NEW COLLEGE COMMUNITY SERVICE
In recent years the profile of various community service activities within the College has been raised through the efforts of residents who have felt sufficiently passionate about different causes to encourage others to join them in making a difference. With the many different activities and busyness that characterise so much of College life there is always the risk of Collegians becoming insular, unaware of the issues facing the wider world. At the same time, however, each year we welcome new residents who bring with them their ideal and values that motivate them to actively work for the good of others rather than their own self interest. In 2007 these ideals and values are evident in a number of different activities planned for the year ahead.
Since 2004 New College residents (photo of inaugural Fiji Habitat trip, pictured: Lizzie Luxford and Steve Portelli with locals) have worked in partnership with Habitat for Humanity building houses for communities overseas. Richard Fleming took up the challenge in 2004 to see residents at New College involved in this project and as a consequence of his efforts and the enthusiasm of other residents there have been two further trips in 2005 and 2006 organised by Andrew Fist and Michael Hand. This year Yiling Cheah is organising another group to be involved in this project.
For nearly ten years New College residents have also supported the SHACK tutoring program at UNSW. In 1999 Simon Prendergast, Mana Ellis and Angela Barrett promoted the SHACK voluntary tutoring program to Collegians encouraging them to provide an hour of their time to tutor local high school students. This year residents have continued to support this initiative of the Students’ Union providing their time to assist local students.
Last year a number of residents were involved in the Good Start breakfast program at Maroubra Junction primary school which has continued on this year. The hope is that this program will be able to run five days a week with the support of Collegians. Residents at New College have also been involved over the past two years writing letters to members of the indigenous Kintore community in central Australia and hope to keep up this contact in 2007. Other residents are involved in the Oaktree Foundation, helping out at Teresa House – an institution for homeless people, working with World Visions to raise money through the 40 hour famine and supporting causes such as the Make Poverty History campaign. As part of the UNSW’s efforts to support the Relay for Life run by the NSW Cancer Council, New Collegians will also be entering teams in this event to raise money for cancer research.
New College continues to support a community life that is rich with opportunities – opportunities to perform on the sporting field, opportunities to perform in different capacities and opportunities to enjoy spending time with other university students here at UNSW. As well as these opportunities, New College also provides opportunities to be involved in community service – to go overseas, volunteer for tutoring, support fundraising efforts and get involved in campaigns for change. These are the opportunities that we need to provide as a community to realise the College’s mission of academic excellence, collegiality and service to the community – in 2007 such opportunities exist in abundance.