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What degree are you undertaking? 
I am studying a combined degree in Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering.

What made you want to run in the 2022 UNSA election? 

I am running in the 2022 UNSA election because I am passionate about re-energising our student community, re-activating our University of Newcastle (UON) campuses, and providing fresh opportunities and experiences to all students. I have demonstrated my commitment to this cause through starting-up several student initiatives at UON during my four years of studying. These include starting the Mechatronics Engineering Society in 2019, co-founding the nationally competing ‘NU Rocketry’ engineering team in 2020, and in 2021 co-founding the UON professional student engineering teams, ‘NU Teams’, and founding the ‘NU Alliance’ student clubs pact. These initiatives have succeeded in re-energising the engineering student community and reactivating the engineering precinct. I now want to share my passion for bringing back the excitement and energy to our university FOR ALL STUDENTS at the University of Newcastle.

What about the position you applied for appealed to you? 
As a student leader within several clubs, speaking directly with my peers, and through reflection of my own as a student at UON for four years, I have compiled a realistic list of initiatives and objectives that I strongly believe will re-activate our campuses and re-energise our broader student community. As your representative within UNSA for student Experience and Engagement, I will have the exciting opportunity to enact this plan with the help of my fellow student-elected representatives, and work directly with the university and YOU to re-build our campus activities and initiatives in a ‘COVID normal’ world.

Why do you think it’s important for students to get involved in leadership roles, societies and clubs, and engagement events?
Becoming involved in student clubs and student leadership roles gives you the opportunity to learn new lifelong skills, meet new people, and often opens doors to new opportunities. Through my experience as a student leader, I’ve also learnt important communication skills. Two of these include: how to convey and justify my ideas to different groups of people, and how to adapt and work with different personalities. I wouldn’t say that I have perfected these skills, but by engaging in student leadership roles, I have gained invaluable experience in these areas.

Who is a leader you admire and why?
I know this may ‘throw’ a few people… Elon Musk. 
While Elon does have a history of not filtering what he posts to Twitter, I do admire his passion and drive to achieve what he sets out to accomplish. He wanted to start a successful electric car company, so he did. He also wanted to send humans to space on re-usable rockets, so he did. He then decided that he wanted to send one of his electric vehicles into space on one of his re-usable rockets, so he did. Elon defies constant negative commentary and gets on with the job… and he succeeds. 

How do you manage conflicts or deal with problems?
As an engineer, I solve problems and deal with conflicts all of the time. That’s what we do! So, when faced with a problem, no matter how complex, I am confident I can find a solution after thoroughly defining the problem. If I can’t find a solution myself, I reach out to friends, teachers, trusted advisors, and even professional experts, for their thoughts and recommendations. I then ‘weigh’ the pro’s and con’s of these recommendations against the minimum requirements to solve the problem, and attempt to come to a solution from a different perspective or approach. 

What are your interests at university and outside of university that make you a great candidate?
Apart from my degree, my interests revolve around keeping up to date with local and world affairs, keeping fit physically and mentally, continuously striving to achieve a balanced lifestyle, and making the most of opportunities as they come. 

What’s one issue you would bring to light, or one student engagement activity you would pitch, as a student leader?
I would like our student association to perform a feasibility study regarding the potential to open and operate cheap and healthy food outlets on our campuses. I would like to see these run by our student association, UNSA. This will create jobs for students, affordable meals for students, and future funding for our student association. This has been successfully achieved by the university student associations at both the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland. There is opportunity here for UNSA, as a new student association, to form these businesses and enrich the student experience on our campuses.

What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time?
Invest in Tesla! 
Missed opportunities aside, I would tell ‘younger me’ to be confident in himself and to not be afraid to voice his opinions and ideas for fear of being ridiculed.

Tell us an interesting fact we should know about you: 
I enjoy surfing, and I’m also a huge nerd!

Finally, why should students vote for you?
I am highly motivated to create the best university experience that I can for YOU, the student. Having studied at UON for four years, I feel deeply connected to, and proud to be, a student at our university. In 2020, my efforts were recognised by the university, and I was proud to be ‘highly commended’ for the Campus Life Award. This recognition from the Vice-chancellor demonstrates my commitment to re-energising our student community and reactivating our campuses.

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.