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What degree are you undertaking? 
I am studying a Bachelor of Business and Laws (Honours), in my third year. 

What made you want to run in the 2022 UNSA election? 
I wanted to run in this year’s election to increase my involvement and make improvements within the University community. Here, in Australia, we are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to undertake higher education and I would like to assist in making this opportunity as fulfilling as it can be. 

What about the position you applied for appealed to you? 
I have represented UNSA on the Education Committee this year and found that many changes need to be made. This position appealed to me as I highly value education, and we have endless opportunities here in Australia. I would like to assist students in achieving their potential by assisting them with education concerns, so they have the opportunity to get the most out of their degree. 

Why do you think it’s important for students to get involved in leadership roles, societies and clubs, and engagement events?
It is imperatively important that students get involved in university clubs and societies. Not only does it enable you to acquire soft skills, such as communication and multi-tasking, but it creates a sense of community which is crucial during the pandemic. 

Who is a leader you admire and why?
I typically do not admire specific people, but traits that admirable leaders hold. These include empathy, good communication (especially listening), the ability to inspire others, the ability to undertake innovative and strategic thinking outside of the issue and, importantly, authenticity and dependability.  One admirable leader is Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, as she approaches all problems with empathy and listens to her people, whilst making strategic decisions to benefit them. 

How do you manage conflicts or deal with problems?
Approaching conflicts can, at times, prove a difficult task. It is important that when approaching conflicts, you listen to both sides to gain an understanding as to what both sides perceive the problem to be; which must be approached with empathy and active listening. 

What are your interests at university and outside of university that make you a great candidate?
Outside of University I have volunteered within the Newcastle community. I have volunteered at Soul Café, a well-known soup kitchen in Newcastle, to give back to the community and provide meals for those that are less fortunate than I. I found this experience to be very rewarding and fulfilling, having the opportunity to talk to those that attend the soup kitchen and understand the struggles they have faced; it always made me feel very lucky for the life that I have. I have also volunteered for the Newcastle Youth Council, as current Vice Chair, which assists in youth engagement within the Newcastle community. This position has enabled me to increase my communication skills with stakeholders and understand how to engage an audience, experience that will assist me if I were to be Vice President of Education

What’s one issue you would bring to light, or one student engagement activity you would pitch, as a student leader?
One large issue I hope to propose to the University is compulsory attendance surrounding hybrid classes. Students should have the opportunity to attend either an online session or a face-to-face session at their choosing, where both constitute attendance. I think this will positively impact the student body allowing higher flexibility with classes and ease stress for those that would not like to attend University due to coronavirus circumstances. 

What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
I would tell my younger self to undertake gratitude more often. It is easy to forget how lucky we are in Australia and growing up I have realised how true this is. 

Tell us an interesting fact we should know about you: 
I work at Quad Bike King in the summer as a tour guide. So, most of my summer is spent riding quad bikes over the Stockton dunes—I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my summer. 

Finally, why should students vote for you?
Students should vote for me as I am committed to listening to the student body and will approach issues genuinely and with empathy. During my time, I aim to make accessibility easier so students can express their issues with Education. In doing this, I will have access to real issues students have and this will streamline the process for me to efficiently take action. Further, I genuinely care for students’ education at the University and will do what is in my power to evoke change to education where necessary. 

Disclaimer: 
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.