Group relaunched

Working together . . . Social Impact Studio manager Sze-En Watts (centre) and (clockwise from left) programme activator Kasey Miles, international student wellbeing lead Amal Abdullahi, social impact leads Haowei Yu and Will King, and Silverline lead Juliana Costa are working to help students make an impact. PHOTO: SHARRON BENNETT

The University Volunteer Centre’s relaunch reflects its evolution over the past five years.

The centre has been relaunched and renamed, and will know be called the Social Impact Studio.

Studio manager Sze-En Watts said the centre “outgrew” its original name due to the scope and focus of its different projects and initiatives.

“In particular, we just wanted to refocus what we do away from purely volunteering.

“Recognising that volunteering is not our end game and to prioritise social impact as our purpose and really looking at it as student-driven change.”

Originally, the University Volunteer Centre was about connecting students with existing opportunities on campus and in the community.

“And then, over time, we saw that students approached us because they wanted to start new initiatives or run different events that they wanted to get involved with but didn’t exist.”

Students began creating their own opportunities to do things they were passionate about, including working with younger students and on environmental initiatives.

Ms Watts said the name change was an “evolution”.

The centre could have remained an “administrative service” which connected students with organisations, but had evolved into a “movement” around student-driven change.

It turned into a space for creating, collaborating and “doing things a bit differently”.

“That’s kind of reflected in our choice of the studio concept and highlighting creativity and collaboration as two of our key values.”

An event was held last week to celebrate the relaunch, at which vice-chancellor Harlene Hayes spoke.

Ms Watts said it was great to have her support.