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Meet Swinburne Online’s first student union representative

In true Swinburne Online fashion we e-chatted to our first ever Swinburne Student Union (SSU) Education Board representative Leonie North to find out what her new role is all about.

Leonie lives near Mildura, Victoria where she studies our Bachelor of Business (Marketing), works full time, is a wife and mother and still has time to represent the student community on behalf of Swinburne Online. Here’s what she had to say about getting involved.

Why did you decide to become part of the SSU?  

I felt it was a great opportunity to act as a voice for online students. Swinburne Online is part of Swinburne University of Technology and there are lots of benefits associated with being a Swinburne student. This role will hopefully provide a conduit between online students, on-campus students, and academic/teaching staff. 

Are you excited?

Absolutely, I'm proud to be the first Swinburne Online representative! I'm passionate about making Swinburne Online an even better place to learn, and if I can improve student experiences, or make student life easier then that’s a job well done.

What will you be doing as SSU rep?

Mainly listening to students. I will be available (electronically, of course) to all online students on all matters education. I’d like to know what students want to see improved, what they think works well, and I aim to help communicate useful information.

I will be attending monthly Education Board meetings (via webcam) and raising items that are relevant to our student community and the BoardSo I'll be listening to input and hopefully finding ways to benefit the entire Swinburne Online community.

What can Swinburne Online students do to help support you? And vice versa?

Get involved!  Students can join the discussion through the social groups I set up – the SSU Education Board SOL Forum on Facebook and Swinburne Online's Discussion Group - SSU Education Board on Connect or you can email me: online@education.ssu.org.au 

I’d like students to tell me about the sorts of events they’d like to be kept informed about or would like to see offered, tell me about the good and the bad in terms of education and share any great ideas on how to make Swinburne Online even better.

The university campus is in Melbourne and you’re in Mildura, what does that mean for the role?

I’m about a six hour drive away from Melbourne and I think this level of “remoteness” can help show all online students that distance shouldn’t impede what we want to do! But this experience also allows me to understand what it means to be an online student.

I love that the Swinburne Online community is such a social one and have made heaps of great friends that I have actually never met in person! So I will depend on technology to keep in touch and also grow the Swinburne network.

You already study and work, how will you juggle this new role?

Before I started with Swinburne, I didn’t think I would have time to study at all – but I managed to fit that in.  I think my busy schedule is representative of our online student community, many of us work, study, have families and social lives to maintain, and it is important for me to be able to understand that so I can help others.

Find out more about the Swinburne Student Union (SSU) here.