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Student Senate applications

Why join?

Joining the Senate is an amazing way to learn leadership skills, make a significant contribution to improving the experience of other students at Federation University, and stand out from other graduates.

Looking for more information and advice about joining? Register for one of our upcoming online information sessions.

Learn to lead

Being a Senate representative is about consulting, advocating, networking, goal setting, and making big decisions. Our unique leadership training and development program will support you across your time with the Senate to identify and build essential and highly valuable career and life skills.

Make an impact

Senate representatives make significant contributions to decisions affecting every aspect of student life. From student facilities and services, to courses and policy – you will have many opportunities to influence and advise senior University decision-makers. Use your voice to empower other students, raise issues, and propose new initiatives.

Stand out

The experience and skills you will build during your time on the Senate will set you apart from other graduates. Your Senate experience will build your confidence and experience as a public speaker, leader, and change-maker. Your contribution to improving the student experience will provide powerful content for future job applications.

Apply now

Complete this form to apply: Student Senate Application Form (pdf, 214kb)

Email your completed nomination form, statement and picture (see form for details) to: returningofficer.studentsenate@federation.edu.au

Applications accepted Elections held (if necessary)
12:00AM 1 August to 11:59PM 31 August 2021 12:00AM 6 September to 11:59PM 10 September 2021

You should expect to hear the outcome of your application within a few days of the end of the application period.

Should you have any questions about applying to joining the Senate, consider attending one of our upcoming August 2021 online information sessions. Or, contact the Senate Executive Officer to discuss your application.

Position descriptions

There are many different kinds of role on the Senate. Most roles focus on advocating for a particular group of students. Some link the Senate with important decision-making committees at the University. Click on the headings below to find out more about the different work undertaken in each role.

Note: because there are two elections in a year not all positions on the Senate are presently open for applications.
The application form will list the positions open for application at this time.

Board and Committee Representatives

These positions form an important link between University decision-making bodies and the Student Senate. These roles are best suited to students interested in advocating for change in academic matters. Students elected to these roles can expect to contribute to innovation in academic practice, review of academic policy, and raising systemic academic issues and feedback.

School Boards

University Committees

  • Academic Board Student Representative
    Open to all students enrolled in a course at Federation University Australia.

    Position Description (PDF, 124kb).
  • Learning and Teaching Quality Assurance Committee Student Representative
    Open to all students enrolled in a course at Federation University Australia.
    Position Description (PDF, 124kb).
  • Research Committee Student Representative
    Open to all enrolled Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Candidates. This role is not linked to the Student Senate.
    Terms of Reference (PDF, 198kb).
  • Research Higher Degrees Committee Student Representative
    Open to all enrolled Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Candidates. This role is not linked to the Student Senate.
    Terms of Reference (PDF, 183kb).
  • School of Health Teaching Quality & Retention Committee Student Representative
    Open to all students in the School of Health. This role is not linked to the Student Senate.

Campus and Residence Representatives

These positions connect the students connect the wide interests and diverse issues of their residence, home campus or online students. These roles require representatives who reach out to and draw feedback from a wide range of students about their issues. Higher education here means students enrolled in postgraduate or undergraduate courses (ie. not TAFE/VET/VCAL).

Campus Representatives

Residence Representatives

These roles advocate for and represent students who live on Federation University residences.

  • Ballarat Residential Representative
    Open to all students enrolled at Federation University who have a current license agreement
    to live on University residences in the Ballarat area.

    Position Description (PDF, 124kb).
  • Berwick Residential Representative
    Open to all students enrolled at Federation University who have a current license agreement
    to live on University residences in the Berwick area.

    Position Description (PDF, 124kb).
  • Churchill Residential Representative
    Open to all students enrolled at Federation University who have a current license agreement
    to live on University residences in the Churchill area.

    Position Description (PDF, 124kb).

Special Representatives

These various positions represent for specific groups and areas of the student body where the Senate has decided to seek special representation. These students should be well linked with the group of students they represent to raise their feedback and issues.

Frequently asked questions

Who can apply?

What kind of student is best for the Senate? Any kind of student! The Senate thrives on a diversity of views and experiences.

But, there are some rules for eligibility. To be eligible for any student representative role, at the time of applying you must be:

  • studying at a time fraction of 0.5 or more with Federation University Australia
  • not be employed by the University at a time fraction of 0.5 or more
  • 18 years or over (with the exception of Federation College and VCAL students)
  • not currently serving a custodial sentence
  • not have served on the Senate for two consecutive elected terms previously.

Roles on the Senate are either one year or two years long. Even if you expect you will graduate during that period, you are still very welcome to apply.

What will I do on the Senate?

Our representatives report they find their time on the Senate rewarding and interesting. They love the Senate's team culture and discussions, being heard by senior staff, the professional development opportunities that come with the role, the flexibility of being able to raise and pursue projects to change and improve the University, the staff support, and the sense of accomplishment.

So what does being on the Senate involve? You will need to take on the responsibilities of the Senate role alongside your study commitments. The vast majority of students who apply find they are able to balance their study and Senate commitments, but it is worth thinking about if you have time for the following.

You will be trained and supported by the other representatives and staff to undertake these duties. The basic responsibilities for all Student Senate representatives are as follows:

  • Attend up to 8 Senate meetings per year by video-conference.
  • Prepare a short written report ahead of each Senate meeting, providing student issues you've heard about and anything you've done in your role.
  • Run one student forum per semester on your campus inviting students to meet you and discuss ideas and issues
  • Use Senate social media to gather feedback from students about their issues and ideas.
  • Be proactive in your approach to working on student issues by communicating and meeting with key staff members to highlight issues with them, researching realistic solutions and assisting to implement and promote changes made.
  • Provide a student voice on university projects and consultation processes.
  • Join and take an active role in one of Senate's working groups. These exist to advise the University on particular areas of the student experience. At time of writing the groups are: activities and engagement, networking and community outreach, residence and res life, student support and inclusion.

Should you have any questions about the requirements and if you might be able to make the role work for you, you can contact the Executive Officer to discuss.

How does the election work?

If you are the only student to apply for a position, you will be automatically elected. If more than one student applies for the same position, then there will be an election.

In the election, the voters are the students of Federation University who lodge their votes online to decide the winner. This is why the application form asks you to submit a written or video statement and picture. Your statement and picture will accompany the ballot (the voting form) to help students decide how to vote - so it's a really important part of your application!

Sending in a video is a really powerful way to promote your candidacy, but a well-written and carefully proof-read statement can also be effective. In your statement, you should address why you would be a good representative, any relevant experience, and describe any areas you'd like to focus on. You can find more tips on your statement on the application form.

The University and the Senate will promote the election through their social media and with on campus posters. In the lead-up to and during the election, you are also very welcome to campaign actively and ask your fellow students to vote for you. This could involve asking your lecturer or tutor if you can speak briefly in class, putting up a stall or posters on campus, posting online (try the Student Senate page and Current Students), or anything else you can think of!

On the day the election opens, students will receive the voting form by email and be invited to vote using a secure online form. For most roles, the voting is limited to the students who will be represented. For example:

  • Only students of the School of Arts can vote for the School of Arts Student Board Representative.
  • Only students who study on Mt Helen campus can vote for the Mt Helen Campus Representative.

After the election, you will be told if you have won or lost and the tally of votes. The voting data is anonymous, you won't find out who has voted for you. The winners will then be announced to all staff and students.