Strategic Plan 2019-2022

Arc - UNSW Student Life is proud to acknowledge the Bedegal, Gadigal and Ngunnawal people as the Traditional Custodians of the lands upon which the activities of Arc@UNSW are conducted. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

Our vision is to create a bigger and better Arc which will transform alongside student needs


Nadhirah Daud // 2018-2019 Arc Chair

It brings me great pleasure to introduce the Strategic Plan of Arc@UNSW Limited for 2019 to 2022. Af ter months of strategic discussions between the Arc Board directors, Arc’s executive team and senior staff members, we have developed a strategy that is focused on securing Arc’s long-term viability, significance and relevance to UNSW student life as Arc enters its next phase of organisational maturity.

Arc’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan remains committed to creating the best student experience possible at UNSW, with a particular emphasis on growth and sustainability of service delivery. Arc’s strategic priorities will be: 

• Have the best Clubs and Volunteering programs in Australia – so you get the best personal and professional development during your time at UNSW;

• Strengthen Arc’s financial position – to ensure we can continue expanding our investment into UNSW student life in the long-term; and

• Foster a culture of diversity, inclusion, innovation and celebration – to ensure Arc remains at the forefront of delivering the best opportunities to the entirety of UNSW’s diverse student cohort, regardless of their background.

With the help of our strong partnership with UNSW, our vision is to create a bigger and better Arc which will transform alongside student needs and the university environment over the next few years.

Partnership with UNSW

Arc and UNSW. A true partnership.

Although a separate entity, Arc’s success as a student organisation is underpinned by a strong, multifaceted and cooperative relationship with UNSW. Since Arc’s inception, the support of UNSW hass enabled the delivery of the most exceptional student experience in Australia. 

The breadth and depth of this partnership spans social, academic, administrative and reputational paradigms remaining agile to the respond to evolving needs of the tertiary sector. Arc and UNSW are both committed to developing remarkable students and in turn empowering dynamic graduates. 

Arc values its relationship with UNSW and will seek to consolidate its position as first choice for the delivery of new student opportunities and services into  
the future. 

Arc and UNSW have a true partnership. One that continues to evolve and enhance the experience of all students at UNSW. 

Arc Values

Put Students First

Put simply, students are why we exist; this is why we must be passionate in our pursuit of creating the best student experience. We celebrate that we are student led and student driven, not just from a governance perspective but from the conscious choice we make to infuse the student voice into as many aspects of Arc as possible. 

We will empower students to make change and support them through the process. We will enable students to use their influence to affect positive change in our community, the university and the world around them. 

Arc significantly impacts the lives of students at UNSW. We take pride in watching the evolution and growth of the students that engage in Arc, which motivates us to do more and to be more.

Embrace & Drive Change

Change can be scary and Arc changes constantly. It is only through embracing change that we can strive to be the best. Sure we may fail occasionally or take a detour but if we don’t try the fate of irrelevance is far worse and much more painful to watch. Let’s get comfortable with it, look for it from every direction especially from our students. We embrace change because we know it is the only constant and it’s our pathway to being better.

Be Better

At Arc we don’t want to be just another student organisation, we want to be one of the leading student organisations in the world. We need to continually raise the bar for ourselves to improve the organisation. 

Arc is an extremely diverse organisation and it is only by striving for greatness across all of our facets, from serving a coffee in The Whitehouse, balancing the books in finance to delivering our intern program that we can truly deliver an exemplary complete student experience. 


At Arc we want to know what our students think, we value the opinions of each and every member, student, partner and staff member that engages with us. Through listening to feedback we can get better. We can use feedback to create change whilst using it as a barometer of success. 

We will encourage all forms of communication and feedback from a casual conversation over an O-Week stall, to the student survey completed by thousands, through to contracts with stakeholders or a staff performance review. We know that we can’t implement every request or action but it is only by creating a dialogue that we can identify the opportunities, the gaps and most importantly the potential. 

Always A Team

We have a common mission and it is only by respecting each other that we can realise it. Listen to each other (everything starts with listening!); understand that your number one priority may not be someone else’s. Be accountable to each other and to the organisation. Celebrate diversity, in people, thoughts and ideas, we know that a diverse team can only increase the positive impact we make.  

We seek to prioritise loyalty, honesty and trust, resulting in strong positive relationships that will enable us to accomplish so much more. We will actively try to have a positive impact on those around us.

Deliver More

We will constantly search for more, to deliver above expectations. We are not for profit and we will question decisions that do not deliver maximum benefits back to students. We seek operational excellence and will always strive to be more efficient across our finance and resources.

We will look within the organisation to uncover hidden talents and resources, put people in the right jobs to flourish, and benefit the organisation. Remove misalignment and redundant processes to ensure our energy is focused on our goals and the optimisation of the student experience.

Have Some Fun

Arc is pretty great and we want the people that work and volunteer here to have an awesome time, we want the spontaneous ball games, the bake offs, the all-company efforts to unload trucks or pack membership bags. We want to break down boundaries and build rapport between colleagues in a fun environment. We think people that have fun at  work, will work hard and will be more engaged in the organisation. 

Selfishly we also want the moments during and af ter, the moments where situations take you outside of your comfort zone and force you to think outside of the box, we know some of the best ideas come to us in the most unlikely of situations, so remember that when we suggest a trial of the inflatable obstacle course.

Arc Mission // Creating the Best Student Experience

Arc’s 2019–2021 Strategy will focus on the delivery of three strategic priorities. 

• Clubs & Volunteering - Have the best Clubs & Volunteering programs
• Financial Sustainability - Committed to the future
• Culture & Reputation - Be the Best Arc we can be

Our Strategic Priorities will be complemented by three Supporting Pillars. The goals within these pillars will change annually enabling us to be agile and receptive to the ever-changing needs of students.

We want you to know how we are tracking against our strategy, so we are committed to giving updates on not just our wins but our challenges and perhaps most importantly what we learn about students and Arc as an organisation.
We know that by focusing on these key areas we can deliver upon our mission both now and into the future.

Have the best Clubs & Volunteering Programs

Arc offers the  most diverse  and comprehensive Clubs & Volunteering opportunities of any student organisation in Australia.

Our Clubs and Volunteering Programs are about ensuring students have access to new experiences. To make new friends, to find somewhere to belong. To grow into global citizens that will make a difference.

We will provide a diverse and accessible range of valued volunteering opportunities, to all students no matter what stage of their degree. We are serious about providing real opportunities within a structured framework to enhance the student experience and make a tangible impact upon the UNSW, local and international community. We will equip our volunteers for the future, enhancing their employability and transferable skills. Skills that will not only assist in landing their first job but skills that will last careers.

We love Clubs. We know that Clubs are the single largest engagement opportunity at University and underpin the entire student experience. Clubs represent a broad mix of interests, from large to small, eclectic to mainstream. Each club has a unique proposition and plays a part in establishing and fostering communities within UNSW. The challenges that clubs face are increasing and we will work with them to ensure Clubs and their executives have access to the appropriate training and resources. To help them to broaden their engagement across all demographics.  

We are committed to making clubs sustainable, relevant and making sure they stay awesome.


1. Maintain an open, agile and responsive mindset enabling the adaptation and evolution of programs in response to UNSW3+.

2. Provide the tools, templates and training to enable Clubs and Volunteer programs to espouse the values of equity, diversity and inclusion.

3. Provide an increasing and diverse range of valued volunteering opportunities, bringing students together to make a tangible impact upon the student and local communities.

4. Translate the skills that students gain from participating in Clubs & Volunteering programs into tangible outcomes.

5. Increase the pathways for engagement within Clubs and Volunteering. Providing them with the tools, platform and training to enable engagement across students of different cultures, backgrounds and genders, with a particular focus on International Student engagement.

6. Prioritise digital and establish the foundation of our digital experience. Enabling us to capitalise upon innovation within the digital space and launch our future online and blended initiatives.

7. Constantly review our offering, services, and programming. This includes research and awareness of worlds-best practise and emerging trends; not only in student organisations, but in tertiary education, youth culture, technology, and beyond.

Financial Sustainability // Committed to the future

We want to create the best student experience. To be constant in a student’s evolving journey at UNSW, not just for the next 3 years but for the next generation (and the one after that!).  

To do that we need to ensure we are financially sustainable as an organisation; that we are innovative in our business plans; and that we vigorously pursue opportunities that can secure and enhance our financial sustainability. We will support this pursuit by ensuring our financial decisions are researched and thoughtful, supported by a robust policy and risk framework to protect our organisation.  

Our structure and back of house services will be appropriate and scaled effectively ensuring we have an agile, responsive and cost-effective support for our organisation to grow.  


1. Diversify Arc’s revenue streams through the pursuit of new commercial and investment opportunities.

2. Rebuild Arc’s financial reserves to enable the pursuit of new opportunities, with the first step becoming cash flow positive by 2021.

3. Maximise the return of Arc’s recent investment in the Roundhouse refurbishment.

4. Work with UNSW to identify any areas, programs or services that may be offered in partnership with or by Arc; especially those that fall within Arc’s core competencies.

5. Ensure our support and back of house departments are equipped and aligned with the size, scope and future direction of the organisation

6. Be agile in seeking opportunities, space, or resources on campus that offer an expansion of our presence, relevance and offering.

7. Actively pursue greater levels of accountability within all levels of the organisation.

Culture & Reputation // Be the best Arc we can be

Arc is one of the leading student organisations in Australia, known for the provision of an exceptional student experience. We know that our successes are due to our people. 

Our people are not just the heart of our organisation, but our greatest strength. Only through the development and support of our people, enabling them to reach both their personal and professional goals, will Arc’s ambitious goals be met. Developing and institutionalising a high-performance culture will ensure that our organisation is populated by people who share our vision who respect each other’s work, and who share the burden. We will seek to embrace technology, support sustainability practices and prioritise opportunities for staff wellness. We strive to be an organisation that prioritises best practise, and propagates the values of diversity, equality  
and inclusion.

Arc’s reputation is contingent on our offering to students being relevant, responsive, and embraced by our community. Our relevance comes from an intrinsic bond: we are for students, by students, incorporating and representing the student voice at all levels. Arc’s governance structure ensures that we are student led and student driven, providing an organic connection to our core demographic that we recognise, celebrate, and use to our ongoing advantage.  


1. Develop, prioritise and support a culture of inclusivity, diversity and equality throughout the organisation.

2. Foster awareness of mental health, safety, and wellness through programs, initiatives and campaigns.

3. Promote, recognise and reward the talents of our people, and share collectively in Arc’s successes, to the direct benefit of students and our organisation more broadly.

4. Utilise digital innovation to be faster, more efficient, more accessible, more responsive and more creative.

5. Always student led. Ensure our governance enables and celebrates the student voice maximising the opportunities for the student voice to be heard, to represent and to advocate.

6. Prioritise sustainability and manage our impact upon the environment. Arc will proactively consider the environmental impact of our operations, and actively champion sustainability through all aspects of the organisation.

7. Be responsive to change. Arc seeks to be contemporary, to be a leader in creating the best student experience, and the capacity to listen, adapt and respond to student needs is imperative.

Supporting Pillars

The tertiary landscape is  forever changing.

To succeed we must be agile and responsive. Help students understand and engage in the ever-evolving university experience; whether it be supporting them as they adapt to a new calendar, ensuring they can have a complete student experience without ever setting foot on a campus all the way through to ensuring that the most current and relevant bands play at the Roundhouse in O-Week. Amongst the change we know our constant is the need to provide opportunities for engagement, support and development. Always. 

To enable this, we have maintained three supporting pillars. The goals within these areas will change annually to reflect the needs and priorities of the year. 

Supporting Pillars

• There when you need us
• Make sure you love uni life
• Enable you to fulfil your potential

Support // There When You Need Us

Being a university student can be challenging, it can be unexpected, overwhelming. We aim to provide an assemblage of safety-nets, networks, life-raf ts and early interventions to ensure our students are as well supported as possible, no matter what life throws  
at them. 

We will focus on the continued development of our support services, expanding the breadth and accessibility of our Legal & Advocacy services, enhancing our wellness services, crisis support services whilst investigating new areas of support for students. We will listen to you and ensure our services are relevant and responsive. We will continue to grow our support services and reduce accessibility barriers. We will celebrate what makes us diverse and find new ways of supporting groups on campus.

Through the Student Representative Council and Postgraduate Council we empower student leaders to meaningfully advocate on behalf of their peers, to improve life at UNSW.

2019 Priorities

• Ensure our support services are pro-actively supporting students throughout the transition to UNSW3+;
• Continue the expansion of our Wellness services and new support initiatives including $5 Feeds; and
• Create and implement an Arc Indigenous Strategy.

Engage - Make Sure You Love Uni Life

The memories you take away from University won’t be the tutorial’s or the lectures you attended (well they may be but they won’t be as fun) it will be the friends you make, the time you flew to the Gold Coast to compete with #TeamUNSW or wore a onesie to the Roundhouse party. The clubs you joined or the hours you volunteered. Whilst your degree points you in the direction of your future your experiences and student life shapes it. 

We will energise student life through events and activities, develop and implement programming that appeal to a wide range of demographics. We want to celebrate the social and cultural diversity of UNSW and bring people together in a safe and inclusive environment. We won’t rest on what worked last year, we will listen, we will innovate, we will experiment. We will do everything we can to make sure you love uni life. 

2019 Priorities

• Adapt to the new state of play under UNSW3+ to ensure opportunities for fun, sport and events work within the new calendar;
• Increase the diversity of our programming; actively engage with demographics that have been traditionally harder to reach, including students with a disability and Indigenous students;
• Improve the experience of international students through the development of relevant events and programs; whilst making it easier to engage in existing programs and clubs;
• Streamline Arc’s branding and awareness activities to ensure maximum market penetration and brand alignment; and
• Continue to position the Roundhouse as the
home of student life on campus.

Development // Enable You To Fulfil Your Potential

University presents a unique opportunity to join a culture, a community that helps you become the person you want to be. The provision of leadership and mentoring programs, sporting events, clubs, activities and social events helps you get there. Development can happen in many forms and it’s our goal to provide valued and varied opportunities that facilitate personal, social and professional growth. From Internships that give you a leg up in your career, to representing your Uni at events across the globe all the way through to that 10-minute speed friending event you went to in O-Week that helped you find your tribe.

We will do everything we can to enable you to fulfil your potential. 

2019 Priorities

• Ensure existing development opportunities are re-aligned and adapted to suit to the UNSW3+ calendar; and
• Increase opportunities for development through Leadership Labs, student feedback groups and Clubs executive training program.

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