An update from the GSA President: November 2022

The smell of blooming flowers, the views intermittent clear skies and the sound of section 113P of the Copyright act, all signal one thing: final assessments.

With flooding in regional Victoria, like my hometown Wangaratta, many students and their families may be distressed or dealing with serious damages to their homes. These issues may only be exacerbated during the summer, and the potential for bushfires. If you are affected by these issues, please access the University’s support page.

Graduate Art Prize

The beauty of artwork is truly unique. To some it is the display of technical ability which underlies the mastery of the craft. To others it is the ability of artwork to evoke emotional responses. For me, the beauty of artwork, is the opportunity to step into the mind of the artist and understand the subject matter.

This year, we ran our 7th annual Graduate Art Prize, and for the first time, ran it at the prestigious Arts Centre Melbourne. This year, in order to highlight the incredible achievements of University of Melbourne Graduate Students to overcome the pandemic and the isolation it creates, chose the theme “resilience”. The pandemic has meant that many graduates, especially our international students, have been unable to see family and loved ones this year, or have had to complete their studies far away from Melbourne. Our theme allowed students to explore social resilience, environment resilience, economic resilience, or what resilience mean to them in the pandemic.

I would like to first congratulate all entrants, for the exceptional quality of their artworks.

Our winners of the night were:

1st Prize: ‘On Call’ by Natalie Seiler

2nd Prize: ‘Mundane Resilience’ by Alice Coates

3rd Prize: ‘The Summer I Turned Beautiful’ by Melanie Williams

Personal Experience Award: ‘Unfamiliarly Familiar’ by Jane Goh

Global Resilience Award: ‘#Mahsa-Amini’ by Hajar Sadegh Zadeh

Innovation Award: ‘Holding Tight – Handheld’ by Linda Studena

People’s Choice Award: ‘Integration’ by Jean Paul Vera Soto

Like all events at the GSA, they could not occur without the time, dedication, and exceptional talent of the GSA staff. The team have worked tirelessly on planning this event since semester 1, and the fruits of their labour could be clearly seen, in the quality of the night. All those who attended can attest it was a standout night of the year, and we hope to be able to match the level in 2023.

Proposed Changes to Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Science

On Tuesday the 8th of November, it was announced that the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Science (FVAS), will be disestablished and the two schools within the faculty, merged into the Faculty of Science. This likely comes as a shock to most students, especially those within FVAS. FVAS has a range of tailored courses, such as Veterinary Medicine, Master of Agricultural Science and many specialised courses on fermentation processes. Likewise, the FVAS has a number of PhD Graduate Researchers. It is understandable that with such news, students will be feeling worried over the future of their studies and potential impacts to their courses.

The University Chancellery has stated that there will be no changes to courses delivered at our University as a result of this merge. The associated closure of the U-VET facility, however, will change the clinical placement system of Vet students. This system will now be delivered in a fully distributed model, which is used by other universities. The GSA understands that these changes will also impact a large number of U-VET staff, as well as FVAS professional staff.

Over the coming weeks, we will be advocating on behalf of FVAS students to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by these changes.

If you have any concerns regarding these changes, please reach out to me at

GSA Board and Representative Council Vacancies

The GSA is the peak representative body for Graduate Students at the University of Melbourne.
The GSA board is the governing body of the organisation and oversees the strategic direction of GSA, whilst ensuring proper financial and legal practices are followed. As the President and Chair of the GSA Board, part of my role is to work closely with the board to ensure a united vision for Graduate Students.

This month we are looking for 2 new GSA Board members, to fill casual vacancies (vacant positions outside of the normal electoral cycle). These two positions would be filled until the 2023 AGM which will be in late Semester 1 2023. Serving on the GSA Board is a fantastic way to ensure that Graduate Students have a strong GSA to advocate for them and provide events which serve their interests and needs.

Likewise, we also have 2 Representative Council (RC) casual vacancies, for Queer Officer and First Nations Officer. The RC work more closely with the GSA staff, to plan and deliver programs and advocacy for their portfolio. Serving on the RC is an exceptional way to get involved and give back to Graduate Students.

I would highly recommend applying for a role at the GSA, which best suits your skillsets and passions. Serving as the GSA President has been the highlight of my university experience and the variety of roles truly allows for a tailored approach which fits every person’s goals.

If you are interested in getting involved with the GSA, reach out to me at

GSA President