UNE student Sally Aurisch is the kind of inspirational learner who has a passion for knowledge, so much so that she also helps other students achieve their study goals.

Sally is a PASS@UNE leader who guides students through PASS sessions helping them with unit content, sharing her passion and inspiration with fellow students. For those who don’t know PASS@UNE is an academic assistance program that involves regularly-scheduled, out-of-class study sessions that are facilitated by student leaders.

With only 7 subjects to go before Sally completes her Bachelor of Social Science (Organisation Management), she is getting close to the end of her undergraduate studies, but that won’t be the end of her study journey. Sally is such a passionate learner that she said that she doesn’t want the learning journey to end so she plans to continue her study with a post-graduate course after her Bachelor is completed.

Rewinding back to the beginning of Sally’s study, let’s find out how she began her study journey with the University of New England.

“I chose to study at UNE because of the well-established off campus learning program that the university has. I’m a full time employee and didn’t want to leave my job to study, so part-time distance education has been fantastic for me.

I am also legally blind and I wanted to study with a university that understood diversity, and UNE has a fantastic reputation for that.”

When discussing what excites her most about her studies, Sally described her eagerness for her studies in their entirety, but noted that she is particularly excited when she can dig through the new content in a study unit.

PASS leader and UNE student, Sally Aurisch

“The day unit information is released prior to the start of a trimester… I love reading though the unit outline, learning objectives and study timetable and starting to get my head around what I’ll be learning over the coming months.”

With such passion for learning and knowledge, it is natural to wonder what Sally would like to work towards after her study. Here what she said when talking about what comes next:

“To continue on in executive leadership roles within the No- for-profit sector, to study a masters in something like strategy and project management and further establish my governance work by taking on additional directorships.”

What drew Sally to assisting students through PASS@UNE, you may ask. Well it seems that alongside her passion for learning she also has a strong ethos for helping others.

“I’d been working in the Not-for-profit sector for several years and absolutely love it. I had been wanting to move into an executive leadership role but it wasn’t happening. I was encouraged to complete a degree and, since enrolling have taken on my first executive leadership role and, two governance roles so it certainly has been a catalyst for my career.”

Sally has a fantastic and unique perspective on the PASS@UNE program and how it can assist students with their learning journey. Not only this but how beneficial it can be when students are feeling isolated in their studies.

“As a mature age, off campus student the experience can be isolating so it’s great to come together with other students and talk about the subject content, share my study experiences and learn from theirs.”

“I hear so many people say in the early weeks of the trimester ‘I don’t understand’, or ‘I don’t know what this all means’. To which I reply ‘Great! Because if you did there would be no point studying, would there?’. We don’t need to know it all on day one, it’s OK if things aren’t clicking straight away – that’s why we study, so we can have the opportunity to learn. Things generally start to sink in around week 4-5 I find and, for the odd thing that doesn’t I’d encourage people not to feel silly but to reach out and ask questions, that’s what the forums, tutorials and unit coordinators are there for.”

As a PASS leader and an enthusiastic learner, Sally has some great study tips for new students who are looking to get an edge as they begin their studies. The first being about how useful the library and the librarians at UNE can be when undertaking your studies.

“Make friends with the library and the librarians from day 1. They are fantastic resources and great people to get to know and sometimes, when you know exactly what you want but can’t quite find it, they often have the answer.”

“Also, I’d encourage people to make friends with their Unit Coordinator. They’ve got such a wealth of knowledge and are generally so passionate about their subjects, they can provide so much detail, direction and advice about study, academia, university life and so much more.”