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What degree are you undertaking? 
I’m about to finish my Science degree (Geography major) and move into the Bachelor of Laws/Diploma of Legal Practice.

What made you want to run in the 2022 UNSA election? 
I’m re-nominating for my SRC position because I feel that I am best positioned to bring more energy and ideas into the role due to my established relationships and knowledge of how to effect change for students. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience working with UNSA over the past 12 months and have learnt so much about leadership, governance, advocacy, and teamwork through both fun and challenging experiences. From helping run student consultation sessions on the university restructure to co-designing some exciting new opportunities for clubs, and helping to run online events, my experience has given me the skills and confidence to continue working to enrich the UON student experience! 

What about the position you applied for appealed to you? 
I love that this position gives me the chance to work with so many different groups of students across the university in order to understand and amplify their concerns and ideas. I highly enjoy getting to work closely with UNSA clubs, the Opus student media team, the awesome UNSA staff like our fabulous Clubs Officer and Events & Activities Manager, the other dedicated SRC reps, and engage with the wider student body as well! The SRC appealed to me as a way to grow my leadership and advocacy skills, which it certainly has done so far! 

Why do you think it’s important for students to get involved in leadership roles, societies and clubs, and engagement events?
I highly encourage all students, regardless of background, experience, or confidence level, to get involved with these parts of the university life. Getting to meet likeminded people, feel part of a community and explore your interests outside of studies is, I think, the most rewarding part of being at uni! These are also great opportunities to build important skills and confidence while doing things that you enjoy. 

Who is a leader you admire and why?
Jacinda Ardern – she handles every situation and conflict with grace and humility, and brings people together rather than dividing them. Her words, “I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong” inspire me greatly in my leadership endeavours.  

How do you manage conflicts or deal with problems?
I’m not a naturally assertive person, so my conflict resolution style is to listen to each person’s perspective and work out the best outcome for everyone going forward. But, as I’m learning, you can’t please everyone, so sometimes a hard decision has to be made. Similarly, problem-solving for me involves investigating different options and working out what will best align with the interests of the people most impacted by the issue. These skills have been important in many parts of this role, such as debates in SRC meetings and continually looking for ways to better support students during lockdown and online study.

What are your interests at university and outside of university that make you a great candidate? 
I’m a member of the UON Cheer committee (go Seahawks!), after trying cheerleading in my first year of uni. I love learning new skills, meeting new people, working as a team, and helping the club to grow and thrive as part of the committee. I also enjoy getting involved with other clubs like NUSEC and the UON Writers Club too, whether its connecting with likeminded people who care about the environment (a big passion of mine) or challenging myself to write something more creative than an essay. 

What’s one issue you would bring to light, or one student engagement activity you would pitch, as a student leader?
My main goal for 2022 will be to work closely with clubs and UNSA’s Clubs Officer to implement more opportunities for clubs to flourish—for instance, through regular inter-club networking and social events to increase student engagement! We want to offer as much support as possible for club executives to grow their leadership skills and plan amazing events, and what better way to do this than combine forces with other club leaders, be it for a competitive club-v-club face-off, or an event that combines both of your club members’ interests in fun new ways.  

What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
Although I’ve always loved getting involved in as many extra-curricular things as possible, I would tell my younger self to spend a bit more time doing less: it’s ok to say no to things. Also, that starting assignments early really does help avoid stress and long nights! This applies equally to my present and future self, I think… 

Tell us an interesting fact we should know about you: 
I was very lucky to do some travelling pre-COVID, and have been to Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, the UK, on a Top Deck bus trip around some of Europe, and au paired in Italy. I would love to go to the Scandinavian countries next! 

Finally, why should students vote for you?
I would be so grateful to get to serve UON students for another year as your Experience and Engagementrepresentative. I’m committed to hearing your voice and acting on the issues you care about. I can’t wait to help ensure your university experience is filled with fun events and activities, increased consultation and support, and to help clubs and student media to grow and thrive as we (fingers crossed) return to campus in 2022! 

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.