Ulladulla’s own president has been elected in the smiling face of Sophie Johnston, 20, who has been chosen as leader of all undergraduate university students in Australia.
The former Ulladulla High School student was elected president of the National Union of Students at a ceremony held on Thursday, December 15 at Deakin University in Melbourne.
The National Union of Students is a representative body for undergraduate university and TAFE students, aiming to advance and protect their interests.
Spreading a policy message on free education and opposing gender violence on campus, Sophie never imagined she would become a president when she graduated Ulladulla High School in 2013.
“I definitely never pictured it,” she said.
“I probably would have laughed if someone told me in three years time this would happen.”
Born and bred on the South Coast, Sophie was born at Milton Hospital and lived in Ulladulla until moving to Sydney to study anthropology.
Sophie developed a passion in advocating for human rights at Ulladulla High School and founded the school’s Amnesty International group.
“I was always passionate about human rights and being a student at UHS definitely helped form those passions,” she said.
I was always passionate about human rights and being a student at UHS definitely helped form those passions.- Sophie Johnston
Sophie said her former teachers would not describe her as a bookworm, quite possibly the opposite.
“They would probably describe me as loud and annoying, but ambitious,” she said.
“I was not the greatest student, probably spending more time doing sport than studying.”
The role of president of National Union of Students is a full-time role in Melbourne, with Sophie having to pack up her life and defer a year of study for the prestigious position.
She has not ruled out a future in politics, but would prefer to spend time in policy-making first.
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