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Coffee with our new postgraduate Fellow of Senate

14 July 2016
First-year Doctor of Medicine student, Joshua Preece has been appointed the new Postgraduate Fellow of Senate

We sat down for coffee with Josh to find out what he drinks (a mocha) and what we can expect from his time on the Senate.

Joshua Preece, University of Sydney postgraduate Fellow of Senate.

Doctor of Medicine student, Joshua Preece is the new University of Sydney postgraduate Fellow of Senate.

What is the Senate and how does it affect students?

"The Senate is like the ‘board’ of the University, so it affects students by making high level decisions like program and structural changes. That’s one of the things that excite me, I’ve never really had access to that sort of high level decision making before.

"As the Postgraduate Fellow on the Senate, I’m almost entirely concerned with looking out for postgraduate interests."

How does your background prepare you for this role?

"I’ve been involved in student advocacy for many years now, predominately in advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. I think it’s important to be consultative with students and find out what concerns them – you’ve got to take your cues from the people that you represent, which is something that I’m hoping to do over the next few months."

What’s some advice you can share with other students?

"I think students should try and get involved in the things that they’re passionate about. For me, that’s student advocacy, but it might be photography or water polo, or things like that. It’s very easy in an academically rigorous program to just let your life become 100 percent reading textbooks, but I think it’s important to make sure that you’ve got different facets to your life and are doing things that you think are important."

You studied an economics degree and are now studying medicine – what was behind that switch?

"I was quite focused on the corporate path at one stage, and I certainly learned a lot during my undergraduate studies, but I’d also been thinking about medicine ever since high school. I think the same things that motivated me to pursue my undergraduate studies – wanting to understand the world, work in teams and help people– are very much the same things that motivate me to study medicine. I’m thoroughly enjoying the program so far."

Do you have any particular priorities for your time as a Fellow?

"I’d like to be a constructive voice where I can be. I know one of the priorities at the moment is addressing college culture, and I’m keen to assist with that where I can and I’m aware that the former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has been brought on recently, so that’s something that I have a part to play in as a college student.

"Also, ensuring that the merger of the Sydney College of the Arts has postgrad interests protected during that transition period. I think that those issues are an area that I have some interest in through my work at the Sydney University Postgraduate Association (SUPRA)."

Where do you see yourself in the future?

"I think I’ll always be an advocate for something or another, I’m always motivated to try and change things that aren’t working or to advocate for people’s interests that are perhaps being threatened or compromised. Even in the field of medicine you’re an advocate for your patients."