Voting closed at 10am on Friday 22 May.

Voting instructions and a unique link were sent to the university emails of currently enrolled graduate students as of Monday 4 May. If you have any queries about the election process, please contact the Returning Officer at

Full candidates list:

Click on the candidate’s name to view their statement, photograph and video (if provided).

Lauren Taylor

I’m Lauren, a proud disabled queer medical student who is passionate about seeing all students, especially those from underrepresented and marginalised groups, succeed in their postgraduate education. I became involved with GSA because of its strong advocacy for marriage equality, I am proud to have continued this activist legacy since first being elected to Council in 2018, and I am looking forward to continuing this important work.

As a councillor and LGBTIQ+ Officer, I have worked collaboratively with UMSU, the Pride in Action Network, Chancellery, the New Student Precinct team and other stakeholders to:

  • create a safe and supportive environment for LGBTIQ+ students;
  • analyse and improve the university’s response to disclosures of sexual assault and sexual harassment;
  • improve accessibility of services, events and support to those who don’t study on the Parkville campus, and
  • ensure every student, including international and non-Parkville students, receive value from SSAF-funded services

I want to remain involved in GSA so I can ensure GSA provides more of the services you need, such as more support for Grad Groups and more mentoring and wellbeing services. For a GSA that is Progressive, Inclusive, and Accountable: Vote 1 Forward for GSA Council

Megumi Hui Ai Lim

My name is Meg. I am a Master of Public Health student. A little about myself – prior to coming here to study, I worked in a hospital for 5 years treating cancer patients with radiation. And no, that does not involve shooting laser guns, nor have I turned anyone into the Hulk.

In the past year, I have come to learn through personal experience that any real change doesn’t come merely from theoretical knowledge, but from advocacy. I can’t promise I have what it takes to change the world. But I would like to be a councillor for the GSA because of what I went through, and would now like to, in turn, support students going through hardship. I hope to empower students – especially women and fellow international students – to know that they’re not alone. If you, or anyone you know, have faced assault, discrimination, or any other forms of misconduct, don’t isolate yourself. Know that there are people who will support you.

Australia is a wonderful country that thrives on diversity and standing up together against inequality. Let us encourage kindness and empathy on campus too.

Let’s be progressive, inclusive, and accountable. Vote 1 Forward for GSA Council

Timothy Lilley

Hi there!  My name is Tim and I’m currently studying a Master of Teaching (Secondary).  I am running for election as I think I have the right skills and experience to be an independent voice for graduate students on the GSA Council.

I’ve been involved in many facets of student life while at uni.  I’ve served as a Student Councillor for UMSU, an experience which taught me much about how student associations function and how to be an active and independent member of such councils.  I’ve also been a Director of UMSU’s Host Program, a student representative on university boards/committees, the President of the History Society, and a volunteer for UMSU’s VCE Summer School.

If elected, I will always be open to your ideas about the GSA’s activities and advocacy.  I’m particularly interested in improving the Orientation experience for graduate students – if undergrads get hoodies at their Commencement Ceremonies, so should we!  On a related note, I will also push for more volunteering opportunities to be created for graduate students, including potentially a graduate Host Program.  Finally, I will seek to improve the GSA’s communications so that all graduate students are aware of the benefits and opportunities it provides!

Emily De Wind

Currently in my eighth consecutive year of university, I’m an experienced student. I’m studying the Doctor of Physiotherapy, and I’m running for GSA council because I want to ensure graduate students are able to make the most out of their time at University and have access to the support they need. I’ve been a student who has been involved in the university community and one who has been completely uninvolved, and you can probably guess which one I enjoyed more. I want to ensure that all graduate students are aware of and have access to the many services the university and GSA has to offer, no matter which campus they are based at, or if they are on placement. My key policy interests include:

  • Improved access to student services (especially mental health) for those on placement and at satellite campuses
  • Public transport concessions for all
  • Financial support while on placements
  • Increasing student engagement

Having been both a student and staff member here, I know and understand the university from both sides and hope to bring this experience to the GSA. I’m ready to step up and advocate for my fellow students. Progressive, Inclusive, Accountable. Vote 1 Forward for GSA Council.

Stefan Joksic

As a first-year Master of International Relations student, current GSA-nominated rep with the Teaching and Learning Quality Assurance Committee and passionate community advocate, I’m pleased and honoured to be nominated for the 2020 GSA Council. With my experience as the UTS Students’ Association Queer Officer and involvement in student advocacy projects during my undergraduate studies both in Australia and whilst studying abroad, I have been committed to advocating for students’ rights across all levels of university governance and for the continuing and meaningful involvement of diverse student and community groups. With a professional background in design and community public health, I have dedicated myself to issues of social justice, equitable representation and community well-being throughout my career projects.

As a GSA council member I would be determined to work with our International students to assist and advocate for them, as the extraordinary stresses of the Covid-19 situation affect them currently and into their long-term futures. Strengthening our relationship with the NTEU and ongoing solidarity with academic casual and full-time staff is an important issue this year, one that will help ensure that graduate students and the University of Melbourne student cohort can continue to access the highest quality of education

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Jeremy Waite

I’m a Melbourne Law School student running for GSA Council because I believe in a GSA that is more open and inclusive, and one that empowers graduate communities to make their voices and concerns heard to the university.

As a current Councillor and the Activities Officer, I have pushed for strong advocacy to the university on COVID-19-related issues including opt-in pass/fail grades for this semester, extensions for graduate researchers and financial support for students facing hardship. I’ve been a long-term advocate for equitable access to education through both the GSA and as a director of an UMSU not-for-profit tutoring program.

I am also a strong supporter for increased funding and support for graduate clubs and societies which are an essential part of many students’ university experience, while continuing to support current initiatives like the FaresFair Campaign, Thesis Bootcamp and LEAD.

There is, however, more the GSA can do to include more of our vast and diverse graduate student community which is why I strongly support the establishment of a Faculty Board to ensure students from each and every faculty are represented in the GSA and in our advocacy to the university.

Theodora Wong

I am an international student from Hong Kong doing a Masters in Music Therapy at Southbank campus, and I’m running for GSA Council because I believe in a GSA that is inclusive and empowering, and one that represents and supports the diversity of graduate communities on various levels – both wellbeing and academic.

My experience representing our graduate student cohort spans from being a current GSA Councillor, GSA Committee Representative on the Student Enrichment Advisory Board, and an executive committee member of the Music Therapy Graduate Group. As a current councillor, I have collaborated and liaised with other officers and university service bodies in planning, advertising and executing events, factoring in considerations for Southbank students. As a result, the International Student Wellbeing Initiative is now conducting events at the Southbank campus.

I am also a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community and have advocated strongly for international students within the LGBTQIA+ community. GSA has more to do on including, representing, and bridging the gap between graduate students from different campuses, particularly Southbank and Parkville, and it would be my honour to continue representing Southbank students, international students and LGBTQIA+ students on council.

Progressive, Inclusive, Accountable. Vote 1 Forward for GSA Council.

Mia Zentari

I’m a Masters of Public Health (MPH) student and current Peer health Advocate.

If elected my NUMBER 1 GOAL will be to LISTEN to and advocate for student voice.

The skills gained through my MPH and volunteer experiences with disadvantaged high-school students, asylum-seekers, and Melbourne University Health Promotion program make me a powerful advocate for student welfare.

Working as an English teacher, I’ve learned that education is a 2-way exchange. My students have taught me the value of diversity, and openness to different attitudes and new ways of thinking. I would bring this insight, and my skills in empathy, communication and health advocacy to the GSA. I also hold the unique ability to view issues from both a student and educator’s perspective, bridging the divide between students and faculty.

I strongly believe that supporting student’s health and well-being and addressing inequities through university policy and services has never been more important than now.

Many students are experiencing challenges around online study, job losses, and separation from family and friends. Students’ lived experiences must inform all student union activity now, and in the return to campus life post social distancing.

Your vote would be strong support for student voice.

Matthew Harper-Gomm

Hello, my name is Matt and I’m a first year JD student! One of the biggest things I’ve learnt as a new post-grad is that we face both unique challenges as well as many of the same difficulties common to all students. I think there’s enormous potential for graduate students to use their voice to fight for grad-specific issues as well as lending our weight to struggles affecting all students in areas including reduction of fees, recording of lectures (for course-work degrees), access to Public Transport concessions, and much more! It’s been disappointing in my time as a graduate to not see the powerful voice of students utilised by the GSA when taking issues to University management. Considering the difficult situation facing us right now this is more important than ever!

My priorities on GSA Council will be:

  1. Greater advocacy and collaboration between student organisations on campus to create more effective campaigns for student rights
  2. Lobbying the University to give students greater control over SSAF fees
  3. Bringing graduate rights into line with undergraduates around things like PTV concessions etc.
  4. Ensuring greater transparency, democracy and accessibility in the GSA
  5. And any issues and concerns that you bring me!

Tessa Gould

Originally from a small farming community in rural Victoria, I’m studying the Master of Teaching. An emerging leader in the field of education, I have served one year on GSA council, directed UMSU VCESS and worked in tertiary student services.

Amidst the covid crisis, it is so important to have a strong GSA to advocate for students. So far, we have had some big wins including the covid emergency support fund and extensions to late stage research students, but grad-students need more. This is a period of immense adversity, there must be a change in how WAMs are calculated, there must be more extensions for research students, we must get value for money for our fees and the coronavirus supplement must be extended to international students.

One of my biggest wins in my term on GSA has been advocating for improved student experience on MTeach secondary placements. As a result, students received more notice of their placement and not a single student was placed late in the first-round of 2020 placements. This experience has provided me with the skills I need to ensure that students are supported through this crisis. Progressive, Inclusive, Accountable. Vote 1 Forward for GSA Council.


Ezra Bangun

Hello VVholesome friends! Welcome back to my channel (/statement)!!! Nooot Nooot!

My name is Ezra and I’m an international student studying Master of Teaching (Secondary)!

I plan to be a GSA councillor like how I will run my class: passionate, fun, and memeful! I believe that I would be a great councillor for three reasons.

First, I have the experience and passion! For the past three years, I have been active in uni activities such as clubs, the Host Program and many others. My knowledge about the campus and students (and gossip) will be helpful.

Second, I want to listen to everyone’s voices to make sure that the GSA represents everyone. I want to listen from all sides including the left, right, center, up, down, international, local, boomer, zoomer, ULL fans, penguins, pokemons, dragons, EVERYONE!

Finally, I just want to help university students and ensure that everyone gets the best out of the GSA and uni life! What is university without some friends and fun?

I hope this fun (and serious) statement will encourage you to vote for me first (or second, or third, or any?). So, don’t forget to subscribe, comment and smash the vote button! Nooot Noooot!!!

Lilian Day

I’m a student in the Master of Social Policy and I’m running for GSA Council because I believe that my background, skills and knowledge can help to address graduate concerns. As someone who grew up in a rural community before moving to Melbourne, I understand the financial, social and workload challenges that many students face, and I want to serve to help ease some of these challenges.

I spent the past year teaching English in South Korea. This time has inspired me to work more closely with the vibrant international student community within the university to address their needs and concerns, especially in the challenging time we are facing now. I aspire to ensure that the services provided to graduate students through the GSA are practically meeting the needs of the students and are accessible to everyone. I have a hands-on approach and I aim to be a welcoming and productive council member.

I’m passionate about student rights, supporting the Fares Fair campaign, as well as fighting for all graduate students to have more access to support throughout our studies. The GSA does excellent work; however, we could achieve more together.

Progressive, Inclusive, Accountable. Vote 1 Forward for GSA Council.

Catherine Allingham

During my studies I have worked with a research team at The Royal Children’s Hospital. Our program has set up a world leading oncofertility program for children and adolescents with cancer. This small but highly effective taskforce has established itself as a world leader in the development and implementation of fertility care programs. In 2018, we were peer-ranked top of the field in this area and were a finalist in the Victorian Health Awards 2019. In this role, I have been responsible for developing governance and ethical guidance, managing large databases, coordinating team/departmental meetings, co-chairing a national summit, drafting and submission of grant budgets, and have assisted in the dissemination of funds. My work with the team, and leadership, have been recognised in that I was short listed for NSW Young Woman of the year in 2019, and in 2020 I am a finalist for two Victorian Young Achiever Awards. In addition, I have mentored both undergraduate and post- graduate students undertaking research projects, and students in the UniMelb STEM program. I very much enjoy the mentoring and governance aspects of my work and hope to contribute these skills to GSA.

Progressive, Inclusive, Accountable. Vote 1 Forward for GSA Council.

Fia Hamid-Walker

I am a current GSA councillor and Research and Education officer. I have held this position since March 2019. During this time, I have been fiercely advocating for the interests of graduate students to the University. I have,

  • Made submission to the University opposing their proposed changes to the provisions for special consideration. As a result, the University did not go ahead with inserting the “fit to sit” rule and removing the “special on special” provision.
  • In partnership with the NTEU, successfully led GSA to demand the University to pay for their casuals’ working with children check application fees.
  • Led GSA to endorse the September 20th general Climate Strike and advocated that the University release graduate students and staff from work and study to attend the climate strike.

Now I’m running again because I have been working on Graduate Student Resilience project. This project aims to improve GSA services to be more inclusive, proactive, purposeful and most impactful. I want to ensure this project is completed. This project will implement GSA’s 2025 Strategic Plan and to influent the University in improving their services for graduate students, particularly during and after COVID-19 pandemic.

Ruby Gardner-Russell

Originally from rural North-East Victoria, I studied a Bachelor of Fine Art and Honours at RMIT and am currently studying a Master of Teaching Secondary in Visual Art and Design. Being new to the University of Melbourne, I understand the difficulties that many new students face when pursuing a graduate degree.

I am running for GSA Council because I believe my leadership experience will be an asset in helping support student involvement and engagement throughout all areas of student life. I am a hard worker and am motivated to improve student wellbeing, support, inclusion and voice.

At RMIT I was president of the Gold and Silversmithing Student Association and have experience in planning and running both scale and smaller events, including a highly successful fundraiser.  I have also been actively involved in starting and maintaining a support association at a student residence in Melbourne.

I will endeavour to work towards maintaining and building on an inclusive community for all graduate students from different backgrounds and faculties. As a councillor, I will be backing the FaresFair campaign to provide full-time graduate students with concession transport fares, and supporting educational equity for students.

Progressive, Inclusive, Accountable. Vote 1 Forward for GSA Council.

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