UNESA Election Nominations
As inaugural President of UNESA, I have been involved in building and implementing the vision and values of the Association. The most important achievements to date have been contributing to the re-launch of the UNE student newspaper, Nucleus, the return of student amenity services to the student representative body including Independent Advocacy, Tune FM, Clubs and Societies, and the UNE Secondhand Bookshop. During my involvement with UNESA, I have worked towards returning a strong and proud student voice to UNE and have represented without fear or favour.
However, when someone asks what I do, I like to say “farming”. It is in my blood; I have managed a large family farming enterprise for a decade, and spent a lifetime on the land. My wife and I run a small property at Uralla, which is becoming harder to sustain with my extra-curricular responsibilities.
After graduating from the Australian Rural Leadership Programme, I applied for mature age admission to UNE in 2011 and surprisingly received an offer to study Sustainability. I am now in my third year. Community is important to me, and I maintain an interest in various community groups. I am active in the Rural Fire Service as a Field Officer, as a Director with Southern New England Landcare and leadership roles within NSW Farmers.
My experience in managing a farming enterprise has been beneficial in finding solutions to some of the complex problems that have occurred in what has been a hectic and difficult start-up year for UNESA. If re-elected, I hope to further develop the student-centered culture at UNE and build on the impressive list of achievements in the first year. I believe the University of New England is a symbol of aspiration and UNE alumni, current students and future students have something of which to be proud.
Amelia Roberts - nominating for Vice President and undergraduate rep
Hi I’m Amelia Roberts and I would like to represent you on the UNESA board. I have achieved a Bachelor degree in Arts majoring in Theatre and Philosophy at UNE and I am now studying a Bachelor of Science with hopes to work in the health and medical fields. I have experienced studying at UNE both on campus and externally whilst living in Melbourne.
In 2013 I founded and acted as president of the UNE Women’s Society. I am very proud of the work the UNE Women’s society contributed to various worthy causes; including last year’s Biggest Morning Tea and the very successful “Well fair” event for R U OK? Day. We also ran a successful campaign for a women’s room on campus, which was opened earlier this year.
I’m nominating myself out of a genuine desire to serve UNE’s students. If I’m successfully elected I look forward to learning more about what students want and expect from UNESA, and putting in the hard work to ensure that every student can get the most from their time at UNE.
Michael Kirk - nominating for Indigenous and general representative
My name is Michael Kirk and I am studying a Bachelor of Education (K-12 Teaching). During my time at UNE I’m currently serving in high roles in leadership, the most recent on is Undergraduate Representative (Interim) on the UNE Council. UNE students deserve to have student leaders who will represent them and place their issues on the table. I’m committed to be a strong advocate for students both internally and externally if elected on the UNESA Board.
I moved to Armidale to focus on my studies, but along the way I ended up getting involved in leadership and am really enjoying the challenge. I’m also an Aboriginal tutor at Armidale High School and currently President of the UNE Indigenous Student Association. I want to build on the success of UNESA and represent you strongly on the UNESA Board. I hope I can count on your vote. Happy studies.
Ian Matthewson - nominating for external representative
Many of you may already know me through my studies or my position as External Student Representative for UNESA since its inception 12 months ago. I am standing for re-election as I have committed myself to UNE for a few more years, doing postgraduate studies externally.
I have been proud to represent all students at UNE during the last twelve months and I am proud of the achievements UNESA has made in such a very short time - TuneFM, Nucleus, Secondhand Bookshop and the shuttle service to and from the train station and airport for externals.
Most pleasing to me on a personal aspect is, during external practical schools, seeing some life on campus such as entertainment and free sausage sizzle lunches. These things were non-existent just a couple of short years ago. And it is great to see external students getting some of the entire university experience, no matter how small a taste.
I have spoken to many, many, students in the last twelve months, be it in person or via email or phone, and the interest, views and knowledge on UNE are wide and varied. I, in conjunction with UNESA, have started and put forward many progressive programs for the future to give students a voice, and to ensure all students at UNE get a fair crack.
I hope to get the support you showed me last year in electing me. I reckon that re-election is important to have some continuity in the new incoming board of UNESA. I can pass my knowledge from a steep learning curve to newly elected members, as well as doing my best to keep UNESA running on its feet from the get go after the election.
Sura Adnan - nominating for postgraduate, general, internal and international representative
My name is Sura and I am originally from Iraq. I am doing my PhD study in linguistics and sociology. I am a wife and a mother, and I love cooking Iraqi dishes most of the time. I have been through different experiences during my study, and they made me stronger and more determined to continue. I have many Australian and International friends, and I cherish them all. I am working towards helping students who need help and advocacy with their own problems. I will be happy to give something to the community and this university which has already given me more than wish for. Being part of the UNESA Board, I hope that I can help and be involved with whatever students and community expect me to do.
I was involved and still with International Association, and Armidale Harmony Group; I learned a lot and I intend to be more involved.
I work in the Dixson Library and I have good communication skills; moreover, I know some French alongside to English and Arabic.
I worked in the United Campus Bookshop for two years, and I still recall everything I’ve learned there. I work casually with the Uni4me team and this added to my work experience and self-esteem.
Judd Newton - nominating for postgraduate, internal and general representative
UNE is important to me. It is unique among universities in Australia offering small class sizes, beautiful vistas and as a general rule, highly competent academics. This, however, is not to say that we don’t have our problems, and here is where I attempt to step in.
My name is Judd Newton and it would be my greatest privilege to run for UNESA office. I have spent some 6 years at UNE and I am currently completing a Masters of Teaching (Secondary) - so you could say that I have a vested interest in making sure that UNE remains a desirable place to study.
Some of you may already know me from my articles in the Nucleus, my theatrical endeavours or from my occasional broadcasts from TuneFM. If elected I will do my best to bring student issues to the forefront of discussion, that I can promise.
UNE is good, but it could be so much better, we cannot allow it to slip from our grasp.
Polly Wong - nominating for postgraduate and general representative
As an elected general student representative at UNESA since last year, I have been so delighted and express my gratitude to the University for providing me this opportunity to serve and to work with the students both on and off campus. Being a board member at UNESA has been challenging, but it has also been a rewarding experience for me. For example, I have been managing the routine operation of the postgraduate centre at UNE on A voluntary basis since I was elected as a board member last year.
I have a multi-cultural background and can manage a few different languages - apart from English, I speak Chinese in at least three dialects, Mandarin and Cantonese and ChuiZhi. On the other hand, I was born and grew up in a cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong, so I have had many opportunities to explore and understand the cultural differences between east and west. I have a great deal of experience working with students from multi-cultural backgrounds.
Apart from my full-time work at St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral as an Overseas Student Minister, I am currently also doing a higher research program part-time on campus at UNE; it has been providing me with a chance not only to pursue more theoretical knowledge in my research area, but it also has offered me more opportunities to meet and to understand those overseas students doing undergraduate as well as postgraduate studies.
I hope that I can be re-elected to the Board of UNESA this year. I am very confident that I can once again contribute my knowledge and experience to benefit students at UNE.
Sanaz Alian - nominating for postgraduate, general and international representative
My name is Sanaz Alian and I am currently doing a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning at UNE. I did a master degree in Urban and Regional Planning at UNE and I graduated in 2013. Only four months after my graduation, I commenced a PhD on July 2013. I am very interested in different cultures and differences and similarities between them. This passion leaded me to do a PhD in relation to ‘cultural diversity’ and ‘multiculturalism’ in Australia. As part of my research I have to listen to the stories of people from various backgrounds in Sydney and their way of living in a foreign country. I believe that will help me to listen to the needs of UNE students and help them to have an enjoyable time at UNE.
Being an international postgraduate student for three years, I have experienced both challenges and joys of studying at UNE. I am the Education and Communications Officer at UNE ISA (International Student Association) for 2014-2015.
As either the postgraduate, International or general representative I love to help other students to experience the best at UNE. Also, as an international student I believe that I can help other international student to deal with all the difficulties of living in another country.
Leah McDonald - nominating for postgraduate, general, internal and residential college representative
I’m Leah and I’m a PhD student in Chemistry researching metal complexes in wine. As I completed my undergraduate studies at UNE this is now my 6th year studying at UNE. During this time I have gained a lot of knowledge about the university itself as well as the students that study through UNE both internally and externally.
I live in the college system and have held numerous college positions including MB Representative (Female Sport), Vice-President, Academic Mentor, Resident Fellow and am now currently the Senior Resident Fellow for Wright Village and Wright College. I have held other university positions including Residential College Representative on the Undergrads of New England Guild (UNEG) in 2011 before UNESA was established.
Through college, being a chemistry demonstrator and being involved in various sporting teams I interact with a wide variety of UNE students and hear various opinions on how students would like the SSAF spent. I understand how important the student’s voices are in the management of issues such as the expenditure of the SSAF. I would like to use the information I hear from students and the experiences I have gained during my time at UNE to represent the students by being on the board of UNESA.