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September 20, 2015 | by  | in Features Splash |
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VUWSA Candidates 2015

Voting for the 2016 VUWSA Executive and Student Media Committee is open online from9am Tuesday 22 September to 5pm Thursday 24 September. There will also be polling booths on campus at the following times:

Kelburn: Tuesday 22 September, 10am-2pm, The Hub
Pipitea: Wednesday 23 September, 10am-2pm, Ground Floor Rutherford House
Te Aro: Thursday 24 September, 12pm-2pm, Student Common Room
Karori: Well, this is awkward …

Below are the candidate profiles for each of the positions.



Jonathan Gee (Jono)

Kia ora, I’m Jono! I’ve been on the VUWSA Exec this year as Academic Vice President. Like many of you, I moved to Wellington to study at Vic, living in a hall in my first year. I’ve made the most of my university experience—in between studying law and politics, I’ve worked part-time and volunteered for a number of clubs on campus. I’m a student just like you and as VUWSA President, I’ll work for a better deal for all of us:


I moved to Wellington because I love this city, and I know you do too. From freebies like dinner vouchers, to an O-Week that showcases Wellington, I’ll lead a VUWSA that connects students with this beautiful city.

The 2016 local body elections are an opportunity for VUWSA to lobby City Council candidates to support student-friendly policies such as cheaper bus fares, insulated rental housing and more public spaces. I’ve already started talking to the Wellington City Council and if I’m elected, I’ll work towards a stronger relationship from Day One.


Students are the University’s largest stakeholder. As the primary student representative body, VUWSA’s role in making sure that Vic makes the right decisions for students is crucial. This year, I’ve built a strong student voice with other representative groups like PGSA, Ngāi Tauira and Pasifika Students’ Council. As President, I’ll build on that voice to scrutinise fee rises, demand value for money, and make sure that your Student Services Levy are for services you actually want and need.


There’s still a lot of work to do to ensure that VUWSA is the strongest organisation to represent and support students across all faculties, and all campuses. I’ll reconnect VUWSA with key student faculty groups to stand together on issues, such as better access to counselling services at Pipitea and Te Aro campuses.

I want a VUWSA that cares about you. Study week isn’t the only stressful time of year, so I’ll introduce a stress free assignment week where VUWSA provides free study snacks, $5 dinners and pushes for extended library hours during peak times.

In 2016 I want to lead a VUWSA that demands a better deal for students. That vision begins today and with your vote, I hope to continue it.

Vote JONO for President!


Liam Gallagher-Power

Hello, avid Salienters! My name is Liam Gallagher and I want to represent you as VUWSA President for 2016. It appears to me (and probably to most students) that VUWSA could do with a bit of spicing up—a boost to make student life much more interesting and relevant to us students here at Vic. I intend to create a student experience to rival that of any other university in the country and to inject a fresh outsider’s approach to the VUWSA organisation as a whole.

Concrete policies are necessary to make a decent judgement of any candidate—as your representative, I will aim to:

  • build a coherent student community by:
    • supporting regular student events, such as student areas at sporting events, concerts and within the University itself
    • devoting more resources to VUWSA activities at the Pipitea, Te Aro and Karori campuses
    • increasing the quality and quantity of VUWSA’s online presence
  • make Orientation more interesting by including events such as a harbour cruise, paint party, giant bouncy castles, Amazing Race, apple bobbing
  • increase VUWSA funding and interaction with clubs
  • use Parliament when the politicians are away to convene student forums on various issues
  • run more events and increase coordination with Massey and the other tertiary institutions in Wellington
  • advocate for cheaper bus fares.

Canterbury has legendary events such as the Tea Party, Mardi Gras; Otago has Hyde St, the Zoo; even Lincoln has the Garden Party. Wellington easily has the best nightlife and most interesting students in the country—why do we not also have these brilliant phenomena? In my position as your servant/chief student minion, I will marry these bedfellows into a contract so tight that even Colin Craig couldn’t sue his way out of it.

Vote Gallagher for VUWSA President.

P.S. I will also advocate for a better deal for students.

Academic Vice-President


Jacinta Gulasekharam

I’m Jacinta, and I’m running for Academic Vice President in this year’s VUWSA elections.

In the past year I’ve worked hard as the VUWSA Treasurer-Secretary by tightening up the Executive pay policy and scrutinising VUWSA’s budget. I was successful with being selected as student rep on the Academic Board; I enjoyed going to university meetings and making the student voice heard so much that it helped me in my decision to run for AVP.

My goals are to BUILD, CONNECT and SUPPORT students as your Academic Vice President.

I want to BUILD the Academic team at VUWSA with projects by building an online information database available for students, reach out to other faculty societies and student organisations, and combine VUWSA teams for events such as Stress-Free Study Week.

I want to CONNECT the Academic team to the students through regular content in Salient about issues that affect you, work with class reps to spread information about changes in your courses, and attend faculty events to hear what you want from VUWSA.

I want to SUPPORT students at Victoria University by researching into issues that impact upon studying, work with other student associations to campaign on academic issues, and help new students integrate by making a Freshers’ guide to university.

Most of all, make sure you vote. This is your student’s association, vote for who you think will be best for the job. I’ve got a plan to make the student experience better, and it starts with Building, Connecting and Supporting you.

Engagement Vice-President


Nathaniel Manning

Victoria should not just be about attending class, and reading textbooks. University, for most people, is a once in a lifetime opportunity; I see it as the role of VUWSA to engage with the student community, and facilitate events that create the best student experience possible.


While continuing music and sporting events (like Faculty Games), there’s a real opportunity for VUWSA to diversify its events, such as the arts and local community. It is my vision that by the end of 2016, every student at Victoria would’ve wanted to attend a VUWSA run or supported event.


One way in which VUWSA can achieve diversification is by working with more groups on campus to run and support events. I’d like to work with the well-over 100 clubs at Victoria, catering to over 100 different interests, along with Rep Groups and Faculty Societies, to create a bustling events calendar that covers all campuses, not just at Kelburn.


As Campaigns Officer this year, I’ve run up over 100 surplus hours working for students. As Engagement Vice President, I’ll continue this level of commitment, and build on the working relationships I’ve built this year with volunteers, students and staff. I worked in a number of focus groups to review O-Week 2015. Using the same format, I believe focus groups could be used in the planning of other VUWSA events, such as Re-O-Week—if there’s one group which knows what students want, it is the students themselves.

Welfare Vice-President


Chennoah Walford

Vote Walford for Welfare for a VUWSA that is visible, vocal and progressive; for a VUWSA that delivers.

I’m a strong advocate for students, with governance and campaign experience nationally and internationally, in Wellington and at Vic.

This year I’ve worked with UniQ, Women’s Group, International Students’ Association and CanDo, and I have a track record of working hard to support our diverse communities.


Preparations for O-Week and other events are already underway, and I will ensure that students enjoy a top quality line up, and that VUWSA hosts a range of activities suited to all students.

I will build on VUWSA’s services like Stress Free Study week, Community Pantry and Advocacy, making them more accessible to different campuses. 

I’ll continue to work alongside student health to ensure students get the best access to services, and I’ll work hard to ensure the local council makes decisions students in mind, including pushing for more affordable public transport and better standards in rental properties.


Uni is about academics, but also about community.  I’ll promote better consultation with the student body, because there should be nothing about students, without students.


We have the strongest voice if we act together. I’ll act in collaboration with, rather than on behalf of, students wherever possible.

I will facilitate stronger relationships with Ngai Tauira (our Māori students’ association), Pasifika Students’ Council and other representative groups and faculty societies.

For skill, experience, heart and vision, vote Walford for Welfare.


Rory Lenihan-Ikin

I’m running for Welfare Vice President with a vision of a better life for students and a plan to get us there. My focus is on better food, better health, and better flats.

Building on the new fruit and vege market on campus, starting a VUWSA soup and salad bar in the evening, and expanding stress free study week.

A weekday market on campus will finally mean fresh produce at cheap prices are easily available to students. An evening soup and salad bar run by VUWSA during peak assignment weeks will mean that students no longer have to study on empty stomachs.

Working with the University to improve student wellbeing, prioritising timely, stigma-free and easy access to health and counselling services.

After a successful collaboration with Student Health on the Bubble wellbeing space this year, I will continue this productive relationship to ensure health and counselling services are responsive to student needs, with a focus on reducing waiting times.

Pushing the Wellington City Council to ensure our flats are healthy, insulated, and mould-free by campaigning for Rental Warrants of Fitness in next year’s local body election.

In the last elections, the Mayor committed to a rental WOF that would ensure our flats are warm and dry. Having continued to push for these changes with submissions to council this year, I will campaign to make it key issue in the 2016 election, and move Wellington closer towards being a city that truly values students. 

Campaigns Officer

Alice lyall

Alice Lyall

Hey there, I’m Alice Lyall. I’m a second year Political Science and Public Policy student. I’ve been working on campaigns for the last couple of years with Generation Zero. My time with Generation Zero has equipped me with a number of different campaigning skills and many different experiences.

I will do whatever it takes to make a campaign successful—this can include wearing a self-designed “pillow suit”, as well as playing my beloved ukulele.

I want to run campaigns that you, your friends, and the greater student body care about. If I was to be elected, I hope to run a local body election campaign, to support the rest of the exec in their campaigns, and to collaborate on campaigns with clubs and other groups.

I’d love to write more but, much like a 1000 word essay, I’ve hit word count already.

Clubs and Activities Officer


Zamir Adib Mohd Arizan

Hi, you! My name’s Zamir Mohd, aka bro Zach-beard.

I’m running for the Clubs and Activities Officer for 2016.

Currently, I am the president of V-ISA, VUWSA International Students’ Association, and I’m sure you have—somehow during the point of your life—met me running around the uni.

My association has organised several social events such as the recent International Friendship Day, and helped students from across the continents to fight for their rights or simply be heard.

I have seen first hand how clubs and activities positively impact students’ lives and enhance their time.

As Clubs and Activities Officer, I would:

  1. increase resource availability and support for clubs to conduct their respective events.
  2. create peer and professional networking through clubs events.
  3. respond to and address feedback and possible problems your clubs face.

Cast me your vote of trust, and I’d thank you in advance!



Tori Sellwood

When you hear adults reminiscing about university being the “good old days” and the “time of their lives”, I’m pretty sure they aren’t talking about 9am lectures and hand-in week. The university experience and culture is unique and unlike any other. It’s about more than deadlines, Red Bull, and live lecture yik yaks. It’s about meeting new people, trying new things and getting involved. If elected, I aim to organise fun events and activities with something for everyone, as well as facilitate smooth running clubs and make the Vic student experience 10/10. Vote Tori for Clubs and Activities Officer 2016, “there’ll be so much room for activities!”—Step Brothers.



Rory McNamara

Hi guys, my name is Rory McNamara and I want to be VUWSA’s Clubs and Activities Officer again for 2016. I have been in this role and on the VUWSA Executive this year, and have had a blast working hard to improve the student experience for you here at Victoria. I have worked tirelessly to help VUWSA put on events for students and ensure clubs are well-supported. The work is not done yet though, and this is why I am running again to complete the job. My main policy is to help improve the relationship between VUWSA and Victoria Recreation. I want to ensure that all the money from your Student Services Levy is well spent by the university and Victoria Recreation, and that they are accountable for the money they receive from the student body. So make sure when you get your voting paper, vote for Rory.

Education Officer


Emily van Voornveld

Hi there, my name is Emily van Voornveld and I’m proud to be running for Education Officer for 2016. I believe that in this role I can bring a fresh approach, passion and commitment to make genuine changes for the benefit of everyone. As a candidate I bring genuine care and concern for every student and member of Victoria University. In my last year of high school, I was the Student Rep on the Board of Trustees and gained valuable insight into the importance of making sure the student voice is heard, and it is an asset I’ll bring to the table in this role.


Sam Stead

In 2012 I was privileged to take part in the NZ Youth Parliament. I realised that young people around NZ lack a voice. University has re-enforced this. Too often our opinions, views, and aspirations are overlooked by those in powerful positions. If elected as your Education Officer, I will work to reverse this and restore the student voice at the centre of our uni. As students we need to study, work, and find time to relax. It’s the job of the Education Officer to ensure that we have what we need to succeed. Whether that support is additional tutorials, working for you against unfair assignment requirements, challenging grading issues, or simply pushing for a fairer academic system at Vic, I want to be your man. I am passionate about the student voice. I want to be your strong voice on campus. Please support me so that I can support you.


Annaliese Olivia Wilson

Ciao, my name is Annaliese Olivia Wilson. I am a fun-loving and relatable country girl from down south. I love dogs, people, and a good pasta bake. I am studying a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Criminology and Political Science. My passions are: removing the stigma around mental illness, increasing awareness about sexual abuse, issues around the legislation of drugs, and Frisbee. I have suffered from mental illness myself so I can relate to people who struggle with this issue.      I like grass. Sustainability matters let’s do shit about it. I am easy to spot around Kelburn campus as I tend to wear four patterns in one outfit. I genuinely care about this role. I have got the will son, vote Wilson.

Equity Officer



Chrissy Brown

Hey! I’m Chrissy. I have been President of the VUWSA Women’s Group for two years. I am extremely passionate about ensuring that we have a VUWSA that listens to all students and their needs. My vision for equity at Victoria is one where we can embrace collectivism, respect all student voices and, ultimately, make sure that we are safe and supported. 

I know that I can strive to make these changes by strengthening representative groups through providing training. I want to push for more safe spaces on campus for students, more gender-neutral bathrooms, and ensure that there is greater accessibility on campus for all students. 

I see the need to engage in equity-based campaigns that ensure that we exist within a university culture that respects our safety as students on and off campus. Vote for Chrissy and we can make these much-needed changes #ChrissyCares.


george g

George Grainger

Kia ora, I am George Grainger and I am in the running to be your Treasurer and VUWSA Secretary for 2016.

I’m currently working on degrees in law, political science and international relations.

Throughout my years here I have come to appreciate that VUWSA is the heart and soul of our university. It is the cornerstone organisation upon which students rely for their quality experience at Victoria. To do so, VUWSA’s effectiveness depends on, in no small part, its financial prosperity and efficiency.

If elected Treasurer, I will focus on increasing revenues where possible without putting extra burdens on VUWSA members. I am particularly interested in seeing how VUWSA could start to get involved in existing profitable enterprises around Wellington. I will also undertake a thorough review of expenditure to ensure that every dollar spent by VUWSA makes the maximum impact for the largest possible number of students.

Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer


Annaliese Olivia Wilson

Ciao, my name is Annaliese Olivia Wilson. I am a fun-loving and relatable country girl from down south. I love dogs, people, and a good pasta bake. I am studying a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Criminology and Political Science. My passions are: removing the stigma around mental illness, increasing awareness about sexual abuse, issues around the legislation of drugs, and Frisbee. I have suffered from mental illness myself so I can relate to people who struggle with this issue. I like grass. Sustainability matters let’s do shit about it. I am easy to spot around Kelburn campus as I tend to wear four patterns in one outfit. I genuinely care about this role.

I have got the will son, vote Wilson.



Anya Maule

Kia ora, I’m Anya and I am running for Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer!

I’m currently in my third year of full-time study of Arts/Law. I care about students’ wellbeing and am also a keen environmentalist. This year, as part of Gecko (the environmental group on campus), I have been involved in running the VUW Food Co-op, an initiative that brings affordable, delicious, organic bulks foods to students and community members right here on campus.

As Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer, I would ensure that this cooperative continues, and get the community gardens at both the Kelburn and Pipitea campuses up and running. I would also see more affordable food options around campus, particularly in the evening, as having affordable, healthy meal options is paramount to students’ wellbeing.

I am friendly, approachable, and capable. Give me your vote and I will ensure the university becomes an even more sustainable and student-friendly place!


Emily van Voornveld

Hi there!

My name is Emily van Voornveld and I’m proud to be running for Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer for 2016. I’ve made a big effort this year to improve my wellbeing by utilising the awesome services here at Victoria, this change has opened my eyes to the benefits of looking after yourself and is the message I would do my best to get across as your Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer. I genuinely care about what affects the student body and always do my best to find a solution to a problem. Sustainability is also close to my heart; it’s important to look after the environment we live in. As your Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer, I will aim to reduce our carbon footprint and raise a greater awareness of the importance of your wellbeing.


Jason Chappell

Kia Ora, my name is Jason Chappell. I am running for Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer this year! I have the world to offer you, I will make sure that we have:

  • a garden of Wellbeing, where you can go and find peace when you study!
  • free bikes to ride around town with, just provide your ID and you’re good to go!
  • collaborations with Gecko, Generation Zero and other clubs to provide a market where we can trade second-hand goods, along with a look into Solar Power to help power our University.
  • reduced bus fares, talks with the council for warmer, better flats, and student discounts at our cafes here on campus!

I will also expand on our current plans of having a community garden, develop our kai-to-compost bins, fight for a fairer living wage. Here’s to our environment and our well-being!


Mabel Ye

I’m Mabel, and I’m running for Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer 2016. Helping others is what I am passionate about. I am committed in what I do, and believe my enthusiasm will be beneficial to the role and wider VUWSA Executive.

I am keen to support students to make their university experience as stress-free as possible, through addressing issues surrounding student finances, physical and mental health. I plan to continue to improve the variety of programmes developed by previous Wellbeing and Sustainability Officers. Helping to make Victoria a Fair Trade University is one of the ways I hope to create more environmentally sustainable opportunities. I will make every effort to develop sustainable ideas to ensure students can make a difference to the environment.

I strive to provide solutions for problems, to make student living easier and better for the environment. I’ll work hard to make your work easier—vote #MabelforVUWSA.

Student Media Committee


Jacinta Gulasekharam

This year I have chaired the Student Media Committee and have made significant improvements. These include forming a Terms of Reference for the committee outlining the reporting scope and responsibilities of the committee that was previously not available. The meetings have been regularly held every month and documented with action points. The committee has worked on its reporting and have made improvements upon how Salient is run best for the students. My commerce background and involvement in this committee would make me a great candidate for student representative on the Student Media Committee. With my experience on this committee, I would be keen to continue improving the student magazine and provide some stability to a committee with a rotation of members.


Emily van Voornveld

Hi there!

My name’s Emily van Voornveld and I’m running to be your Student Representative on the Publications Committee for 2016. I feel strongly about ensuring the student voice is heard and respected. I believe that I can bring empathy to this role as I pride myself on being able to understand and respect other people’s points of view and how a publication could affect them. I believe that I can bring passion and a strong voice to ensure that the student voice in any form will be heard.


Lucas Davies

Kia ora.  I’m a fourth year law and arts student who hopes to finish next year (pending the approval of the Degree Audit gods). I have found that there are many good ways to kill time around campus.  The tuataras, the Classics museum, and the Art Gallery all deserve a visit.  But for passing that time between your 2 o’clock finish and your 3:10 start, nothing beats a flick through the pages of Salient.  Although its articles can be a mixed bag, I genuinely think that Salient is more insightful than most of the commercial publications out there.

I’m running for this position because I want to give something back to the magazine that has given so much to me.  If I am chosen, I will work with the Media Committee to ensure that the student publications and broadcasting at Victoria University stay at the same high standards.


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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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