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UNSA 2022/23 Executive Elections Get Underway

Image Source: UNSA Website

Voting has opened for the 2022/23 UNSA Student Representative Council Election. Cal Pull covers what you need to know to vote.

Jess Phillbrook, who has served as the Association’s second ever President and first-ever female President since she was elected in 2021, will not recontest the position of President

Ms Phillbrook has served on the UNSA Executive since March 2020, when she finished second in the election for Vice-President (Welfare & Wellbeing), but was appointed to the position by the returning officer after a vacancy was left by the incumbent.

Ms Phillbrook we re-elected as Vice-President Welfare in September that year and went on to be elected President in 2021.

Since Ms Philbrook became President, she has overseen the transition from General Manager Georgia Killick to the current General Manager Jennifer Hanson, and overseen the first all-female Leadership Team (Presidents and Vice-Presidents).


Georgie Cooper is tipped as the frontrunner to take over from Ms Phillbrook, after serving as Vice-President Engagement & Experience since first being elected in September 2020.

Cooper says she wishes to champion “diverse student voices” if elected as President.

Cooper faces a challenge from Jennifer Lowe, whom established the Accessibility & Equity Collective and serves as its current convenor. Lowe has vowed to “authentically work” with students, and says she wants to “deepen interdisciplinary collaboration at UNSA” if elected.

Newcomer Hayden Kelly is also putting his hand up for the top job, citing his experience in University education, peer leadership and project management as credentials which make him the “ideal candidate”.

Nominees for the Position of President:

  • Georgie Cooper
  • Hayden Kelly
  • Jennifer Lowe


Incumbent Vice-President Education, Summer Harrison, is attempting to switch to Georgie Cooper’s former role of Vice-President Engagement & Experience, leaving the Education position without an incumbent to beat.

This virtually leaves the race wide open, with aforementioned Accessibility & Equity Collective Convenor Jennifer Lowe and newcomer Hayden Kelly battling it out alongside another newcomer, Sarthak Birani and Newcastle Campus Convenor Samuel Cox.

Kelly and Lowe are undoubtedly two to watch, and both will benefit from profiles helped by their presidential tilts, but in an open race without an incumbent anything could happen.

Cox should be feeling reasonably confident after a year serving as Newcastle Campus Convenor, and enjoying a relatively high profile for a junior member of the Representative Council.

Kelly says he wants to “bring back incentives for campus based study” after two years of lockdowns kept students at home.

Meanwhile, Lowe says she wants to advocate for “further training for staff members … to accommodate students who are dyslexic, a braille user or chronically ill.”

Newcomer Birani lists helping students connect with potential employers “through expos and increasing the support available to students who have placements” among their top priorities.

Cox, a Communication and Laws Student, describes himself as “a bit of a nerd”, and cites his campaigning for longer opening hours at NUspace as his biggest achievement over the last twelve months.

Cox says he wants to ensure that Students are “well informed of potential changes to their degree structure”, and wants to identify measures which will prevent students “burning out” at University.

Nominees for the Position of Vice-President Education:

  • Jennifer Lowe
  • Hayden Kelly
  • Sarthak Birani
  • Samuel Cox


As mentioned, incumbent Vice-President Education, Summer Harrison, is attempting to switch to the portfolio of Engagement & Experience which deals with, among other things, management of student Clubs and Societies.

Harrison looks set to claim the position, despite a challenge from Richie Mark Mondido, who wishes to restore and strengthen social cohesion on the campus.

Harrison won the position of Vice-President Education over Zachary Schofield in the 2021 election. Harrison says she hopes to “liase with clubs, societies, and stakeholders at the university to make sure student voices are being heard”.

Last year, concerns were raised around UNSA’s administration of clubs, so no doubt whomever is elected as the Vice-President Engagement will have a tough task ahead ensuring all University Clubs and Societies feel fairly treated.

Nominees for Vice-President Engagement & Experience:

  • Summer Harrison
  • Richie Mark Mondido


A field of five candidates will battle it out for the position of Vice-President Welfare & Wellbeing, where incumbent Ruby Walker is campaigning for a second term.

Aforementioned Richie Mark Mondido and Hayden Kelly will try their luck here, as will Teagan Stettaford, who currently serves as Postgraduate Students’ Senate Convenor on the UNSA SRC.

Belle Johnson, who is the Deputy Convenor of the Accessibility & Equity Collective is also putting her hand up.

Nominees for the Position of Vice-President Welfare & Wellbeing:

  • Richie Mark Mondido
  • Hayden Kelly
  • Teagan Stettaford
  • Ruby Walker
  • Belle Johnson


Whatever the makeup of the next Student Representative Council, the new representatives will have a tough few months ahead with NTEU strikes and industrial action leaving students stranded and without tutors in classes.

If you would like to vote in the upcoming student elections, you can do so here. Voting closes 3 October 2022.

See more about your nominees:

Feature Image by UNSA.

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