The Student Leadership Conference is an opportunity to develop your leadership skills and to grow your professional network.
It is hosted by the Student Leadership Team and is funded by the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).
The Student Leadership Conference is an opportunity to develop your leadership skills and to grow your professional network.
It is hosted by the Student Leadership Team and is funded by the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).
The theme for the 2022 Student Leadership Conference is Leading in the New Reality.
The conference will be held on Friday 20 May, 2022 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
At this one-day event you will network with like-minded peers and:
The event includes:
Ticket sales close on Friday 13 May at 1pm.
Karen Jackson, Executive Director Moondani Balluk
Karen Jackson (KJ) is a proud Yorta Yorta woman with more than 20 years' experience creating culturally safe spaces to enable Aboriginal people to aspire to personal, family and community goals by engaging with Aboriginal community members and service providers in the west of Melbourne. KJ is the Executive Director of VU's Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit.
Attendees will choose one of the following workshops in the morning session
Emily Unity, Mental Health Professional & Software Engineer
Technology is transforming the way we live, work, and play… but what is it doing to our mental health?
Traditionally, new developments in technology have been feared and assumed to be evil. Some common narratives state that “social media poisons our minds”, “technology disconnects us from reality”, or “video games make us violent”. This workshop offers an alternative narrative and invites participants to shape their digital future. You may be familiar with the concept of the “metaverse”. Over the past few years, it’s been making headlines due to its unmatched potential, and now tech giants are building the foundations for the digital future.
It is only a matter of time before we seamlessly integrate into the virtual world and it is imperative that we learn how to prioritise people over profits. Technology is not inherently bad, but we are often not supported to explore new developments in ways that are healthy for us. In this workshop, we will discuss how we can design a healthy digital future and prioritise mental health in the metaverse. We will explore parts of the metaverse, including virtual reality, social media, and video games, including how they can be used to help mental health. Participants will be involved in an interactive experience that will start conversations about mental health, technology, and the future possibilities.
The workshop presenter, Emily, is a mental health professional, software engineer, and ex-professional gamer. They have experienced mental health challenges and recovery, and have worked across the sector to create healthier futures. For Emily, virtual worlds and communities gave them the creative freedom and emotional support that they could not find in real life. They want to use both their professional and lived experience to highlight that mental health recovery is not one-size-fits-all and technology can be used for social good.
Institute for Communication, Management & Leadership
Most people spend a significant part of their days finding solutions to problems. A customer is not happy with their product, a project has been delayed, a patient has an illness that needs to be identified, a vehicle is not running smoothly or perhaps an architect has to fit a construction onto a small block. Since we spend so much of our time solving problems and making decisions it makes sense to regularly review and fine tune the techniques we use. In this session we will:
Mark has over 30 years of training, consulting and presenting experience. He has designed and delivered a wide range of technical and conceptual courses and presentations over this period. He has an Economics and International Politics degree from UNISA and the University of the Witwatersrand and has delivered over 2000 programs to over 200 organisations across several countries. His approach to training is to blend theory with lessons drawn from actual work experience. To achieve this end presentations are delivered in accordance with Modern Adult Learning Principles. Mark works hard to establish an open and trusting environment where participants are comfortable to share and explore these real-life experiences. His approach is to avoid over theorising - the emphasis is on practicality. Mark believes that participants should be able to immediately apply some of the tools and techniques they have learned.
Founder - Campus Consultancy
This workshop aims to increase the confidence of mentors and mentees by identifying why they are involved in the mentoring program (what’s in it for them), what potential barriers may get in the way (what’s holding them back) and what skills/mindsets/knowledge they can develop in the program (how they will grow).
Josh Farr is passionate about young people stepping into their leadership potential. After gaining a First-Class Honours Degree from UNSW and working as a civil engineer, Josh realized he was in a job he didn't love. He left and spent the next two years travelling and working across 39 countries before returning to Australia to work in education & non-profits. Josh worked as the Victorian Recruitment Manager for Teach For Australia & Partnerships Executive for TEDxMelbourne where he discovered the power of social entrepreneurship as a vehicle for positive social change and innovation.
In 2017, Josh founded his first company, Campus Consultancy and has grown it to be a market leader. His team has since taken more than 34,000 student leaders from 39 universities through his workshops on leadership, entrepreneurship & emotional intelligence. He has delivered 2 TEDx talks, is a World Cup Judge for ENACTUS, and his team leads strategic state-wide initiatives for 6 Australian state and territory governments.
Dr Tania Miletic, Assistant Director, Initiative for Peacebuilding at the University of Melbourne | Founder, Peace-Meal Peacebuilding Initiative
Tania is a regionally recognised peace leader who will provide fresh insights into the way we approach conflict theoretically and stay grounded in rapidly shifting realities of practice. Tania will draw on her experiences in teaching, research and peacebuilding program support in Australia, Asia and the Pacific.
Tania will encourage student leaders and facilitators to get creative, embrace the changes and challenge themselves to be leading in conflict transformation and peacebuilding.
With her plenary before lunch, Tania will also share her thoughts about the promotion of everyday forms of peace through sharing stories and meals to help connection and community. Students will leave with some suggested questions to reflect and share over lunch.
Tania is an experienced academic and practitioner with a commitment to working collaboratively on real-world challenges from conflict prevention, social cohesion to good governance, with an ambition to influence positive change. Tania is the Assistant Director of the Initiative for Peacebuilding at the University of Melbourne. For over a decade Tania has taught as a Sessional academic with Victoria University and the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, based in Cambodia.
Tania has been engaged as a consultant and facilitator to a range of government and non-government organisations and stakeholders in the areas of peacebuilding, political affairs and community engagement. Tania is also the founder of Peace-Meal Peacebuilding - an initiative that profiles and supports the important work of peacebuilders globally through connecting people through sharing stories and recipes from times of peace and conflict. A book is coming soon and the website and blog are home to this information.
Attendees choose one of the following workshops in the afternoon session
Jahin Tanvir, Head of Growth - Campus Consultancy
The last 2 years have been difficult for many, and our understanding of leadership has changed because of that. In this session, students will learn about 4-leadership archetypes based on the Visionary, Pacesetter, Coach and Relationship Builder, and how these leadership roles can be effectively translated into the world we live in right now. Adaptive leadership is a minute-by-minute choice, and after this workshop, students will be able to make an even more informed choice on how they want to lead in their life and how to thrive as a leader in this new leadership climate of 2022.
Students will learn to:
Jahin Tanvir is an award-winning keynote and TEDx speaker, author, board director, and multicultural youth advocate. He is currently the Head of Growth at Campus Consultancy, proudly working with 38 Universities & 5 State Governments in Australia & the Pacific Region, providing entrepreneurship, leadership & emotional intelligence training. At 21-years-old, Jahin is a Diversity and Inclusion leader having been involved in several youth-led and multicultural organisations to champion youth empowerment, healthcare, and education for all young people.
Jahin was recently named the 2022 Young Australian of the Year finalist whilst also receiving the 2021 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year in Individual Community Service. Jahin is a Board Director of the Adolescent Health Association of Australia and the Youth Coalition of the ACT.
Kate Benesovsky, Victoria University Student Union (VUSU)
This workshop aims to educate students about 'how to get what they want' through activism, advocacy and negotiation. Students will learn from current VUSU representatives, including VUSU President Kate, how they negotiate, and successfully bargain with decision making bodies, effectively 'getting what you want'.
VU Student Union (or VUSU) is the peak student representative body at Victoria University. We are an independent body from VU which live & breathe all things students!
Our mission is to make all students lives' at VU easier, safer, smoother, and more fun, whether that be through social activities, college societies & the International Student Association, or welfare and educational activism. All our representatives are current students from lots of disciplines - Law, Education, Nursing, Psychology, Engineering and more. We are always looking for passionate students to get involved and join the student advocacy fight!
Shiva Foroutan, Shayla Nguyen, Jessica Ritchie & Amber Karras, LEAD Program facilitators
Sometimes dealing with change can be much harder than we expect. In this workshop participants will learn about the different stages we experience when faced with a major change, and develop strategies to move through them and avoid getting stuck.
The LEAD Program is a free, interactive and engaging leadership training program for current students. LEAD Program facilitators are students who have participated in the program and have stepped up to take on the role of sharing their knowledge with other students. Shiva Foroutan is undertaking a double degree in Business & Psychological Studies, is the President of the VU Psychology Society and the VU Student Union Cultural Diversity Officer. Jessica Ritchie is studying Psychology (Honours) and is the Secretary of the VU Psychology Society. Shayla Nguyen is studying Psychology (Honours) and is the VU Student Union Women’s Officer. Amber Karras is studying Science (Osteopathy) and is an Events Assistant in the Student Life team.
Vanessa Doake, Chief People Officer - Art Processors
The pandemic has tested the mantle of modern leaders in every sector globally. In challenging conditions, companies are rethinking their ways of working, which traditionally relied heavily on face-to-face interactions, to accommodate a multigenerational, diverse, and generally fatigued workforce. But what exactly does this new world of work look like in a global, hybrid setting?
In this session, hear how Art Processors, an experiential design and technology company, has turned its back on conventional and traditional workplace practices, re-designing what being a people-first organisation truly looks like: the policies, practices and benefits that support a hybrid and flexible workforce to succeed in the post-Covid world. Attendees will be provided with first-hand insight on the evolving responsibilities and expectations of organisational leading in the new reality:
Vanessa is the Chief People Officer at Art Processors, a global experiential design and technology company, where she designs and executes the people and workforce strategy.
She drove the organisation’s certification as a Family Inclusive Workplace, recognising the company’s commitment to flexing with the caring responsibilities of its diverse workforce. Always seeking to improve representation at Art Processors and within the wider tech community, she also partners with CareerTrackers to provide paid internship opportunities for Indigenous students.
Before joining Art Processors, Vanessa co-founded Code Like a Girl, a groundbreaking social enterprise that challenges the significant imbalance of gender representation in Australia’s tech industry. As Chief Operating Officer, Vanessa introduced and optimised programs to attract and retain girls from all walks of life in STEM education and technology careers. Among her proudest achievements was a first-of-its-kind internship program she designed that didn’t require the applicant to be studying or hold a tertiary qualification and encouraged culturally diverse women and non-binary identifiers into the industry.
Throughout her professional career, Vanessa has held several senior and executive positions in People and Culture, working with organisations across the tech, legal, health, education not-for-profit, and government sectors. She strives for more inclusive, human ways of approaching business, imploring organisations from inside and out to do better when it comes to their most valuable asset—their people.
Update your LinkedIn photo during the day, and join your new conference friends in group photos during the post-conference networking session!
VU Music Agency's dynamic duo Soul & Storm are bringing their acoustic flavours of jazz, soul, rhythm & blues and old school faves from the 40s right through to today's classics to the post-conference networking event.
Enjoy coffee, hot chocolate or a variety of traditional, herbal and fruit-infused teas before the conference begins.
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and snacks will be served for morning tea.
Lunch will feature a selection of delicious hot and cold options, plus a buffet featuring vegetarian salads, assorted roasted protein and condiments all free of gluten and nuts.
Stay for the post conference networking event and enjoy canapés and beer, wine, soft drink or juice.
The theme for the 2021 Student Leadership Conference was Resilience and Reinvention.
The Conference was held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on Friday 30 April, with delegates joining online.
The event included inspirational keynote speakers, interactive workshops, catering, networking, a LinkedIn photo booth and more!
Professor Adam Shoemaker is the Vice-Chancellor and President of Victoria University.
Prior to his current appointment, he was Vice-Chancellor of Southern Cross University, and has held senior leadership roles at a number of other Australian universities. He is one of Australia’s leading researchers in the area of Indigenous literature and culture.
Adam has a compelling vision for the future of Victoria University, with a goal to make VU the best dual sector university in the world. Adam is excited to lead VU as we innovate and sharpen our progressive way of learning to ensure graduates are ready to make a real contribution to the workforce, whether it is around the corner or around the world.
Nyadol Nyuon is a lawyer, community advocate, writer, and accomplished public speaker.
Nyadol was born in a refugee camp in Itang, Ethiopia, and raised in Kakuma Refugee camp, Kenya. In 2005, at the age of eighteen, she moved to Australia as a refugee.
Since then, Nyadol has completed a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne. She now works as a senior consultant in the Community Crime Prevention Unit of the Victorian Department of Justice.
Nyadol is a vocal advocate for human rights, multiculturalism, the settlement of people with refugee experiences and those seeking asylum. She has worked and volunteered extensively in these areas with a range of organisations.
Nyadol is also a regular media commentator in these areas, having appeared on ABC’s The Drum, as a panellist on Q&A and contributing to The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and the Saturday Paper, to name just a few.
The plenary session will provide a brief overview of the evidence behind the everyday strategies we can use to promote and protect our physical and mental wellbeing. We will share a few examples and practice a couple of brief and simple wellbeing techniques together.
Dr Alex Parker, Executive Director of the Institute for Health and Sport/Professor of Physical Activity and Mental Health
Alex Parker is the Executive Director of VU's Institute for Health and Sport (IHES). IHES addresses real-world problems of local, national and global relevance in both health and sport. Research within IHES encompasses exercise science, active living, chronic disease, biomedical sciences, technology, nursing, community health, psychology, public health, sport performance, sport in society, sport participation and sport business.
As a Professor of Physical Activity and Mental Health, Alex's research examines the role of movement in preventing and treating mental health concerns. Her research is mainly in youth mental health and she is also a practising clinical psychologist. Alex is involved in research to support the mental wellbeing of VU students and is a member of VU's Refreshed Student Mental Health Strategy 2018-2021 Reference Group.
Read about the in person workshops here.
Anita van Rooyen, Confidence Hackers
You know those thoughts that keep you awake at night? The ones that keep swirling through your head, over and over? Together in this workshop we'll discover ways to win against your ‘what if...?', the ‘why me?’ and the ‘what the?’ thoughts.
Anita van Rooyen, Confidence Hackers
In this interactive session, we'll discover the beliefs that hold us back from moving forward, then using guided vision work, create amazing new beliefs that powerfully move you forward to the version of leader you aim to be.
Daniel Lunardi and Tonya Wimhurst, Careers Consultants
In this workshop we'll discuss resilience while searching for jobs and throughout the application process, as well as how to:
Nicole Melder, Senior Counsellor, VU Wellbeing Services
Students will gain insights into how transformative discomfort, confrontation, and vulnerability can be when leaders have the courage to identify and admit to what we are feeling, even when the feelings may be extremely challenging to cope with. Nicole will share her experiences of being in challenging situations and invite students to share their own, and demonstrate how being open and honest about our vulnerabilities will transform us into agile, resilient and courageous leaders. Nicole will draw on work by Dr Susan David (psychologist and management consultant) to facilitate a discussion around emotions and how our emotions can be used as a strength rather than weakness.
Jeannie Rea, Associate Professor, Senior Manager Planetary Health
Our planet embodies resilience and reinvention – it always fights back despite all that humans do to destroy it. First Nations peoples around the planet have cared and advocated for the wellbeing of people, place and planet as custodians of Country, despite the relentless destructive impacts of invasion and colonisation. At VU we have made a whole of university commitment to make planetary health part of all we do. Students through participation and leadership in education and research as well as co- and extracurricular activities can make this real.
What makes a leader in transformative change for the wellbeing of people, place and planet? Do we need to reinvent leadership? Explore these questions, and workshop how to be a being a resilient and authentic leader to make a better world today and tomorrow.
Shelley Hewson-Munro, Teaching Focused Scholar & Project Manager, Working Together with Men
Join a leading expert in the field of gender-based violence and some guys who are working hard to become allies for equity.
Violence against identifying women and gender-based violence is one of the biggest social-justice issues and human-rights violations across the world. Ninety-five per cent of all violent acts are committed by men either towards women or other men, so many of the answers to changing this statistic rely on men joining women to work together to end violence at all levels in our society.
This session will explore:
Marian Cronin, Associate Director, Inclusion and Engagement
In small groups, women and female identifying people will have the opportunity to work with Marian for an experience of exploration, learning and growth. Together we will tap into our own resilience, recreating our narratives, examining our "self-talk", taming that "inner critic", and doing a deep dive into the myth that our success is due to "luck".
Emma Sheridan, Senuri Weerasekara & Michael Deppeler, Student Mentors
This workshop will focus on human interaction, team building after isolation, group work and resilience. During our workshop we will be doing some interactive activities using a giant Jenga in the form of a competition. As fellow colleagues, we will also be focusing on the student experience during one of the toughest years we faced in 2020.
Associate Professor Thinh Nguyen, Head of VU Academy
The last 12 months have seen unprecedented disruption and change. Many found it challenging, while other saw opportunities to thrive. What makes one person resilient while others falter from the stress? This workshop will present the science behind resilience and how to build it.
Read about the online workshops here.
Dr Helen Widdop Quinton, Lecturer & Research Fellow, Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities & Paramitha Eka Putri, PhD Candidate
Place and planetary health are both generative concepts for rethinking our relationships with and between people, places and the planet. In this workshop we will explore these concepts and some applications. Through case examples we will draw attention to possibilities for placemaking, building resilience, restoration through nature connections, contact zones for action, and shifting of worldviews for planetary health.
As a workshop group we will identify strategic possibilities for your own place based and resilience activities.
Stefan Sambol, PhD Candidate - Institute of Health and Sport
An inescapable reality is we make thousands of decisions a day, ranging in severity and the amount of mental effort we apply when making a decision. There are many mental shortcuts we take to save time and effort. However, through these "automated" decision-making processes we are susceptible to biases and display clear favouritism for our own in groups.
In this workshop we will cover implicit cognition, how through our life experiences we have unconsciously made associations that may negatively affect how we interact with people of different ethnicities, gender, or sexual orientation. You will have the opportunity to complete a racial implicit association task and learn what "unconscious biases" you may harbour. Most importantly, we will learn what it means to have these implicit biases and how to be more "conscious" when interacting with others.
Justine Warne, Coordinator Enterprise Skills Development, Employability & Success
This workshop will explore how to use feedback to your advantage in your next job interview. You will learn how to ask for constructive feedback, and how to apply it to give you the edge that will help you land the job you want.
Past speakers include:
The 2020 Student Leadership Conference took place on Friday 18 September 2020.
The theme for 2020 was Inspirational and Collaborative Leadership.
The Conference was held virtually through the EventsOnAir Online platform and included:
Official Welcome: Leon Kerr (Director, Student Services) and Alexander Haw (Student Leadership Assistant)
Acknowledgement of Country: Karen Jackson, Director Moondani Balluk
Professor Corinne Reid ‘Extreme Teams’
Professor Corinne Reid (DVC) is responsible for the VU Research Portfolio and co-sponsor of the Planetary Health initiative at VU.
Corinne formerly held a Chair in Psychological Therapies in the School of Health in Social Science, The University of Edinburgh and continues to be a Senior Fellow of the Global Health Academy.
Corinne is also a primary researcher with the Ngangk Yira Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and Social Equity in Western Australia, and co-lead of the FLOURISH research team with members in the UK, Chile, Malawi and Australia.
Corinne is committed to the values of Olympism; that is, the strengthening of the global community and development of mutual respect through sport. For the past 25 years she has worked with Olympic teams and individuals as they strive to be the best they can be.
Corinne’s PhD explored the personal qualities and values that support individuals and teams to perform under the most extreme conditions and to build team relationships that can withstand the pressures of the highest levels of competition.
Dr Ross Coller
Ross is a senior executive with over 25 years’ experience within the tertiary education sector, the last 14 with a focus on advancing the educational mission of universities through engagement with those outside the institution.
His approach is on creating value through understanding the drivers of the University and building relationships based on trust, relevance, authenticity and resonance.
Ross is also the Chair of the VU Ally Network and is committed to creating an inclusive and respectful culture at VU for LGBTQI+ and gender diverse community members, staff and students.
“Tell me about yourself" confidently in 2020 - Annique Teycheney
Networking for Success – Anita van Rooyen, Confidence Hackers
Power up Your LinkedIn profile - Daniel Lunardi
Commitment to gender equality: a core 21st century skill - Marion Cronin & Fleur Taylor
Wise Words I Have Heard - Grant Weir
Being an LGBTQIA+ ally can inspire you to be a better leader - Tessa Caramia, Minus18
Performing Brave - resisting the persistence of sexism - Jeannie Rea
Leading Fearlessly – Anita van Rooyen, Confidence Hackers
How to foster team well-being, innovation and collaboration amidst the ultimate disruptor: a global pandemic! - Donna de Zwart, Fitted for Work
Brooke Olsen from VU Sport guided conference attendees through a stretching session in the middle of the day. The much needed stretch after being zoomed out acts as a movement break that energizes students for the rest of the day’s workshops.
Catherine Bell ‘The Heart of a Leader’
A proud Victoria University graduate, Catherine is the Director of Bell Training Group, a boutique consulting firm inspiring visionary leadership and best people practice with organisations around the globe.
Catherine passionately believes that good business can change the world and through her own work, has contributed over 100,000 impacts towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, including clean drinking water, health and education support for those in need.
Catherine works with leaders and teams to help them find the courage to face challenges, create environments of excellence and bring out the best in every individual, and brings her unique blend of science and heart to every interaction.
Paint & Sip with Cork & Canvas: Conference attendees received a Creativity Kit with everything needed to paint. A talented artist guided participants step-by-step to paint the featured artwork while enjoying a glass of wine or other beverage and some nibbles.