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What degree are you undertaking?
I am currently undertaking a Master of Architecture at UoN.
What made you want to run in the 2022 UNSA election?
After enduring many gruelling months of lockdown and online study in 2020, the revived campus culture in the first semester of 2021 opened my eyes to how much more the University can provide outside coursework. Joining multiple different clubs and societies introduced me to a vast array of people studying many disciplines, provided access to events and opportunities, and complimented my university study brilliantly. The new year of 2022 (which will hopefully be relatively covid-free) provides the perfect impetus to revive and boost this university experience – and was one of the driving forces in my decision to run for the 2022 UNSA election.
What about the position you applied for appealed to you?
As a current postgraduate student, I have witnessed how there can be a large jump between undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and the need to provide a more gradual transition between the two. The Postgraduate Students’ Senate Convenorrole provided the perfect opportunity for me to make an impact and provide student representation at the university, while still being able to manage other commitments such as work and study.
Why do you think it’s important for students to get involved in leadership roles, societies and clubs, and engagement events?
Getting involved in clubs and societies across campus is crucial to fostering connections, networking, getting involved and being aware of what’s happening in your local community, and, in general, enriching your university experience.
Who is a leader you admire and why?
While I could note some admirable PM’s such as Rudd or Hawke, a leader who was most influential personally to me was that of my high school music teacher, Chris English. He both commanded the respect and discipline of his students while never being too harsh or firm. He went out of his way to promote extra-curricular activities and opportunities for his students. This led to a class that excelled academically, worked cohesively, and made me a much better musician than I would have been otherwise.
How do you manage conflicts or deal with problems?
The best strategy to resolving conflicts is to remain calm, try and understand the other person’s point of view, and present logical, reasoned, and factual arguments. Once emotions are injected into an argument, all logic and ration fly out the window!
What are your interests at university and outside of university that make you a great candidate?
I devote the majority of my time between my interests in the built environment and architecture (relating to my studies) and music, the other passion of my life. My studies into building design & function have broadened my knowledge of society and culture a lot more than I would have anticipated upon starting the degree; with an understanding of how communities operate, interact, and communicate crucial to designing a structure that the people may interact with for the next fifty plus years. Relating to music, I also operate a private piano tuition studio from my own home, have played in multiple bands and musical stage productions, and am an avid member of the wonderful UoN Musosclub that has formed this year. These interactions with other musicians and artists have led me to develop a broad reach of connections in UoN and the broader Newcastle community.
What’s one issue you would bring to light, or one student engagement activity you would pitch, as a student leader?
I would love for clubs and societies to be brought to the forefront of the university experience and being more closely linked to degrees (multiple degrees – not just their own!). Students should spend time at campus because they WANT to, not have to.
What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
I wish I could go back and tell myself to get involved in events, clubs, and campus activities at the start of first year! I didn’t start joining clubs until this year—first year we simply went to class and went home—and it strikes me as something I missed out on in my earlier years. With this new position in UNSA, hopefully I can prevent this from happening with new first years and give them the great university I have seen at the start of 2021!
Tell us an interesting fact we should know about you:
I sailed small two-man sailing boats known as VJs on Lake Macquarie for a few years in high school!
Finally, why should students vote for you?
If you want to see more on-campus activities, events, and life on campus; and a better university in general—vote for me! I’ll be your voice of representation and do my best to make sure your needs are met through this role with UNSA.
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.