An update from the GSA President: May 2023

As the first blog post of my second term as GSA President, I thought I would share a little bit about myself.

Growing up in regional Victoria, I had never been passed the border towns of NSW. After graduating high school, I took a gap year, where I worked 3 jobs to save up enough money to move to Melbourne, where I began my Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne.

During this period, I struggled to figure out exactly what I wanted to focus on in my career. Fortunately, during 2019, I met my mentor, Peter. Those regular meetings with Peter at level 2 of the law building, were a formative part of who I am today. His advice, support and belief helped shape my goals to pursue a PhD, and to be involved in the community.

Currently, I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Centre for Eye Research Australia, where I investigate the role of inter-pericyte tunnelling nanotubes in neurovascular communication. I have been very privileged to work with an incredible supervisor, Dr Luis Alarcon-Martinez, who is a leading figure in the field.

Previously, I studied a Master of Biotechnology, where I was learnt about company governance, such as board duties, financial responsibilities, and company strategy. Likewise, I was humbled to have been named to the Dean’s Honours List and graduated as Valedictorian for the Faculty of Science.

My involvement in the university community began in 2019 when I ran food and beverage clubs, namely CAKE, Cheese, and Wine to help address food insecurity. This was an important milestone for me, as I had suffered the effects of food insecurity in my first year, and subsequently lost almost 30 kg. It was this experience that introduced me to GSA, as my clubs mentor was a GSA Councillor at the time. This background has fostered a deep love for our Grad Groups. During my time as President, GSA has seen the introduction of many changes for our Grad Groups to help reinvigorate the space and ensure that running a Grad Group is not burdensome on our university experience.

Outside of the GSA and my studies, I have a passion for tennis and sartorial menswear. I have an embarrassingly large collection of vintage and contemporary suits, blazers, ties and shoes, which you will see me wearing between meetings with the University Stakeholders. I also occasionally do hair modelling photoshoots for American Crew competitions with my incredible barber Jax.

Thanks for taking the time to read a bit about me. I hope to see you all around campus or at GSA events!

As always, if you ever have a concern, please email me at President@GSA.Unimelb.Edu.Au.