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Photo credit: Lesley Peden via ANU Student Experience and Career Development

Photo credit: Lesley Peden via ANU Student Experience and Career Development

Student volunteering is its own reward

30 August 2018

ANU+ is a student volunteer program that the Student Experience and Career Development office began in 2017. It is a way of formally recognising the experience gained and contribution given through volunteering. It encourages students to give back to the community, obtain skills they can use in the workplace and reflect on how they have developed.

Students are required to volunteer 100 hours as undergraduates or 60 hours as postgraduates, and must also write periodic reflections and produce a final creative output about their experience upon its completion. Since the program launched, 10 students have finished and a further 400 are currently taking part.

Social impact

Melly Zhao is second year student studying a Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Commerce who is enrolled in ANU+. She volunteers at a Red Cross op shop and has already gained a lot, both personally and professionally, and encourages other students to get involved.

“The advice I would give to students starting the program is to make it a lifestyle rather than a once-off commitment. You will meet and learn from so many wonderful people and gain invaluable experiences through volunteering.

“Small actions make a big difference. Even though each shift I am only giving up a few hours of my time, because it is a group of us doing the same, the result is that many homeless people are fed and kept warm during the freezing winter.”

Volunteering has also been important for Jialian Sun, a second year Bachelor of Economics student. Through it she has met new people, improved her language skills and learnt more about the local culture.

“One of the most valuable things I’ve learnt from the volunteering experience is how to express myself. For example, while giving orientation campus tours, I got to share my experiences of studying and living at ANU with new students.”

Career development

Volunteering is a way of gaining skills and experience that help to prepare participants for jobs following university. It is also valued very highly by prospective employers. Todd Wills, EY, Managing Partner, Canberra emphasises its importance in the private sector.

“Training and volunteer programs are invaluable for students and organisations such as EY. For students it provides the opportunity to gain broader experience in different environments while putting their learning into practice. At EY we encourage our employees to contribute to our communities, including via our EY Foundation, and we would encourage students to do the same - volunteering is something we would look favourably on when considering applications.”

Find out more about the ANU+ program and CBE degrees:


Bachelor of Commerce

Bachelor of Economics

Updated:   30 August 2018 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team