Sensory spaces helping students unwind and focus


To help our students combat feelings of stress and anxiety, two sensory spaces have been developed with funding from the Student Services Amenities Fee (SSAF) and Workplace Diversity and Inclusion. These spaces provide a dedicated place for students – and staff – to relax and decompress.

The launch of the first sensory space on campus at Globe Café proved popular, with around 100 students using the space each day during Session 1. As a result of this demand, a second space has recently opened at 4 First Walk.

“These sensory spaces are safe and inclusive places designed to benefit the wellbeing of our students, staff and neurodiverse members of our community,” says Melinda Chadwick, Head of Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging

“At Macquarie, we are always looking for innovative ways to improve the student experience. We have seen a large uptake in the use of our sensory spaces, proving the benefit for students. With the recent funding boost from Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, staff are now also welcome to use the space.”

The sensory spaces are not the only way Macquarie is supporting the wellbeing of students who experience neurodiversity. Academic staff have also been applying universal design for learning (UDL) to accommodate the diverse learning abilities of students – for example, Psychology unit convenor, Dr Natasha Todorov has applied UDL principles to reorganise the iLearn unit to meet the needs of a growing neurodiverse student cohort.


Touch and sound: Experience the comfort of a weighted blanket, listen to some soothing music or feel a slime pouch at one of the sensory space stations at 4 First Walk.

What is sensory overload?

When all five of your senses experience too much stimulation, this can lead to sensory overload. Anyone can experience sensory overload as well as the anxiety, irritability, stress and fear that can occur as a result. Sensory overload is more common in neurodiverse people and those who experience mental health conditions.


Focus your mind at the colouring book station at the Globe Café sensory space

What is a sensory space and how can it help?

For those experiencing sensory overload, or students who are under additional pressure during exams or assessment periods, these spaces provide sensory-based experiences to help counteract these feelings. There are a range of different stations set up to help focus the mind, defuse tension and reset the senses.


Fidget devices and kinetic sand are a great way to explore your sense of touch.

Focus each of your senses


  • Slime
  • Kinetic sand
  • Weighted blankets
  • Fidget devices


  • White noise machines
  • Ear plugs
  • Music


  • Aromatherapy


  • Colouring books


  • Tea and coffee

Macquarie’s two sensory spaces are located at:

  • Globe Cafe, 8 Sir Christopher Ondaatje Ave
  • 4 First Walk






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