Where’s your charger? Personality styles and social energy

Our first post for a while, this is a guest blog from the wonderful Liana Skewes, who combines studying for a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, with working as the co-ordinator for Student Futures Online at FedUni AND being a fantastic fashion blogger! Liana has kindly allowed us to repost the following from her blog, which you can find here: http://findingfemme.blogspot.com.au

One of the most common misconceptions people have about me is that I’m an extrovert. This probably stems from the notion that extroversion involves being outgoing and introversion refers to reclusive behaviour. In fact, introversion and extroversion are about social energy, specifically where the energy from social activity comes from. Its no wonder when I’m confident, or energetic, or willing to have a go that people think I’m outgoing. Especially when I am often in positions of visibility, such as performing. Continue reading

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National Student Leadership Forum – Reflections of a Student Leader

“Leadership is the legitimate use of power to achieve outcomes on behalf of a group of people”

The National Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values, held in Canberra over 4 days in September, was a melting pot of leadership styles, personalities, experiences and beliefs as young leaders from across Australia and around the world were encouraged to look beyond the label of ‘leader’, to what drives each of us to do what we do, to consider what it is to harness your faith and values into true servant leadership. Continue reading

The Student Leadership Conference, from a student’s perspective…

The One Small Thing conference is coming up on the 17th + 18th September – if you’re involved in the program, there’s really no excuse for not knowing that… 🙂 – and one of last year’s delegates, Bella, very kindly sent us her thoughts on her experiences last year.

FedUni Student Leadership Conference 2015 globe logoIn 2014, I began my interest in the Leadership and Volunteering Program and being a part of the wider university community. Best decision so far! It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, undertake professional and personal development and have fun. I truly recommend having a look to anyone with an inkling of curiosity or enthusiasm for leadership, volunteering, socialising and learning. Continue reading

On Marriage Equality and Representative Democracy

Rainbow FlagOn this blog, we don’t tend to get political. There are plenty of people out there already writing about politics for a start, and we want to encourage everyone to develop as leaders and follow their passions regardless of their personal views. Sometimes though, a political story transcends politics to teach us some significant leadership lessons.

A few days ago, as I’m sure you’ve seen, the current coalition government of Australia decided not to allow their MPs a free vote on same-sex marriage. This means that if a vote does occur in this parliament, any MP who represents either of those parties will be obliged to vote against the right of individuals to marry a partner who identifies as the same gender. Whether they personally agree with it or not.

In a representative democracy governments will always legislate according to their own policies, we elect them to make those calls and are given the opportunity every few years to kick them out if we don’t agree with them. Does our government provide constituents with sufficient voice, given that surveys have indicated that support for marriage equality across Australia is sitting at around 70%? Wouldn’t a plebiscite in this term of government be an appropriate option?

My personal view, and one that is apparently shared by around 70% of Australians, is that someone in a modern, forward-thinking egalitarian society should be able to marry someone who identifies with any gender or none if that’s what they want to do. My sister lives in a country where same-sex marriage is legal and was able to marry her long-term partner (who happens to be female) a few years ago – it was a great day and she is visibly happier and healthier being able to live an authentic life as a result. This blog isn’t here to try to persuade you on marriage equality – you hold your views and I hold mine – I’m fine with that.

It’s OK that governments don’t consult the public on every decision – 70% have our chance in a year or so to change to a government that agrees with us on this. However, is it okay to not allow their individual MPs to vote for themselves or to truly represent their constituents?

Leaders fall broadly into two fields – those who try to persuade people of their point of view, and those who try to represent the point of view of the people. It is very easy to interpret the government’s action as an act of infantilising and neutering their own teams. If so, leaders run the risk of demonstrating both a lack of conviction in their own beliefs and their ability to persuade others to get behind them, and an unwillingness to lead on behalf of people who personally disagree with them. No wonder public trust for politicians is low – if you as a leader don’t trust the people around you to be able to make the right call, how can you expect others to?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter – please leave a comment if you have something to say!

FedUni ENACTUS vs Australia…

FedUni ENACTUS selfie - From left: Lee, Deb, Dylan, Jess, Jane, Ben.
FedUni ENACTUS selfie – From left: Lee, Deb, Dylan, Jess, Jane, Ben.

To enable progress and inspire action! The ideals of Enactus were on full display as university teams from across Australia came together at the Grand Hyatt, in Melbourne, to showcase their entrepreneurial initiatives in place to improve the lives of people in need. The Fed Uni Enactus team, consisting of 5 active students along with our Faculty Advisor Deb, prepared our presentation for delivery to judges from major corporate sponsors, such as KPMG & Woolworths, as well as representatives from over 20 universities active in Enactus Australia.

WINNERS!!!!
WINNERS!!!!

After working hard to overcome a tumultuous previous 12 months, the FedUni team were in acompetition with  5 other universities, including UoQ & Latrobe, in a special ‘New Teams’ competition.  After a full day of competition, the FedUni Team were excited to be declared the winners of the Best New Team prize in recognition of our work on projects Adesua and FedUni Succeed, against a strong representation from all Unis involved.

The national competition winners heading to the World Cup in South Africa were the University of New England with the runners up being Edith Cowan University.  We’re excited to head back to nationals again next year in the main competition leagues and compete for our chance for a position in finals!

If you’re interested in the chance to develop your professional skills, help those less fortunate, travel or network with some of the highest executives of Australian business contact us via Facebook or fedunienactus@gmail.com for more info on joining our winning team! No matter your course, skill set, availability or interests we can help you achieve your personal goals and create positive change in people’s lives!

FedUni ENACTUS will also be running a workshop at The One Small Thing Conference at Mt Helen on 18th September, so you can find out exactly what they do and how you can get involved there: http://bit.ly/OneSmallThing15

  • Jess Kelly

Online volunteering: an effective way to help in a digital age?

With the rise of social media and an increasingly connected world, we are also seeing the rise of online activism. Being able to stay curled up at home when it’s cold and miserable and still be doing something to help others is an incredibly attractive prospect. But is it really helpful?

There are numerous different ways to volunteer online, ranging from signing a petition for a cause through websites such as Avaaz, Change.org or GetUp! to volunteering writing or IT skills to a particular cause. It’s hard to say how much impact your signature will have on a petition, but nobody can deny that they can create change – Avaaz have successfully used their online campaigns to lobby governments and big business on 251,804,704 actions since 2007.

Another sort of online activism that receives a huge amount of attention is via Facebook. As easy as it is to ‘like’ a cause you are interested in on Facebook, studies have shown that engagement from this sort of social media is fleeting and does not lead to any sort of meaningful impact. At best, it is spreading awareness of a cause without a follow-on effect. Though that’s not a bad thing in itself, either. You liking a post by Amnesty may introduce one of your facebook friends to their great work. You never know!

There are real and long-lasting changes that can be made by online volunteers. You could volunteer through the UN Online Volunteering portal, which links volunteers up to thousands of different opportunities from hundreds of reputable not-for-profit and non-governmental organisations ranging from writing, translation and research through to training and project management.

Another cool online opportunity could be to help transcribe field notes, specimen details and dairy entries for exhibits in Australian Museums or help Operation War Diary to discover amazing stories about World War I by reading and tagging some of their 1.5 million diary pages!

Online volunteering cops a lot of flack for being a ‘soft’ option. But I think it’s safe to say that if done the right way it can and will make a difference to the global community.

Why Every Day Should Be Pay It Forward Day

To “pay it forward” is to respond to someone’s kindness by then being kind to someone else. Ultimately the idea of this is to create a wave of kindness amongst humanity.  Imagine a tsunami, but instead of water and destruction there is kindness and happiness. That’s pretty cool.

PayIt ForwardYesterday in Australia it was Pay It Forward Day, where you are encouraged to act with generosity towards others and set off the kindness motion. It is a day dedicated to doing something without expecting anything in return, which is awesome. But why are we only expected to notably act with such kindness on one day of the year? Why not pay it forward on 365 days of the year? Yes, it is important to actively recognise a powerful phenomenon such as this, but if we all practiced it as part of our everyday lives would it really be necessary to dedicate a single day to it?

Is it just an excuse for your kindness to be noticed?

4907_lollipopThere’s no extrinsic reward for paying it forward, you don’t get a lollipop or trophy for being kind, which is possibly why there is not a lot of kindness in the world. People are motivated by materials and receiving, they won’t pay it forward because there is nothing in it for them. Don’t feel bad, we all do it, it’s the truth of today. But don’t be fooled, there is something in it for you. It’s that wonderful feeling of internally knowing that you did something great and made a permanently positive impact on someone’s life. That’s the power you have as a human, you can change people’s lives. And you can do this by simply being kind, acting with generosity, being considerate, seeing a need and acting on it.

When you reflect later on in life, imagine the feeling of knowing that you contributed some goodness to this world, that you made someone’s life that bit better.

That feeling should be enough to not only pay it forward today, but every day. You should never underestimate the magnitude of your actions, so why fit all of your kindness into one day? And sometimes, kindness is kind to you. You might choose to help someone carry their groceries, and one day, someone might just help you. It’s like a kindness boomerang.

So I hope you did something nice for someone yesterday, that you received a kindness too and that you pay it forward today, not because that’s what were told to do, but because you are human and you can.

And then do it again tomorrow, then the next day, then the next and so on. Make ordinary lives extraordinary.

I challenge you. Please accept.

– Annika Miesen, FedUni Student