VIC.Without.Barriers

VIC.Without.Barriers is a student-led club for students from refugee backgrounds that provides academic support and social activities.

VIC.Without.Barriers is a club created by former refugee-background students at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. We provide social support along with social activities to help students cope with university pressures—and with life pressures as well.

In 2019, we recognised that there was a big need to reestablish a club dedicated to supporting students from refugee backgrounds. After several meetings and brainstorming, a framework and name emerged: Vic.Without.Barriers. In July, more than 50 people signed up to be members and we voted an executive board into office.

Two major achievements that year made us proud as a club. The University awarded us its highest honour—the Supreme Club Award—and we organised our first ever annual multicultural event. The Diversity Festival brought together people from all over Wellington together from both local communities and former refugee background communities. The 300 people attending included students, families, and university staff, along with those from other organisations.

We've been extremely enthusiastic about making connections with organisations and communities including Changemakers, the Red Cross, and the New Zealand National Refugee Association. These connections have allowed us to make links between former refugee background students and organisations that can help them when they leave university and are out in the real world.

This year the executive team have been working hard to create activities for Vic.Without.Barriers members. In May we organised a Grand Iftar which we had planned and collaborated with many other Wellington-based organisations.

For more information about the Vic.Without.Barriers, head to our Facebook or Instagram pages. If you would like to get in contact with us about anything—whether it’s ideas for events or activities—please do email us at vuw.rbstudents@gmail.com

Four students from the Vic Without Barriers club on either side of a pop-up banner.