Clubbies 2020

Club of the Year Nominations

The highlights from the top-performing clubs whose efforts in an exceedingly different and somewhat difficult year showed the resilience and creativity of UNE’s student leaders.


This year UNEMSA has performed under the pressures of COVID-19, and continued its work in events, advocacy, and welfare initiatives for UNE’s medical student cohort. Starting strong with OCamp in Port Macquarie and First Incision at Boolominbah. UNEMSA rapidly adapted to quarantine, introducing online MOSCEs, academic events, an expanded Wellbeing Wednesday Program, and online sports and trivia events.

Beyond UNEMSA’s events and activations, our representatives and advocates have played a significant role in shaping course changes as students transitioned online, some highlights being:

  • Regular year-level open forums with faculty members to discuss student concerns and feedback;
  • The introduction of regular, faculty-supported Student Wellbeing Surveys to monitor burnout and stress in the student body;
  • Reduced, adjusted assessment workloads for students unable to attend placement;
  • Extensive advocacy for final year students in hospital settings, working closely with AMSA and the NSW Medical Students’ Council.

Beyond direct work for the students, UNEMSA has worked hard behind the scenes to strengthen its backend and operational capacity. Confirmation of not-for-profit status, acquisition of G Suite for email, and new internal policies have ensured that UNEMSA in 2021 will operate smoothly, safely, and smartly.

While this only provides a small snapshot of our activity this year, UNEMSA has clearly continued its success during COVID times, and we’re incredibly excited to see where the organisation goes into the future.

UNE Archaeology Society

After the initial shock, confusion, and general lack of motivation that came with lockdown, the Executive adapted quickly to engage with members. At first, this engagement was conducted on a small scale; the key struggles were adapting, finding innovation and inspiration, and allocating energy and time resources of the Executive, as personal responsibilities and schedules shifted.

A weekly event that started prior to lockdown was ‘Watch and Discuss’ sessions on archaeological based TV shows, held during lunchtimes in a lecture theatre on-campus. This event was quickly moved online via Zoom. Initially scheduled at lunchtimes, this was recently adjusted to evening sessions to allow for accessibility around work hours, as society members returned to in-person working. These sessions became our bread and butter over several months and a key way of keeping in touch with our society members located around the country; we envision these sessions to continue to be important throughout the remainder of the COVID period, and beyond!

Previously, engagement for students would include volunteering opportunities, seminars/lectures, site visits, alongside various social and food-based events – especially during intensive schools where internal and external members could better engage and socialise. There were attempts to organise online seminars for our ‘Diary of an Archaeologist’ series – informal talks presented by internal or external researchers – but the researchers contacted also had found themselves affected by the pandemic; time-poor and worn out. As a Society, we overcame this by utilising Zoom rooms as a social space, and with Clubs and Societies funds could offer free delivered Domino’s pizza and sundaes for two events. Those who took advantage of this offer fully appreciated it.

A major challenge that arose during this period was the emotional and mental exhaustion felt by the Executive. After putting huge work into applying for SSAF funds for 19/20 and realising the events would not come to fruition, along with trying to balance their own ‘new normal’, and adapting and offering a space of community for members – self-care was needed. Rather than dropping everything without explanation, the Committee had open, internal discussions about their personal needs and decided to take time to rest. The Executive, therefore, announced a semi-hiatus of three weeks where planning and events would be postponed. Our members fully understood our decision and were incredibly supportive. Following this hiatus, the Executive was able to re-engage with society duties refreshed and reinvigorated.

An outlying hurdle of this year, unrelated to the pandemic, was an incident of public racism from a member related to the global protest movement related to Black Lives Matter. This incident highlighted a gap in our society’s constitution; we had no clause in place that stated a formalised response to such incidents. The matter was dealt with diplomatically, transparently, and a temporary escalation procedure put in place with the advice of Clubs and Societies. This spurred the AGM approved amendments to the Constitution, and an introduction of a Code of Conduct, to create a framework that can be easily followed by future committees should something similar happen again.

Prior to COVID-19, the UNE Archaeology Society had a strong Facebook group community that continually share and engage in discussions and content with each other. We were lucky that this platform was already so strong. The Society had also set up a Twitter in February, which has continued to grow and allow for different online interaction and better public outreach more generally.

Christians United | WINNERS

Christians United, like all the clubs at UNE, has had a fair share of struggles this year. In March, when restrictions began to increase, we knew that this year would look significantly different to any before it. However, we also knew that no matter what happened, we would strive to keep the group going – to continue meeting together and encouraging one another even if we were separated by distance. I have been blown away by how quickly we were able to move most of our events online. As soon as we were not able to meet in groups, we began to have our weekly prayer meetings, bible studies and bible readings on Zoom. We also recognised that people were wanting to spend time socialising online, so we organised weekly Minecraft challenges and Jackbox games nights. We increased our online presence and worked hard to ensure that there were daily events that people could join in on.

A personal highlight from 2020 was when the restrictions ended, and people began to return to UNE. It was heart-warming to see people coming back, not only to campus, but to Christians United events that could be held in person again. It was amazing that the group had not fallen apart because of the time spent in isolation. This was seen most clearly at our first in-person event, our Mid-Year Conference. Normally we would go to Scott’s Head for this camp, but instead we held it locally. It was so fantastic being able to be in the same room as people for the first time in months (although we had to stay 1.5m away from each other).

A lot of our events this year have looked different to past years, and some events have not been able to happen at all. But through it all our aim and purpose has remained the same and I am so proud of all the hard work that our committee has done to keep CU running and for the perseverance of the members to continue coming to events – whether online or in person.

Bangladesh Student Association of UNE 

During the COVID shutdown, we ran a number of events to get our members connected.

  1. Farewell ceremony for a couple of students.
  2. Distributing dates among members during Ramadan.
  3. Virtual Iftar Party.
  4. Life Savers Day observation.
  5. International Mother Language Day Observation
  6. Two general meetings
  7. One virtual AGM
  8. Five Committee Meetings
  9. Distributing Eid gifts to children of members
  10. We also keep our members connected by informing COVID information through club Facebook pages.
  11. Helping Iftar distribution with Rami, President of the Muslim community.
  12. Welcoming of new students.
  13. Organizing a dialogue between the Student Association and the Cultural Organization of Bangladesh.

Duval College JCR/Leadership Team

Participation and motivation through COVID

Online competitions – 12 weekly RF competitions (see pdf. attached) to keep residents at home engaged with each other and motivated.

Duval College won the Sport Olympiad, Tree planting and the Blood Cup.

Led the way with COVID safe events on return to college – Christmas in July dinner, Commencement dinner, Kayaking/Charities dinner, Valedicts Dinner.

Leaders were not recompensed for their efforts whilst at home but still operated as a fully functioning leadership team to keep residents motivated.

Some pretty amazing competitions and good will. Maintaining college culture not just for Duval college but for Wright college as well and to helping raise the mood of the community left here over COVID.

President of the Year Nominations

Here are our superstars. The Presidents who went above and beyond to ensure their clubs/cohorts made the best of a bad situation and still felt connected and part of our campus.

Isaac Wade - UNEMSA

In 2020, UNEMSA didn’t have the year it was hoping to have, and he has overseen the conversion of multiple in-person events to an online format, advocated for extensive changes to student assessment and support, and introduced new wellbeing supports including:

  • Individual welfare check-ins for all students in year 1-3
  • Registering UNEMSA and the Med Common Room as an ACON #WelcomeHere safe space
  • Organising an inclusion, equity, and diversity working group, and
  • Advocating for the new Student Wellbeing Survey.


In the second half of the year, his focus has been on setting up UNEMSA for the future, which has involved:

  • A complete re-write of our constitution
  • New policies for event and volunteer welfare, elections, handovers, and incident response
  • The introduction of an extended handover period (2 weeks – 2 months) to allow for increased support of the incoming committee
  • New roles to support fourth and fifth year students
  • Merging of existing roles to increase engagement and reduce burnout.

Laura Jones - Christians United

It’s hard the year off with a lot of exciting plans for what the Christian United club wanted to do, all of which promptly got thrown out the window when COVID hit. Laura was instrumental in keeping her committee together and in good spirits throughout the whole year so that they could do their best to support their community through a really difficult year. Throughout the whole thing her positive attitude and commitment to serving our members kept everybody’s spirits high. Part of what makes a good leader is the capacity to lead through adversity and this year, with all its difficulties, has proven Laura to be an excellent leader indeed.

Shafi Mostofa - Bangladesh Student Association of UNE

During this time as President Shafi oversaw a number of very successful events held by the Bangladesh Student Association. Indeed as far as club governance goes they were far and away the premier society though the pandemic period.  Shafi was personally responsible for some amazing community outreach programs such as the Virtual Iftar Party; Distributing dates among members during Ramadan; Distributing Eid gifts to children of members; Welcoming new students; Organizing a dialogue between the Student Association and the Cultural Organization of Bangladesh and the International Mother Language Day Observation

Daniel Leahy- UNE Archaeology Society | WINNER

Alongside taking initiative and communicating regularly online with the Executive, Daniel achieved a successful term by quickly adapting lunch time Archaeology on TV discussions for online. This became the bread and butter in keeping the Society chugging along with weekly social/academic discussions on various archaeological TV series and opened a variety of opportunities. He approached his role with open-minded thinking and creativity which led to fantastic public outreach. A call-out via Twitter was made to WWII archaeology specialists and international guests, for a public ‘Digging for Britain WWII Special Online Discussion’. Attendees included Colin and Sean Welch (Crater Locaters) and Richard Osgood who featured in the episode; as well as specialists Dr Lisa Daley, Allan King and Sarah Ashbridge. This outreach engaged those from the US, UK, Canada, and Malta and was hugely insightful on current industry public communication, ethics, resources, and funding. By making this contact, the profile of the UNE Archaeology Society and UNE more broadly was heightened, and it opened the potential for future educational opportunities. Daniel liaised with the Crater Locators, which developed into two live stream segments (Day 1 & 2) from a WWII missile archaeological dig site, facilitated by the UNE Archaeology Society. This took form as 30-minute site tours with additional lecture-style explanations of the WWII tech, a Q&A with the team on site, and an expanded discussion with the attendees once the livestream had ended. Daniel took the heavy dependence on online communication to an international level, benefitting all students and enabling the Society to better engage with their external members as well.

Isolation mode

Unfortunately, due to COVID many of our regular activations weren't possible this year. This did not stop the amazing clubs and societies of UNE who duly rose to the challenge and created online social events such as Jackbox games nights, Minecraft, online trivia and singing competitions to keep their members involved and engaged.

Archaeological Society Online Birthday Party

Archaeology Pizza Zoom

Christian United Online Gathering

Duval College Online Gathering

Merchandise Award

RSUS - Jumpers and Boot Covers | WINNERS

The RSUS Jumpers and Boot covers were ordered by students online then bundled up, addressed and posted out to members to keep their spirits up during Covid isolation. Because who doesn’t love getting a package in the mail.

NERCHA - Hand Sanitizer

It’s like they knew. The NERCHA team unveiled their Club Branded Hand Sanitiser at Lifesaver day and it proved a winner. It then became a much sought after item as the pandemic struck.

Zoology Society - Stubby Holders and Stickers.

Zoology Society. Stubby Holders. Enough said. Well done team.

The Contribution to Campus Culture Award Nominations

This is a special award given to a student who has made their mark on the community of UNE students. A student who in the judge’s* eyes has made UNE a better place because of the dedication they have shown to improving the University experience of their fellow students

Matt McCauley & Jade Cooksley - Duval College

When colleges were forced to close due to COVID, Duval College had 10 remaining residents who moved over to Wright College during the shutdown.  Resident Fellows  Matt and Jade are to be commended for their involvement in maintaining college culture, not just for their own college but for operating as RFs at Wright college as well and being all round happy faces to help raise the mood of the community left here over COVID.   Their energy and unwavering commitment to ensure all residents get the best out of college Life is truly admirable and they are the best role models for grabbing an opportunity and running with it.  Throughout the lockdown, although Duval College was closed, they observed a dawn Anzac Day salute outside the college to post out to others; they sent out photos of Easter eggs outside the college to residents to remind them of ‘home’.  They also worked with the staff to arrange COVID safe activities and support the safe return of residents.


In 2020, Lydia has gone above and beyond for UNEMSA. Juggling two roles as Wellbeing officer and Academic Co-Convenor, Lydia has expanded existing initiatives such as Wellbeing Wednesday and the MOSCE program, as well as introducing new support measures for UNEMSA’s queer community, engaging with other universities nationwide, and providing guidance and drive to other volunteers on the committee.


Lydia has absolutely flourished during quarantine, and her activity on social media has been the backbone of our engagement with students. She has been behind some incredibly positive changes for the organisation, and her work serves as an excellent benchmark for what can be achieved, even from your laptop while you’re stuck in quarantine.

Karla Baumanis - UNE Archaeology Society

Karla has been involved with the Archaeology Society for a number of years and is now taking part in (at least) her third year (2014-15; 2019-21) as an executive committee member, being an External Representative. Even during the years which Karla has not been part of the executive committee, she has continued to assist with the Archaeology Society, during intensive schools and arranging activities for external students. Furthermore, the experience she has gained due to her long-term / part-time studies combined with her willingness to assist and mentor new students has meant that many UNE archaeology students have benefited from her knowledge over the years. During the 2019-20 period, it was hoped that Karla was to organise a number of regular events for external students in the Brisbane area, while also taking part in events in Armidale and Melbourne. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these were not possible, though Karla continued to work with the remainder of the executive committee to help wherever possible. Without Karla’s continued dedication to the Archaeology Society over the years, it – and the current executive committee members – would not be where they are today.

Isaac Wade - UNEMSA

Isaac’s passion lies in providing opportunities and activities for all students, outside of their regular studies. His work with UNEMSA has helped upskill multiple students in event and initiative management, governance, and advocacy, and provided reference and guidance to other clubs with similar goals. Through his work with the NSW Medical Students’ Council and AMSA, UNE’s reputation and presence on a state and national scale has increased, and UNEMSA has become a point of reference not only for other clubs at UNE, but other medical societies nation-wide. Campus culture has been central to Isaac’s mission over his three years of study at UNE, and I’ve worked extensively with UNE Life, Student Support, and UNE staff to fight for a lively and welcoming campus.


“I will continue to work in this field for as long as I study, and I’m eager to continue my mission of providing opportunity into the future”.

Executive Member of the Year Nominations

The ideas of people who chose to create online activations, send care packages and ensure their members felt the love no matter where they had gone to spend isolation.

James Allen - RSUS

As Treasurer of RSUS, James has been extremely helpful throughout the year and has consistently put forward great ideas for the committee to keep in touch with students as he remained in Armidale throughout the lockdown period.

James Roberts - UNE Archaeology Society | WINNER

Upon taking over the UNE Archaeology Society in October 2019, the 2019-20 executive committee had been left with little documentation of the 2018-19 committee’s activities or financial standing. Immediately, the new Treasurer, James Roberts, set to documenting the financial situation left to us by the prior committee based on the receipts, notes, and Facebook posts that could be found. This issue was completely rectified.

With the COVID-19 lockdown and a sudden need to change the way the Society operated, James set up alternate ways to access the Society’s funds – such as through PayPal – this allowed the Society to access funds immediately when ordering pizzas for online events and eliminated the need for face-to-face contact to access funds. James was also responsible for the Society’s Indiana Jones radio play recordings.

James has been responsible for approximately 24 months of Treasurer work within a 12 month period. Without James’s dedication to determine the financial standing of the Society in late 2019 and without the fast application of his ingenuity with the COVID-19 pandemic, much of what this Society has achieved this year would not have been possible. Due to the issues faced in the handover to the 2019-20 executive committee, a warm handover to the 2020-21 executive committee has taken place to ensure such problems have not occurred this year.

Aaron Alexander - Christians United

From the beginning of the year, Aaron has worked hard to complete all the necessary paperwork that allowed CU to be allocated funding for a range of events. At the start of the year, the funding we received was to go towards camps and food for our weekly events and social evenings. However, when restrictions were put in place, Aaron worked quickly to reallocate the money to be put towards things that could be used by our members online – for example a Minecraft server, Jackbox games account and Woolworths gift cards as prizes. Without this, some of our weekly online social events could not have happened this year.

Landcare Day 2020

Our wonderful Landcare Society made the most of the end of isolation to give our beautiful landscape (and their members) some much needed TLC.

Peer Mentor of the Year (Individual Award) Nominations

It is as much part of an Executive members job to look after the mental health or academic resolve of their members and their families as it is to run social events. These are the special ones amongst us who reached out to their cohorts and provided them with much-needed support

Isaac Wade - UNEMSA

As UNEMSA President, Isaac worked hard to ensure that students feel supported, engaged, and excited by what UNE has to offer. Medical students studying at UNE often face the challenge of the fact that UNE isn’t their first choice of study location, and UNEMSA plays a critical role in engaging them with the university, the town, and their cohort.

Amy Steer - RSUS

As RSUS Publicity Representative, Amy has ensured that RSUS remains in the forefront of student’s minds when they think about agriculture at UNE by making great posters and posts to keep the spirit alive within the society members even through these uncertain times.

Shafi Mostofa - Bangladesh Student Association of UNE | WINNER

During this time as President Shafi oversaw a number of very successful events held by the Bangladesh Student Association. Indeed as far as club governance goes they were far and away the premier society though the pandemic period.  Shafi was personally responsible for some amazing community outreach programs such as the Virtual Iftar Party; Distributing dates among members during Ramadan; Distributing Eid gifts to children of members; Welcoming new students; Organizing a dialogue between the Student Association and the Cultural Organization of Bangladesh and the International Mother Language Day Observation. He was instrumental in keeping spirits up and students connected though his social media pages, and was a part of the distribution of meals during Iftar.

Laura Jones - Christians United

During the Covid shutdown Laura was instrumental in keeping her committee together and in good spirits throughout the whole year so that they could do their best to support their community through a really difficult year. Throughout the whole thing her positive attitude and commitment to serving our members kept everybody’s spirits high. Part of what makes a good leader is the capacity to lead through adversity and this year, with all its difficulties, has proven Laura to be an excellent leader indeed.  

Best Online Activation Nominations

A new category that encapsulates the year that wasn’t and set's new expectations for online engagement for the future.

Wellbeing Wednesdays - UNEMSA

UNEMSA’s Wellbeing Wednesday program is now in its third year of operation, and encourages our students to recognise the importance of their mental health, wellbeing, and supports. Through weekly competitions, discussions, and extended engagement campaigns, Wellbeing Wednesday has been better than ever in 2020.


While Wellbeing Wednesday has always been an online activation, it has become crucial to our members this year, providing an opportunity to socialise, have fun, and earn a few prizes along the way!

Online Birthday Party - Archaeology Society

Having started conducting on campus lunchtime archaeology documentary airings and discussions on Friday, 6 March 2020, which was followed up with a similar event the following Friday, the Archaeology Society was able to seamlessly move these to an online Zoom forum on Friday, 20 March 2020. The idea has been for members of the Society to watch a designated archaeology documentary (though YouTube, SBS on Demand, etc) in their own time, then connect to a Zoom session with other members and archaeologists to discuss the site, methods, etc that were discussed in the program. Between 20 March 2020 and 16 August 2020, 16 of these events took place and have continued in August and September. A similar online Zoom session to discuss the ‘Dark Emu’ book also took place on 3 April 2020.

Due to the success of these informal discussions, the decision was made to convert our planned Society birthday events (cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic) to an online Zoom session. Ultimately, on 17 April 2020, the Society held its Online Birthday Party in which 14 society members took part. The Society was able to arrange for Dominos pizzas to be delivered to members who wished to take part, with 6 such deliveries being made (3 in Armidale and 3 in Melbourne). A similar event was held on 22 May 2020 for National Archaeology Week, again in lieu of previously planned in-person events.

Raiders of the Lost Ark- Radio Play - Archaeology Society

After the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, UNE Archaeology Society Treasurer, James Roberts, began recording a live reading / radio play version of an early script for the Indiana Jones movie, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’.

Endangered Animal Competition - Zoology Society | WINNERS

The Endangered Animal competition was a knockout completion where students voted for their favourite endangered animal each day on Facebook. This gathered a lot of attention and was moderated for almost a month by Brent Klohk. Additionally, he has put in a lot of effort to keep the page active, posting regular memes.

Trivia Night of the Year Nominations

Its trivia from your very own lounge room and it was brilliant.


IDAHOBIT stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, and was on May 18th. It was run by our Wellbeing Officer, Lydia, with some help from VPI Gemma. We sold rainbow merch including pins, stickers, ribbons and lanyards purchased from an LBGTQIA charity to raise $120 for Minus18, a charity that provides homeless shelters for queer individuals as well as a range of initiatives. On the day, we also set up a Facebook event with UNEMSA members posting pictures of themselves wearing rainbows to show support, and ended with a movie night held over Netflix party to screen “The Half of It”, a recent queer film. Minus18 also provided us with some very nice queer posters for our common room!

Global Health Speakers & Trivia Night - ASPIRE | WINNERS

After setting many plans at the beginning of the year, organising funding, partnering with community groups and identifying details and engagement strategies, COVID really threw us for a loop. To have everything thrown out the window was extremely demotivating, especially when our new task became to engage students who had never met us before, and we had not met them.

Thus, ASPIRE’s Global Health Speakers & Trivia Night was specifically designed to maximise engagement with our club, particularly amongst new members that had not interacted with us before.

The Speakers, Dr Kate Wylie and Dr Andrew Lees, were both health professionals of exceptional global health backgrounds, who shared their stories to inspire our audience and motivate them towards being involved in global health.

The Trivia was collaboratively designed by our committee, with each portfolio (or team or portfolios) constructing their own section, and designating their own points and prizes. We had an exciting combination of global health-based trivia questions and fun activities, such as for each team to create and perform a “safe sex rap”, and a touch-typing competition. At each section of the trivia, each portfolio had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their role, talking briefly about what they were passionate about and why. Each section also came with the opportunity to win its own unique prize, which was loosely related to the portfolio from which the activity originated.

We gave away a random door prize of a set of noise-cancelling headphones, and the winning team for trivia received a $500 subsidy to the next AMSA Global Health Conference, additionally sparking interest in this exceptional event.

Disney Trivia Night - Zoology Society

Zoology Society ran a Disney Trivia Night before the virus hit. They had an all-round great turn up where attendees got to use the bar, spend time with their friends and sing along to Disney songs. They campus shop provided high quality, UNE affiliated prizes for the winners.

Trimester 2 Trivia - Christians United

In July, Christians United hosted a Trivia Night to celebrate the beginning of Trimester 2 and being able to meet back together again in person. It was fantastic night, run very well by their communications liaison Madlen Jones. After so long in isolation, it was a perfect way to ease back into socialising and was just what everyone needed. Complete with prizes for best joke, best team name and first and second place, it was a night full of laughs and friendly competition.

Academic Support Event of the Year Nominations

Studying in isolation is difficult - UNE life clubs boosted engagements, peer mentoring, tutoring and career development sessions, seminars and even conference - all from the living room.

Duval Wellbeing Day 2020

It has been really hard to support the online learning experience and our academic mentors have been great in turning academic support into wellbeing events to support the mental health of residents.  Duval Wellbeing Day 2020 (supported by SSAF)

Education Careers Connect – UNESTS

Education Careers Connect: A Collaboration between UNESTS, UNE Sydney, and the Tamworth and Taree Study Centres to provide UNE Education Students an opportunity to interact with UNE as well as Industry professionals to assist Education Students about Practicums, Accreditation, Scholarships, and Employment opportunities.

If this event went ahead in person, we would have had students attending at UNE Armidale and UNE Sydney, as well as the Tamworth and Taree study centres in a convention-style format with Seminars being hosted from Armidale and Sydney. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, Quarantine/lockdown and UNE working from home was implemented less than a week before our on-campus events were scheduled. We managed to flip to an Online Format and build a Moodle site so students could attend in that week. This also boosted our numbers as we had nearly 150 students from all over Australia attending. Due to us using Moodle, we were able to provide access to the presentations for 3 months after the event for students so they could have flexible access to the information that was provided. The presenters also answered questions from students in the forums for a few days after the event. Previously UNE Sydney had run a similar event, but with the added support of the UNESTS we combined UNE Sydney’s capabilities and experience running a similar event with the UNESTS’ awareness of student needs and connections with on campus staff to create an elevated event that Students would use throughout their course and into their career.

This event was one of the first that proved the capabilities of online events held in Moodle and the power of Clubs collaborating with UNE staff and industry professionals to provide a cohesive, resourceful, and accessible Academic event that was flexible to our students’ needs and prepared them for their future.


mOSCEs (mock OSCEs) were conducted for 1st and 2nd year medical students, providing them with the opportunity to perform their clinical examinations under simulated exam conditions, with assessment and feedback provided by volunteer higher-year medical students. mOSCEs were conducted online at the end of semester 1 for communication skills OSCEs, providing all students with the opportunity to become more familiar with the new format of assessment prior to the real OSCEs which were also conducted online. Throughout semester 2 mOSCEs were also arranged for the physical OSCE stations and conducted throughout the semester for each intensive block, on-campus in Armidale. Approximately 80 students completed mOSCEs, with the help of over 40 volunteers. The program provided academic support to students by helping them to reduce stress and improve their performance in their end-of-semester exams.

Digging for Britain - Archaeology Society | WINNERS

On the evening of Wednesday, 19 August 2020, the UNE Archaeology Society held an online Zoom session to discuss a Second World War special of the Digging for Britain archaeology documentary series. This discussion was special as it included archaeologists who had been featured in the documentary episode in question, including award winning archaeologist, Richard Osgood; and the award winning Research Resource group (aka Crater Locators), Colin and Sean Welch. Archaeologists and interested parties from the United Kingdom, Malta, Canada, and the United States were also engaged in the event. This allowed UNE archaeology students a chance to chat, informally, with those who are not only professionals and experts in the field, but with those who directly contributed to the documentary they had just watched.

Due to the success of this event, it was followed up with two Zoom sessions connecting live to an archaeological excavation of a German V2 rocket in the UK, which was conducted on 19 and 20 September 2020. UNE archaeology students also took part in these events and the live online environment allowed them to ask those conducting the excavation questions about artefacts found and methodologies used while they were in the field. This has been of particular importance due to the fact that both the ‘Archaeology in the Field’ unit offered by UNE has transferred to an online forum and many third party archaeology field schools have not been conducted during 2020.

These three related events have created much discussion, not only amongst the Society and its members, but among archaeologists and historians in general. This has been due to both the different and direct way of sharing the academic information – rather than being a mostly one-way seminar or lecture, the discussion has allowed those taking part to engage directly. With the current pandemic, UNE intensive schools have been cancelled / moved to an online format, while archaeology field schools have also been cancelled. Students at UNE have commented that with these restraints in place, these three events have given them a chance to experience more, both in seeing the physical archaeology as it is being excavated and in being able to discuss the methodologies used as it is happening.

Fundraising Event of the Year Nominations

Not Drought, nor Fire, nor Pandemic are not going to stop UNE students rallying their peers to raise funds for their community. Here are the best efforts of 2020.

Duval College May50k | WINNERS

Was a challenge to raise funds for MS.   What a great effort to raise over $11,000 for charity during COVID and whilst the College was closed.  Everyone really got around it


UNEMSA’s trivia night was held during the peak of lockdown during May of 2020, with 66 attending participants split into multiple trivia teams, run by our social convenor Sandeep and his subcommittee. The trivia questions ranged from recognising vines and tiktoks to pictures of places in Armidale, and even had a bonus musical round which included iconic High School Musical tracks. Prizes included a $200 Kmart voucher, a $60 Goldfish bowl voucher and a $40 Paper Tiger voucher, which we organised with local businesses. We promoted the event on both Facebook and Instagram, even offering “sneak peeks” of the question areas to build hype. The event went off with a bang, and definitely brightened up our lockdown!

Community Outreach Award Nominations

It’s not all just about the club for our Executive leaders. They see the importance of Town with Gown and are always striving to engage with Greater New England and lend a hand where needed.

Welfare Check-up Program - UNEMSA

 In June, facing mounting concerns of poor mental health and increasing exam stress, particularly in our first year cohort, UNEMSA developed a check-up program which saw year representatives and our VPe, Nihal, individually check-in with every student in first, second, and third year. This took the form of Facebook messages, however students were offered the opportunity to chat further over video call or in person, and provided with links to important Welfare Check-up Program

Rural High School Visits - NERCHA | WINNERS

Our Rural High School Visits (RHSVs) allow our members to connect with high school students in local communities, hopefully inspiring an interest for health that nudges high school students into future health-careers. This is intended to have much-needed far-reaching and long-term benefits for our local rural communities. This year, we will hold these virtual RHSVs for schools in Inverell, Guyra, and Moree. We will be having break-out rooms for each health-degree, with information on careers and pathways provided, as well as fun, relevant activities. We will also be mailing each school merchandise packs (including our fabulous NERCHA hand sanitizer!!).

International Gift Bags - Christians United

This year some members of Christians United began an International Sub-Committee with the express interest of reaching out to international student community on campus. During lockdown, while hundreds of international students were stuck in colleges at UNE, this sub-committee reached out to them by giving each one a gift bag. We would therefore like to nominate this sub-committee for the amazing work that they did in organising, putting together and delivering these gift bags.

Daily Coffee Zoom Catch-up - Christians United

A few weeks into isolation it became obvious that people were struggling to get up in the mornings and start their day. Hanlie Lubbe, one of our general members, had the great idea to start a daily zoom meeting that went from 9-9:30am, where people could just join in to chat over a coffee. This meant that people had to be up and dressed by 9am, which was the motivation that some needed to be awake before noon. It was a simple idea but was well received and very appreciated.

Eid gifts to children - Bangladesh Student Association

The Bangladesh Society set up a Covid Safe stall in Central park in order to bring some joy to the children of its members. Sweets and toys were handed out to some very pleased children with families attending in a spread out manner.

Iftar Meal Deliveries

A number of local Armidale restaurants prepared meals and a team of students and staff rallied around to deliver more than 150 meals each week to International students and their families stuck in isolation during Ramadan.
This was truly an inspiring show of teamwork and community spirit.

JCR of the Year Nominations

A year when College students begrudgingly left the building in March but then enthusiastically returned in T2 determined to create a fantastic experience for their mates on campus.

Duval College JCR | WINNERS

Mary White College JCR

Robb College JCR

Austin College JCR

Earle Page College JCR

Mary White College JCR

St Alberts College JCR

Duval College Highlights