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What degree are you undertaking?
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Honours).
What made you want to run in the 2022 UNSA election?
With everything that’s happened in the last 12 months, I saw an opportunity to make a positive difference to the university’s student experience by leading the rebuilding of our campus culture. To achieve this, I want to ensure that we have a diverse range of clubs and opportunities available at UNSA. Every club, association, and student should have a place at our association. It’s this inclusive mindset, and my ability to always work through issues in good faith, that led me to believe that I could bring something valuable to UNSA by running in this election.
What about the position you applied for appealed to you?
I am involved with a range of university clubs, so I know from first-hand experience how beneficial they can be in providing a community of like-minded peers and assisting in the achievement of our individual goals. The position appealed to me as it would give me the chance to maximise the freedom of these clubs to engage their potential membership so that all beliefs, values, and ideas are given a platform on campus.
Why do you think it’s important for students to get involved in leadership roles, societies and clubs, and engagement events?
I believe that student involvement on our campus is essential as we are beginning to build the connections, friendships, interests, and skills which will serve us for the rest of our lives. In our modern society, and particularly in lockdown, university can be an isolating experience without the opportunity to interact with other students who speak a common language and are passionate about the same sports, pastimes, or beliefs. Involvement not only provides community, but also allows students to develop vocational skills and develop their personality so that they are ready and fully equipped to handle life after university.
Who is a leader you admire and why?
I greatly admire Abraham Lincoln. Not only was he a lawyer with literary sympathies, but he was self-educated and maintained a strong personal integrity throughout both his personal family life and his public servant life. I seek to emulate Lincoln’s boldness in standing up for his values and his consistency in both word and deed. Lincoln asserted that, ‘he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.’ I believe this captures the fundamental truth that we each must embody the change we wish to see in the world around us.
How do you manage conflicts or deal with problems?
Conflicts are best managed with a level head, lack of bias, and a willingness to view the dispute from each side’s perspective to aim to reach an outcome which respects both parties and is most consistent with the interests of students. I like to be methodical in dealing with problems by carefully analysing the merits of possible alternative solutions before reaching a decision.
What are your interests at university and outside of university that make you a great candidate?
I have maintained a strong interest in leadership, having served as School Captain of Lambton High School (2019/20) and as a member of the school’s SRC (2015-2019), where I gained experience as Publicity and Promotions Officer, Treasurer, Vice-President, and President. In these roles, I spoke at assemblies, represented at ANZAC marches, attended leadership development days, and ran fundraising events. From this, and volunteering with Variety, I received the Tim Crackanthorp MP
Social Justice Award (2019) and the ADF Long Tan Award for Leadership and Teamwork (2018, 2020).
Further, my interest in advocacy has been fostered through my involvement in UNLSA negotiation and mooting competitions this year, as a continuation of my prior involvement in debating, mock trial, and model UN. Generally, my involvement in university clubs, such as the UNLSA, the UoN Writer’s Club, and NCS, has given me exposure to what student clubs require of UNSA and I would therefore be well positioned to help cater to these needs. Finally, I am part of the university’s Ma and Morley Scholarship program which has built my empathy and developed my interest in global citizenship and just governance.
What’s one issue you would bring to light, or one student engagement activity you would pitch, as a student leader?
The key issue I would bring to light is freedom of association and freedom of expression, such that all students’ interests and beliefs are catered for impartially and all clubs can engage new members with minimal interference. This would entail increased consultation and cooperation between UNSA and all student clubs to ensure that all students are equally being heard and represented. Different opinions, voices, and stories are vital parts of a diverse campus, and this is something I’m passionate about upholding as a university leader.
What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
Rainbow propellor hats aren’t as swag as you think they are. Also, invest in cryptocurrency.
Tell us an interesting fact we should know about you.
My favourite bands are the Arctic Monkeys, the Smiths, and the Vaccines, though I’m a recent convert to the Hamilton musical.
Finally, why should students vote for you?
Students should vote for me because I have an established skillset in leadership and advocacy, because I am committed to improving the student experience and putting student interests first, and because the university needs a representative who believes in freedom of speech and freedom of association.
The answers above reflect the unedited opinions of the running candidates. These attitudes do not necessarily reflect the values of UNSA, Opus, or the University of Newcastle as a whole. We wish all the candidates the best of luck and ask all readers to use their vote wisely. Not all candidates listed may appear on your election ballot if they have not fulfilled all pre-election criteria set by the University of Newcastle.