man wearing a glove stacking food into a box

Things we’ve been up to that you’ll want to know about

2021 for Advocacy and Welfare has already been quite busy. We’ve introduced 3 new ‘free food’ events, have travelled over 1,000km on a road trip to meet students from all over, and most recently, we’ve opened up an op-shop for students. All this on top of our day-to-day Advocacy and Welfare support for students.  It’s not an overstatement to say we’ve been busy – however, we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Because a few of these things are new we thought we’d put together a little spiel about these new events and we can’t wait for you to utilise them. So here goes….

Welfare Wednesday’s

This is a new initiative that we started this year. Every Wednesday night (during Term time), join us at The ‘Stro between 5-6pm you’ll find 2 of your advocates and 1 of our lovely chefs ready to serve any student a free meal. This is a perfect opportunity for students to get out of their rooms, pay a visit up top and meet our team. Oh, and did we mention it’s free!!! We do this with lots of support from the lovely bunch at Life, Functions & Catering.
Top tip:
Come early – it’s first come best dressed!

Three UNE studends in The Stro with their free food for Welfare Wednesday
Three UNE studends in The Stro with their free food for Welfare Wednesday

Fortnightly BBQ

If you’ve been on campus on a Tuesday, chances are you’ve seen us outside The Café. Each fortnight we put on a free…yes more free food… BBQ for any UNE student. Again, this is an opportunity for us to meet you and for you to find out a little bit about who we are and what we do. We do this with some help from the legendary crew at Tune!FM.

You can find all these events on our Facebook page under events follow us so you don’t miss out on any!

PS: did you notice our favourite phrase is #FeedTheStudents

A&W Free Student BBQ, man plating food on another mans plate
Table of students at an A&W Free Student BBQ with their plated of free food

Food Pantry

This one is an oldie but a goldie!  But first, did you know financial difficulties affect over two-thirds of university students! We never want a student to worry about where their next meal is coming from. Food Pantry is available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students in need – online or on campus. Simply contact us (either via ph;02  6773 3116, email; or pop into our office) and we’ll help you out with a free bag of groceries. You can get a little bit more info here.

Advocacy & Welfare On the Road

If you follow our socials you would have seen that some of our team recently hit the road or our ‘Advocacy on the Road’ campaign. This was an opportunity for us to meet students outside of Armidale, help with any inquiries, visit our UNE Study Centres and give away some free food. #yum

Monday morning was a frosty start with Marni and James loading up 2 cars chockers full of free groceries! We hit the road…Tamworth bound. Here, we met some lovely bubbly students who were eager to meet us and learn a little bit about what we do. Our destination for the night was to be Port Macquarie. There was just one issue, Walcha Mountain was closed, so the scenic route through Gloucester it was. Tuesday morning rolled around and we eagerly started the 40 minute journey to Kempsey. Our Advocates were put to work here helping a few students with some queries, giving out free food, and buying the student’s lunch. We headed back to Port Macquarie and met some lovely students, travelled South to Taree, Parramatta, and stopped at few little towns in between to meet with students. By the time Friday came we were all exhausted but very happy. We’d met heaps of students, given out so much of free food, and travelled over 1,000km. Out first Advocacy on the Road was a huge success…so, you’re hearing it here first…. we’re doing it again…twice.

In July, we’re sending 2 advocates out west to visit our study centres in Glen Innes, Moree, and Inverell. Come August, we will be doing another ‘Coast Trip’, starting at Coffs Harbour and making our way down south. Watch this space for more details.

UNE Life Advocates standing in front of a car filled with groceries to deliver to students
two students sitting at a cafe when meeting UNE Life Advocates in the Road
a group of happy students eating lunch and sitting at a CUC centre when meeting UNE Life Advocates in the Road
UNE Life Advocate handing a bag of groceries to a student at a CUC Centre


This one is our newest and most exciting initiative this year! Winter is fast approaching, those chilly days are setting in, and prac’s and placements are happening. We’ve opened our own little op-shop for students. We currently have winter woollies and corporate attire – perfect if you have an interview lined up. Really, this is the same deal as a food pantry. Just contact us and we’ll help you out! We’re also accepting donations, and our website has all the deets on how to do this! Check it out here.

Basically, we want you to be fed, be well, be supported, and be happy throughout your student journey. If you’re ever having a hard time, please reach out to us, we will support in many ways and if we can’t we will point you in the right direction of whom you should be chatting to for support! You’re never alone at UNE!

Chat to us about support at any time.

Simply contact us 02  6773 3116,, or pop into our office.