Division of Student Administration


Deakin University - E-election

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Candidates' Statements

Undergraduate nominations:

Loren Giles

Loren is 23 years old, in the 3rd year of a Law/Arts (Psychology) degree. Loren has been employed at a corporate law firm since 2009 as executive legal secretary, whilst also managing the admin/bookkeeping of a family business. Before University she took 2 years off, travelling around Europe. She has maintained a high academic average, winning a number of awards. Last summer was spent volunteering at a Community Legal Centre and is a founding member of a literature club at the Athenaeum Theatre. Loren has a strong interest in academic standards of Deakin and believes in making a positive contribution.

Joshua Gilligan

Josh is in his 2nd year studying Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Management full-time in Geelong and also works as a political advisor to a Member of Parliament. Other involvements include board member of Youth Affairs Council of Victoria - Youth Reference Group, Student Ambassador for Deakin University and Senior Mentor for Business and Law Faculty’s Student Mentor Program. Previously served as Board Director for LeadOn Ballarat Inc. and was awarded Hepburn Shire Council’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2010-11.

David Joyce

David is a 3rd year Commerce/International Studies student studying at the Burwood campus. In 2011/12, he served as the Clubs and Societies officer for DUSA overseeing all clubs and societies at Deakin, and is the current President of DUSA representing all students to the University. He has had experience sitting on various University committees and working groups including the Planning and Resources Committee, Alumni relations and Teaching and Learning Committees. This year he has represented the student body on University Council ensuring the student voice is heard at the decision making level.

Nadeem Hekmut

Nadeem is a 3rd year Bachelor of Law/Bachelor and possesses a vast amount of leadership experience; formerly the student representative in the Victoria University Faculty of Business and Law Academic Board from 2011 – 2012. Nadeem’s role was the liaison between students and staff taking up student concerns and ensuring they were acted upon. Further experience was being selected to be a part of the Victoria University Business and Law Faculty Review and a panel member in student appeal hearings. Nadeem was also school captain in high-school; student representative from year 7 – 12; volunteering and practical legal experience.

Lan Kwai Leung (Athena)

Lan Kwai Leung (Athena) is a 2nd year student majoring in Accounting, Finance and Financial Planning from Hong Kong. Experienced as a Youth facilitator of the Hong Kong Youth Summit, chosen by the Hong Kong Commission on Youth in 2011. Major responsibilities were leading discussion about youth issues in Hong Kong and sharing opinions among students and organisations concerned about youth issues. Is keen to be involved in the Academic Board and gain valuable experience. Moreover, as a student who receives lots of academic and non-academic support from Deakin, wants a chance to utilize their skills through participation and make the students’ life at Deakin more enjoyable.

Shai Sommer

Shai is a 4th year Law/Commerce (Accounting) student. Shai’s has been heavily involved in student life and Deakin representation. A member of the Deakin Law Students’ Society (DLSS) for over three years and most recently as President. As President, Shai was a member of the School of Law School Board as well as a student representative privy to regular meetings with the Head of Law School. Shai’s role included conveying students’ concerns and ensuring their voices were heard in addition to managing a 26 person committee.

Postgraduate coursework student nominations:

Kane Hooper

Kane is a student of the MBA at Deakin. Kane has very strong academic results, achieving an average grade of high distinction, after having completed his first three units of the MBA program. Kane has strong industry ties having worked as a turnaround specialist for seven years in the role of General Manager. He has successfully turned around eight companies making them profitable, including national companies. He also has experience in the not-for-profit sector having assisted in logistical support in the 2008 Victorian bush fires as well as a trauma counsellor in Indonesia following the 2004 South-East Asian Tsunami.

Ying Jia (John)

Ying Jia’s objective is to become a global citizen: contribute his skills and knowledge to other students in need. Currently - Master of Professional Accounting / Master of Commerce (Financial planning). In 2012 Associated member of CPA Australia: completed 5 of 6 units’ professional level program. In 2010 graduated from Massey University with a degree of Bachelor of Accountancy. In 2008 received a scholarship from Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) for its level 1 exam. In 2008 elected as international student executive of Massey University Student Association. In 2007 member of Student Staff Consultative Committee, College of Business, Massey University.

Justin Pierce

Justin is studying his third degree with Deakin.  A Bachelor of IT with First Class Honours and a Doctor of Philosophy from Deakin, along with the AICD Diploma, precede his current four-major MBA.  Justin has nurtured a 15 year relationship with Deakin, serving on the School of Information and Business Analytics Industry Advisory Board since 2003.  Justin was an active participant at the recent EPAS accreditation of the BCom and MBA programmes.  Currently a Project Manager with the Cotton On Group, Justin hopes to continue contributing to the University, this time representing the postgraduate student body at Academic Board. 

Higher degrees by research student nominations:

Matthew Larkin

Matthew is a PhD candidate with the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, in his 6th year at Deakin. He has been involved in a number of different student societies, including the Deakin Outdoor Club and Deakin Commerce Student Society, contributing to the committee in various avenues. Matthew held positions of Residential Assistant, Deakin Student Ambassador and Tutor. All of these experiences allowed him to gain a better understanding of how the higher education system works. He is also involved in a number of different sporting clubs and has held the position of Student President at Galen Catholic College.

Theo Connell-Variy

Theo is successfully moving into the 2nd year of candidature, within the Faculty of Business and Law, and is also a sitting member on several committees and boards. He wants to carry much of the momentum and knowledge developed in various service roles this year, into the position if re-elected. The experience gained and the relationships developed this year, while concurrently working on his research and having the honour of sitting on both the Academic Board and RRTC, have been invaluable. Should he be re-elected, he wants to continue to contribute strongly and be the voice of HDR students.



Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

8th October 2013