Enlarge and download as a PDF | Source: Arc, UNSW's student union

UNSW provides considerable support and resources for engaging students in sustainability learning experiences outside the classroom. Sponsored co-curricular offerings deepen students’ understanding and application of sustainability principles and embeds this into the campus experience.

Volunteering on campus

Volunteering with Arc

The student organisation, Arc, is a hub of volunteering at UNSW. Under Arc’s competent leadership, with guidance and support provided by the University, volunteering has grown steadily over the years. Volunteering activities complement the academic side of university life by providing a vibrant culture of ‘giving back’ and greatly enhance the experience of everyone at UNSW.

In this reporting period 2,800 volunteers worked many thousands of hours running Arc’s 29 volunteer programs, 315 clubs and over 400 volunteer and social events.

Arc student development committee

The Student Development Committee is Arc’s student body responsible for overseeing the support provided to Arc-affiliated clubs, volunteer programs, courses, grants and relevant student events. Students are elected to represent the interests of Arc clubs and volunteer programs.

Arc volunteer programs with a sustainability focus


Bike-ology holds bi-weekly maintenance workshops to diagnose and fix bicycle problems. They also hold second-hand bike sales and will give you all the info you need to know if you’re in the market for a new (bicycle) best friend.


eReuse is a new Arc program that takes the unwanted computers of UNSW faculties, students and staff, refurbishes them and donates them to charitable organisations to distribute them to those in need.

Passports with Purpose

Between each semester, Passports with Purpose sends teams of students to developing nations to lend a helping hand with a local community project. Students have been to Malaysia, Thailand, Fiji, and Nepal to work on projects including building houses to teaching in local primary and high schools.

Mosaic Mentoring

This program offers both UNSW volunteers and local Sydney high school students the unique opportunity to come together and get talking about the social and cultural issues which shape and define us.


Arc Philanthropy (Phil’) is one of Arc’s newest student-led programs. Their aim is to unite the entire UNSW community behind one common goal of raising awareness and money for a great cause each year.

Shack Tutoring

The aim of the program is to provide a free high school tuition service to local students who have been identified as disadvantaged, or who cannot access a required paid tuition service.

Stationery Reuse Centre

This ingenious, free program provides the UNSW community with good quality recycled stationery that has been previously used or discarded, preventing it from going to landfill.

The Producers

The Producers is interested in sustainable practices and growing fresh produce. Producers get hands on experience in planting, maintaining and harvesting veggies and develop a greater appreciation of how easy it is to live and eat sustainably in this urban jungle.

Volunteer Army

The Volunteer Army helps to connect UNSW students with volunteering opportunities at UNSW Kensington Campus, Sydney CBD and Western Sydney locations. The aim is to foster community engagement while developing leadership, teamwork and communication skills.

Walama Muru

Walama Muru means ‘a return of road or path’ and offers an opportunity for UNSW students to travel to a regional Aboriginal community in order to learn and share in the local Aboriginal culture

Wellness Warriors

Arc Wellness is working towards raising awareness around mental health, helping students de-stress, and provide resources to foster the well-being of students. Events include Stress Less Week, R U OK? Day and Pat-a-Pooch puppy cuddling.

Volunteering with Student Life: Student Hub

UNSW Advantage accredits over 450 volunteering and professional development opportunities at UNSW and checks the quality of these opportunities to ensure that students are getting are developing important professional skills, gaining experiences, as well as belonging to the USNW community. UNSW Advantage ensures these experiences are listed on a student’s Australian Higher Education Graduate Statement when they graduate.

In 2017, there were 459 UNSW Advantage Accredited opportunities for students across Faculties, Divisions and Arc, including leadership, skills development, cultural and mentoring programs. Major events throughout the year that students had the opportunity to volunteer at, included - O-Week, Open Day, Info Day, Mental Health Month and the UNSW Careers Expo. 

In 2017, 8,286 students completed one or more UNSW Advantage Accredited Programs that will feature on their AHEGS when they graduate.