During O-week, we also launched our Volunteer Action Network, and 220 students have already signed up to be volunteers with UQU. It was lovely to see so many students getting out and volunteering to help UQU during O-week. Most of UQU’s volunteers are international students who want to make friends while building up some soft work skills for their resume, and we’re glad to be providing them with this opportunity. The network has been off to an excellent start – our Student Rights VP Bella and Volunteer Co-ordinator Sarah should be very proud.

The Union has also been focusing on Gatton and the work we can do to build more community there. This year, we received feedback that students wanted more My UQU Rewards card deals for Gatton students and in response, we introduced 10 more card deals for the Gatton and Toowoomba area. We’re also hosting a Tiki Party out there on Thursday night – the first of its kind! There is still heaps to be done to make sure Gatton students feel like part of the UQ community, but we’ve made huge inroads so far.

This Friday is International Women’s Day and UQU is lucky enough to have Nina Funnell as a keynote speaker. Nina wrote the groundbreaking Red Zone Report into sexual assault on campus and in colleges and has won a Walkley award for her journalism. Nina generously agreed to run a Sex, Safety and Respect workshop for all of our club executives on Thursday. The Union is focused on running safe and incident-free club events and we are grateful for Nina’s support in this area.

Overall, it’s been a big start to the year, and there’s still so much to come!