The Dean is responsible for overseeing the daily management of all aspects college life, supporting both the students and residential staff in making sure the college is safe, enjoyable and all-inclusive.

Rasheed Khan


As an international student from Pakistan, I understand through my own experience that adjusting to life in a foreign land, creating new social support network and navigating a different academic system can be quite challenging. I was a student at the University Hall in 2014, and quickly realised how much I value what collegiate life has to offer to students in similar situation. Wanting to give back, I took up staff roles within the community (as a Resident Fellow and Deputy Dean).

I became Dean at Fig Tree in 2016. Fig Tree has a unique identity of being a most culturally diverse and progressive college. It provides a rare opportunity for Australian and overseas students to share and learn from one another.

The ability to mentor and support students is what truly drives me. During my many years of involvement in these communities, I’ve witnessed students start their journey as uncertain first years and left as confident leaders, who will no doubt excel in their areas of study. Supporting them through this journey and watching them grow is what makes this job so rewarding.

What cheers you up?

Good food in good company!

What is something you’ve been really proud of lately?

Getting back to my exercise regime.

What was the last picture you took on your phone?

A friend and his wife, cutting their wedding anniversary cake.

How do you spend your free time?

Hiking, bush-walking, and doing nothing!

What sound or noise do you love?

Folk Sufi music.  

The Deputy Dean is responsible for assisting the Dean of the College in the daily management of the college, as well as fulfilling the role of Resident Fellow in terms of providing academic and pastoral support to a group of students.

Olivia Inwood

Deputy Dean

I grew up on a farm near Forbes, NSW and attended the local public school in my town. As an undergraduate, I was fortunate enough to receive a UNSW Equity Scholarship and Academic Achievement for Rural Students Scholarship so that I could attend UNSW and afford life in Sydney. I commenced my studies at UNSW in 2014 and was one of the first students to live at Fig Tree Hall!

Living in a college has given me more opportunities than I could have ever imagined! Over the years at Fig Tree Hall, I’ve been a Charities Director, Secretary for the Inter-Residential Charities Committee, helped out with communications work, and held the roles of Student Fellow and Resident Fellow. In 2017, I graduated with a dual degree - a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Graphic Design and Sculpture) and Bachelor of Arts (Media and English Literature). In 2018, I wrote my honours thesis and graduated with First Class Honours in Media, Culture and Technology.

I commenced my PhD studies in 2019 on an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship and DSTG Top-Up Scholarship, in the School of the Arts and Media. My research is broadly situated in the fields of social media studies and linguistics, and is based on developing a framework for understanding issues of mis/disinformation and moral panics on YouTube. I also sometimes work as a casual academic, teaching level 2 social media courses.

What do you love most about Fig Tree Hall?

There are so many things I love about Fig Tree Hall! But if I had to summarise it, I would say I love that Fig Tree Hall has such a tight-knit community of kind and respectful residents who are always willing to help each other out! As we often say – you’re never alone at Fig Tree Hall! There’s always someone to chat to in the dino (dining hall), always someone to answer your post on our facebook page, and day or night there’s always someone in the mezz (our main common room space!).

How did your parents meet?

My Mum is Lithuanian and my Dad is Australian, so people often ask me this question! Basically, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the “Iron Curtain”, people from former Soviet and non-Soviet countries were allowed to communicate! My parents signed up to the same pen-friend programme and wrote letters to one another for a few years before meeting each other in person!

What is the title of your honours thesis?

Understanding the Values Enacted in the Design of Blockchain Technologies by Applying Social Semiotics and the Walkthrough Method

What motivates you to stay at UNSW and Fig Tree Hall?

I really love university in terms of both academics and collegian life! Working as a Deputy Dean is such an emotionally rewarding role and it’s great to belong to such a diverse and inclusive community. I love the energy that new university students bring to UNSW and having understood the anxieties of moving into a completely new environment I want to do my best to help out new university students, and give back to the university and college community that has helped me out so much!

Resident Fellows

Resident fellows (RFs) are staff members of UNSW and typically in their final years of study or already holding a degree. RFs live with the students on their floors and provide daily academic and pastoral support. RFs aren’t teachers, but they’re a little like a supportive older sibling with loads of experience to pass on and a willingness to help guide the residents.

A Student Fellow (SF) is assigned every year in Fig Tree Hall. They’re a volunteer senior student whose role is to create and run a range of proactive wellbeing initiatives for the entire college. The SF works closely with the RFs, Deputy Dean and Dean, ensuring the wellbeing of all residents is top of mind.


abdullah  hira      jessales

         Abullah Farooq                   Hira Ghumman                    Jessica Sales

          Student Fellow                     Student Fellow                     Resident Fellow

I met some of my closest friends in FTH; we had fun celebrating different holidays, cooking food from around the world & teaching others about our respective cultures. FTH has a culturally-enriching environment surrounded by wonderful staff & residents!

Angie Synn