Resident Advisor

Do you have a passion for voluntary activities and initiatives that make communities more fun, inclusive and respectful? If so, why not consider becoming a Resident Advisor (RA)? 

In the role, you'll support your fellow residents as they learn about life in Australia, the city and the University. You can help to organise social or sporting events. Or just be there to lend an ear to someone who needs to talk things through. 

You'll receive extensive training from us in a variety of key areas – equipping you with a skill-set that looks great on your CV. And the role is completely voluntary. We don't use rosters – so you can choose when to be involved.

Scholarships

To show our appreciation of the important work, time and energy that RA's give freely to our campus community, we offer an MRS Resident Advisor Scholarship. To be eligible for this scholarship, you will have to meet these criteria: 

  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a holder of a permanent-resident or humanitarian visa, or an international student
  • be a current full-time student enrolled at a Monash campus in Australia
  • be a current resident with us
  • have been appointed to the role of RA with us. 

And to keep your scholarship active, you need to: 

  • remain in residency with us
  • maintain a full-time enrolment (written permission from the Director is needed for the scholarship to be granted or retained if you go part-time)
  • not be in breach of any current Monash Residential Services Conditions of Residency
  • maintain a minimum of a pass weighted average mark of 50%
  • maintain the support of the Residence's College Head through your conduct and contribution to your residential community and MRS more widely.

Training opportunities

We provide our RA's with extensive training that will teach you invaluable skills – skills that will come in handy throughout your life. You will be expected to complete the requirements outlined in the application form including, but not limited to:

  • completing our accredited and award-winning Mental Health First Aid Training
  • obtaining a Victorian Working with Children Check (Volunteer) card
  • completing Monash University Equal Opportunity (Students) online training
  • fulfilling any MRS required training commitments – as outlined in the application and appointment process. 

What we expect from our RA's

As a community leader and ambassador for your residence, you will be expected to support your community and set a great example – working with your Residential Support Team (RST) to promote our values and Mission Goals

When you're representing or engaging in activities associated with your residence, your behaviour and interpersonal relationships must be exemplary. You'll also help monitor the community, and you'll need to inform the College Head of anything: 

  • which will be important to the residential community
  • that has the potential to impact the experience of residents or our reputation
  • about personal conduct or situations within the University or wider community that might damage the reputation of the RST. 

Your College Head will provide you with guidelines on the contribution you'll be expected to make. These guidelines will be within the scope and spirit of the five areas of expectations and will contribute to the efficient management of the RST.

Challenges

With any leadership role, there will be challenges – this is where your training, resilience and communication skills will come to the fore.

Your patience may be tested, and you'll need a firm understanding of the importance of individual privacy and the confidentiality of procedural matters discussed within the Residential Support Team. There may be times when you will: 

  • have to deal with residents who may not listen to reason 
  • feel like the residents don't appreciate your efforts 
  • have to balance work, study and personal time with your contribution to the residential community
  • have to be tolerant of interruptions to personal time
  • be privy to information that is not to be discussed with the wider campus community 
  • have to exercise confidentiality. 

Rewards 

As an RA, knowing you've made a positive contribution to campus community life is very rewarding. There will be opportunities to: 

  • be part of a community and to lead, foster and nurture that community
  • assist new residents' transition to on-campus life through sharing your own experiences 
  • develop leadership skills through our training workshops
  • undertake certified training courses, developing personal and professional skills
  • help make the campus community a more exciting and enjoyable place to live
  • gain new perspectives on a diverse range of issues through working in a team and with residents from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Our five areas of expectations for RA's

Broadly, the expectations of RA's within their residence fall into the following five categories.

1. Personal development and welfare

  • Provide a first point of reference for complaints, pastoral-care issues and personal support to residents, and refer residents on to the appropriate Residential Support Team Officer (RSTO) (College Head, Deputy College Head, Residential Support Assistant) where required.
  • Demonstrate leadership and support in an allocated stairway/floor/unit.
  • Establish an appropriate relationship with every person in an allocated stairway/floor/unit.
  • Be aware of attitudes and behaviourial patterns of the residents in the stairway/floor/unit (as well as the wider residential community) and refer any concerns or issues on to the appropriate RSTO.

2. Living environment

  • Deal with minor conflicts and breaches of rules and regulations, and refer breaches and incidents to the College Head.
  • Maintain effective relationships with residents, and resolve problems that arise between residents in a constructive and fair manner.
  • Uphold and model exemplary conduct by adhering to the rules and regulations of MRS and general codes of behaviour.

3. Promotions and information

  • Develop information sheets, flyers and/or newsletters as a means of promoting activities and for disseminating educational information.
  • Display and distribute notices, forms, and surveys generated by MRS or your own residence. Follow up with residents on the completion and return of forms and surveys.
  • Be active within social-media communities – promoting MRS and residence activities in an appropriate manner.
  • Provide information regarding studies, MRS, events, facilities, the local area etc.

4. Community development

  • Actively promote and participate in community life.
  • Promote and support cultural-lifestyle diversity by organising and participating in social, recreational and educational activities.
  • Have a strong involvement and presence during O-Week (semesters 1 and 2) and in re-orientation activities.
  • Monitor the specific needs and requirements of first-year students and assist in the inclusion of various cultures, age groups, etc. within the residence environment.
  • Help residents develop a respect for other residents and the property of their residence and MRS.
  • Encourage residents to participate in all residential activities.
  • Actively promote recycling and resource conservation.

5. Social and recreational

  • Organise a variety of activities/functions that cater to the diversity of the community.
  • Provide support and guidance to resident committees, focus groups and societies.
  • Contribute particularly to one or more aspect of your residence – for example, facilitating activities associated with:
    • community functions and events
    • sports and recreational
    • information-technology activities
    • promoting multicultural understanding
    • academic support
    • environmental initiatives
    • health and well-being.

To find out more, speak to your Residential Support Team, or learn how you can sign up to be a Resident Advisor.