Dr Jane Skalicky1, Ms Sally Fuglsang1, Ms Kristin Warr Pedersen1, Mr Padraig Pearce1
1University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
Volunteering is a valuable way to enhance the student experience, build students’ employability skills and cultivate civic-minded, global citizens, while at the same time affording benefits to the community. The University of Tasmania identifies volunteering as a key strategic objective through its Student Experience Strategy and provides students with a range of flexible volunteering opportunities both within the University and within local communities. This presentation focuses on one such opportunity – Mumford’s Pride – a student-run and led volunteer program established in 2016 after a call-out from the Vice-Chancellor for students and staff to assist with the community response to the northern Tasmania floods. The Pride was formed with the aim of building an organised, volunteer student taskforce that is trained, equipped and ready to respond to calls for community support, particularly in times of disasters and emergencies. Students register with the program and are invited to engage in a range of volunteering activities. The University supports Mumford’s Pride through enabling effective training and accreditation, and students who achieve specified standards and commit to ongoing training are able to join the emergency volunteering arm of Mumford’s Pride and the University’s crisis response team. Student involvement in the program is recognised formally within the University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Leadership Program. This presentation explores the development and operation of Mumford’s Pride since its establishment, and considers the pivotal role it played in bringing the University Community together in the recent Hobart floods which saw the University itself in the midst of an emergency.
Jane Skalicky is an Education specialist, having obtained her PhD in the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania in 2009, and has a research focus on student success in higher education. For the past ten years, Jane has held senior leadership positions at the University of Tasmania with both strategic and operational responsibilities in areas related to student learning, engagement and well-being. Currently, she holds the position of Associate Professor and Director of Student Retention and Success in the Student Experience portfolio of the University’s Academic Division. The position sees her leading a team of academic and professional staff and student leaders working across the University campuses to provide language and academic skills development, academic transition programs, career and leadership development, and student advice and support, as well as a range of peer learning and engagement programs for all domestic and international students.