The Advocacy and Welfare (A&W) Team

The Advocacy and Welfare (A&W) Team

UCSA is an independent organisation and the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare (A&W) Team is the sole provider of direct advocacy services for UC students.

Contact us online

Find out more about the UCSA’s Advocacy & Welfare (A&W) Team!

The University of Canterbury (UC) recognises the importance of student advocacy and student welfare services, and they fund these via the Student Services Levy Fee (SSL). The University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) is an independent organisation who receive funding from UC from the SSL funding pool. The UCSA Advocacy and Welfare (A&W) Team are assigned a limited amount of funding so they can offer services to UC students at no extra cost. The A & W Team are the sole providers of direct advocacy services for UC students.

UCSA’s A&W Team consists of a group of passionate people who are committed to student wellbeing, supporting academic progress and the student experience. We are approachable, responsive, professional, and accountable. We are committed to develop and maintain positive relationships. Our service is confidential and free for all UC students. We put students like you at the centre and work together with you to discuss the best course of action for your circumstances.

Our backgrounds are varied and include experience in social services, education, mediation, student advice, teaching. Our qualifications are in Psychology, Law, Business and Science. Our experience is diverse and extensive when it comes to processes relating to all students who are studying at the University of Canterbury. We utilise professional supervision and professional development to enhance student outcomes. We provide feedback on UC policies and procedures, and look for opportunities to influence change that will improve student experiences at UC. As a team, we strive for continuous improvement and are committed to providing the best support for UC students.

We provide timely responses to all enquiries which may include phone call, email, video-conferencing, and in-person meetings.

We provide a welfare service and readily provide students access to food and hygiene items. We also have a Budget Planning Service that empowers students to get their personal finances in order.


Originally from Singapore. Ee-Li graduated with a BA from the National University of Singapore, a BA(Hons) from Newcastle University (Australia) and a PhD in Psychology from Monash University (Australia). Ee-Li was as a lecturer at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) before moving to New Zealand. She has experience working with children, young people and adults who are experiencing change, loss, and grief in their lives, as well as working with people with intellectual disability. Ee-Li is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese, and is also able to communicate in Cantonese Chinese. Ee-Li adores cats and is a volunteer foster parent for the SPCA. She has various different hobbies depending on her mood, and these include building Lego (mainly motorbikes and race cars), building miniature dollhouses, reading, and watching tv and movies (especially horror movies!)


Originally from the USA, Jessica moved to New Zealand when she was 12. She went to Kaikoura High School and then moved to Christchurch to study Psychology at UC. After completing a Master’s in Child and Family Psychology, she started working full-time at the UCSA. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys playing tennis, arts and crafts, nature trails, and baking. Fun fact – Ee-Li was foster mum to Jessica’s cat.


Originally from the UK, Nathan moved to New Zealand when he was 12. He went to Middleton High School and studied BLL/BA at UC. After completing his double degree, Nathan worked for a short period of time at a law firm before joining the UCSA A&W as a Student Advocate. Nathan has a keen interest in writing and has written multiple fiction (which will be published one day). Nathan is also an ardent Lego fan and enjoys making his creation. You may see Nathan and his displays at the annual Brick Show in Christchurch!


Jessie was born in Malaysia and moved to New Zealand when she was 5 years old. She grew up in Timaru and then moved to Dunedin to study Chinese and Chemistry at the University of Otago. She moved up to Christchurch end of 2021 where she worked at the AskOtago hub at the University of Otago, Christchurch. She enjoys living in Christchurch and likes exploring the city for new yummy eats and has an addiction to bubble tea.


Lisa is from Sweden and Northern Ireland and moved to New Zealand in 2013. Before starting work at the UCSA, Lisa has worked on dairy farms, as a forklift driver, in wellbeing education, and studied a BSc in Soil Science and Master’s in Psychology. In her free time, Lisa likes to grow food in the garden, cook, watch tv shows, talk about cows, play computer games, go on adventures and drink tea (hot cups of tea and bubble tea). Lisa also loves to walk, especially in forests, on beaches, and around farmers markets.