 60th Anniversary provides an opportunity not only to strengthen the sense of community here at UOW but to reach out, connect and re-connect with alumni and former staff across the world. The anniversary year involves an interactive communications strategy which aims to engage staff, students, alumni and friends of the University in a conversation about what UOW means to them. The theme for the year is Share your Story and uses social media and online communications methods as well as traditional approaches to encourage people to contribute a personal experience or achievement. We aim to foster a sense of pride and connection among UOW community members, and unearth inspirational stories from UOW alumni. Alumni are our link to UOW’s past, as well as potential partners of the future. They can provide inspiration and guidance to current students and illustrate the values of UOW in their work all over the world.



Partnerships with global influence


Alumni online The UOW Alumni Network Facebook page experienced

135% growth in 12 months. A further

2,200 alumni are members of the professional networking site, LinkedIn. The UOW Alumni website has an average of over

50,000 hits a year.




A global alumni community Our alumni live in

120 countries. There are established networks in locations across the globe including Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Vietnam and contacts in Bangladesh, Canada, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea.

1,102 4,417


90 183 50,174 Staying connected Over

72% of our alumni remain connected to UOW through programs and activities, communications, partnerships and philanthropic support.

Twice a year our University publication, Campus News, is distributed to

66,000 alumni.

A four page Community Connections supplement was distributed to more than

50,000 households and businesses via two regional newspapers. It included articles on UOW’s engagement initiatives and partnerships.



Joan and Bradley are linked by a lifelong friend of the University, Keith Phipps, who passed away in 2010. Keith was involved in the University in many ways including his work as Foundation Chair of the Alumni Association and its Campus Chapter. Keith was committed to providing financial and other support for students, especially those who faced challenges to accessing higher education as Keith had in his life. Keith left school to work at 15 because of his family’s circumstances and had to work hard to gain an education. Bradley Parkinson was just one student who benefited directly from Keith’s commitment. Keith’s wife, Joan, provided valuable support to Keith’s work throughout his long partnership with the University.

“Receiving the Equity and Merit Scholarship from the Campus Chapter has given me a sense of community that I had not had before. I felt that the Chapter recognised the financial difficulty and time constraints I faced when trying to be a sole parent and a full-time student. It has made the completion of my double degree possible and allowed me to further my studies in Psychology to Honours. I hope to do my PhD on social inclusion and education” Bradley Parkinson, Equity and Merit Scholar. Bachelor of Psychology

Partnerships that last a lifetime “Keith was passionate about the University, education and motivated to help students because of his own experiences. He did this mainly by raising money through the Alumni Bookshop to award scholarships to students in need” Joan Phipps

Alumni and friends of the University can offer long-term partnerships that provide uniquely personal support for current students.

Alumni giving back There are many ways that alumni can contribute to UOW regardless of where they are in the world and what they are doing. Alumni can provide scholarship or mentor current students, volunteer their time to speak at a UOW event or contribute their story and advice to motivate current students aspiring to follow in their footsteps. Alumni as mentors Career Ahead speed interviewing is one way alumni can come face to face with current students and offer them support and guidance for their future. Career Ahead is a mock interview program designed to provide final year UOW students with the opportunity to improve their interview skills away from the intimidating environment of a panel based interview. The mock interview program gives students the opportunity to be interviewed by successful UOW alumni and receive constructive feedback. Students gain valuable job application skills and interview techniques to prepare them for their professional career, while providing alumni with the opportunity to share knowledge, skills and experience.





To find out more about how you can engage with the University of Wollongong contact the Office of Community and Partnerships: Community: Alumni: Donors and sponsors: The University of Wollongong attempts to ensure the information contained in this publication is correct at the time of production (August 2011); however, sections may be amended without notice by the University in response to changing circumstances or for any other reason. Check with the University at the time of enquiry for any updated information. UOW CRICOS: 00102E.



Partnerships that inspire  

This publication profiles some of the current connections between UOW, our alumni, friends and the wider community. It outlines how these re...

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