|A few of our enterprising Indigenous PhD candidates are working on a new initiative to build UNE Anaiwan Language capabilities and together with HASSE are developing a community inspired partnership framework. Some of our returning undergraduates took time out to have a ‘virtual coffee’ (you imagine the coffee and donate the cost thereof to the bush fire/drought recovery funds) and shared their concerns about studying during this difficult time.
We have seen a decline in our regional student registrations over the past few months as the burden of the natural disasters, which have overwhelmed Australia, falls upon the shoulders of individuals who need to divert energy to recovery operations. We have worked hard across a number of frontiers to design academic, financial (including scholarships) and enhanced pastoral support to assist affected students, and work with them to enable an appropriate format to achieve a work/study/life balance which best suits their emerging needs at such a challenging time.
At this time of crisis and recovery, UNE has also reported the exceptional contributions this institution has made as a regional university, both in correspondence with Federal and State Ministers, (all of whom are seeking to better understand the support provided by the Australian Education Sector and what might be offered going forward), as well as offering opinion pieces to ensure that UNE is engaged fully in this space.