Inside the walls of Barahineban

Barahineban building

Port Macquarie local Amanda Hodges moved to the Callaghan campus’ newest college, Barahineban in 2012. She reveals what life is like inside the walls.

Barahineban building

When it comes to Barahineban, the first thing you need to learn is how to pronounce it. Start with BARA (as in the fish), HIN (rhymes with kin), A (just like the letter) and end with BAN (just as some nights out on the town inevitably seem to). However, those of us who live here, and those who still can’t pronounce the name, simply call it Bara.

Bara is the youngest of the four colleges, opening its doors to residents in 2000. It was named in the language of the Awabakal tribe, who originally inhabited the area. When translated, Barahineban means ‘a bright place to live’. Bara is the smallest of the four colleges on the Callaghan campus, consisting of just 96 rooms and approximately 150 residents.

On those lazy, sunny days when everyone isn’t busy with events or deep in study and essay writing mode, the courtyard is the place to be.

The reason behind the difference in room numbers and residents is that while individuals may choose to live by themselves as those in other colleges do, they may also live with their partner or a roommate. Another difference between Bara and the other colleges is that each room is formatted as a self-contained studio apartment. This seems to be a deal breaker for a lot of people who live here, as the built-in kitchenette and bathroom means forgoing the potential horror of communal kitchens and bathrooms.

Hammocks are strung up between trees and pillars, providing the perfect place to soak up the sun while listening to music and hanging out with friends.

Living as a part of a smaller community, everyone is well acquainted with each other which makes for a friendly, supportive and comfortable environment. Throughout the university year, residents participate in and bond through events and activities. These range from sporting to arts, and cultural to charity activities. In addition to these, the college experience would not be complete without a party or two which usually takes place in Bara’s common room, the Beehive.

On those lazy, sunny days when everyone isn’t busy with events or deep in study and essay writing mode, the courtyard is the place to be. Hammocks are strung up between trees and pillars, providing the perfect place to soak up the sun while listening to music and hanging out with friends. A game of badminton will also usually start up and continue until someone manages to lose the shuttlecock down the inconveniently located drain (again).

Bara provides a second family and a home away from home. Having lived here for the past two years, I can say that it is definitely a memorable experience that anyone would be lucky to have.