Veronica Ng Lam AuSM President 921 9999 ext 8571
My final debate blurb for forever! Well, it had to happen one day. As the saying goes, “everything has a beginning and an end”. The timing to lay this chapter to rest couldn’t be more perfect, welcoming and sad at the same time. How does one begin to summarise the last two years’ journey that has painstakingly become my life? A life filled with endless meetings, expectations, time constraints, responsibility, stress, pressure and anxiety, as well as the fulfilment, satisfaction, courage, triumphs, successes, tears of joy and pure adrenaline rush of always having somewhere to be, something to complete and not forgetting the endless amount of people rooting for you along the way? Let me reassure you first by saying that it has been my absolute pleasure to serve as your student president for 2010-2011. I could not have been more proud to represent the students of AUT on all the various boards, committees, councils, forums, conferences and excursions that I attended on your behalf and can only hope I have served you well and with justice. Like all things in life, there are always the tests of character which are commonly presented in challenges – and my challenge in fulfilling the difficult task of being your ‘voice’ has been mind boggling. I mean 26,000 students is a lot of voice right? But it’s a student voice that during my reign of terror I have come know is ever-changing: fresh, constructive, contradictive, conflicting, hard to please, difficult to capture but always rewarding when represented right. My only hope is that I have done you proud. It is also with confidence I can say that here at AUT we are heard. Though decisions may not have gone our way, the compromise always meant students’ interests were always represented and we were never disadvantaged in any way. Always remember that while change is inevitable and the world of education evolves, the power a collective voice has is indisputably powerful and an important tool to hold on to. Never lose sight of this. Of course the journey was certainly not an individual one. There are so many people whom I need to thank and will never do justice in this piece but it’s important to acknowledge those who have undoubtedly contributed to person I am. First and foremost, thank you to the students of AUT for voting me in and believing that I would be the right person for the job – thank you for electing your very first female and Pasifika president. Thank you to AuSM for putting up with me. Our relationship has been
like a marriage, with all the ups and downs, but thank you for preparing me for such things. Thank you especially to AuSM general manager Sue Higgins for your constant encouragement and support; your wise counsel over the last two years has been invaluable and it has certainly been comforting to know your heart is definitely in the right place for students. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Sue and also to your staff that I have had the pleasure to work alongside. In particular Carol Wilder, who managed the AuSM ‘life’ with my crazy calendar and never-ending appointments! You are a gem, Carol and I will always be grateful for your kindness, smile and humour. A special thank you to vice president Cameron Leslie. Thank you for always providing the second perspective on the complicated issues I was unsure about. Your input was always important to me and your thoughts always found a way of easing my mind. Thank you for allowing me to fight the student voice alongside you and our student executive. Thank you also, executive, for being the wonderful individuals you are, for taking time out to give back to the student body and for enduring our Tuesday meetings with me and my droning voice. I am confident you will all go on to make a bigger difference in this world but thank you for permitting me to lead you over the last two years. Thank you to our VC Derek McCormack and all your staff here at AUT, from council, EMT, academic and allied staff. You make AUT unique because you listen, so on behalf of all the students here I would like to thank you for continuing to allow students to foster a safe place to have a voice. Last and certainly not least, thank you to my Heavenly Father above for being the driver of my life, my parents for loving me through it all, my family for your patience and my friends who never saw me. While it is sad to say goodbye, I do know that I leave this place with great confidence in the people here, knowing they are capable of overcoming any hurdles that will come up, singularly, and more importantly, together. I would like to wish AuSM and the incoming president, Kizito, and newly elected exec all the best for next year – show VSM what you’re made of! And like all those who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. On reflection you look back and ask “did I deliver for the students?” and I can humbly say I always acted with the best interests of our student body in mind. So for my shortcomings, flaws and mistakes I am deeply sorry, I only hope you can appreciate that I was brave enough to make those hard decisions. But for now I will be riding off into the proverbial sunset to ultimately throw my energies into who-knows-what and leave you with lots of encouragement for your exams ahead, travelling mercies for our long awaited holiday and love, joy, peace and humility for your road ahead. Ia manuia Your fellow president in solidarity and peace
Welcome to the final issue of debate for 2011, brought to you by AuSM.