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What degree are you undertaking?
A Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business (Combined).
What made you want to run in the 2022 UNSA election?
I was inspired to run for the 2022 UNSA election because I think we need to see a change in the approach to student “politics”. I don’t believe that student politics should be a forum for people to advance their political careers, and I also believe that student politics should become apolitical. I want to see UNSA become a student body that people want to engage with, where they feel represented, and where they are put first.
What about the position you applied for appealed to you?
The position of President appeals to me because it is the figurehead and “tone setter” for the entire administration. It is important that students can relate to their elected president, and I feel as though I am someone who can authentically and transparently understand and represent the student body in the way they deserve. I want to be able to overhaul the current operation of UNSA, and President is the position where I can do that.
Why do you think it’s important for students to get involved in leadership roles, societies and clubs, and engagement events?
There is a stigma that surrounds student leadership; that it is something exclusive to law students or resumé fillers. I have noticed a particular disinterest in leadership and narrowing club involvement. I want to see more students be involved in leadership and clubs, because of the lifelong friendships and enrichment they can bring. UON has the potential to create thriving leaders, but this cannot be done without a peer-based mindset, and a change in the perceived culture of what leadership means at this university.
Who is a leader you admire and why?
I really admire Ricky Gervais – I know that’s a bit of a curve ball. It is the type of passive and action-based leadership he displays across the board. The types of leaders who act, while listening to others, are the most admiral in my opinion. The saying goes that leaders create more leaders, not followers, and I think Ricky regularly displays common sense, transparent thought leadership.
How do you manage conflicts or deal with problems?
I am not going to dance around dispute management. It can be super tough to mediate between conflicts personally or professionally Standing your ground is really important, but so is being fair and impartial to the facts—which includes realising you are wrong. On a personal note, I am resilient and don’t let the small things get me down—probably influenced by a crazy 2021 that involved emergency brain surgery!
What are your interests at university and outside of university that make you a great candidate?
I think my love of Newcastle is a defining feature. In all the travel I have done, I have never found anywhere I have loved as much as Newcastle. I could go on about different leadership engagements I have had, but its really how much I love Newcastle that defines my involvement in the community.
Personally, I do love binge watching trash TV – which definitely helps me better understand the human condition and group dynamics. I also run a really cool social enterprise that assists people in controlling their online image and combatting exploitation, and I can see my skills in both social justice and business working really well as UNSA president.
What’s one issue you would bring to light, or one student engagement activity you would pitch, as a student leader?
Health and Welfare. I think the community generally underestimates the number of students who are struggling, sleeping rough, or don’t have access to key services like counselling, legal advice, and help with accounting. I was surprised when I read through the last year’s financial reporting to see that spending in this area was insignificant, and I want to see UNSA do more to help our struggling students, including those on campus.
What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
Don’t worry so much, and don’t try competing with others—only yourself.
Tell us an interesting fact we should know about you:
I’m not sure if it’s a fact you “should” know about me, but it is funny general trivia. So, long story short, I have a few different high-profile individuals in my phone because of work. I am sure some of you have experienced this, but my families iCloud had synced in one way or another, and my youngest brother ended up blocking, of all people, the rapper “Tyga” because he got a random call from him thinking it was a scam. All is well that ends well, he thought it was pretty funny when we finally realised what happened to our comms!
Finally, why should students vote for you?
I believe I can bring a highly transparent, authentic, and student-oriented mind to UNSA. As those who know me can attest to, I don’t like to muck around, and call it how it is. If students vote for me, they can be sure that UNSA will be a no BS forum and see tangible results because of our efforts.
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.