I’m Gareth, and welcome to the new OASIS website. We look forward to being a part of your time here at Flinders.
I want to use this blog post for a few things. First I want to let you know what OASIS in 2019 and beyond is all about. Second, I want to express my thanks to all those who have helped make this new website and the revamped OASIS possible. Third, I want to let you know about the different ways that you can make OASIS a part of your life during your studies – we promise we won’t be too intrusive.
What is OASIS 2019 all about?
You might notice that I am using the term ‘OASIS 2019’ and ‘v3.0’ rather than just OASIS in this post. There is some logic to my madness.
Some of you reading this will know that OASIS has been around for many years. It was originally set up as chaplaincy service – taking care of student’s spiritual well-being. A noble aim, and one that provided students from multiple faiths with a safe and nurturing spiritual place on campus.
In 2017, Ben (the coordinator of OASIS) started expanding the range of service offered by OASIS, focusing not-only on spiritual well-being but community & diversity and physical & mental well-being, all from the same relaxing spot we have here on the Bedford Park Campus. An online Facebook community was also set up, giving students multiple ways to connect with OASIS.
The result was the creation of a wonderfully diverse community of students both here at the centre but also on our Facebook Page. That expansion continued in 2018 and now thank to ongoing SSAF funding, in 2019 we’re setting out to make OASIS even bigger!
Our goal here at OASIS is to help you achieve academic success by providing services and programs that build physical, economic, social, emotional, psychological, occupational, intellectual and spiritual wellbeing. We call it “Wellbeing for Success” and the philosophy is simple.
Increased wellbeing = Increased Academic success
We reckon that OASIS 2019 has something for everyone in terms of taking care of these core wellbeing needs.
At the OASIS Centre, students can:
- Find community, friendship and belonging through our social activities, extensive kitchen and informal meeting spaces
- Engage in regular programs of yoga, meditation, English conversations and more
- Find support and someone to listen to your problems and difficulties with study or life – via our chaplains and volunteers
- Obtain welfare assistance including our new Flinders Community Market and a supportive referral to more clinical supports and services on and off campus
- Reconnect to a sense of meaning and purpose in conversations with accredited university chaplains
- Make use of our wash and prayer facilities for Muslim students
- Make use of our quiet spaces to relax and recharge
But it is not just on-campus activities and services that we will be providing. Myself, and other members of the OASIS team will be writing on this blog about how to build the different aspects of wellbeing and how these relate to academic success.
This will include posts about techniques and tools that you can use for your own self-development, but also posts about what activities and events you can get involved with that promote self-development in a social context.
Finally, our Facebook community will also get a bit of a facelift, and all the content we promote on the site, will also be promoted via the community, meaning you can make Facebook your primary connection to the work we are doing here at OASIS.
People to thank
We couldn’t have launched the new OASIS without the help of many people.
First, to you, the students – a big thank you. This website and the positions of a number of us here at OASIS are funded through SSAF funding – the ‘student services and amenities fee’. It is because students rate health and well-being services as a high priority that we are able to do this work, so thank you.
Second, to Jodie Zada, the Director of Student Services – thanks for listening to our vision for a revamped OASIS and helping make it happen, by putting the right people together and making the resources available.
Finally, a hearty thanks to Harley, who built our website and gave us as beautiful place online as we have on campus. We very much look forward to working with you again.
Making OASIS 2019 a part of your life here at Flinders
Everyone comes to university with a different set of challenges.
Some of you are coming straight from school and will learn quite quickly that university is a very different learning environment to what you had at school.
Others of you are coming from overseas and are adjusting to life away from your family and friends and adapting to a new culture.
Some of you are returning to study at a later age, and learning to juggle university with jobs and raising families.
Finally, some of you are coming to your studies with significant and challenging disabilities that need to be managed alongside your studies.
Regardless of what you bring with you, we want to be able to help in some way.
It might be as simple as sending us an email, to ask a question about services available to you, through to becoming a regular attendee at one of our mindful yoga, meditation, language or cooking classes.
You might want to use our spaces to run your own groups, rather than take part in ours. That is totally fine. To book one of our spaces contact Lisa on email@example.com
You might have a very specific health or well-being need that one of our chaplains, counsellors or myself can help with. We have good connections with the other services in the university (e.g. Health and Counselling, FUSA, Flinders Connect), as well as services in the community, so should be able to help you find what you need.
You might just want a quiet space to hang out, with kitchen facilities and some free grub (food).
Finally, you might not make it to campus very often, but can connect with us, via the blog, or the Facebook community. We are going to be talking all about how you build wellbeing for the purposes of academic success, and success beyond university.
Even if none of these take your fancy, you’ll see us around the university regularly, as part of events like RUOK day and mental health week. Come and say hi and have a chat. Tell us what you’d like to see OASIS 2019 provide.
Good luck and good health
I’m off to do some more writing, both for the OASIS website, but also the Student Health and Wellbeing Blog. So I will bid thee farewell for the time being. I look forward to meeting or chatting to all of you at some point during your time here at Flinders.