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Surrounded by Helpful Humans

  • Blog
  • 3 min read
  • Posted October 2023

Clockwise from top left: Bronte Hobson, Jackson Bialobrzeski, Meet Kagalwala Sam Graham, Cody Jager and Derby Teo
Clockwise from top left: Bronte Hobson, Jackson Bialobrzeski, Meet Kagalwala Sam Graham, Cody Jager and Derby Teo

One of the reasons you'll Belong Better here at Deakin is that you'll be surrounded by helpful humans. With 24/7 reception and a friendly staff team ready to help, no problem is too big or small.

Some of our most helpful humans are the Residential Leaders (RLs). They're students themselves and will be there to help you settle in from the moment you set foot on campus, as you get to know your roommates and fellow students, and throughout the year. They're well trained to provide support and advice, and we're excited for you to meet them!

We caught up with six incoming RLs for 2024 to hear about their experiences so far, and they have some great insights for you as you get ready for this important step in life.

What advice would you give to incoming students for 2024 to prepare for Uni and Res life, and to make the most of it when they get here?

Cody Jager - Burwood:

The best pieces of advice that I can offer is to enjoy the butterflies, put yourself out there and enjoy your time here. You will get out of it what you put in, so get involved in the countless residential events that run and just have fun :).

Bronte Hobson - Waterfront:

1. Meet your housemates and get to know a bit about them. You don’t have to be besties, but it’ll feel better knowing who you’re living with!
2. Think about what you expect from your housemates and communicate this. Are you someone who needs a dedicated fridge space? Are your housemates happy to share the salt and pepper? How long is it ok to leave dishes in the sink? It’s best to talk about it.
3. Try new things and go to new places. Deakin Res has so much to offer. Uni is the best time for exploring!

Meet Kagalwala - Burwood:

To the students of 2024, I would say don't worry about fitting in here, Deakin Res is a place where everyone is accepted for who they are and you'll make a ton of friends by just being yourself. In terms of Uni the education structure might be different to what it is in your country and it may take time to adjust, but Deakin always helps students out in O-week to get to know all of this. Summarising, I would say, "What are you waiting for?"

Sam Graham - Waurn Ponds:

Whilst there is definitely a lot going on in the first few weeks of Res and it can be slightly overwhelming, I encourage incoming students to get involved in as many events as possible. You will meet a lot of new people and we are lucky enough to live in a community that puts in so much effort to make sure you get the best out of your time on Res.

I would definitely say that you'll get just as much out as you put in, so put yourself out there as much as you can.

Jackson Bialobrzeski: Warrnambool

Be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions if you're leaving home for the first time, as it is challenging to adapt to a new environment. But be excited to meet new people and explore the opportunities of whole wide big world!

Derby Teo: Waurn Ponds

Make use of the resources, make the effort to get out there, and make friends! We are only here for a limited time, so let us make the best of it!

How have you found living on campus so far? What are some of the highlights? 


Living on campus has been one of the best decisions I have made, it is a wonderful experience that I couldn't recommend enough. My highlights would have to be the friends that I have made here, they have truly made me feel like I belong at Deakin.


I’ve really enjoyed living on campus so far! Beyond the convenience and the beautiful location, There’s always something to do and a huge community of people to meet and interact with.

Some highlights this year for me have been watching Res Factor, visiting our friends at the Warrnambool campus, reviving the veggie garden, and going on group walks along the waterfront (there’s so many hidden treasures!)


Living on Res is fantastic because you are put in a position where you can make friends from different towns, states, and countries, who might be studying a different course to you. A personal highlight for me has been meeting so many new faces who have become some of my best mates!


Living on campus has been a delight. It is such a good environment to have fun and go on with your studies, it is an environment that promotes personal growth as well. One of the best moments was the Warrnambool trip for me. It was such an excellent way to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city away from studies and assignments and relax with a bunch of friends while also going to a new place.

What are you looking forward to in your role as an RL? 


I look forward to being a bastion of support and the provider of vibes. I hope I can help create an environment where our residents can feel safe, supported, and thrive.


I really want to use my knowledge and experience to enhance the community. I’m looking forward to connecting with people and finding creative ways to engage. My goal is to encourage people to make friendship connections so strong, they’ll still be friends at the 100-year reunion!


I'm looking forward to guiding new students through the exciting and challenging first few weeks of uni life. This year it was so helpful to have RLs around whenever we needed them, helping get to classes, or helping sort anything out to do with Res. I hope to be able to do the same in 2024.


I’m looking forward to engaging with my fellow residents, and our new 2024 residents in a different capacity. I can’t wait for the opportunity to participate in and lead res events.

And these are just six of the wonderful team of RLs waiting to get to know you and help you settle into your new home. With a wide range of backgrounds, courses of study and interests, our RLs are relatable, friendly and ready to help.

Written by

Profile photo of author Sam Johnstone
Sam Johnstone Manager, Experience and Engagement

Sam Johnstone is Manager, Experience and Engagement at Deakin Residential Services. With a background in engagement and student experience roles across Deakin and the wider Higher Education sector, Sam is passionate about supporting students to reach their full potential.

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