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Res Alumni reflect on living on campus

  • Blog
  • 5 min read
  • Posted May 2021


We’ve always known our residents are pretty special people, so it’s always wonderful to be able to provide the opportunity for our alumni to return to residence to speak about their impressive experiences post their time living on campus. Last week, three of our former Burwood residents, Braden Tuohey, Jonty Simmons and Alice Bleathman, participated in an online Alumni Panel, providing an insight as to how current residents can make the most of their residential and university experience.   

Braden Tuohey lived at our Burwood residences from 2013 – 2014, studying Sport Development. A graduate of Bendigo Senior Secondary College, Braden highlighted that his two years living on campus was of great benefit to his personal and professional growth. 

I think the ability to engage with new people who come from all different backgrounds is something that living on Res helped me develop, and it’s gone a long way towards contributing to my career post-uni.
Braden Tuohey, Burwood Resident 2013-14

In his current role as a Cricket Officer at the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), Braden listed his greatest professional achievement as being able to work within the BBL (Big Bash League) the past few seasons for both the Melbourne Stars and Renegades, and being part of an events team responsible for delivering quality match day experiences. “…There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to deliver a match and ensure that everyone who attends has an enjoyable time, and that sense of achievement you have after each match that is pulled off successfully is certainly a great feeling!” 

When you first arrive not really knowing anyone, it certainly can be daunting with so many unfamiliar faces, but res is such a great environment to meet new people. Living on campus has also definitely helped me to get out of my comfort zone and allowed me to develop my social skills.”
Braden Tuohey, Burwood Resident 2013-14

Jonty Simmons also lived on campus for two years from 2013 – 2014, studying Arts/Law. A graduate of Gippsland Grammar, Jonty also acknowledged that his time living on campus was one of the best decision he’s made for both his personal and professional life. 

Coming from country Victoria, living on res provided the opportunity to engage with others without having the pressure of meeting people in lectures or in tutorials.
Jonty Simmons, Burwood Resident, 2013-14

Jonty noted that taking on the position of a volunteer student Leader was also critical to his growth. “Being a Residential Leader in my second year gave me a great sense of responsibility and helped me develop empathy and understanding that has informed the social networking and client communication skills in my law career.”  

Now a lawyer at Melbourne Law Studio, Jonty shared with our residents his greatest professional accomplishment as “…finding a modern firm that allowed me to dye my hair, show my tattoos and trusts me to work independently to the best of my ability. The ethical dilemmas and client issues are a lot easier to manage once you feel comfortable and valued in your workplace.” 

I would easily be able to message those I know from my time on res for professional advice to this day, and I’ve still retained a large number of lifelong friendships. Some I met on my first day, or in the first week, and I would still classify them as my best friends.
Jonty Simmons, Burwood Resident, 2013-14

Alice Bleathman lived at the Burwood campus from 2015 – 2016. Graduating from St Michael’s Collegiate School in Hobart, Alice studied a Bachelor of Nutritional Science and Master of Dietetics and is now an accredited practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist. Like both Braden and Jonty, she notes that her time living on campus was beneficial for both personal and professional reasons. 

“Personally, I made so many amazing friends while living on Res. Professionally, I not only was able to allocate more time to networking etc. due to the fact of being so close to Uni, but I also developed so many transferable skills that I now use every day in my business.
Alice Bleathman, Burwood, 2015-16

To conclude the evening, Braden, Alice and Jonty provided advice for those in attendance. Alice reinforced that to current residents that the “…connections you make on residence will last a lifetime,” whilst Jonty’s biggest tip was to “…ensure that you make the most of going to events and try not to ‘shut yourself in’ because you don’t know anyone. A lot of events are custom made to introduce people to each other and I promise they will help make life seem a whole lot easier when exams and assignments are bearing down on you. I was in and out of my studio apartment constantly, and it felt like this forced me to meet new people who eventually kept me sane as SWOTVAC approached. That goes for people in shared apartments too! Assignments are easier when you’ve got someone to bounce ideas off, and it makes them even more manageable when you know you can head out with one or ten friends after they’re done.” Braden agreed, “…just get involved! There are so many doors that living on res can open for you, both personally and professionally, that it really can set you up for life.”  

Did you live within our student accommodation at any of our campuses and have a story to share? We’d love to hear from you. Please reach out to Laura Burge, Student Experience and Engagement Manager.

Written by

Profile photo of author Xue Rong Lee
Xue Rong Lee Campus Life Officer

Xue Rong Lee is a Campus Life Officer at Deakin Residential Services, Burwood Campus. She supports the planning and organisation of a diverse range of academic, social, personal and community development programs within the residential community at Deakin.

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