Sebastian Wood

Hometown: Singapore
Course: Master of Urban Planning


Tell us a little about your background and interests.
I have lived in 5 different countries: Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, USA, England, Singapore again and Singapore again! I travel the world and my current stop is Melbourne.  I have a strong interest in commerce and the environment and hope to have a future in business and sustainability.  I play rugby and do Shotokan Karate, as well as play guitar.

Ormond surprised me
I was surprised at the sense of community in Ormond.  I thought it was going to be more like the system of residential halls in the UK.  Over there it is more of a form of student accommodation rather than a community.  Also the diversity of people’s socioeconomic backgrounds is very valuable.  Due to the bursary and financial support you have a large variety of people in the college with differing views, perspectives and lifestyles.  Everyone is sort of equalised by the room arrangements so that you are only known by what you do and who you are while here, not your background before coming here.

The services at Ormond
The difference between services in Ormond compared to elsewhere is that it’s more about relationships of those providing the services and assisting you.  Most people become friends with the staff members who help develop and provide many of the services we use.  The dynamic is very different and more personal than elsewhere.  For example reception provides most of the services that you would find in the reception of a hotel however on many occasions my friends and I have gone to reception to pick up a spare key and ended up spending over an hour talking to staff.  Regardless of whether they work in admin, gardening, maintenance, kitchens, cleaning, residential management or academic, all of the staff are well known as people rather than the services they help provide.

Top tip for future Ormond students
Get out of your comfort zone and try new things.  Get to know as many people as you can thoroughly.  You have something to share with them and they have something to share with you in many different ways from perspective, to support, skills and more.  Take part in different activities, the more you give the far more you get out of the college experience, regardless of the college you are in.

My proudest accomplishment at Ormond
I’m most proud of the personal development I have achieved when I compare myself now to when I first arrived.  I feel I’m a very different person in terms of maturity, openness and ability.  What I value most is the person I have met over the years, both student and staff.  I have taken part in many activities and had different leadership roles in the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, which have given me confidence in my ability to perform and lead.  I am very grateful for these opportunities and gained confidence in my ability to provide a valuable contribution to projects and people.