Leadership and Development Opportunities

One of the most valuable aspects of living on campus is the opportunity to develop as a person and grow your skills, beyond the traditional learning environment.

Living on campus gives you the chance to develop the more mundane, though fundamentally important life skills such as:

  • Learning to cook and even share recipes with new friends
  • Washing up after yourself and maintaining shared facilities
  • Doing your own laundry and ironing
  • Tidying your room
  • Learning to live independently and thrive

At Monash Residential Services you have access to a number of volunteer leadership and development opportunities, and we encourage you to get involved – from our Residential Support Team in the form of volunteer Resident Advisors to Hall Societies, Orientation Teams and Residents' Committee.

Volunteer Resident Advisor (RA)

Volunteer Resident Advisors are a group of engaged 'returning residents' who have been selected and trained as designated student leaders. RAs are there to help all fellow residents get the most out of their on-campus experience.

If you're an exceptional student, a good communicator and enjoy being the go-to person for information and advice, becoming an RA is one of the best ways to develop your own leadership skills and make a positive contribution to the community.

By applying for the RA program you have the chance to:

  • Receive extensive training
  • Receive scholarship opportunities
  • Become a leader in the community

To find out more about what we expect from our RAs, the challenges, rewards and learning opportunities, speak to your Residential Support Team Officers, or learn how you can apply to be a volunteer Resident Advisor.

RAs have the opportunity to represent their hall and their residents at the following central engagement and planning committees:

Diversity & Inclusion Committee

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee provides a resident voice to develop, implement and promote peer-led programs that actively support and promote the benefits of an inclusive residential environment. Those on the committee are expected to demonstrate and develop:

  • Understanding of and commitment to the principles of equity, equal opportunity and social justice,
  • Knowledge of MRS and relevant University policies and procedures,
  • Capacity to listen carefully and sensitively to queries and concerns without exercising judgement
  • Understanding of dealing with privacy issues and principles that underpin natural justice and procedural fairness.

Environment Committee

The Environment Committee works to develop a program of cultural change initiatives for the residential community, promoting MRS’ sustainable goals to achieve real and measurable environmental outcomes. They provide leadership by promoting and implementing a variety of environment and sustainability initiatives such as waste-free dining, low-waste swaps, tree planting days, Earth Hour and taking care of community gardens in each residence. Environmental representatives are also involved in educating our community about recycling, composting, water and energy-saving behaviours.

Gender Equality Committee

The Gender Equality Committee support the fostering of an inclusive and equitable community at MRS and Monash. They  coordinate and implement the Monash Respectful Communities events and initiatives.Those on the committee are expected to demonstrate and develop:

  • Understanding of and commitment to the principles of supporting diverse, inclusive and safe spaces at Monash University,
  • Being a champion in making Monash a safe community for everyone,
  • Capacity to listen carefully and sensitively to queries and concerns without exercising judgment,
  • Actively promoting gender equality.
  • Maintain membership on the Monash University Sexual Health Network (~5 meetings per year)
  • Develop and execute a range of programs, initiatives and awareness campaigns that continue to promote the safe and respectful MRS community.

Sport & Wellbeing Committee

The Sport & Wellbeing Committee is committed to promoting and organising our intercollegiate sports activities. Each residence has their own ‘Sports RA’ as well as two central RAs. Committee members are expected to

  • Assist to develop a yearly action plan.
  • Liaise with relevant persons from Monash Sport to book and confirm all venues before the start of each semester.
  • Communicate effectively with all the Sport & Wellbeing Representatives at Clayton and Peninsula
  • Assist in the development of incentive programs to encourage residents to participate as players, spectators and umpires.
  • Broadly advertise sporting events/wellbeing initiatives through multiple mediums.
  • Organise the Sports Awards for relevant activities

Residents' Committee

The Monash Residential Services (MRS) Residents' Committee strives to develop, promote and deliver residential programs that benefit the wider MRS community. Comprising representatives from all Residential Communities (including volunteer Resident Advisors and members of the residential social committee), ‘Res Comm’ as it is known not only advocates for Residents to MRS Senior Management, and the wider university, it is also responsible for organising fantastic community events including:

  • The annual MRS Ball
  • Live Below the Line, 'Shave for a Cure', and other fundraising events
  • The MRS Vampire Shield (blood donations through the Australian Red Cross)
  • Support and promotion for huge on-campus events like the Beach and Snow parties (the lovely Res Comm provide food, and non-alcoholic drinks to attendees)

Hall Societies

Most residences on campus establish a Hall Society each year whose objectives are to give the residents a voice and opportunity to engage in the hall through the facilitation of student lead events.

There are Executive (Execs) and often General Member volunteer roles available on each Hall Society. The key differences between Executives and Members relate to the responsibilities, scope and complexity of the role as well as the training opportunities. Those elected play an important role in representing student ideas at the central MRS Residents' Committee and can provide an alternative and potential early entrance leadership track for residents living on campus.

Formal Training Opportunities

If a resident becomes part of a social committee, hall society or Residential Support Team they may be eligible to access a range of training options including:

Mental Health Training

Mental Health Foundations has been created for the student leaders at MRS. Mental Health training has been a core aspect of the MRS development experience since 2010.

This workshop helps participants learn how to:

  • Identifying and responding to someone who may be struggling with their mental health
  • How to approach and talk with someone about their mental health
  • Who to notify if you have concerns
  • What services are available to assist someone with mental health problems
  • How to take care of yourself when supporting someone with a mental health problem

Leadership Dinners

Three times a year, we invite nominated residents to our Leadership dinners. Hosted by keynote speakers who have achieved outstanding success in their chosen field, it's a rare opportunity to get a first-hand insight into the skills and qualities it takes to become a great leader.  With a focus on International Women's Day and Gender Equality, the dinners  are a highlight of the academic year at MRS.

Some of our keynote speakers in recent years include:

Madeleine Grummet
Founder, CEO, entrepreneur, businesswoman & academic

Lisa Annese 
Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Council Australia

Simon Griffiths
Entrepreneur & Co-Founder and CEO of Who Gives a Crap