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UC students staying on campus this Christmas supported by community generosity

Danielle Meddemmen

24 December: The University of Canberra is continuing to support students staying on the Bruce campus over the Christmas break, with the help of a generous donation from ABC Canberra in partnership with community foundation, Hands Across Canberra.

The University has been presented with $5,000 worth of Kmart and Supabarn vouchers, to be distributed to students in need.

Director of UCX Sarah Jennett said her team had seen continued interest from students seeking support from its services, and believed the vouchers would go a long way in supporting them.

“We have continued to see a good uptake at our Food Pantry and also from the 200 Christmas hampers we distributed last week. There are clearly still students who need to access these services,” she said.

“Now we can gift these vouchers to students who need to buy Christmas gifts and food over this period and take some of the pressure off them.”

The vouchers are in $20, $50 and $100 amounts, and were given to Student Equity, Participation and Welfare to determine in need recipients.

The donation was part of a larger $150,000 raised by ABC Canberra’s annual giving tree in collaboration with Hands Across Canberra, to be distributed to organisations involved in the Canberra Relief Network (CRN).

Hands Across Canberra CEO Peter Gordon said the organisation had international students front of mind when making the donation to the University.

“We wanted to do our bit in supporting international students that are stranded in the country. It’s traumatic and a lot of students will be staying on campus when they would rather be home with their families,” he said.

“We also wanted to thank the University for their volunteering efforts in the work we do. They are always the first to put their hands up and we value that.”

Ms Jennett said she was pleased to see the University being valued within the wider community.

“It’s nice for the University to have been recognised, and have our students identified as needing this support,” she said.

“It’s good to feel we are looked at as a worthy organisation, entrusted with these donations to pass on to our students.”