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Message from the Monash Graduate Association (MGA) President

Saham Hettiarachchi welcomes you to Semester 1, 2024

Hello, new and returning graduate students! My name is Saham Hettiarachchi and I am the President of the MGA Executive Committee (MGAEC) 2023/2024. 

I have been part of the MGAEC since 2022 and it has been an honour to be elected as your President for this term of office. Since the beginning, my goal in the MGAEC has been to address gaps in the graduate student journey and to enhance the overall student experience at Monash. In the past year, I have seen some of my initiatives such as the HDR stipend increase campaign and the 'Rest Stop' mental health initiative come into fruition. As always, keeping graduate student interest at the heart of Monash is my utmost priority and together with the rest of the MGAEC and the graduate student rep networks, we will continue to build on these initiatives.

Like many others, I was disappointed to see the Federal Government propose a migration strategy which disproportionately impacts graduate students. In my role as President of the MGAEC, I have signed a joint letter along with other graduate student associations in Australia in opposition to these changes. You can read more about this here and I urge you to support this campaign. Please reach out to me to voice your concerns on this matter.

So, what sets the MGA apart from Monash University and other services? Well, we are an independent not-for-profit organisation made up of dedicated staff, student representatives and volunteers who all work together to enrich your university life. The MGA is recognised by the Monash as the only representative body for graduate students across all Australian campuses. 


  • Finding a community is difficult, especially when entering a new country. That’s why our volunteer program is useful for developing interpersonal and event management skills as well as lasting friendships. 
  • For specific advice from someone who has been through a similar journey, the MGA mentoring program is available for all new students. 
  • Both staff and the MGAEC run events usually offering free food, merch and many fun activities. For the upcoming roster of all our events refer to our What's on page and subscribe to our socials. 
  • Do you have an activity you'd like to run for a group of your peers? We provide funding for students to run their own events.
  • All of our community programs are tailored towards graduate students to ensure that you have the best experience when you engage with us. 


  • If you are not clear on what constitutes academic conduct, have trouble with intellectual property or are unsure about who to turn to, our advocacy service is free, confidential, and open to all Monash graduate students. 


  • Graduate representative roles on university committees are open to students who want to advocate and lobby for student rights at Monash.
  • Through the efforts of the MGAEC together with our graduate student reps, we consistently lobby the university on key issues that graduate students face, including HDR travel grants, graduate student campus spaces, off-campus student support and the Australian migration strategy. 

Our Goal

Our community programs, support services and representation are purpose driven to foster connection and promote graduate student voices. A vital aspect of the MGA is purpose. We believe that there is no greater purpose than advocating for graduate students. When you engage with us, you will undoubtedly feel the same sense of purpose that permeates through our association.

In closing, the MGA is here for you. Our role is to help you navigate through your graduate student journey. On behalf of the MGA, welcome to Monash and may your journey be filled with good fortune.

Saham Hettiarachchi
President, MGA 2023/2024 



The MGA team

Got a question or request about anything at all? Get in contact with one of our staff members – we’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, drop by the MGA office at Clayton or Caulfield so we can help!

Meet your current elected representatives

Curious to know who’s representing you at the moment? Get to know your elected representatives, what they do and how you can get involved.

Work for the MGA

The MGA employs Monash graduate students to fill the receptionist roles at the Clayton and Caulfield offices. When a vacancy arises we advertise the position through our email newsletter and on our website.

The Monash Graduate Association (MGA) is the representative body for all graduate research and coursework students enrolled at Monash University. So, what sets us apart from the University services? The MGA is an independent, not-for-profit association governed by graduate students, for graduate students. Our primary aim is to be there for you! If you can’t find what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which our four Australian campuses stand and their continuing connection to the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.