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Cam With a Plan

Cam Brown, the current Director of Education (DoEd), is preparing to assume his role as the newly elected Students’ Association President. His manifesto focused on the initiatives he would like to accomplish or continue during his tenure, and now, he and the other newly elected Sabbatical Officers have the opportunity to make their goals a reality.

The new Sabbs will have a month of handover starting 1 July, during which they will be trained and acquainted with University officials, Union officials, as well as the workings of the Union. 

Brown is familiar with the process having already gone through it as DoEd, so is looking forward to the fact that “it’s a really key time” for the Sabbs “to come together as a team and bond, which is so important.” He hopes the coming handover process will be as effective as that for the 2023-2024 Students’ Association Sabbatical Officers, as it “set the tone for the year ahead.”

Brown is determined to have a tenure with long-lasting positive impacts. “Even though we’ve got a year, we’re not just looking at the next year. This is about the next decade,” he said. His focus is on aligning the desires of the student body, the Union, and the University to create the most optimal results. 

As outlined in his manifesto, Brown’s priorities remain mitigating the cost of living crisis, housing crisis, and facilitating a stronger sense of community in the University. “Part of all this is getting student input and working with our officers and our sub comms and our societies [sic] really unify our voice around change. Not just here in the Union, but the University.”

Collaboration being key to Brown, he emphasised that the President is not the leader of the Sabbs. “They’re all among equals. I think there’s a common misconception that the President leads the Sabbs team”, Brown clarified. “When we work together and have a united front, that’s when we drive the change and get our initiative over line.”

Besides the initiatives mentioned in his manifesto, Brown also hopes to change some aspects of the University’s culture for the better. “There are a lot of areas in the University that need to be changed.” Yet he stated, “there’s a lot about the University that works really, really well.”

Elaborating, Brown expressed that he hopes a productive relationship can continue to be cultivated between student representatives and the University. He does not want the University to see representatives as “a tick box exercise, but actually involve [them] in the decisions at the top.” He continued, “There needs to be a shift in culture around the expectations of what our volunteers are putting on line, because our volunteers do a hell of a lot and give a lot of advice, but it’s not always recognised or valued. And we see that not just in our academic rep system, but we see within our subcommittees.”

Thus, the guiding values for Brown’s time as Association President appear to be unity, collaboration, and legacy. “My one priority going forward”, Brown said, “is making sure student voices are heard and supported.”

Image by Cam Brown

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