Community engagement at Monash South Africa began organically. Our students' desire to give back to the community was so strong that they ran volunteering programs without a formal space or university involvement - using community engagement manager Craig Rowe's office as a temporary volunteer headquarters. But with the university and community spirit growing each year the need for support and formalisation became apparent.
In February 2011, Dr Alan Finkel, Chancellor of Monash University in Australia, opened the Alan Finkel Volunteer Space. A space designed to help cultivate the spirit of community and social responsibility already flourishing on campus.
A new space
The opening of the Alan Finkel Volunteer Space not only means Mr Rowe gets his office back. Importantly, it allows for the continuing development of student and university led social responsibility endeavours. This new purpose-built space gives students and the community a firm base of operations. It's a place to meet, a resource centre, and a hub for workshopping current programs and realising future goals.
What it means for us
The creation of this centre aligns closely with Monash South Africa's key objective of fostering a sense of community and connectedness within the local area.
All of our volunteer programs aim to provide valuable support and resources for the community, as well as give staff, students and community members the opportunity to develop professional skills, like leadership and social responsibility, in real-world situations.
Among the programs that caught the Chancellor's attention was Saturday School, where learners from local disadvantaged schools receive extra tuition. This program has proven so successful that many of its students have since enrolled at Monash South Africa, and are now actively participating in the same program to help future generations.
To get involved please visit us at the centre.