Jesse Gardner-Russell General Secretary


Jesse is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Eye Research Australia in the Melbourne Medical School Department of Ophthalmology. Jesse began his term as Board President of GSA, studying a Master of Biotechnology, including areas of leadership, innovation, and organisational governance. As the University of Melbourne Graduate Student Association President, Jesse has focussed on developing a strategic direction for GSA’s engagement to complement the return to campus. Working with GSA and University Staff and Student Leaders, he has overseen the first Faculty Council, the first Melbourne Student
Forum, a renewed Graduate Welcome Lounge, the introduction of the Breakfast Club, highly successful orientation programs and the renewal of GSA’s SSAF funding agreement.

At his core, Jesse is an advocate with a firm belief in consensus style and relational leadership. His guiding principle as GSA President is to listen and learn from student voices, including Grad Groups, GSA representatives, and most importantly, every-day graduate students.

Jesse is proud to have responded to key graduate community concerns, including the rising cost of living, dual delivery, and social isolation in his term as GSA President. To augment GSA’s advocacy, Jesse has worked with GSA Staff and Representatives to re-develop the student advocacy model to simplify appointment procedures and increase capacity.

Jesse’s involvement in the university community began in 2019 when he ran food and beverage clubs alongside former GSA Councillors to help address food insecurity. He has been exceptionally humbled to see the success of the GSA Breakfast Club and the impact it has made on the graduate student body.

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