Resident(s) of the Year

Our residents do some extraordinary things throughout the year in the name of community, togetherness, inclusiveness and creating a home to be proud of. With just under 1800 residents living with us at Callaghan and Ourimbah, it’s a tough decision choosing just one that has positively impacted the lives of their fellow students.

Each year, Student Living and Yourimbah select one resident, from Callaghan and Ourimbah respectively, that have enhanced the on-campus experience for their fellow residents. This resident will have demonstrated exemplary values and knowledge of the UON Code of Conduct, acted as a leader (either formally or informally), strived to build community and inspired others to be better citizens.

The Student Living and Yourimbah Resident of the Year Awards are peer nominated via a short submission that is then reviewed by a selection panel. The Student Living winner is also awarded a prize at the value of $1000 donated by the UON Dean of Students Office.

Without further ado, please meet the 2018 Residents of the Year:


ISABELLA BLENKIN

2018 Student Living Resident of the Year
Edwards Hall

Isabella Blenkin
Isabella moments after accepting her award.

I am incredibly honored to receive the amazing recognition with the Resident of the Year award, because it has allowed me to reflect on my year and the choices I have made, the experiences I have gone through and the people in my life that have allowed me to grow into the person I have become.

I believe that it is important to continue implementing awards like this, because it encourages residents to stand aside from the crowd that we, at times, can find ourselves in as a part of our residences, and grow into our own people. Being a part of a college is a life changing, wonderful experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world, but one of the challenges I have had to face is growing into and with the community without losing my own identity. This award recognises that I can be a part of an inclusive and supportive community AND become more confident and self-aware on my own personal journey.

Perhaps the most humbling aspect of the award is the fact that it is peer-nominated; much of the work I have done this year as a Residential Mentor has been personal, one-on-one interactions with either individuals or small groups, which is rewarding in itself but also means that you never expect to get recognized so publicly for what you consider to be ‘another part of your position.’ I am so grateful to my peers for recognizing this, and to Student Living for seeing it as a viable reason to award me this honour.

This award recognises that I can be a part of an inclusive and supportive community AND become more confident and self-aware on my own personal journey.

For any new residents entering this community for the first time, I encourage you to participate in college life as much as you possibly can, but do not be afraid to take time for yourself too as you see fit. Study hard, but take a breather if you know you really need it. Call your parents. Relish in the little in-between moments, like having a meal with your mates or walking to uni on a nice day. Because having a mindset like this has augmented every other aspect of my life this year, particularly my time as a resident and as a Residential Mentor. We are so very lucky to live in the residential precinct and to have our educational opportunities on top of that. By approaching our life on college on the basis of that knowledge, we all have the capabilities to do amazing things.


GRACE MOTLEY 

2018 Yourimbah Residents Award Recipient
Blue Gum House

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Grace (left) accepting her award.

I was blessed to receive the award due to my contribution to the Blue Gum House Society and the organisation of BGH’s 20-year reunion dinner in September.

I was lucky enough to be elected President of Blue Gum House Society (BGHS) in 2018, and this role has seen me grow and push boundaries I didn’t know I could push. BGHS has had its most successful year to date, providing the residents of BGH with a life outside the daily tasks of university.

To be nominated in itself was an overwhelming emotion, but to walk up and receive the award in front of my peers knowing that I changed their on-campus experience has truly humbled me.

We strive to create engagement in the house and run social events to create long lasting friendships. This year, social events included Random Acts of Kindness Weeks, trips to a Reptile Park in collaboration with Student Living, fundraising through raffles and BBQs at Central Coast Open Day and the 20-Year Reunion Dinner.

This year marks 20 years of Blue Gum House providing a home to hundreds of students. To celebrate, the BGHS executive team and I, along with a group of residents, spent 7 restless months pulling together a formal reunion dinner held at the Millery on the Ourimbah campus to celebrate the tight-knit community of BGH. We gained sponsorships from UON Alumni Group and UON Central Coast in order to create a night no one would forget. It was amazing to create friendships and share experiences with previous and present residents.

I was beyond blessed to receive the Resident of Year Award for Blue Gum House. So many other people contribute to our little community and there are so many other deserving residents. To be nominated in itself was an overwhelming emotion, but to walk up and receive the award in front of my peers knowing that I changed their on-campus experience has truly humbled me.


Hamzah Bin Masagos and Anna Falkenmire

2018 Student Living Resident of the Year Runners Up

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Hamzah (left) from North Residence and Anna (right) representing International House.

We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our runners up for 2018, Hamzah and Anna. You didn’t make the decision any easier, we promise you.

A huge congratulations to Isabella and Grace. We can’t wait to see what you both do next!

Feature Image: Isabella and her sister Genevieve at the 2018 Student Living Awards Night.

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