Exam period can be a stressful time for students, who often turn to the Library for help, guidance and a quiet space.
Recognising the increased pressures on students during this period a group of ACU’s Library staff have taken it upon themselves to help students de-stress, stay focused and make the most of their study time.
Coordinated by Librarian Laura May, the Stress to Success program runs on all campuses and includes a number of coordinated strategies to help students perform their best.
Each campus offered a variety of resources, including self-care resources such as herbal tea bags, mindfulness techniques, online resources and even comedy DVDs. Relaxation stations with colouring-in books, board games, origami and tactile stimulation materials such as playdough and kinetic sand. Resources and tips on study technique and exam practice, as well as free snacks for those long study sessions.
This isn’t the first time the Library has run a campaign to support students during exams. However, this year was the first time they formed a 'working group', resulting in a more successful initiative.
We spoke with Jenny Fitzgerald on the Melbourne Campus who told us that the take away for her was the importance of empathy. It’s easy to come to work every day and focus on your own tasks, but many of us remember what exam period is like as a student. If we can help relieve the pressure in some way then that’s what we should do.
We think this is a great initiative and commend Laura and her team on seeing a need and actively working together to develop a solution.
Laura May (North Sydney)
Lisa Gielis (North Sydney)
Aaron Mitchell (Ballarat)
Daniel Klar (Brisbane)
Tanya Bulmer (Canberra)
Jenny Fitzgerald (Melbourne)
Serena Saliba (Strathfield)
Jenny Fitzgerald with artwork and origami created by students at one of the relaxation stations.
“One day I might need help and while I can help I will.” – Gemma Johnson (Third Year Bachelor of Education (Primary))
When ACU student Gemma Johnson first began to consider where to do her Community Engagement placement she did a lot of thinking about her life experiences. Living at home with both parents and having always felt supported, Gemma recognised that she had not had to do much worrying about life. However, Gemma also realised that life can change and that one day she might need the help of others. With this is mind Gemma was determined to find something meaningful she could do while she was able to do so.
With a small group of other ACU students, Gemma joined the volunteers of Eureka Mums, sorting clothes, toys and linen and bundling these for Ballarat mothers experiencing hardship. Gemma embraced her placement and especially enjoyed connecting with other volunteers and the mothers who came to collect the goods. She heard stories of the real impact of these bundles for the children and mothers of Ballarat.
Gemma was especially moved by the power of the 'One Mother to Another' initiative. This program sees gift bags of women’s toiletries put together and distributed to mothers in time for Mother’s Day.
Gemma said often when people give things to new mothers the babies are the focus, but in this case the mothers were the focus. Being able to communicate the worth of mothers and respecting their dignity moved the students so much that they went shopping as a group and purchased some items to donate to the project.
“It felt good to help others and to be part of the volunteering community”, Gemma said about her placement. “The volunteers have lives and jobs but they do so much.”
Gemma highly recommends her placement at Eureka Mums and continued to volunteer when she could after her placement. She also felt that it has added to her university studies.
“When I was looking at the Size 7 and 8 bundles of clothes I thought, ‘these could be going to a child in a school where I teach’ and that makes you think about the children’s lives”.
Now in her third year of the Bachelor of Education (Primary), the experience gave Gemma an insight into what some of the children she teaches might be going through. These are experiences she will take with her into her career and life.
Written by Emma Hoare (Community Engagement Officer – Ballarat)
Celebrating Refugee Week
This week we celebrate Refugee Week with the 2018 theme #WithRefugees. Today, more than ever, we need a global movement to demand the safety and rights of refugees are protected. In Australia, it is the responsibility of our Government, and each one of us to ensure people forced to flee from their homes can live with dignity and with hope.
As we celebrate the contributions of refugees we have been asking our supporters to join in by taking part in a Simple Act. Simple Acts are simple things everyone can do to show support for refugees, find out more about refugee experiences and make new connections in their communities.
By taking part, you’ll be joining tens of thousands of people right across the country who celebrate Refugee Week each year. While these Simple Acts may seem small, we believe that together they will bring us a little closer to the kind of generous, welcoming, connected world we all want to live in. Visit the Refugee Week website and see how many you can do this week.
For more information about Refugee Week, or to get involved with the many events that are happening all over the country this week visit www.refugeeweek.org.au
Meet Felicity Rose
Hi! - I am Felicity Rose, Administration Officer within ACU Engagement’s Melbourne team. I joined ACU Engagement in June 2018, having worked as an Executive Officer in the Office of the Provost at ACU since July 2013. I have a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy and an Advanced Diploma of Business (Legal Practice), and have worked in a variety of roles in the legal, environment and tertiary education sectors for almost 20 years.
I have a strong desire to use my skills to help address disadvantage in society, and I am excited to be part of a team which is making a meaningful difference to the world in which I live.
Community engagement opportunities for staff
ACU Engagement is committed to ensuring that all ACU staff and students have the opportunity to make a contribution to their community that is feasible and meaningful to them, whilst meeting community needs in a way that is valuable and respectful. For a full list of community engagement opportunities for staff you canvisit our Workplace group. Be sure to become a member to stay up to date with future opportunities.
For more information, to register your interest for an opportunity, or if you are aware of more opportunities you think we should know about, please email us at email@example.com.