ELECTIONS ARE COMING
Volume 81 Edition 9 Editors: Casey Briggs, Stella Crawford and Holly Ritson. On Dit is a publication of the Adelaide University Union.
EDITORIAL 2 ON THE WEBSITE
On Dit is produced and printed on the traditional country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land.
The opinions expressed within this magazine are not necessarily those of the editors, the University of Adelaide, or the Adelaide University Union.
All student election related content in this edition has been approved by the Returning Officer. Please Recycle. Talk to us: firstname.lastname@example.org auu.org.au/ondit facebook.com/onditmagazine twitter.com/onditmagazine Published 27/08/2013.
FROM THE PRESIDENTS
WHAT’S MY AGE AGAIN?: EMILY PALMER
FEAR AND JUDGEMENT: ALEX LIGHTBODY
STUDENT ELECTIONS: ALICE BITMEAD & SAM YOUNG
SURVIVOR 2013: AUSTRALIA VOTES: ANTHONY NOCERA
FABRICATING THE NATION: JACK LOWE
HOW TO LOSE AN ELECTION: SAM DAVIS
DON’T BE AN ASS: ALYONA HAINES
STOP THE VOTES: PAIGE KERIN
HIPSTER PARTIES: EMMA DOHERTY
THE CIRCUS IS IN TOWN: JAMES DUNSMORE
GETTIN’ YOUR KICKS: ALISTAIR SAGE
BLINDED BY THE BRIGHTS: HEATHER MCNAB
INTO THE HEARTLAND: NICOLA DOWLAND
MUSIC: ROSS JOBSON
COOKING: ELEANOR LUDINGTON
DIVERSIONS 46 OPEN LETTER: SHARMONIE COCKAYNE
Cover and back cover art by Madeleine Karutz. Inside back cover art by Jack Lowe. Lettering on page 19 and in elections section by Stephen Grace. Thanks to our events team (Viv, Amy, Alice, Tom, Max, Shadi, Kelly and Stirling. And special thanks to Kearin, Bek, Danielle and the Rhino Room); Angus; cake, lollipops and sugar in general; political gaffes; Stephen for calling us sexy. Unthanks to the university internet (for not letting us watch that ostrich being born); the fucking rain; election campaigns. Go Vote.
As we send this edition to print, Open Day is in the process of being rained out. The North Terrace campus is overrun by bright eyed high school students, eager to find a way to feed the world and save our planet by searching across every terrain, to the limits of imagination, and within the human soul. But what kind of university will these prospective students end up actually studying in? Will they seek light, the light of new knowledge? Or will they find themselves having to deal with overcrowded lectures and tutorials (if they’re lucky enough to have them in the first place)?
There are serious decisions being made right now, somewhere in the complicated mess of bureaucracy and management we like to refer to as ‘The University’. Courses will be rationalised (management speak for ‘cut’), and some of what we are hearing troubles us deeply. More details on what we know and don’t know (at this point the list of what we don’t know is much longer) on page 8. In the next couple of weeks, most of you will have the opportunity to vote, and vote a lot. From September 2-6 you can cast your ballots in the annual student elections (for 27 positions in total). Then, on World Beard Day (also known as September 7), it’s time to choose whether or not this Fine Nation Of Ours should be led by an old white guy without a beard, or by an old white guy also without a beard. HOW IRONIC.
In this edition we’re attempting to hold your hand through all this terribly stressful voting business. We’re profiling some of the minor parties vying for your support (p32) and looking at the issues of compulsory voting (p30) and donkey voting (p28). Plus try your hand at student election bingo! (p47) While we’re holding your hand, we’d appreciate you holding ours a little. September brings the election of next year’s On Dit editors – our replacements. So think about it a little, and vote for someone/ some people that seem exciting. Or funny. Or pretty. Like we were once: fresh and innocent and holding a how to vote card. Solidarity, Holly, Stella and Casey.
ON THE WEBSITE
3 SICK OF A NEWS FEED FULL OF JOBS – NOPE, WE’RE ELECTION RELATED POSTS? NOT OFFERING ANY quite fond of our AUU.ORG.AU/ONDIT WILL We’re Apple products here in SATISFY ALL YOUR NON- the On Dit office (come POLITICAL READING NEEDS. visit us to see just how 2013 WATERHOUSE NATURAL SCIENCE ART PRIZE EXHIBITION
The Waterhouse exhibits art that explores and celebrates the natural sciences, that is, our natural world and the sciences associated with it. Resident On Dit science lady Stella Crawford checked out the exhibition. Read her review, and make sure you head along to the exhibition at the State Museum before it closes on September 8!
Did you miss your chance to pick up a copy of Hearsay? Don’t worry, you can read it, and all the other past editions of On Dit on our website. Perfect for procrastination!
fond!). We sent Eddie Satchell to go see Jobs (mmm Ashton Kutcher) to save ourselves the excitement. Read what he thought about the film online.
Belinda Quick had a Karnivool overload last month. Sam Young found Snakadaktal’s new album to suit his taste. Holly Ritson thinks Laura Marling is just heavenly. Find out why on our website.
UPDATES ON YOUR EDUCATION
You might have heard talk and rumours about course rationalisation cuts accross university faculties. For the latest news and information, keep an eye on our webpage, Facebook and Twitter. If you hear something, know something, or have just got something to add, let us know at auu.org.au/ondit/tipoff.
Dear On Dit,
It was with a palpable sense of inevitability that I saw that Peter Goers made a complete arse of himself as speaker at an SRC-sponsored event, rounding out the types of people he has publicly insulted from not just international students (for which he was forced to publicly apologise) and young people (for which he gets rewarded with a column in the Sunday Mail) to include women in the gay community. Not to mention his pursuit of an anti-student union vendetta over his cherished Union Hall.
In On Dit Edition 81.3 (2/4/2013) on page 10 you reported that ‘Puppy Day’ was expected to be held ‘late in semester one’. Where were the puppies? Did I miss the puppies? Are there puppies planned for semester two?
That he was allowed anywhere near a student event, other than perhaps as the guest star of a public tarring-and-feathering, beggars belief. But it happened, and the result was entirely expected. Peter Goers is just a nasty old prick. I would say that he’s past his ‘use by’ date, but I couldn’t for the life of me conceive of what his ‘use’ actually is. It is a damning indictment of the local media in South Australia that this is the kind of man who passes for an ‘identity’. Most News Corp. columnists at least have conservative talking points to work off, rather than the rambling fulminations of incoherence that Goers serves up. As for the ABC: one only has to look at the coverage (and the market share) of ABC local in the other capitals to see that something is seriously wrong in Adelaide. It seems that the ABC has decided to focus exclusively on catering to sanctimonious petty bourgeois retirees, whose most pressing concerns are when to plant their native shrubs and heritage listing anything older than their ‘85 model Datsun. Nowhere else would put up with this shit. Adelaide deserves better. Time for Peter to just fuck off. Sincerely, Fletcher O’Leary P.S. If this letter provides the impression that he lacks any redeeming qualities, fear not: Peter will, after all, one day cease wasting oxygen.
We like getting emails! Email us your thoughts with the subject line ‘Letter to the Editor’ to email@example.com and you might be printed on this page in a future edition.
Regards, Sam We put Sam’s question to Lucy Small-Pearce, Welfare Officer of the SRC and organiser of the event. She responded as follows: You did not miss the puppies, I repeat you did NOT miss the puppies! Unfortunately, I became sick during Semester 1 and had to take a leave of absence so Puppy Day was delayed! I deeply apologise to all those students that had to go without the affection of a lovely puppy to calm down during week 12. I am working hard on getting a Puppy Day for Semester 2 in a stressful, assignment-ridden week so people can feel the soft, delightful love of puppies and de-stress! However if you’re ever in need of immediate help to de-stress during semester (or even out of semester) the fantastic Disability and Counselling Service can help you chat things out or even help you organise your study schedule! You can contact them on 8313 5663 and they have a handy drop-in centre that you can use if you need an on the day appointment Mon-Fri from 1-4pm! Although I would suggest you get in at 12:45pm because spots fill up super fast! xoxo Lucy Small-Pearce P.S. Disclaimer: PuppyDay may in fact be DogDay due to the possible unavailability of puppies but I will try my best.
Most honorable members of the On Dit Editorial Team, It was with much eagerness upon beginning my studies at this fine university that I took the chance to visit the George Duncan Room. This room was the topic of some discussion late last year when some imbecile defiled the microwave. From the revulsion and call to arms created by this vile attack, I expected to find a glorious monument to pride and resilience from the University’s GLBT+ body. Alas, this was not so! What I did find was a most unanimated and uninspiring space, a room where GLBT Pride has gone to die. Scattered in the front, in no order, were pamphlets dating several years ago, for services long since passed. Little to no current information is available, the pamphlet rack is completely uninhabited, and the only sign of any gaiety in the room is two rainbow flags, vainly declaring this the GLBT space on campus. This, however, is not what has me so dismayed. No, what did worry me was what I found when I opened the fridge. Words cannot begin to describe the abhorrent and putrid stench that greeted me, the sort of smell you would expect to find only in the depths of hell. Even the worst of the unwashed UniSA students could not match the noxious reeking stench emanating from within. Sadly, I cannot accurately ascertain what item was causing this, as all foodstuffs within had dissolved into a liquefied horror, black as the night, and garnished by the dead bodies of a million small insects. How hollow, then, must the outrage of last year been, when the room’s own residents would allow such filth to generate in their fridge. How awful must the crap last year have been when that, and not the devil’s own putrescence, elicits a response? Where the hell is the pride? Well, as I found upon more investigation, there isn’t any. Insofar as I can tell, this year no pride club was formed, and authority unto the room as passed onto our SRC Queer officer. How can this be? Are queer students on campus becoming intimidated after last year’s events, afraid to be seen or speak out for fear of another attack? Alternatively, do we just not care? Whatever the reasons, I cannot sit idly by. In this, my first week of University, I celebrated my entry into the world of education by bleaching, scrubbing, disinfecting, and deodorizing said fridge. It has had all remnants of its prior disgrace removed, and after ensuring hygiene was restored, I rinsed my chemical attack out. Twice. And then I gave it a wipe through
with vanilla. That fridge now smells god damn glorious, and shines like a pristine beacon of new hope. Hope that in the future, pride may return to the George Duncan room. Queer students of Adelaide University, you are welcome. Yours in servitude, The Green Fairy Thanks for your correspondence Green Fairy. We will follow up the state of the Rainbow Room with the SRC Queer Officer. The Eds Dear On Dit, Like Paige Kerin, my parents separated when I was 11. My experience, however could not have been more different. My memories of them being together mainly involve the two of them bickering over pointless things like how loudly dad was washing the dishes. Their separation meant that I was able to be raised by two somewhat happy, as opposed to bitter and frustrated, people. The improvement to both of their lives has outweighed any inconvenience which I suffered from spending time at different houses. As a result, I feel sorry for people whose parents have clearly stayed together ‘for the children’, because being raised in that environment of resentment and disappointment appears to me to be the worst possible outcome. I am sorry for Paige’s experience of divorce, but I would like to make the point that it is by no means inevitable. Lewis Laurence
Dear Editors, I love reading your magazine but in this recent Edition 81.7, I found so many of the four-letter f-word! I don’t know if I had not noticed it before, or that this issue just has it! Please can the magazine not have any unpleasant words? Thanks! Ms Chan
The following is an open letter from the Student Representative Council to the Vice-Chancellor. Dear Vice-Chancellor Professor Bebbington, The Adelaide University Student Representative Council (SRC) writes this letter to request that the ‘Taib Mahmud Court’ be renamed, that the honorary doctorate bestowed upon Mr. Taib in 1994 be recalled, and that the University of Adelaide no longer accept donations from Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. The SRC understands that Mr. Taib is a former student of the University of Adelaide, and that he has made considerable donations to the University in recent years. However, overwhelming reports of alleged human rights violations, corruption, and criminal activities have sparked protests around the world against Mr. Taib’s administration. The SRC believes that the University of Adelaide must display strong ethical judgement when receiving donations, and that maintaining an association with Mr. Taib contradicts values of high ethical and moral standards, thereby sacrificing the University’s good reputation. The SRC believes a relationship between the University and Mr. Taib is inappropriate for the following reasons: It is commonly asserted that the tactics employed by Mr. Taib’s administration when dealing with indigenous peoples of Sarawak are problematic. The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) has acknowledged that the problem of customary land rights in Sarawak needs to be resolved. A Sarawak government report titled ‘Resettlement Action Plan’ leaked in 2012 reveals the desperate poverty experienced by the Penan people displaced by deforestation. The report confirms that displaced peoples have received little to no assistance from the Taib administration, and that the average cash income per indigenous family is MYR 156 (approximately AUD 52) per month, ‘well below the official rural poverty line index of RM830 a month’ the report says. A fact-finding mission conducted by several NGOs 2009 resulted in a report entitled ‘A Wider Context of Sexual Exploitation of Penan Women and Girls’, which revealed the systematic rape of Penan women and girls by employees of logging companies. According to the report, this violence is rarely challenged by the state authorities; rather the Taib administration has ‘consistently denigrated’ the Penan people and attacked
local and foreign NGOs who have attempted to support the Penan people. A report commissioned by Wetlands International found that during Mr. Taib’s thirty years as Chief Minister of Sarawak, the destruction of Sarawak’s rainforests has been conducted up to three times faster than all of Asia combined. Mr. Taib has claimed that Sarawak’s forest management policies and practices are ‘certified’ by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO). However, the ITTO has never ‘certified’ these policies, and has reported that Sarawak’s forests have been logged ‘in a manner which is damaging to the environment’. After years of speculation by various conservation groups that the forests were being logged unsustainably, the 2008 Malaysian AuditorGeneral’s report found forestry management to be ‘unsatisfactory’. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called the loss of these forests ‘the biggest environmental crime of our times’. It is commonly asserted that some of Mr. Taib’s considerable personal wealth may have been amassed by questionable means. In January, a motion was tabled in Swiss Parliament seeking to freeze Taib Mahmud’s assets in Switzerland due to ‘urgent suspicion that the Taib clan is a criminal organisation.’ The twenty-two MPs tabling the motion described Mr. Taib as ‘having abused his public office in a spectacular way.’ The non-governmental organisation Global Witness released a video in March in which members of the Taib family and various senior government officials were covertly filmed discussing foreign investment in Sarawak. Global Witness alleges that the video reveals widespread corruption within the Taib family, as it was indicated in the discussion that Mr. Taib receives multi-million dollar ‘kickbacks’ for the issuance of plantation licences. Gregore Lopez, a Malaysian governance expert at the Australian National University, has said that Mr. Taib made his ‘billions’ through ‘illegal’ logging. He has also gone on record as calling the relationship between Mr. Taib and the University of Adelaide ‘not appropriate’. That there is doubt over the character of Mr. Taib is evident. The SRC believes that the University must urgently disassociate itself from Mr. Taib. Sincerely, Yasmin Martin Ethno-Cultural Officer On behalf of the Adelaide University SRC
You can now anonymously tip us off on things you think On Dit readers ought to know. Here is one of the first tips we received. We’re not sure what to make of it. Warren Bebbington is a lizard man and controls the university’s senior staff with his hypno-testes. Do not look directly at his crotch or you will fall under his spell. ‘Lunchtimes at Elder Hall’ are in fact the cover for the adelaidean lizard elite to meet in congress and discuss future plans for the city. The lizard elite are in a crisis at the moment because of their ageing population. Look closely at the patrons of ‘Lunchtimes’. Their morphing technology is wearing out as they have little life force to maintain their charade. Tragically for the lizards (but lucky for us primates), they suffer from low fertility rates as a result of fluoride in the water supply. It was placed in the water to increase virility and scale sheen in the population but severely weakens the amniotic sac involved in lizard gestation. General Bebbington is one of the race’s last hope as one of the youngest of the remaining brood. He is strong and legend has it he had no need for the amniotic sack when he was in-utero. He devoured the placenta surrounding him and burst through his mother’s abdomen a terrifyingly strong lizard fetus. Be careful who you tell about this. I have reason to believe one of your editors, a madame Casey Briggs is a junior member of their coven. You can tell by his cold, soulless eyes and gloriously soft mane. Ever wondered why Casey has held so many positions of authority within the uni? They’re grooming him for service to the cause. Indeed it is my strong suspicion that Briggs was engineered by the lizards to restore faith and dominance amongst the ranks. Do with this information what you will. I fear that I am in mortal danger and will not last the night. Trust no one. Send us anonymous secrets by visiting auu.org. au/ondit/tipoff. We’re particularly interested in information from people that know things about the rumoured course cuts going through the university.
On Facebook we noted that the ViceChancellor, when interviewed on Radio Adelaide at Open Day, claimed that he meets every student at the university in O’Week. We think he was referring to the annual ViceChancellor’s welcome speeches, but we wanted to know if any of you had meeted with the VC? If you didn’t get a chinwag with him, would you demand a refund on your fees? You said this: ‘I can safely say I never saw him at Open Day.. But I was only there just long enough to grab some free candy.’ – Stef Johnston ‘He stared at me intensely for a few uncomfortable minutes then proclaimed; ‘Human students are the human future!’ before blasting off back to outer space.’ – James Loader ‘Hahahahahahahahahahaha... Oh wait, it isn’t April Fools Day. He was being serious? Well, that’s awkward.’ – Caitlin Chatfield ‘I can verify that I’ve never met him. Calling bull on this.’ – Daniel Linke Stay tuned for the next episode of ‘The ViceChancellor’s misspeaks’. Dear On Dit, What’s the deal with my Humanities tutorials being cut? Also can you believe how crazy the Young Liberals are? Or is it the Liberals on Campus? Also I wear leggings as pants and I get great grades. Also someone famous is reptilian, I just know it! Also you say ‘fuck’ too much. Also why is there a room on campus for gay people but not straight people? Also I hate elections those people invade my personal space. Also elections are necessary because democracy and stuff. Also bring back Mayo. Best, Tom Sheldrick
CUTS ARE COMING
It appears that the university is considering major changes to course offerings, with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences likely to be the hardest hit. On Dit has learned that a large number of courses in the faculty will not be offered in 2014, and that academic staff have been required to justify the continued existence of courses with low enrolment. The Aboriginal history course Aftermath: Aboriginal Lives in 20th Century Australia will not be offered in 2014. Other faculties will also be hit by budget cuts. On Dit understands that the Faculty of Sciences have been directed by reduce the number of courses by 20 per cent. We will publish full details of all changes on our website as we hear them. Check bit.ly/ CutsCutsEverythingMustGo regularly for the latest details. On Dit has approached the university for an interview with both Professor Nick Harvey, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor Pascale Quester, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). This request was refused by the university, on the grounds that the university had already met with the SRC President and other student representatives, and the SRC President writes a column for On Dit. If you have any knowledge on cuts proposed in any faculty of the university, please let us know by filling in the form at auu.org. au/ondit/tipoff. You can remain anonymous. Casey Briggs
SRC FILLS CASUAL VACANCIES
For the first time this year, the SRC has a full complement of members. Holly Ritson, Sarah Tynan, Daniel Kostrzynski, and Katherine Rose have been apppointed General Councillors. At the same time, William Prescott was appointed Postgraduate Officer, and Caitlyn Georgeson the Queer Officer. This rounds out a year of high attrition in the SRC, which has so far recruited 8 new members (of 23), including four office bearers. Stella Crawford
UNION BOARD VACANCIES
Controversy was abound at the July meeting of the Union Board, in which casual vacancies were filled by the remaining Directors. The casual vacancies were the result by Directors Charlotte Thomas (Stop the Slug) and Ben Rillo (Fresh) failing to meet minimum attendance requirements, as set out in the Union rules. While the Directors in question were not officially ‘removed’ by the Board, they and supporters argued strongly against the legitimacy of the action. Alice Bitmead and Sam Davis (both of Activate) are the newly installed directors. Activate now makes up 4 of 10 Directors, including the President Deanna Taylor. Stella Crawford
GENDER IMBALANCE AT ADELAIDE UNI
Women are severely underrepresented in senior positions at the University of Adelaide, according to the university’s annual report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. The most recent report provides a profile of the University on 31 March 2012. At the lower levels of academic staff women and men are represented fairly equally. However, only 22 per cent of staff at Level D (Associate Professor) are women, and this drops to 19 per cent at Level E (Professor). Only a quarter of heads of schools are women. Women are less represented at the governance level of the university. Currently, there are no female executive deans, only one female Pro-Vice Chancellor (Professor Denise Kirkpatrick) and only one Deputy Vice Chancellor is a woman (Professor Pascale Quester). Moreover, this university has only ever had one female Vice-Chancellor (Professor Mary O’Kane (1997-2001)) and one female Chancellor (Dame Roma Mitchell (1983-1991)). While the concept of a glass ceiling is perhaps outdated, it is evident that within the university, although significant improvements have been made, upper management positions are still not accessible to women. For more background on the barriers faced by women as academics, read Bec McEwen’s ‘Getting Comfy’ in On Dit 81.3. Holly Ritson This article has been revised to reflect the following correction. Correction: 28 August 2013 Regarding governance at the university, the article published 27 August 2013 was referring to the state of play as at 31 March 2012. Due to an oversight in research, the author mistakenly claimed that the university had never had a female Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor. This is, in fact, incorrect.
SSAF SURVEY FLAWED
Results have now been collated from the recent survey into funding priorities for the student services and amenities fee (SSAF). The top five funding areas in the survey were providing libraries and reading rooms, career advice, health and welfare, employment advice, and providing food and drink to students. Over 1,100 responses were received, and the results will be used in allocation of SSAF funding for 2014. However, the analysis of responses conducted by the university carries seemingly perverse consequences. The item that each student ranked most important was awarded 20 points, the second most important 19 points, and so on. Students could rank any number of the options. This meant that students that ranked all the way to 20 contributed more points to the survey and thus had more influence in the results. Also, if a student ranked an item 20th, it indicated a higher ‘priority’ than if a student had only numbered the first five items and left the rest blank. This was not clear in the survey before it closed. While the survey was open to Higher Degree by Research students, their data was later excluded from the calculation as they do not pay the SSAF fee. Students that did complete the survey were not notified that their consultation was ignored. Stella Crawford
QUIZ NIGHT VICTORY On Dit has emerged triumphant in the inaugural Student Representative Council quiz
night, held August 7. Over 10 team competed for the prize of Most Intelligent Students, but the On Dit team, ingeniously named ‘Let’s Get Physical’, was ahead from the very beginning. They beat the first losing team ‘Blank’ a.k.a. ‘Fletcher’s Fault’ by only one point. After 6 rounds, the teams appeared to be tied, but this was only due to a counting error by the adjudicators. After a rousing game of heads and tails and mid-evening pep-talk by team captains Ritson and C. Briggs, the On Dit team tackled the remaining rounds with wit, intelligence, and humility. Despite losing a team member (Quick) halfway through the evening to injury and running out of mint slices, the team was victorious. Dianne Janes, General Manager of the Union and representative of the first losers, said ‘I was robbed’, further noting that she was the only one on her team to bring food to the quiz night. If you know of any upcoming quiz nights, let us know so we can be victorious again. Tip us off at auu. org.au/ondit/tipoff. Holly Ritson
culture, such as Ben, give him ‘hope for the future’. What could have been a vaguely sensical oration was tragically hindered by the personality of Peter Goers. He went on to thank ‘The Lezzies’ for his comfortable Birkenstocks. Goers, who writes a column for the Sunday Mail and is a broadcaster on ABC local radio, went on to say that he cried when he received Ben’s invitation to the event. According to him, Ben wrote Goers an email about the death of fraternity that made him think to himself that ‘one man understands’. And if that wasn’t enough to make the women (and well, everyone else) uncomfortable, he went on to explain that he was pleased that the art ‘didn’t include lesbian angst, a rock or pieces of wood’. Goers then hailed Lawrence Ben as the Nelson Mandela of the University of Adelaide, and closed with the line, ‘We are all Lawrence Ben’. Stella Crawford
GOERS GOES GABBING GARBAGE
If you had the pleasure of viewing the art featured at the opening night of the SALA exhibition ‘Ground Up’ hosted by the SRC in Fix Lounge, you likely also had the ‘pleasure’ of hearing Peter Goers speak. Invited by Lawrence Ben (SRC General Councillor), Peter Goers spoke at length about the value of a vibrant campus culture. Goers said that those that support campus
Excerpt from Peter Goers’ column, Sunday Mail, 11/8/13.
STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COLUMN CATHERINE STORY
On August 9, SRC Education Officer Adam Slobodian, Humanities and Social Sciences representative Lucy SmallPearce and I met with Professor Nick Harvey, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University Communications Manager Kate Husband, and Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Professor Pascale Quester. This was not the meeting we requested. What we had requested was an informal meeting with Nick Harvey and the HumSS Associate Dean (Education) Lucy Potter to talk about cuts to Humanities and Social Sciences. We were told the day before that the meeting time and place had changed to the office of Professor Pascale Quester. This felt less like a meeting, and more like an ambush. The change of meeting was because of our decision to inform the media about HumSS cuts. We had been told from many sources that casual teaching and courses were to be significantly cut in HumSS, and we wanted clarifying information from Nick Harvey. Last semester when we approached Nick Harvey we were angry that students were not consulted about tutorial cuts. We were assured that the lack of student consultation was a mistake and would be addressed. However, we were not consulted this semester either. The decision to go to the media
came out of what we believed was deliberate secrecy around cuts. We are still yet to have an informal meeting scheduled with Nick Harvey as requested. We were told throughout the meeting that our decisions and behaviour were immature and that the university could easily find different students to consult with. This threat demonstrates an inherent lack of respect for democratically elected student representatives. For the university to be able to pick the students they consult with creates an opportunity to consult only with students who agree, not those who have been chosen by the students to best represent their interests. We were told that we were inciting anxiety in students in telling them ‘incorrect’ information, however, when we asked for a list of courses that were to be cut and the university refused to give us information or directly answer questions about what would be cut. We have been told that no ‘final decisions’ have been made, but there are levels of decision making in the university systems, so a decision made far along the chain but not finalised may be a decision nevertheless. It would be unfair to keep what we’ve heard from students that we are elected to represent, and we will continue to tell students what we have heard until the situation is better clarified. As student representatives we have certain knowledge: knowledge of university bureaucracy, services, and to whom you can speak to address issues. For the university to find other students to consult, who do not have access to this knowledge would be disingenuous student consultation. This would
ignore the wishes of thousands of students who vote in student elections. Elected student representatives will not always agree with what the university is doing, and nor should they. To the university: we want to engage in meaningful consultation with you, but it is difficult when we repeat the same thing every semester to no avail. If you would like to assure us that there are not cuts, or that funding is going into new areas, then openly share information with us. Finally, please don’t refer to us as the ‘target market’. We won’t engage in market research style consultation, because we’re not seeking a product; we are seeking the best education, social, and welfare outcomes for students. We are for evolving and changing educational models, and we see some great pedagogical ideas in the Beacon of Enlightenment, but we cannot see how these will be achieved when there are cuts sucking resources from the implementation of better teaching and learning outcomes. It is so important to have democratically elected student representatives. Student consultation is broader than surveys and social media polls. These can be ignored, but faceto-face consultation can’t. So this student election week, vote for the students that you feel will adequately represent student issues to the university, and further. Catherine Story SRC President firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @adelaidesrc facebook.com/adelaidesrc
STATE OF THE UNION DEANNA TAYLOR
Last year during student elections I was asked a number of times by students why they should bother voting. I realise that quite often student representatives are seen as political hacks with no responsibilities or legitimate power. But this is simply not the case. Students who are elected to positions such as Union Board Director are responsible for an organisation that provides upwards of $2 million dollars worth of services to students and has a huge role in the direction that the Union takes and, most importantly, what the Union offers students. Students elected to positions on the Student Representative Council have significant influence on the actions and decisions of University administration, and sometimes the Federal and State governments. Sometimes these institutions don’t listen, but if they don’t, students on the SRC are responsible for calling the University to account and trying to get the best possible outcome for students. Ultimately, students will be elected to positions in Student Media, SRC, Union Board, and NUS. I know that students often feel that their representatives are basically wannabe politicians with no goals other than to pad their resumes and get a power trip. I assure you that’s not true. I encourage you to use your opportunity to have a say on who
DON’T WASTE YOUR VOTE: IT’S 11 CRUCIAL THAT YOU MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD THIS ELECTION. represents you at the University of Adelaide during this year’s student elections. The Federal election will also have a significant impact on student life both on and off campus. Both major parties have plans to cut higher education funding by over $2 billion. But they also have different policies on many issues that matter to many students, such as your rights at work, student income support, marriage equality, support for student organisations, broadband and asylum seekers. People frequently talk about the importance of not ‘wasting your vote’ by voting for a particular candidate or party. I think it’s important for all of us to remember that making a considered decision based on what policies a party or candidate is putting forward, and how they will affect you and the country more broadly, is not ‘wasting’ your vote. What is a wasted vote is casting your ballot in a particular way because you’ve felt pressured by that kind of rhetoric. What is also a wasted vote is not voting at all. Although Federal politics is quite disillusioning for a lot of young people at the moment it’s still crucial that you make your voice heard this election. On an unrelated note, the Union offices on Level 4 of Union House have been reopened! You can find
just about everything there that you could find previously, including condoms, tampons, copies of On Dit, and free student diaries. You can also buy your Union membership card there ($15 for the rest of the year), as well as chat to our lovely staff member Kim, who can talk to you about different Union services if you need assistance with anything. Our offices have been reopened after listening to overwhelming feedback from students who wanted it open again. If there are any other things you think the Union could be doing for you, please let us know. You can email email@example.com, or if you have something to raise with me specifically, use the details below. We do listen, and take on board as much as we possibly can. I hope you enjoy exercising your democratic rights this week, and I’ll see you on the other side. Deanna Taylor Union President firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @auulifeoncampus facebook.com/auulifeoncampus
ON OPEN DAY WE ASKED FUTURE STUDENTS THESE QUESTIONS: 1. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt about Adelaide uni today? 2. What’s the best free thing you’ve got today? 3. The university has recently banned fixed gear bikes on campus. What do you think an appropriate penalty would be for flouting this law? * 4. Have you though of any strategies to deal with the fact that we have no running water on campus on Thursday afternoons? * 5. Can we save our planet? 6. How important do you think student representation is?
ASHLEIGH, (HOPING TO STUDY) MEDIA
1. There’s free wifi everywhere here! 2. Nothing much. I can point you to expensive hot chocolate though? 3. Tying them to a pole in front of everyone. That’d be funny. 4. I don’t really care, the free wifi more than makes up for water. 5. If we band together to fight… evil people? Yeah we can. 6. Very important. If it’s not there then the adults can just put their ideas into place and they’re probably just old-fashioned.
DANIEL, MUSIC OR TEACHING
1. It’s cool. You guys really seem to know what you’re doing. 2. Architecture is handing out laser-cut wooden keychains and plastic coasters. 3. Make them do a lap of campus. 4. Good, it saves the environment. 5. Have everyone just put in 1 per cent of effort. No one needs to do much if we all chip in a little. 6. It’s good, it sets a good example.
HANNAH, MEDICINE, NURSING OR HEALTH SCIENCES 1. That you guys offer a lot more options for double degrees than UniSA. 2. Squishy brains, but we got them at UniSA. So you can’t have ours. 3. $100 fine and make them wear a hat that says ‘#yoloswag’. 4. Bring bottles, or use the ones they have in doctors’ offices more. 5. Yes. If we stop printing so much for Open Days. 6. A lot. It gives all students a voice.
* These are not actually true, we just thought it would be funny to scare potential students.
1. It’s big. And confusing. 2. An hourglass, and you can get one but I don’t remember where it’s from. Microbiology maybe? … It might actually not be an hourglass. 3. Make it into art, but give them fairy floss to make up for it. 4. Hope it rains. 5. Drive less, ride more (non-fixie) bikes. 6. Very. It gives everyone representation in influencing what they’re studying and paying for.
EDEN, VISUAL ARTS OR EDUCATION
1. I don’t know… I’m not sure I’ve learnt anything yet. 2. Pamphlets. If you really want you can have them. 3. I’m not sure how to answer? What’s a fixie? [Ed: a fixed-gear bike] Oh. Do they need one? 4. I could bring a bucket with me? 5. Respectful behaviour to everything living, and all our resources. 6. Super important! It gives students a voice and backs them up with some political clout.
ALICE, MEDIA OR EDUCATION
1. I’ve never been here before. The campus is amazing. So massive! 2. All the information and leaflets. 3. I don’t know. It depends. I haven’t really thought about it. 4. I’ve got no idea. 5. Yes. I think we need to keep thinking about how. We’re the generation that has to change things, and learn how to communicate our ideas. 6. Extremely, if you’re a student you need to have your voice heard.
WILLIAM, PSYCHOLOGY OR MUSIC
1. The diversity of music subjects available here 2. Nothing much actually. [We gave him a copy of On Dit] 3. Spike their wheels. 4. No, not really. 5. We can try! We need to be self-aware. 6. Not too sure.
WHAT’S ON. 14
Here’s where you’ll find information, gossip, shout-outs, news, events, bake sales, pub crawls and anything else you could possibly want to know about your university. Have something to add? Think you know what’s on? If you’re running an event (pubcrawl or otherwise), let us know at ondit@ adelaide.edu.au
OVERHEARD@ADELAIDE UNI MORE GENERAL! Lecturer: ‘Of course, there are always people who never smoke and still get COPD, and then there are those who smoke all their lives and never get COPD or cancer or anything. These people should be shot because they’re outliers and they ruin the story for everyone else.’ ‘You can’t say happiness correctly without saying penis.’ A: ‘Don’t push me, I’m still in mourning over Patrick!’ B: ‘So are you just going to skip that episode or?’ A: ‘No, I won’t skip it - I’ll just wait until I’m emotionally ready. Ugh, its just like ‘The Red Wedding’ all over again.’
Weekend Hub dwellers (ourselves included) rejoice!
The General is now open on Saturdays from 12-5pm to provide you with all your snacking, clothing and stationery needs.
All students are eligible to vote in Student Elections. This year, you’ll be voting to elect five Union Board Directors for 20142015, seven delegates to the National Union of Students and students to fill all positions on the Student Representative Council (excluding the position of ATSI Officer, for which no nominations were received).
POLLING DETAILS: NORTH TERRACE CAMPUS: On the Barr Smith Lawns: September 2-6, 9am-4pm The Hub Pop-up booth: September 2-6, 9am-4pm
Make sure you show your Union card for discounts and special offers.
WAITE CAMPUS: Union Office (Lower ground floor, McLeod House): Thursday September 5, 10am-3pm
For more details on what your General can offer you, check out lifeoncampus.org.au/ the_general/
ROSEWORTHY CAMPUS: Union Office (Next to Tappo’s Lounge) Thursday September 5 10am-3pm
G A HEALTHY DEBATE H
On Wednesday 4 September the Med students society will host a debate between the Health Minister, the Hon. Jack Snelling MP, and the Shadow Health Minister, the Hon. Rob Lucas MLC. The debate starts at 6:30pm sharp (refreshments from 6pm) in Scott Theatre. For more information contact email@example.com
EXPLORING THE HEARTLAND
The Art Gallery of SA has come alive with the stunning Heartland exhibition. Showing until September 8, it features work from South Australian artists. If you need convincing, read Nicola Dowland’s article on page 39. For info on events and opening hours and tours, check out artgallery.sa.gov.au.
IMPORTANT DATES! DON’T BE LATE! AUGUST 31
Census Date: This is the last day to withdraw from courses without incurring a fee. If you’re getting behind or just not enjoying a course, drop out now.
Last day to withdraw without failure (WNF): If you withdraw after this date, you’ll have a fail on your academic record. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the university’s Disability and Sounselling services (8313 5663), or the Union’s Education and Welfare officers (8313 5430 or studentcare@ adelaide.edu.au) for support and advice.
MEANWHILE, IN LIGERTWOOD... LAW STUDENTS’ SOCIETY ELECTIONS Elections for the 2014 Law Students’ Society Committee will be held in week 8. Nominations will close on September 4. For more information contact Returning Officer John Keeler (firstname.lastname@example.org). LAW REVUE: MAN I FEEL LIKE A LAWYER! Always a laugh, and always a sell out, this year’s presentation features wit, cameos, and puns! September 4- 6 (Week 6). Show begins at 7:30pm sharp in the Little Theatre All tickets $10 (+ booking fee) from www.dramatix.com.au/ events/1153
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
SRC and Union meetings are open to all students. SRC meetings are held fortnightly on Tuesday (August 27 and September 10 are the next ones) in the FIX Lounge. Union meetings are held monthly in the Union board room; the next one is September 18.
The Adelaide Uni Photography Club is holding an exhibition. It features work from 30 of the University’s talented photographers covering a diverse range of subject matter. September 18-20, Level 4, the Hub, 11am-4pm daily. On Dit does the pub! Specifically, the Exeter. This semester we’re mixing things up a bit to meet with you in the evenings. Bring your brightest ideas for the magazine, a story to share and other lovely people you know. September 3, from 6pm, Rundle Street
Mid-semester break: Summer: Semester 1 2014:
LET’S GET QUIZZICAL!
AUMS is hosting a mathemagical quiz night! The questions aren’t just Maths related, so all are welcome. Individual tickets are $12; a table of 10 is $100. September 20, 6:30pm for a 7:00pm start. In Rumours Café, Level 6 Union House. Email mathsatadelaide@ gmail.com for more info and to book tickets. To get a place on On Dit’s table, email ondit@ adelaide.edu.au. Only shortlisted caididates will be contacted.
The games will be on the Gold Coast this year. There’ll be 29 sports contested, over 6000 athletes, and all levels of ability. Sept 29 to Oct 4. More details at unione. theblacks.com.au.
Have your tutorials been cut? Heard some juicy goss? Got something that you think On Dit should know about? Head to auu.org.au/ondit/ tipoff/ to send us an anonymous tip off.
HELLO? IS ANYBODY THERE?
Email: email@example.com Facebook: facebook.com/onditmagazine Twitter: @onditmagazine Snail Mail: On Dit, c/o Adelaide University Union, Level 4 Union House, University of Adelaide, 5005 In person: Pop into our office near the Barr Smith Lawns between 1-3pm, Tuesdays & Wednesdays during term time.
CALENDAR: WEEKS 5 & 6 TUESDIT 27 SRC AND CLUBS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS WEDNESDIT 28 THURSDIT 29 INT’L DAY AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS FRIDIT 30 SAT’DIT 31 CENSUS DATE SUNDIT 1 MONDIT 2 STUDENT ELECTIONS: POLLS OPEN TUESDIT 3 ON DIT AT THE PUB WEDNESDIT 4 AMSS HEALTH DEBATE THURSDIT 5 SEE THE LAW REVUE FRIDIT 6 ROYAL ADELAIDE SHOW SAT’DIT 7 FEDERAL ELECTION SUNDIT 8 RECOVERY DAY!!
WHAT’S MY AGE AGAIN? EMILY PALMER WANTS EVERYONE TO STOP JUDGING HER ART: ANTHONY NOCERA
When we hit sixteen, we’re allowed to have sex legally, join the armed forces and get married (although with parental consent). At eighteen, we’re allowed to do all that without parental consent, as well as buy and drink alcohol legally. Oh, and vote. Because the first thing I said when I turned eighteen was ‘woohoo, I can finally vote for my choice of political leader’.
hide and seek etc. Then in high school, we develop into sitting in friendship groups chatting. At university, we study in our breaks. No playing for us anymore, unless we’re talking about video games (seriously, I’m not talking about video games). The ‘play’ window has closed and we’ll spend the rest of the lunch breaks in our lives doing something mature and not particularly fun. I want to go back to year four and spend all of my twenty-cent pieces on chocolate buttons instead of a proper lunch, before playing on the monkey bars for half an hour.
So growing up is great, but there are also things we’re not allowed to do anymore as we get older. Stuff that gets so not cool. Take, for instance, my abiding love of Taylor Swift. As a fifteen/sixteen year old, this was perfectly fine; most of my age group also loved Taylor Swift. Ask the same group of people, now twenty or twenty one, if they love her and you’ll get a resoundingly awkward silence. Start playing it on your laptop, and your housemate will look at you sideways as if to ask, how old are you again? Most of you will side with these judgemental people. You probably think that I have an appalling taste in music. But why was I allowed to love it five years ago and not now? It’s still just as catchy and cheerful as it was back then. My friends talk about bands I’ve never heard of (yes, I’m the world’s best anti-hipster, because I’ve never heard of anything), and have mature, grown up possessions like fridges and washing machines. I’m still singing along to Taylor Swift in my car, cranked up as loudly as possible, because I’m too ashamed to play it in my room anymore. What else are we forced out of loving, as we get older? What other childhood joys are torn away from us by the cruel, cruel hand of time? Pigtails are something that springs to mind.
Not that there aren’t amazing privileges that come with growing up. One day, I intend to be married and not have to watch my weight anymore. I look forward to the time I can sit on the elderly bus seats, probably taking up a whole row to myself due to the aforementioned weight gain. Until then, I’ll continue listening to Taylor Swift and reminiscing about the things I’ve lost, while also enjoying the things I’ve gained. Alcohol certainly helps dull the nostalgia.
If you want to wear pigtails now, you’re either heading to a fancy dress party dressed as a slutty schoolgirl or Pippy Longstockings. You can’t just go about in pigtails in public, sans fancy dress excuse. It’s just not done. The idea of ‘playing’ has disappeared from my vocabulary, which is something I seriously miss. As a ten year old, I used to spend hours playing with model horses and Lego and other amazing toys. During the breaks in primary school, we played games like tag,
Emily Palmer will continue to pretend she has outgrown Taylor Swift and possesses a hipster-like taste in music. You probably haven’t heard of the bands she likes
FEAR AND JUDGEMENT ON THE DAILY COMMUTE ALEX LIGHTBODY FOUND HER GUARDIAN ANGEL ON HER WAY HOME
People watching isn’t just a fun way for me to pass the time. It is an art form. I do not merely criticize the fashion choices of others. I carefully assess the their appearance and make well thought out inferences about their life choices and potential futures. If you claim not to do either of these then you are a liar and cannot be trusted. Despite my tendency to leap to conclusions about complete strangers, I have never feared what others may infer about me. Instead I find comfort in the fact that the just-woke-up/very hungover look that I have adopted tells enough of a story to satisfy fellow people watchers. But something happened the other day that shocked me to my very core. As I took my seat on the bus I felt a pair of eyes upon me. Praying for a bearded, vegan, bar-tender reading Marx, I looked up only to be faced with the most confronting look of both pity and disgust that I will ever experience. It wasn’t the man of my Adelaide Metro dreams; it was some CBD corporate type who was looking beyond my appearance and into the depths of my soul. And he was judging me HARD. In my opinion, I’ve always done a pretty decent job at hiding the true extent to which my life resembles Liz Lemon’s. Obviously the illusion was shattered years ago
amongst friends and family, but they either love me for who I am or continue to pray that I will change. But this suited-up bus goer saw through all the lies I never even had the chance to tell. In fact there was never any conversation between us at all, just an exchange of looks and glances that said more than words ever could. Straight up, I could tell from his slight glare that he knew the bags under my eyes weren’t from crazy partying habits or serious dedication to study. In reality I was painfully awoken at 5am by the stabbing of a thousand crumbs, remnants from my late night nachos-in-bed. As he held his gaze it became clear that he also knew that my tired appearance was worsened by the fact I hadn’t taken off my make-up in three days. He turned his head slightly to the side. Fine, you caught me judgmental stranger, I haven’t showered in a while either. And yes, while we’re at it, the weird mark on my face that I tried to cover with make up IS from passing out on my laptop watching SVU. Congratulations, you win! I tried to look away and not let it get to me. We all have busy weeks where personal hygiene gets lost somewhere between work and internet addiction. But despite my desperate self-reassurance, I could feel the pull of his gaze forcing me to face him once again. He smiled a cruel, Lucius Malfoy-esque smile at the empty coffee cup sticking out of my bag. I wondered if he could tell I was the type of person who unintentionally collected coffee mugs around my bed like an animal hoarder collects cats. I bet he could. Seeing myself through the eyes of this harsh, freakily knowledgeable stranger had made me more determined than ever to get my life together. I wanted to colour code my wardrobe, buy everything from Kikki-K and throw away all the empty chip packets that I had hidden in my room. Maybe this stranger was actually my guardian angel. Maybe he took on human form to give me a slap in the face and a kick in the right direction, one last-ditch attempt at guarding me from myself. I silently promised my angelic guide that I would be a better person from this moment on. Update: Not much has changed, but I now live in fear of catching the 2:43 bus.
Struggling with medical bills? Health Grants are now available to students in financial need to cover health-related expenses, including: – Specialists such as Physio and Chiropractor – Dentist bills – High medication costs – Psychologist and Psychiatrist visits
Visit the Student Care office in the Lady Symon Building, Union House cloisters, for an application form and to find out more. Limited funds are available so apply now! Health Grants are funded by your SSAF fees and brought to you by Student Care, part of your student Union. Student Care Call 8313 5430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.auu.org.au
IT’S REALLY JUST NOT WORTH THE ANGST WORDS: SAM YOUNG
This time last year, I spent a week out on the Barr Smith Lawns, squawking and squabbling and competing with other would-be student politicians for hot chips, I mean, er, your votes.
university more sustainable, give grants as a part of the green loans fund, and to develop plans for our sustainability in the future.
The fact that I got elected to be the Environment Officer on the Student Representative Council means that I won that week. I was chosen to be a student representative. But I’m not really sure that it was all worth it. To be clear, whilst I understand that election week is pretty annoying for the average student, for the average student politician, it’s far, far worse.
I also participate in the SRC, which is probably the biggest commitment of my role. We meet every fortnight to discuss student issues, plan campaigns and events, and try to make the university a better place.
Even in retrospect I rate last year’s student elections as one of the most physically and emotionally demanding weeks I’ve ever been through. As Environment Officer I have a few responsibilities. For one, I’m the student representative on the university’s sustainability governance committee. The committee meets a few times a year to discuss how to make the
It is really important that there is student representation on this board and other similar boards throughout the university. These boards and committees make decisions that affect students in a meaningful way.
My concern is that whilst the sustainability governance committee does make significant decisions and holds some power, the SRC itself doesn’t. Most of our time is spent discussing and planning events (breakfasts, rallies, quiz nights, fundraisers etc), but the fact that we’re elected as student representatives hardly makes us more effective, or makes our campaigns more important. All it takes to run a good campaign is for someone to be passionate enough to put in the time and effort. There’s no need for the people running it to be elected. If other people support it, they’ll join in and if not, it’ll likely fizzle out and disappear. I think it’s really important that student run campaigns happen and that people care about the university and about other students. But I don’t think that being elected student representatives gives people more power to do this.
ART: JACK LOWE
Apart from a relatively small budget and the support of other SRC members we don’t have any more power than the average student.
What we do have is the exhaustion of running to be elected and the time commitments which mean that we are less able to run or be involved in other campaigns. It probably took me a good month to properly recover from election week. Then there are the hours of induction days and the handover procedures which we have to learn, just so that we can work within the framework of the SRC. A lot of this is a waste of time and energy. Student politicians are passionate and capable. They care about the environment, about student rights, and about the social issues which affect us. If we didn’t spend so much time fighting against each other to be elected and then more time learning how to be a part of the SRC we could be far, far more effective. I want to re-iterate that I think student representation is really important, and that having someone on the various governance committees that influence university decision making who has direct understanding of the student experience is hugely valuable. However, other parts of the student political experience are often a waste of time and effort. I wonder if maybe it would be better if students ran for, and were elected to positions on the various governance committees. We’d have far more capacity to fight for the issues that we care about. We have the Union board which has some power as it affects the day to day running of the Union, but unless the SRC as a body has some power, it functions as a means to frustrate student activism and advocacy. It’s just not worth the angst to get elected to a position without power. Sam Young spends as much time cycling as attending class. That’s a lot of one, and not much of the other.
S GET SOME DEMOCRACY UP IN YO GRILL WORDS: ALICE BITMEAD Come the first week of September, I will be voluntarily trying to sell myself on the (not-so) mean streets of Adelaide Uni in the name of student representation. It will, without fail, make me feel like some superannuated streetwalker squeezed into pleather trying to ‘give you a good time’. I know, I know – ‘student politicians!’ you cry, ‘ergh! You people are the scourge of the earth! Why should I let myself be accosted by you and your poorly formatted, aggressively capitalised flyers?’ Fair. I know you don’t want to be jumped on your way to buy a sausage from the Lacrosse Players’ Association and harangued about elections any more than we want to harangue you. After five solid days of electioneering last year, I know that ‘oh-god-no-it’s-someonein-a-lurid-tshirt-with-a-verbpretending-to-be-a-proper-noundon’t-make-eye-contact-maybethey-haven’t-seen-me-yet’ look on your face intimately. It haunts my sleep even now, in between nightmares of being chased down by a horribly aged Cher wanting her shoulder pads back. But, cross my heart and hope to be caught by Cher, for most of us, we do it out of LOVE. So much love for you and students in general that we go through that week of hell so that you can have all your gripes and grievances about the university taken to the people that might be able to do something
about them. Because we want to make sure equality without regard to race, colour, gender, sexuality, age, physical disability, economic circumstances, religious conviction or national or social original is upheld at all costs. Because we think things like cuts to HumSS are more rubbish than a wheelie bin full of Cory Bernadi’s policy statements. Sure, you get some bad eggs. They’re usually the ones with the three-word slogans or promises of all your wildest dreams that they think you’re too thick to see right through. But look at you, you discerning thing! You’ve got a copy of On Dit in your hands! If that doesn’t make you a switched-on-street-wiseultra-savvy-personaification-ofa-positive-cliché, frankly I don’t know what does. Contrary to popular opinion, there’s very little glory to be gained in student representation. Instead of patting each other on the back and toasting our Glorious Ascension To Power with a bottle of wine that costs more than $9 at the end of election week, we lose our heads over half a plastic cup of warm Passion Pop and promptly pass out from fatigue in the back of the UniBar. Last year, I got up at 5:30am every morning for a week to campaign. I spent all my weekends for a month banner-painting and policywriting. I sat in a vat of white indelible house paint just before I had to go to a formal birthday party. Alluring stuff. It was an exhausting and soul-
destroying and painty and uncomfortable and generally shit month. I got shouted at and abused by other students who just wanted to get to that sausage sizzle. My family wanted to stage an intervention. My friends were ready to disown me after the 1735483 Facebook statuses imploring them to enjoy their right to on-campus democracy. But it was worth it. For every person that got aggressive, I met a properly excellent one (special mentions go to Magnificent Hair Guy, may your flowing tresses be lustrous forevermore, and Dennis, even though you should be in class). It’s a bit daggy to admit you like student politics, but I’m pretty proud to have been a student rep this year –the SRC has delivered on so many election promises with amazing initiatives for students (Lawrence Ben’s book shop is surely the greatest thing to happen to that nook in the Hub since the AUU’s free popcorn machine). I know we’re annoying, and our t-shirts are an affront to good taste. I know you have other things to do, but being able to have a say and a vote is pretty ace, all things considered. So cut a kid a break and get some democracy all up in yo grillz. Go and have a chat to some of the lurkers on the lawn. Hear all the promises that everyone’s pedalling, get informed and chuck your vote somewhere you think is worthwhile. At the very least, you’ll get a passive-aggressive sticker that’ll make us back right off afterwards, much like garlic to a vampire, or a sudden gust of wind to Bert Newton’s toupée. Sweet deal? HECK YES! Alice Bitmead doesn’t think she’s in Kansas anymore.
SURVIVOR 2013: AUSTRALIA VOTES WORDS: ANTHONY NOCERA ART: DAISY FREEBURN
It’s happened. Kevin Rudd has finally set an election date after a RUDDICULOUS amount of time!!! Get ready to vote for your new Prime Minister on September 7. Now, whenever someone brings up politics I always leave the room and go and get cake. Because politics is stupid and cake is delicious. Because politics involves talking to people and food is, in general, far less disappointing. But mainly because I’m fat. I think there are a lot of people like me out there: it’s maths we can all do; Me (or you)- politics + cake = an erection happiness. Things are, however, about to change. You see, the reason it’s taken so long to announce the date is because there will be serious reforms to the election process. In an attempt to appeal to youth they’ve opted for a flashy new system, bringing in reality tycoon Mark Burnett to brighten up proceedings. I’ve tried to simplify it as much as I can, but, in true Parliamentary form, it’s a little convoluted. On the day of the election, members from both parties will be placed on a remote island (originally it was meant to be PNG, but they decided against that for policy reasons) with no access to food or water. Over the course of the day, the politicians will be pitted against each other in gruelling challenges to the death. These challenges will test their racial and environmental
tolerance, open-mindedness, propensity to being accepting, honesty and general pleasantness. While most of the challenges are being kept under wraps, insiders have leaked two possibilities for the ‘Open-Mindedness Challenge’, which will centre on the hot topic of gay marriage. Both Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd have given approval for each of the challenges, agreeing that they are ‘in complete accordance’ with the current Parliamentary view of both homosexuality and gay marriage. Apparently the challenge will either take the form of: 1. Soapy Slip ‘n’ Slide: Both Tony and Kevin will be placed in a shower and forced to pick up soap. Whoever, after three minutes, has picked up the most soap and placed it in their basket wins! 2. Gay Marriage Fashion Show: In which both parties don their most (and I quote) ‘fabulous’ wedding outfit and hit the catwalk to SERVE some ministerial realness, hunty! Rupaul and Kylie Minogue are set to judge. 3. Mardi Grass: Both Tony and Kevin will frantically eat grass whilst donning short-shorts. Whoever eats the most grass at the end of the allocated time will win!! Gay rights groups have (rightfully) expressed concern over these challenges saying that they’re ‘derogatory’ and that they offer, ‘a backwards and stereotypical view of the gay community’. However, they have also expressed that ‘they didn’t really expect much more from either party.’ Nor did I for that matter.
It has also been rumoured that ‘Asylum Seeker Boat Swatting’ may also feature as an event during the day; however this is not, at all, conclusive. As the day progresses, all registered voters will text and call to save their favourite politician from their untimely demise: sending soup, health tonics and healing creams via a skydrop system. Voters can call or text as many times I like, with all money raised by the endeavour financing the new Prime Minister’s living quarters. Kevin Rudd has a clear advantage here, knowing about this all along has given him plenty of time to train and get fit enough to complete these challenges, which may change the way that people vote. However, I wouldn’t discount Tony Abbott. He’s a keen swimmer and is looking fighting-fit and ready for some action (non-sexual action… nobody wants to picture that). I don’t know about you, but I think that we run the risk of killing both party leaders. Who is actually going to want to save them? Personally I wouldn’t send either of them health tonics, unless said health tonics were egoreductions, or bullshit pumps. Either way, I’m preparing to be thoroughly entertained and offended. Bring on the election!!! Anthony Nocera blogs at flashbulletin. tumblr.com. If he was half as passionate about the blog as he was about cake it would be far more successful.
FABRICATING THE NATION
WORDS: JACK LOWE PHOTOGRAPHY: KEIREN MAC The endless back and forth between politicians in the past few weeks seems to have lost some of its variety. The battle lines between Labor and Liberal politicians appear closer than ever on a number of issues including asylum policy and the state of the economy, and another issue that has too low a profile at the moment: the state of the Australian manufacturing industry. History tells us that manufacturing is a nation building industry, one that provides wealth, security and protection in the good times, the bad times and, importantly, during times of global conflict. Australians making things made modern Australia. Most of our grandparents, and their parents, lacquered, bricked, polished, cut and glued together this nation. Since then, we’ve dug a mine-sized grave for an economy that once was big on diversity and stability. Poor business confidence, globalisation and a high (but falling) Australian dollar have widely been blamed as
contributors to the downfall of this once great sector. A year or so ago I took a class in manufacturing processes. The course itself was mainly concerned with the technical side of things; however, our lecturer provided insight into the current state of the industry. In particular, he pointed out our economy’s reliance on mining, and the corresponding dwindling focus on manufacturing. His argument was simple: rather than using our natural resources to their fullest potential we often sell them to our neighbours before buying them back in another form, effectively at a loss. In a country as rich as ours in terms of natural resources, do we have our priorities wrong? For instance, try to imagine for a moment that you’re the owner of a very productive hobby farm. One day you produce some eggs, flour and sugar. Sensing a profit, you drive into town where you sell
your goods to a local bakery for five dollars. Try harder and pretend you’re pleased with this. The next day, while out for a stroll, you see a sponge cake in the window of that very same bakery. Your sugar cravings get the best of you and you buy it for fifteen dollars, unknowingly making a ten dollar loss neglecting production costs. Maybe you jumped off the business carousel too early? Perhaps Australia’s doing something similar at its own cost right now? The ‘suppository of wisdom’ that is Canberra provided some answers in the Smarter Manufacturing for a Smarter Australia report, published last August. It’s fair to be cautious about the value of such a report. We’ve been promised many revolutionary taskforces, power meetings and community cabinets before with minimal ‘eureka!’ moments.
WE’VE DUG A MINE-SIZED HOLE GRAVE FOR AN ECONOMY THAT ONCE WAS BIG ON DIVERSITY
But, surprisingly, this report is genuinely informative, perhaps because it expresses the opinions of the taskforce’s non-government members. It stresses that ‘Australia’s future and manufacturing’s future go hand in glove’, while criticising the economy for being ‘too narrowly based’ on a few sparse breadwinners (read: our well known economic darling, mining).
The report also notes that currently the manufacturing industry employs four times the number of people employed in the mining industry, while accounting for 35 per cent of all exports, highlighting the continued importance of manufacturing for Australia. Generally, the report recommends a broadening of the industry and more innovation, alongside ‘bold and ambitious’, yet ‘realistic’, goals for a more diverse economy. Critically, the taskforce encouraged a new focus on ‘specialised manufacturing’ where we as a nation apply our ingenuity to seek out niche markets that only we can fill. Think Hill’s hoists, but snazzier. Unfortunately it’s here that we hit a bit of a road bump. We never seem to hear any of these obvious recommendations being widely implemented. Instead we see our political leaders prancing about, fluoro-vest clad in the nearest factory talking only about the unemployment rate and the failures of those on the other side of the bench. It’s true that the industry is shrinking at a concerning rate; we’ve gone from a GDP contribution of approximately 13 per cent to eight per cent since 2000. How many objects in your house could you turn over and see the words ‘Australian made’? Current political conversation is restricted to the car industry, which is of vital importance, but the problems experienced in that sector are only part of a wider problem. A loss of a manufacturing job can result in the loss of many other related jobs in interconnected areas – our future jobs as university graduates. Not to mention the
strain this constriction is having on working families. What’s most concerning about this situation is the lack of airtime this issue is getting in the lead up to the federal election. The policy outlook on both sides of the fence is somewhat clouded. A recent report suggests that Labor is actively pursuing multiple ‘innovation hubs’ and bringing in measures to force large foreign led investments to use Australian suppliers, all the while injecting a large amount of money into new endeavours. The Liberals are approaching this a bit more indirectly, making changes to a number of taxes, ‘reducing costs’ and, yep, you guessed it, ‘scrapping the carbon tax’. For the informed voter, these ‘policies’ aren’t very impressive. While Kevin Rudd at least mentioned that he ‘doesn’t want to be the prime minister of a country that doesn’t make things’ in his campaign pitch, there’s been very little coverage on the issue. Yes, there are some flashy new campaign adverts that have come about in the last few weeks, but action speaks louder than words. Tony Abbott keeps ranting about emission trading – I mean carbon tax – and struggling to hold up his Real Solutions book, which, disappointingly, has a nauseating two hundred and four repetitions of the phrase ‘we will’ and only seven dot points concerning the future of manufacturing. Such a critical industry for our future can’t be swept under the carpet in this way. While it’s easy to point the finger at the current government’s policies, it’s unacceptable that we haven’t really heard, well, anything, from him on the diversification of the economy and the future of this industry. As voters, we’ve been saddened by job losses in the automotive industry, as well as maddened by continual bailouts and superficial solutions. Despite these frustrations, its essential to remember, as we head to the polling booth, how intrinsically vital manufacturing is to our future as a nation. Break through the wall of spin and watch for any
developments concerning this in the lead up to the election. Your vote counts; use it wisely. And remember, there is no alternative to manufacturing – anyone who says any differently is just using fabrication of a different kind. Jack Lowe is an engineering and science student with a chronic addiction to drawing.
HOW TO LOSE AN ELECTION & INFLUENCE NOTHING
WORDS: SAM DAVIS
In the upcoming federal election there are a number of seats that will attract a lot of attention and speculation; these are the seats that are considered ‘must win’ for a party to form government. However, there are a number of seats that won’t even get a mention on the news, where the winner is a forgone conclusion – but parties still need to put up a candidate to run in these seats. These candidates are often called upon from the parties’ youth arms. Which is how, at the 2010 election, I was called upon to run as the Labor candidate in the seat of Mayo. Mayo is a predominantly rural and agrarian seat that has never voted Labor, nor have many people in the electorate ever even seen someone from the party. This is a guide that draws from my experience of running in an election that you will never win.
Knowing that you are going to lose the election, what qualifies as success? Your fellow candidates may define success as fifty per cent plus one, but for you that is just an unachievable dream. Success, for you, is just staying out of their way. Make sure that what happens outside of your campaign stays outside the campaign. Do not get caught out on the town drunk and messy, and do not get caught criticising your party. There is, however, another issue that almost contradicts this goal: making your campaign look like a real campaign. Voters in your rustedon electorate have to believe that it is a real contest, which means writing letters to the local media and engaging in some campaigning – but watch what you say. If you can avoid giving your opposition anything to use against you, then you’re doing well.
Party pre-selections are quite
the affair. They can be brutal conflicts, which take place behind smoke filled rooms, and are often reported on heavily by a media that has become obsessed with stories of internal intrigue. Your pre-selection will not be like this. Your pre-selection will most likely take place a week or so before the close of nominations, when the head-kickers at party office realise that they desperately need someone to fill the seat. They will then ring as many people as they know in the youth arm of their party until they can cajole someone into running. This will then be followed by an uncontested coronation by the party’s executive. You will be rushed off to get your candidate’s photo and description ready, as well as the last minute ordering of the measly number of corflutes that you will receive.
Upon being pre-selected, step one is to shut down all your social media as quickly as possible. Delete all of your drunken
Deluding the public and deluding yourself will be a major part of your election campaign. Your first job will be to build some grandiose view of yourself to present to the public. It is very easy to turn ‘up-and-coming party foot soldier, eager to please the party heavyweights’ into ‘struggling university student, juggling the study-work-life balance who believes that there needs to be a new narrative added to Australia’s political scene’. Making delusions to the public is the easy part – the harder part is deluding yourself. Despite being unwinnable, the campaign will take up a lot of your time. I managed to dupe myself into believing I had a 30 per cent chance of winning. It was a good delusion, but I didn’t find myself in tears on election night when I lost, downing my third bottle of wine (note that I gave up alcohol during the election campaign, which my friends will tell you is no mean feat). selfies; remove yourself from any group that may be questionable, especially the ones criticising your own party and its positions; prevent the possibility of anyone causing you headaches on your wall. Your Facebook and Twitter accounts are now solely tools to pump out as much election propaganda as possible. It is no longer your Facebook, but your party’s. Please note: YOU WILL LOSE FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS because of this, but you must do it, or else incur the wrath of an angry party office.
CAMPAIGNING You will need to engage in some campaigning, mostly just to say that you have engaged in some campaigning. You also have little to no money to campaign, so direct letters, or anything else that involves funds in any way, are out of the question. This means lots of in person, one-on-one campaigning, often in the form of doorknocking or supermarket visits. Disclaimer: Campaigning in a seat
where very few people want to see you get elected may be dangerous. One thing that I learnt quickly during my campaign was never to doorknock on someone’s house that is covered in gun ownership paraphernalia. Car bumper stickers can also be a good way to help determine whether someone’s house is safe to doorknock. Firstly, they indicate whether someone is home or not. Secondly, radicals, who are likely to cause you headaches, often choose bumper stickers as their preferred method of expressing their views. Elected members and even candidates in marginal seats have an opportunity to build a catalogue of crazy voters, unfortunately, you have no such luxury, so every sign you can follow will be useful. You will be running a lot of your own campaign. Others in the party are more interested in running in the big campaign races, so you will be calling on your friends and family for most of your campaigning assistance. Be prepared to owe your friends a lot of favours after the election.
The main thing when speaking to the local media is to make sure that you know your party’s platform back to front on the issues that they may ask you about, or else you risk letting your campaign seep from your own seat. Major media outlets will not take much interest in you, but you’re the only horse race the local media has to report on, and they will attempt to make the race look as close and exciting as possible to boost their paper sales. Hopefully this little guide will help anyone that runs for positions knowing that they will never win. It is an exciting and fascinating experience, and it adds another dimension to the election afterparty. Also, having 300 posters of yourself provides awesome opportunities for practical jokes.
Sam Davis has lost count of what year of his economics degree he is in, and is a connoisseur of the art of shower beers.
DON’T BE AN 28
First things first, let’s admit that our political climate has been an absolute disaster as of late. Everything is a bit of a blur, left is right and right is left and Bob Katter has an actual party. No wonder many people, especially first time voters, are confused. In many cases such confusion leads to donkey voting.
When I first pitched this story I thought donkey voting meant boycotting the election and either leaving the ballot paper blank or spoiling it. But after much research on Wikipedia, I’ve discovered that ‘true’ donkey voting is spectacularly stupid – numbering the candidates in the order in which they appear. People actually do that, wow. If you’re one of those people, for the love of god please keep reading.
THE WASTED VOTE
One of the most common excuses for donkey voting is that the vote is ‘wasted’. This excuse usually comes from people who are unfamiliar
with our electoral system. So let me enlighten you.
In Australia we have a preferential voting system. When you vote, you mark the candidates in order of preference. If a candidate of your first preference doesn’t gain fifty percent or more of the vote they ‘lose’ and your vote goes to your second choice and so on until a candidate gains the required fifty percent.
When you go to the polls you have two choices on the senate ballot, to vote above the line or below the line. You could vote above the line for the party of your choice and let them decide where the preferences go, or you could vote below the line and decide it yourself by marking the candidates in order of preference. When you vote below the line, your vote is truly not wasted. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving. It’s especially important to small parties, who are often ignored in favour of the two major parties. Many people believe that by voting for a small party, their vote doesn’t count if the candidate does not get in. As I have mentioned above, this is not the case: your vote carries. So give small parties a go – you might be surprised at how good some of their policies are.
YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE, YOU KNOW Now that we have taken care of technicalities and you know how to vote, let’s talk about why you should vote. If you simply don’t care about the election, this segment is for you. Firstly, let’s state the obvious – voting affects you. Your future depends on your vote, and as long as you’re a voting citizen the government will listen to your opinion. What most people don’t think about is that your vote also affects others. Some members of our society can’t vote, such as the mentally handicapped, children, people in a coma or who are too sick to vote. Their voice can only be heard through others, and that includes you. This is part of being an adult. Whether you like it or not, you are responsible to make decisions on their behalf. Throwing your vote away is a slap in the face to those who are most vulnerable. This principle doesn’t apply only to people, it applies to many other things too such as the environment and animal welfare. Mother nature can’t vote, you can, so don’t stuff if up. If you don’t care about yourself or your fellow human beings, at least do it for the puppies.
29 WORDS: ALYONA HAINES ART: KELLY ARTHUR-SMITH YOU’RE ‘PROTESTING’
If you are donkey voting because you are trying to make some sort of political statement, please slap yourself right now so I don’t have to. Let me put it bluntly – boycotting the election won’t work unless the entire country does the same thing, which isn’t going happen, and if it does we might as well have a dictatorship. Which would be good for you of course, because no more voting yay! But I digress. Point is, no one really cares about your ‘protest’. Voting is anonymous. No one is going to know the difference between your ‘political activism’ and someone else’s laziness. Imagine if all the students stopped voting because they believed that no party represented the needs of students one hundred percent. The result would be not a single party caring about students because students are no longer a target demographic. A political protest is what Ghandi did; it’s what Martin Luther King did. Many sacrifices have been made for your right to vote, many people had died fighting for democracy. Sitting on your couch not voting is not political activism.
WHAT TO DO?
So what can you do to make the most of your vote? It’s time to put your big boy/girl pants on and do some soul searching. What matters to you the most? What matters to you the least? What can you compromise on? Once you have a list of the things that matter and affect you the most, it’s time to familiarise yourself with different parties in your electorate. You will find that some parties have ‘targeted’ policies, which means they have a few policies centred around a key idea. If you feel strongly about one issue but not the rest, these kind of parties may be for you. Remember, you’re allowed to change your mind. Just because you voted one way this election does not forever label you a voter
of that party. Don’t vote like it’s football – mix it up a bit. As you pass through different stages in your life different parties will appeal to you. Complain. If you’re not happy about something with one party or another, complain to them. If you were going to donkey vote it means you are an undecided voter. Be proud of that, because undecided and swinging voters are the ones who determine the outcome of the election. The majority of people firmly vote the exact same party year after year. Ironically, their party doesn’t care as much about them as they do about the ‘outsiders’. So when you complain, they will listen. Vote. Voting is not only a responsibility, it’s a privilege. You are given a chance to stand up for what you believe in, make it count.
STOP THE VOTES WORDS: PAIGE KERIN ART: KATIE HAMILTON Australia is one of 31 countries in the world that force citizens to vote in elections. It’s been that way since 1924; since then people have disputed how democratic, or effective, compulsory voting is. Arguably, a system of compulsory voting infringes on our freedom and liberty – principles that a democracy is built on. Last semester, in one of my politics classes, a tutor explained that the government works for us; the government goes to work everyday to try and make the country better for the people that live in it. They work on the principles of democracy; freedom, equality and participation. This motivation seems at odds with doing something
that lies beyond the boundaries of democracy: forcing us to vote.
WHAT’S THE POINT?
Liberal, Labour or Greens. Rudd, Abbott or Milne. Does it even matter? From the questionable ousting of Julia Gillard to the fluff-filled debate between Kevin and Tony, none of the current political proceedings are giving me any reason to want to have a microscopic say in who runs the country. Each party advocates that they will run the country better than others. Every day they debate and discuss policy, law and the budget until their faces are as blue as their ties. Now that an election day has been set, it’s impossible to miss the extensive political propaganda plastered on the TV and stoby poles as far as the eye can see. They’re telling us what the other guy did wrong, how much money he wasted, and how they’re going to stop the boats better than everyone else. If there’s a reason to look up to, trust or admire the
politicians of this great country I’m waiting to hear it. The low blows each candidate strikes against each other leads me to seriously doubt the morality of the whole system. Any TINY mistake or slip of the tongue is blown into epic proportions and used shamelessly to the opposing party’s advantage. Apparently everything I thought was taught in primary school about bullying and humiliating other people is disregarded once you run for Prime Minister. Then we have the fine upstanding politicians such as Liberal Candidate Jaymes Diaz or One Nation’s ex-candidate Stephanie Banister, who have further cemented my opinion on Australian Politics and its representatives. If you haven’t heard about their latest gaffes, type their names into YouTube at your earliest possible convenience.
The government advocates that everyone must vote to ensure a representative result, and to honor the principles of participatory democracy. It’s difficult to accept, however, that forcing everyone to vote produces a truly representative result. Why are we forced to vote for a government we often know little about? Many people are aware that a lot of what we see in the media regarding politics is biased. Different media outlets have different alliances with different political parties, so consequently their content is tailored to favour that party. When watching TV or reading the newspaper you’re most often being told what to think. Take The Daily Telegraph’s August 5 cover – ‘Finally, you now have the chance to kick this mob out’ laid across a picture of Kevin Rudd. Politics is frequently dumbed down in the media so that everyone can understand it, regardless of their education, and is very rarely taught in the later years of high school. So a genuine understanding of politics must be self-motivated. Therefore, the Australian public is being given a very simplistic and often subjective version of what is
actually happening in politics. How then is every citizen supposed to escape all of this influence to make an informed decision?
NOT SO FINE BY ME
Soon after enrolling at the tender age of 17, I asked my Mum to explain to me how voting works. She told me that you turn up at your respective voting location on election day, get your name ticked off, walk into the voting booth and fill out your ballot.
I asked her how they know if you voted or not. She explained that they don’t, because it’s a secret ballot. This led me to ask a question I’m still asking now: why isn’t compulsory voting known as compulsory attendance? If this is your first time voting and you either haven’t enrolled or don’t plan on turning up, don’t think you’ll get away with it. Oh no. The government will track you down and issue you a $20 fine. That’s right. Us students know the value of that amount. If you refuse to pay this, don’t worry, they’ll forgive you and forget the fine. I’M KIDDING. They will most likely prosecute you, or even IMPRISON you in extreme cases, and order you to pay an additional $50 fine, as well as the costs of any court proceedings. Surely the large amounts of government cash spent on the efforts to seek out those dirty criminals who don’t vote would be better spent elsewhere? The government fines those who fail to vote until they do, but for what purpose? To teach them a lesson? Or to pay for the effort it took to find out who didn’t turn up? Of course there’s the option of a donkey vote. The effect of the donkey voters has been reduced by parties being listed randomly on all ballots, but that’s not really the point. The Australian Electoral Commission’s response to donkey voting indicates that the government is aware that a large part of the population doesn’t want to vote and is intentionally misvoting. If the government knows that a large part of the population doesn’t want to vote, why are they forcing everyone to?
DO WE HAVE TO?
Let’s examine the defence for a second. The Australian government advocates that we all have the right to participate in democracy. True. We’re told that our right to vote is enshrined in our Constitution. They’ve told us that the right to vote is one of the features of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – treaties for which Australia has signed participatory agreements. It is also enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So they’re telling us that because the right to vote is stipulated in these agreements, the country is now legally obliged to honor them. Yet Article 14 of the UDHR states that ‘Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution’, and the current government doesn’t appear to be honoring this obligation. It’s also often pointed out that people in some countries in the
world die fighting for the right to vote. Because the powers that be love a good guilt trip. It’s worth acknowledging the sisters who protested and burnt their bras to fight for equal recognition as human beings, and the right to vote. While their struggle was important, it hardly equates to the necessity of compulsory voting. People die fighting for the right to vote. People also die fighting for their right to seek asylum. People also die walking down the street. While the Australian government claims that voting is compulsory to ensure participation, just because everyone is getting their name ticked off the electoral role doesn’t mean they’re voting in a truly democratic manner. Voting is a right and a privilege, but it shouldn’t be an obligation, a requirement or a responsibility. As the old saying goes, it’s about quality not quantity.
Paige Kerin is an introverted yet outgoing double-degree-doing bartender who hates her name and enjoys biopics.
FOUR PARTIES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF THIS ELECTION The other day, as I wallowed in self-loathing and shared a listless meal with my cat, I decided to switch on Q and A. It was a disappointment to see so many grey and serious politicians and journalists discussing costings and
policy implementation, and all manner of other grey and serious political issues. It’s hard to feel anything other than apathy towards politicans sometimes. There were no characters. No Bob Katter-esque figures espousing their radically different political opinions. Not one.
Whilst there are many independents and members of minority parties whose ideologies I find completely abhorrent, we need politicans who say things that the majority of us might find insane. It keeps things interesting. I guess you could say that the presence of minority parties increases the representativeness of the government or whatever, but mainly I just find minority party members highly amusing. Especially if they are flamboyant hat-wearers. I’ve only written about four of those minority parties here, but if you want to find out more you can always use a highly-respected online resource such as Wikipedia to aid you in your research.
HELP END MARIJUANA PROHIBITION (HEMP)
The wonderfully acronymic Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) party was founded in 1992 by a man named Nigel Quinlan. Nigel clearly did not understand the perils of having a surname which is impossible to spell, because soon after founding the party he changed his to ‘Freemarijuana’. I don’t know about this. I don’t know if I can respect a man called ‘Nigel Freemarijuana’.
33 WORDS: EMMA DOHERTY ART: KELLY ARTHUR-SMITH The HEMP party is based is based in Nimbin, a town that has a ‘Hemp Olympix’ every year where you can compete in many high-level sporting events such as ‘joint rolling’ and ‘bong throwing’ competitions, so I guess it’s no big surprise. Whilst HEMP is mostly a one-issue party, it’s important to note that they do not only promote the legalisation of recreational marijuana but also the use of hemp in other industries such as clothing and paper manufacturing. The HEMP party also offers free workshops on ‘Police Wrangling’. I am not really sure what that is but I really hope it involves cowboys. Unfortunately, a recent post on their Facebook page states that the HEMP party do not believe in ‘lying publicly for political purposes’, so I am beginning to doubt if they will get very far in politics. SA Candidates for the Senate: Ray Thorpe and Chris Calvert
RISE UP AUSTRALIA
This party is the kind of party that you vote for if you share their leader’s belief that national tragedies such as the Black Saturday Bushfires occurred as a punishment from God for the decriminalisation of abortion
in Victoria. Daniel Nalliah, ejected from the Family First party because his views were too extreme, is perhaps what you’d call a controversial figure. He was born to Sri Lankan parents and advocates the adoption of immigrants into our society, as long as they relinquish their entire cultural heritage and adopt ‘Australian’ culture instead. I’m uncertain if one can define Australian culture beyond the great cultural experiences of getting sunburnt at the beach and eating shitloads of BBQ (and saying shitloads). According to Nalliah though, it is very simple: Australian culture can be defined by our judeo-christeo belief system. I thought we lived in a secular society? Silly me! Oh by the way the party is all for people immigrating to Australia EXCEPT IF THEY ARE MUSLIMS! Below, I have written a helpful numerical list of the definitely mentally stable things Daniel Nalliah has said or done in recent times: 1. He has resurrected three people from the dead. 2. He claims that rising the divorce rate for politicians could be attributed to: laws allowing more rights for
the LGBT members of the community, the introduction of more legislation regarding reproductive rights , and the salient issue of witchcraft and Satanism being practiced in the local Canberra area. I think he has a point. 3. He pointed out that multiculturalism is a bad thing using a highly sophisticated political manoeuvre: if you shorten the world ‘multicultural’, you get ‘multicult’. 4. He claims that the 2011 Queensland floods were God was punishing Queensland because Kevin Rudd is from Queensland and he criticised Israel’s politics once. SA Candidate for the Senate: Jeffrey Flint
Pauline Hanson, founder and leader of the One Nation Party is ‘the redhead you can trust’ according a slogan on the party’s website. This is reassuring to me because I have a deep and enduring mistrust of people with red hair. I don’t know: it probably stems from an unresolved childhood trauma or something. Aside from having a trustworthy redhead at the
helm, One Nation is of a far-right political persuasion. Some of their political aims include repealing United Nations Conventions that Australia is currently party to. One Nation also wishes to abolish the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975, which makes perfect sense if you, like them, also believe that such legislation leads to ‘discrimination caused by political correctness’. Understandably, One Nation does not hold international issues such as foreign ownership of Australian land and multiculturalism in very high esteem. When ex-candidate for Rankin, Stephanie Bannister was recently interviewed, she had many insights to share with the Australian populace, namely that Islam is a country and that Jewish people follow Jesus. She was utterly wrong of course. But you can’t exactly blame her. One Nation is strongly against multiculturalism. And what is the use of having even a passable understanding of other cultures if you are officially opposed to them? One Nation also supports such causes as the legalisation of firearms for everyday working mums and dads. For such a seemingly rightwing party, the One Nation party does have some policies which seem of a more ‘little l-liberal’ approach, such as its positive stance on euthanasia and public healthcare. SA candidates for the Senate: Peter Fitzpatrick and Kym Dunbar
AUSTRALIAN SEX PARTY Sex.
If that did not grab the attention of the bunch of the twentysomething, undoubtedly horny undergrads that are reading this then God knows what will. Sex is the central tenet of the Australian Sex Party’s political ideology. The most apt way to describe the Australian Sex Party’s key policies is: sex, drugs and a secular approach to educational institutions. Apparently one of the favourite catchphrases of Sex Party pamphlet pushers is ‘vote for more sex’. However many of the Sex Party’s key policies revolve around
reproductive rights, legalising same-sex marriage and modifying censorship laws in Australia. It seems to me that through these policies, the Sex Party intends to alter the way in which sex-related issues are addressed in our society. It doesn’t seem to me like the policies will in fact increase the actually amount of sex physically occurring in Australia, as the catchphrase erroneously implies. So regrettably, horny undergrads, voting for the Sex Party will not increase your chances of getting laid. Sorry about that. Fiona Patten is both the Australian Sex Party leader and CEO of the adult-industry group Eros Association. There have been accusations that the Australian Sex Party is being used as a political vehicle to financially benefit the adultindustry; for example the Sex Party advocates the legalisation of synthetic marijuana, a drug which is commonly sold in sex shops. All this controversy aside however, there’s no denying they’ve got sex appeal. SA candidates for the Senate: Deb Milka and Jason Virgo
Emma Doherty is a soon to be nineteen yearold arts/law student currently suffering from vegetarian guilt (she ate a slice of pepperoni pizza the other day.)
THE CIRCUS IS IN TOWN WORDS: JAMES DUNSMORE ART: ANTHONY NOCERA Whether by wonderful coincidence or an intentional effort to kill two birds with one stone, this year’s Royal Adelaide Show will coincide with the 2013 Federal Election, ensuring all the fan fare, contortionists and hoo-ha that both events tend to attract. So roll up! Overnight the tents will be pitched and the campaign offices prepared as we all brace ourselves to be taken for the ultimate ride. The jingle-jangle of bells will ring out as the boom of mega-phone assisted announcements will dominate our airwaves in the lead up to September 7. We can expect to be bombarded daily with images of laughing, gleeful children as the stench of cow shit lingers in the background, just out of camera’s view. It is difficult to say at this point which event is likely to provide more sickening sweetness but one can almost guarantee that both will provide plenty of fairy floss. The instructions on how to make fairy floss are quite simple. You begin with a lump of sugarysweetness to which hot air is added before giving it a really good spin. Tony, Kevin et al. are practically connoisseurs and expect to see them almost every night for the next few weeks pumping out as much of the stuff as possible. They will cackle with glee as we head to the polling booth on a sugar high, voting for the party that performed the best spinning.
The debate rages on as to whether fairy floss was launched at the 1893 or 1904 World’s Fair but the science behind it is no longer questioned. As a hygroscopic substance, fairy floss becomes tough when exposed to air. This is why the pre-packaged product you buy in supermarkets is no comparison to the freshly spun stuff. Bear this in mind while casting your vote as you may discover the fluffy cloud you were sold in September transforms into something quite different once the circus leaves town. The sideshow alley will manifest an air of expectation and excitement with games to play and walls lined with plenty of impressive looking prizes. Hopes will be raised, only to be crushed when you take home not the large plush teddy, but the plastic bat and ball attached by a cord. Your ‘prize’, which offered so much potential joy, will end up a broken promise as it lies in the corner of the room gathering dust. As with all good shows there will be miss-haps, the odd freak, and gimmicks, lots of gimmicks. I remember as a kid visiting the show bag pavilion. Surrounded by hundreds of options, I would tally up the money I still had and slowly make my way up and down the aisles. After much deliberation I would come to the conclusion that while all of the options appeared to offer variety, it was just different wrapping with predictably homogenous contents. And so it will no doubt be the same this year. It is difficult to know which show will provide more laughs, screaming kids and smelly horse dung, although I have a good
guess as to which will provide the least amount of satisfaction for your money. And, while both of the shows will provide plenty of colour, fireworks and some tough competition, there can only be one winner. On September 7, as we head to the booths, the ultimate decision will be made to determine which farmyard animal will be proclaimed victorious. The others, slowly returning home with their tails between their legs, will begin working towards the next show in the hope of taking home the top prize. So as the carnival that is the preelection campaign slowly makes its way around the country, bringing the whole circus with it, be wary of all the candy vendors that such a travelling fair attracts. Whatever fairy floss you decide to swallow this September, don’t over-eat so as to make yourself sick. A sugar comedown can mean a nasty headache, one that can last up to 3 years and do more than just damage your teeth. James Dunsmore is attempting to complete his Masters in Food Studies. His long term goal is to get paid for eating at fancy restaurants.
GETTIN’ YOUR KICKS
(ON ROUTE 66)
WORDS: ALISTAIR SAGE PHOTOGRAPHY: LEAH BEILHART Some say that giving travel advice is really a smokescreen for a retreat into nostalgia. True enough. But it can still be damn useful, like (just about all of) what I’ve provided here: a how-to guide to seeing the United States the right way.
DRIVE, RIDE OR STEER YOURSELF SOME OTHER WAY I’m going to start with the assumption that we all enjoy a good roadtrip. Lots of things can stuff a roadtrip up – forgetful friends, violent hitchhikers, etc. – but I’m pretty sure the basic idea is universally endorsed. Why? It’s got everything going for it – it’s a holiday where you have complete control over how your travels pan out – whether they’re swift or lackadaisical, direct or oblique, reasonable or ridiculous.
To be a bit technical, on a roadtrip you’ve just got a bunch more agency than you do when you’re at the mercy of machines, pilots,
and baggage-handlers. You’re at the wheel or handlebars – at worst, your control-freak friend is – and you are literally responsible for your motion across the earth.
ESPECIALLY IN AMERICA
By contrast, in not one of the 50 United States is that high a proportion of the people located in one metropolis, even the big ones. The point: there’re a whole lot of really interesting big towns and little cities that you’ll miss if you don’t go by road and find them for yourself.
The U.S., more than most places, is a country best understood and experienced by road. I’ll assume you’re aware it’s pretty vast country – something like the scale of this here place.
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
Not to denigrate the Great Aussie Roadtrip – a venture we would all have to undertake at least once under my proposed citizenship test – but America’s an even better choice for the road-bound, if only because of how many damn good places there are to see.
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Interstate Highway System has much to recommend it. It’s a highly efficient way of routing massive flows of daily interstate traffic between population hubs. It’s a FedEx driver’s dream. It’s probably an important part of the Defense Department’s Plan B come the Zombie Apocalypse/ Chinese Invasion. It is not, however, a source of satisfaction or roadtrip inspiration. Take the Interstate and you’re likely to miss every town on the way from LA to Vegas, from Indianapolis to Chicago, or from Boston to New York.
This is mostly a function of the population difference – there’re around 300 million Yanks, increasing daily – but also of the comparative ‘rural-ness’ of the country. Australians are the paradigmatic city-folk, despite our history in and cultural attachment to the bush. Adelaide and Melbourne, for example, each have over 90 per cent of their states’ population.
Unless You Use the Interstate Highway System.
In words not entirely unfaithful to its source, take the road less travelled – the old U.S. Routes,
state routes and county highways. You’ll see a bunch of stuff you’d otherwise miss out on. Oldfashioned American diners, big ol’ music stores with everything you could want, and festivals, fairs and gigs you just happen upon. And it’s not just the human side that you’ll miss. It’s three-quarters of the natural beauty, including most of the national parks. There are rivers, lakes, mountains and forests which you won’t know exist unless you skip the turnpikes. Their lyrical names might say it all – the Susquehanna River, the Shenandoah Valley – or it could be something simple but gorgeous like the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
TOURIST HOTSPOTS VS THE REAL WORLD It isn’t a matter of Big-City Blues against Small-Town Charm, but there is a difference between people that deal with tourists every day and those that don’t. Don’t expect memorable interactions with the locals in LA, San Fran and NYC – they’re not interested, and rightly so. It seems like there are more Australians in Californian hostels than the western suburbs of Sydney.
You’ll only get any real sense of that acclaimed ‘Down-Home Hospitality’ if you head somewhere many tourists ain’t. That’s not to say avoid the famous cities, but, to state the kindof obvious, your interactions with residents of less-well-known places are more likely to be genuine and worth remembering.
THE HOLLYWOOD MISTAKE
Lots of us might assume we already ‘get’ American culture because of its pervasive influence. But that’s just plain wrong. There’s the flimsy, Hollywood idea of what America is. Then there’s what America’s actually is, which you can’t get much of grip on unless you go out there and experience it. It’s not like visiting an eastern European or a southeast Asian country for the first time, where you can get a lot out of it simply by being there. To get something equivalent out of travelling the States, you need to get beyond the Beverly Hills: 90210 and Miami Vice template. You get something special – and profoundly personal – out of cross-continental travel. Something to write home about, something hard to find about the place you’re at.
DON’T SKIP WESTERN VIRGINIA
Despite the first paragraph – about finding your own way, making your own plans, etc. – I have a few suggestions which you bloody-well should follow. (Take this at face value, as rich in irony, or as evidence of a deep-seated duplicity.) Yosemite National Park has some of the most spectacular views in the world. New York City has to be experienced. And western Virginia is prettiest place you’re ever likely to see. (Disclaimer: an exchange alumnus of the College of William & Mary, proud flagship of Virginia’s public universities, is the author of this piece.)
ERRATA FOR PURCHASERS
If you do buy a car, motorcycle, or other device, try not to leave it in your friend’s garage after you leave, hoping to sell it on Craigslist. This is poor form.
Alistair Sage thinks up new citizenship tests in his spare time. He rode a motorcycle across North America a while back and it’s been mostly downhill since.
BLINDED BY THE BRIGHTS WORDS: HEATHER MCNAB God is dead. Isn’t he? Nietzsche certainly thought so. At the turn of the century, Britain’s Economist magazine was so confident of this fact that it published an obituary for Him in their millennium issue. And religion, God’s faithful, wellworn, and often clumsy tool; wasn’t that meant to have faded away? Maybe so- for more than a century, leading intellectuals declared that their children would see the dawn of a new era in which it would be left behind for good. But it’s still here. Which begs the question: why? It seems that modernity- that heady combination of science, learning and democracy- is religion’s friend. Maybe no one believes any more than they used to, but they certainly talk about it more. Richard Dawkins, arguably the world’s most quoted and well-known atheist has famously declared God a delusion. In the past ten years, we have seen the rise of the New Atheists, and high-profile polemics which direct withering criticisms against every form of religious faith. There is
an anti-God adrenalin, which, after laying dormant through waves of pluralism, relativism and the privatization of belief, is finally having its modern day in the sun. Dawkins is one of many intellectuals who have of late released literature on the topic. Far from dying out, the subject of God has rebounded, and seems to exercise a still significant impact on both public and private spheres. So why are such books still necessary? The most clear answer is that, despite what we might pronounce otherwise, we base our lives upon what we believe. What we think to be true and correct shapes our decisions about the most fundamental things. This is clearly not a new statement. I stand on the shoulders of giants when I say it. It is an obvious truth which often goes unsaid simply because it is so apparent, and yet it is one which has enormous practical consequences. If beliefs are critical to how we think and live and relate to the world around us, then Dawkins is correctunquestionably correct- when he demands that we should not base our lives on delusions. And for Dawkins, the most pervasive delusion on which many base their beliefs is the fact that there is a
God at all. Dawkins does not just consider himself an a-theist, but an anti-theist: it is not only that he believes God does not exist, but he is wholly opposed to the concept, of both the notion of God and the prevalence and impact of religion. And he is not alone. The late Christopher Hitchens, journalist and author of God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything, explained his stance in much the same way: ‘I am, in other words, not one of those unbelievers who wishes that they had faith, or that they could believe. I am, rather, someone who is delighted that there is absolutely no persuasive evidence for the existence of any of mankind’s many thousands of past and present deities.’ Such a stance embodies the writings of Dawkins, Hitchens, neuroscientist Sam Harris (author of The End of Faith), and philosopher Daniel Dennett (author of Breaking the Spell: Religion as Natural Phenomenon). These four make up the core stance of modern unbelief, where the ‘new’ in New Atheism means religion is not just false, but an enemy, of progress, truth and personal freedom. Whilst religion is no longer an obsolescent and obscene subject for debate, it is portrayed as something confining believers to the past, and consigning society to suffer them their beliefs- which
is why Dennett has coined a suggestive moniker for atheists: ‘brights’. Dawkins reiterates, ‘I am utterly fed up with the respect we have been brainwashed into bestowing upon religion’. They are of the opinion that, as Dennett explains ‘There is an asymmetry: atheists in general welcome the most intensive and objective examination of their views, practices and reasons. The
It might surprise you that the other camp agrees. While there is an appearance of humility in the protestation that the truth is much greater than any one of us can grasp, using this to invalidate all claims to a disenable truth it is in fact an arrogant claim to a kind of knowledge which is superior to all others. We cannot avoid weighing spiritual and religious claims by hiding behind the cliché that
EITHER THIS UNIVERSE IS ALL THERE IS, OR IT ISN’T; EITHER THERE IS A GOD, OR THERE ISN’T religious, in contrast, often bristle at the impertinence, the lack of respect, the sacrilege, implied by anybody who wants to investigate their views’. It seems that what the New Atheists want, more than anything, is people to take a long, hard look at what they believe- and why. Harris states ‘There is only one way to respect the substance of any purported God-given moral edict: consider it conscientiously in the full light of reason, using all the evidence at our command’. Whilst the New Atheists clearly think that critical examination will lead even the least discerning to see that God, and therefore religion, is illogical, or even immoral, they nevertheless believe that truth exists that is accessible to the human mind. They accept the law of the excluded middle- either this universe is all there is, or it isn’t; either there is a God, or there isn’t.
‘there’s no way to know the truth’. We must still do the hard work of asking: which affirmations about God, human nature and spiritual reality are true and which are false? We will have to base our life on some answer to that question. But the New Atheists take it further. Harris states that ‘religious faith represents so uncompromising a misuse of the power of our minds that it forms a kind of perverse, cultural singularity- a vanishing point beyond which rational discourse proves impossible’. And so it seems that I- as a Biblebelieving, church-attending Christian- have what the New Atheists are really taking offense at: faith. That ever-present article of belief, a word that has been misused and underestimated in our culture for a very long time. There is a core definition hardwired into the New Atheist world view which claims that religious faith
is, invariably, blind faith. Dawkins puts it simply that faith counts as a ‘form of mental illness’, that it is ‘the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence.’ This simply isn’t true. The very first of the Biblical commandments is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your mind’. God is not to be regarded as an enemy of reason. But this misrepresentation of the nature of faith has been the stance of so many thinkers over the course of history and it is almost assumed in our modern society. Where it seems that science and logic must prove their convictions, faith has no basis on facts or evidence, and cannot be coherently shown to be true. So what is faith? Dawkins has already given us his thoughts. But Christianity holds that faith is basically warranted belief. It has reason. It is based in history, in evidence, and in relationship. It is not leaving behind your rational faculties, a leap in the dark, or simply accepting what you are told without reason. And in the same way, neither should any other conviction. One of the potent results of the atheist tradition is pointing out the myriad idols which clutter society, often unperceived and
unchallenged. It is an admirable thing to dismantle malign forces which are used to serve false ends, and in a Promethean quest to topple the gods, it is more important than ever to understand your beliefs- especially if you think you don’t have any. So I ask that you do exactly what Dawkins thinks I would never do, simply because of my faith. I ask you to follow where the evidence leads. In the polemical language of Dawkins, faith in God certainly is a delusion, if God does not exist. But what if God does exist? Then atheism is the delusion. So the real question to ask is: does God exist? There is a patchwork of ideologies both brightly coloured and deeply felt on both sides of this question. It is clear where I stand- Christians do not claim that their faith gives them absolute knowledge of reality. But I believe that Christianity best explains the world, and that Jesus was the end point where all my questions took me. I have spent the past year wrestling with the idea of modern unbelief and asking myself the very things I am asking of you. We impoverish ourselves and the way we formulate ideas and opinions if they are based on hearsay. There is no tantalizing economy of detail in play here.
So ask yourself that question. Even if we believe with all our minds that life is meaningless, we simply don’t live that way. You base your life on something- so shouldn’t you know what, and why? In an article Dawkins wrote for The Guardian in 2012 entitled ‘Why I Want all our Children to read the King James Bible’, he states ‘Not a bad way to find out what’s in a book is to read it, so I say go to it. But does anybody seriously think they will?’. One of the earliest Christian letters recorded puts it simply: ‘Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’. My conviction is that God is not dead, and faith is not blind- because I know who I put that faith in.
Heather McNab is a tea-loving final year media student who spends her spare time avoiding dairy products and colour coordinating her bookshelves.
INTO THE HEARTLAND 41
Wawiriya Burton, Ngayuku Ngura – My Country, 2012, synthetic polymer paint on linen; © courtesy the artist and Tjala Arts, Amata
WORDS: NICOLA DOWLAND Surviving on a student’s budget, I cannot afford the luxury of touring through South Australia. The blue lake of Mount Gambier, the opal mines of Coober Pedy, and the famed iron tracks of the Ghan must wait until I am older, wiser, and wealthier. In the meantime, it takes just one hour and perhaps two hundred footsteps to travel across South Australia in Heartland, the State Gallery’s new exhibition. Heartland does not limit itself to my clichéd notions of South Australia, nor is it preoccupied with ‘the polarities of outback and city.’ It embraces both the landscape and characteristics of our state. In Heartland, art evokes place, history and community.
Each piece in the exhibition elicits a certain emotional response. I could feel myself being manipulated by the artists, but I did not care. I experienced South Australia through them, and their interpretations of the term Heartland. For me, Heartland was a spiritual journey.
HEARTLAND CONFRONTS ME BEFORE I EVEN DESCEND INTO THE LABYRINTHINE GALLERY
Heartland confronts me before I even descend into the labyrinthine gallery. I glimpse flashes of colour on the north wall of the basement below. Chris De Rosa’s work Artificial Kingdom dominates the gallery foyer. She has carefully coloured and manipulated paper to mimic the beautiful coral she spies during her dives along the coast near Port Elliot. Vivid blues, greens, pinks and reds tantalise me. The paper reef is more vibrant, more detailed than its real-life counterpart. The coral is quite literally larger than life, easily dwarfing a tall man. It is sporadically decorated with sea sponge collected by the artist, which provides a touch of authenticity among the coral façade. South Australia is the only state to be colonised entirely by free settlers and has a rich immigrant culture. De Rosa remembers her Italian grandmothers tatting lace by hand, and incorporates this heritage into Artificial Kingdom through the intricate, lace-like patterns of the paper coral. Artificial Kingdom fascinates: it honours South Australia’s marine life and the artist’s Italian heritage. The works of Heartland are both contemplative – representations of South Australian landscape or history – and poignant, personifying our culture. Artificial Kingdom introduces me to this approach. I feel rather heady, as though I should be wearing a scholar’s cap, as I enter Heartland.
WELCOME TO THE OUTBACK
The first room I encounter belongs to Stewart MacFarlane, a celebrated Adelaide-born artist. MacFarlane’s works
were commissioned specifically for the Heartland exhibition. Though the scenes they depict take place in the heart of South Australia’s outback, their intended home is right here in the gallery. My favourite piece is Transcontinental, a mammoth work in oils spreading across two canvases. In the foreground, dominating the left canvas, stands an Aboriginal girl with beautiful streaky brown hair falling past her shoulders. Her eyes are worried, her lips pursed tight. She looks towards the opposite canvas, suggesting the cause of her distress: the Transcontinental hotel, a foreign building on her land. She cradles a crow in her hands.
I watch the girl for some time. She is about my age, but shoulders a burden beyond my years. I crack the spine of my Heartland catalogue, hoping it can impart some understanding Chris De Rosa, detail: Artificial Kingdom, 2013, inkjet print, etching, pigment st of the piece. I read: ‘The crow acquires a hint of trepidation. I glance up totemic significance… speaking of again and the crow winks at me, the loss and potential recovery of a little reward for deciphering the connection between people, old piece. I wink back, before moving owners and new owners, black and deeper into Heartland. white, humanity and nature, in the James Darling and Lesley loving hands of true custodians.’ Forwood’s installation piece River With relief I realise that to Ocean engulfs the next room. An Transcontinental is a hopeful work, intricate sculpture made of mallee depicting two cultures coming roots and salt, it offers a bird’s together with an understandable eye view of the Murray’s winding
exit towards the ocean along the South Australian coast. The mallee roots that serve as mountains and terrain fit together seamlessly, like a jig-saw puzzle. Soft sea sounds echo around the room, bringing this created terrain to life. The Adelaide Hills are represented on the far right of River to Ocean. I once lived on the edge of this vast work, in Bridgewater, and imagine myself represented by a speck on
outback to ocean. I take a seat on an ottoman, more to rest my overstimulated senses than my tired legs. My relaxed gaze finds Yhonnie Scarce’s piece The Cultivation of Whiteness. The title is taken from Warwick Anderson’s book that details the removal of Aboriginal people from their land and their forced assimilation with white society. Resting on a white shelf wrapped along two sterile, white walls lies a collection of fragile glass bush bananas, a well-known desert fruit important to Scarce’s Aboriginal ancestors. Scarce made the bush bananas by hand at the Jam Factory in Adelaide. After breathing life into each fruit and carefully adding a blue lustre during the kiln process, Scarce used a diamond saw to scar or destroy her work. She then placed the disfigured bananas in scientific beakers, which she bought rather than created herself.
tain on perforated Magnani paper; © courtesy the artist, photo: Grant Hancock
the mallee roots. It makes me feel inconsequential, while also helping me to appreciate the beauty in this fragile river system.
FORLORN BUSH BANANAS
I realise with a jolt that I am already half way through the exhibition, having travelled from
The Cultivation of Whiteness references the medical experiments conducted on Aboriginal people in the 1920s and 1930s, including Scarce’s own family, at the University of Adelaide. These experiments were undertaken with funding and support from the South Australian government. Last year the ViceChancellor officially apologised for the acts of those university researchers.
Scarce’s work enlightened me about Adelaide’s blemished history. I think of the newly completed Ingkarni Wardli building on our North Terrace campus, whose name honours the Kaurna people, the original custodians of the land. Are apologies and gestures enough to reconcile our two peoples? For me, Scarce’s work evokes both Heartland and heartache.
Just as I am questioning Adelaide’s heart and soul, even doubting our future, I am rescued by the Valamanesh family in the next room. While Hossein was born in Iran and immigrated to Adelaide in the 1970s, his wife Angela was born in Port Pirie. Hossein has since embraced South Australian culture and his work has become synonymous with Adelaide. Hossein was one of the first artists approached to contribute to Heartland. I am proud that Adelaide welcomed and nourished such a talented artist. Each member of the Valamanesh family made a contribution, including Hossein and Angela’s teenage son Nassiem. Hossein’s installation incites wonder: a barren tree is suspended upsidedown from the ceiling, literally taking root in Heartland. It slowly rotates, suggesting that a hint of life still remains. The Valamanesh family have made Adelaide their Heartland, their home. That sentiment resonates with me. With renewed enthusiasm I continue forward. I am drawn towards the final piece in Heartland, a large installation by Amy Joy Watson. Oversized white and cream helium balloons hang above head height. They are fastened to a series of pastel coloured balsa wood geometric spheres, with criss-crossing twine holding their fragile frames together. Watson is only twenty-five years old and her work transfixes me. She and her fellows are the next generation of Australian artists. Watson’s ascending work makes me think of grand new horizons. It also reminds me of more innocent days, when I was amazed by playful clowns constructing balloon animals in Rundle Mall. Though it wanders across dusty landscapes and sordid histories, Heartland remains tethered to this state: I leave enriched by South Australia’s culture and history, and hopeful for our future.
Nicola Dowland never met a chocolate she didn’t like.
MINIMUM MOOLAH MUSIC ROSS JOBSON WANTS YOU TO FEAST YOUR EARS ON THESE
44 FOG LAKE – FARTHER REACHES
Do you like to be relaxed and melancholy at the same time? Well I have the artist for you. Farther Reaches starts with the song ‘Words’, slowly easing in to the emotional barrage that is yet to come. Lots of ringing guitars build up, and reverb is out in force. ‘Space Station’ follows this, and is a lot cleaner. Trebly guitars with no verb are backed up by a driving lo-fi drum kit. It is at this point that I notice a lot of great similarities to Cat Power, who I absolutely adore. The ability to go from relaxed and sad to driving and resolute is no easy task. The acoustic ‘Torn-Up Scene’ comes next, with a nice sliding bass backing and quite a ‘small, middle of nowhere town’ feel. The chord progressions and melody have a great feel and make this quite a nice mid album track. ‘Farther Reaches’, the title track, comes next. This is the song that got me on to this album, after hearing it about the internet. It’s got slow and clean guitars, and emotion coming out the wazoo. The vocals are filtered, making them very trebly and adding to the sparse and desolate feel of the song. There is one guitar, eventually joined by a second and some ghostly, almost absent percussive sounds. The track ‘Dead Forever’ is almost not a track at all, but more ringing reverbed chords that span the entire length of the track. It’s a nice palette cleanser. ‘Waking Song’ comes next bringing back the resolve of Space Station. ‘Ghostly’ is one of the most lo-fi tracks on the album, with very obvious and meaningful glitching and clipping of the audio. The album eventually rounds out with ‘Extension Cord’, full of very sparse piano and inaudible vocals, a very eerie and beautiful way to end the album. This is one of my favourite free releases so far, and I cannot recommend it enough. Listen if you like: Cat Power, Feist foglake.bandcamp.com/album/farther-reaches
SITHU AYE – INVENT THE UNIVERSE Invent the Universe is a non-stop instrumental Djent/ progressive metal release from one of the self-made masters of the genre, Sithu Aye.
You are eased into the album with title track ‘Invent the Universe’. Lots of clean and delay ridden guitars are pushed together with orchestral samples and a seething synthesiser, creating a vast soundscape. Glitches start occurring in the guitars and soon the calm before the storm is over. Then you are kicked in the teeth by the driving distorted guitars and erratic drums of Grand Unification. Joined by another master of the genre, David Maxim Micic, Aye moves around the fret-board with near perfect speed and accuracy. The tone of the album is really set from this point on. Expansion has another delayed guitar opening which is ever present behind the shining lead guitars and the album soon flows into ‘Baryogenesis’. This sporadic and disjointed song is one of the most intense and driven songs on the album. Some really cool chord selections keep everything in check as the insanity of the intro dies down. ‘Particles Collide’ flows into the interlude of the album, ‘Nucleosynthesis’. The orchestral samples from the title track return, and some really interesting and positive bouncing lead pad sounds come in. The orchestra continues and folds over itself making for a really epic flow into the last half of the album. The John Petrucci-esque chord selections and rhythmic patterns of Recombination and more negative vibe of Dark Ages create quite a nice feeling. I realise now why Sithu Aye stands amongst some of my favourite prog metal. While some prog metal is perpetually negative and angry, Aye makes a really nice resolute brand of Djent, which is refreshing. ‘Formation’ and ‘Pale Blue Dot’ round out the album. ‘Pale Blue Dot’ is slower and more calculated than many of the songs on the album. A sense of introspection is created, very fitting of the title. The track fades out, and the album is done. Listen if you like: Animals as Leaders, Anup Sastry, Between the Buried and Me sithuayemusic.bandcamp.com/album/inventthe-universe
WARM UP WITH THE ASPARAGUYS ELEANOR LUDINGTON WANTS YOU TO INDULGE ART: DAISY FREEBURN
‘Winter is coming’, or so the Stark family motto goes. Sorry, I just started reading A Game of Thrones, and simply couldn’t resist a sneaky reference. Luckily the Starks are born to cope with cold weather, unluckily I was not. Thus in my 21 years I’ve established a couple of fool proof tactics for handling cold snaps. My favourite way to stay warm is snuggling; ideally with my boyfriend, but when he’s not around I find my great, curly dog Trixie does the trick. My other key tactic is, of course, eating delicious hot and/or comforting food. A great winter favourite is a big mug of Campbell’s tomato soup with some buttered crusty bread (I doubt I’m alone on this, I can sense you all nodding your heads!). My other recent favourite indulgence is sautéed asparagus tartines. Yes, I know asparagus is not a winter vegetable, but I seem to have had it a lot this
winter and I can assure you this snack is truly delicious and oh-so-comforting! It’s so good in fact that it has nurtured in me a loving relationship with asparagus (previously I hated the stuff). If you’re big on seasonality, you could try subbing the asparagus with kale or other winter greens. It won’t have quite the same flavour or texture but I think it would still be pretty yummy! Asparagus and Cream Cheese Tartines (makes enough for several people to have a couple each) Ingredients: 1 bunch of asparagus (ends – not the heads chopped off and thrown in the compost) Butter (or oil) for sautéing 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped 1 tub/block of cream cheese (you won’t use it all, don’t worry!) 1 baguette (or other good quality crusty bread – again, you probably won’t get through all of it) Method: Wash asparagus and chop each stick into thirds or quarters. Melt butter in saucepan and add garlic, fry on lowmedium heat until fragrant (but not burning) Add asparagus and sauté for a few minutes until desired texture is achieved (shorter = crisper, longer = softer) While asparagus is cooking, slice baguette and spread generously (or to your liking) with cream cheese. When asparagus is ready place 1 -2 pieces on each slice of baguette. Voila! Eat and enjoy!
Eleanor studies medicine. More than anything she loves her dog, Trixie. She pretends to have ‘runner’ status, and enjoys baking chocolate-chip biscuits in her spare time.
BY CLARE VOYANT
SCORPIO Upon realising your savings account contains $13.42, you will discover a passion for soap-making involving amalgamating all the last gummy bits in the shower with a hairdryer. Clever.
LIBRA In a tragic pre-spring cleaning incident, all of your knitwear will fall on you at once and smother you. A quickthinking family pet will seek help, but recovery will take a number of weeks.
GEMINI Your parents demand you clean out all the Year 8 ‘artwork’, etc you left in your old room. You’ll rediscover that lost No Doubt and Hanson cassette collection and life will have meaning again.
SAGITTARIUS Is it just you, or is your housemate going out of their way to have aggressively loud sex? This question will prompt you to begin a survey researching mapping out common volume levels during climax.
AQUARIUS In a Vernon Dursley-esque bid to alienate yourself from the everapproaching federal election, you nail your letterbox shut. Your housemate will demand to know why they are no longer receiving their regular ‘Innovations!’ lifestyle catalogue.
ARIES I’ve told you before, and I’ll tell you again: a ‘humorous’ Game of Thrones themed tattoo on your neck is just a really bad idea. If you don’t calm yourself down, I will call your mother.
PISCES Whilst shopping for basic subsistence, you will recognise and wave at someone you will later realise you only know because you had stalked them online previously. We’ve all been there.
CAPRICORN In a bid to finally secure gainful employment, you employ the age-old fall back of lying profusely throughout your CV. This will be surprisingly successful, but your employer will think you have a valid bobcat license.
LEO Accidently choking on a brazil nut during a tute will result in a newfound status as the Class Weirdo. At least the Friday night movie is decent this week. Maybe buy some cask wine.
TAURUS After being left alone for a weekend, you will proceed to reappropriate every copy of the City Messenger in your vicinity and construct a flimsy yet surprisingly well insulated fort.
VIRGO After hearing of the existence of the cronut, you immediately travel to Norwood and buy seven. You’ll throw up twice, but it’ll feel like a victory. Embrace it.
CANCER You will decide to invest in a $7 movie ticket on Tuesday and spend the entire film loudly tearing open packets and narrating the unfolding plotline to your fellow cinema goers.
SPOT THE VERY SMALL DIFFERENCES There are eight differences in total.
ART: DAISY FREEBURN
STUDENT ELECTION BINGO Cross off each square as you see or do it in during election week. Once you get 5 in a
row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally), bring the bingo card into the On Dit office, or scan and email it to email@example.com. We’ll give the first one to get bingo a lollipop. Also, vote. Candidate promises you Beer, Bands or BBQs
Your lecture is ‘bashed’ by campaigners
See a lurid campaign shirt
See a sunburnt candidate
Receive a Facebook message asking for your vote
Read the election broadsheet
Find someone hiding from campaigners in the Hub
Candidate told off for entering polling booth
Someone claims to be a UniSA student
Get a text message reminding you to vote
See exhausted candidates looking exhausted
See two candidates arguing over something pointless
See a candidate smoking on campus
Collect 5 different how to vote cards
Find a typo on a how to vote card
Get through Get confused Find a typo Find a the Barr by the pile on an election discarded ‘I’ve Smith Lawns of ballot banner voted’ sticker without being papers you get spoken to handed See someone wearing multiple ‘I’ve voted’ stickers
Hear a three word slogan
Hug a candidate
See a human sized mascot
SHAKESPEAREAN INSULT QUIZ Which of the following are actual shakespearean insults that appeared in actual 1. Thou beslubbering hasty-witted jolt-head! 2. Thou lilly-livered mudpile! 3. Thou stumpy impish wolf-faced troll! 4. Thou lumpish unwash’d harpy! 5. Thou mountain of mad flesh!
6. Thou halfwit unwound porcupine! 7. Thou bootless full-gorged measle! 8. Thou mad mustachio purple-hued maltworms! 9. Thou goatish earth-vexing hedge-pig! 10. Thou dumpy steaming half-fox!
shakespearean plays, by Shakespeare, and which ones did we just make up?
Shakespeare: 1,4 , 5, 7, 8, 9 Made up: 2, 3, 6, 10
See a candidate drinking alcohol on campus
AN OPEN LETTER TO... ART: DAISY FREEBURN
48 Dear cafés who don’t sell deliciously fresh cake and pastries, I hate you. At a time in my life when I needed cake the most, I discovered a large number of cafés think it is okay to sell stale cake. Who’d have guessed? I was in year 12, I was highly stressed, I was feeling depressed over the closure of Hudsons and Borders and I had an insatiable hunger for chocolate cake. My survival that year was absolutely dependent on the constant feeding of my addiction to coffee and cake, and when my two favourite cafés closed down, I had to search elsewhere. Based on proximity, my options were pretty lean – Gloria Jeans or David Jones Food Court. Now let me tell you, I’d rather go without than give my money to Gloria Jeans, and there really isn’t a student in the world who can afford the cake at David Jones. Alas, my search for the perfect city serving of coffee and cake has taken me to every far reaching corner of the city.
some new stuff for the morning. Don’t you value your customer’s happiness? And then one day Signature walked into my life. This place is serious. The cakes are all French-tasting (that’s a technical term) and the coffees have froth art. FROTH ART?! I don’t know where this place came from, and I don’t know how long it will stay in such a convenient location, but it is now has a permanent place in my heart... er, belly. And did I mention BTS Café? Do gourmet cupcakes take your fancy at all? Of course they do. All café owners should take a serious look BTS, because this place knows what we want: fresh, fluffy gourmet cupcakes baked daily. I have never had a stake cupcake from this place and never expect to. If I do, I’ll tell you.
My first encounter with unforgiving bad cake was with a deceivingly delicious looking cookies and cream McCheesecake. I still remember how great it looked; all that crumbly Oreo goodness on top of a soft, permeable, tantalisingly smooth base. Wrong. WRONG, OKAY. Want to know I really ate? A week old defrosted mound of sugar with some damp cookies thrown on top. It was foul, and I felt cheated. Seriously, how many days can a café leave their goods in the display cabinet? A day? A week? A really long time? Old croissants, hard cookies, stake chocolate cake, dry muffins, sticky tarts, soggy macaroons, bland cupcakes, condensation slicked cheesecake. You name it, I’ve eaten it. I mean, I’ve been to a lot of cafés. I’d have to have spent hundreds of dollars on coffee and cake in the past three and a bit years of my search, and I’m infuriated to think how many of those dollars were wasted on stale cake. Why can’t cafés just sell fresh cake? It’s not so very hard. There’s a trick to it: at the end of the day, give your hard working employees those last couple of left over raspberry and white choc chip muffins and order
I would just like to say a big thank you to every café I have ever been to that has sold me fresh cakes and pastries. You’ve made me happier than you could ever know. And to those who haven’t... I’ve told all my friends about you. You’re on my list, and there ain’t no amount of microwaving or dollops of whipped cream that’s going to get you off.
Sincerely, Sharmonie Cockayne
Inside: ELECTIONS ELECTIONS ELECTIONS (plus info on HumSS cuts, New Atheism, and travelling America).