Hayden Gray

Enactus, Most Outstanding Student of 2019

You may have heard of Enactus.

Recently, UNE’s two-time international team competed at the National Enactus Conference and Competition and once again made an impressive impact on the field, qualifying through to the semi-finals.

Following our very own Lyn Gollan taking the title of Faculty Advisor of the year in 2018, UNE has once again achieved the remarkable with Enactus UNE President Hayden Gray winning the prestigious award for the Most Outstanding Student of 2019.

If you haven’t met Hayden, or seen him around campus, he is tall, smart and effervescent, very well dressed, LOVES telling a good story and oozing with passion. It’s not surprising that he has made such an outstanding impression in his time at UNE Enactus! We couldn’t possibly skip out on the opportunity to speak with him and find out more about the awesome initiatives of UNE Enactus students and where his award will take him next.

Can you tell me about your participation in the UNE Enactus program?

Gladly! I’ve actually been a part of Enactus for a while now, I joined in 2016! In my time I’ve been everything – a team member, presenter, human resources officer, secretary and now president.

I’m so proud to be a part of this team – my experience has been life changing. It really is something I’m proud to say I’m part of. UNE Enactus has fantastic sustainable ideas and solutions with some incredible ongoing and legacy projects – like Minimbah.

How do UNE Life Clubs and Societies help you and your team?

They have been with us through thick and thin.

Whilst we have very appreciated international Enactus support, at a university level, UNE Life Clubs & Societies have been there to guide, mentor, support and assist us at many points in our journey.

An everyday highlight is that we can use the student spaces in their HQ office, it’s awesome – it’s a space we use to regularly meet up and work on projects together. They (Clubs and Societies) also help us with the provision and access of resources, not to mention team support.

Can you explain Pillars of Tykhe? And, how you come up with the idea?

The name was derived from a story about the Greek god – Tykhe. Hayden says with a large smile across his face. She was the Greek goddess of chance, fate, and fortune.

The symbolism of the journey of Tykhe resonates powerfully with the hot topic of international students and how they contribute to the Australian tertiary education sector, did you know that Education is Australia’s third-largest export?

I didn’t…

Hayden goes on to tell me that, when an international student is tempted to our luscious green and golden lands, they are sold the promise of – a beautiful climate, fantastic attractions, multicultural, fun and affordable.

The reality of this can actually differ quite drastically for some.

Basically, this project aims to bridge the language barriers, education, and understanding between international students and their university experience as well as highlighting a few of the legal and social responsibility that we need to do to provide support services that ensure the mental and physical wellbeing of these students.

What are some of the challenges international students face?

Moving to Australia can be quite a culture shock for some. Under the Higher Education Standards Framework as set out by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency universities responsibilities include:

  • Orientation
  • Diversity and Equality,
  • Wellbeing and Safety,
  • Learning Resources and Educational Support

Can you tell us a bit more about the Pillars of Tykhe project, how it started up and what it looks like?

 Oh, this is where I get to share out big thank you to WestpacThank you!!!

The team approached us earlier this year and wanted to partner with UNE Enactus on a special project! The timing couldn’t have been better, we had the idea, but needed support, so, naturally, we jumped at the opportunity!

Their support and collaboration on this project has given us the chance to build on our idea! It has provided us with links to financial literacy programs, access to a team of professionals who assist both Enactus UNE as mentors and provide advice to our students – which is just fabulous!

Can you tell us a little about your recent trip to Sydney presenting Pillars of  Tykhe?

Oh, It was such a fantastic experience. Not only for myself but also for our team!

It was a 2 day back to back conference and competition where we meet inspirational business leaders and mentors from all over the place. Then, we presented our idea – Pillars of Tykhe. It was received so well! In fact, we ended up in the semi-finals (for the second year in a row) and we’re in the top 8 universities for Australia.

It was great to share this success with the team!

And…this is where you were awarded Most Outstanding Student of 2019, congratulations!

Haha well, actually the funny thing about this is… that I didn’t even know I was nominated! So, I was completely and utterly blown away!

I’m so flattered and touched to know that my team supports me my commitment and service and is proud of our incredible efforts with UNE Enactus!

Hayden Gray, Most Outstanding Student of 2019

Any big wins this week?

Yes, actually, he says with a rather large grin. I attended a media launch for the Stars of Armidale 2019. Which was a great pleasure to be a part of, and I feel the event aligns well to our work with the University and my Enactus Award. The event raises money to help support the ongoing services we offer to locals with cancer and their carers – you should check it out!

What’s next for you and UNE Enactus?

Well, in 2 weeks I fly to San Jose for the Enactus World Cup, which I’m so incredibly proud to be a part of! There will be 36 teams from 36 countries presenting their ideas on the power of innovation!

I’m busting to get there and to pitch our ideas to the world!

Elevator pitch me…Why should students join Enactus?

UNE Enactus has been such an incredible experience for me, full of awesome opportunities.

If you’re looking for professional and personal development, the opportunity to creatively collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, joining a club or society is the perfect place to do this! Not to mention its also a great place to meet new friends!

That was good!


A big thank you goes to Hayden and the team at UNE Enactus who are kicking some serious goals for themselves and UNE!

Follow the team on their journey today
Instagram: @UNE_Enactus
Facebook: UNEEnactus

If you’re keen to get involved in any UNE Life Clubs and Societies, come and speak with the team at UNE Life today!