The University of Newcastle, Australia

Tips and advice

Be smart. Be safe. Trust you instincts.



Our team have put together a list of helpful advice and useful tips to help you be part of our UON community.

Our libraries are very busy places 24/7 and can provide opportunities for thieves to steal your belongings while you are away from your desk. If you are leaving your desk, always leave your belongings with a friend or take them with you. Never leave your bag, laptop or phone unattended. Should a theft or an incident occur, please report it to the Safety and Security team immediately.

Our Safety and Security Services team regularly include our libraries in their patrols and will place a reminder card on property that has been left unattended, this is just a small reminder to not leave property unattended.

Hold your wallet or handbag close to you where it cannot be reached or snatched. Carry your bag on the side near the buildings, away from the road. If an item appears difficult to snatch, you reduce your risk of being targeted. Consider just carrying the necessities in your handbag or wallet, and keep valuables to a minimum.

If approached by someone you don't know and you choose to answer questions or give directions, try to maintain an arm's length distance. Trust your instincts - if you feel uncomfortable, be assertive and do not be afraid to say, 'no' and continue on your way.

When out and about, remember the principles of personal safety: confidence, body language, awareness of your surroundings and trust in your instincts. Offenders will target those that are isolated or look vulnerable so if walking alone try to appear more confident with positive body language such as good posture and walking with a purpose and always be aware of your surroundings.

If you are on campus at night remember to:

  • keep to well-lit areas and use the campuses identified Recommended Paths to get around.
  • if you have to walk across campus, use the Patrolled Paths which are patrolled by Safety and Security Services seven days a week from 12:00pm - 12:00am.
  • be alert, don’t walk with your earphones in your ears.
  • try to walk in groups or pairs and arrange to walk home with friends.
  • if you are feeling unsafe, Safety and Security Services team offer a Safe Walk Service where you will be accompanied by a team member anywhere on our Callaghan or Ourimbah campuses.
  • never take short cuts through parks, or on less used unsealed paths.
  • keep your valuables hidden from sight.
  • call the free security shuttle for a lift which operates from 6:30pm - 1:00am at Callaghan and 5:00pm - 10:00pm at Ourimbah during semester and can even drop you at some adjacent suburbs.
  • be familiar with the on-campus locations of the help phones that can be used to call security.
  • ensure you have the security number relevant to your campus in your phone contacts or use the My UON Student portal app.
  • report any lights that are not functioning to Infrastructure and Facilities Services buy submitting a Maximo or calling 4921 6500.

Our university has a number of bike storage racks and bike hubs across our campuses. Our secure bike hubs are located on Callaghan and Newcastle City campuses and have secure card access and with external CCTV monitoring.

To reduce the risk of bike theft you can follow a few simple tips:

  • Secure your bike against theft but don’t use chains or padlocks as these are easily tampered with. Make sure you use a solid D-Bolt to secure your bike to a rack, even when you use a secure bike store.
  • Don’t leave any valuable property with your bike.
  • Our secure bike hubs become vulnerable when your fellow bike riders don’t ensure the door is securely closed when they leave.
  • Be aware of people hanging around the door when you are coming and going, thieves can piggy back into a bike hub when an authorised user arrives or leaves.
  • Keep a photograph, serial numbers, manufacturer, model, proof of purchase and any identifiable features about your bike in case of theft.

Always ensure you lock your vehicle, close the windows and remove any valuables from your car to reduce the risk of theft. If you have to leave valuables in your car, ensure they are stored out of sight. If you see anyone acting suspiciously in a car park, contact the Safety and Security Services Team as soon as possible.

Don't leave external doors propped open and always check that they have locked behind you. Make sure that you close your curtains when you are dressing or when you leave the room and never leave valuable items where they can be seen from the outside. For more information speak with your Residential Mentor or a member of the Student Living Team.

Your safety and the security of your personal belongings is important to our Safety and Security Services team. To assist us in doing our job, you can undertake a few simple precautions to considerably reduce risk and enhance your safety.

Develop your own personal safety plan

Below are a few points to consider when you are developing your own personal safety plan – don’t leave things to chance – plan in advance.

  • Am I going to be on campus during the day only, or night as well?
  • Where is the best place to park my car?
  • Which carpark is closest to the building I am visiting?
  • Which building am I going to when I arrive on-campus?
  • Which building will I be leaving the campus from?
  • Where do I need to go to on-campus during my day? Do I need to go to any outlying buildings for lectures?
  • Should I use the after dark safe walk service?
  • Have I checked out the recommended paths and patrolled paths maps, which tells me the best way to walk around the campus at night?
  • Do I know the locations of the blue Security Help Points placed around the Campus, and under what circumstances can I use one?
  • I live close to the uni, should I use the free after hours Security Shuttle Service to get home?
  • Could I walk around the campus with other students, during the evening hours?
  • Do I have the relevant security phone numbers in my contacts list on my phone?

Remember to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Listening to music with headsets on greatly reduces your chances of hearing things that are happening around you.