The SRC is hearing you loud and clear, and we're excited to introduce Students Voice.
Students Voice is all about sharing stories by you - our students.
Have a story you'd like to share? Submit a paragraph about your passion, why you chose CQUniversity to pursue your dreams and/or voice any concerns that you think the SRC can create change. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to submit your item.
What is Social Innovation?
Former SRC Chair, Tenille shares her insights...
"The beauty of Social Innovation is that it can be interpreted differently, with different meanings and values for different people”. CQUniversity have chosen to define social innovation as – ‘engaging with communities to address entrenched issues’, thus being inclusive of all allowing everyone to be a part of the journey. The annual conference 'Ashoka U Exchange' held in Miami Florida in 2017, strives to embed social innovation practices in higher education by bring together students, staff and organisation in enriched discussions. Tenille was awarded one of 10 student scholarships to attend this opportunity, which she is very grateful for and regards as the 'turning point' in her university experience.
On return from her overseas trip to Miami for the Ashoka U Conference, Tenille reflects on how she originally thought she might be the only younger student attending, being 19 years of age. In fact, there were many younger students "I was surprised but I guess it is because in the end the future is ours and we ought to be involved in the journey”, Tenille quotes.
Tenille claims the greatest highlight were the people she met throughout the conference, representing numerous countries. "It was an opportunity to have detailed discussions with other like-minded individuals". It was also an opportunity to engage and get to know the small group of ten of the CQUniversity students who travelled from Australia, as well as connecting with the staff members who attended. “The best conversations were had over dinner with my fellow students, often lasting until midnight.”, Tenille reflects.
Tenille has learnt many skills, which now allow her a clear focus on how to act upon social change and become a change-maker. Moving forward, Tenille describes her passion for wanting to empower fellow students to know that social innovation is not "exclusive and only for the smartest students" but rather for all individuals part of this community and the world at large. Naturally we should all be involved in creating change for a better future. "Social innovation is driven by passion".
“I will strive to make a change on a smaller scale, within my local CQUniversity Mackay community and share my story with peers, encouraging and empowering them to take every opportunity as you never know what might happen”, Tenille inspiringly says.
Tenille’s one piece of advice is 'Help CQUniversity to help you'. Keep a keen eye out for all the amazing opportunities that will be on offer as CQUniversity completely immerse themselves in this generation of making change. Be engaged in what interests you, be actively involved, explore your passions further and give back to your community. Lastly, Social innovation does not have to be about solving world poverty and hunger; you can make a massive difference to just one person, to your class of peers or community.
You can’t help everyone, but you can help someone!
All about Sustainability
Did you know? CQUni Communities of Practice (CoP) has a working group for Sustainability called, Engagement for Sustainability (EfS). Anna Towan, a member of EfS, tells us why it is so important and the impact the group has on CQUni campuses.
The group's aim is to build interest and capability for members (academic, professional staff and students) towards embedding sustainability and engaging in relevant actions. Anna joined this group wanting to make a difference in caring for our natural environment, “…this is the sole reason why I decided to study the art major [Studying Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business] of Geography & Environmental studies, I want to understand nature in a better way with how it is managed.” says Anna. She believes this is why we need to be stewards in caring for our natural environment, to protect its biodiversity. Together through education and action, we can all make an impact on the world we live, starting at our own university.
Currently, EfS are leading by example and taking action with small projects one at a time. The group have both short and long-term goals that align with the University Sustainability Framework while improving the environment at each campus. One of 2017 goals include the implementation of a community garden on the Mackay campus which is currently in the early stages of planning.
Each student/staff that joins this group can select an element which they can contribute in making sure that change is delivered. Anna chose element nine, biodiversity, comprising the variety of plants, animals and microbial life at a given location. This assists in achieving the protection and providing a rich biodiversity of fauna and flora at each campus. As well as conducting activities; tree planting and developing campus gardens to name a few that encourage both students and staff.
Other elements include: Teaching; Research; Waste; Energy; Water; Estate and Built Environment; Social and Community Engagement; Economic Growth; Biodiversity.
For further information on the Community of Practice (CoP) groups, or to submit your request to join, email email@example.com or phone: 07 4912 2714 (Ext 52714).
Meet Ben Brown
Ben is a currently studying a Master of Management for Engineers, and recently won the Student Leader of the Year category at the Capricorn regional finals in the 2017 Australian Leadership Excellence Awards (ALEAs). Ben is an example of how opportunities provided by CQUniversity can take you places you never knew possible. Ben provides insights to his story, motivations and shares advice to you on how to get the most out of your university experience.
During his time studying at CQUniversity, Ben has met and talked to many students from various backgrounds who have shared their stories and successes from either a low socioeconomic student and/or an international student who has come to Australia for a better education. These stories have motivated Ben to continue his role within the university to create change and ensure these success stories for all our students continue.
Ben has been involved in many committees contributing to the university’s plan to ensure all students, despite their backgrounds receive the best university experience. the best opportunity Ben received at CQUniversity was to join the Student Representative Council. The SRC has allowed him the opportunity to influence the student experience in a positive way with initiatives such as the clubs and societies. The SRC also assisted Ben in being elected to the University Council, which he says has been a fantastic experience.
Since receiving this opportunity to join the SRC, Ben has served as the SRC Chair for 1 year leading to being elected as a student representative on the University Council for 2 years. These roles have grown Ben’s abilities in decision making, strategic planning and communication with a very diverse group of people. These skills have then led to an internship with the Board of Regional Housing Ltd and given the opportunity to join the regional Institute of Managers and Leaders Engagement Committee.
Overall, Ben encourages students to receive the most out of their University experience would be taking all opportunities offered to you. On campus there is always a Campus Life committee who are looking for some extra support, there are clubs and societies that may be of interest to you or even better if there isn't one you like, create it. There is always a team of staff willing to support you when starting a club or society. For those that want to play a large part in the growth of the student experience at CQUniversity and have the ability to work with a fantastic team of like-minded students, the SRC might be an opportunity for you. The SRC run elections when positions become vacant so make sure you keep an eye on your emails for upcoming elections or get in contact with the SRC team to find out more.