Leadership award: building communities

La Trobe University Student Engagement and Transition Officer Abhishek (Abhi) Awasthi has received national recognition for his work in helping shape the next generation of local leaders.

Mr Awasthi has been recognised as one of the leading practitioners in higher education across Australasia at the 2014 Association for the Tertiary Education Management/Campus Review Best Practice Awards in Tertiary Education Management.

Mr Awasthi received the Award for Excellence by a New Entrant in Tertiary Education Management sponsored by Campus Living Villages, an international student accommodation firm.

Rob Stephenson, Head of Campus, Bendigo, said the award recognised young staff who had made significant achievements in their field within the first five years of working within tertiary education.

'Abhi is passionate about motivating students to engage in learning through first-hand experience of community action. In his role as University Student Engagement and Transition Officer he has been a strong advocate of volunteering, civic engagement and leadership development.'

Mr Awasthi coordinates the La Trobe Leadership Program (formerly known as Infinity Leadership Program), which gives students the opportunity to develop leadership attributes by undertaking 'Leadership in Action' community projects that benefit other students on campus and the local community.

'This program shapes our students' capacity to address our most pressing global challenges, whether they are related to innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainable thinking or global citizenship,' Mr Stephenson said.

'Abhi's passion and commitment to student development for the region has helped this program go from strength to strength.

'This program not only improves leadership skills, it reinforces the importance of students using those skills to contribute to their communities.

'Since moving to Bendigo Abhi has involved himself in both La Trobe University and the broader community. This award recognises his great contribution.

Mr Awasthi said that he was honoured by the award.

'I might have been the recipient of the award on the night but it also recognises the best practice of numerous staff whom I have worked with during my time at La Trobe University.

'The award reflects the great leadership and innovation our students demonstrate, as well as the generous support that our local Bendigo community provide to students aspiring to be future leaders.'  

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Tom O'Callaghan, Media and Communications, T 03 5444 7415, M 0408 900 469

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