University Council elections candidates

Meet the staff members who have nominated to fill the position of Council Academic Staff Member on the University Council from 1/1/2023 to 31/12/2024.

When and how to vote

From Tuesday 04/10/2022 9 am to Tuesday 18/10/2021 5 pm, staff whose name appears on the Roll of eligible staf members can vote via online ballot.

Note to readers

Statements are shown verbatim as provided by the candidates, with no modifications or changes.

Position nominated: Council Academic Staff Member

Candidate statement:

Professor Karen Charlton is a dietitian and public health nutritionist in the School of Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences (SMAH) and has been at UOW for almost 15 years.

After working in clinical and academic positions in the UK and South Africa, she brings international experience to the training of health professionals. Karen serves as the UOW representative on the Executive Committee of the Australia Africa Universities Network.

Karen is committed to capacity development of nutritionists from low-middle income countries, supervising students from Africa, Asia and South America. She is an internationally recognised researcher whose work informs food and health policy, such as introduction of mandatory salt reduction legislation in South Africa.

She currently leads a National Health and Medical Research Committee Expert Working Group to revise the Nutrient Reference Values for iodine in Australia. Karen is committed to improving human and planetary health through her research and advocacy to create a more sustainable, healthy, and equitable food system. Her excellent community engagement skills have been recognised through a recent 4-year Australia Research Council Future Fellowship to develop a paddock-to-plate food strategy in regional NSW.

This will include a Love Local food initiative, as well as transformation of UOW's campus food environment. A national benefit of Karen's research will be an increased capacity to address environmental challenges in food production and food consumption practices. Karen supports the UOW Sustainable Futures Committee through her membership of the Community Engagement sub-committee. Her local, regional, national and international collaborations fit ideally with the UOW Local initiative to "think globally and act locally". Karen is an all-round passionate academic who would like to contribute to governance at UOW through membership of Council as an academic representative. She is currently a Faculty representative Senate member and is serving a third term in that role.

University Council Academic Staff Member candidate 2022

Position nominated: Council Academic Staff Member

Candiate statement:

I am Yannan Li and I am running for the position of Academic staff member of the University Council.

I am currently a lecturer at the School of Computing and Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences. My main research interests are blockchain and cloud data security. I received PhD in 2021 from the UOW with the reviewer's commendation for an outstanding thesis. I have published over 30 papers in reputational journals and conferences, including IEEE TDSC, IEEE TIFS, ASIACSS etc. My research outcomes have been highly commented and well-cited by peers in the literature. As an early career researcher, my publication has received 1,473 citations and my h-index is 20. I also received some research awards, such as the Faculty Thesis Award 2022, CORE Distinguished Dissertation Award, and the Best Paper Award of ACISP2021.

Besides, I am keen on academic services. I am an associate editor of Computer Standards & Interfaces. I also help organise International conferences in cybersecurity, as a PC chair, organisation chair and publication chair. I have also been active in the services at the School, Faculty and UOW. I was the WUPA president and the Postgraduate Representative at UOW Council in 2021. I was invited to share my experience as a female ECR on the cybersecurity week in 2021. I also contributed to Open Day 2022 to welcome students by explaining the policies and curriculum and answering their questions. All of the experience certainly made me familiar with University governance and the university policies & strategies, which also enables me to provide better services to the university as per the requirements.

Overall, with my experience and skills, I believe I have more to offer and I would like to continue to do my part to help improve UOW by joining UOW Council.

Council Academic Staff Member candidate 2022

Position nominated: Council Academic Staff Member

Candidate statement: 

I joined UOW in 2004 and am currently Senior Professor of Marketing in the Faculty of Business and Law, and Dean of Researcher Development and Integrity in the Research and Innovation Division. Prior to academia I worked in commercial marketing, however since joining UOW I have focused on non-profit and social marketing.

My research applies marketing techniques to influence attitudes and behaviours to achieve improved outcomes for both individuals and society as a whole. My research focuses primarily on vulnerable populations and has included studies that utilise marketing to increase numbers of volunteers, attract more foster carers, achieve greater inclusion of people with disabilities, encourage pro-environmental behaviours, and reduce problem gambling.

I have received ARC Discovery and Linkage grants to support my research and have long-term industry collaborations in the non-profit and government sectors.

I have extensive governance experience within and external to UOW. At UOW my prior roles include Associate Dean (Research), Associate Dean (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), and Chair of the Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee. I am currently on the ARC College of Experts and for the past six years I have been a member of the Advisory Council for CatholicCare Wollongong, one of the largest social service providers in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, South Coast and Macarthur regions of NSW.

I am the mother of four and our family has lived in the Illawarra for over 20 years. If re-elected to Council my priorities will include equity and inclusion for all staff and students. I will provide an academic voice to help inform the important decisions taken by Council as UOW continues to navigate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. I will work to achieve a positive workplace culture that supports the highest quality teaching and research to ensure UOW remains competitive into the future.

Council Academic staff Member candidate 2022

Meet the students who have nominated to fill the position of Postgraduate Member on the University Council from 01/01/2023 to 31/12/2024.

When and how to vote

From Tuesday 04/10/2022 9 am to Tuesday 18/10/2022 5 pm. Students whose name appears on the Roll of Postgraduate Students can vote via SOLS

Note to readers

Statements are shown verbatim as provided by the candidates, with no modifications or changes.

Position nominated: Council Postgraduate Student Member

Candidate statement:

Tom is a Master of Business Administration student at the Sydney Business School. He has completed a Bachelor of International Science (Honours) and a Graduate Certificate in Project Leadership and Management.  A passionate member of the UOW community, Tom is honoured to have the opportunity to serve UOW and is seeking your support to take the next step.

Tom came to UOW to pursue further education and has stayed for the vibrant community, active lifestyle and professional opportunities offered. Over nine years, Tom has been a student, volunteer and resident of UOW. He will bring a perspective to the Council embedded within UOW’s communities and the broader Illawarra; Tom is actively involved in parkrun and Surf Life Saving. He believes that his community involvement, professional experience, education and commitment to UOW place him in the position to deliver value, operational understanding and strategic insight to the Postgraduate Student Representative Role.

With a passion for student equity, Tom believes in the value of education to change lives. Growing up in Mudgee, Tom came to Wollongong for a university outreach program, which inspired him to become an undergraduate student in 2013. He has been involved across a range of student activities as an accommodation Student Leader, Society Executive and UOWx Ambassador. Tom will prioritise widening participation and be an advocate for student accessibility and inclusion to open pathways to success and progression for all students, particularly those disadvantaged and underrepresented by socioeconomic circumstances.

Tom will promote the protection of our environment and champion the role that UOW has in combating climate change. Tom values UOW’s regional, metropolitan and international campuses and will seek to enrich the University’s communities across all locations.

Council Postgraduate Student Member candidate 2022

Position nominated: Council Postgraduate Student Member

Candiate statement:

I am running for the position of Postgraduate Student Member to the University Council because I am passionate about helping students and hence would like to develop that ardor in other students by improving and expanding the facilities and opportunities offered.

I started my career as a Gold Medallist in Orthopedic Surgery, but quickly found the significance of information and its delivery. I later graduated from UoW with a High Distinction in a Master's of Health Informatics. With that same belief I'm currently pursing a PhD in Information Science.

If elected, I will endeavour to ensure students have access to resources that are essential to their research and study. I believe development is not just about studying but also about socialising and engaging by providing students with the opportunities to engage in a variety of social activities directed towards interaction and critical thinking. I feel that UoW can offer students more incentive to be involved in social clubs, activities and events.

Therefore, I propose the introduction of on-campus or virtual academic events that engage students desire for research. Such events could also be used to indicate key issues in the space as well as personal where students believe are a concern that maybe affecting their capacity. Based from my personal experience, this would further benefit the students with Industry connections and intership oppurtunities.

Finally, I would strive to change the stigma that is attached to the tediousness of research and academic  success and would look to assist students in adopting an optimisied and practical way to explore and analyse information as we head into an evidence based way of working.

Council Postgraduate Student Member candidate, and WUPA candidate 2022

Position nominated: Council Postgraduate Student Member

Candidate statement:

Dear reader,

I am Raina. I am a postgraduate international student who arrived in this country a year ago.

Currently, I am pursuing master’s in marketing and working as a F&B attendant in Unbar.

Throughout my journey of UOW, I discovered a wave of unbound affection, life-long friends, a vibrant campus, and an enthusiastically engaging student life. However, I have also experienced countless assignments, aggravated house hunting and an undying struggle for part time jobs. Therefore, a member of student council exhibits itself as an opportunity to bring a change in the struggles faced by my peers and me.

Listening is not limited to the perception of sound. Listening is observance with consideration and empathy. It is a superpower that allows us to see, feel and understand what is being asked of us. And with great power, comes great responsibilities.

Although UOW is an epitome of student life, listening and understanding ways to make it better will remain a perpetual goal. For the purpose of ‘Always Aiming for better’, I would like to extend my services and listen to every word of every student and understand every reasonable need to improve the quality of student life in University of Wollongong.

I am privileged to indent an opportunity that allows me to make a change by improving the day-to-day experience of the students. However, the change doesn’t stop here. In a short period of time, I have understood many challenges faced by the student both on-campus and off-campus. Therefore, it would be my driving spirit to work towards these goals and resolve them.

Looking forward to working for you.

Kind Regards,

Council Postgraduate Student Member candidate, and WUPA candidate 2022

Position nominated: Council Postgraduate Student Member

Candidate statement:  

My name is Xiaoyu Song and I am currently a Ph.D. student from the Faculty of EIS. I finished my Bachelor at UOW in 2019 with first-class honours. With my commendable performance, I was awarded EIS Dean's Merit in 2020. Besides, I also obtained the UOWx award with 157 volunteering hours. In 2019, I was nominated as one of the top four students to give my thesis presentation in EIS Innovation Conference & Exhibition.

I am the Vice-president of WUPA. I help organise many successful activities, including Movie Nights, Professional Photo Shoot, End-of-Year Party, which enables me to engage with postgraduates and advance their interests and welfare at UOW. I am also the Vice-president of Illawarra Friends of International Students and assist with many activities to help develop cross-cultural communications. In 2020, as a student representative of EIS International Committee, I collected concerns from students and reported them at the committee meeting. Through this role, I developed the capability to advise the committee on matters that affects the academic and social well-being of postgraduates. In 2019, working as an EIS student mentor, I assisted students who were fresh to this university by introducing UOW services and sharing knowledge and experience at UOW. This position made me familiar with the system and services of UOW and the issues new students would raise. Besides, I participated in many volunteer programs, including Learning Lab, Sydney Airport Welcome Desk and Cultural Ambassador program, which enhanced my communication and teamwork skills.

I'm running for Postgraduate Student Representative of UOW Council. With my experience and skills, I firmly believe I am able to ensure the voice of postgraduate students are represented and help Council to address the concerns. I believe I can contribute more to the Council to help move UOW forward and shape UOW's future.

Council Postgraduate Member candidate 2022

Position nominated: Council Postgraduate Student Member

Candidate statement:

I'm Michael, and I'm pursuing a PhD in the School of Physics. I am devoted to representing my fellow students to the best of my ability, and I have extensive experience already in this role.

I currently serve as your student representative on the Academic Senate, University Education Committee, and the Student Advisory Council and its committees. I’m also your rep on the Safe and Respectful Communities (SARC) Advisory Group, and the School of Physics Committee. I would be honoured to now advocate for the issues important to us at the highest level of our university.

As your Council representative, I will provide all postgrads with a strong voice in UOW decision-making by bringing this wealth of experience to the role. I’ll work hard to ensure that all students, domestic and international, have equal access to all the support and resources we need to complete our courses.

If elected, I will strongly support:

  • Financial support, accommodation, and scholarship and COVID extensions for all postgrads
  • Accessible and permanent health and mental health services, and a safe campus for all,
  • Access to desk spaces, office computers and software for all postgrads, notably research students,
  • Resolution of visa issues, and recognition of prior learning and qualifications, for international students
  • More campus parking to assist postgrads who need to use laboratories or teach on-campus classes
  • Subtitles in all lecture recordings across all subjects, to help address language/accent barriers and learning difficulties
  • Improved communications, support, and engagement from the Graduate Research School, and our faculties/schools and supervisors,
  • More secure and better paid teaching positions for casual staff, and future job opportunities for graduates.

If given the chance to serve, I promise to always stand with you and ensure that UOW does the same!

Council Postgraduate Student candidate 2022

Position nominated: Council Postgraduate Student Member

Candidate statement:

From China to Australia, from an international student to a global tech worker, from a software engineer to a creative technologist at Google, from an introvert to a TEDx speaker, from Tansania to Antarctica, the only constant in my life is change. I stand for constantly experiencing new things and take a leap into the challenge outside the comfort zone.

I am a PhD student at EIS with a laser focus on Educational Key Opinion Leader at the intersection of E-learning Technology and Pedagogy Digitiazation. Both of my Bachelor's and Master’s degrees were awarded by UOW 11 years ago. I have since worked at Google, ByteDance (TikTok), Amazon and Canva in Australia, China and the UK. My curiosity, passion and strong belief in Education Transformation through Digital Waves drove me pivot from Tech Industry to Academic research, with the hope and goal to contribute in this emerging area.

Ever since a student I am passionate on empowering others, tutoring fellow students and crafting classes for local business owners on conducting business in China. I constantly sharing my knowledge and swapping insights on working in Tech and research journey while volunteering and mentoring on and off campus. My career trajectory isn't linear, I've made a series choices that by first look might not be obvious but the reward and experience gain were invaluable. 

If elected, I want to 1 ) advocate on behalf of fellow international students, women in STEM, on issues and challenges they are facing transitioning from students to employees; 2) present UOW with students’ perspectives and needs in the wake of all the changes wrought by the pandemic; and 3) return the generous support UOW has provided me, help UOW to maintain excellence in Skills Development and Student Support.

Council Postgraduate Student Member candidate 2022

Meet the students who have nominated to fill the position of Undergraduate Member on the University Council from 01/01/2023 to 31/12/2024.

When and how to vote

From Tuesday 04/10/2022 9 am to Tuesday 18/10/2022 5 pm. Students whose name appears on the Roll of Undergraduate Students can vote via SOLS

Note to readers

Statements are shown verbatim as provided by the candidates, with no modifications or changes.

Position nominated: Council Undergraduate Student Member

Candidate statement:

My name is Conor Evans Gildea, and I'm currently studying a Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance (Honours) (Dean's Scholar). Whilst I've only been at UOW for a year, I have been able to experience the full UOW student life, and I believe that through being the Undergraduate University Council Representative, I can help enrich the wonderful culture for the years to come. Since my degree constitutes of a variety of courses between three different disciplines, mathematics, business and computer science, I believe I would provide a unique perspective to the council.

Whilst I haven't had the opportunity to join a committee at Smith's Hill High School, I had the chance to contribute to a variety of committees such as; the Yearbook and Graduation Committee, the SHSS Newsletter Committee, and the 2021 Pink Day Committee. Through the yearbook and graduation committee, I was able to collaborate with other students and staff on a weekly basis to build the yearbook and communicate vital information throughout COVID lockdown regarding our year's graduation to the cohort to ensure everyone understood the event plans. Similarly in the Newsletter Committee, we had weekly meetings such that members could organise and allocate stories to write for the weekly newsletter. As part of the Pink Day Committee, I was able to contribute to the organisation of the day which is Smith's Hill's yearly breast cancer fundraiser. My time on the Pink Day Committee was especially valuable since I was able to help raise funds for an extremely important cause. Outside of University, I try to maintain community involvement by being an active platelets donor and St. John's Ambulance volunteer.

Ultimately, I believe I can become a valuable member of the council and through my teamwork and communication skills can contribute greatly towards improving UOW throughout my term.

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Position nominated: Council Undergraduate Student Member

Candidate statement:

I am currently studying as an undergraduate student enrolled in a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics. The broad range of study in my degree has allowed me to interact with many aspects of my home Faculty, the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. I began studying in 2020 after moving from the Central West of NSW, similar to many other students who also aggregated from rural areas. Outside of my study I have been highly active in student representation, first filling a casual vacancy for a General Representative position on the Wollongong Undergraduate Students Association (WUSA) before later acting as Treasurer. Most recently in 2021 I was elected by the undergraduate student body to serve as President of WUSA. During my term I have focused on supporting WUSA’s Women’s Representative in reviving the Women’s Collective, providing a strong voice for students and ensuring the university has sufficient academic consideration policy in place. Socially I regularly attend a number of club and society events including but not limited to the Republican club and the Pro Choice club. It is through my involvement with clubs and societies that I have gained the most insight into the variety of student experiences at UOW, something that serves me well in advocating for students. Outside of university I have a keen passion for environmentalism and social justice which I exercise through my participation in the border Australian progressive movement, as well as a strong interest in chemistry and a chronic Minecraft obsession.

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Position nominated: Council Undergraduate Student Member

Candidate statement:

Mr Keval Patel is the current elected UOW Pulse student director and chairs the Pulse Advisory Committee (PAC) which provides feedback to the University and Pulse on key issues surrounding online transition affecting students and their university experience as he advocates strongly for student representation at the University and believes in giving students the lifelong university experience

Keval has also been a member on the University’s Student Advisory Council (SAC), Student Mental Health Advisory Group (Pro-Vice Chancellor), Global Climate Change Committee (GCCC), and the Sustainable Futures Committee (SFC).

Additionally, Keval has taken on various roles at the University. He was the Vice-President for the UOW Wellbeing club. He also currently works along with UOW Global Enterprise, UOW College, UOWx, UOW Careers Central and UOW Facilities Management Division (FMD), he was recognised by the Vice-Chancellor for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the University. He has worked as a volunteer during the pandemic in providing support to the community and international students during the difficult times.

Keval enjoys engaging with other students, be it in the classroom at university, social events, or community work. He is currently working on projects seeking to improve student engagement at the University as well as projects addressing students’ mental health and wellbeing.

 

Council Undergraduate Student Member candidate 2022

Position nominated: Council Undergraduate Student Member

Candidate statement:

Prior to studying, Lara owned and ran her own business, working in hospitality management for several years. During this time, Lara was exceptionally enthusiastic to foster environments in which all individuals had a place to succeed and looked to find ways to develop her passion for people further. As a neurodivergent individual, early school life presented many barriers, and as a result, she finished her studies in year 10 to join the workforce. Through the discovery of UOW College’s access programme, Lara not only found the opportunity to mend her relationship with education but found room to thrive. She gained access to UOW’s Bachelor of Physiological Science as a mature-aged student and later transferred to her current Bachelor of Neuroscience. 

Since graduating from the College, Lara has been working as a Peer Leader and Assistant Tutor, supporting students to access university education. She is passionate that university education should be accessible and inclusive for ALL students. Most recently initiating and leading an L&TIG proposal to apply for funding to further educate teaching staff on neurodivergence. 

Lara is a passionate advocate for cultural, gender and lgbtqia+ equality. Noting, that our university and society has more work to do to fully address the barriers marginalised groups face on and off campus. Furthermore, Lara is driven to peruse a greener future and believes that sustainable practices are imperative for future campus development.

Council member candidate 2022