Norton Hills (he/him)

Norton Hills
Norton Hills

Norton Hills is a part-time student at Melbourne Business School and an inaugural student representative of the FBE/MBSL Joint D&I Committee, and an active participant in several MBS clubs.

Norton’s strong network of LGBTI+ friends and allies has connected him with students from a variety of backgrounds. He describes his commitment to diversity and inclusion this way: “As a gay man, I have experienced firsthand the challenges of being part of a marginalised minority. I have faced adversity throughout my childhood and schooling. As a result, I appreciate the difference D&I initiatives can make, not only in helping everyone feel more included and giving those who are disadvantaged a fair go, but in influencing the mindset of the community, an important step toward ensuring everyone has access to the same opportunities.”

He has also witnessed how D&I initiatives have impacted the life of his sister, who is disabled: “She struggled through school but has been lucky enough to have found permanent employment, a direct result of a government implemented D&I program in Canberra that helps those with disabilities who are finishing school to find meaningful and permanent employment opportunities. Had this initiative not been in place, life would have been much more difficult for her.”

Norton volunteers at his job on the “D&I tiger team,” which works toward implementing targeted initiatives to support groups throughout the organisation, and he hopes to increase awareness in the university community of “the challenges that those who ‘are different’ are faced with on a daily basis.” As a student representative on the FBE D&I Committee, his objective is to learn more about the needs of students, work with different groups of people to solve problems, and create solutions around D&I in the school community.

Norton’s future plans as an active member of the MBS student community are to engage with peers to understand the challenges they face on both a representative and granular level. “This engagement needs to be ongoing to ensure that emerging challenges are identified early on. For instance, as students continue to return to campus, more challenges are likely to emerge.”

In order to maintain this engagement, I will work with the committee to identify opportunities to establish forums where we can gather insights on a continual basis.

Norton hopes that these insights will help the committee in its work to address challenges. He plans to lead and participate in working groups that promote and help shape the D&I agenda, using his experiences and skills “to help make progress and drive positive D&I change” in the MBS, the university community, and beyond.