Brunswick Uniting Church has run a Student Housing Program (SHP) for 20 years. In that time dozens of students have come, been a part of the life of our church and community, and had the chance to learn and grow together. We have two apartments of five students each, living side-by-side, located pretty close to the corner of Sydney Rd and Brunswick Rd. They are fun, sometimes messy, sometimes loud households with young adults exploring how to live the Christian faith. If this sounds like your cup of tea, read on…
The Student Housing Program’s aims can be summarised in two parts:
Part 1 To provide the opportunity for tertiary students to explore their faith and participate in the life of a church community.
Part 2 To provide a place of community and support for students leaving their home to undertake tertiary study.
Who Can Apply?
Any young adult (18-25) who is, or will be, studying at a tertiary institution (or equivalent) and wants to be an active member of a Christian community, intentionally formed and resourced by Brunswick Uniting Church. Applicants moving from the country or interstate will be given priority.
If I am not currently involved with the Uniting Church in Australia, can I still apply?
The SHP has accommodated many people of varying beliefs and faiths. Many people who have associated with different denominations have participated in the program. There are also many differing views within the Uniting Church. However, it is vital that every Student House member actively participates in the program and that they are respectful and tolerant of their housemates’ beliefs and faith, and that of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Our community is made up of young adults, typically aged 18 to 25. There have been participants who are older than this, but if you are considering applying and over 22 years of age, please think about whether you will be able to relate with younger members as you maybe in a different stage of life. The support worker can help with this.
Who is the Community Made Up Of?
The students are young adults (18-25) from a variety of backgrounds, studying different things and possibly at very different stages in their particular faith journey. There are two five-bedroom houses located side-by-side, near the corner of Sydney Road and Brunswick Rd.
The Children, Youth & Young Adult Pastor facilitates the program. The Pastor’s role is to support the community and those in it to make sure we’re growing and exploring life and faith together. Support includes responding to any questions/dilemmas about practical community things, house stuff, faith ponderings or whatever really. Contact Dave Hall on 0417 310 128.
The Student House Committee
The Student House Committee (SHC) are members of the Brunswick Uniting Church community. We support the students and the pastor with monthly dinners, pastoral care, household items, etc. We know what it’s like to move out of home with a bunch of strangers and are there to support you.
The Brunswick Uniting Church
We’re your church! We’re a thriving, outward focussed, social justice-minded community of faith, exploring the bible and theology together, nestled in the bustle of Sydney Rd. We want you to thrive and feel supported as part of the Student House and broader congregation in our exploration of God and faith in the world today. We’ll look out for you and love having you here.
The vibe of the Student House Community
The Student House community runs on mutual respect and reciprocity. This goes for relationships with one-another and the Brunswick Uniting Church. We get that life is busy and time commitments fluctuate with study and many things going on. That’s why we value mutual respect, honesty and clear communication in the life of our special community.
You’ll be living with four other people, so we expect you to be an active and caring housemate. Please communicate with them, show respect for their space and belongings, and work with them to make sure the house is running well. You’ll do your share of the cleaning and cooking duties and participate in decisions about utilities and bill payments.
Attend worship at BUC
We don’t expect that you’ll be able to make it every week, but we do want you to make an effort when you can. Worship at 9:30am on Sunday is a great way to connect with the congregation that supports you and a great way to be encouraged and lifted in your daily faith life. Our services are lively, reverent, thought-provoking and joyous all at once.
After the first six weeks living in the House, and you’ve had a chance to try out a few of the different aspects of Brunswick Uniting Church, we’ll ask you to give an indication of which part/s you might like to regularly contribute to. It might be the Sunday Morning Program with kids, or helping to service food during the week in the Olive Way, or being part of our Community Arts Program, or on the Music Roster, or helping with our fortnightly youth group. There’s plenty of options.
Fees and Community Commitment
The Student House Program is very affordable – supported financially by Brunswick Uniting. The monthly fee is your contribution for accommodation and property maintenance of the household. Fees are paid monthly and include internet / Wifi but do not include other utilities. There is also a Community Commitment fee (like a bond): a deposit paid at the start, which will be returned at the end of your stay, providing you respect the household and leave your room in decent condition. Dave can provide specific costs. See below for contact details.
Students are responsible for signing up for and maintaining utilities (electricity, gas, phone). It is up to your house if you want to share the cost of food and other day-to-day items, or just items for communal use.
Maintenance and support
The houses are owned by Brunswick Uniting Church and the Property Committee takes care of all maintenance issues. Students living in the houses are asked to take reasonable care of the property, clean up any mess and report maintenance issues as soon as possible.
We expect a student moving in to the houses to be able to commit to living there for a minimum of a year. Once in, there are no limits to how long you can stay as long as you fulfil the requirements of the program and there are no ongoing problems.
Students can move in half way through a year if there is a vacancy. If you decide to move on, we ask that you provide us with two months notice.
A bit more about the Uniting Church:
The following statement is taken from the Uniting Church website-
“The Uniting Church confidently believes that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God brings us into right relationship with God, whereby in faith we can: live in a close, loving, personal, dynamic relationship with the living God; participate in the worshipping, caring and serving community of Christians; receive God’s gifts so that life can be what God means it to be – loving, purposeful, joyful, eternal; and tell others of this good news and live it out in acts of compassion, service and justice in the community.”
Some Quotes from the Student House Community
“I like how at church people come and talk to you like they already know you.” – Student
“It strengthened my values as a Christian especially through the student house dinners that were held every two weeks that let everyone share their beliefs. It was also enjoyable to be in the company of likeminded people.” – Ex-Student
“It can be difficult due to the different beliefs and personalities, diversity of faith important to explore and challenge own beliefs…I thought I was quite open minded before I moved out, so it was really overwhelming. – Student
“I love having a SH program as this brings in young people from outside our immediate community…. This is good for our church and sometimes the students are exposed to another way of viewing their faith” – Ex-Committee Member
“The Student House is home, has provided a space to explore faith and advocacy” – Student
“The household worked well, safe space to explore faith…Develop and understand own faith separate to my families.” – Ex-Student
Want to Apply?
If you could see yourself in this community, feel free to get in touch with us for the information pack. If you’re feeling really sure you’d like to apply – download the application form at the link below, fill it out and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you about the next steps.
Contact Dave Hall on 0417 310 128 or email: email@example.com
*Please note that parents/care givers are more than welcome to enquire about the program and ask for more information, however the student must complete the application process themselves. Please respect this, as the community is a space for students to grow independently as young adults and we value their autonomy and confidentiality from the very start.
Student House Application Form: Either digitally fill-out or print, fill out, scan and email back to us.