Ashley Sutherland’s passion for listening to people and telling their stories has led her to represent their issues to the wider community.
In 2017, Ashley (BA ’18) completed a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Creative Writing and History at Flinders University. On completing her undergraduate degree she worked with the Australian Greens (SA). “I formed part of a core staff team who oversaw the implementation of the endorsed election campaign, which eventually saw the successful re-election of Tammy Franks MLC to the Parliament of South Australia,” said Ashley.
Ashley chose to study at Flinders after hearing positive stories from family friends. “I came to value the social justice history attached to the University,” said Ashley. “However, the strongest appeals of Flinders lay in the vibrancy of the campus, as well as the institution’s commitment to quality education and accessibility.”
At Flinders, Ashley found a great passion for both education and improving the welfare of her fellow students. She became politically engaged and is now the elected Student President of the Flinders University Student Association (FUSA), “As President I currently represent 26,500 Flinders students – one of the greatest honours of my life.”
During her time as President of FUSA, Ashley hopes to increase student representation on University committees and in the Colleges, along with increasing transparency and accountability of student representation within FUSA and FUSA-affiliated clubs.
“Key to my term will be a focus on implementing compulsory consent training for club executives and to increase awareness of student poverty and homelessness,” said Ashley. “I am involved in the release of the Be a Better Human initiative created by students for students, with a focus on affirmative consent, respect and empathy.”
Ashley is now studying a Master of Public Administration (Policy) at Flinders. Alongside her role as FUSA President she represent the Flinders student body as a member of the Flinders University Council. Ashley is also the National Co-convenor of the Australian Young Greens political party and the Youth Ambassador for Headspace, the national youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians.
While Ashley is now immersed in her postgraduate studies, she eventually plans to work within politics and policy development with a focus on social justice. “I want to use my education to assist in opening doorways for others, whether that mean advocating for their rights at work, or for their right to their own education,” said Ashley.