Equity Representative

The Equity Representative is the voice of all postgraduate students from equity groups at the University. These include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, students from rural and isolated areas, students with disabilities, students of non-English speaking backgrounds, and women (especially women in non-traditional areas of study).

The Equity Representative advises the President and other Executive members in areas of advocacy that affect students from equity groups. He/she also assists and supports students with questions and concerns related to equity and diversity, and – if no International Representative sits on the Executive – assists with grievances raised by international students in relation to equity and diversity.

Pam Connell

Hello, Gidday, Yuwaalaraay, Bienvenue, Karibu, Muraho … Australian born, I am a second year part-time RHD student. Life-long learning combines an accounting background with teaching.

Most recently, I engaged in educational development in Rwanda. During my six years across the public and private sector of education, I became curious about the impact that mandatory entrepreneurship education throughout secondary school had upon an emerging economy. I wholeheartedly believe us western nations have a lot to learn from developing nation-states, because they are fluid and experimental.

Born in Brisbane, Queensland (I am a cricket fanatic) from ‘city’ parents who had deeply embraced a life in Daly Waters or Groote Island Northern Territory (my dad’s work) in the post-World War II 1950s, my cultural awareness began in Narrabri West where kids just played with kids. I had Debbie my white doll, and Kaye my black doll.

Up the yard past chicken coupe, I played with the black kids next door through the fence and we made a hole to pass the dolls. I played with Barbies in my bedroom but loved Debbie and Kaye more. I even remember Pretty Baht from India, her dad was a dentist. Oh, the 60s in Narrabri.

I started high school in Newcastle, where I first learned about racism and that women did not need educating, since ‘bare-foot and pregnant’ was life’s way. My dad made me leave school at Year 10. I have fought for education ever since. The sense of pride when my dad stood beside me as a UoN Alumni finalist in Regional Development in 2012… It was his proudest life moment. I broke the cycle.

I served on the student committee of iLead in its inaugurating years. I was humbled to feature in the UoN project 100 Women, in interviews and presentations, and then to be accepted into a PhD. I have a passion for entrepreneurship, innovation and divergent thinking. I founded ‘Changing Minds’, a registered start-up business toward disrupting the secondary education space in Newcastle/Lake Macquarie. This year I also serve as Postgraduate Student Representative on FEDUA’s Faculty Board.

Contact Pam

 

Equity Representative - Marina Ilicic
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