UNSW Canberra MATES Program

What is MATES?  It is the Mentor Assisted Transition for new Enrolled Students arriving for commencement of study at UNSW Canberra.

The word ‘mate’ is an Australian slang word meaning ‘a buddy or friend’ and is used to greet someone as in ‘G’day mate’

The term “mentor” originates from Greek Mythology and dates back to earlier times. In a mentoring relationship, the two individuals are referred to as the “mentor” and the “mentee” (the individual being mentored). 

A mentor is a later year student who will share their knowledge and experience on settling into life on campus, how to access resources, sharing of their knowledge about UNSW Canberra and about living in Canberra. 

A mentor will

  • Introduce a mentee to other students
  • Help find places and access facilities and services on campus
  • Help navigate various online systems
  • How to sign up for the gym and other social activities
  • Provide information on transportation, accommodation and general information on living in Canberra

A mentee can contact their mentor to ask questions, share a cup of coffee or they may just need someone to talk to.  They can provide general advice about learning at university but for academic advice, a mentee should see the School Academic advisors.

The MATES Program will commence on Wednesday, 28 February at the new student Orientation.  There will be an afternoon tea on Friday 23 March from 3pm to 4pm in the Arc Room, Ground Floor, Building 21.  This will be followed by a celebratory function (date to be advised) to mark the conclusion of the program.  These scheduled activities are ideal opportunities for mentors and mentees to meet and catch up over a cup of coffee.

New Student:  Apply for a mentor


 Volunteering as a Mentor:

By becoming a mentor it a great way to give back what you have learnt about successful university life and study to newer students and assist them to feel at home in Canberra/Australia.

As a mentor you

  • develop leadership and communication skills
  • interact with new students and UNSW Canberra staff
  • receive a certificate of appreciation from the university


  1. All mentors must be in their second year of study or above at UNSW Canberra
  2. Must be on campus
  3. Respect the University's equity and diversity policies
  4. Have an interest in working with people from diverse backgrounds
  5. Maintain a satisfactory Annual Progress Review
  6. Have a functional student email address and regularly check for messages
  7. Mentors are required to complete training which consists of attendance at a compulsory face to face training session
  8. Continuing mentors will need to undergo training again but must still lodge an application online


A Mentor Training Session will be held on 20 February (10.00am - 12 noon; lunch to follow), Venue SR03 LTN

Apply now to be a mentor for 2018