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Ballots are now open for UNSA's 2022 SRC Election: it's time to vote! You should soon receive an email from the University with instructions and a personalised link to the voting page. Otherwise, you can go to https://blue-uon.com/Blue and sign in using your student credentials to access the ballot.

Below are a list of candidates currently standing for each role in UNSA's SRC Election. Each candidate was asked to respond to three questions/categories in their statement:
 
  • My experience
  • Why this role?
  • What do you hope to achieve for UON students?

All candidate statements are listed here in full. The order of candidates has been randomised on the ballot, and they appear here in the same order.

Ballots close on Friday, October 22 at 5pm.

President

(all students can vote)


Robbie DeVine
Candidacy withdrawn due to external commitments



 

Eamon Doyle
B.Commerce/B.Laws (Hons)
 

My Experience
I have worked on behalf of some of Newcastle’s most recognisable organisations including the Newcastle Jets, NBN Television and the University and Greater Bank’s collaborative partnership, the Finance Academy. In these capacities I learned the importance of communication, accountability and professionalism.

I am also a member of the Newcastle Labor Party. As part of the Newcastle Labor Party I was the new members officer and sat on both the Federal and State Executive committees. In these forums I both advocated for me community and helped inform people who were interested in joining my branch.

Why this role?
I am disappointed at the cutting of courses, especially in my discipline, economics. I want to be an advocate for University students who struggle with the challenges of online learning.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
I want to ensure that students can feel comfortable that courses that they want to study will not be cut by the University, under the guise of fiscal measures taken for COVID reasons. I am also passionate about ensuring students have the skillset to immediately join the workforce after completing their degree, this should be done through the courses offered at UON. I believe this can be achieved by more interaction with private enterprise during classes.

 

Ashley Harrison
B.Business/B.Laws (Hons)


My Experience
I have an active presence in the Newcastle leadership community. I have acted as a passionate advocate for young people and students through many roles, including a long-term role on the Newcastle Youth Council and as Youth Mayor. I have also acted as Regional Youth Liaison with UN Youth Australia and received various awards and recognition for my work with charity ambassadorships, supporting educational equality, and raising substantial funds for bushfire ravaged communities. I also run a social enterprise, led by UON students and has been featured in international media for reducing exploitation online.

Why this role?
UoN student leadership desperately needs change. We need a reallocation of UNSA funds, and a focus on supporting students who are in the dark. UNSA should be transparent. For students, by students.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?

  • Reform of current club guidelines ensuring equity
  • Increased relief packages for on campus COVID-19 affected students
  • Reform of mandatory attendance 
  • Accountability and transparency regarding UNSA spending
  • Sponsoring counselling, legal advice, and accountancy services for students
  • Assisting students sleeping rough due to library closures
  • Offering grants to prop up student enterprise, creative, and professional activities
  • UNSA constitutional reform and reduced board member fees and honorariums


 

Jessica Philbrook
B.SocialScience/B.Laws (Hons)
 

My Experience
As a current Ma & Morley Scholar and your VP Welfare I have gained a deep understanding of the governance, leadership and representation skills necessary to effectively represent UoN students in a presidential capacity.

My experience includes chairing committee meetings, sitting on boards, writing and implementing policy, creating wellbeing programs, advocating, and building positive relationships with university executives, academics and students. As a result, I have a great working relationship with key stakeholders who can champion change and will utilise this in my role.

Why this role?
By Electing UNSA’s first female President, I see the power to make a difference. It requires strong leadership and somebody not afraid to work hard. Having been a fierce student advocate for two terms running, I believe that with your trust in me as a leader and my experience and passion, we can propel UNSA into its next phase.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
Through persistent communication and advocacy, I hope to reduce student welfare and safety related issues. Namely, increase access to Accessibility and Counselling services, as well as International student and Resident support capacity.

Additionally, I aim to campaign for an increase in student work opportunities, including flexible on campus roles because you should be the priority not external contractors.
 

Vice-President Education

(all students can vote)


Summer Harrison
B.SocialScience/B.Laws (Hons)


My Experience
In 2019, I was a college captain at SFX. In 2020-2021, I have been on the executive for the UON Catholic Society and on the UON SVDP committee. I had work experience at Burke and Mead Lawyers which allowed me to develop an efficiency with administrative work and professionalism. In 2020- 2021, I volunteered at the Legal centre at the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Activ8, Mum’s Cottage, DARA Van, SVDP and Mission to Seafarers. Working with these agencies will greatly assist the VP Education role as it requires effective interpersonal and communication skills and a positive and resilient attitude.

Why this role?
I want to have an active role on the UNSA SRC to prompt positive change in relation to education. I would fill this role as a reliable, energetic, and strong voice for UON students.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
As VP of education, I would liaise with groups and societies on campus and voice their concerns and work to proactively implement change. I will be an advocate for building community within courses, increasing online PASS and tutorial sessions and providing easy access to course textbooks to avoid student financial concerns. I will implement industry collaboration to allow students to contemplate realistic job prospects.

 

Eamon Doyle
B.Commerce/B.Laws (Hons)


My Experience
I have worked on behalf of some of Newcastle’s most recognisable organisations including the Newcastle Jets, NBN Television and the University and Greater Bank’s collaborative partnership, the Finance Academy. In these capacities I learned the importance of communication, accountability and professionalism.

I am also a member of the Newcastle Labor Party. As part of the Newcastle Labor Party I was the new members officer and sat on both the Federal and State Executive committees. In these forums I both advocated for me community and helped inform people who were interested in joining my branch.

Why this role?
I am disappointed at the cutting of courses, especially in my discipline, economics. I want to be an advocate for University students who struggle with the challenges of online learning.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
I want to ensure that students can feel comfortable that courses that they want to study will not be cut by the University, under the guise of fiscal measures taken for COVID reasons. I am also passionate about ensuring students have the skillset to immediately join the workforce after completing their degree, this should be done through the courses offered at UON. I believe this can be achieved by more interaction with private enterprise during classes.

 

Zack Schofield
B.Arts/B.Laws


My Experience
At the beginning of this year, I started the UoN Chess Club, which I’ve since been running alongside a great team. I picked chess back up during last year’s lockdown, and was disappointed there wasn’t a club – we now have nearly 70 paid-up members, and run regular events.

At ANU in 2018 I was a video producer, leading projects for Woroni student media. Over the following gap years, I was involved in a number of activist campaigns both as an organiser and support crew in Newcastle and Victoria.

This year I’ve gotten to know UNSA while fighting alongside them against coal chairman Mark Vaile’s uni chancellorship.

Why this role?
My experiences have given me a pure love of action, of working hard with people to get things done. In this role, I’d be responsible for ensuring the uni works for students, not in spite of students.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
Institute an external complaints procedure at UNSA, so students can come directly to us with concerns about courses or teachers. Official university protocol can be complicated and intimidating – if UNSA is serious about representing students, it needs to extend a hand to people facing problems with the uni, and provide the support to get those problems fixed.

 

Lauren Proctor
B.Business/B.Laws (Hons)


My Experience
I am an active member of the Newcastle community through my work with youth engagement for Newcastle Council, acting as current Youth Major, as well as assisting at Soul Café, a well known soup kitchen in Newcastle. I currently reside on the Education Committee, as the Business School representative and have taken part in the University’s iLead program. This experience allows me to utilise leadership skills, empathy, and communication essential to ensure students are heard.

Why this role?
I am standing for this role to ensure each student is provided the most out their chosen degree, allowing students relevant opportunities to reach their academic goals moving forward.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
Given current circumstances, this is what I aim to achieve:
  • Increase awareness/engagement of the Education Committee
  • Online learning – Ensure online learning is adapted to the course outline and students are still receieving the same opportunities online.
  • Choice of classes –Increase timetables sessions so students have more flexibility
  • Assessments – should be more accommodating to online learning structures
  • Compulsory attendance – Hybrid classes should provide students the ability to choose whether they would like to attend in person, or online; attending either will constitute attendance.
  • Further practical experience - To offer those who cannot undertake placements the same opportunity.
 

Vice-President Engagement & Experience

(all students can vote)


Jacob Carson
B.Arts/B.Laws (Hons)


My Experience
I was elected as Lambton High School’s School Captain in 2020 and served on the school’s SRC (2015-2019) as Publicity and Promotions Officer, Treasurer, Vice-President, and President. In these roles, I engaged in public speaking, represented at community events, and ran fundraising events. In 2019, I received the Tim Crackanthorp MP Social Justice Award, and in 2018 and 2020, I received the ADF Long Tan Award for Leadership and Teamwork. Further, I have honed my advocacy skills through debating, mock trial, model UN, and UNLSA mooting and negotiation. Finally, I am part of the Ma and Morley Scholarship program which promotes advocacy and global citizenship.

Why this role?
I am involved with a range of university clubs, and I am passionate about ensuring all clubs are given full freedom and the tools to engage their membership.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
I value inclusivity of clubs, and ensuring a diversity of groups and opinions contribute within UNSA. I will ensure that all students’ interests and beliefs are catered for impartially and all clubs can engage new members with minimal interference. Freedom of expression is also vital to maintaining our diverse and vibrant campus; I will aim to facilitate an open exchange of ideas which preserves a mutual respect.

 

Tristan Oswald
B.MechanicalEngineering (Hons)/B.MechatronicsEngineering (Hons)


My Experience
This year I kick-started the NU Alliance, a unified student body made up of nine engaged student clubs. Our mission, to re-energise our student community and their participation with club events– bring back the energy!

I also bring experienced leadership from starting the Mechatronics Engineering society, reviving UON-Aerospace and UON-Motorsports clubs, being a former executive of the UON-Engineering society, Team leader of the NU Rocketry team, and current operations-officer of UON’s professional student engineering teams ‘NU Teams’.

I have twice participated in the Vice-Chancellor's Campus Activation Committee where I represented the student voice, and three times represented students at the School of Engineering feedback committee.

Why this role?
I enjoy the work that I do in my student leadership roles where I know my teams and I are improving the university experience for our fellow students. This makes me a good fit for this position.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
Together with UNSA, I will:
  • Promote mental health support
  • Establish committee to investigate feasibility of opening cheap, healthy food outlets on campus operated by UNSA.
  • Establish ties between UNSA and both MedAlliance (Health, Medicine and Wellbeing), and NU-Alliance (Engineering, Science and Environment)
  • Establish ‘Alliance’ for clubs within the College of Human and Social Futures.



Georgie Cooper
B.Science/B.Laws (Hons)


My Experience
As the current VPEx, I am best-placed to continue serving UON students to enhance their out-of-class experience. After 12 months with UNSA, I understand the processes available to effect change. I’ve contributed to UON Restructure Student Consultation sessions, the Election Review, and planning various events (including our Awards night). I fulfil all responsibilities to a high standard: participating in SRC meetings, communicating proactively, and taking initiative on projects. I actively seek out student voices and amplify these through the SRC and Opus. I have additional student engagement experience through the UON Cheerleading committee; working with PASS and Orientation.

Why this role?
My existing relationships in and outside of UNSA mean I can continue working effectively in this position. I am passionate about advocating for students and have more energy and ideas to bring to the role!

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
My 2022 goals are to support Clubs through regular inter-club networking and social events; grow Opus Media; advocate for improved student spaces; plan more events across all campuses/online; and improve lines of student feedback to the SRC. I will strive to ensure student concerns are heard and put into action. UNSA is for all students to have a voice, and I’m listening to yours!
 

International Convenor

(only international students can vote)


Anshul Maheshwari
B.Arts


My Experience
Back in India, I have Served prominent positions in the School’s Student Council (2012-14 and 2016-2019). I have experience in helping students. I have been a part of the schools’ core committees. I have helped organise many of the school’s events. At UoN, I have been a part of the Newcastle Campus Committee for the Year 2021. I feel that I have some experience that can provide me with the correct insights for a prestigious position like this.

Why this role?
Being an international student, it is my responsibility to do good my people. It becomes important to understand that real change comes from within. I am passionate about leadership and I feel that it is time to work hard for it.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
Increase my connectivity with others: Being able to speak similar languages, having faced same issues back home, and having the same background like my peers, it will be easier for me to connect and interact with them.

The matters related to fee are serious. Every semester we face fee hikes and structure changes. It becomes difficult for students, especially, during the pandemic. Hence, I would voice this topic in the favour of over 7000 intenraitonal students of the university.

 

Sarthak Birani
B.MechatronicsEngineering (Hons)


My Experience
I was school captain in High School and organised various inter-school, national and international cultural and educational events during the course of my captainship along with my team. I also worked as an event manager in NGOs whose motive was to educate widows and their children about finance, health and hygiene.

Additionally, I received a certificate from Padmashri JN Kaul (Padmashri is the third highest civilian award in India) for volunteering to help children in need. I was awarded an excellence certificate by the host institution for maintaining discipline and assisting candidates who participated in the Model United Nations.

Why this role?
From my own online study experience, I feel it is important to help students not feel alone during the lockdown. Mental health is major issue which could be mitigated by encouraging students be more interactive during online studies.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
I hope that I can help UON students deal with stress and mental health issues while studying online. The lack of social life can affect their grades as well as their physical health. By conducting more interactive and fun events, and providing information on available resources, we may help the students cope with stress of online studies as well as their overall development.

 

Avvya Chatterjee
B.Commerce


My Experience
I was a part of the student representatives committee in my high school. I’ve also volunteered for an N.G.O. named Yuva Ekta Foundation (Youth Uniting Foundation).

Why this role?
At a time, when most of the international students are studying offshore, it is important that offshore students are not ignored. So, I want to make sure that the disadvantages faced by them because of being offshore are negated as much as possible.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
1. Request the Uni to offer more courses in the summer term, as it is getting difficult for students to manage 4 courses in a Sem, due to the circumstances created by covid.
2. Ask the Uni to offer all the courses available in the summer term online for offshore students as well.
3. Conduct online social events, so that offshore students too, get an opportunity to interact and make friends with students from different countries.
 

Postgraduate Convenor

(only postgraduate students can vote)


Tegan Stettaford
PhD (Psychology - Science)


My Experience
As a 2021-2022 team leader for ASSBI, I have transferable skills that I can apply to this opportunity. Further, as a current and continuing peer mentor at UoN, tutor and sessional academic within the School of Psychology, I have had the chance to apply these skills over numerous domains. My current PhD studies have furthered these skills in providing occasions to run meetings both internally and externally and drive the content within them. However, I am aware that leadership skills continue to evolve, which is why I am also undertaking training via UoN’s iLead+ program.

My passion for postgraduate study and positive student experience will be guided by these experiences.

Why this role?
Advocating for the passionate and brilliant people who endeavour into further education is paramount for me.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
I hope to achieve clarity and improve processes. Applications, funding, scholarships, policies, opportunities; there is a lack of ease and understandability. It is very easy to get lost in all the information provided and to remember what your do and do nots are.
Further, it is essential that postgraduate students at UoN are provided with ample opportunities for self and career progression throughout their candidature, to best prepare them for life after post-graduate studies.

 

Dean Selem
Master of Architecture


My Experience
My study of an architecture degree at Newcastle has given me a broad knowledge of not only building design and function – but how communities work, operate and interact with each other which I believe is crucial for a student representative. I am a member of multiple university clubs and & societies and have witnessed how important they are in bringing students together; with my tenure as a local musician leading to interaction with many members of community through performances across Newcastle. I have also had experience managing my own business, running a private music tuition service since 2017.

Why this role?
I am passionate about student representation at UoN and making change in my local community for issues I believe are important to students.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
I wish to bring more collaboration and community engagement to the University of Newcastle, with more links between postgraduate and undergraduate degrees, across disciplines and degrees, and between students and employers. Links between clubs and societies and the degrees they are formed from are important, with more focus on public spaces in the university and life outside coursework – students should not be hampered by the closed off ‘bubble’ of their own degree.

 

Evan Gibbs
PhD (Biological Sciences)


My Experience
I was elected to the Postgraduate Representative for Research on the Academic Senate in both 2020 and 2021. During this candidacy I have also served on the Institutional Biosafety Committee, the Research committee, as an Ex-officio member of the SRC and have helped advise graduate research on several programs and events. I am also a committee member of the professional associations, The Australian Microbiology Society NSW-ACT branch and The Joint Academic Microbiology Society and was a committee member of the University of Newcastle Biological Society in 2020.

Why this role?
My previous roles have not involved much advocacy for HDR students even though my candidacy has been through a pandemic, and I believe I will bring an understanding from the governance perspective.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
Student representation is more important than ever as the education and research sectors pivot to new funding models and universities move further down a path of corporatisation. Too often HDR candidates fall into the cracks between students & staff and are often not factored into the decisions of the executive. I hope to bring focus back onto the needs of HDR students who are attempting to gain the highest qualifications within the tertiary sector.
 

Newcastle Convenor

(only Callaghan and Newcastle students can vote)


Harry O'Brien-Smith
B.Commerce


My Experience
My name is Harry, and I have studied a Bachelor of Commerce since 2019. During my studies, I have lived on campus, and spent a lot of time at both Callaghan and City Campuses. I am actively involved in a number of UoN clubs and societies, as well as filling the role of NCC in 2021. I have experience in both professional workplaces, and in coordinating events such as concerts, food days and miscellaneous events that required me to coordinate and communicate with a wide array of people. I believe my experience would be beneficial to the role I am applying for.

Why this role?
I believe that there is much more I can do for UoN students than I was able to achieve in 2021

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
I want to help make UON a vibrant community and make the return to in person learning the best it can be. I want to help students find a place they fell that they belong, and encourage clubs and societies to grow. Most importantly, I want to be there for all UoN students, and give them a voice when they feel they don’t have one.

 

Samuel Cox
B.Communications/B.Laws (Hons)


My Experience
G’day! My name’s Sam and I’m a first year law and communications student. I’ve been a local of the Newcastle region my entire life and I came to the University of Newcastle because I enjoy the small town vibe we’ve got going here. As a recent high school graduate and former school captain, I’ve got a bit of experience under my belt in managing student councils. Anyone who has ever had to organise 10 year olds will know what I mean!

Why this role?
I’m standing for Newcastle convener because I know that I can be a proper representative voice for students. I’ll be a willing listener to students and be able to take their concerns to the SRC.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
My priorities as Newcastle Convenor will be to focus on the things that matter to Newcastle students. I’m not going to make unrealistic promises I can’t keep, so I’ve taken time to consider what issues I’ll press for. I’ll advocate for more learning spaces being available to students when not in use, and better access to online resources (such as the adobe suite) from home.
If you want an ethical, mature, and reasonable Newcastle convener, Tick the Box for Samuel Cox!

 

Avvya Chatterjee
B.Commerce


My Experience
I was a part of the student representatives committee in my high school. I’ve also volunteered for an N.G.O. named Yuva Ekta Foundation (Youth Uniting Foundation).

Why this role?
Its my 2nd year in the Newcastle City campus now. There are some ideas and changes that I wish to propose which I think would make the student experience at the Uni better.

What do you hope to achieve for UON students?
1. Request the Uni to offer more courses in the summer term, as it is getting difficult for students to manage 4 courses in a Sem, due to the circumstances created by covid.
2. Ask the Uni to offer all the courses available in the summer term online for offshore students as well.
3. Conduct online social events, so that offshore students too, get an opportunity to interact and make friends with students from different countries.