The Warm Welcome Program helps new staff from overseas to settle into life in Australia by connecting them with a current UQ staff member.

Moving to a new country can be stressful, especially for people who are unfamiliar with the culture and customs. The Warm Welcome Program (WWP) helps ease this transition for new UQ staff and their families, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, by providing:

  • informal advice and support
  • connections to other members of the Brisbane community. 

Current UQ staff members can volunteer to become Welcomers.

The WWP runs in addition to formal workplace inductions at UQ, including existing induction and transition support provided by HR to staff moving from international locations.

If you're a current UQ staff member who would like to help others settle into life in Australia, you can volunteer to become a Welcomer. 

We want to create a large pool of Welcomers and their families from a wide range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including staff born in Australia. 

We try to match new staff and their families with the UQ staff who can best support them in terms of cultural and religious background, language, stage of life and interests.

Welcomers will be allocated to incoming staff on a case-by-case basis, with consideration given to your availability and capacity to help. You will need to volunteer for at least a 6-month period.

As a Welcomer, your activities may include:

  • introducing new staff to UQ, Brisbane and their new neighbourhood
  • providing guidance on Australian cultural norms, considerations and differences
  • helping with practical matters such as obtaining a driver’s licence, renting or buying housing, obtaining a credit card or doing grocery shopping
  • sharing a meal, attending a sporting or cultural event, or going on another form of social outing
  • providing ongoing support through the transition to Australia and UQ.

Welcomers will be given up to $300 per welcome to support WWP activities.

How to become a Welcomer

To become a Welcomer, you need to:

  1. Submit an expression of interest to Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
    You'll need to provide basic demographic information about yourself, which will be used to match you with an incoming staff member.
  2. Complete a Warm Welcome Program induction
    If your expression of interest is accepted, you'll be invited to attend a 3-hour induction session covering the role and responsibilities of a Welcomer, including managing funds, cultural awareness, skill development in diversity and inclusion, and cross-cultural communication. As part of the induction, you will need to complete the online Cultural Competence Program.

You'll also be provided with an information pack that includes more details about the program and your roles and responsibilities (PDF, 635.7 KB).

All new UQ staff members moving from overseas are eligible to join the Warm Welcome Program.

HR staff will provide information about the program as part of the offer process. If you want to participate you will need complete an expression of interest form to provide basic demographic information about yourself, which will be used to match you to a Welcomer. 

We try to match you and your family with the UQ staff member who can best support you in terms of cultural and religious background, language, stage of life and interests. We will seek to meet your preferences where possible. 

You will also be provided with an information pack with more details about:

  • practical topics like getting your driver's license, how to set up a bank account and how Australian tax works
  • accommodation options
  • health care in Australia
  • public transport
  • schooling
  • things to do and see including events, sports and restaurants
  • general life in Australia and Australian culture. 

For more information, contact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion.