UNE Life members stand in high-vis vests as covid marshals at COVID Clinic event

Interview with Sam Shoobert

Thousands of people have rolled up their sleeves and received their COVID vaccinations at the UNE Medical Centre and Armajun Health Service Aboriginal Corporation drop-in COVID Clinics. This is an almighty feat for which we can thank a bunch of people for; UNE Medical Centre, the crazy agile team from UNE Life, especially the hospitality and sport teams, Hon. Adam Marshall, St. Johns Ambulance services, and numerous health care workers from across the region and many volunteers!

Each of these people has pivoted from their everyday roles, in one way or another to help out at the clinics and get our communities back in the game – and “into the new norm”. We’re spotlighting some of these incredible people that have come together to assist the greater New England community.

Sam Shoobert is one of the friendly faces you might know from  Cafe Life, and also one of the front of house staff members at Belgrave Cinema. For the past few months, Sam has been assisting at the Clinics. We spoke to Sam about her experience helping with these pop up events…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I have been living and studying in Armidale for 4 years and just finished my bachelor’s degree in criminology at UNE. Which was super exciting! I have been working with UNE Life with the team at Life, Functions & Catering at Cafe Life for just over a year now and have been loving every moment of it. Especially providing staff and students with their essential caffeine fix! I’ve recently started working at the Belgrave Cinema which has also been a lot of fun! I’m also an avid reader and love to spend my free time reading about Greek mythology and astrology.

What was your role during the COVID Clinic events?

I have had a few roles at the clinics, assisting wherever I could! I’ve worked in data entry and form approving at the COVID clinics, to assisting with checking people in and directing them where to go, and setting up and packing down after each event.

My involvement at the clinics has been quite different to my usual roles with UNE Life. At the Cafe, I would help out in a variety of roles such as making coffees,  taking people’s lunch orders, and more recently, helping with COVID marshalling. So it was very exciting to be able to help out at the clinics, meet new people and know that I’m doing something for the greater good! My roles were heavily admin based and involved a lot of data-based work. Clinic work is fast-paced work, but very rewarding and enjoyable.

Which locations have you worked?

I attended the Moree, Inverell, Armidale, Glenn Innes and Tamworth clinics. You can see all the dates (upcoming and previous) and how many doses the team administered are on the UNE Medical website, which I think is impressive to look back and see how many locations we’ve visited and people we have assisted!

Why have these clinics been so important?

The drop-in clinics hold so much importance to the New England area. They have helped the region reach huge vaccination milestones. They have allowed so many people to have increased freedoms and safety.  It’s been rewarding to see so many people turn up at the clinics and help their community out by getting the vax.

What’s been a highlight for you

In all honesty, my favorite part has been seeing the dogs that came along to the clinics with their humans. Dogs are always a highlight!! Also, being able to speak with so many people, from all walks of life who were getting vaccinated, and to hear about their lives was wonderful and a great experience to be involved in!

Sam Shoobert stands with dog at covid clinic

What are you looking forward to getting back to normal?

Hopefully being able to see some live music again! I have missed that!

Thank you, Sam, for all your hard work at these clinics! Your bright personality has been an asset to the team and we value your dedication to travelling around the New England region to these events. Thanks for being a great part of our very agile and compassionate crew! 


Visit the UNE Medical Centre website to view the upcoming dates and locations for the drop in clinics.

See the latest vaccination statistics on our website here.

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