UTAS students who qualified for the prestigious Vice-Chancellor's Leadership Award have been recognised at formal presentations in Hobart and Launceston this week.
A total of 75 students (49 in Hobart and 26 in Launceston) completed the required tasks to achieve the award, which included attendance at six seminars, the completion of 40 hours of volunteering and a phased process of reflective writing.
Representing the recipients and speaking of his own experience in Launceston on Thursday, PhD education student Damon Thomas had everyone laughing at his experience volunteering for the Cancer Council of Tasmania, where he did everything from creating community awareness to promoting fundraising activities to dressing up as a giant prostate for Men's Health Week, where he "copped plenty of flack from rowdy teenagers" along with genuine interest from citizens in Launceston's Brisbane St Mall.
Damon said that one of the biggest things that participants take out of the VCLA is a more diverse vision of university life.
"Before my PhD I was grouped with education students, I ate lunch with education students in the education cafeteria and we talked about education assignments, school pracs and the possibilities of life as a teacher. And I dealt almost exclusively with students from the same year level as me," he said.
"But the VCLA breaks down the traditional faculty boundaries of a university and instead allows students to connect, not because of their future profession, but because they share a unified vision of a better Tasmania."
The Vice-Chancellor's Leadership Award was created to educate, challenge and inspire, and is designed to strengthen students' work ethic, community awareness, leadership and employability, as well as their skills in communication, teamwork, and problem solving - skills sought and valued by employers.
It is an extra-curricular program (not for credit) and is available to students from all disciplines who have completed a minimum of one year of study at UTAS.
The selection process is competitive - from more than 150 applications across Hobart, Launceston and Cradle Coast campuses, only 84 students were selected for the 2012 program. This year the merit-based application process provided a female majority.
Disciplines represented this year included education, nursing, maritime and logistics management, business, psychology, medicine, arts and law.
UTAS Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen said that having heard eight terrific speeches from a selection of award recipients in recent days he is "deeply reassured" that UTAS is doing something right.
"And that's not just because they were delivered by bright and articulate students, but also because the content was deeply considered and thoughtful," he said.
Before handing out certificates to VCLA winners in Launceston, Prof Rathjen also complimented the students on achieving something that will prove valuable in many ways as well as help them become more competitive in the future job market.
"By completing this course you are telling the world that you're interested in being a leader, that you have the initiative to start something of this kind, and that you have the perseverance to see a project through," he said.
"On top of that the reputation of the university is enhanced by your achievements, and the work you have done has massively raised the profile of the university in the local community with a two-way exchange that benefits everyone involved."
Joshua Biggs, Madeline Black, Janaya Burdon, Rowan Carmichael, Aran Cauchi, Anna Davies, Kathleen Downey, Abbey Franz, Matthew Gill, Robert Grafton, Maryanne Green, Aw Boon Hao, Aiden Harris, Deanne Heier, Aaron Hibberd, Amy Ikin, Wei Hu, Kellie Jay, Carla Johnson, Ben Jones, Jarryd Klein, Fayia Isaiah Lahai, Ang Li, Nicholas Letchford, Ella Little, Mazidah Mahron, India Mason-Cox, Kate McCambridge, Juliet Meredith Webster, Alexander Moores, Trixy Ng, Rachel Nichols, Rebecca Oakes, Ginita Oberoi, Imogen Osborne, Penelope Owen, Trevor Redding, Ashley Saw, Clare Scallon, Jaimee Sluce, Anna Spinaze, Victoria Stewart, Michael Thompson, Mark Tocock, Sarah Ugalde, Freya Van de Vusse, Arjun Visa, Rebekah Webb.
Ella Anderson, Marija Apostoloska, Kellie Ashman, Loradana Casey, Foong Yi Chao, Claire Gardner, Esther Hartog, Katrina Hatfield, Imal Hemachandra, Madeleine Jona, ABM Emrul Kayes, Victoria Kwabo, Erina Maruyama, Chloe Nettlefold, Mian Li Ooi, Louise Schaap, Miriam Scott, Arpit Talwar, Michelle Tan, Chris Terry, Damon Thomas, Oliver Venettacci, Camilla Waterhouse, Rhys Witt, Jia You, Ronald Yuen.