On Thursday 6th December we held the annual Leadership Awards Ceremony which recognises students who completed the Victoria Plus Programme and the Victoria International Leadership Programme. This year 48 students received the Victoria Plus Award and a further 49 completed the Victoria Plus Certificate. Congratulations to all of this year’s awardees! Below are the profiles of a couple of this year’s cohort.
Ned Treacher, BSc Physics & History
“I have greatly enjoyed taking part in the Victoria Plus Programme. It has given me valuable extracurricular skills that do not come from completing academic courses, and the motivation and opportunity to play a part in helping out my wider community – something that I always wanted to do but never really knew where to start.”
Leadership: Ned has developed skills in leading, training, supporting and mentoring others. He has a thoughtful approach to leadership, connecting individual actions to the bigger picture of community well-being.
Employability and Engagement : As a Note-taker for Disability Services over several years, Ned developed his written communication and time management skills, going on to become a Team Leader where he trained, supported and mentored other Note-takers. He was an integral part of the leadership team, supporting the Programme Coordinator to provide a professional service for students with disabilities. He represented his peers as a VUWSA Class Representative for multiple courses and the University as a student speaker at Open Day. Ned assisted new students as a Campus Coach, helping them learn about student life and find their way around campus. He has also been a great ambassador for charities, fundraising for Suzanne Aubert Home of Compassion, Arthritis NZ and Samaritans. In addition to giving back to others, Ned took part in many engaging personal development sessions, improving his social awareness, standard of ethical behaviour, study habits and job application skills. He feels that his general leadership, confidence, organisational skills, time management, and communication/interpersonal skills have all been greatly improved as a result of the Victoria Plus Programme.
Future: Ned plans to complete his Honours in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington with the aim that it will lead to research or employment in a relevant industry.
Ankita Parmar, Master of Professional Accounting
“Joining the Victoria Plus Programme was the best decision I took after coming to University. It has helped me grow as a person, made me more confident in my interactions with people and has really helped me broaden my outlook to think beyond my studies.”
Leadership: Ankita has a warm, kind and people-centred approach to leadership. She forms strong bonds with the people she leads, is enthusiastic and ensures that people have fun when they’re volunteering.
Employability and Engagement: As an international student, connecting with her community and meeting new people was important to Ankita. In her roles as an International Buddy and Residential Assistant at Willis Street Hall she was able to share her experiences with other international students new to New Zealand. As an RA she learnt the importance of morale and how to manage tough situations. Throughout her studies, she volunteered for the Fruit and Veg Co-op, first as a packer and then in the more senior role of managing the Co-op’s accounts and administration. Her calmness under pressure was a real asset and she was able to practice her academic skills and develop her time management skills. In the community, Ankita volunteered for IHC’s one-to-one friendship programme, supporting her buddy with everyday tasks and having fun with a new friend. She also volunteered for Trade Aid where she developed her customer service skills and learned about fair trade. In addition to leadership roles, Ankita made the most of the skills and career development workshops, appreciating The Impact of Volunteering workshop. This highlighted the importance of enjoying volunteering, something which is true of all Ankita’s experiences.
Future: Ankita plans to find accounting-related work in the not-for-profit sector so that she can put all of the experience she has gained through the Victoria Plus Programme into practice.