The last couple of years has made connections challenging and disrupted the way we learn and teach.

WPU Celebrates Harmony Day 2022

Harmony week is about inclusiveness. It reminds us of the importance of recognising and celebrating the diversity in our community. The Widening Participation Unit (WPU) celebrated this year’s theme of Everyone Belongs by reflecting on what it means to belong and the ways in which that sense of belonging is fostered within our MQ community. 

The Connected Campus Community forum, hosted by the WPU and led by Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor (Programs & Pathways) Associate Professor Taryn Jones, was a conversation between students on the ways in which their Macquarie University learning journeys have supported and nurtured their sense of belonging. It started with “finding [their] people”, the students, academics, professionals, and community members that make Macquarie the vibrant and diverse community it is.

As a university community we are all here to support and encourage one another through personal and learning journeys. Community is critical for sharing ideas and promoting growth. It brings us together to solve and address challenges through collective approaches. We all belong to the Macquarie community and the Macquarie community thrives on our participation and contribution to it. It reflects all of us.

Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor (Programs & Pathways), Associate Professor Taryn Jones

Throughout the forum, students highlighted the ways in which the depth of connection with societies, clubs, and other Macquarie programs enabled them to feel more academically and socially supported. Programs such as WriteWise and PAL (Peer Assisted Learning) build confidence and competence by empowering students to share the knowledge and experiences they’ve gained with other students; while student and MQ sports clubs bring people together with common interests or perhaps just the desire to try something new.

The Macquarie campus, its dynamism, and life is central to many people’s sense of belonging. In the wake of long periods of isolation and separation from one another, we as a community can reflect on the ties that draw us together and help us to maintain that connection with one another. The networks and friendships fostered on campus have, for many, been a necessary reminder that we are not alone. “COVID has shown us how important our community is. It’s shown us that different people respond and seek belonging in different ways but it starts with people and relationships.” (Josh Santos, MQ Alumni)

Looking back on the Widening Participation Unit’s 2020 Everyone Belongs project, we see an array of experiences captured from a moment in our history that will remain with us for many years. We see learnings that our community can grow from but we also see the successes that shaped our ability to stay united and keep moving forward together. In 2022, we call on you to reflect on and take action towards finding your place, your community, your people.

Missed joining us for the Connected Campus Community forum? Watch it now!

Find out more and get involved with the Widening Participation Unit!

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