2015 award recipients included...
Hayden McArthur: The Award for Outstanding Contribution to University Life
Hayden is currently a mentor, PASS Leader, Student Academic Leader and Student Ambassador. He volunteers with the weekly 6-on-6 soccer competition on Monday evenings and is an ambassador for the Student Volunteering and Leadership Program. Hayden also volunteered his time at the FedUni open days in both 2014 and 2015. Hayden's commitment to FedUni, in terms of both the Student Experience, and in recruiting and supporting new students is inspiring. While others may step aside from giving a helping hand, Hayden is always one of the first to step forward and pitch in. His passion for the University is so complete that he has provided his wife, daughter and 5-year-old son with FedUni hoodies!
Jody Dontje: The Award for Outstanding Community Contribution
Jody is a force of nature – she has a passion for change and the drive to make it happen. Jody has been involved in a range of Volunteer roles during her time at uni – Mentoring Indigenous children through AIME, supporting the English Language Development of Migrant/Refugee students and tutoring in local schools amongst others. This year, in addition to these roles, Jody founded The Help Nepal Appeal – a fundraising initiative set up in the aftermath of this year's earthquakes. Having volunteered in Nepal last December, Jody had a plan to do 'something' to help, and has since raised over $10,000 through the appeal. She has relentlessly pounded the streets of Ballarat (and further afield), putting donations tins in local businesses and negotiating raffle prizes. She has brought staff and students on-campus (and businesses and community members off it) together around a common cause through her personal story, her love for what she does and her ceaseless enthusiasm. Jody is everything we as a society look for in our young leaders – tireless, passionate, humble, a great communicator and a fantastic role model to anyone working within the volunteering space.
Sarah Hibberd: The Unsung Hero Award
For the past year, Sarah has worked tirelessly to mobilise two separate groups of students who tend not to have a high profile on campus. She has been the President of the FedUni student chapter of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and as such has made a large contribution to the engagement, and personal and professional development of other Mining and Geology students. In addition to her work with AUSIMM, Sarah has started a feminist group on campus - a group of women and men who meet regularly to discuss women's issues and run awareness-raising activities and campaigns on campus and in the wider community. Sarah has shown her dedication to supporting other women through her work as a volunteer with a variety of local groups which work with at-risk women, such as WRISC, the One Million Stars Project and the Share The Dignity campaign
Sarah is a student with a passion and a single-minded determination to make it happen. She is both a strategic thinker and a details person, someone who unites and inspires other students and staff whilst also being a down-to-earth and approachable person. She leads by example, empowers others and is the epitome of an Unsung Hero – an absolute gun about whom we should be shouting much much louder.
Sumit Dhar: The International Star Award
Write-up to come......
FedUni Indian Students Association: Most Promising New Club/Society/Team
During their first year of operation, the ISA displayed a real commitment to promoting cultural diversity amongst the University Community, culminating in an extremely successful culturally-inspired social event - 'Bollywood Bling', which attracted over 120 attendees. This event was a great example of how to manage a large project in between studies and other commitments. The ISA also raised over $1000 for the help Nepal Appeal as part of the event, by actively inviting and marketing their event to many non-Indian students, staff and community members. The committee is an excellent example of how student groups can best utilise the resources at their disposal and displayed all the values and attitudes common to the most successful clubs. We look forward to watching them progress in 2016!
FedUni Football Club: Outstanding Club/Society/Team
FedUni FC has built a strong inclusive club culture and are a key club on the Mt Helen campus. The club organizes social events throughout the year and is the club to play for when attending University Games in September. They are well known for their professionalism and competitive nature - not only are the club professional in their attitudes and the events they run, they also work hard to ensure they look professional with a full playing and social kit to ensure they are taken seriously while representing the University throughout the year. The sheer number of community and on-campus events they are involved with is evidence that they are willing to go above and beyond to do anything and everything they can to help others. The club is always offering to help and have grown a strong brand name in both the University and wider Ballarat communities. Their contribution to Uni Life does not go unnoticed and is well documented through their social media channels.
FedUni FC leads the way for all sporting teams who strive for their success both on and off the field. The amount of time and effort the leadership group puts into ensuring all students are welcomed and involved is an inspirational example to other clubs, teams and societies.
Kayla Stone: The Communication Champion Award
Kayla Stone is the volunteer student editor for FedUni's student magazine, Fedpress. She has voluntarily run the magazine for two years now, creating 6 printed issues each year and now also coordinates fedpressonline, a digital version of the paper publication. Kayla also manages several social media channels to promote Fedpress and Fedpress online, and to help support and build a network of creative students.
Kayla dedicates around 60 hours to editing each publication, and spends time between issues promoting the magazine, working to build a solid editorial team and gathering submissions of written pieces, graphic design, back pages and photos. Kayla has transformed the student magazine from Hotch Potch, a fun yet amateur booklet, to Fedpress, a sophisticated, publication which genuinely takes into account its target audience. Kayla has worked closely with Adam, the lead graphic designer, to create Fedpress online to ensure Fedpress stays relevant to students in this digital age and to improve the consistency of news going out to students on a more frequent basis. She is very keen to keep the magazine student-centric standing firm on turning away contributions which do not benefit or engage students, and championing student-student communication across the University.
Andrew Day: The Service To Sport Award
Andrew is instrumental in FedUni Football Club's involvement in the sport and recreation program. Andrew is always looking at ways to bring the University sporting community together as one, by inviting other teams to events such as the jumper presentation or team dinners. This year Andrew has shifted the culture and focus of the club from a men's and women's team to a one club culture where all men's and women's players are treated equally and encouraged to join and celebrate together as one.
Without Andrew's vision and commitment to organising events, training sessions etc, the club would not be where it is today. Andrew often asks for little assistance when implementing big ideas, eg the AFL 9's match, and should be commended for his success in implementing these. Andrew deserves recognition for the time and effort he has put in to growing the club's inclusive culture as well as the hours he spends to ultimately better the on-campus sport and recreation program.
Jess Kelly: The 'Students Supporting Students' Award
As Mt Helen Higher Ed. Rep and Vice Chair of the Student Senate, Jess has worked tirelessly across the year to improve the experience for all FedUni students. She has worked locally on her own campus to implement some simple but valuable initiatives, such as having food and drink vending machines installed in Y building so that students don't have to hike to the other side of campus in the rain to get a coffee. Many students would stop there and be content with their achievements, but Jess has worked far beyond her campus role by driving many different cross-campus projects. In her role as Chair of the Communications Portfolio Jess has led a variety of social media campaigns to gain student feedback, promote university services and celebrate the achievements of the Senate.
Jess is incredibly committed to her volunteer and leadership roles, going above and beyond in everything she does. She has been at almost every student event this year, supporting those holding the event and poised to report it on social media so that the wider student community gets to hear about it too. Jess has changed the face of the Student Senate and has set a far higher standard for future members to strive for.
Mary Toney: Athlete of the Year
Mary Toney was awarded athlete of the year recognising her exceptional achievements in Ultimate Frisbee. In 2015, Mary was part of the FedUni Ultimate team at Australian University Games where the team went on to win the highly coveted Spirit of the Games award. Not only did Mary compete in this team, she also took on a leadership role team managing the Women's Ultimate squad and represented the University as the female Team Captain.
Outside of representing the University, Mary also represented Australia at the World U23 Ultimate Championships in London winning a Silver medal at the tournament.