Peer and Student Development Advisers

Peer Advisers are students currently studying at the University and will be your first point of contact with Student Connect. They will set up your appointment and be available to answer your general questions.

Your appointments will be with professional Student Advisers who are specialists in developmental advising.

Meet our advisers!

Alex

Bachelor of Economics

Student Development Adviser

I’m originally from Brisbane and studied Economics at the University of Queensland. After finishing Uni, I spent several years in Sydney, working in Market Research and Insurance. My fascination with different personalities and cultures then led me to Melbourne, where I worked with Indigenous university students to develop their professional skills and secure paid internship opportunities.

As a Student Development Adviser with the University of Melbourne, I meet daily with students from a wide variety of cultural and educational backgrounds. I enjoy helping students to articulate their goals and make the most of their university experience.

Favourite Season: Summer - Long days and swims in the bay after work!

Best coffee on campus: Standing Room

Anton

Master of TeachingBachelor of Arts (Literature and Philosophy)

Senior Student Development Adviser

Before my life here at The University of Melbourne, I spent 6 years teaching High School English. I have a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University with a Major in both Literature and Philosophy. I completed a Master of Teaching here at The University of Melbourne in 2008. I find the Melbourne University campus vibrant and exciting; there is always so much happening. I very much enjoy working with students and I think, deep down, I wish I could be a student forever! I look forward to meeting you.

I can't live without: Food. I love cooking and eating great food!

Favourite coffee on campus: House of Cards

Cameron

Fine Art and DesignTraining and AssessmentCertificate IV Youth, Child and Family

Senior Student Development Adviser

I'm a Youth Worker (CIV in Youth Child and Family) and have a Certificate in Training and Assessing (and Fine Art and Design in a previous life!) I have worked in steel factories, call centres and owned my own business making art works.

I have 17 years of experience in the tertiary education system where I worked for Victoria University in a variety of positions including assisting students in work placements and as a Student Welfare Officer.

When I'm not working: I'm listening to music, going to gigs, playing games with my kids, coaching a netball team

Beth

Certificate IV Training & AssessmentGraduate Diploma of Education (Secondary)Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts)

Student Development Adviser

After completing a Graduate Diploma of Education in 2004, I taught and coordinated programs catering for young people with multiple and complex needs outside mainstream education. Before coming to the University of Melbourne, I worked in Youth Engagement Strategy implementation and management.

In all of these roles, I enjoyed working with students in a way that recognised uniqueness of learning and aspirations. I'm looking forward to continuing to provide a space for students to develop self-efficacy and identity in their journey through University.

I can't live without: Lot 6 coffee, music and trees

Favourite season: Thunder storms!

Catherine

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)Master of ArtsDoctor of Philosophy

Manager

I love hearing people's stories about finding the pathway that fits them – the twists and turns that led them to find the things they want to do! I did a huge range of subjects at uni, from music performance, French and Italian, medieval literature to contemporary theory. And what I got out of it was a passion for writing, communicating, and arguing – as the rest of the team can attest!

Who would think that someone with an interest in King Arthur could end up being a professional speech writer or developmental adviser, but it's all about the skills you have and where you want to go!

Favourite coffee on campus: Lot 6

I can't live without: Books

Tony

Team Leader

Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Acting)

After graduating from VCA with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Acting), I embarked on what I hoped would be a fruitful and rewarding  career as an actor; however, after 8 challenging years, lack of money and acting jobs, my priorities changed and I decided to dive head first into Higher Education as a Student Adviser. What drew me to acting was my interest in human motivation and this is the same in my current position  - what drives a person to be the person they are or want to be? In my spare time I play in a band, read, travel and eventually I see myself on a farm, growing vegetables and raising chickens.

Fun fact: I look after two peacocks and two peahens. Captain, George, Patty and Sweet Pea.

Jianjun

Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics) Master of Applied Linguistics PhD. Second Language Acquisition

Student Development Adviser

Originally from China, I've completed tertiary qualifications in Australia including BA, Master of Applied Linguistics and a PhD in Second Language Acquisition. I've previously worked as an academic at the University of Melbourne and Monash University, working with both local and international students. For the past 8 years, I've been working as a corporate coach, helping people develop capacity and improving performance. I love seeing the satisfaction when students tell me they find it valuable to come and have a chat. I am pleased to be giving back to education. I'm looking forward to working with students and helping them achieve their educational and career goals.

Favourite thing to do on a hot day: Ice cream before dinner

Favourite place on campus: Old Quadrangle

Catherine

Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science)Master of EnvironmentGraduate Diploma of Education (Primary)

Student Development Adviser

I'm originally from WA and moved to Melbourne in 2009. I completed a Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne and tutored in the Bachelor of Environments program. I later completed a Graduate Diploma of Education. I have been involved in a number of grassroots programs for environmental education and have a broad range of experience working with students from primary, secondary and tertiary levels. What I love most about advising is being able to listen to students' unique stories and encouraging them to make the most out of their university experience.

Fun Fact: My favourite form of exercise is dancing in my living room!

Amanda

Bachelor of Science (Honours) Psychology

Team Leader

I have a passion for helping people and have worked in welfare, counselling, International Student Services and now in Student Connect. As a curious person I crave new experiences, so have done lots of travel, enjoy partaking of the Arts, eating copious amounts of different foods and going to talks and other interesting events. I lived for a stint in Beijing, where I co-ran a teahouse in the hutongs with a Chinese friend, as well as in Medellin, Colombia. I am super-active and above all love riding my bike, including up and most especially down mountains. What a buzz!

I studied my undergrad at the University of Melbourne, and like the idea of helping students realise their hopes and dreams, however they may look, and perhaps seeding the idea of joining a club or two, or going on exchange, which I didn’t take advantage of myself.

Spirit Animal: Cat

Last supper: Singapore Chilli Crab and Cantonese Roast Duck

Cynthia

Student Development Adviser

I studied clothing studies, which taught me both design and technical skills. A trip to India completely changed my focus/direction as I picked up the travel bug and became a travel agent for many years. This enabled me to see the world and develop a chronic passion for travel. I  have lived in London and Hamburg  as an adult. This led to forays in teaching English to large corporations and language schools in Hamburg, as well as a kindergarten! My other great loves are food and vintage shopping, which all ties in nicely with my travels. I enjoy a good chat and meeting people to hear about their different journeys.

Favourite coffee on campus: Standing room…amazing wee cakes!

Favourite season: Autumn - no hayfever! 

Gabby

Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and Italian)Master of Teaching (Secondary)

Student Development Adviser

As a past Bachelor of Arts student of the University of Melbourne, I have experienced first-hand the exciting ambience of campus life. I enriched my degree by going on exchange to the University of Bologna and then decided to do the Master of Teaching. I have enjoyed a career in the secondary school sector as an Italian and Humanities teacher.

I can't live without: My outrageously sweet Jackalier puppy, Macchiato.

Helen

Student Development Adviser

Hi, I'm Helen. I grew up in country New South Wales. The whole population of my hometown could fit into one of the larger lecture theatres here at Melbourne Uni! I completed my university studies at the Australian National University over 8 years while I worked in the public service and at ANU. I started out studying subjects like accounting, mathematics and history before settling on psychology and philosophy as my majors. I always like to learn new things and in the last few years have taken classes in ballet and ice skating.

I can't live without: Music

Libby

Bachelor of Arts (Politics)

Team Leader

I completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne in the 90's, majoring in politics. I've worked as an ESL teacher and a garden designer but since 2003 I have worked as a Student Adviser here at Melbourne.

The University is a fascinating place and there is much more happening than just lectures and tutes; from the Festival of Ideas to the sportier University Games. I enjoy talking to students from all walks of life and helping them embrace all the opportunities studying at Melbourne allows.

Favourite place on campus: The Rowden White Library, Union House

Favourite season: Autumn, it's glorious

Mary

Grad. Dip of Counselling & Master of CounsellingAdvanced Dip of Gestalt TherapyGrad. Dip of Outdoor EducationB. A., Grad. Dip of Education

Student Development Adviser

I am really glad that I have followed my passions throughout my career. From teaching in secondary schools, Outward Bound instructing in Wales, counselling both privately and in schools, now advising as a Student Development Advisor, I have embraced learning new skills and enjoyed working with a diverse group of people in a variety of contexts.....so rewarding! Now working at the University, I love to see students embracing their opportunities and the pathways that are open to them.

One thing on my bucket list: Walking the Camino de Santiago in its entirety

My favourite musical instrument: The bagpipes

Michael

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Social Theory, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Senior Student Development Adviser

I completed a BA (Hons) at the University of Melbourne and have also worked on campus for many years in a variety of roles. I am constantly reminded of the unique opportunity the university provides for students to discover and develop their interests, expand their horizons and enrich their life experience.

As a student development advisor I enjoy learning about the different perspectives students bring to the university experience. Finding ways of connecting these students to academic and campus life for the most rewarding outcomes provides me with enormous satisfaction.

Favourite place on campus: So many to choose from, and they each come into their own at different times of the year

Favourite coffee on campus: So many to choose from, but a clear favourite is Animal Orchestra

Maeve

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)

Student Development Adviser

After completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne in 2012, I spent 3 years working in the tertiary education industry. I worked with current and prospective students from across the globe to help them make their education dreams a reality. As an adviser at the University of Melbourne I love working with students to help them make the most of their time at University –and I love being back on this beautiful campus!

Favourite Season: Autumn in Melbourne is balmy and beautiful.

Fun Fact:  I played the flute all through high school (badly)

Sabrina

Master of Science (Medical Biology)Master of Education and Communication in Mathematics and Natural Sciences (Secondary)

Student Development Adviser

I’m originally from the Netherlands where I completed 2 Masters Degrees in Biology and Teaching.  After falling in love with Australia on travel adventures, I made the permanent move to Melbourne in 2012. I’ve taught Maths and Science at secondary schools in Europe and Australia for over a decade.

My joy in teaching has always been fuelled by interactions with students and learning about journeys, talents, dreams and passions, so I’m very excited to have a student advising role at the University of Melbourne. I look forward to discovering with you how you can get the most out of your university experience.

When I’m not working: I hike, camp, go to concerts, play board games, laugh at (British) comedy, watch/listen to science programs, and swing dance in vintage outfits

Favourite place on campus: System Garden - So blissfully tranquil and green

Sophie

Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary)Bachelor of Arts (Australian Indigenous Studies)

Senior Student Development Adviser

I completed a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University and, after travelling in Europe, decided to complete a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. I taught History, Geography and English in Melbourne and then embarked on my London adventure. Teaching in London was challenging to say the least; I resigned and looked for a new direction. Working as an Education and Community Engagement Officer in the Royal Parks was a fantastic experience and enabled me to travel extensively (Iceland and Lake Como were highlights!).

I am fortunate in that my work enables me to fulfil my passion for talking and hearing about people's journeys! I enjoy speaking with students to explore the many possibilities that university life opens up.

Cannot live without: Coffee