Carolyn Ballagh –
Acting Deputy Director, Accommodation Services
Hi, my name is Carolyn Ballagh (aka Cas) and I have the privilege of leading Accommodation Services at La Trobe University.
Collectively, our teams are passionate about developing and delivering a range of programs and events that support your academic achievement, social awareness and personal development. So whether it’s grabbing the runners for boot camp, heading to the reef, connecting in for a chat, advancing your educational journey or engaging with an inspirational speaker – we have it covered. We are also dedicated to offering a high level of customer support and welcome your feedback throughout your stay in residence.
Additionally, operating at the heart of the on campus experience and helping to make our residents time on campus awesome, we have a team of approximately 120 ‘Student Leaders’ across Bundoora, Bendigo and Albury/Wodonga.
For me professionally and personally, it is such a pleasure to be part of growing Accommodation Services at La Trobe.
A bit about my educational background. Previous to this role, I traversed through a few tertiary environments – having established skills in student services, student welfare, advocacy, event management and leadership. Certainly, the connection point within each portfolio has been the ability to drive programs and services focused on the engagement and enrichment of the student experience, to build strong communities and to be a little bit creative along the way. During my time in the University sector, I have completed a Bachelor of Arts followed by a Grad. Dip. of Counselling and specialist training in mediation, conflict resolution and investigation. I am also embarking on a Master of Leadership this year.
Outside of La Trobe…well, I have two amazing kids. The eldest son is now in size 11 shoes and his third year of high school (and has officially just surpassed me in height) and the youngest is in grade three. Both are busily involved in various sporting and outdoor activities.
When I take time out, I enjoy walking with my dog as the sun rises, enjoying the occasional brewed chai and spending time with my family and friends.
Mandy Kitchener –
Health and Wellbeing, Residential Education Coordinator
My name is Mandy Kitchener and I look after the Health and Wellbeing portfolio within the Residential Education team.
Throughout the year, there will be lots of events and opportunities for you to link in with to support your health and wellbeing. These include College wide events, Wednesday Night Live and The Dunny Dispatch newsletter.
I am also here to support students in their own individual health and wellbeing and am available for one-on-one appointments with students. If you, or someone you know, might need some support, come by and see me for a chat. You can find me in Accommodation Services, Menzies College.
My background is in Psychology and Education. I previously worked in case management, counselling and supporting young people with their mental health.
I’m into travel, photography, martial arts and reading a good book with a cup of tea.
I look forward to meeting you and supporting you throughout the year.
Sam Fualau –
Social Engagement, Residential Education Coordinator
My name is Sam Fualau and I’m responsible for the Social Engagement portfolio within the Accommodation Services team.
I have the enviable task of coordinating & managing all social events including the annual residential college balls, college social events, outbound fun excursions (Swimming with dolphins & seals, great ocean Rd trip, fishing expedition, Trip to Uluru, ski camps) & much much more!
My hobbies include all things rugby, rugby league, tennis, health & fitness, playing guitar & piano, family & KFC (kidding..not kidding!)
Previously I worked at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne as the deputy events operations manager, and have a long history working with various organisations in coordinating large scale events, all of which I have enjoyed.
Away from work I enjoy spending time with my little family & being a dad. Recently I underwent a traditional rite of passage, Samoan Tattooing (Pe’a) which covers two-thirds of my body. This traditional Samoan tattooing is traced back 2,500 years and is a tribute to my Samoan heritage, my parents and my family.
I look forward to meeting you all & hope to provide you all with some amazing experiences & benefits living on campus with our 2019 social programs.
Matthew Margaritis –
Community Standards, Residential Education Coordinator
Hi, I’m Matthew Margaritis, and I coordinate the Community Standards portfolio within the Residential Education team. The primary objective of my role is to create a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for the entire residential community. The majority of my work is informed and guided by the Rules of Residence.
Previously, I’ve spent over a decade working within the Disability Employment Services sector, undertaking various case management and senior leadership positions. Akin to adhering to the Rules of Residence, all of these roles have entailed working within a strict compliance framework.
Additionally, I’ve completed a Master of Counselling degree, and I have a keen interest in the interface between culture and mental health. I’m also passionate about helping our diverse cohort of international students to succeed both personally and academically.
As a true introvert, when I’m not at work I thoroughly enjoy quite time with my young family - including our golden retriever, playing golf, as well as weekend drives to rural towns. I’m also an avid Essendon supporter.
Any ideas or suggestions to strengthen the values and general conduct within the residential community are always welcome. I plan on working closely with all residents in order to achieve a community driven approach that creates a safe and meaningful experience for all residents.
I wish everyone living La Trobe nothing but the very best.
Jo Wotton –
Academic Excellence, Residential Education Coordinator
I manage all of the academic support programs and services available to residents at each respective college, including managing the development and supervision of the RA- Academic teams across the colleges.
My role is part of the wider Residential Education Team and offers a number of services to support you in your academic development including one-on-one appointments, the Textbook Borrowing Scheme, first year Academic Mentoring Sessions (AMS), NET Program, SWOT-Vac, Pearls of Wisdom, course guidance, plus more…
Away from work I enjoy spending time with my family, keeping active, and checking out live music. My door is always open so please do not hesitate to call me, send an email or just drop in to Accommodation Services!