About Student Voice Australia

Student Voice Australia (SVA) is a national network of institutions, staff and students, committed to facilitating authentic student engagement through partnership in institutional decision-making and governance for learning, teaching and the student experience. Following a successful pilot led by Professor Sally Varnham in 2019 and further embedding of practices in 2020 SVA continues to develop and sustain a culture of student partnership in governance nationally.

SVA works in three key areas:

  • Building a culture of authentic student engagement within institutions
  • Building the capacity of student representatives and of staff working with student representatives
  • Learning from each other at a national level and through engagement with similar international initiatives and networks

SVA Aims

Working under the guidance of the STEPUP Principles, Student Voice Australia will develop student, staff and institutional capabilities to engage in governance and decision making processes within tertiary education institutions.  SVA sets out to achieve the following aims:

  • To strengthen institutional commitment to authentic student involvement in decision making and governance and develop a shared understanding of student partnership principles and good practice across a diversity of tertiary education settings.

  • To enhance student capacity to engage in governance and decision making structures, quality assurance and partnership at all levels of the tertiary education system.

  • To support institutions in developing processes, structures and activities which facilitate authentic student engagement with a diverse student body and strengthen the value of having a strong and informed student voice across all areas of the institution.

  • To provide a mechanism for networking and sharing knowledge, practice and experience of authentic student engagement, between Australian tertiary institutions and with comparative sectors abroad.

  • To demonstrate the value of Student Voice Australia beyond the pilot phase as a national presence to sustain and strengthen the culture of student partnership and to support and build capacity in tertiary institutions, staff and students.

Student Voice Australia 2021 Snapshot

In 2021, SVA has developed new training materials and resources for student representatives and staff. We continue to facilitate connections between students and staff via a range of events and networking opportunities, including the SVA National Symposium, the Student Partnership STARS Network, the continuation of the Practitioner network and the establishment of the Student Network.

To find out more about SVA networks, resources and activities, please contact Piper Bell, SVA Coordinator