4 April 2018
My name is Alison Hunte and I have worked as a counsellor in the Counselling and Wellbeing Service for five years. Recently I have taken on the role of a Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO).
In my role as an SVLO, I offer practical proactive support and advice to any students who have experienced sexual violence. I support the survivor to make informed choices about their options relating to their education and other aspects of their lives. I also make them aware of the services available to them in the community.
I find my work hugely satisfying. I enjoy interacting with students and supporting them in making change in their lives. When I see students in this role they are particularly vulnerable and it’s a privilege to be able to assist them.
University can be a difficult time for some people. Having the support of the Counselling and Wellbeing Service and now a team of nine SVLOs working across campus can make the difference between some students leaving university or fulfilling their academic ambitions.
Communities are about shared values; in the ARU community we value respect, and allowing everyone the freedom to feel safe here. As an SVLO, I strive to create a community where those values are upheld and where students know that they will be heard and supported if they report incidences of harassment or sexual violence. Also in this role I hope to contribute to a sense of this being a safe community where there is a clear message being sent that sexual violence will not be tolerated.
I would like to help raise the profile of the SVLO role, so that all students are aware of the support that is available and that the University will not accept these behaviours. In April we will be having a series of stalls across both campuses as part of the ‘Talk to me’ about the SVLO role. This will be an opportunity to answer any questions that students may have and to let everyone know about this new initiative.
I am most proud of getting a Made a Difference award. It means a great deal to me to know that my work is appreciated.
If I could give one piece of advice to students, it would be to value your uniqueness.