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The Australasian

Victoria University of Wellington University of Western Sydney University of Tasmania University of Otago St Marks College Macquarie University CQ University Australian National University University of Sydney University of Newcastle University of Adelaide NMIT, Nelson, New Zealand Griffith University Flinders University University of Ballarat College House Christchurch University of New England Australian Catholic University Victoria University University of Western Australia University of Southern Queensland The Gordon Otago University College John XXIII College Dunmore Lang College Charles Sturt University Waikato University University of South Australia University of New South Wales University of Aberdeen Massey University, Wellington Lincoln College Edith Cowan University Central Queensland University Campion College Auckland University of Technology University of Technology Sydney AACUHO  ... Where you belong University of Queensland Swinburne University of Technology Monash University James Cook University Deakin University University Of Wollongong Charles Darwin University University Of Auckland University of Melbourne Massey University, PalmerstonBUMPER North AACUHO La Trobe University Curtin VOLUME 7 EDITIONN 1 University of Technology Bond University Aquinas College o.

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Melbourne Office Neil Muir Ph: (03) 9758 1433 Fax: (03) 9758 1432 Email:


4  AACUHO Conference Program 2012

8  The Caps are Off: Changing Landscapes

Adelaide Office Robert Spowart Ph: 0488 390 039 Email:

“Learn, Unlearn, Relearn”: Key Competencies 11  in Leadership

Production Emily Wallis Tel: (03) 9758 1436 Email: Administration Robyn Fantin Tel: (03) 9758 1431 Email: Marketing Tania Lamanna Tel: (03) 9500 0285 Email:

Message from AACUHO

14  New Aged Universities Associate Membership in Colleges 16  Reducing Harm: How to Develop an Alcohol 18  Management Plan Join AACUHO & see the world! 19  Making a Career Move: Practical Tips to Making 21  the Move! Living On-Campus Makes the Difference: 23  The Deakin University Evidence Responding to Self Harm: A Legal Guide 30  for Educators The National Broadband Network 32 

35  Making Teacher Appraisal Work Choosing Your Laundry Equipment 38 

40  Product News The Australasian Student Residences Management Journal is published by Adbourne Publishing in conjunction with AACUHO, the Australasian Association of College and University Housing Officers Inc., and UCA, University Colleges Australia.

Front cover: Committee Members in Photo (left to right): Colin Marshall (University of Ballarat) – AACUHO President Edwina Ellicott (University of Wollongong) – AACUHO Vice-President John Temple (Deakin University) – Committee Member Kasia Quail (Deakin College, Deakin University) – Committee Member Michael Braithwaite (Aquinas College) – AACUHO Treasurer Tom Mitchell (University of Western Australia) – Committee Member Sean Brito-Babapulle (Mannix College, Monash University) – Committee Member

DISCLAIMER Adbourne Publishing cannot ensure that the advertisers appearing in The Australasian Student Residences Management Journal comply absolutely with the Trades Practices Act and other consumer legislation. The responsibility is therefore on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisement(s) for publication. Adbourne Publishing and The Australasian Student Residences Management Journal reserve the right to refuse any advertisement without stating the reason. No responsibility is accepted for incorrect information contained in advertisements or editorial. The editor reserves the right to edit, abridge or otherwise alter articles for publication.


All original material produced in this magazine remains the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without authority. The views of the contributors and all submitted editorial are the author’s views and are not necessarily those of the Australasian Association of College and University Housing Officers, or the publisher.


Message from AACUHO


t is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this bumper AACUHO edition of the Student Residences Management Journal. In particular I am pleased to welcome new members and member institutions to the association.

AACUHO is the premier professional organisation for all who work in Post Secondary Education Accommodation, in any capacity, throughout Australasia. If you are not a current member of the association, then I strongly urge you to consider joining us today Contributing to this bespoke edition of the SRMJ are a number of AACUHO committee and members from around Australasia who are dedicated and passionate about the work they do. The featured articles by Dr Robyn Sheppard, Tom Mitchell, Sean Brito, Liza Allen, Nick Merrett, Dr Joe Massingham and AACUHO Vice President Edwina Ellicott can be easily identified by the AACUHO banner and identifier.


For those of us who serve and support students in colleges, halls and residences, we experience many joys & challenges that accompany the important work we do. AACUHO support the vital endeavours of all student housing staff and we are committed to building both quality and expertise in the sector. The Committee has achieved much in the last year for the Association. You have no doubt seen it, read about it and for many – contributed to the success. Your feedback is welcomed and ensures we keep on task responding to the expressed needs of our membership. I encourage you to keep connected to your profession and what better way to do this than via AACUHO! There is no doubt that greater collaboration will be a key factor for continued success and relevance for AACUHO in a new and unchartered higher education landscape. This past year AACUHO has worked to foster and strengthen relationships with a number of representative associations/groups, both domestically and abroad. As a direct result you will have the opportunity to hear from and speak to a number of these folk in Wollongong. In 2011 AACUHO launched our E-Updates. These regular member only bulletins have rapidly developed to become a ‘must read’ for our membership. Your feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and amongst other activities, we will be working to further develop this platform, our website and social media presence in 2012. To our sponsors, both long standing and new – your support of the association is appreciated and valued. In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for both their service and support in what has been a busy, but fruitful 12 months. See you in Wollongong (oh and it is not too late to register)!

Many thanks, Colin Marshall


AACUHO President Director Campus Life University of Ballarat



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The Caps are Off: Changing Landscapes StarNet StarRez AACUHO Conference 24-27 April – Wollongong Have You Registered Yet? Edwina Ellicott | AACUHO Vice President, Marketing and Occupancy Manager, Accommodation Services Division, University of Wollongong


ACUHO’s aim is to be the premier professional organisation for all who work in Student Accommodation in any capacity throughout Australasia. One of the main ways AACUHO does this is through its annual conference.

AACUHO, through the 2012 Conference Organising Committee is proud to host the 2012 StarNet StarRez AACUHO Conference at the Novotel Hotel in Wollongong, from Tuesday 24 April to Friday 27 April, 2012.


Wollongong’s unique location on the south coast combines beautiful beaches, a spectacular escarpment, quaint coastal villages and a vibrant city. This mix makes for an ideal conference location, only an hour’s drive from Sydney. AACUHO

The AACUHO conference organising committee is comprised of members like you – professionals in their field who are passionate about our industry and the important work we do. They include: • Colin Marshall, Director of Campus Life, University of Ballarat (AACUHO President) • Edwina Ellicott, Marketing and Occupancy Manager, Accommodation Services Division, University of Wollongong (AACUHO Vice-President) • Leanne Robinson, Student Residence Manager, Weerona College & Gundi, Accommodation Services, University of Wollongong • Sharon Peaston, Admissions Officer, University of Wollongong • David Griffin, Director of Campus Life, Charles Sturt University • Nick Merrett, Manager Student Accommodation, Victoria University of Wellington • Simon Scott, Head, Halls of Residence, University of Queensland, Gatton • Amy Abel, Conference and Events The conference organising committee have worked hard to produce an exciting, informative and not to be missed program. In 2012, the Higher Education landscape in Australia is entering unchartered territory, therefore it is fitting that our conference theme “The Caps are Off: Changing Landscapes” has been selected. This new paradigm will undoubtedly present challenges to Universities and, in turn, our colleges, halls and residences. The demography of our students will continue to evolve as we adapt to meet the realities of a demand driven system while maintaining our demonstrable contribution to the student experience The keynote speakers on the first day such as Professor, Paul Wellings, Vice Chancellor of UOW, Dr Caroline Perkins, Executive Director of Regional Universities Network

and Ainslie Moore, Assistant Director, International from Universities Australia are well equipped to address the conference theme and provide a high level overview of the changes in Higher Education and how it will effect Student Housing. Following on from this a panel session involving all three speakers will give members a chance to ask questions and contribute to the discussion. Other keynote speakers on the program will include: Darren Peters, Director of Campus Wellbeing at Macquarie University, Dr Lindsay Oades, Director, Australian Institute of Business WellBeing , Sydney Business School, UOW, Positive Psychology, former Head of International House, Wollongong, Geraldine Cox, Founder of Sunrise Children’s Villages in Cambodia and Kerri Pottharst, Beach Volleyball Olympic Gold Medallist. In addition to this line up, there are some outstanding member papers and concurrent sessions that will address a broad range of day to day and practical issues in the student housing industry. Topics such as Leadership, an overview on a UK Residential Operation, and ResPASS, a new approach to student programming using the PASS program are just some of the member papers that will be delivered. The concurrent sessions provide a great opportunity for members to discuss a specific topic in an informal atmosphere, led by two or three members. The main concurrent streams are Leadership and Resilience, Pastoral Care and Housing and Business Operations. A real benefit of this conference will be the networking opportunities and social events. With delegates registered from all over Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai, USA and the UK, there will be plenty of opportunities to catch up with industry colleagues and make new contacts. Some of the social events include organised activities on Wednesday afternoon giving delegates a chance to see the best of Wollongong (think riding Harley Davidson motorbikes along the coast road or golf at the Wollongong Golf Club). There will be optional beer tasting at the Wollongong brewery with an informal dinner afterwards and the conference dinner will be held at the Novotel with some great entertainment

in store. And to acknowledge Anzac Day, delegates will have the chance to attend a Dawn Service with breakfast provided afterwards. Another feature of the conference will be the study tour preceding the conference. This is an outstanding professional development opportunity for all who work in the tertiary accommodation sector. Designed to be informative, fun and providing plenty of networking opportunities, attendees will visit a broad range of student accommodation in Universities throughout NSW and the ACT. The hosts at each location have been asked to discuss how they are adapting various factors of their residences such as expansion plans, residential programs for students, managing changing demographics and other initiatives they are implementing to meet this changing environment. The tour will visit student residences at Sydney University, University of Technology, Sydney, Charles Sturt University, Macquarie University, Australian National University, University of Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy and the University of Wollongong. You will see some very traditional Colleges, refurbished accommodation and brand new student accommodation, private providers and university managed accommodation. The tour will cover virtually all aspects of the student housing market in Australia. Without our sponsors it would be difficult to put together such an excellent program. AACUHO thanks Platinum Sponsor: StarNet/StarRez, Gold Sponsors: ABC Commercial Living, Vintech Systems, BigAir Community Broadband, Silver Sponsors: Alliance Catering, BVN Architecture and Scolarest and Exhibitors: Direct Products, Programmed Property Services, Harvey Norman Commercial, and Alcocops.

For more information about the conference and study tour, or to register, go to index.htm


The Australasian Student Residences Management Journal



“Learn, Unlearn, Relearn”: Key Competencies in Leadership Tom Mitchell | AACUHO Committee Member , Deputy Head of College, Trinity Residential College, UWA.


n this article I will discuss the concept of “Learn, Unlearn, Relearn” and why it is so important for leaders to be able to continually adapt the way that they understand people, situations, and indeed the world. I will stress the need for leaders to be able to step out of the limitations of their own experience and to view things from many different perspectives. Through careful discernment, and with an open mind they should be comfortable in adjusting their original conceptualisations in the light of the available evidence. It was the futurist Alvin Toffler who stated that “...the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”. Perhaps the initial part of this statement is somewhat contentious in that it is difficult to be considered literate if you are not able to read and write. However, the need for people to learn, unlearn, and relearn is very deserving of exploration. The ability to adapt has been a key attribute for success in many areas, even in evolution. It was Charles Darwin who stated “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” The Webster dictionary defines the term “unlearn” as the act of undoing the effect of or discarding the habit of. Unfortunately,

what we learn at a young age is often incredibly difficult to unlearn. An example would be, in educational terms, a thing called “children’s science”. Despite most people in the first world having the benefit of a high school science education many are unconvinced about the use of scientific models to explain the “real world”. The world that they know and understand. Often times they will learn a scientific explanation in order to pass a test but their underlying understanding is unaltered. Two common “children’s science” conceptions are: “Particles in solids have no motion” and “Sound can travel through space”. Students will deny what they believe for the purposes of the science test but will revert back to them for the purposes of real life! “I’ve watched Star Wars... clearly sound travels through space”. In other words our early understandings are very persistent and resistant to change. Herein lies the inherent difficulty of children growing up in households where stereotypes about race, religion, and gender are passed on from one generation to the next. Trying to alter these preconceptions can be nigh on impossible. Although incremental learning and building on one’s previous knowledge is a well recognised process in the art of teaching, where prior learning is negative and resistant to change it can simply be a hindrance to learning. One of the great barriers to people changing their attitudes, beliefs, and ways

of operating is something called “The Pit”. I learnt of the pit from Professor John Edwards from the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) who conducted a seminar on change management that I attended in Perth about nine years ago. He described the pit as that period of diminished performance following the initial implementation of a change. He stated that there is unlearning of old habits and learning of new ones to occur and this takes a period of time and can be a physically and emotionally demanding phase in the change process. In this period of flux, one can expect diminished performance even though the change process, given due time, could be very successful. Professor Edwards said that with most significant change, we should expect the pit. Awareness of the pit is very important for leaders so that well planned out, well researched, and potentially very beneficial and significant change is not abandoned prematurely. Seeing this period as a natural part of the process allows us to weather the storm in a much more positive and productive manner. In leadership development it is important to help people to challenge their own preconceptions and to be open to new ways of viewing the world. This also involves people going through the pit as they unlearn ways of understanding the world that have served them well to this point. Their security is challenged as they develop new paradigms that can serve them better moving into the future.


The Australasian Student Residences Management Journal


My approach is to use images of child soldiers in Africa, refugees behind high wire fencing, and the naked girl (Phan Thi Kim Phuc 1972) running down the road distraught as she fled the horrors of the Vietnam War. The following questions are put up on a PowerPoint slide for people to consider as they look at one of the confronting images: To be emotionally adept, we need to develop emotional literacy: 1. What emotions am I feeling? 2. What are the geneses of these emotions? Having been challenged to reconfigure the way in which they perceive the world, good leaders are able to apply the process to each and every situation that arises. Good leaders challenge their own understanding of the situation and attempt to place themselves in positions, metaphorically speaking, that may give them a different perspective. When I did some sessional lecturing at Notre Dame University Australia (Fremantle) I revisited the theory of Social Constructivism as a model for learning. It struck me as almost blindingly obvious that this is exactly what we are doing in leadership roles when we are trying to come to consensus over an issue. We are trying, through the deliberate engagement of stakeholders in a process of communication, to establish how and why our perspectives differ and then we try to find new ways of understanding that are able to be accommodated by each of the stakeholders. For some, the understanding will be assimilated easily as the new interpretations will be in synergy with their experience and life world. For others, some accommodation will need to take place as new perspectives or at least refined perspectives emerge. Where the life worlds of stakeholders are too disparate, finding new negotiated perspectives can be particularly difficult. It is at this stage in particular that good leaders invoke their emotional intelligence competencies so that ideas in conflict do not lead to emotional or indeed physical conflict. Some of us are privileged enough to be able to conduct leadership development courses with our residents, to teach them

specific skills for leadership. However, since the way in which we conduct ourselves is observed and often imitated by others, we are indeed all teachers. As teachers we should model good leadership and always seek to view any difficult issue from different perspectives and learn new ways of understanding supposedly ‘familiar’ situations. We are never too old to learn or to teach whether that be formally or incidentally through what we model. I came across a fantastic Indonesian proverb when I actually was working as a teacher. This quote was “learning from a teacher that has stopped learning is like drinking from a stagnant pond.” There are too many stagnant ponds so break the mold. So how has all of this affected the manner in which we do our leadership development at Trinity? We place a significant emphasis on the development of emotional and social intelligence competencies. Coupled with this is a very strong emphasis on challenging the preconceptions of our residents. This is done in often very confronting ways and so the ground rules and escape clauses need to be clear for the emotional safety of all concerned. Interview data that I had collected during my own Masters research, had suggested that the activities that elicited emotion were the ones that had the most impact. Combining the cognitive with the affective was a powerful tool for reconfiguring the manner in which people assessed situations.


3. How can I best manage these emotions? Once we can understand and manage ourselves, we can start to understand others and develop empathy. Empathy is the foundation competency of social intelligence. I make a conscious decision not to ask participants to publicly expose their personal opinions/emotions. Rather I ask participants to write down their thoughts/ comments/emotions on a piece of paper and to submit these anonymously. As a group we then read through the thoughts and share ideas. The author of any comment can choose to reveal their identity or not. Through this process we encourage more expansive responses as the residents felt less vulnerable. The following points are put up as a PowerPoint slide following the reading out of the comments/emotions: 1. What was your emotional reaction to some of the interpretations given by others? 2. Why are there differences in the meanings people attach to the same image? 3. Is it possible to come to some shared interpretation/ meaning? (Social Constructivism: accommodation & assimilation) At the end, the plan is to draw all of the threads of the discussion together into AACUHO

Goleman’s 4 main aspects of emotional intelligence: • Self Awareness • Self Management • Social Awareness • Managing Relationships The hope is that this process will expand the emotional literacy of those undertaking the leadership development while at the same time getting people to confront the prejudices that hinder their growth as young adults and leaders. Prejudice of course relates to prejudging based upon our own life experience and understanding and beliefs. The sharing of others’ life experience and understanding and beliefs as they impact on the analysis of the scenarios described above proves to be quite confronting. This confronting experience is exactly what I believe is

needed to effectively initiate a process whereby young leaders begin to question whether their assessment of any given situation is the definitive one. Once they begin to question, they begin to look for alternative ways of viewing the same reality. Once they discover, often through a major epiphany, that alternative ways of viewing that same reality actually have credence and help to explain the reality, they begin the often difficult process of unlearning those prejudices that have restricted their ability to lead well in the past despite all the best intentions. This can create frustration and confusion so it is critical that the young leaders already have some concept of what the pit is so that they might struggle through the difficult times in order to end up in a more enlightened place. This process does indeed provide a stunning exposé on the disparity between the manner in which each of the residents

perceives and judges the story behind the pictures before them. It allows for some wonderfully candid conversation in a safe environment that does indeed challenge the preconceptions of each and every resident. It precipitates some unlearning and spawns some re-learning taking into account the perspectives of others. I can highly recommend this approach if you are someone charged with responsibility of trying to develop young leaders and I cannot stress strongly enough how much I believe challenging prejudice is at the core of developing wise, discerning, competent, empathic and compassionate leaders. I would like to conclude with one of my favourite quotes: “It is not hard to learn more. What is hard, is to unlearn when you discover yourself wrong.” – Martin H. Fischer


The Australasian Student Residences Management Journal


New Aged Universities JOE MASSINGHAM | AACUHO Life Member


n the near future universities, along with many other institutions, will not be able to operate in their current fashion if data in the latest Clarius Skills Index is correct. The September 2011 quarter update of the Index, which uses data sourced from ABS and DEEWR and analysed by KPMG shows that in the education sector the rate of replacement of retiring workers will be down to about 70% by 2025 – just over 13 years from now. The undersupply of replacements has been evident for some while now and there are no signs that anything tried so far has arrested the decline. The alternatives that might be available now appear to be either recruit and train new staff urgently or dramatically change the way in which universities currently operate. The recruitment and training option seems to be a non-starter. There just aren’t adequate numbers of suitably educated/ developed candidates and the appeal of a career in education at any level is overshadowed by the appeal, including the rewards offered, of other careers. Some of the basics of a changed system are already being developed, albeit at too slow a pace. Increased use of computers and the internet provide some opportunities but increased technology usage tends to block out or diminish more and more of the fundamental activities of traditional learning. Perhaps the greatest objection to computerised learning is the possibility

that it may be carried on from some studio or computer room in a downtown cellar. If no one has to come to a place of learning, why have one? The social and other consequences of the development of such an education centre are immense, even more so for the individual than the institution. The university as an actual place, collection of people, buildings, etc will disappear; it will not be needed. Just try to imagine the loss of identity that would accompany such a vanishing act. Another social tie that would be likely to disappear is the identification of oneself as a ‘dark blue’ or ‘light blue’ person, a Harvard or a Notre Dame person, even though you’ve never been within a cooee of a particular geographical location. This is of particular relevance to residences. Many students do much of their growing up in residences and go through life recognising themselves as a ‘Redman’ or a ’Mary White woman’. In Australia, at least, ties to one’s college/ house is often more strongly developed than one’s allegiance to the university. Even more directly problematic for residences would be their usefulness in a fully digitised world. If Chinese residents can do their learning without leaving Beijing or Shanghai what will happen to all the newly erected student housing buildings being put in place by private enterprise? A major change is the shift from face-toface in-personal learning to online passive, or near passive, receipt and storage of information.


Group discussions, one-on-one sessions, side by side explorations of alternative methods can all be conducted on the net but not necessarily as effectively. The use of prompts and textbooks, for instance, is harder to control on line than in face to face situations. Learning will be diminished. All a new age student will need to do is know where to access information. The slow digestion and application of material stored in the brain is no longer part of the learning process. On the other side of the coin, teachers and lecturers would be able to record class presentations, increase the use of recorded demonstration material. Personal involvement of the teacher may be totally absent; they may be no more than an anchor man who on closer inspection may be found to be an animated robot. And, of course, the oldest of all the difficulties will persist. It will still be hard, if not impossible, to check whether exercises and other work are completed by the person submitting them. Checking for plagiarism on line may be easy but identifying authors is much less so. As a rather more frivolous thought, it may be that in a new digital age students will record much of their work on a handheld tablet, eerily reminiscent of ancient days in Assyria when, according to wall hieroglyphs, each student walked around with a slate and stylus. They may even gather in loitering groups, as did Aristotle’s disciples, on footpaths and colonnades much to the annoyance and inconvenience of ordinary citizens.


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he Christie Modular Series has become the dominant range of public barbeques in Australia due to their leading edge technology, a comprehensive range of size and colour options and a common sense approach to design. Now, the new Q-Series cooktop, the CCQ, the park barbeque has been lifted to another level. CCQ is not just a simple hotplate. Like a domestic kitchen appliance, it’s a ‘cooktop’. Unlike other park barbeque systems, it combines the hotplate and all its controls in one totally self-contained gas or electric cooking appliance. That makes it a world first for public space barbeques.

It also makes it much easier to install. CCQ also has many performance, safety and hygiene benefits for the user. Having all the controls at working height makes it easier to operate. It puts them out of the reach of children and the new flashing warning lights and audible warning beeps make the safest BBQ even safer. Being totally sealed and self-contained makes the new CCQ systems easier to maintain, clean and service. CCQ is also the smartest park BBQ ever. While others use a basic mechanical thermostat to control temperature, the CCQ employs an active control system using precise and reliable solid state temperature sensing components. This is especially important with gas powered systems. Gas is tomorrow’s park BBQ fuel. It is the most environmentally responsible fuel for cooking in public spaces and that fact has driven much of CCQ’s new technology. CCQ’s patented control system will cycle


the flame in response to changes in hotplate load to maintain the correct cooking temperature. At the same time that control helps to conserve gas and reduce emissions. CCQ is the only gas park BBQ approved for both outdoor and indoor use, and the only one tested and certified to the Commercial Catering Appliance Standard. While there is no doubting the popularity of outdoor cooking appliances in public spaces – especially where young people are concerned, they do need to be able to withstand rough treatment, and that’s where Christie systems excel. The Modular Series is built tough enough to withstand enormous punishment and still perform on demand … and CCQ is just as tough. So confident are Christies of the strength, reliability and durability of the CCQ they have doubled the warranty period to two years. For more information on Christie barbeques ring 1300 135 227.

Associate Membership in Colleges Liza Allen | AACUHO Committee Member, Vice Principal, Emmanuel College, University of Queensland


constant dilemma that arises with each new influx of applications for residency at University colleges is that at the beginning of each year there are frequently many more applicants than there are places to offer. Often there are some wonderful applicants to whom the college would like to make an offer but simply can’t. This situation is often compounded by the genuine & heartfelt pleas from applicants and their desperate parents. The reality is that there are a limited number of rooms available and invariably there are some wonderful applicants to whom an offer of residency cannot be given. Some of these students are those with whom the college is desirous of maintaining contact and providing an introduction to a college community. This can be achieved in appropriate cases by offering such students what is variously called an associate membership or a non-residential membership. Associate members or non-residential students are students who do not live in college but who join the college community to access the key benefits that the college provides. In some ways you could liken them to cousins who visit regularly. They are sometimes students who can’t gain entry to a college but more often they

are local students who have no desire to live in when they apply. Associate memberships are not a new concept to University colleges. They have been available to students for many years at different Universities both in Australia and abroad. Some Universities are very supportive of these opportunities for day students. The University of Queensland for instance encourages the Associate member program within the University colleges. The University provided a one off payment to colleges to set up the program and now also provides grants for which students, who have been approved as associate members by one of the colleges, may apply to help defray the cost of membership fees. So what are the benefits of a college to an associate member? The fundamental benefit of an associate membership for a student new to tertiary studies is the instant connection with a new community. It is often quite difficult for students, be they local or otherwise, to meet new people in the course of their studies. On an average day at University, students frequently move between lecture theatres and rarely sit next to the same person twice from one week to the next. This makes it hard for new students to make friends and many find University life a lonely experience. Being part of a college community gives students easier access to a large group of like minded people in a similar age bracket. Belonging to a college


community provides support, friendship, diversity and an instant network – elements at the heart of connectedness. Colleges are all different and those which offer associate memberships offer various different elements to their students. The key to a robust associate member program is to provide the associate with as many of the elements that the residential student enjoys as is practical, in other words everything but a bed if possible. Some examples are below: • Offer a live-in experience during Orientation Week. This will ensure that the associates meet all the new students coming into college and have the opportunity to form lasting friendships. • When allocating rooms position associates around the college and not in a group within one wing, so they integrate fully into the group. • Make each one a member of the wing or floor permanently so that when wing or floor events are planned they are included throughout the year. • Provide associates with a locker so that when they visit college they have somewhere they can put their belongings. • Encourage them to attend formal dinners on a regular basis to enjoy the richness of college culture and tradition. AACUHO

• Provide access to such facilities as the college library, common rooms, tennis courts, music practice rooms, the swimming pool or other facilities the college may have. • Enrol them in the college tutorial program accompanied by a meal in the dining hall on tutorial nights. • Provide academic mentoring and pastoral care. • Give them access to college clubs and societies, community service groups, cultural and social activities. • To encourage associates to focus on their studies provide annual awards and academic prizes for associates. • If joining the program after the orientation period assign each individual a ‘buddy’ from their wing to help them integrate into the college.

Associates can also benefit the college. Associates can provide a richer network for residential collegians within the college. They also have the potential to become long term members of the community because many find that once they have experienced college life they wish to apply for residency. As many are local residents, often living at home, they are more likely to be able to fill a vacancy that may occur during semester. A group of eager associates can be a life-saver if there is some attrition in college residential numbers. In addition if the fee structure is determined being mindful of the extra costs in goods, staffing and any capital costs associated with providing associate membership the extra fees received can be a welcome boost to college revenue. In the writer’s experience there do not appear to be any significant negative impacts to college life for staff or students from including associate membership.

Residential students accept associate members readily and there is little evidence of resentment or segregation between the two groups. Services offered to associates are the same as those offered to residential students and if numbers are kept relatively low, say ten or less, the impact to staffing is minimal to none. Associate membership can provide an additional element to the rich tapestry that is college life. For the college it creates another layer of diversity for the residential students, increases revenue, assists the college to reach more areas of the city or town community and provides a source of future students. For the associates it provides a community within the University to which to belong, personal, academic and pastoral support and genuine connectedness.

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Reducing Harm How to Develop an Alcohol Management Plan Nick Merrett | AACUHO Committee Member, Manager, Student Accommodation, Victoria University of Wellington


esearch has indicated that tertiary students at NZ Universities have higher levels of hazardous drinking than their nonstudent peers. It is also indicates that drinking to the point of intoxication or “drinking to get drunk” is the accepted norm for people of all ages in New Zealand. Halls of Residence in New Zealand house predominately 1st year residents aged 17 to 18 years old experiencing group living away from home often for the first time; with drinking described as intrinsic to the student culture. Victoria University of Wellington have made a commitment to encourage responsible use and minimise the misuse of alcohol by developing Hall specific Alcohol Management Plans. The plans have been developed based around four main criteria: 1. Controlling the Supply of alcohol 2. Reducing the demand for alcohol 3. Limiting problems that arise from alcohol misuse 4. Changing the drinking environment Alcohol Management Plans must be appropriate for the Hall student demographic with clear boundaries and rules in place from day one. Consequences enforced when rules are broken will ensure consistency and appropriate health services provided.

1. Controlling the Supply of Alcohol This strategy is based on the theory that if alcohol is less accessible then residents will be less likely to binge drink, taking into account that most residents will preload within the Hall environment before venturing into bars/clubs. Alcohol Management and Event Planning is essential to reducing alcohol use and controls should include: • Alcohol free days and alcohol free events • Banning alcohol promotions • Provide alcohol free areas within the Hall e.g. alcohol free floors, common areas • Controlling drink containers • Introduce alcohol limits • Restrict alcohol types

2. Reducing the Demand for Alcohol This strategy is based on reducing the overall demand for alcohol. Initiatives that can assist include: • Limit or banning alcohol promotion particularly if they involve advertising cheap drinks or irresponsible drinking • De-emphasise the role of alcohol at University and create a culture where academic success is the focus rather than a party culture


• Introduce social networks and voluntary programmes. (Research indicates binge drinking is lower at Halls with higher rates of social capital

3. Limiting Problems that Arise from Alcohol Misuse This strategy is based on promoting safe drinking levels and behaviours. Practices could include: • Provide resources to allow residents to individually check if they drink at hazardous levels, for example an online drink check alcohol-you/your-drinking-okay • Promote safety messages i.e. encouraging residents to travel in groups and to stay with their friends • Educate residents on safe drinking practices • Hold forums on binge drinking and consequences e.g. could occur due to binge unsafe sexual encounters, violent behaviour and academic failure • Recording alcohol incidents, actions taken and referrals to health professionals

4. Changing the Drinking Environment This strategy is based on targeting the context in which alcohol is consumed as it is largely a social activity. AACUHO

• Ensure a variety of Hall events are alcohol free with subsidised attractive non-alcoholic drinks and food • Events off Hall sites have a high ratio of non-drinking staff per resident, restricted alcohol types e.g. wine, beer, restricted number of serves per person, free non-

alcohol drinks, transport to and from event • Structure the price of tickets for events like the ball to include the cost of admission, food, entertainment and a small amount of alcohol

Changing the student drinking culture from unacceptable to acceptable levels in Halls of Residence will take effective alcohol management planning, positive reinforcement of acceptable alcohol consumption and education to create the norm of academic success with reduced alcohol intake.

Join AACUHO & see the world! Simon Scott | AACUHO member, Head, Halls of Residence, UQ Gatton


t is my very great pleasure to be the Host of this year’s AACUHO International Study Tour. Several months in the planning has come together in an excellent itinerary. The study tour will be an outstanding professional development opportunity for all who work in the tertiary accommodation sector. The study tour is designed to be informative! We will not just wander around looking at student bedrooms in different locations. The hosts at each location have been asked to discuss their points of difference and how their accommodation is managed rather than showing you through endless types of similar facilities. We will visit very traditional Colleges, refurbished accommodation and brand new student accommodation covering virtually all aspects of the student housing market in Australia. Of course with any trip such as this

there is a lot of fun built in along the way including, sightseeing, Sydney Harbour dinner cruise, and the opportunity for hours of “in depth” conversations in the buses between venues. I would very much like to thank those institutions who have agreed to host the study tour, without their help it would be impossible. Whilst the itinerary is not completely final, at this stage we will be visiting the following sites: St John’s College and Sancta Sophia College within the University of Sydney, The University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University, Charles Sturt University Bathurst, Burton and Garran Hall, Ursula Hall and Len Karmel Lodge at Australian National University, University of Canberra and the Australian Defence Force Academy. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank David Griffin and his team at CSU Bathurst for the “extra” support offered

and supplying our bus drivers as well. One of our long time sponsors, Mark Dennison from ABC Commercial Living has also made a contribution during our stay in Canberra. At this stage, we are working on an invitation to all AACUHO members in Canberra, to join the Study Tour group for dinner whilst we are in Canberra and we are very pleased to announce that Joe Massingham, a true founding father of AACUHO in Australia, will also be joining us on that evening. It is with great anticipation that I await the arrival of our study tour delegates including, one from Hong Kong, two from the U.S., one from the U.K. and many from Australia to once again engage in meaningful conversations, critique facilities together and share the nuances of housing tertiary students in accommodation no matter where it may be.


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Making a Career Move Practical Tips to Making the Move! Sean Brito-Babapulle | AACUHO Committee Member, Principal Mannix College, Monash University and AACUHO Committee Member

After 24 years of involvement in Residential Management I take this opportunity to reflect on the challenges that I have faced or you may face when making a ‘career move’


career move may take many forms including position, role, organisation or University, but whatever that moves may be the following will hopefully provide some practical tips on making that move or transition hassle free for both yourself, your partner, your family and your new colleagues that you join. In the past 15 years my family and I have moved six times due to my work. In January 2012, I began a new appointment as Principal of Mannix College at Monash University, Melbourne, having been previously employed as Head of John XXIII College at The Australian National University, Canberra. A move, either locally, interstate or internationally can be challenging (mentally, emotionally and physically), but with some careful planning and organising, that challenge can be a smooth and less stressful one – for all concerned. So here are my practical tips to making a ‘career move’, given that you have taken the new position: • Start notifying your current employer, University, schools, neighbours, family,

friends and clubs that you are leaving. As a courtesy to your outgoing employer, send them a resignation letter. • Start contacting your banks, clubs, schools, insurance companies, gym or any memberships that you may have, with your new phone, email and address • Organise removalists if moving interstate or internationally. Get two or three quotes as prices can vary by hundreds up to thousands of dollars. Check with your insurer for transit insurance cover. Removalists can charge exorbitant transit insurance premiums and you have limited time to claim if there is any damage. • Start packing your home earlier rather than later. Minimise your household items. • It’s amazing what ‘things’ you can accumulate over the years, something’s that may have not been touched or worn for many years, Get rid of them or pass it on to a friend, family member, local charity or agency. • Arrange the shut off of telecommunications (phone, internet and TV), gas, electricity and water. Arrange sale of your property or organise a rental agency. • Start getting things together for your outgoing employer. Office keys, staff car permits, credit and security cards, confidential documents and any

equipment you may have been provided (e.g. computer, mobile, lap top, fuel card, clothing etc.). Organise a return date of these items and ensure you determine final payouts and superannuation. • Clear/delete your email account and work hard drive of files that are not needed by your outgoing employer. Try and leave pertinent files in some order for your incoming replacement. Leave notes or a procedure manual to help them settle in, if you can, try and have a handover meeting/period prior to your departure. • Leaving on positive terms (though that may be hard in some circumstances) should be addressed. Being negative can backfire on you down the track from a personal and professional level. Keep in touch and don’t lose your connections, they may come in handy in the future! • Redirect your mail with Australia Post. It’s cheap to do it for a year! • Try to have a break/rest/holiday before you start your new job as your new employer will expect you to hit the ground running • Do some preliminary investigations on your new home – accommodation, schools, opportunities of employment for your partner, cost of living in the area, public transport options (to work, school and the city), local shops, airports etc.


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• Communicate regularly with your new employer. Find out about the organisational structure, staff position descriptions, the financial state of the organisation, any staffing issues, what is the culture of the organisation, the governance structure, their expectations of you etc. • Think about your new position and what you might be able to bring to it

• Visit your new College or University (preferably before accepting the job) • Send a photo and biography about you and your family to your new employer so your new colleagues know a bit about you before you arrive. • Notify Associations that you may be a member of your move e.g. AACUHO (Australasian Association of College

and University Housing Officers) and UCA (University Colleges Australia). Local members may be able to provide support and advice to you on your new College or University. If not a member, make sure you join. • Arrange some basic things before arriving at your new home and work: business cards, telephone numbers, email account, parking permits, credit card, connection of gas, electricity, water and telecommunications (phone, TV, internet) at your new home. • When you start your new position, get to know everybody that you work with. This will certainly make it easier for them to get to know you, but for you to be understood as well. Don’t try to change everything at once – see what things are like and test the waters • Talk to the other staff and try to understand the lay of the land, have meetings to get to know your new staff, find out what they are doing and what they think could be done better. Plan to have a catch up weekly or regularly. Be consultative. • The residents will be keen to meet you and to get to know you as well. Be firm but fair. Keep them informed and engaged in decision making processes. Be consultative. The critical success factors to a ‘smooth transition and making change’ can be summarised as follows: Communication Planning Research Organisation There is no rocket science to this. All these tips (though not exhaustive) are practical and straightforward. Making a change can be daunting, nerve racking and in some cases overwhelming, but addressing the critical success factors of a ‘smooth transition and making change’ can be vital to ones sanity and happiness in a ‘career move’. Good luck!


Living On-Campus Makes the Difference The Deakin University Evidence Dr Robyn Sheppard | AACUHO Member, Manager, Barton College Deakin University

Introduction We’ve always known it but have found it difficult to validate and quantify that students living on campus have an edge over the non-residential cohort. Whilst research from overseas links living on campus to a number of positive outcomes for both the student and the university, this topic still remains seriously under-explored in Australian research. The first part of the discussion that follows will present results from a five year on-going longitudinal benchmarking study conducted at Deakin Universityi which provides evidence that when residential and non-residential students are compared, students living in residences have better academic successii and retention ratesiii than the comparable non-residential cohort. The second part of the discussion will be a brief overview of the Academic Mentor program at Deakin as one way to explore an issue relevant to the ‘caps off’ environment that we find ourselves in. Implicit in the discussion is the question: are programs such as this going to become all the more relevant?

and benchmarking interests. It was also fuelled by the desire to demonstrate the role our residences play in supporting the wider university in achieving its objectives.

excluded from the analysis. Success and retention were calculated, based on methods established by DEEWR (see acknowledgements ii and iii).


Whilst the scope of the study extended to a broader analysis of gender, faculty, year level, and campus location, only a broader overview of the most relevant aspects of the study will be presented in this discussion.

The study, which began in 2008, is a joint project between Deakin Residences and Deakin University’s Strategic Intelligence and Planning Unit. The purpose of the study was to compare residential students with the comparable non-residential cohort. ID numbers were used to identify residential students which were then matched against the appropriate student information management system. Not all student identification numbers provided were able to be matched. Factors such as withdrawing before the census date impacted on the availability of the information thus such students were

SUCCESS RATES 2006-2010 Figure 1 clearly shows that the success rate for students living in on-campus Deakin residences is greater when compared to non-residential students across all five years examined. A difference of 6 percentage points can be seen in 2008 and in 2009 and 2010 there was a difference of 5 and 4 percentage points respectively.

THE DEAKIN UNIVERSITY LONGITUDINAL STUDY ON SUCCESS AND RETENTION The Deakin study grew out of a desire to provide objective evidence for both planning and marketing purposes, and is aligned to the wider university’s transition Figure 1


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Figure 2 shows a clear gap between residential and non-residential student retention rates. In each year examined more residential students were retained compared to non-residential students. In 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011 there was a difference of 8 percentage points, compared to a difference of 7 percentage points for the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 periods So to summarise Figures 1 and 2, when using the measures of ‘success’ and ‘retention’ previously defined (see End Notes) there is clear evidence that students who live in Deakin University on-campus residences consistently have higher rates of academic success and are more likely to be retained than the comparable cohort not living on campus. This was consistent across all three Deakin University campuses.

Figure 2

Of particular interest and importance in the current uncharted waters of a “caps off” environment, analysis of the data in this study extended to a further two indicators, those of low socio-economic statusiv (SES) and Rural and Regionalv (isolation) status. Once again student success and retention rates were analysed and on campus and off campus students compared.

Figure 3

LOW SOCIO ECONOMIC COHORT – SUCCESS RATES Figure 3 shows a clear gap between residential and non-residential low SES student success rates. In each year examined, more residential students achieved higher success rates compared to non-residential students. There is a difference of between 4-5 and 8 percentage points over the four years analysed.

Figure 4

Figure 1 sets out the comparative data of Academic Success Rates (all campuses) over a five year period.

RETENTION RATES 2006-2010 Figure 2 compares the Retention Rates by year for domestic students studying full time (all campuses).


It is interesting to note with further analysis of the data, the percentage of residential students from low socio economic backgrounds was significantly higher (25%) than in the non-residential population (12%). This might well counteract a possible argument that residential students perform better because they select students most likely to succeed because of a higher socio-economic background. AACUHO

CONCLUSION Acknowledging that there are many limitations to any study where a multitude of variables can influence the results, it seems clear from the data that living on campus at Deakin University gives students a greater chance of success and retention than the off-campus cohort. This is also true for the low socio economic and rural and regional cohorts. Whilst there are clearly a number of interrelated factors that might account for this result, for the purposes of this discussion we will move to consider just one such factor which might reasonably be seen to have a bearing on success and retention rates of Deakin University on campus students.

Figure 5


Figure 6

LOW SOCIO ECONOMIC COHORT – RETENTION RATES Figure 4 clearly shows a gap between residential and non-residential low SES students retention rate. In each year examined, more residential students were retained compared to non-residential students. Differences ranged from 5 percentage points in the 2007-2008 period to a high of 12 percentage points in the 2009-2010 period.

RURAL AND REGIONAL COHORT – SUCCESS Figure 5 shows a small gap between residential and non-residential rural and regional success rates. In each year examined, more residential students achieved higher success rates compared to non-residential students. Once again it is of interest to note that the percentage

of students from rural and regional backgrounds was significantly higher than in the non-residential population. Where the non-residential population averaged 20%, the residential population varied from 50% to 90%.

RURAL AND REGIONAL COHORT – RETENTION RATES Figure 6 shows a clear gap between residential and non-residential rural and regional student retention rates. In each year examined, more residential students were retained compared to non-residential students. Differences ranged from 7 percentage points in the 2007-2008 period, to a high of 10 percentage points in 2009-2010.

The Academic Mentor Program has grown and developed across all Deakin university residences over a number of years. The current model is an amalgam of ideas based on a wide variety of academic support programs offered worldwide. The program is managed and supervised by the on-campus Residential Supervisor and overseen by the writer. Whilst the Warrnambool and Burwood campuses have adopted a similar model, for the purposes of this discussion the Geelong program will be described. The aims of the program are: to promote an academic culture within the student residences by providing ongoing individual academic support on a needs basis, and to provide additional pastoral care and leadership. To achieve the program’s aims, the Academic Mentors (AMs) are chosen from senior residential students with a proven record of both academic success and emotional intelligence. They are given appropriate training to equip them with the appropriate tools to fulfil their role. The program operates as a network so that students can be referred to the AM best able to help with their subject area. Each AM is assigned to a Residential Assistant (RA) and together they made up a leadership team to support between 20-25 students.


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AMs are available to help students during set consultation times in their rooms or in the Academic Centre. They are also expected to be available as much as possible outside their set times, making appointments for other times or answering short questions, for example, on the way to class or in the cafeteria. The program also provides a drop in service at the Academic Centre, with an AM on duty for several hours an evening three nights a week. AMs also organise facultybased group meetings which students are encouraged to join and discuss forthcoming essays or assignments. The addition of a Facebook site in 2009 provided an additional contact platform. The AMs are paid for two hours work per week.

Figure 7

AMs attend regular meetings with their supervisor and are given further training and support if required. AMs are expected to keep accurate Log Books to record relevant information such as the number and type of help that is sought. Data is collated as illustrated in Figure 7.

The Feedback Process Student feedback is crucial to the program and provides valuable information on which to review and fine tune the program from year to year. Of the feedback forms distributed in 2011 there was a return rate year 68.33% distributed across year levels as indicated in Figure 8.

Figure 8

As can be seen above first year students, not surprisingly, are more likely to consult an AM than students in second or third years. Of the sample group, 82.92% indicated that they had used the services of an Academic Mentor at least once throughout the year with the average resident consulting an AM 6.91 times. The feedback instrument consisted of 17 questions and example of three such questions and their analysis can be seen left and opposite. Q1. Having an AM has been extremely helpful settling into study at university Q2. My AM was mostly available when I needed help at odd times during the day and night Q1


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feedback data, suggests that the students find the program and the mode of delivery helpful in making a smooth transition into university study. They also comment that they find it easier to ask a non-threatening AM a question in an informal setting rather than seek more formal academic support in the wider university. Only time will tell what impact ‘caps off’ will have on our on-campus residences, but it would seem apparent that ATAR scores may drop in some courses in some universities. This will inevitably result in a wider diversity of student ability. Now, more than ever, we need to be able to examine the support programs that will be provided to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population of residential students.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The writer wishes to acknowledge the Strategic Intelligence and Planning Unit of Deakin University for providing the data. i This study was conducted in conjunction with the Strategic Intelligence and Planning Unit of Deakin University. The scope of the study was restricted to domestic students studying full-time in an undergraduate course due to the small cohort of international, part-time and post graduate students in residence. ii Academic success was defined as the student success rate (SPR) being the successful proportion of the student unit of study load, which us in effect the pass rate. This measure of success is based on the methods established by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).


Q12. Facebook was a useful tool for communicating with my AM The aim of the site is to further promote the program, and to provide additional awareness of when individual mentors are available for consultation. It also allows for students to post questions, answers to which can be viewed by many.

Conclusion To what extent the AM program has contributed to the pleasing comparative academic success and retention rates of the Deakin university residential students is difficult to determine as

there are a number of factors that would undoubtedly contribute. For example, transition research consistently underlines the importance of close engagement in a community and ‘sense’ of community as crucial to retaining students and producing successful academic outcomes. Additionally the supportive environment, that is the cornerstone of our on campus residences provided by Residential Assistants and other support staff and programs, allows us to flag potential problem areas. It would seem apparent however that the ‘on the spot’ academic support that the AM program can provide for residential students mentioned in the

iii The apparent retention rate (ARR) measured the proportion of non-completing students who did not return in the following year. Students who transferred between courses were counted as retained. This measure of retention is based on the methods established by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). iv Student records were allocated a socioeconomic status based on their home location postcode. v Student records were allocated an isolation status based on their hoe location postcode. Two of the isolation statuses ‘Rural’ and ‘Regional’ were grouped together in the analysis.


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Responding to Self Harm: A Legal Guide for Educators Lisa Oldham | Solicitor, McInnes Wilson Lawyers


elf harm is a confronting, traumatic and deeply personal matter for the person(s) involved. However, in the context of educators, it is also a matter that must be addressed in order to enact legal duties and avoid (or lessen) liability. Despite its name “self harm”, also has impacts outside the student engaging in this behaviour, and an educator must take steps that recognise all parties that may be affected by these behaviours. The situation may be uncomfortable for an educator, but legal, moral and pastoral ideals require an educator to act. For the purposes of this article, a student or resident who is exhibiting self-harming behaviours will be identified as “the Student”.

Duty of Care Educators owe a range of duties in the situation of a Student self harming. • To the Student: An educator owes a duty of care to act in the best interests of the Student, and to take such action as is required to maintain the Student’s welfare whilst they are a student of that educational institution. • To Other Students: An educator owes a duty of care to act in the best interests, generally, of all students of that educational institution, which includes reducing a risk of harm from other student’s behaviours. • To Staff Members: An educator owes a duty of care, as an employer, to ensure the welfare of staff members within the course of their employment. An educator is in an unenviable position of having to enact and contend with these simultaneous, overlapping and intertwining duties to the Student, students and staff of the educational institution. When faced with a situation involving the Student,


an educator must make a decision and enact a plan of action which recognises these distinct duties of care, and attempts to find an equilibrium between them.

Exemplar Cases (United States of America) The American jurisdiction has addressed, on several occasions, the relationship that is established between an educational entity and the Student, when the institution becomes aware of the Student’s attempts to self harm or suicide.

Schieszler v Ferrum College Schieszler was a resident at Ferrum College and on a number of occasions attempted self harm or relayed an intention to self harm. Two representatives of Ferrum College had spoken with Schieszler about his behaviours and he was asked to sign a statement promising that he would not self harm. Despite signing this acknowledgement, Schieszler did take his own life. Schieszler’s personal representative made a claim of wrongful death (negligence) against Ferrum College. The Court held that on becoming aware of Schieszler’s self harm behaviours that a special relationship was established between Schieszler and Ferrum College. By failing to robustly address the known behaviours and foreseeable risk, Ferrum College was found negligent.

Shin v Massachusetts Institute of Technology Shin was a resident and student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Shin had a long history of self harm, including overdosing on medication. MIT staff were aware of Shin’s self harm behaviours. MIT staff members failed to inform Shin’s parents of her self harm behaviours (relying on an argument of privacy) and Shin’s parents learnt of her medical history following her suicide. The Court held that a special relationship was established between Shin and MIT as it was “reasonably foreseeable” that the continuing self harm could result in Shin’s death without adequate

supervision. This was also characterised by MIT failing to take proactive steps to ensure Shin received medical attention and support. An undisclosed settlement was reached between Shin’s parents and MIT.

Responding to the Student A Student’s decision to self harm or attempt suicide is a unique and very sad circumstance. As such, there is no one “right” answer in responding to the Student and in each instance an educator is confronted with a situation that will need to be managed and responded to individually. Even without a medical background, it should be apparent to a reasonable educator that a Student who is self harming is at risk themselves, and indirectly may place other students and staff at risk (be it physically or psychologically). The following are general steps that may assist an educator in responding to a Student.

1. NOTIFY Notify relevant campus staff, including the Head of Campus, Counsellor and Nurse. Consider notifying the Student’s parents/ guardians. Consider discussing the matter directly with the Student; medical, psychological or psychiatric advices may be taken before engaging with the Student.

Discrimination A brief note on discrimination. A Student, or the Student’s parents/guardians, may allege discrimination if an educator takes action against the Student. A discrimination claim may be based on impairment discrimination; this includes a mental impairment. To avoid such a claim, an educator will need to be able to demonstrate that it has not, either directly or indirectly, discriminated against the Student and the educator’s actions were in the Student’s best interests and as a result of insurmountable legal obligations to protect other students and staff.

Conclusion Inaction in response to knowledge of a Student’s self harm behaviours (attempts or actual) is not an option. Not only does an educator owe a variety of legal duties in such a situation, if an educator is aware of the Student’s behaviours there is a heightened onus on the educator to take action to address the Student’s health (insofar as it is within the educator’s nexus) and to protect other students and staff members. This has been shown as the “special relationship” in the American jurisdiction. Failure to act in response to knowledge of a Student’s self harm will exponentially increase any liability an educator may owe to the Student, an injured student or staff member as a result of the Student’s behaviours.

2. RESOURCE Offer the Student access to the Counsellor and Nurse; alternative, external medical practitioners may also be appropriate. Provide the Counsellor and Nurse with necessary resources to response to the Student.

3. ACT Make decisions and implement steps to protect the Student. Make decisions and implement steps to protect other students and staff. Take action that is reasonable, impartial and considered. Keep contemporaneous notes of decision making.

4. MONITOR Monitor the Student’s reaction to action taken by the educator. Monitor the effect that the Student’s behaviours may be having on other student and staff, particularly students or staff allocated roles in the Student’s medical care. Adjust and adapt decisions made in response to the Student’s behaviours, as changes to behaviours, responses etc are apparent. Whilst not a logistical question, a prudent educator would appreciate the extent of a claim (and harm associated with same) for action taken by the education institution in response to an individual Student to address self harm behaviours (i.e. discrimination) versus the extent of a claim (and harm associated with same) if an educator failed to reduce the risk of the Student’s behaviours impacting on other students and staff in a fatal situation.

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The National Broadband Network and its potential impact to student residencies in Australia An overview of what student residencies and their managers can expect from the national roll-out of fibre to the premises. Stefan Nikolic | Customer Relations Manager, BigAir Community Broadband

After completion of the NBN rollout, it is stated that 97% of premises in Australia will have direct access. But will student accommodations receive it? Will they even need it?


ne third of Australian premises to be connected NBN are in multi-dwelling units (MDUs)1. So far the information provided by NBN Co and other reports have given us limited detail specifically about the outcomes it envisages for student accommodation residencies. It is unclear whether they will be treated as though they are MDUs or single owner enterprises like hotels. The May 2010 NBN implementation study notes that under current legislation in Australia, getting fibre into apartment blocks and commercial buildings may be difficult due to various issues with management and access rights. To solve this, the study recommended that the Government enact legislation to allow NBN Co to enter the buildings for the purpose of network deployment and maintenance, and require building managers to take reasonable steps to assist NBN Co in obtaining access.


The definition of an MDU is vague to say the least. In student accommodation particularly, the ownership and governance of buildings are often very different from standard residential apartments. We do not know if there will be a difference between private student accommodation or a college that is partly administered by the University – will they receive special consideration? Will student housing, privately or university owned, retain rights to their infrastructure? There are many distinctions between student residencies and residential MDUs. A residential MDU is likely to have fibre directly installed into each unit. In an MDU like a hotel or student residence, where rooms are charged independently of each other, these would only be entitled to an NBN connection to the main termination point to the site. The room connections would then separately installed at the responsibility of the building owners.

What will the NBN look like if it is installed? Faced here with some uncertainty let us assume the NBN will be connection to each room in a student residency.

The primary solution would be to get fibre into every unit. The main feed would be terminated at the main distribution frame (MDF) of the building and then NBN Co would either pay for the fibre cabling to every room or utilise existing fibre, if present, in the building. A modem would then be hooked up at the end of the fibre in the unit. The CEO of NBN Co, Mike Quigley, has stated that building managers would not be paying for the installation. He has stated also that, “NBN Co. is the one covering all of the costs of however many apartments, however many premises in those multidwelling units.�2 The second option discussed would involve utilising existing phone lines in the building to send the high-speed connections. This solution was proposed by the study in response to the difficulties anticipated with getting cabling approval from bodies corporate. But from what Mr Quigley and other NBN Co managers have stated so far, this solution is looking much more unlikely. Using phone lines will never be as robust or as fast as a fibre cable would be given the same situation. However if your building is

already wired up for telephones this may be an option. In many buildings however, running fibre may be restricted (Heritage buildings), intrusive and or very expensive.

How will the NBN impact students living in residencies? If either of the solutions for MDUs proposed by NBN Co are installed into student residencies, we can presume that it would resemble installations into residential MDUs. The potential impact for students however, may have some negative consequences. Firstly from a technical perspective, where the connection would terminate at the room (this could either be in every room or just one point in the common area/ living room), there would be a standard fibre modem supplied with 4 ports and two additional ports for voice services as per the arrangement for residential access. Each of

these ports has the ability to be individually connected to a separate ISP (or RSP – retail service provider). That means if there are four students staying in that unit, they could each purchase Internet access from their company of choice. One issue with this is what if there are more than four residents? If there are more students than ports in a unit, there are currently no proposed solutions for these types of configurations. It would make sense to have every modem installed in individual bedrooms, but information provided so far only seems to state that the installation teams will have to look at each individual building on a case-by-case basis before making that decision.3 The NBN is also advertising up to 100Mbps speeds for users who connect. To put it in perspective, the average download speed for Australians currently stands at 10.82Mbps as of March.4 While this

is an enormous leap in Internet speed for residential areas, we are currently delivering speeds triple and quadruple the average Australian speed at most student accommodations. We know that initially the cost of the NBN will be higher than current residential DSL prices. They are projected at around $80 month for a lower plan and around $150 month for a higher plan. Students, in our experience, will find this expensive. Our most popular plans are around $30 a month. For a residential ADSL customer, $30 a month is just the cost of phone line rental. Usually the Internet data plans add another $50 or $60 a month. Independent ISPs have the additional constraints of long term contracts, set-up and termination fees all of which do not suit the student market. When you have residents that fly in and stay for only a semester or shorter, trying to connect to

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a 12 month contract on the NBN will be impossible and waste a great deal of money, and even if they did, what would happen when they leave early? The same thing that happens with telephone and DSL services now. The line would be shut down and the next person moving in would have to pay the $300 or so fee to get it reconnected.

The Australasian

There is also the addition of wireless access to your residents. In our experience, wireless access to the Internet is the most demanded feature of an Internet service for students moving in. Who will provide this when the NBN will only terminate a single cable to the room? The problem is that it can cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the size of a building to install a full wireless overlay. When an NBN connection will only provide a cabled link that means the student residence will be left to foot the wireless bill. There is also the technical and administrative logistics that are burdensome to deal with inhouse. A managed Internet solution already

incorporates wireless into a site installation and it is included within the cost of the service to the end user. The student accommodation market for Internet is unique and complex. While the National Broadband Network has an ambitious goal and roll-out plan, it does not mean that it will be suited to the student accommodation or other specific industries such as hotels and other visitor based accommodations. While the fibre network may be much faster and robust than copper, the same technical and financial issues that apply to students today with ADSL will still be around when fibre is installed. Whatever direction the NBN takes over the next few years, it would make more sense for student residencies to continue providing managed Internet solutions that are catered to the demands of students. This means lower pricing, no lock-in contracts and the option for wireless connectivity. Under an

NBN connection, students will not be able to afford the pricing plans on offer; they will be forced to sign up to 12-month contracts and they will not receive wireless access. The simple conclusion is this – the NBN will benefit most people, but not students living in residencies.

References 1. Dept. of Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy; “NBN Implementation Study”; May, 2010: p21. 2. Mike Quigley speaking at the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee; 10 October, 2010. 3.; “NBN: A Guide for Consumers”; Because there is a lot of variation in the layout and facilities in apartment buildings, the installers will check the buildings in advance and figure out the best way. 4. Ookla Global Net Index for Australia as of March 23, 2012;,18/Australia.

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Making Teacher Appraisal Work Dr Phillip Cummins | Managing Director of CIRCLE – The Centre for Innovation, Research, Creativity and Leadership in Education

Dr Phillip Cummins, Managing Director of CIRCLE – The Centre for Innovation, Research, Creativity and Leadership in Education, reviews the international conversation on teacher evaluation.


ppraisal is an awkward and uncomfortable topic for school educators. Our profession too often responds to the concept and practice of professional evaluation with a mixture of fear and intransigence. Every time the word appraisal is mentioned, it seems, the best teachers in our common rooms think they are about to be sacked. Outsiders looking into our culture view our misgivings as, at best, naive self protection and, at worst, incompetence. Yet when the rest of the world is being appraised, we open ourselves to sharp scrutiny on an industry­-wide basis if we don’t do it, or if we do it poorly.

The provocation Currently when we do attempt to appraise our staff, Ben Jensen from the Grattan Institute concludes, we tend to do so in a way that is ineffective and bureaucratically driven. Part-way through a series of reports on improving teacher effectiveness in Australia, Jensen is painting a clear picture of the problems we face in our profession and his findings with respect to the shortfalls of current practice are damning.

He argues, (Jensen 2010) that:

Appraisal design

• Teacher effectiveness is not identified in schools

Significantly, Jensen argues for a decentralised approach – that individual schools rather than systems are best placed to design and administer meaningful and effective appraisal for teachers. Therefore it is incumbent upon all school leaders to understand and develop the elements of an appraisal system.

• Teacher quality is not recognised in schools • Teacher innovation is not recognised in schools • Teacher evaluation has few consequences • Teacher evaluation does not develop teaching in classrooms • Teacher evaluation is largely just an administrative exercise. There might be a temptation for the individual principal to remark that. ‘This may be happening elsewhere – but not in my school’.The evidence assembled by Jensen suggests that this assumption would be ill-advised. 63% of teachers report that appraisals of their work are done purely to meet administrative requirements; 91% say the best teachers do not receive the most recognition and reward; 71% say that poor-performing teachers in their school will not be dismissed. Instead, assessment and feedback are largely tick-a-box exercises not linked to better classroom teaching, teacher development or improved student results. (Jensen & Reichl 2011)

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Meaningful feedback to teachers is an important part of an appraisal system. According to Jensen (Jensen & ReichI 2011), it should rely on at least four of the following methods: • Student performance and assessments • Peer observation and collaboration • Direct observation of classroom teaching and learning • Student surveys and feedback • 360-degree assessment and feedback • Self assessment • Parent surveys and feedback • External observation Yet the effectiveness of this appraisal is also dependent upon its integration into a whole school approach. Michael Day of the UK’s Training and Development Agency for Schools, argues that professional development should aim to move teachers on a continuum from incompetence to competence and from unconscious to conscious practice (Day 2011). The ideal


of conscious competence can be achieved by a deepening of the teachers body of knowledge through working with others, research and enquiry. What better way of achieving this than to use rich data gathered from a meaningful appraisal system that evaluates and sets goals for professional learning and improvement?

Appraisal rationale It must remain clear to all that the paramount purpose of appraisal is to benefit students. In their report on teacher evaluation for the OECD in 2009, Paulo Santiago and Francisco Benavides state that ‘the over-arching policy objective is to ensure that teacher evaluation contributes to the improvement of student outcome through enhanced teaching performance and improved teaching practices’ (Santiago & Benavides 2009). To ensure this objective is met, they argue that we should: 1. Frame appraisal in the context of established objectives and culture 2. Define specific purposes for appraisal 3. Clarify the responsibilities of all involved in the process 4. Situate teacher appraisal within a whole school approach to evaluation and review 5. Establish meaningful standards and evaluation criteria 6. Train evaluators to appraise and teachers to be appraised. I would argue that our approach to the choice of standards is important; we need to be selective. Jensen and others have been very strong in pointing out that mechanistic and time-consuming application of all 37 of the recently released National Professional Standards for Teaching (AITSL 2011a) – and by implication the National Professional Standard for Principals ( AITSL 2011b) – should be avoided. Schools need to be able to develop their own workable solutions, that are aligned with these standards. The challenge in all of this is to ensure that the fundamental goal of student learning


and achievement is not lost in the process of developing an efficient and workable system. This is an essential leadership task for the principal and senior staff and, perhaps, provides an even clearer reason for the nuanced use of student surveys and assessment data as part of an authentic appraisal system.

Conclusions and challenges We need to be careful as we move towards building a culture of evaluation and appraisal. We still have some issues to confront; performance pay for teachers is central to the current debate. The literature is divided in this respect. What works in some contexts seems not to work in others. Michael Fullan (Fullan 2011) has warned that the greatest impact on improving school and teacher performance comes from measures that are designed to build capacity as well as increase accountability. Of these two qualities, it is capacity building that is more likely to lead to outstanding performance. Accountability is necessary but it is not of the highest importance. On a similar note, the report from the Asia Society on the International Summit on the Teaching Profession records the conclusions of the conference participants:

Teacher evaluation is essential for improving both individual performance and collective school outcomes. But designing effective teacher-evaluation systems requires careful balancing of the objectives of improvement and accountability, discriminating selection criteria, and the training of evaluators. Whatever approach is taken, the criteria against which teachers are evaluated need to be very clear and perceived as fair (Stewart 2011). Australian schools need to be more demanding of themselves in respect of appraisal. Despite the noise coming from those with vested interests in delaying and obfuscating such reform, our profession has shown that it wants meaningful appraisal implemented in our schools. Teachers want to receive effective feedback about their performance to affirm their good practice and help them to set goals for their continuing professional development. Our schools need appraisal to help them to align the performance of their staff with their educational goals and culture. We need to be less bureaucratic and more focused on how we evaluate teachers. Above all, we need appraisal because it is an extremely powerful tool for us to improve learning and outcomes for our students.


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Choosing Your Laundry Equipment Brian Clark

With any equipment purchase, there are many factors to consider. Here is a short guide to some of the things to look for when purchasing Commercial Laundry machinery for your college. Domestic or Commercial quality: A domestic washer and dryer may seem attractive if you buy on price, but in the long run it will cost you more. Domestic washers are designed for around 3000 cycles on average loads whereas commercial washers are designed for more than 20000 cycles on full loads. Domestic warranties either do not apply or are reduced to 90 days in commercial applications and downtime and long term maintenance costs will be far greater. The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ certainly applies. Commercial washers are more durably built with heavy duty motors, larger load capacities and offer considerably shorter cycle times than domestic machines meaning that you can wash more in less time. Capacity and power needs: Larger capacity washers and dryers mean more throughput and greater efficiency in processing your daily wash requirements. An ideal capacity is 10 kg for washers and dryers. Machines greater than 10 kg capacity are possibly too costly and large for the smaller areas or cleaning rooms. Before you buy, check your power availability as you may also need heavier duty wiring to supply enough power. Commercial dryers, for instance, are


designed to dry large loads in 20-40 minutes but require 20 Amp power outlets. Water usage: It may be tempting to buy a top load rather than a front load because they are cheaper. However top load washers use a lot more water – as much as 130 litres per wash cycle more than front loading machines – and generate a significant amount more waste water. Both of these are important factors, especially if you are serious about minimising operating costs and reducing your environmental footprint. Construction: While the machine may look durable on the outside its the inside that creates the problems. Many commercial washers and dryers have enamelled or galvanised steel bowls, which tend to chip and peel and potentially develop rust spots that can stain or damage your fabrics. Don’t settle for anything less than a Stainless steel bowl – its costs very little extra and has a longer life and much better wash results. Spin speed and G force: The G-Force generated in the spin cycles is a key factor in machine selection but can vary from 220-420 G between brands. Basically the higher the G force the better the rinsing and fabric is far dryer at the end of the wash cycle, meaning less drying time and

a dramatic reduction in energy needed to run the dryer. Look for a washer with over 350 g with programmable spin cycles so that you can program your spin speed and G-force to suit your fabric or your wash cycle. Direct Drive Vs Belt drive: New Generation equipment such as the LG Giant C commercial washers feature direct drive motors, which are far superior in operation to the older belt drive type and generate much lower noise levels. Manufacturer data indicates that belt drive machines use up to 30% more power than direct drive machines and the regular maintenance requirement with belts, pulleys and gearboxes is eliminated

in direct drive units, thus driving down operating costs and reducing water and energy consumption. Programmability: New Generation commercial washers and dryers have programmable cycles and simple one touch operation instead of manually operated buttons and dials. Programming is accessible by the supervisor only and enables customisation of cycle times, spin speeds, no of rinses and water temperature, which means consistent wash outcomes, more throughput and lower overall costs. Sanitation and chemical management: Manual dosing of powdered or liquid detergents and sanitisers has inherent issues including pilferage, over use, poor cleaning outcomes, detergent residues in fabric, safety issues and higher costs.

All of these issues can be overcome and detergent costs can be slashed by fitting automatic chemical dosing pumps to your machine. However, not all commercial machines are compatible with detergent dosing pumps and fitment may void warranty so it is important to ensure that the manufacturer or supplier can demonstrate compatibility. Making space – Stack or stand alone machines: Cleaning rooms are inherently small and it is important that you know the laundry system that you choose will fit and take up minimal space. The easiest solution if you have normal ceiling heights is to purchase stack washer dryers. Stack machines consist of a commercial dryer stacked on top of a commercial washer. Stacked machines use the floor space of a single unit and are only available in front loading configurations. Choose stack

washers that can be assembled on site as large pre-assembled units may not fit into your doorway. Service and Parts: As with any machine purchase, it is important to determine the availability and pricing of common consumables. In Commercial washers and Dryers these including filters, door seals on front loaders, door latches, water solenoids, main boards and pumps and the location of suitably trained service agents. The principles for choosing on-site laundry equipment to maintain your valuable fabrics are the same as choosing any onsite cleaning equipment. They include durability, productivity, reliability, simplicity, repairability and overall value for money. Follow these simple steps and your choice will be easy.

























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Product News Direct Products: Roll Out/Lift Up Top Underbed Steel Storage Locker Direct Products will be releasing at this years AACUHO conference in Wollongong their latest space saving Roll Out/Lift Up Top Underbed Steel Storage Locker, which provides the ultimate storage area and most importantly easy access via its Roll-Out Design and easy Lift Up Top. Quality designed and manufactured in Australia, this storage piece provides the perfect solution for Student Residential Proprieties where space is at a premium. The locker is lockable by use of a regular pad lock. Heavy duty piano hinge construction ensures long term durability. Designed to be used under the Balmoral Steel Commercial Bed – Single/Long Single/King Single models. Also for release at Wollongong is the “new” EASY MOVE’ glide, which is now available as an option for use with the Balmoral Steel Bed. This new adaption enables the Balmoral Bed with mattress to be moved across a carpeted floor by Housekeeping staff, a long awaited solution for the Student Residential sector. See both of the above new products on our display stand 20/21 at AACUHO at Wollongong, along with new Tub Chairs, Task Chairs and ‘Fairmont’ Feature chair. All inquiries can be directed to Phil Ellis at Direct Products – 0412 357 499 or email

AACUHO Mission To support the professional development of all staff working in post secondary education accommodation. To be the leading professional organisation providing our members access to information and resources. To be a leading Association that delivers professional development to its members.


AACUHO Vision: To be the premier professional organisation for all who work in Post Secondary Education Accommodation, in any capacity, in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

Benefits of AACUHO Membership A major benefit of being a member is the opportunity to come together and meet with others employed in the student accommodation industry at various conferences, workshops and other forums. Members attending these events share ideas and discuss latest developments and innovations, such as pastoral and technological, within the industry. There are opportunities to meet major equipment and service suppliers and to increase and broaden knowledge of the whole accommodation industry. Members obtain access through both individual network development and list serve facilities to assist them with any problems on which they may want advice.

For further details and membership application, please visit

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Student Residences Management Journal 7_1  

Student magazine

Student Residences Management Journal 7_1  

Student magazine