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Curtin Student Guild’s 50th President, Finlay Nolan, is a third year education student who is passionate about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of students and ensuring Curtin University is a safe environment for everyone.
Finlay brings to the role considerable experience as a former Faculty Representative, Chair of the Guild’s Representation Board and member of the National Union of Students National Executive.
As the Humanities Faculty Representative, Finlay took up issues on behalf of students and worked with the University to ensure the delivery of the best educational outcomes.
“Faculty representatives have a close relationship with students and academic staff at a grassroot level and we understand the issues affecting them,” she said.
“This is very important as University staff and management can be very removed from the student experience.”
Finlay said that she did not know much about the Guild when she first studied at Curtin.
“I became involved at the end of first year and I saw how much the Guild was really improving campus life,” said Finlay.
“Without the Guild, Curtin would lack vibrancy. While Curtin has services for students, it is the Guild that is the voice of students.”
As Guild President, Finlay intends to maintain her grassroots connection to students which proved critical to her success as a Faculty Representative. Her focus will be on creating a safer campus environment and supporting the mental health of Curtin students.
“Mental health services are very important and this is an area the Guild believes needs more attention and funding from the University. As a result of putting pressure on the University towards the end of last year, we’ve already started to see reduced waiting times and greater resourcing, including staff being reinstated.”
One of Finlay’s first projects is to oversee the implementation of the Respect Module developed in response to the findings of the Human Rights Commission’s report into sexual harassment and sexual assault at Australian Universities.
“I want to make sure the Respect Module is implemented and ideally I would like to see it made compulsory for all staff and students,” she said.
This year is the Guild’s 50th anniversary and Finlay wants to recognise the many achievements of the Guild as one of Australia’s most influential student representation bodies.
“Curtin Student Guild has always been at the forefront of debates about delivering a fair higher education system that benefits all Australians.”
“What is perhaps less known is our innovative approach to helping students. In the 1970s we campaigned to introduce student housing, we were the driving force in establishing childcare, health, and chaplaincy services at Curtin and we have always championed equal rights establishing departments to represent the interests of women, Indigenous and LGBTQIA+ students and those identifying with disabilities,” she said.
This year Finlay will prioritise her role as Guild President, however she plans to continue working towards her degree and establish a career in the education sector as a high school teacher.
“I had great teachers in the last two years of high school who really made a difference to in my life. I want to do something similar,” she said.
Curtin Student Guild President
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About Curtin Student Guild
Curtin Student Guild was established in 1969 to represent the interests of students and help them get the most out of their university experience. Elected student representatives sit on all major university boards and committees. The Guild coordinates free and low cost events, administers clubs and operates food and retail outlets. A Student Assist service provides independent academic, financial and personal advice.
For further information visit guild.curtin.edu.au