Celebrating rankings and collecting for charity at Winter Warmers

07 Aug 2023
Knitting room

The UNSW community came together for two days of fun at Winter Warmers last week.

Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 August, staff celebrated at a very special event recognising and thanking our UNSW community for their contribution to the University’s equal 19th ranking in the QS World University Rankings. It was also an opportunity to share the spirit of giving, with donations of winter clothing and other goods collected for The St Vincent de Paul Society.

A winter wonderland welcomed staff to this joyful event in the Scientia Building. Light igloos, a virtual fireplace and a misty atmosphere contributed to the event’s cosy winter ambiance.

Many staff made a team outing to the event. Among them were members of the School of Biotechnology & Biomolecular Science technical team.

“Enjoying the delicious warm soups, soft breads, freshly made donuts and engaging activities like gingerbread decoration and crocheting with colleagues made it a fantastic team-building experience,” said Tahsin Khan, Technical Assistant.

Five UNSW staff members standing in front of a golden-leafed tree
Katy Head, Caitlyn McLoughlin, Michelle Steel, Shaun Williams and Nick Saunders.

Delicious delights

Staff enjoyed mulled wine, warm drinks from a tea station and flavoursome soups, as well as freshly made donuts at the donut station.

Floral tea pots and cups on a table
Teacups and teapots at the tea station.


Donuts hanging on a black background
The donut station was well stocked with delicious gluten-free donuts.

Getting creative with gingerbread decorating

Staff unleashed their artistic side by joining a gingerbread decorating extravaganza. They created an array of colourful gingerbread masterpieces, with varying degrees of artistic merit but universal enjoyment. For many, it was an opportunity to build team spirit.

“It was a great event. We had lots of fun, delicious soup, donuts and mulled wine,” said Nihan Turgutoglu, Technical Assistant in the School of Biotechnology & Biomolecular Science team. “We created great team bonds during gingerbread house decorating.”

A group of UNSW staff with a gingerbread house
Back row: Tahsin Khan, Grace Yan, Kazi M. Zillur Rahman. Front row: Max Reinold, Nihan Turgutoglu.


For Donna Flynn from UNSW IT, the catering and gingerbread men were both highlights. 

“I had a fabulous time at the UNSW Winter Warmers event. The food was well thought out and delicious. The mulled wine was delightful, and I had a blast making the gingerbread men with my work colleague Emma Hennigan. Loved that Emma’s had a ‘onesie’!” she said.

Donna Flynn and
Donna Flynn and Emma Hennigan with their gingerbread creations.
Two decorated gingerbread men
A sample of the gingerbread masterpieces.

Knitting and crocheting corner

There were also opportunities to discover the joys of knitting and crocheting at the dedicated crafting corner, with workshops for both beginners and experienced crafters. 

a dome tent inside a black room
The cosy knitting and crocheting corner.

Winter Warmers charity drive

Thank you to our generous UNSW community who contributed to the Winter Warmers charity drive by donating much-needed clothing, scarves, gloves, books and boardgames. The donations were sent to The St Vincent de Paul Society to help support people doing it tough this winter.

donated clothing
Donations to The St Vincent de Paul Society.