It’s difficult to quantify what it means to run UQ Union. It’s a 108-year-old organisation has 11 outlets, $23 million in annual revenue, 250 staff, and a theatre that I cared about a lot more than anticipated. As President, you are the face of the Union; it is on your shoulders that the organisation is carried. While this leadership can at times be a burden, it also involves receiving credit for the work of invaluable Union staff, without whom I wouldn’t have had an organisation to lead.
Staff like our Schonell Theatre Manager Ross, who regularly put in 50+ hour weeks helping students and community groups run performances. Staff like our Student Advocacy and Support Manager, Glenda, who work tirelessly helping students who feel entirely at rock bottom. Every Union staff member, whether they make our coffee at Bakery, design graphics for our t-shirts, help our clubs grow, or counsel students in times of distress, has chosen a profession that is centred on empowering and supporting students. That is the beauty of the Union; that is why I am so proud to have been at the helm of this organisation for the last 12 months.
It was a shocker of a year to be UQU President. Between the Schonell Theatre, the Ramsay Centre, international diplomatic incidents, Lennon Walls and more, I lived and breathed representing students on the issues that mattered to them. This was an honour, but a tiresome experience. Thank you to the people who carried me through – my T9, my fellow activists, the amazing people I met along the way. Leading this Union has been the privilege of a lifetime and I will always be grateful to have had this experience.
Pres out x