Sense of belonging

At UWA we strive to ensure students have the best experience and feel a strong sense of belonging to the University. We’re constantly examining what this might look like, so in August 2021 we asked students to tell us about their sense of ‘belonging’ to UWA and to show us through imagery.

What we got was this amazing set of photographs accompanied by words which beautifully captures and depicts the concept of belonging.

A huge thank you to these UWA students who shared their vision - Andie Gell, Annie OGorman, Anushka Mukherjee, Elie Matabishi, Elis Zuliati Anis, Fathima Shajahan, Germain Ilunga, Gezhi Ren, Hermione Zhou, Hoang Linh Nguyen, Jenna Perelson, Ron Goldsmith, Sam Lloyd, Sherry Liang, Shreesh Bokade, Tinghui Zhou and Yahui Wang.

The exhibition is physically displayed in the Stirling Hwy underpass, but if you’re not able to visit it in person, you can view the 21-metre display here [PDF, 5.58MB].

"Belonging" artwork [PDF, 5.58MB]

The Women in Engineering Committee past and present

Andie, Master of Professional Engineering

About me

MPE Mechanical Student Final year, exec of WiEMS UWA and exec of UWA Cheer and Dance. I also like playing netball :)

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

The committee for Women in Engineering has been such a supportive group of like-minded people. It is such a wholesome club that has helped many students get to meet industry reps or have someone to talk to when they're unsure about their degree. Even after they've graduated committee members still come to events to help out when needed.

Historic belonging to all student’s past, present and future at The University of Western Australia

Annie, Master of Social Work

About me

Studying MSW, in my final semester and work at Lifeline WA. Originally from Liverpool, UK.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

When I see this building, I feel like I belong to the history of UWA. I also feel an overwhelming sense of pride, privilege and humility for the university graduates it represents past, present and future.

My friends from all over the world! (quite literally)

Anushka, Bachelor of Commerce

About me

I am a third year Economics student at UWA. I am an International Student now studying online. I am currently also the General Secretary for the International Students' Department (ISD).

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

This picture was taken during one our ISD meetings. We’re all currently located in either Singapore, Malaysia or Vietnam. I have been stuck offshore for 8 months now and at the start, it was very painful. I have been stressed, sad, confused, name it all. But I have never felt lonely. My ISD friends from all over the world have always been there to get me through my bad days, to cry with me, to laugh with me, to support me in every way they can despite being miles away from me. These are few of the friends I am thankful for, and the ones that give me my sense of belonging at UWA.

Light bridge

Elie, Graduate Certificate in urban and regional planning

About me

I’m doing a Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning and photography enthusiasts.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

I’m attempting to change my career path and so UWA is the bridge to the new career. The photo depicts a bridge from underneath with a steady pillar hold it as the education I will receive will uphold my career.

Happy together: Mother duck and ducklings

Elis, Doctor of Philosophy

About me

I am a PhD student in Media and Communication. Photography has been my passion and I love taking photographs of the birds and landscape at UWA, Matilda Bay, Pelican Point and Blue Boatshed. Photography is also my academic-life balance.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

A family of ducks on campus reflects life at UWA : the family of students at UWA belonging together, surrounded by familiar faces, nurtured academically and guided by caring staff in a stimulating and safe environment. We all share this beautiful campus.

Instagram: @photographyeza

Wings of life

Fathima, Master of Physics

About me

An amateur photography enthusiast, studying masters in medical physics at UWA. Currently taking online classes from India due to the Covid-19 border restrictions.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

This image make me feel like I am flying....Flying to achieve my dream.

Uni Nap

Germain, Bachelor of Arts

About me

I’m a 2nd year architecture student, I hope to design houses, furniture and interiors.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

The campus is very calming which is really good as I can catch up with friends.

Instagram: @Geranmanium

UWA’s elements and Me

Gezhi, Bachelor of Arts

About me

I am an international student and my major is history. I love the atmosphere of UWA very much.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

Because of the COVID-19, I studied online sessions for a year, so I lived at my home in China. These are some elements of UWA’s and they make me feel belonging to UWA.

Instagram: @Geranmanium

Facebook: /rengezhi

LinkedIn: /rengezhi

WeChat: rengezhi

Weibo: 任格致


Hermione, Bachelor of Commerce

About me

I’m current second year student majoring in Finance and Marketing.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

Every time I passed this sign, I feel like I learn more things in my life. This sign reminder of what I learned here in UWA will help me grow and lead me to success one day.

Instagram: @ying_zhou99612

Facebook: /Hermione Ying Zhou

LinkedIn: /Hermione Zhou

WeChat: yingzhou99612

Weibo: ⻓兔猫⽑

Graduation edge

Hoang, Master of Commerce

About me

I am an international student but the diverse learning environment at UWA never makes me feel like an outsider.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

UWA helps me find life time friends. Being with them on campus makes my staying at UWA more meaningful than ever.

Taking Flight

Jenna, Bachelor of Science

About me

I am currently in my second year of my undergraduate, with a major in Genetics. I grew up in South Africa and moved to Australia with my family when I was 11.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

I love having my lunch down at the Matilda Bay foreshore with my uni friends. It is always beautiful, no matter the weather. The city skyline over the river gives a sense of belonging to UWA and its prime position in Perth. I will often see dolphins, black swans, and seagulls on a sunny day, which have become a major part of my time at UWA. Likewise, the seagull in flight symbolises how UWA will enable me to take flight into the next stage of my career.

Instagram: @jennaperelson

First week of my new life

Ron, Bachelor of Science

About me

First time Uni student after 35yrs working in industry. Finally following my passion for the environment.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

Unbelievably proud of being offered a place here. Starting my new life, pursuing my dream.


Sam, Bachelor of Science

About me

I’m studying Genetics and Agricultural Science and in my last year of my degree, I'm originally from a tiny farming town many hours from Perth, and am often away from home for many months at a time.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

Walking back home through Winthrop Hall after a long night of studying in Reid, it was quiet and still and it was beginning to rain, but the lights were still on everywhere and the rain was lit up golden. It was very peaceful and reminded me of home so many hours away.

Instagram: @officialsamlloyd

What's across the Pacific?

Sherry, Bachelor of Science

About me

I am an international student who has been stranded overseas for almost two years, and I hope these photos will be seen by more UWA students :)

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

As you can see this is actually a combination of four photos that I took this semester at the UWA & ZJU study center in China. One of my classmates who lives in Perth helped with the UWA campus part. We wanted to show international students how much they belonged to UWA in this way.

WeChat: yao8241120;Leung01290920

DREAMLAND - Golden hour at The University of Western Australia

Shreesh, Master of Marketing

About me

Hi, I am Shreesh Bhaurao Bokade and I am in my last semester of Master of Marketing at the UWA Business School. Some of my hobbies are cooking, photography, exploring new beaches and travelling.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

When I first came to the University of Western Australia on February 14th 2020, I saw this place and was quite mesmerised by this place. Since then its been my go-to place on the campus as whenever I come to the university I always spend some quality time hanging out there. It's been 1 and half years at the university and this place always give me a different feeling whenever I come here, so far, I have close to 200 pictures of the same place with different angles, but I have never been bored of this place. If anyone asks me what is a sense of belonging to you in the university, I would definitely tell them about this place as this place has its own charm and when its golden hour, the sunlight falls on the leaves making it so pure and magical that it feels like you are in a dream.

Instagram: @shreesh_bokade

LinkedIn: /shreeshbokade

When it’s late and you want to go ‘home’

Tinghui, Bachelor of Commerce

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

The picture was taken on my way back to Trinity Residential College. Studying in Australia for one and a half years, Trinity has become my second home. When you feel tired outside, there is nothing better than going home to take a relaxing shower and lie in your little bed.

Facebook: /Savannah Zhou

Perth wildlife animal park

Yahui, Master of Commerce

About me

I am a cheerful and lively person, good at making friends, especially some business people.

Why this image makes me feel a sense of belonging to UWA

I am eager to go to UWA to experience campus life. In your spare time, you can go to the wildlife park to see animals.

And the prize goes to…

It was amazing to see UWA students take part in the photography competition and exhibition; whether domestic or international, undergraduate or postgraduate, on-campus or online, students submitted some stunning images to show what a sense of belonging looks like to them.

To acknowledge the participant’s photography, a judging panel awarded the following students a prize for their outstanding image.

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