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WSU women in STEM: jumpstart your career with the WiSE program!

Pull up a chair and let me warmly welcome you to the Women in STEM Education (WiSE) program. The WiSE program exists to help challenge gender disp...

Pull up a chair and let me warmly welcome you to the Women in STEM Education (WiSE) program. The WiSE program exists to help challenge gender disparity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). According to a 2022 report from the Department of Industry, Science & Resources, the proportion of girls who know which subjects make up STEM increased by 24% between 2015 and 2020. This data includes all levels of STEM degrees and shows the percentage of women graduating with STEM degrees has been gradually increasing over time.

Data also shows that the fields with the lowest proportions of female graduates were mining (11%), engineering and related technologies (17%), and information technology (18%).

All identifying women who are enrolled in a STEM degree are automatically welcome into the WiSE program, aimed at supporting career development and equipping students with valuable knowledge, experiences, and lifelong skills to transition seamlessly into the workforce.

You may ask … how do we do that? Developed by careers education consultants, our program helps students build successful careers and improve the underrepresentation of identifying women in the STEM workforce. This involves professional development workshops and online sessions to help you maximise your skills and link you with real-life industry partners.

We also run exclusive employer visits, taking students to employer jobs sites and offices to walk through the day-to-day of their business. Finally, WiSE connects students with like-minded peers, alumni, and employers through access to exclusive in-person networking events and mentorship programs – which are available for final-year students.

Here’s what some of our former students have said about WiSE:

Credit: Mandii Carr

“Today I attended probably the best workshop of my life — for it did not only tackle my professional development but it also contributed to my personal development as a student, engineer, a woman, a professional.”

– Heimy Molina

“I am writing to just express my gratitude for all the amazing work you and the WiSE Team have done. Over the span of just a few months, I have been able to build such valuable communication skills, interviewing skills and building my professional profile – all thanks to the WiSE Tracker activities. The LinkedIn Networking workshop was so beneficial, and I am so glad I attended that! I was able to put all of those skills into practice and have secured really great opportunities as a result of that.”

– Janhavi Shinde

“This was an amazing experience, very liberating (especially being a woman) and having an insight of how skilled, intelligent and determined these women are! Thank you so much for the inspiration.”

– Romonda Eid

“All in all, I am very thankful for this [employer visit] experience because I got to have an insight into what a robotics company is like. Which is a very rare opportunity to find. I would highly recommend any of WiSE’s site visits, especially if they ever go back to Reach Robotics.”

– Linh Trinh

Interested in participating?

If you’re looking to make a difference and pursue a career in STEM, this program may be just what you’re looking for. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity – get in touch and connect with us! The WiSE team strongly encourages all eligible students to utilise this opportunity and we invite you to join the WiSE community on various platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, WESTERNLife and Instagram. Check out the WiSE website to access the online learning modules, mentoring and other helpful content.

If you have any questions about WiSE, please contact the team at wise@westernsydney.edu.au for more information.

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Lithgow Campus: Reimagined for 2021

What happened to the Lithgow Campus and where is it now?...

Lithgow Campus: Reimagined for 2021

What happened to the Lithgow Campus and where is it now?

The Entrance of the Lithgow Campus Indicates its History

Photo Courtesy of WSU

 

Do you remember the Lithgow Campus? Did you know that it closed? Do you know that it’s back? Many students remember the Lithgow branch of Western Sydney University as The College, but this simple campus has had a world class revamp.

 

The Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra Lithgow Transformation Hub is the newest addition to the university’s portfolio of campuses. It is designed to allow for collaboration between the Lithgow Community and Western Sydney University. It is located in the Charles Hoskins Memorial Institute building on Mort Street and has opened to the public in May of 2021.

 

“Lithgow is only 1hr 15 mins by car from our Penrith or Hawkesbury campuses or a two-hour train ride from Penrith.”- Deb Barton

 

A photo from the opening of the Western Sydney University Transformation Hub

Photo by Sally Tsoutas via WSU

 

Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO mentions the meaning of the campus, “In Wiradjuri language, Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra translates to ‘Workmanship together, side by side’ – a fitting name for the Hub, given its intent to create a space where the Lithgow community can continue to come together with the University, share knowledge and resources, and work together towards a sustainable and thriving future.”

 

Associate Professor Crabtree-Hayes states the future for the hub, as they mention “In the Hub, we envisage a space where local students can come to use our state-of-the-art technology or Wi-Fi, or find a co-working or study space; while professionals and business-owners can use the Hub for their conferences, gatherings, meetings, events, residencies, exhibitions or pop-up labs.”

 

© OpenStreetMap contributors

 

Deb Barton is the manager of the the Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra Lithgow Transformation Hub.

 

“Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra is a Wiradjuri term which broadly translates to Working together side by side. This reflects the purpose for the Hub which acts as a place for the Community, Governments, Business and Industry to come together to explore the range of possibilities for the region as it starts to make the transition to a low carbon economy.” says Barton.

 

She additionally mentions that the goals of the hub include: “Gateway to Wiradjuri, education for life, health and wellbeing, and the Lithgow Sprint.”

 

The Maldhan Ngurr Ngurra Lithgow Transformation Hub is Located in Lithgow

Photo Courtesy of WSU

 

Many students wondered about the campus’s disappearance and re-appearance. Deb Barton informed W’SUP News that pathway courses stopped at the end of 2018, and that there was community consultation as to what they wanted to see operating out of the space in 2019. The opening of the Hub was delayed due to COVID-19 but was eventually able to open in early 2021.

 

Student may also be wondering “Why choose Lithgow?” Deb Barton informed W’SUP that there were opportunities for the University to continue add value in Lithgow and it has the space that leant into the concept of Transformation. Although Lithgow is a regional community, it has recently started to economically align itself with Western Sydney. There are also many academics already working and researching in the area.

 

Barton assures readers that “Lithgow is only 1hr 15 mins by car from our Penrith or Hawkesbury campuses or a two-hour train ride from Penrith.”

 

Exterior of the Lithgow Campus before it was turned into the Transformation Hub

Photos Courtesy of TKD Architects

 

When asked what she would like students to know about the hub, Barton said: “We would love for students to engage with us as Ambassadors to raise aspiration for people of all ages in the Lithgow region about the value of undertaking tertiary education.

Alternatively, we would like students to consider coming to Lithgow for their work placement activities or considering the area as part of research they are undertaking.

If (university) students are in the area – call in and say hi, we would be happy to show you around.”

 

Deb Barton would also like to re-enforce that the campus is also accessible to the wider community. “The Hub is a safe and welcoming space for all community to come together. For any students living locally and studying on-line we have some computers and spaces available for quiet study or to connect face to face with other people.”

 

If you plan to travel to the campus, secure parking is available on sight. Additionally, Lithgow Train Station is nearby, with the 200 Bus taking you directly to the campus.

 

The Lithgow Hub is currently seeking expressions of interest for collaborations. It is currently located at 154 Mort St, Lithgow NSW 2790 and the contact number is (02) 6354 4505.

 

Editor’s note: Thank you to Deb Barton for her interview and for all her work with the Lithgow Campus.

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A university of the people: the 200-year story of Parramatta campus

A trip down memory lane as we continue to rebuild and celebrate the history and culture of Western Sydney University....

 

A university of the people: the 200-year story of Parramatta campus

Story by Sarah Cupitt

 

A trip down memory lane as we continue to rebuild, immortalise and celebrate the history and culture of Western Sydney University.

 

If you’ve ever stepped foot on Parramatta South campus, chances are you’ve seen a few historical landmarks. Mainly the old orphan school building, which usually has a ton of fancy vintage cars parked outside when an event is happening. Though for most students (thanks to COVID-19) chances are, you’ve been online for the majority if not all of your degree.

 

So, I hope this interactive story makes up for the lack of face-to-face interaction and provides a source of comfort and curiosity for all of you returning next semester. Plus, a few fun facts up your sleeve don’t hurt if you need some small talk conversation starters about the weather.

 

WSU celebrated 30 years in 2019 (a young and proud overachiever). However, the university itself is a holder of memories built over two hundred years of history and community impact, deeply rooted in the region’s exceptional development and prosperity.

“Our successes and aspirations reflect those of the region and its people. Not only is Western Sydney University a world-class teaching and research institution, but it is also a thought leader; a knowledge and employment generator; and a catalyst for the region’s economic and social prosperity,” said vice-chancellor and president, professor Barney Glover to the WSU News Centre in April 2019.

 

10 things you might not know about WSU by Sarah Cupitt. Source: W’SUP Spring Edition 2019.

 

The history of the Parramatta South campus

The Female Orphan School building has witnessed some of Australia’s most profound societal shifts. Over the two centuries that this hidden treasure has stood on the banks of the Parramatta River, the structure has influenced thousands of lives. The structure is of enormous significance to Australia’s social history, being both one of the few large public structures that survived the early colonial period and additionally is Australia’s oldest three-story building, predating even Hyde Park Barracks.

Parramatta South is home to many historical interactions over the past 200 years as a place and keeper of collective memories. Infographic: Sarah Cupitt.

 

Its original purpose was to house, educate, and train Sydney’s “orphaned” children. It then functioned as a psychiatric hospital, and its varied usage over the next 100 years represented society’s increasing understanding of mental illness. By the mid-1980s, the philosophies that the building represented had become obsolete, and the structure had fallen into neglect and decay.

 

Watch: If Those Walls Could Talk – A History of the former Rydalmere Hospital (Sept 1999)

 

 

Acknowledging the building’s historical value, the University of Western Sydney (now Western Sydney University) began a series of restoration work in 2000. The Female Orphan School was resurrected as the university’s campus centerpiece for Parramatta. In addition, the Whitlam Institute, which presently inhabits the building, is dedicated to preserving it as an open, public, and democratic environment for future generations to admire and enjoy.

 

“Being able to study at the Parramatta South campus, knowing that there is so much history there, makes me feel honoured. I feel a sense of pride that I have been able to contribute to that history and culture,” says third-year Bachelor of Arts student Lauren Rainey.

 

 

The Whitlam Institute: facilitating bold and transformative discussions

The Whitlam Government passed 203 bills in its first year alone, more than any other Federal Government had achieved in a single year. Not only did Gough Whitlam transform Australia’s laws and institutions, but he also changed the way the country views and defines itself.

Leanne Smith has led the Whitlam Institute as its director for the last four years, having previously held the role of associate director since March 2017. The result has seen a renewed strategic direction for the Institute, fulfilling Gough’s wish that it would “… help the great and continuing work of building a more equal, open, tolerant and independent Australia”. Under Leanne’s leadership, the Institute has produced policy research (including with international partners) on topics from access to education and disability discrimination, to the protection of Indigenous cultural heritage and international best practice in sustainable development goals implementation.

 

“What I’ve worked hard to do, is to connect our local communities and local issues of concern to national policy debates, for example by hosting the 2021 Refugee Alternatives Conference …

 

We have worked with WSU students offering internships, placements, consultancies and volunteer opportunities around our research, exhibitions and events and the incredible Prime Ministerial archive collection at the Whitlam Institute,” said Leanne Smith.

 

Embedded video of Leanne talking about the history of the building https://youtu.be/WkSKsnOrJr0

 

“Last year we opened a beautiful reading room, named in honour of our Distinguished Fellow, The Hon Susan Ryan – this room is intended to bring students and scholars into the Female Orphan School where we work to learn about the Whitlam legacy,” says Smith.

 

Take a digital look around Australia’s oldest three-storey building here.

 

At WSU students and staff are proud to have such historically significant campuses, including South Parramatta, where the Female Orphan School is located. For Leanne, bringing that history to life is a real joy for staff and volunteers.

“One of the most wonderful moments during my time as director was hosting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr Michelle Bachelet, as our 2019 Whitlam Oration guest speaker. Dr Bachelet has been an inspiration to me since we worked together at the United Nations, and it was an honour to have here with us in Sydney, honouring Gough Whitlam,” she said.

 

Photos supplied by Sally Tsoutas

 

Leanne will be leaving the Whitlam Institute to take up the position of chief executive of the Australian Human Rights Commission, with her final day as the 29th of November. However, she will continue to have a relationship with the University as an Adjunct Professor at the School of Law.

Adjunct Professor Eric Sidoti will take up the role of interim director of the Whitlam Institute whilst recruitment for the substantive position is progressed. As well as being adjunct professor at the university’s Institute for Culture and Society, Professor Sidoti is a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow and was previously the director of the Whitlam Institute between 2007 and 2017.

 

Expressions of Interest are now being received for Whitlam Legacy Essays by November 28.

 

From bird to shield, blue to red – Western’s courageous rebrand

The University of Western Sydney rebranded in August 2015. It was the first identity shift in over a decade. WSU’s makeover symbolised the university’s commitment to its community, putting Western Sydney first. Combined with a more relevant brand attitude and voice for the upcoming wave of students and an international audience, the aim was to reflect the changing landscape of Western Sydney, which is now the country’s fastest expanding region, with an enormous amount of investment in infrastructure, innovation, and the arts.

 

Some students started a social media campaign called “Save the Bird” in an attempt to save the then-UWS logo, which cost a whopping $20 million. The campaign resulted in students wearing blue ribbons in support of keeping the bird, others signing a petition with over 2500 signatures, and finally – bold students taking to Twitter the frustration of zero student consultation.

 

Read More: University Of Western Sydney Spending $20M On “WSU” Rebrand, Bird-Less Logo

 

It’s from this point that the “student voice” changed at Western, not only in terms of diverse student leadership and thought – but also the rebrand of Cruwsible to W’SUP News (the student publication of Western Sydney University).

 

For third-year nursing student and SRC international student representative Loore Muravu, The Whitlam institute has shaped her values and taught her to be culturally aware and to value diversity and people’s opinions.

 

“I believe diverse student representation and leadership helps to give students a voice because it breaks the silence and allows students to feel recognised and appreciated. For instance, as an international student like me, I never thought that I could raise my concerns and be heard until I became part of the SRC team and learnt about my rights as a student,” says Loore.

 

A university of the people

Students, staff, and volunteers hold memories of the beloved Parramatta Campus before the COVID-19 lockdown; these are some key moments of inspiration to drive change, leadership, and community when you return to campus next semester to build your story.

 

Crystal Ram (SRC ethnocultural representative) is inspired by the new generation of creators, innovators and leaders; having a strong foundation enables newcomers to grow and fuels ideas, “In Australia, we are so fortunate to even has access to tertiary education, when I reflect and recall what individuals like my grandparents and mum went through it gives me the motivation for continual improvement everywhere I go,” she says.

 

Jacki Montgomery (Director of Academic Program – Creative Industries, Communication, Screen Media) echoes the culture at our university for innovation and collaboration.

 

“We are so fortunate to have one of the most diverse cultural cohorts of any university in Australia. Our students bring many different perspectives to their studies, and we see wonderful collaborations and expressions of culture in their creative outputs,” said Jacki Montgomery.

 

 

Next, we have Razin Polara, who says studying at the WSU Parramatta South campus is one of the best experiences he’s ever had. He’s proud of the development of student clubs that organise events and activities that have impacted the student community in a broader range – additionally as the SRC Parramatta South Representative (no bias to the campus of course) and a leader of several student clubs, he believes that driven young students will make Australian youth stronger and powerful –  and bring change to the WSU community.

 

“Studying here for four years, I have made many incredible memories: the chit-chat at the Oliver-Brown cafe before lectures, challenging mates in video games and playing Football in the field are some of the unforgettable memories. From this, I can say that Parramatta is one of my favourite campuses,” says Razin.

 

Finally, we have the director of W’SUP News, Ishmamul Haque, who’s studying a double degree consisting of a Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology and a Bachelor of Business majoring in accounting. He’s had the honour to be an advisor to the Vice Chancellor as a member of the Vice Chancellor’s International Student Advisory Committee and has worked in different roles across the Department of Project Management, Student Experience and the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

 

“I think the best memories at Parramatta all revolve around the many events I have attended on campus since my first year. My particular favourite was the trivia night which was my first time at a trivia and my very first experience of interacting with a person in drag. The make your own taco bar should have become a permanent fixture at Parra South!”

 

“The people is what makes WSU. It hosts some of the most inclusive people and organisations I have come across as a student. I have left every on and off-campus event with more friends than I had started off with. The range of perspectives and the collective experiences of the people I have interacted with, have crafted the essence of my personality as an adult.

We have the most multicultural student population in Sydney as well as students coming from low-ses backgrounds, refugees and first in family to study at uni. The people at WSU, the staff, the students and all the friendly faces whose names I am yet to discover, will be missed the most when I graduate,” says Ishmamul.

 

Western Sydney has so much to teach Australia and the world and this University has an important role to play in making sure their voices are heard,” says Leanne Smith, director of the Whitlam Institute.

 

If you want to share your student experience with W’SUP News, reach out to the team via wsup@westernsydney.edu.au or check out the submissions page for more information

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How to deal with university when you’re burnt out

University can get pretty overwhelming sometimes. Here are some practical ways you can curb the often-overwhelming feeling of burnout....

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

 

University can get pretty overwhelming sometimes. You’ll find that your typical university student is trying to balance full or part time university, working, taking care of physical and mental health whilst maintaining a social and family life. Most of all – life happens and gets the best of us sometimes.  So, it is natural to feel a little burnt out sometimes, especially in the midst of being loaded with assignments and exams. Here are some practical ways you can curb the often-overwhelming feeling of burnout.

 

What exactly is burnout you may ask? According to HelpGuide, burnout is a “constant state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you are overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands.”.

 

So, what can we do?

Get your health in check

First thing we want to do is assess our physical and mental health. Are we eating regular meals? Are we taking regular breaks and scheduling time for things we enjoy? Have you been exercising? (even if it is one round of Just Dance)? Your health is a priority, and just as important to maintain and check your physical health, apply the same standard to your mental health.

WSU has plenty of support services to help you succeed and they can point you in the right direction when things get tough. These include free and confidential counselling services, disability support, student welfare support

Note: You can get special consideration if you have had a major life event or illness that is affecting your studies, provided you have supporting documents.

Email your tutors

Keep your tutors in the loop and contact them – they are likely to experience burnout too. Send them a quick email (you don’t have to go into detail if you don’t want to) and ask for some help catching up and keeping up. They are usually pretty understanding.

 

Break it down, compartmentalise and take it one step at a time

Sometimes you just have too many tasks to complete in a short period of time, and you have no idea where to start. Add all of your tasks into one big list (intimidating I know) and break those tasks down into smaller pieces.  You can categorise your tasks by priority, and putting the most important tasks at the top, or highlighting them in a different colour.

When beginning any task on the list, it may again, look big and hard to achieve. You probably won’t get started because it will feel like too big of a task. We want to break it down so that it becomes easier to achieve.

Example: Completing a 1500-word essay

 

  1. Intro (150 words)
  2. Paragraph (400 words)
  3. Paragraph (400 words)
  4. Paragraph (400 words)
  5. Conclusion (150 words)

Follow this method for all of your units and then assign them to a day. You can also assign your other task to these days too. For example:

Monday

  • Complete intro for Unit 1 essay
  • Tutorial 1 prep work

Tuesday

  • Complete paragraph for Unit 1 essay
  • Attend tutorial 1
  • Tutorial 2 prep work

Wednesday

  • Complete paragraph for Unit 1 essay
  • Attend tutorial 2
  • Tutorial 3 prep work

Thursday

  • Complete paragraph for Unit 1 essay
  • Tutorial 3
  • Tutorial 4 prep work

Friday

  • Complete conclusion for Unit 1 essay
  • Edit Unit 1 essay and finalise to submit by (X) date
  • Tutorial 4

And continue with each subject to slowly space out your work so that it feels less overwhelming.

 

Do things out of ‘order’

You don’t have to attack the first thing on your list right away. Just start with the task that interest you the most. You’ll find that the hardest part is getting started, and just taking that simple but difficult step to get off TikTok and get onto your tasks. That simple gesture of opining up your laptop puts you in the mindset to work, and oftentimes, you find that you can keep going.

You’ll find that when you write the introduction, the feeling of achievement will make you keep going and it ends up creating a domino effect of productivity.  But if you can’t keep going, you’ll at least know that you checked off your to-do list. Sometimes, I even just makea blank word document with the title of my task just to get myself started!

 

Think of it like having multiple tabs open in your browser. Switch between your units when the whimsey takes you. Doing a little bit of work is better than doing no work at all.

 

Schedule time for a break

 

When experiencing burnout, your body is obviously telling you that you need a break. I know breaks can be hard to fit into a university schedule, but make sure you section out time where you aren’t going to think about uni at all. For example, put your phone on silent and let yourself have an hour of your favourite video game. Or you could meet up with your friend for a coffee or wholesome tea break,  Just make sure you have some time to yourself to do things you want to do.

 

Go easy on yourself

I know this is easier said than done, but uni can be hard! You’ve being working hard this semester with a very uncertain world ahead of you. Keep pushing!

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Uni tips and tricks: for all of you first years

Ah, autumn. The season of change, with your cool weather, jumpers for days and the reminder that Easter is right around the corner. And a new year of ...

Ah, autumn. The season of change, with your cool weather, jumpers for days and the reminder that Easter is right around the corner. And a new year of university to be kicked off.

Students can finally sign our campus names on the WSU rants page rather than ‘Zoom Campus’. But if you enjoyed the forced online learning, you do you. Those who have a cat or needy pets understand the pain, and therefore, online does not work for us.

But back to the topic at hand – the point of this article is to welcome the first-years or students who have transferred from other schools to Western Sydney. And what better way to welcome them than to teach them how to cheat the system?

Yes, that is right! You can cheat, although not academically, at uni.

But how, you might ask? This article will guide the new children into saving what little money they have (cause let us face it, we’re ALL poor), and making the most out of their new academic life.

Campus Life: Photo taken by Tileah Dobson

Free breakfast

The student council offers free breakfast for students throughout the semester on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. You can grab some toast, cereal or cheese toasties between 08:30 am – 10:30 am. However, their locations differ for each campus.

Hawkesbury campus

Chatwells L2 Café (Building L2)
Piccolo me – Building K4 (Stable Square)

Kingswood campus
Piccolo Me – Building T, Campus Library
Three Cows – Building O, Food Hub

Campbelltown campus

Jamaica Blue (Building 2)

Bankstown campus
Chartwells Coffee Shop – Building 1
Oliver Brown – Building 1

Parramatta South
Chartwells Bakehouse (Building ER)
Chartwells Boilerhouse (Building EKB)
Oliver Brown (Building EG)
Piccolo Me (Building EA)

Liverpool
Academic Café (Ground floor of the campus)

Parramatta City
Chambers Coffee Shop (1PSQ)
Piccolo me (1PSQ)

If you have any questions regarding this freebie, you can contact the student experience officer, Larissa Baker through her email.
Note: Free breakfast is not available during mid semester break (April 27-29)

Student Parking

For those who prefer to drive to school, there is student parking available. They run from the 1st December each year and are available to be purchased in early January. The prices vary depending on which permit you purchase:

  • Pay and Display one-day parking permit at Parramatta South – $9
  • All other campuses – $7
  • Half Year General Yellow parking permit
    student – $47
  • Annual General Yellow parking permit
    student – $94

Now, if you want to save coins where you can, you’d be better off not purchasing a permit and not driving to campus if you can. Despite paying the permit, you’re not guaranteed a parking spot. This then makes you question why to bother in the first place, then you get mad at yourself, and the uni and life in general.

It’s a sad spiral down to madness. And it’s your first year, and you have the rest of your degree to become madder than the hatter. But fret not, there is another solution:

Shuttle buses/student opal cards

The uni offers free shuttle buses for students who travel via public transport. You can track where the bus schedule is, the route it takes and how long until it arrives through the Shuttle Tracker on the Western Sydney Uni app.

Yes, it may take a little longer to get to school if you take the shuttle bus but think of the money you’ll save! And you can meet new people whilst you wait for the bus to arrive.

Apply for a student concession card and opal card for reduced rates.

However, please note that at the moment, wearing a facemask on shuttle buses is mandatory. Since we can’t exactly maintain social distancing on them, be a pal and cover it up.

Western Sydney Uni App: Photo by Tileah Dobson

Western Sydney University’s App

If you have a smartphone device, download the free Western Sydney Uni app. This little thing can make it easier to find all necessary information. From the shuttle bus, to clubs, directories and even check your student email. It’s convenient and most importantly: free.

Textbooks

In your first year, online textbooks are free. Save your money and don’t buy any of them. After your first year, then you can try and borrow the textbooks from the library or download Adobe Digital, a free software, that enables to you download the textbook for free. Catch is, it’s only available for 24 hours and then gets deleted. But you can download it again afterwards.

Or, if you do want to buy the textbook, by a second hand one from https://studentvip.com.au/wsu/textbooks. They buy textbooks from graduating students or students who don’t need them anymore and sell it cheaper. A great way to commercially support one and another while not letting your wallet cry too much.

WesternLife

A great little hub that offers a variety of services. From checking in on your mental health, joining clubs, assisting online students and updating you on all upcoming events at the university. Take advantage of this service, you won’t be disappointed.

Queer room

A safe place established by the Queer Collective for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or other sex/gender identities. A great place to make friends in this inclusive environment and there is one located on every campus.

Bankstown
1.1.212

Campelltown
4.G.07

Hawkesbury
K4.G.100

Parramatta South
EB.3.16

Parramatta City
1.1.37

Penrith (Kingswood)
N.G.12

Women’s room

The women’s room is maintained by the Women’s Collective, and provides a safe space for all the ladies to use as a study room, breastfeeding, meetings or women’s events. There is a women’s room on every campus. The lovely ladies at the Women’s Collective also engage in events to support those who have experienced violence – sexual, mental, physical or emotional in nature. Also, free pads – because who says no to that kind of freebie?

Bankstown
2.G.08 (via 2.G.12)

Campelltown
2.2.05

Hawkesbury
K4.G.74

Parramatta (South)
EB.G.16

Parramatta (City)
1.1.33

Penrith (Kingswood)
N.G.13

TalkCAMPUS

Another free app for you. University life can be overwhelming and often leave you feeling like you’re drowning or overwhelmed. Especially if you’re moving from being the big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a very large (and often confusing) pond. Never sacrifice your mental health for a grade. Yes, you’re at university to get a degree and open your career path. But at the end of the day, you still need to look out for the most important thing in life: Yourself.

TalkCAMPUS is a 24/7 app that allows students to chat with each under anominity. It’s a great way to vent to someone who’s been in your shoes and support fellow students. It’s even avaible in 25 languages for our international students.

Student Discounts

What comes with the title of a student, are the discounts. Find whatever discount you can and use it. Spotify offers student discounts, UNiDAYS offers exclusive deals for students, as does a variety of food outlets. Don’t be afraid to ask if there is one.

These are all of the tips and tricks that many of us wish we knew in our first year at school. So this is us from 2nd year and above passing down our nuggets of wisdom to you, the fresh batch of students. Welcome to Western Sydney University!

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A guide to surviving WSU: Covid edition

Clare Da Silva imparts her knowledge on journeying through university, with all the support and resources you need!...

Whether you are starting your first year at university or returning back for your 5th, there is so much going on at the university that it can be hard to navigate it all. After being at this university for five years, I decided to create a university survival guide to help other students pave their pathway through university with all the support and resources you will need.

What you need to know:

vUWS –  This is where all of your online learning occurs. Any slides, learning guides, link to zoom classes, and more are located on vUWS.

 

Student Central –  This is your one-stop shop on campus to ask general enquiries, speak about enrolment and fees, graduation, applying for student ID and travel concession, lodging some forms and more. With Covid, they have moved their services online and over the phone. You can contact student central on 1300 668 370 or email them at studentcentral@westernsydney.edu.au.

Enrolment and Course progress  MyStudent Records
For enrolment, everything can be done using My Student Records at mysr.com. This is where you can use the codes in the student handbooks to enrol in classes, check your cards and change specialisations and more. Did you know you can keep track of your course progress and see what you need to complete and how far along you are in your course? Go to Check my course progress – click on your course – click course progress detail and then it breaks down what you need to do to complete your course and you can look at what you have done. This is especially useful when you get towards the end of your degree.
Allocate –  This is where you can put preferences in for your timetable and see your allocated timetable. Make sure you log into the 2021 timetable! To check if your class is online or on campus just go to your timetable and click on the class to see its location.

 

Academic support:
It can often feel like you are all alone in your studies at university, especially with online classes. There are many services you can access, apps you can download and strategies you can employ, to get you on track with your studies. Here are some of the few I have found to be extremely helpful over the years.

 

Textbooks and resources:

Textbooks:
Textbooks can be pretty expensive, and often learning guides can come out a little late. To find out what your textbooks will be, you can look at your learning guide or use the textbook finder on Booktopia to find your course’s allocated textbooks: https://www.booktopia.com.au/books-online/text-books/textbook-finder/cXC-p1.html.

Students also sell textbooks on Facebook groups such as UWS Textbooks (https://www.facebook.com/groups/uwstextbooks/), WSU Textbook Exchange – (NSW) (https://www.facebook.com/groups/UWSTextbookExchange) and Second Hand University Textbooks for buy, sell and swap Australia (https://www.facebook.com/groups/221249431288804/).

Also checkout websites such as Student VIP (https://studentvip.com.au/) for notes, used textbooks and tutors.


Library Resources: 

The library offers a range of resources and access to databases online that are extremely useful for your studies. You can also access your learning guide, old test papers and even speak to a librarian online. You can also book in study rooms at the library, borrow books and refresh your loans online.

E-resources allows you to see all of the databases available for research through the university. They are organised by subject and are good to utilise. I was even able to find textbooks online through these databases for a couple of units.
https://library.westernsydney.edu.au/main/resources/eResources

Icite is an amazing tool that I utilised throughout my degree to learn how to reference different styles, as well as see examples depending on the type of resource you were using.
https://library.westernsydney.edu.au/main/guides/referencing-citation/i%3ACite

Study Smart and MESH services
One of the best services I utilised as a first and second-year student is the Study Smart services. I find that having a service where you get to talk to an academic for free about classwork or assessments one on one really helped me develop my skills out of the classroom. The smart study consultations are now provided over Zoom and run for 30 minutes. They allow you to ask for assignment feedback and advice, referencing, and even maths and statistics.

To book a session: https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/StudySmart1@westernsydneyedu.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/

 

Study smarty online  powered by Studiosity
This is a service which is available 24/7, employed by the university and run by Studiosity. It is an absolute lifesaver when you just need to talk to someone regarding your ideas, or need assistance with assessments. They have a connect live service where you can chat with different experts to hone your writing skills, referencing, study skills, maths, biology, chemistry and more. They also have a writing feedback service where you submit your document, and they get back to you usually within 24 hours with feedback and notes. These services do have usage allocation meaning that they are timed. You can log onto your vUWS and look under the heading ‘STUDY SMART Online’ on the homepage to access these services. It is also available on your subjects underneath the heading ‘Support Zone’.

PASS Peer Assisted Study Sessions
PASS classes are informal study sessions run by students that have previously successfully studied that unit. They are free, run weekly and it is a good way of meeting other students that are in your degree. With Covid-19, these classes run online. For more information: https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/currentstudents/current_students/services_and_facilities/study_and_life_skills_workshops/pass_-_peer_assisted_study_sessions/_nocache

 

Career Hub
Finding work while you study can be tough but there are a plethora of free workshops and job opportunities that the university offers. Whether it is work at the university or external job offerings it is always good to keep an eye on the Career Hub. To see these resources and job offerings go to:  https://careerhub.westernsydney.edu.au/

 

Getting Social

While most of us are stuck indoors on our computers and listening to 3 hour-long lectures, it can get pretty lonesome. Clubs and activities are happening online, and even some in person!

Western Life
Whether you want to learn more about different cultures and religions, play sports, debate against other universities or just hang out and play games with other students, there are so many activities advertised on Western Life. Campus life offers many activities both online and face-to-face, depending on restrictions, allowing you opportunities to drink wine and paint, play trivia and games, listen to talks, compete in competitions and so much more. Clubs are also active on this platform and you can see what clubs suit you.
I personally did debating throughout my university degree which allowed me the opportunity to travel overseas, compete in tournaments with other universities, job prospects and so much more.
To have a look at all the opportunities go to:  https://life.westernsydney.edu.au/home_login

 

Western SRC
The Western Sydney University Student Council Representative is composed of 20 students who are elected by students to represent their needs. Whether it is social events, campaigning for student needs or addressing any issues students have, the SRC are there to provide you a platform to get change. They run council meetings once a month that you can attend to discuss any concerns you may have. You can reach out to the SRC via their email on secretary@westernsrc.org or facebook page https://www.facebook.com/westernsrc.org.

They also have vacancies so check out there website to find out more at http://westernsrc.org/

WSUP –  Student Newspaper
WSUP is an awesome student newspaper that is run independently from the university. They post articles about both on campus and off campus news, tips and tricks. They print both a physical paper located around all campuses and online at https://wsup.news/
You can also get involved with WSUP by pitching any ideas for articles, submitting artworks, stories or poems and so much more!

Out and About

This program allows students to participate in a range of activities and adventures at reduced rates. You can see what is on offer by searching on Western Life.

Student Discounts

It can be really expensive being a full time or even part-time student. And the university does have many discounts that you can use just for everyday things such as entertainment, real and online shopping, gym memberships and more.
To see the long list of discounts offered check out the student discounts page: https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/currentstudents/current_students/services_and_facilities/student_discounts.

Health and Wellbeing
There are services on campus to help you with your general health and wellbeing. The Uniclinic located on Campbelltown campus is run by students supervised by qualified clinicians that offer a range of therapeutic health practices at reduced rates to the general public. If you need information on sexual health, the website Play Safe has a range of resources to help you improve your sexual health. You can ask a nurse questions, get information on testing, treatments and contraceptives. Visit: https://playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au/

 

Student Legal and Tax Services

The student legal service is an information and referral service that is funded by SSAF. It is for all current domestic and international students at Western Sydney University and is operated by a qualified lawyer. They cover a wide range of legal issues such as employment, tenancy, consumer law, minor criminal matters, debt matters, motor vehicle accidents, on campus fines and traffic offences. They take roughly 3 business days to get back to you. You can contact them by calling 9685 4788 or via email studentlegalservices@westernsydney.edu.au along with the request for help form. For more information or to access the request help form visit: https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/currentstudents/current_students/services_and_facilities/student_legal_service

The tax clinic is offered by the university that provides assistance with lodging, debt matters, review and appeal rights and general tax law. In order to get assistance you must not have a tax agent and be an individual or small business entity. They also run many education activities, advocacy and assistance with dealing with the ATo for low income or vulnerable taxpayers. This service is provided for free via Zoom or teleconferencing. To book an appointment you call them on 9685 4649 or email them at thetaxclinic@westernsydney.edu.au.