Media releases

Ballarat universities unite for students in need

Posted: Monday 29 June 2020

Federation University Australia and Australian Catholic University (ACU) have joined forces to provide food for Ballarat students in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Staff from both universities have been distributing food, toiletries and blankets to domestic and international students as part of Ballarat City Council’s Community Pantry initiative. 

Bakery goods made by Federation TAFE Bakery students have been among the food donated to the pantry.  

The Community Pantry, located at Federation University’s Old Library Building in Camp Street, was established to support students experiencing hardship. The items available at the pantry have been donated by Federation University, ACU, the City of Ballarat, The St Vincent de Paul Society and members of the Ballarat community. 

Each week, about 150 students from Federation University and ACU visit the pantry and in addition to food, toiletries and blankets, wellbeing staff from Federation University and ACU are available to offer support to students. The community is invited to donate non-perishable food and personal hygiene items. 

Food can be dropped off at Morshead Park between 10am and 12pm on weekdays until Friday, 26 June. The universities will work with their community partners to continue taking donations. 

A Community Pantry also operates at Federation University’s Mount Helen Campus. 

Quotes attributable to Federation University Ballarat Head of Campus, Associate Professor Sam Henson:  

“It has been wonderfully rewarding to work with the City of Ballarat and ACU to support domestic and international students in need by providing them with food, groceries and access to support services during what has been a particularly difficult time for them. These students play an important role in our community and it has been heartening to see these organisations, and Ballarat residents, come together to show them support.”  

Quotes attributable to Australian Catholic University Ballarat Campus Senior Community Engagement Officer, Bree Seamer: 

“It is an honour to collaborate with Federation University on this important initiative. By combining our resources, we have the best chance of helping our students through these very challenging times. At ACU, community engagement is at the core of what we do, and we continually look for ways to make a positive difference in the lives of those experiencing disadvantage and marginalisation.” 

 Quotes attributable to City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor: 

“The Ballarat community has been extremely generous and extremely kind in donating to the Emergency Food Relief Drop-off Centre, located initially at the Ballarat Library and now at Morshead Park. The City of Ballarat is very proud of this food relief initiative and I would like to thank everyone who has dropped off tins or boxes or packets of food to support their fellow Ballarat residents over the past few months. I would also like to commend Federation University and ACU for their work in providing invaluable and much-needed support to their domestic and international students via the Community Pantry initiative.” 

Contact Stephanie Charalambous
Media and Communications Advisor
0429 360 727