Faisel Tubbal, his wife and four children have loved living in the University of Wollongong’s newest residence for the past five months.
So on Thursday Mr Tubbal was happy to play his part at the official opening of Bangalay, which is nestled among the tall gum trees lining Northfields Avenue.
The opening of UOW’s newest addition to its accommodation portfolio came a week after the Mercury reported on students’ complaints about 'unhealthy' mould and mushrooms growing in the nearby on-campus lodgings at Kooloobong.
But international postgraduate student Mr Tubbal was very happy with his three-bedroom unit directly opposite UOW’s Wollongong campus.
‘’I used to live in Graduate House, but this is much better,’’ he said.
‘’It’s very nice and modern. It’s a safe environment and it’s very family friendly. My kids love the fact there is nearby activities and every Friday there is new activities just for kids.’’
Mr Tubbal, who moved to Wollongong from Libya in 2010, has two engineering masters degrees and recently completed his telecommunications engineering PhD.
UOW Deputy Chancellor, Noel Cornish AM did the honours and officially opened the on-campus accommodation for Australian and international postgraduate students.
The 254-bed building is fittingly named after the tree whose bark was used by the area’s traditional owners, the Dharawal People, to create shelters.
UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, said Bangalay resonates with UOW Living’s mission to provide robust shelter and support for its students.
‘’Living in a student residential community is a uniquely rewarding experience, allowing for intellectual, personal and social development as well as the formation of lifelong friendships,’’ Professor Wellings said.
‘’Bangalay is a place of shelter, nestled among tall gum trees and was fittingly named in consultation with the local Indigenous community.’’
The facility has a mix of single and double bed studios as well as two and three bedroom units, which are fully self-contained with their own kitchen and living facilities.
Bangalay is the first of two current accommodation expansion projects for UOW’s Wollongong campus.
The second is an 800-bed expansion of Kooloobong Village with an associated multi-storey car park at the western end of the main Wollongong Campus.
This project is due for completion by 2018.