CUC Snowy Monaro Recognised For Cutting Edge Program

16 Jun 2021

Congratulations to CUC Snowy Monaro, and Centre Manager Nadine Holland, for winning a 2021 Australian Rural Education Award for its Uni4Life collaboration with the University of Canberra.

The Award was presented at the 2021 National Conference for Regional, Rural, and Remote Education on 24 May 2021.

Uni4Life is a pilot program aimed to provide consistent, uninterrupted study time across the school holiday period for parents studying at the CUC Snowy Monaro. Simultaneously, the program nurtured the aspirations and understanding of university for the children of students who attended.

The pilot was trialled over five days in the Easter school holidays, with the University of Canberra providing outreach activities for the children of university parents who use the CUC.

Sessions focused on science, engineering technology, performing arts, environmental conservation, and developing a better understanding of what university entails.

CUC Snowy Monaro Centre Manager, Nadine Holland, said that the program was a win-win for both parents and their children.

“It allowed parents uninterrupted study time with the support of the on-site CUC Learning Skills Advisor and broadened the horizons of their children,” Mrs Holland said.


“We are always looking to increase the support we offer our students, and as a parent, I know that school holidays can be a stressful time and how precious time can be when kids are home.


“Thanks to the University of Canberra, we were able to give our mature students a solid block of time to knuckle down and lock away some quality study time.


“Through the Uni4Life program, parents knew their kids were safe, engaged and importantly improving their understanding about university.”


“We were excited to have ten parents and 18 children participate, and we’ll be replicating and improving the program for the July school break.”

Picture: Emily, a holiday workshop participant, makes an Autumn tree out of recycled paper in her eco-warrior session.

The CUC’s Director of Equity and Engagement, Chris Ronan, said that targeted support for mature-aged students remains a vital focus of the CUC.

“Fifty-seven per cent of our student cohort are 25 or older, and many have caring responsibilities. Recent research from Nicole Crawford at the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) highlighted the challenges that parents face trying to continue their study patterns across school holiday period. This program genuinely meets our mature-aged online students where they are and provides a practical solution to support them to succeed, while including their children in the university environment. The CUC will continue to be guided by NCSEHE research when designing our student support programs into the future.”

SPERA President, Brian O’Neill, said “The Australian Rural Education Awards recognise the innovative projects and processes which have been developed to assist rural community members overcome the inequities created by the tyranny of distance. The Uni4Life program is an excellent example of a program which benefits two target groups from rural communities. It enables parents/carers to continue their tertiary studies during school holidays and at the same time, broadens the horizons of the school age students from these communities. They get to experience university opportunities and the wide range of career opportunities. I applaud the CUC Snowy Monaro for their innovative project and for their use of research based decision making practices.”

The CUC is looking to expand the collaboration with University of Canberra and offer programs like the Uni4life across the CUC Network, which includes 11 Centres operating across 14 locations in three States.

The Society of the Provision of Education in Rural Australia (SPERA) has recognised excellence in rural education annually since 1994, and the CUC is extremely proud that the CUC Snowy Monaro’s initiative was recognised at the 2021 Conference.

Picture: Parents working in Centre whilst their children expand their minds in the holiday workshop sessions.

Upcoming Uni4Life Program:
The UNI4LIFE School Holiday Program is for all kids aged between 5yrs – 14yrs.  The sessions will run between 10am – 2.30pm on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, 30th June (Building & Technology)
  • Thursday, 1st July (Upcycle Art & Textiles)
  • Friday, 2nd July (Sports, Games & Health)
  • Wednesday, 7th July (Earth Science)
  • Thursday, 8th July (Science)
  • Friday, 9th July (Art & Design)

Lunches and snacks will be provided but please pack a drink bottle.Please don’t forget that you or another person who you have nominated, must stay onsite while the kids are participating in the sessions.

To register your child, go to:

To learn more about the Uni4Life program contact Nadine Holland at

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