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Impacting the future

September 21, 2021 by Natasha Walker

Impacting the future

As part of the recent Festival of Learning, Dr Alan McAlpine, Deputy Director Student Success, and Kat Clements, Lead Students as Partners, presented a Students as Partners (SaP) session.

SaP is an initiative that facilitates students and staff working together, contributing equally, and fostering a deeper understanding of how the University works. Together, participants can influence change, develop leadership and employability skills, and be empowered to work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

Alan described SaP as a philosophy, a way of working in partnership to not only benefit students but also assist the University to grow and evolve. Kat explained what Students as Partners means for students and staff, and how it is defining what partnership means to Curtin. The Curtin Student Partnership Agreement was highlighted, focusing on effecting cultural change, encouraging student engagement and contribution to Curtin, and fostering strong supported and effective student leaders.

The first panel member to speak was Bridge Truell, Vice President Education, Curtin Student Guild. Bridge explained how the Guild’s SaP initiative is involved with the UNSDGs quality education and good health and well-being. When asked to express the benefits of SaP, Bridge highlighted the opportunities for upskilling that comes with a program like this. “The communication that is fostered by this initiative is so valuable on so many different levels”, added Bridge.

Attendees then heard from Dominique Cave-Freeman, who is a Senior Peer Learning Facilitator with UniPASS. Dominique champions the importance of peer led study support – by students for students. Dominique is focused on meeting the UNSDGs quality education and gender equality while bringing diversity as an ethic. The key ingredient for success within student partnership initiatives is, Dominique believes, for the student to be heard by someone who will take their voice and make it translatable to effect change throughout Curtin.

The third panel member Michael Baldwin, Lecturer, School of Management and Marketing, advocates for accountability and instant feedback. Mike and colleague Jacquie Boaks have been working to effect radical interaction and collaboration with students. Last semester they, along with 40 SaP student members, piloted a trailblazing initiative with impressive results. At the beginning of the pilot, Mike was focused on the UNSDGs quality education, gender equality and reduced inequalities. Since then the initiative has grown to include peace, justice and strong institutions.

Alan closed the session by highlighting the key take-aways of radical accountability and transparency in collaboration between staff and students. He also gave a nod to Curtin Student Guild and how wonderful it is to witness their advocation for students across campus.

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