Student Life@UOW Steering Group

UOW has committed to uplifting the student experience for all students, using the annual Student Experience Survey results as our benchmark for success. This Steering Group is the peak group for staff and students to come together and, in true partnership, focus on the priority issues affecting students across their whole journey at UOW.

What is the Student Life Steering Group?

The Steering Group was established on a foundation of key principles that make the experience of  this group different to other student representation opportunities. Senior leadership staff partner equally with student members representing our enormously diverse population. Strategic priorities are explored together with mutual respect and curiosity to learn from each other. Key actions are taken forward for progressing with relevant work units across the University with feedback loops in place.  

Student members select a student experience issue that is personally meaningful and can be validated through student experience data that it is an issue of concern to many students; these are known as Student Impact Goals. Student members are supported with exploring their topic and driving institutional awareness and improvement through the key relationships developed on The Steering Group. The Student Impact Goals are a unique chance for student members to drive change and develop advanced skills.

Name  Position  
Keval Patel  Student Co-Chair 
Professor Theo Farrell   Staff Co-Chair and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) 
Annie Truong  Student Representative 
Arthur White  Student Representative 
Jayden Da Silva  Student Representative 
Keval Patel  Student Representative 
Lara Warwick  Student Representative 
Druv Chaney  Student Representative 
Katherine Minns  Student Representative 
Theresa Hoynes  Director, Division of Student Life 
Adam Ridgeway  Senior Manager, Woolyungah Indigenous Centre 
Professor Simon Moss  Dean, Graduate Research School  
April Alexander  Head of Student Engagement, UOW Pulse 
Dr Kellie Ridges  Director, Student Administration Services Division  
Professor Louise Hickman   Pro Vice-Chancellor Health and Sydney Campuses 
Associate Professor Noelene Weatherby-Fell  Associate Dean (Student Life), ASSH 
Professor Karen Walton   Associate Dean (Student Life), SMAH 
Professor Montse Ross  Associate Dean (Education) EIS 
Lucinda Crossley-Meates  Student Experience Project Manager 
Melissa Zaccagnini  Senior Manager, Student Experience and Projects 
Associate Professor Belinda Gibbons  Associate Dean (Education), BAL 
Nicole Smith   Campus Manager, Southern Western Sydney and Southern Sydney Campus  
Associate Professor Ika Willis   Head of School, Humanities & Social Inquiry 

Student members receive a $500 Honorarium payment paid pro-rata across their term of membership as a gesture of thanks for their time and effort across the year.  

Student members of the SLSG can also receive UOWx recognition for their time and results.

The Student Life Steering Group (SLSG) Terms of Reference state that 2 active Student Advisory Council (SAC) members also sit on the Steering Group. The Student Co-Chair must be on the SAC also, with over 1 year experience on the SAC.  

There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, it is valuable for the SLSG to be aware of the priorities of the SAC, in the event there is cross-over. Also, the role of the Student Chair requires some experience in meeting practice. The Student Co-Chair will be liaising with the Senior Executive staff members regularly. They should have confidence with stake-holder relationship management, a good understanding of complex university operations, be reliable, organised and an advanced communicator.  

All other student representatives on the Steering Group are drawn from the broad student population at the University.  

How the Student Life Steering Group is different to the Student Advisory Council 

  Student Advisory Council Student Life@UOW Steering Group 
Topics in Focus  The peak student representative council at the University, advising the Vice Chancellor on matters impacting the social and academic social wellbeing of students. Items brought to the SAC a broader in scope than those brought to the Student Life@UOW Steering Group. It is a forum for representatives to elevate the voices of their peers to the attention of the University.  

A broad range of issues affecting the UOW Student Experience, often at future or early stage adoption, Topics are explored using a facilitated design-challenge workshop mode, allowing for student and staff deep input. All members are encouraged to bring a holistic view. Outcomes of meetings are passed directly to key stakeholders for taking forward.  

Example topics in focus for 2023 have been: Multi-Campus Future Vision, AI Adoption, UOW Students as Partners Ethos. 

Time obligation 
  • 1 x 2-day induction at the commencement of your term
  • 8 x 2-hour meetings per year
  • Opportunity to meet with Vice Chancellor and Senior Executive at SAC Quarterly Yarn meetings  
  • 1-2 hours of work per week throughout session
  • Ongoing professional development  
  • End of year celebration 
  • 1 x induction and training each year in February 
  • 4 x 2-hour meetings per year 
  • Variable obligations in between meetings depending on Student Experience Impact Goal selected 
  • Executive Officer to support you 
  • Ongoing professional development  
  • End of year celebration 
What do meetings look like  8 x formal hybrid meetings that discuss key student issues, with staff presenting strategic initiatives and changes that impact the student experience at UOW.   Hybrid mode, some formal business, informal discussion/ideation workshopping and presentations to group, DVC(A) and Student Co-Chairs lead  
Who are the members  40 student representatives from across the Universities Governance structures, equity, diversity and inclusion groups.  23-member Steering Group consisting of professional and academic senior leaders and student's representative of UOW’s population  
Any prior experience needed?   No prior experience is required, however previous experience and understanding of the University is strongly encouraged for both elected and appointed positions to ensure effectiveness in your role. Ongoing professional development and support is however provided.  

No – for student member roles, membership is highly supportive of students new to representation, including students very new to UOW and students at all campuses

Yes – for student Co-Chair and SAC member roles 

What sort of experience will you gain?
  • An understanding of the organisational structure at the University
  •  Opportunity to build relationships with stakeholders across the institution
  • Opportunity to work on significant strategic and tactical projects
  • Creating and building business relationships; Working on top-level strategic priorities (similar to board & leadership committee) 
  • Effective presentation and influencing skills  
  • Operational leadership – exploring a business issue, finding opportunities for improvement, creating uplift plans  

$1500 Honorarium payment paid pro-rata & linked to participation 

UOWx Recognition  

Invitation to other UOW student representation opportunities 

$500 Honorarium payment paid pro-rata and linked to participation 

UOWx Recognition  

Invitation to other UOW student representation opportunities  

Who should do this?   Anyone who is passionate about representing their peers, developing professional and personally, and making a tangible difference to the student experience at UOW.   Any UOW student who feels passionate about contributing to an outstanding Student Experience and wants to develop their abilities in leading change in a complex business with much support. 

Keen to learn more?

Contact the team at to ask any question or make a time for a chat.

Email us