Victoria University is committed to creating a space where students and staff work together on teaching, learning, curriculum, administration and governance. This way of thinking is called Students as Partners. It is increasingly adopted around the world to transform how things are done, and create positive outcomes for students and staff.

Throughout the year, we hold events such as network meetings and roundtable discussions to engage with students and stakeholders from across the University community. These events allow the aims and outcomes of the Students with Partners program to develop in line with expectations and needs from the community.

The ideology of Students as Partners is to ‘co-create The VU Way’.

As the program expands and more students become engaged with this important program, so too will the program’s scope, and its reach will develop and grow.

"I welcome all students to reach out and partner with us."

Leon Kerr
Director of Student Services

Meet your student representative members

The Student as Partners network consists of current student members from across the VU community who have shown leadership through volunteering and Students as Staff roles at VU.

  • Amanda Cole
  • Amber Karras
  • Angelique Samuels
  • Annie Talia'uli
  • Arvin Ravindran
  • Ashfaq Lukman
  • Baltasara De Luca
  • Bintu Sannoh
  • C Freeland
  • Camille King
  • Chandra Altoff
  • Claudia Mytnik-Bondin
  • Dhana Athuklrali
  • Dina Hamdi
  • Holly Gleeson-Payne
  • Ishai Gozlan
  • Jakob Huntsman
  • Jennifer Russo
  • Jordan Reynolds
  • Kate Rebecca Curlett Benesovsky
  • Kristy Hoi-Kei Lau
  • Mei Lole
  • Michael Deppeler
  • Mohammed Fahim Ali
  • Natasha Milner
  • Shayla Nguyen
  • Shiva Foroutan
  • Silvia Motran
  • Tanveer Singh
  • Ummama Khan
  • Zeinab Al Hicheme

Amber Karras - Chair

My name is Amber Karras and I’m a domestic student from Melbourne. I am studying a Masters in Health Science in Osteopathy.

In addition to studying I work in the Student Life and Leadership team as an Events Assistant, as well as working in the Future Students Team as a Student Ambassador. Previously I have worked as a LEAD Facilitator.

The skills I have gained from facilitating the LEAD program can be transferable into being chairperson for SaP. During the workshops we have to cover all material as well as getting students to engage with discussions, while being conscious of the time. I value these skills as I am familiar with supporting students, by providing a safe space to discuss their ideas and encourage others to get involved who might have been too shy to interact.

I want to create more of a space for students to express what their interests are and what speakers they want to hear from. In addition I want the SaP program to have more of an impact on the wider student body, by acting and implementing the information of the key speakers.

Outside of VU I have been an active volunteer over the past few years for Sons Of The West Program. This program aims to educate and improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing for men in the local community.

I want to thank you for getting to know me a little more. I look forward to seeing you in the SaP meetings next year where we can discuss different topics and learn from each other. I am looking forward to the Student As Partners in 2023, to see how the community can grow and develop over the year.

Kate Benesovsky - Deputy Chair & Coordinator

My name is Kate Benesovsky and I’m studying a Bachelor of Laws/Arts, majoring in Political Science. I’m a current domestic student from Melbourne and am in my third year of study at Victoria University.

My experience as a student representative started with my involvement with Victoria University Student Union (VUSU). I began my journey as Vice-President Welfare, focusing on student mental health, and generally wellbeing, and developing strategic plans for such throughout the pandemic. From 2021 – 2022, I represented students as President of VUSU, a role that was unbelievably challenging, yet fulfilling. I advocated successfully for the presence of WESTCASA on-campus to support survivors, supported the International Student Association in their struggles, and

Most recently, I have supporting students as Events Assistant, in the Student Life and Leadership Team, and enjoy seeing students through their degrees during orientation, and festival events. Outside of university, I’ve been an active member of guiding and scouting for the last decade.

This year, in Students as Partners, I hope to create a greater unified space for students and staff to come together and work on university wide projects that put students at the forefront. If you have an idea or project as a member of VU, and need student input, knowledge or support please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! You can can contact myself (and Amber) through the details below, and we can’t wait to hear from you!


The Students as Partners (SaP) Framework at VU is characterised by these principles, developed by students and staff and captured by the following statements.

1. Embedded practice in & out of the academic classroom

Authentic partnering with our students is not isolated to select projects or consultations. It is a way of engaging throughout the whole institution; the practice is embedded in all aspects of University business.

2. Recognition / remuneration

Both students and staff contributions are acknowledged and named and, where possible and applicable, remunerated.

3. Community practice

Activities and actions are done in a community approach, silos are discouraged and multiple perspectives and diversity highly valued.

At VU, every student has the opportunity to present their views on issues that affect them.

4. Holistic approach to partnership

The concept of partnership is broad. It encompasses multiple levels of knowledge, with the goal that all contributions are valued and critical to success.

5. Co-creation

The most valuable outcomes are derived from working together to create the future.

6. Accessible to VU population

Openness and transparency are the standards for engagement and partnership. Gaining access to SaP is clear and unambiguous.

7. We value successful partnership

Partnership is a key component for success. It is named and noted as a value and goal for initiatives.

8. Empowering agency & successful outcomes for students

This is the soul and spirit of 'The VU Way' and the foundation for the creation of SaP.

Expressions of interest

Interested in becoming a student partner?

Email [email protected] for more information.

Contact us

Contact the Students as Partners team for more information:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 5160