The VUWSA Executive

VUWSA’s Executive consists of 10 elected students who work to represent all Victoria students on the many committees and boards within the University. The Executive are also responsible for the strategic direction and governance of VUWSA.  We are students working for students. You can find the job descriptions for all of the Executive roles here.


Because we’re student-led your ideas shape everything we do. We’re here to help you make things better at VUWSA, Victoria, and even Wellington – so if you’ve got a suggestion please let us know as we want you to get the best out of your time at Victoria.


VUWSA’s Executive, together with over 1400 Class Reps and Faculty Delegates all work hard to make sure your voice and opinion is heard at every level at Victoria. We are committed to ensuring you have a fantastic student experience.


VUWSA offer a professional, confidential and independent student support and advocacy service, so if you have any problems (academic or personal) let us know. We also offer many welfare services that provide you with a helping hand.


Your time at Victoria isn’t just about passing courses and gaining degrees; it’s also about having fun, meeting new people, and having new experiences. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and keep checking our website for details about events and all other ways you can get amongst it!


Rick Zwaan – PresidentRick

Hi there! I’m Rick, your VUWSA President 2015. Being President is a pretty awesome job, and I have such a great team to work with! I am responsible for ensuring that VUWSA, as an organization, meets its strategic and constitutional goals. As President, I’m responsible to the Executive and members for VUWSA’s operations. The President is also responsible for chairing and providing leadership to the VUWSA Executive and ensuring that the Executive are acting transparently and are being held accountable.


Jonathan Gee - Academic Vice PresidentJonathan Gee

Hi there! I’m Jono, your Academic Vice President. My job is to be your academic voice, making sure that your academic issues are addressed and that the university provides quality learning and teaching. I also lead the VUWSA Education Team who coordinate student representation at Vic – whether it be by engaging with and training up Class Representatives, supporting Faculty Delegates or sitting on Academic Board and Committee, we’re committed to a strong student voice at Vic.

This year, my goal is to ensure that VUWSA’s academic work is visible and relevant. This includes making sure that you know your rights as a student when it comes to things like getting an exam script reassessed or requesting an extension due to a crazy workload; as well as reviving the Alternative Student Guide, a guide filled with student views on different courses provided at Vic.

I’m always super keen to have a chat about how we can make VUWSA work for you, so feel free to flick me an email, send me a tweet, or drop by the office!


Madeleine Ashton-Martyn - Welfare Vice PresidentMaddy

Hey there! I’m Madeleine, your Welfare Vice President. Essentially it’s my job to look out for you, so if you need to talk to someone who is going to get you and get your issues as a student, hit me up and I’ll do everything I can to help. I know that being a student isn’t easy – financial issues, inadequate housing, huge levels of stress. Keeping healthy both physically and mentally while studying is really hard. I’m here to support you by looking after cool great welfare services like the Food Bank, Stress Free Study Week, and student advocacy, as well as campaigning for changes that will make a tangible difference to students’ lives. This year we’ll be continuing work on #Fairer Fares, Rental Warrant of Fitness, campus safety as well as looking into how we can make StudyLink more student friendly.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if there’s anything I can help you with!


Toby Cooper – Engagement Vice PresidentToby

Hi there! My name is Toby and I am the Engagement Vice President for 2014. It’s my job to make sure that everything we do is all about you – helping you get the best out of your student experience at Vic. I look after the Engagement Team, and we’re going to be working hard this year making VUWSA accessible and relevant. From O Week to the General Election, the Faculty Games to Clubs Week, you’ll find us in the middle of it. When I’m not engaged with the student population you’ll find me making music, geeking out over sci-fi, and posting all the things on tumblr.


Jacinta Gulasekharam  – Treasurer-SecretaryJacinta

Hi everyone, my name is Jacinta and I’m the Treasurer-Secretary for VUWSA in 2015. I monitor and look after VUWSA’s finances and administration. This work includes monthly budget review, recording and publishing of the minutes from Executive Meetings and other important documents. I chair the Executive Reporting Committee, Policy Committee and the Publications Committee. I am also a member of the Audit and Finance Committee and an ex officio member of the VUWSA Trust. If you have any concerns about financial or administrative parts of VUWSA, don’t hesitate to contact me.


Nathaniel Manning - Campaigns OfficerNathaniel

Kia ora, I’m Nathaniel, your Campaigns Officer at VUWSA this year. VUWSA is all about uniting the voices of students so that we can make ourselves big enough to change things for the better. As the Campaigns Officer on the executive this year, it’s my job to ensure that those in power hear that voice, whether it’s the university, council or central government on issues affecting them, such as living costs, renting, or fees.  Also, awareness campaigns so that students know what their Student Association does, and what their rights as students are, are also important areas for me.  I work closely with the Engagement Team, Welfare Team, and Academic Team, to work towards creating a successful student experience for all.

I’m always keen to hear from students on how they want VUWSA to represent them, so feel free to hit me up!

Phone: 04 463 7406
Twitter: @nil_joel


Ellen Humphries – Education OfficerEllen

Hey everyone! I’m Ellen, your VUWSA Education Officer for 2015. In this role I will be working closely with the other members of the Education Team, the Academic Vice-President and the Student Representation Coordinator on all issues academic. We will collaborate with Class Reps, Faculty Delegates and a range of other student rep groups to improve your learning experience here at Victoria and solve any issues that may arise during the year, no matter how big or small. We want to work with you to make this year as stress-free and successful as possible so feel free to visit us in the office, call or email whenever!


Chennoah Walford - Equity OfficerChennoah

Kia ora!

I’m your Equity Officer for 2015. My role is to support all students to participate fully at Vic, and I’ll do this by helping to provide access to support, university services and university life more generally. I will work closely with Madeleine Ashton-Martyn (Welfare VP) and Rory Lenihan-Ikin (Welfare and Sustainability Officer) as a part of the VUWSA Welfare Team.

My main focus will be to interact with students with disabilities and impairments, Maori, Pasifika, international, women and queer students. However, no matter what your background or identity, you should feel welcome to contact me via my email with any campus queries or concerns you might have, and I’m always open to suggestions for how I can make Vic life more Equitable.


Rory Lenihan-Ikin - Wellbeing and Sustainability OfficerRory L

Kia Ora! I’m Rory, your Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer. The core focus of my role is about improving the wellbeing of students, and creating opportunities for more sustainable lifestyles.

Issues of immediate concern to student wellbeing such as access to good food, invariably relate to broader ones such as the sustainability of our university and society. My goal is to tackle issues in both spaces by facilitating projects that encourage students to take ownership of their role in the community. This includes things like the VUW food co-operative and the community garden, which will contribute to the vibrancy of the University, and hopefully enrich the student experience for all.

If there is an issue of concern to you, or equally an idea that excites you about the wellbeing and sustainability of students, the university, or the wider community, please do get in touch!


Rory McNamara - Clubs and Activities OfficerRory M

Hi everybody! I’m Rory, the Clubs & Activities Officer for 2014. I am passionate about ensuring that students at our campuses have a vibrant student experience. I do this by working alongside clubs to provide guidance and support and as a student representative who will stand up to the university to ensure that clubs’ needs are met. I love chatting to clubs about their goals and events, and how I can help to make things happen. Feel free to pop by for a chat if you help run a club, are interested in starting up a new club, or are simply keen on joining a club. You can find me in the VUWSA office at Kelburn every Monday, from noon until 2:00pm. I am also a member of the VUWSA Engagement Team, who will be working tirelessly to put on some fabulous events this year. I’ll be there on the frontline, making sure that everything goes smashingly.