Chau Au to sit on Talloires Network Steering Committee
UTS Education student and SOUL Award alumni Chau Au has been selected as one of two student representatives to sit on the international Talloires Network Steering Committee for a two-year term beginning June 2019.
The Talloires Network is an international association of institutions committed to strengthening the civic role and social responsibilities of higher education. Working on the premise that higher education institutions do not exist in isolation from society or the communities in which they are located, the Network envision universities around the world as vibrant and dynamic forces in their societies, incorporating civic engagement and community service into their research and teaching mission.
As one of two student representatives on the Steering Committee, Chau will provide an advising role for strategic direction and act as an ambassador for the Talloires Network, alongside current and former heads of higher education institutions and heads of national or regional higher education networks for university civic engagement.
Chau was selected from ten other shortlisted students for the role, a huge credit to him and his hard work.
“I was surprised at being selected for the Steering Committee. I honestly didn’t expect it!” Chau said.
“There were ten outstanding and diverse students from around the world shortlisted for the two representative roles, so I feel honoured being chosen.”
The Committee’s responsibilities include raising the profile of civic engagement in higher education, sharing news and information on the field of civic engagement, assisting member institutions with bolstering their civic engagement work, and connecting administrators, faculty staff and students in their network.
From a very young age, Chau has been aware of his own civic responsibility, and his passion for volunteering and education has seen him achieve some wonderful feats.
He first started volunteering in 2011 with On Fire, a young carers peer support program supporting children in families affected by mental health illness.
Inspired by his time with On Fire and with a growing passion for digital technology, Chau went on to volunteer for Code Club Australia, where he teaches children coding skills and social confidence.
He initially started at his local public library in Randwick, and has been instrumental in continually working across three public library areas to set up and recruit fellow student volunteers for five new Code Clubs.
In 2018, Chau was named the Sydney City region’s NSW Young Volunteer of the Year, recognising the extraordinary leadership and community engagement skills he has demonstrated through his volunteering efforts.