President's Update

Six weeks from now, students will have their say on the future of student services at Swinburne University. 

90% of universities across Australia empower students to design and decide the student experience. Swinburne can, come April, join them.

Our Mount Everest climb across organisational lines, university and union, has led to us being on the cusp of change that will re-write the record books not just at Swinburne, but across the tertiary sector.

Not since 2006 has the idea that students are empowered to design and decide the student experience ever been contemplated at Swinburne University.

Empowering the student voice begins with accepting that it is not a technical problem you can solve through just saying that it is just the way it is because the alternative is too hard to deliver.

It requires adaptive leadership to rise to an adaptive challenge. A change in values, beliefs and approaches to the way of working, but most importantly for the people with authority agreeing to the need to lead.

History is etched with examples of institutions and people in positions of influence who resist even acknowledging challenges that require a re-assessment of behaviours, attitudes and norms. 

But it is only ever the people with the problem that set about the work of solving it. 

And to Swinburne’s credit, from the Vice Chancellor to University Council, they’re willing to embark on a new journey, together. A historic moment for our great university.

A university that prides itself on experimentation and innovation. In so many ways we live up to these expectations and this new way of working will be no different.

Over the next six weeks, it is up to all of us in positions of influence to get out and explain how we get the best of both worlds when students and staff work together to co-design and deliver a world-class student experience.

Thousands of students voted for the OurSwinburne team in September last year. The highest online participation rate amongst students in Swinburne’s history.

Now is our moment to finish what we started.

And when we vote for change we’ll create the Swinburne Student Association for all.

Because we know that when we’re all together, everybody wins.