QUT Council Elections: Get to Know Your Undergrad Candidates

QUT Council elections are here, and there are four students vying for the undergraduate representative position this year.

What is the QUT Council and why should I care?

QUT Council is the University’s governing body, responsible for its effective governance and operations. While Council is ultimately responsible for the management of QUT, it has delegated authority to the Vice-Chancellor and President, and to various senior administrators for day-to-day management of the university.

You should probably care because this is the body in the QUT that has the most power over your university experience. QUT is a public institution – it’s yours. Having a student representative on QUT Council who will advocate for what you want from QUT will make your university experience better.

Council’s composition, membership, powers and responsibilities are governed by the QUT Act 1998:

Council’s role and responsibilities are also set out in the QUT MOPP (Manual of Policies and Procedures).

Council members serve a four-year term, except for student Council members who serve a two-year term. There are 15 members on QUT Council in official, elected and appointed positions. Members include the University’s chief executive officer, the Vice-Chancellor and President, professionals and representatives from higher education, government, commerce and industry, and elected QUT staff members, students and alumni.

Council’s activities are summarised in periodic reports, which you can read here.

Is this the same as the Guild/Student Representative Council elections?


If you didn’t realise already, now might be a good time to be reminded that the QUT Student Guild (the Guild) is a separate organisation to QUT (the University).

The University is…well…QUT. It’s a public institution (not owned privately) that was established by the QUT Act.

The Guild is a student-run organisation set up to advocate for student interests and provide services to students. The role of a student union is really to step in for students when the University doesn’t. The Guild was also established under the QUT Act (Div 2).

Guild elections are also happening at the moment, and we highly encourage all students to nominate themselves for a position (most of them are paid!). The Guild is running a workshop this Thursday about how to run in the elections, with past President Olivia Brumm and former Student Rights VP Sarah Balmer. There will be lots of election wisdom shared and most importantly: FREE PIZZA! See you there. RSVP here.

How do I vote in the QUT Council elections?

Voting closes this Thursday 14 September 2023, so be sure to get your vote in soon! All students can voted via emails sent to our QUT email accounts.

Who should I vote for?

It’s up to you! We’ve done short & sweet profiles of each of the three candidates we were able to get a hold of, which are hyperlinked below.

Sean O’Brien is a second-year Economics and Film student. Sean’s candidate statement says that he wants to “…be a valuable member of the Council by taking on the ideas of [your] colleagues and working with the Council to have [student] voices heard.”

Euan Tiernan is a first-year Engineering student campaigning on a promise to expand QUT’s equity programs and lobby for cheaper parking. He wants to establish “long-term equity programs to support our poorest students.”

Harley Manley is a second-year Education student who is promising to “make QUT student’s voices heard and make the time we spend at QUT a good one”. He has said he wants to be a “genuine voice and advocate for all undergraduate students.”

Josh Atkins is a student in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. His candidate statement says that in the past he has advocated for “enhanced teaching and learning experiences” and has a “deep understanding of student needs and academic responsibilities.”

Tiernan, Manley, and O’Brien have posted to QUT StalkerSpace 2.0 recently, spruiking their policies and ambitions for the role.

Ciaran Greig
Ciaran Greig

Ciaran (she/her) is a Meanjin/Brisbane-based writer and an editor at Glass Magazine. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative Writing)/Bachelor of Laws.

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