F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was my first window to how life is in the West PAGE 28 Delignis alique a cusam volecte ndundande re sa poresci enihic tendi An Ally is a volunteer, staff or student, from the Western Sydney University community who is committed to cultural change and who provides support to LGBTIQ community members at the University PAGE 9 dolor reptium que iliquam, in porporum, officid endandio. Agnatur? Ugit ut labo. Nequis earunti dicta voluptusto vollenis et How can a government say it has domestic violence on the agenda, when it is stripping funding from the frontline services? PAGE 16 eictur, natur reculpa doluptas assitem oluptium consequam quunt vel maios re ea num as poremo quas et expe core quaepel iaernatur, offictur molo omnisti berestium nam earchil If you have received a parking fine and would like to challenge it, the first step is to request a review through the Office of State Revenue PAGE 30 evellam, vellupt aquatus, sim dem re, tes esciis quam, cus. Omnis vel et et aut quatur? Ecepere stiscit, enim quatur? Catum que nimilit odi optate laborecus, quia dus ipidio ide et que On a global scale, 62 individuals now hold the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the population PAGE 17 vellis alicatiis plita sima volorum, eos nesciaere, que consequ idusda se et voluptiunt. Ibus quas et et ommo officiliquid earumquia diorem qui init eum, everrum sintiorum velis es ipsam id eatinum nonsequaepra sentio eatecererum, qui totam niendae eos ut dolorro omnis eossunto optaspis ditiis ut volorep udiciet pa preptaquiae ISSUE 2 | WINTER 2016
voluptus aute expliquibere dessequi tet lab int re, erio Many young people who travel from developing countries to developed countries in the name of higher education, end up becoming subsidised labor for employers who are experts in exploitation PAGE 25 ea vernat aces con eat. Qui dolore endebit, electo qui nus asi tet hiliciis dem eic te nessinc ilique volorerunte earciendae sapedia alia nonse plibustrum rero to corporrovit The “pink collar” jobs, caring professions that have been deemed women’s jobs, are less valuable – worth less money and less status PAGE 14 lamusdae nulla eum estis dolupta tatur, ne venitem necus simus et laut eos aciis et, qui coruptae volupta simperibus et, sit prerum ipid qui cusam aliaero ium ut enimincto optatibus ex You probably don’t know that Western Sydney Uni has Women’s Rooms, so you probably also don’t know that it has two rooms in multi-faith centres PAGE 15 everum auta dolorem faciistinci testi nonestendi consequi si as namus mos esequam eicimin et int fugitatis cum inctur, ini a voluptatur? Berum estrumque deliti ut laces natiatqui odi quam Your buttocks and thighs tend to accumulate the most pain after endless hours of study and work, so concentrate on getting your massages in those areas. The more pressure the better PAGE 39 alit lam in raerro coriorit accuptas volupta qui natem nest parum faci non re a pelis aboreribus enima dolorenis doluptam soloreria vendunt ea cusam nus maximusa velenih ilicipsanda delenienda doluptatur sit porem eum natectur simustrum quaeped exceperatur, quae minctis dolori doluptatia sed eossi atescia
WRITE FOR US Send us your stories, artwork, blurbs, photos, articles, reportage, rants, poems, fiction, recipes, good news, not good news and pet photos. SUBMISSIONS: WSUP@westernsydney.edu.au ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: WSUP@westernsydney.edu.au website: WSUP.news facebook: WSUPnews twitter: WSUPnews
EDITORS Ian Escandor, Beau Dunne, Melissa Swann, Hikmat Al-Malliki, Jodie Sale, Nicole Gismondo
image by Helen Ryan: This is an Indigenous symbol for community
W’SUP acknowledges the country and People of the Dharug, Wiradjuri, Gandangarra and Tharawal Nations and acknowledges their ancestors who have been Traditional Owners of their country for thousands of years. W’SUP pays respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.
CONTENTS student representatives 8 10
RESPECT. NOW. ALWAYS.
Hawkesbury and Parramatta SCC updates
campus 13 recycling at Kingswood 14 Women’s economic empowerment 15
Women’s rooms in multi-faith spaces ? 16 17 18
Federal election Q & A
who really runs the world ? vox pops: W’SUP asks w’sup
news 20 21
lock-out laws demo
Nepal’s GLBTIQ+ community and social media 22
the future of journalism
emotion is okay
poetry horoscopes love guru
A note from the Editors… Jake Moody
What does it stand for, who knows ? Western Sydney University Paper, or Western Students’ University Paper? Btw we’re one editor short of six, so watch out (maybe like us on Facebook?) we’ll be looking for EOIs soon! Announcing the winners of the W’SUP Writing Prize for the Autumn Edition: Winnie Dunn for “Cognitive Dissonance” and Mitchell Flack for “Is a Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?” Thank you to everyone who sent in a logo. The winning logo is by Aya Mourad, on the cover.
While the CrUWSible had its time at our university and we were mostly sad to see it go, I think the chance to rename was a chance to tap into student sentiment at the university. I like the W’SUP name because it fits with the vibe at the university and within the region. We had many different Facebook and email submissions for the same name. Even in the weeks since the first edition went out we have received resoundingly positive anecdotal feedback (with some people still grouching about the rebrand generally). We also had some great logo suggestions, and the one we eventually chose, I think, is simple and stands out – so thanks to Aya Mourad for that. Overall I am really excited for the future of the W’SUP, and the upcoming Diversity Fest Edition. A little about me: I am a third year Law/International Studies student at Parramatta campus. I am also Clubs Representative on Parramatta SCC, and President of Western Sydney Women’s Collective. I’m passionate about W’SUP because I believe in student engagement at Western Sydney University, and I think writing is one of the best ways to facilitate the student voice. I am behind the Campus Health Checks, this editorial, and a few critique pieces about our university. I’ll be trying to put together a clubs section for Diversity Fest; make sure to get your articles in! P.S. At time of writing our Facebook page has nearly 1,000 Facebook likes… plz like us!
Fourth year communications and international studies student Beau Dunne, has been working with the W’SUP editorial team since the end of 2015. A resident of Katoomba, Beau has many accolades to his name which he will not list here, because he believes his life revolves around the student paper. Beau is also excellent at, and well versed in, the contemporary methods of sarcasm which are increasingly important for every social situation. When the university changed its name in 2015 from the University of Western Sydney to Western Sydney University the student newspaper faced a choice. The choice was to either keep the newspaper’s name at the time - crUWSible - or to change the name so that it was no longer a direct reflection of the old name of the university. In a process which invited all students to contribute to renaming the student paper, one name stuck out and was suggested by multiple people - W’SUP. The Western Sydney University Paper (W’SUP), has now chosen a new logo, and will be bringing you 2 more editions this year, including a diversity fest special edition. Please like us on Facebook and Youtube, and we will keep you updated with all the news relevant to you.
â€™SUP Erika Louangamat
Wazzzzzzuuppppp! The unofficial greeting of the 90's kid and now the name of your favourite news source on campus. But why, WSUP? Other than it being a clever acronym, it was voted most popular amongst a string of other names submitted to the news mag. Thank you to Jisna Saji and Jude Everingham for suggesting the name. Thank you peoples, great minds do think alike. And because listening to the voice of the people worked so well, we put it to the cohort to design and choose the new logo. The logo voted most popular is the very same located on the cover. Many thanks to Aya Mourad for designing the logo. The $20 million name change from UWS to WSU (unofficial acronym as it is) has compelled us to, at least, consider a name change. However, much like the blue bird, the CrUWSible will not be forgotten. All past articles will be archived on our online platform. I have also kept a couple of hardcopies stashed in my room, in the hope they increase in value like old school comic books. Fingers crossed. In the spirit of change, allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is Ian. I am one-sixth of the WSUP editorial board. I mainly contribute items about recent protests, campus-led campaigns, and diehard puzzles. With that being said, I am only one person doing full-time study with a full-time job, and it becomes difficult staying up to date with each of your stories across the university. Please contribute your stories to the magazine, and thanks for those who have continually done so. All the best in your new semester! Adios!
When we decided we needed to update the name and logo, it was pretty easy to decide that we were going to ask other students. The new name should reflect them, and it should come from them - we all know that leaving students out of changes like this doesn't sit well. It's our university after all. I like the new name because it's casual, there's no pretension or stuffiness which I think suits our university really well. It's fun to say and it's not entirely serious or formal. As for me, I'm in the last year of Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English. I work with poetry a lot so I've taken on the poetry section of the newspaper, and I've been dipping into the design a little bit. Both have been great so far.
I have completed Graduate Certificate Marketing at WSU, currently completing Master of Business Administration at Parramatta City campus. I study and work full-time and whilst I really wanted to get involved in various extra-curricular activities I had to decide which activity was my preference and I really liked the idea of getting involved in a medium that was focused on the thoughts and ideas of WSU students. I was really pleased that the new editorial team wanted to rename the magazine as it seemed timely with the re-branding of WSU and it was great to open it up to the students to decide on the name and logo. I think the new name is contemporary and clever.
Campus Health Checks brought to you by your Student Councils By Nicole Gismondo
BANKSTOWN Campus Council Office: 1.1.210 Student Kitchenette: 1.G.18, 23.1.17 Women’s Room: 1.1.211
CAMPBELLTOWN Campus Council Office: 4.G.10A Student Kitchenette: 4.G.10 (access through 4.G.09) Women’s Room: 2.2.05 (inside the multi-faith space) Queer Room: 4.G.07 Parents Room: 21.G.39, 4.G.02, 30.G.204 Muslim Prayer Rooms: 2.2.02 Prayer & Meditation Facilities: 2.2.07 Parking: Exams and winter break should be ok Public Transport/Shuttles: Train to Macarthur (not Campbelltown) then walk or get the shuttle, if you live in the far West, consider driving as a far better option than 2+ hours of public transport Current Construction: a lot of refurbishment, half of the campus is becoming a housing development Best Coffee: Bobbies Cafe Best Lunch: Jamaica Blue (expensive) or just trek it to Mac Square
Queer Room: 1.1.212 Parents Room: 1.G.07
Muslim Prayer Rooms: 10.G.19 (Female), 10.G.20 (Male)
Campus Council Office: Stable Square K4.G.82
Prayer & Meditation Facilities: 10.G.13
Student Kitchenette: G1.G.46A in the Learning Commons, M3.G.02, H7.G.02, K4.1.14
Parking: No issues, it’s Bankstown Public Transport/Shuttles: Get to Liverpool/Bankstown/Strathfield on a train – M90 Bus every 15ish min, OR get to Revesby on a train, and wait for the shuttle, allow at least 30min to get to uni from the station. If you live in the far West, consider driving as a far better option than 2+ hours of public transport. issues; it’s Bankstown Future Construction: Second exit from the carparks to come! New coffee shop to come. Best Coffee: Café in Building 1 or Café in Building 20 if you’re close Best Lunch: Also café in Building 1 or trek it to Ashford Ave Gym: Building 18
Women’s Room: K4.G.79 Queer Room: K4.G.74 Parents Room: K4.G.20 Muslim Prayer Rooms: P22.G.02 Prayer & Meditation Facilities: P23.G.01 Parking: Next to G block for lectures, not on the grass (snakes). Exams and winter break should be ok. Construction: None Best Coffee: Shae at Jamaica Blue Best Lunch: Jamaica Blue Gym: K27
WHAT IS A QUEER SPACE ? The University provides safe spaces specifically for staff and students identifying as LGBTIQ and their straight Allies, on our main campuses. These rooms are called Queer Spaces or Rooms and are provided by the University to nurture Western’s LGBTIQ community through provision of resources and a place to meet, discuss and support each other.
PARRAMATTA Campus Council Office: EA.G.35 Student Kitchenette: EG.G.07 (access through the Hub or back of Hub) Women’s Room: EB.G.16 Queer Room: EA.G.37 Parents Room: EN.LG.23 (on the silent bottom floor of the library) Muslim Prayer Rooms: EA.LG.14A (female) EA.LG.14B (male) Prayer & Meditation Facilities: EF.G.07 - Jacob’s Well – excellent quiet place to study. Parking: Exams and the winter break are generally ‘ok,’ possible issues in the middle of the day Mon to Thurs only during exams. The winter break is usually sweet. Public Transport/Shuttle: Train to Parramatta – then M52, 525, 524, 523, 521 (Do not get 545, it goes past North Only), more unlikely manage to get a train to Rydalmere and Walk. The walk from Parramatta station is along the river and takes 30min on a good day. There is one university shuttle bus, but it goes only every half hour and is generally packed. Shuttles to North Campus generally happen every 10min, but if you miss it – walk, it’s the same time as the wait. Current Construction: New Science Facility EHa on South Campus, blocking access past the Auditorium and School of Business, 1 PSQ in Parramatta CBD, new Chinese Art Gallery in EA. Best Coffee: Bernie at the Bakehouse, Oliver Brown (expensive) Best Lunch: Upmarket - Boilerhouse, also Bakehouse, or trek it back to Parramatta CBD Gym: Outside *ugh* near shuttle bus stop on the oval
PENRITH Campus Council Office: N.G.30 Student Kitchenette: K.1.64, K.2.01, P.G.01, WS-BN.G.01 Women’s Room: H.G.03A entry via H.G.03 (the male prayer room entrance!) Queer Room: N.G.03 Parents Room: I.05.D Muslim Prayer Rooms: H.G.04 (male), H.G.04A (female) Prayer & Meditation Facilities: H.G.10 Parking: It’s Penrith, and exams, shouldn’t have too much trouble. Public Transport/Shuttles: Long walk from Kingswood station but doable. Otherwise the shuttle comes often enough, but be careful it doesn’t go to Werrington South First. Shuttles don’t run Sundays. Current Construction: New pavilion food area underway, Werrington South on the way out. Best Coffee: Piccolo Me Best Lunch: Piccolo Me Gym: Building L Compiled by Nicole Gismondo W’SUP Editor, Women’s Officer, Clubs Representative, Parramatta SCC
WHAT IS THE WOMEN’S ROOM ? The Women's Room is a safe and friendly place provided by the University, for female identifying staff and students to rest, reflect, discuss, network and study. The Women’s Room also has information available regarding women’s services on campus and in the community.
RESPECT. NOW. ALWAYS. update
By Marija Yelavich, Parramatta Student Campus Council
On Friday May 27, the Parramatta Campus Council hosted a free student movie screening of the short film, The Hunting Ground. The film is a controversial documentary that explores the culture of sexual assault on American university campuses. The movie was used to begin discussions and inspire students to show their support for a safer Western Sydney University. The primary purpose of the film is summed neatly in a single line: “What happened to these people [the rape] was bad, but how they were treated when they tried to report it, was worse.”
- The University will be engaging in a survey that seeks to collect statistics about sexual assault and harassment on campus. When you get the email or call, please take the time to participate. - If you have ever felt uncomfortable or unsafe on campus and you feel as if your complaint was not taken seriously, please submit an online Complaints Form which you can find on our University website or in the PSCC Office, EA.G.35. Speak out and let your voice be heard. Student of B Social Work (Honours), Kylie Henman: This campaign seems to be aimed at starting a conversation that has long been seen as a taboo in our society. I firmly believe that in order for us to empower victims (past and future) we need to speak out against perpetrators, we need to remove the shame and victim blaming that surrounds the issue. Let’s start some open dialogue and engage in: Respect. Now. Always.
The movie screening is part of an on-going University-wide campaign: RESPECT. NOW. ALWAYS This campaign seeks to engage and empower the University community about respectful relationships and safe campuses. The campaign seeks to raise awareness amongst University staff and students that sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable. Most importantly, the campaign is to highlight and provide clear pathways for those who need the support.
Student of B Laws and B International Studies with B Critical Thinking and Leadership, Marija Yelavich: This campaign isn’t just about me…and it’s not about you either. It’s about everyone: standing up for those who have been a victim and not felt safe or strong enough to say something. It’s about providing a safe and judgment-free environment to our friends and family members. It’s about showing our future sons and daughters that this is not okay, and violence and sexual abuse is not normal. The statistics show that you or someone you know will or has been a victim to sexual violence and/or harassment. Don’t sit here in silence and don’t let them suffer in silence. LEARN about how you can support them. LEARN about how you can support yourself. Let us create a Western Sydney University culture of empowerment and respect.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? 1 in 3 females in Australia will experience physical violence. 1 in 5 females in Australia will experience sexual assault. 2 in 5 females will NOT report it. 1 in 6 males in Australia will experience sexual assault. HOW DO YOU JOIN? Hashtag #respectnowalways LIKE the Parramatta SCC Facebook page. DROP in to talk to our Parramatta SCC team in EA.G.35 Visit the Students Welfare Office in EF START talking about the importance of a safe campus JOIN the University and your Parramatta SCC at our upcoming events in Spring!
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.westernsydney.edu.au/wellbeing_ mentalhealth/wbmh/promoting_health/sexual_ assault -Students who need immediate support are encouraged to call: Campus Safety & Security - 1300 737 003 (24 hours) University Counselling Service - 02 9852 5199 (business hours) Emergency Services - 000 (24 hours)
- We will be hosting regular sessions that provide safe and private spaces for students to discuss the issue and gain access to support material that may help them. - Another screening will be hosted in case you missed out! 8
student representatives An Ally is a volunteer (staff or student) from the Western Sydney University community who is committed to cultural change and who provides support to LGBTIQ community members at the University.
What is an Ally ? By Marija Yelavich
University Allies: -can be identified by the display of an official Ally sticker or Ally pin; -provide a welcoming and confidential ‘safe zone’ for LGBTIQ staff and students; -demonstrate leadership in the areas of respect and inclusion for LGBTIQ staff and students; -practice respectful, accepting and non-homophobic language and behaviour that is in keeping with our policy work towards increasing the acceptance of diverse sexualities and genders; -develop and promote a greater understanding of the LGBTIQ community; -promote a community that includes and embraces diverse sexualities and gender; -work to dismantle homophobia and heterosexism; -commit to making positive changes within the University; and attend Ally Network meetings. MEET YOUR PARRAMATTA CAMPUS STUDENT ALLY: Christine Cardona and Marija Yelavich Marija is a fourth year student studying B Laws and B International Studies, with B Critical Thinking and Leadership. She has been an active student representative since 2013 and is committed to creating a safer University environment for all students. Visit Marija in the PSCC Office in EA.G.35 Christine is an Economics and Law student at WSU and also the Queer Officer and Women’s Officer at Campbelltown campus. Christine became an ALLY because it was a way that she could further assist fellow LGBTIQ+ students settle in at WSU by removing the isolation and help them feel visible and welcome. The ALLY network strives to accomplish this by promoting a greater understanding of diverse genders and sexualities and inclusion of LGBTIQ+ students and staff at WSU. Both Christine and Marija completed the ALLY Training in May 2016. All students are welcome to read more about ALLY in the Parramatta Student Campus Office in EA.G.35. The room now features an ALLY Wall Glossary that aims to educate students and staff. Also, in EA.G.33, everyone is welcome to the safe space: Queer Space that aims to provide a communal area of support. Find out more: www.uws.edu.au/equity_diversity/ equity_and_diversity/sexuality_and_gender_diversity/ ally_network/ally_contact_details 9
parramatta Student Council update 2016 started with all the motivation and enthusiasm of the newly elected and continuing reps. PSCC had some pending business handed over from the previous council and some new ideas and issues to deal with in this tenure. This year we have some experienced people like Marija, Brendon and Michael and some new members like Ash and me at council. So far this year we had 4 formal Campus Council meetings and some informal meetings, one of which was event planning. The first meeting was held in January at which the main agenda was election of executive positions and looking at the activities of the previous council in regards to pending business. Election outcomes: i) Michael Wright (Chairman) ii) Aishwariya S. (Vice-Chair) iii) Gerard McGookin (Secretary) iv) Jawad A. Rana (SRC Representative) v) Aishwariya S. (SRC Representative) This January meeting was more of looking at last year’s pending business. This included some pending budget approvals regarding merchandising, the parking campaign, text book campaign and Women’s Room standards. In the second meeting of PSCC Michael was elected Chair of SRC and Ash was elected secretary of SRC which was another success of PSCC for this year, to have two executive positions at SRC. An extensive training session was conducted by Student Voice officer in the start of this year which included special training for the executive position holders. We had a complete Council after our fourth meeting, in which we elected unfilled general member and residential member positions by vote. As a result of the increased focus on non-voting portfolios we elected one member in the same meeting who was willing to run the non-voting environmental portfolio. Orientation Week and Student Services Fair was relatively successful and our focus is to increase the reps’ participation at stalls in future. Promotion of CRUWSIBLE has always been an activity of reps which was also exhibited by handing over copies of cruwsible at stalls during orientation week and Student Services Fair.
Talking about campaigns, the parking campaign had nearly 700 signatures last year so now we are taking it to the next level and will talk to the Provost. A discussion forum and a peaceful protest in this regard are also under discussion at council. Text book campaign is under discussion and 10% store occupancy for second hand books has been indicated by the management which is yet to be finalized. Taking care of the small kitchenette at The Hub comes under PSCC tasks. A new dispenser has been installed and we are working on a roster of reps regarding catering and keeping the place at acceptable levels. In a recent meeting we also decided to do a stock take of existing goods and plan further replenishments. For a roster we are looking at semester two so all reps would have their timetable. The PSCC office hours roster will also be finalized after timetabling of semester two. Earlier this year Marija was recognized as the ALLY rep for students and we have an ALLY wall in our PSCC office filled with basic information to bring understanding and equality. The Hunting Ground project is running successfully so far and its free night event on 27 May proved to be effective and served to make this campaign a major campaign at PSCC. A major focus has been placed on the visibility of PSCC and reps. Ash indicated a need for badges/ lanyards for SCC members from the first meeting of this year. Even after Orientation Week we have the potential to increase our visibility. The photo posters are nearly done and another suggestion was for faces around the university with our email address and office hours. Tee shirts with SCC logos are also ordered which will increase the visibility of campus council. Participation at other student bodies such as Council of Australian Postgraduate Associate (CAPA), National Union of Students (NUS) and Council of International Students Association (CISA) is considered and reviewed but affiliations are yet to be finalized. That’s a glimpse of activities underway at PSCC for this year so far. There are certain other things under consideration and review that will be actioned later. Good luck to PSCC and reps for the rest of the year.
Jawad Akram Rana
Parramatta Student Campus Council Student Representative Council
Hawkesbury Student Council update
diversity fest writers needed who do you love ? why are we here ? what can we share ? where is your heart ?
Send your words to wâ€™sup by august 23 Congratulations on finishing your first term everyone! The HSCC ran quite a few events last term, hopefully you all attended. Our Stress Less Day in week 14 went down great. We had mini donuts, massages, a petting zoo, face painting, along with flavoured tea and ice tea. Thanks to everyone who attended. We are currently organising our events for next term so make sure you check it out! Come talk to is in K4.G.82; we have some lollies and coffee and you can bring up any issues with the uni you think we should know. Also make sure you check out our scavenger hunt which we will be running next term. We will have prizes for winners! So anything odd or you think not a lot of people may know about on campus take note of it, they may be involved! Hope everyone is ready to get into the new term!
Chair | Hawkesbury Student Campus Council Member | Student Representative Council
DIVERSITY FEST IS CELEBRATED ACROSS ALL CAMPUSES SEPTEMBER 19-23 WITH MUSIC, FOOD, STALLS, PERFORMANCES, TALKS, ART, WORDS, DEMOS. BE A PART OF IT. CONTACT DIVERSITYFEST@WESTERNSYDNEY. EDU.AU
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Recycling at Kingswood By Meredith Maihi
As the population is growing, more wood pulp is needed to meet the demand for paper. As wood pulp comes from trees, this can result in the loss of valued ecosystems and habitats. If recycling paper becomes a behaviour at WSU Kingswood we are directly benefitting the environment. Using recycled paper to produce new paper reduces the number of trees cut down for wood pulp, conserving natural resources. By repurposing waste paper, waste disposal is reduced. The savings to the environment are at least 30,000L of water (which would have been used for wood pulping), 3000-4000kW of energy and up to 95% of air pollution for every one tonne used for recycling paper. Recycling paper also produces minor pollutants to the air and water as compared to making virgin paper. Also, if the paper is of a high quality, it can be recycled up to seven times before losing its strong fibres. The solution is simple. Placing accessible and convenient paper/cardboard recycling bins within the library, selected tutorial rooms and lecture theatres at the WSU Kingswood Campus can turn paper recycling attitudes into an ongoing behaviour. Placing them close to general waste bins will encourage this ongoing behaviour, as students are not going out of their way to find a place to recycle their paper/cardboard as it is convenient for them.
Every piece of paper you recycle is directly benefitting the environment. Find the petition on change.org.
Social and Community Workers Western Sydney talk about women’s economic empowerment By Lauren Stanley “Gender equality isn’t a women’s issue. It’s a social and economic problem affecting us all” states the NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS) in its A New Year for Women discussion paper. NCOSS has designed a campaign called A New Year for Women, which focuses on the economic disadvantage felt by women and girls, and its cumulative effects. Through addressing the structural and social causes of economic disempowerment, and attempting to ameliorate its effects, NCOSS is pushing the issue of gender inequality in Australia to the forefront of the state agenda. According to the discussion paper economic empowerment reduces barriers to actions such as leaving violent relationships, decreases vulnerability to homelessness, and increases housing security. A part of this campaign involves a series of view-collecting round table discussion sessions, where women of all ages, and from all groups gather to examine the questions that NCOSS has posed. All the questions relate around economic empowerment; such as your personal definition of such, and whether you believe it’s achievable for you. I am attending the ‘Young Women’s Panel’ in a matter of weeks. So that I could go to this panel armed with the views and experiences of my peers, as well as my own, ‘Social and Community Workers Western Sydney’ (SCWWS) hosted a pre-discussion round table event on Friday May 13th, in the Learning Commons at Parramatta campus. Our event consisted of a small turn out of passionate women, with a plethora of experiences to bring to the literal and figurative table. For these ladies economic empowerment meant being financially literate and independent, it meant not being economically valued based on whether you had children or not, and it meant housing security. The economic aspirations mentioned were not lavish; they consisted of being comfortable, being in secure housing, and being able to actually retire – all of which are less easily achievable for women than men. The major concerns that were raised seem off-topic from a conversation about economic empowerment, but they are linked in a far too significant way. Education for men and boys was top
priority; there was not a woman on the table that felt like men truly empathised about how it felt to walk through your world feeling unsafe in so many places. Ideas mentioned around women’s bodies being property feed into this so thoroughly: women fear the common spaces (like car parks, night time streets) because our bodies still somehow don’t belong to us. This in turn plays a significant part in economic empowerment. Women are valued less in the workplace after they have had children, but are viewed as deviant if they remain childless; our body somehow defines our economic value. This devaluing of women in the workplace feeds into assumptions that the “pink collar” jobs (caring professions that have been deemed women’s jobs) are less valuable – worth less money, and less esteem. All these factors affect women so greatly. The pay gap is not just the actual reduced turnover of money, it is the lesser superannuation that that garners, the casualisation and part time nature of ‘women’s’ jobs, and the lack of financial literacy. Another issue of high concern to the table was ‘at risk’ groups of women: those that have migrated, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, lower socio-economic contexts, women from the queer community, indigenous women, and refugees. All that has been mentioned above should be tailored so that it fits the entire intersection of women, not just those who have access to resources, and education; all women need to be included. The overarching theme of the conversations was always education, education, education. Financial literacy, ideas around consent, around healthy relationships, inclusive sexual education (not just heteronormative), not socialising children into their gender norms in the education system, and teaching boys about the experiences and feelings of women as they attempt to navigate the wholly male space that is our towns, cities, and homes. The government needs to put its money where its mouth is, and take a good, hard look at the very real gender inequality issue in Australia. SCWWS will be holding a follow up event in order to disseminate the information that was uncovered during the NCOSS round table events. If you liked the sound of this event, then keep your eyes out for the advertising for that one – this time it will be inclusive of all gender identifications, and not just for those who identify as a woman.
Lauren Nicholls Events and Communication Coordinator, SCWWS | Parramatta Representative, Western Sydney Women’s Collective | Student Representative, Parramatta Student Campus Council | Student Representative, Academy Advisory Committee 14
Women’s Rooms in the Multi-Faith Spaces: An Alienating decision By Nicole Gismondo You probably don't know that Western Sydney Uni has Women's Rooms, so you probably also don't know that it has two rooms in multi-faith centres. These rooms are autonomous safe spaces for female-identifying students to use. I recently visited the Penrith room, it's right outside the male Islamic prayer rooms. While there I was extensively quizzed on why I was there, despite the sign on the door saying Women’s Room. While this was an experience that I was able to move beyond, it was an experience that should not have happened, and given the location, was probably waiting to happen. The mere fact that the female prayer room is accessed through the other side of the building exemplifies the concerns here, it does seem entirely odd that I would feel the need to be anywhere near the male Islamic prayer rooms, as I am neither Islamic nor a man. Alas, the room is where it is, so I get quizzed on being there, and unintentionally interrupt someone simply trying to practice their religion. This should not be ok on either front. Penrith is not the only campus, it is joined by Campbelltown with slightly different issues in that is is used but seemingly exclusively by religious students, with rubbish being left in the room daily. Clearly this is also a conflict of interest for the room to be located here, as it alienates non-religious women. Most interestingly, the Board of Trustees minutes from 2011 when the rooms were implemented, state that the executive would “pursue suitable accommodation” for these rooms. I would suggest that this clearly has not been done when such conflicts exist. The university needs to step up to fulfil its dream of being distinctively student centred. It’s simple; if they are to be true ‘safe spaces’ these rooms need to be moved OUT of the multi-faith centres.
Winnie Dunn, Penrith Women’s Officer: “Why won’t our university talk about these things? Promote these “safe” spaces? Engage and empower students to run our own student clubs instead of the other way around? Why is it that most clubs are micromanaged to the point of infantilisation? Why are these safe spaces put in places with inherent conflict? These are the questions we need to start asking ourselves in order to transform our campus spaces to something prosperous to every individual student’s needs.”
Christine Cardona, Campbelltown Women’s Officer: “While the Women's Room is open to all women-identified women regardless of race, religion and sexual orientation, the Women's Room at Campbelltown is currently not welcoming for those who are not Islamic. I believe it's because there is confusion as to its purpose as a result of it being located in the multi-faith room, which is difficult for students to find.”
--------------------------- “Recognising the importance of providing an inclusive and supportive environment for LBTIQ and femaleidentified students, the Board of Trustees resolved to endorse the allocation of spaces for Queer Spaces and Women’s Rooms on all UWS campuses and the Board requested that the University Executive pursue suitable accommodation.” Board of Trustees Open Session Minutes 8 June 2011 (Public record)
President | Western Sydney Women’s Collective 15
western sydney community forum Federal election Q and a During May there were two events that Social and Commmunity Workers Western Sydney (SCWWS) executives and members attended; the Western Sydney Community Forum Q&A for the federal election and Western Sydney University’s Open Forum on Fighting Global Poverty with Gender Equality (story opposite). By Lauren Nicholls The Western Sydney Community Forum launched its Q&A breakfast series at Penrith Council Chambers on Thursday, June 2nd. The panel was collated to discuss the impending federal election, and consisted of representatives from a wide variety of NGO’s and advocacy bodies including the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, DVNSW, NCOSS, WSCF, Youth Action, Women’s Electoral Lobby NSW, and the House of Welcome. Overall the feel was that of simmering collective outrage. Stories and experiences from audience members were recounted over and over about the apathy of the current federal government to the social services, and the consistent cutting of vital funds. The people from the audience were not speaking out for themselves, but the vulnerable people that they work with every day.
The convenor of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, Jozefa Sobski I believe borrowed from Whitlam, and urged everyone to ‘maintain your rage’. The panel encouraged the audience to think more creatively as a sector. Those that are working in industry have the power to educate and advocate to a wide range, and large amount of people and they should use that power. Western Sydney holds quite a few marginal seats, and three of them are considered keys to the election. This is where votes and voices could count, and where the election and the government agenda can be swung in favour of the people.
Domestic and family violence was discussed; Rosie Batty has attributed so much momentum to the cause, yet the government has been paying only lip service to the issue. How can a government say it has domestic violence on the agenda, when it is stripping funding from the front line services? Jane Gould, a representative from the Penrith Women’s Health Centre talked of domestic violence services and shelters often only having one funded DV worker. There was also talk about how the NewStart allowance is forcing people under the poverty line. Among other topics the discussion also ranged to the government’s effort to decrease the demonstration powers of the public, mental health and cuts to services such as Headspace which has proven effective, and how the wants and needs of the young voters are being ignored.
Fighting Global Poverty with Gender Equality By Kylie Henman
Who runs the world? GIRLS! Or not, as Dr Helen Szoke was to inform us. I attended Western Sydney University’s Open Forum “Fighting Global Poverty with Gender Equality”. Dr Helen Szoke, CEO of Oxfam Australia and special guest speaker, revealed that the top 1% of the wealthy in Australia are worth more than the bottom 60%. On a global scale, 62 individuals now hold the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the population. The top financial institutions are now saying that the global inequality divide is growing, and this needs to addressed as a matter of urgency to avoid further damage to the global economy. History has shown us that where you find poverty, conflict and insecurity, you also find women are the first to lose out. Dr Szoke discussed the need for pathways into the right jobs for women. The gender pay gap, that in most countries means a woman brings home only 60% to 75% of her male counterpart’s wage, must be narrowed significantly. When women have access to services, education, employment and improved wages, the economy wins. And here we find ourselves again. Another election that appears it will be won by one of the two major, yet ineffective, parties on three-word slogans. Neither of the major party leaders have discussed the issues that NGO’s are highlighting as their community’s biggest struggles. There is talk about enforcing tax rules so that big business will pay its share (but there is also a promise to lower company tax). There have been massive cuts to funding in the community sector, with domestic violence refuges and women’s services some of the hardest hit. There is little talk of returning funding to the poorest of our citizens.
Dr Szoke informed the audience that research shows “Women aged 14-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria.” This is shocking. Now is not the time to become familiar or comfortable with these results. I am able to attend university, I have my own bank account, I have a mortgage in my name. But there are still fundamental inequalities that mean this is not an option for many women. These things I take for granted aren’t even best case scenarios for some individuals of my gender. After over 200 years of struggle for equality, one would have hoped this battle would have progressed further. As to how unrecognised this issue is, there was a telling moment prior to the conclusion of the event. One gentleman stood to question the relevance of this conversation in Australia, as he felt that “things were pretty good for women in Australia.” Obviously his many years of experience as a woman in Australia gave him excellent insight and the authority to comment. Our gracious speaker politely referred him back to the facts and figures we had just discussed as evidence that this conversation was very relevant in Australia. Dr Szoke said when meeting with various local MP’s, the majority informed her that “this isn’t an issue in my electorate.” Highlighting once again the need to bring this matter to light. How do you do that? Use your voice. Sign the petitions that NGO’s are producing regarding more fair taxation, gender equality, and funding for support services. Lend your time to organisations that are bringing these issues to the forefront and need bodies. Write to your local member, or better yet go and see them, and tell them this is an issue you want to see on the table.
vox pops: W’SUP asks w’sup at Parramatta
Hir, Jigar and Pooja
Joseph and Matthew
What’s good about the uni? Matthew: The feel of it – it’s newer, it has everything you need, it’s not too far away Joseph: I really enjoy the multiculturalism and how friendly everyone is. I usually go down to the Hub and you can talk with anyone. It’s very friendly
What do you like about the university ? Jigar : The library, campus facilities. What could be improved ? Jigar: Sports. Students don’t know about sports. There should be an organised way to know about events. If we are at Parramatta campus, we might have to go to Hawkesbury. There should be some events here. Pooja: The transport system, the shuttle buses. Hir: Sometimes it’s very cold Jigar: There should be more parking Hir: The library should be opened on weekends and after hours more.
What could be improved ? Jospeh: More PASS classes. If I’m struggling with classes at the moment, PASS really helps. Have you heard about student representation? How can they improve communications? Jospeh: More free stuff. When they had stalls they just stayed in one area. If they moved around campus more, walked around and talked to people
Have you heard about student representation at the uni ? Jigar: Last time I heard about the election, I got emailed.
What of the federal election? Joseph: There’s an election? It’s like Tinder. If I had to vote I’d flip a coin
How should Student Reps improve their visibility? Jigar: It would be good if they came to lectures and spoke for 5 mins
Nathan and Anita Joseph and Jonathan
Sheena and Voneet Riya and Deepo
If you had to name one thing good about uni… Sheena: The support services Deepo: Oliver Brown, library services, the facilities, restaurants. Riya: I like the flexibility What could be improved ? Deepo: Parking, parking, parking Riya: Parking, parking Sheena: I love this uni Deepo: I like the rebranding. They should have spent money on parking. I get what the rebrand was about, to change the image, but the majority could have been dedicated to parking What of the federal election ? Deepo: I like Turnbull – the innovation policy. I’m not sure about the other guy’s policies.
What is good about the uni ? Jonathan: The teachers; we have a lot of good teachers, a lot of teachers that care a lot more than others. vUWS is also a really good resource. Joseph: I like the diversity, the fact that it’s close to home, we don’t have to travel all the way to the city. Nathan: It’s close to home, it’s friendly, not stressed. I was told uni would be stressful, but it’s relaxed. Anita: The resources we have – apart from the parking – are all good. The library resources are very useful. What could be improved? All: Parking Jonathan: We need microwaves Anita: and sinks Nathan: We need more student kitchens Have you heard about student representation and what they do ? Anita: We get emails that we archive straight away Jonathan: If student reps wanted to know what we need, they could just jump online and find out. What have you heard about the federal election ? Anita: Malcolm Turnbull is not living up to his expectations Nathan: I usually vote Liberal Joseph: Labor Jonathan: I vote for the Pirate Party What do you think of the issue of sexual harassment? Jonathan: This is a thing you teach kids from the start – to respect women. There is an ad; domestic violence, stop it at the start. It’s a great ad.
Locked Out, But Not Blocked Out
By Luke Vincent Thousands of people marched in protest against Sydney’s lockout laws, as part of a huge rally organised by the advocacy group Keep Sydney Open. Beginning at Belmore Park near Sydney’s Central Station, the Keep Sydney Open rally made its way through the CBD while paying tribute to venues, small businesses and jobs that have been lost since the lockout laws came into effect in February 2014. The laws were enacted during an emergency sitting of Parliament in 2014 by thenPremier Barry O’Farrell following the shocking one-punch deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie. Keep Sydney Open’s Tyson Koh estimates that 15,000 people attended the rally, while NSW Police estimate it was closer to 5,000. Music Feeds Reporter Emmy Mack explained why she was in attendance, saying, “It’s super important, especially for the live music scene. We need to show the government that they can’t baby us like this. They’re so out of touch, they need to open their eyes.” Home Night club resident DJ Nicholas Mamone, who DJ’s on Fridays at the event ‘Voodoo’ said in an interview with me that “Everyone knows its hard enough to break into the music industry. Now it’s going to be impossible as so many clubs have closed down, DJ’s are fighting harder than ever to get their name out. It’s not right.” In a year after the lockout laws were enacted, Professor Gordian Fulde, Director of Emergency at St Vincent’s, said there was a 25 per cent drop in seriously injured patients presenting to hospital during its busiest period, between 6pm Friday and 6am Sunday. Rain did not deter the rally which featured performances from the likes of local rockers Royal Headache and dance trio Art vs Science. Aside from performances, the rally also saw crowds listen to speeches from the likes of The Preatures’ front woman Isabella Manfredi, the Hoodoo Gurus’ Dave Faulkner and DJ Nina Las Vegas. 20
Nepal’s LGBT community FINds solace in social media By Christopher Kelly
The fear of being banished from families and friends is forcing Nepal’s growing LGBT community to seek solace in online communication, mainly through Facebook and dating apps under secret names. Speaking from his office in Kathmandu, Nepal, Parsu Ram Rai, deputy director of Nepal’s largest LGBT organisation Blue Diamond Society, said coming out of the closet is a huge challenge in a country where being gay or lesbian is not widely accepted as “normal”. And even though Nepal’s LGBT community has constitutional rights, many are still resorting to hiding their sexuality and gender differences out of fear of being scolded by the general public. “Sometimes they use abusive words, or derogatory words [towards LGBT people],” Parsu said. “The constitution has issued a kind of wording [for the LGBT community], but it doesn’t make a positive trend. It’s only in the law and policies, and that hasn’t been implemented at a [societal] level.” In Nepal, Parsu said, family conflict towards LGBT family members is a common result from coming out to relatives. “There’s conflict from the families, their properties are labelled as forbidden, they are asked to leave home, they are forced to clean the streets, and all this leads to internal conflict.”
“Even lesbians are forced to get married.” And for some LGBT youth, drastic measures are taken as an attempt to ‘cure’ them. Medications and counselling are used by parents as a way to rid their children of their sexual and gender differences. “For the treatment they say you need to take this medicine and maybe you’ll get cured, or they go for counselling.” “One transgender lady was kidnapped and was taken to a rehab centre for many days.” But the LGBT community, while under the disguise of secret names, are starting to use social media to interact and meet within their community. “Many people have started using Facebook under different names,” Parsu said. “If I know a guy on Facebook is gay, I will chat with that guy and then that’s how we meet.” Smartphone apps such as Grindr and Planet Romeo are also used as a way to interact within the LGBT community. Christopher Kelly is a Western Sydney University student studying journalism. Recently he travelled to Nepal as part of the government’s Colombo Plan to gain experience in journalism.
The Future of Journalism By Helen Megalokonomos
The future of journalism has reached a precipice with budgets shrinking and editorial jobs being cut. The only lifeline for journalists lies in being able to produce content across all media platforms and in adapting to the changing landscape, leading media makers have said. At a gathering at Western Sydney University, journalist Connie Agius said the future of the industry could be worrying, with lots of talk about job cuts. ”Students should think outside the box,” she said. Speaking at the same event, Paula Kruger, training manager with the ABC, said the growth was online. ”The ABC News is seeking to broaden its audience, offering news across social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram,” Kruger said. The event on April 6 proved insightful for future journalists in the audience. With news that The Guardian is to cut 100 journalist jobs and Fairfax plans to cut up to 120 editorial positions, the future of journalism as a career is being debated by media and students alike. Reporting in The Huffington Post, journalist Dave Yin thinks part of the problem lies in perceptions of the industry. Whilst acknowledging that technology is changing the way the product is consumed,
Yin argues that “journalism is suffering because it’s perceived as ‘free’ and therefore inherently undervalued”. Online journalism career resource, cubreporters, states that with the internet growing as a news source, readers are no longer relying on print or broadcast outlets for their daily news. Breaking stories emerge via websites, social media and Twitter, and today’s journalists need to be confident writing across all platforms, the site suggests. Journalists need to evolve as the media constantly grows and evolves. Freelancer Connie Agius urged students at Western Sydney University to be multi-faceted, not just a broadcast journalist or a print journalist. Head of cadet recruitment at the ABC, Paula Kruger, told students to keep writing stories, to work in community papers and do community radio as a start. “Think of yourself as a freelance journalist. Find the human story in the political story. Only if we engage in it do we have an impact on it,” Kruger said. At a time when newspapers across the globe are laying off Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, future journalists must offer their employers a skill set that transcends all media and incorporates multimedia skills for whatever the future of media may hold. pictured: Paula Kruger at WSU, Connie Agius, David Yin
Sarah Ferguson and The Killing Season By Helen Megalokonomos
These leadership moves were made by a tiny number of people that most people didn’t know
About 180 academics and business leaders heard Four Corners journalist Sarah Ferguson (pictured left) speak about the Rudd-Gillard Era at a Women in Business event in Parramatta this May. Ferguson spoke of the famed ‘faceless men’ who played a pivotal role in getting Gillard to push Rudd out and to become Australia’s first female Prime Minister. “With such a divided narrative the challenge of political reporting is hard enough at the best of times, ” Ferguson said. “But in this case, the narrative behind those two camps was so intense, so split, so divided that the chance of finding the truth was always going to be a challenge, and I knew that the one thing we had to do was to insist on no ‘off the record’ sources of any kind.” Ferguson spoke about the series ‘The Killing Season’, which is also the title of her new book, at the special event hosted by Coleman Greig Lawyers on May 12. For the series to get off the ground, both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard both had to be on board, she said.
destroyed each other, they snuffed each other out,” Ferguson told the audience of business leaders and university community. “The media turned its back on the Australian public and became too closely involved with the events that were taking place in Canberra”, Ferguson said. Of particular interest to the media was the group of faceless men, wielding the power and influence. “Gillard was manoeuvred and flung into that position effectively by the party”, Ferguson said. “She was Rudd’s natural successor, she would have been the Prime Minister when they won the election…but she was put into the position by a group of factional men,” Ferguson said. These men who effectively put Gillard into that position were relative newcomers with very little political experience, all first-termers.
Ferguson said she was determined to seek out what really happened behind closed doors during the leadership challenge of June 2010, guided by 18 hours of interview time with Rudd and 14 hours with Gillard.
The audience was very receptive to Ferguson’s insights on power, intrigue and the machinations within the Labor party. Audience member Cynthia Payne asked Ferguson how much insight she gained after the series. Ferguson said the events of that time, the challenge in 2010, then the return to Rudd in 2013, were moves made by a such a tiny number of people that ”most people didn’t know”. ”None of the cabinet knew, most of caucus didn’t know”, she responded.
Rudd’s interview style was to “draw you in, to be a supporter”, Ferguson said. Gillard had a reserve about her and the series; she didn’t like being interviewed. “You cannot make this series, unless you examine the role of the media”, Ferguson said Gillard had told her. “Two people, highly ambitious stars of their generation on the Labor side, were cut off in their prime…their careers in politics destroyed. They
Ferguson’s last statement to the audience was that people should start a conversation regarding media stories. Readers should ask themselves ‘where did this story come from’ and distrust people who use background sources, she said. Those who leak stories and won’t put a name on the record should make us all question the information, and place accountability of media on the agenda, she suggested 23
UniClinic at Campbelltown campus offers podiatry services to the general public at a reduced rate, including nail surgery, foot pressure analysis, diabetes assessment, orthoses, vascular/neurological/ biomechanical/gait assessments, and muscle rehabilitation. For students most of the services cost just $10. Phone 4620 3700 and visit westernsydney.edu.au/ uniclinic
STUDY & LIFE SKILLS Free workshops include academic writing workshops, library roving, maths, dealing with exam stress, mastering your memory, time management, planning, getting motivated, strategies for stress-free presentations. Email email@example.com. au for maths workshops, firstname.lastname@example.org. au for academic literacy workshops and email@example.com for life skills workshopsv
STUDENT WELFARE For assistance from other services, such as a counsellor or a government agency, UWS welfare officers can help you with info and advice about the right services to talk to in relation to accommodation, financial assistance including food vouchers Centrelink support, tax help, textbook vouchers, sexual health, bullying, advocacy on misconduct, review of grades and special consideration and budget meals. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit westernsydney.edu.au/askwelfare
CAREERS With CareerHub you may search for jobs, internships, work experience, overseas positions, book in to career expos and access career information and resume advice all in one place. This free service is available to all UWS students and recent graduates. Register with your current MyUWS Account. Email careerhub. westernsydney.edu.au
FAMILY PLANNING Reproductive and sexual health experts on contraception, pregnancy options, STIs, sexuality and sexual function, menstruation, menopause, common gynaecological and vaginal problems, cervical screening, breast awareness and men’s health. Clinics in Ashfield, Fairfield, Penrith targeted to marginalised communities, people from culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, refugees, people with disability, young people and same sex attracted people. Visit fpnsw.org.au or call 1300 658 886
Badanami Centre provides support and encouragement for every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolled at the University. Students can drop in to Badanami anytime to study or relax Badanami can put you in touch with a range of services across campuses, from study skills courses, careers advice, counselling and medical assistance all the way through to opportunities to study abroad 1800 032 923 or email badanami@westernsydney. edu.au
PASS: PEER-ASSISTED STUDY SESSIONS
Work with other students to understand the content of your units and develop study strategies to improve your academic performance. Each PASS group is run by a student facilitator who has studied the unit previously. PASS is free and voluntary. Regular attendance of PASS will help improve your grades and make study more rewarding. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/ pass
CHAPLAINCY The chaplaincy team offers a caring presence to all staff and students at UWS; encouraging spirituality, offering hospitality and creating community. We do this by embracing our diversity, encouraging conversation and respecting our similarities and differences. Chaplains come from a variety of spiritual traditions. Email email@example.com 24
MATES@UWS MATES@UWS is looking for volunteer mentors to help new students settle in and make their first session at UWS a positive one. Being a ‘Mate’ not only gives you the opportunity to help new students with their transition but allows you to meet other students, connect with UWS staff, receive free goodies and most importantly, have lots of fun along the way. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/mates
SEXUAL HEALTH Ever have unprotected sex? Get tested, it’s easy. Many Sexually Transmitted Infections have no obvious symptoms. Sexual Health Clinics at Nepean Hospital in Kingswood and Blue Mountains Hospital in Katoomba offer FREE confidential testing and treatment. The Nepean Hospital Clinic also offers the ‘Men Out West’ Clinic with HIV testing in 10minutes. No Medicare card needed. Visit nbmlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/ Sexual-Health or phone Nepean Sexual Health Clinic 4734 2507 or the Katoomba Sexual Health Clinic 4784 6550.
DISABILITY A team of professionals to assist students with all types of disabilities including chronic illness, mental health conditions and learning disabilities by providing reasonable adjustments. Reasonable adjustments, such as exam provisions, are steps taken to ensure all students have equal access to university. Visit uws. edu.au/disability, call 9852 5199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
COUNSELLING A team of qualified social workers and psychologists to help you with any issues affecting your study. If you’re not sure that university is for you, a counsellor may be able to offer advice and support or help you improve your study skills. Counselling is free, confidentail and can be carried out as e counselling if preferred. 9852 5199 or email email@example.com
NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS
Wage fraud hits students hardest By Jawad Akram Rana
I would like to highlight aspects of the labour market which provide developed economies with a cheap or subsidised workforce in the form of students. Irrespective of similar practices observed in other developed countries, my focus will be on the Australian market. The idea comes from observations made during my stay in England for graduation, and in Australia for my Masters degree. Study requirements saw me living in these two developed economies for around six years. Many young people who travel from developing or less developed backgrounds to developed countries in the name of higher education, end up becoming subsidised labor for employers who are experts in exploitation. These employers have found many ways to exploit this student sector, taking advantage of them to turn extraordinary profits. These extraordinary profits cannot be realised if employers abide by workplace regulations, using the locals as their workforce. But workplace regulations are violated when using this student workforce. The minimum wage is a strong economic indicator in developed economies. This becomes only a theoretical phenomenon when employers start exploiting students; when an employer knows he has so many people out there to work for him, he can negotiate the minimum wage rate down to an even lower minimum level. Further, employers are well aware of the fact that this labour market sector is only allowed to work 20 hours and that it’s not possible to cover educational and living expenses, while working this many hours. Then comes the extra work on “subsidised’’ terms. Recently we saw the 7-Eleven case in the media. That came as a big shock to these kinds of employers. Media reports detailed the many ways employers fabricated wage records. People would work for 40 hours while being paid for 20 hours on record, bringing the hourly wage from $20-24 to $10-12. Some employees said managers or franchise owners would take cash back for half of their wages after crediting the full amount in account records. This leaves no trail. With 7-Eleven, it was noted that the majority of the effected staff were students.
This was just one employee which became part of a public media campaign. During my six years of student tenure I have faced 8-10 employers who do similar things including security companies, delivery contractors, convenience stores, fruit markets, cleaning and other trades. This leaves an impression on me that such employers are almost everywhere and in most industries. Exploiting workers like this is totally wrong, illegal and disrespectful. These unscrupulous employers are earning extraordinary profits while someone else is bearing the cost. Benefits are piling up while in another sector, people are suffering. Suffering is a word used intentionally, because after working in such an environment, one’s studies are heavily affected. It also leads to increased educational expenditure due to failures. In case of litigation, where local employers are penalized, they can pay from their illegally earned money and can set up in the same way again. But the students can be deported, which can harm them significantly and bring their careers to an end. Some students take this lack of minimum wage enforcement as an opportunity to make extra money. They consider the cost of education as an investment and in return they earn extra money in the “off the record” workforce. With this money they make considerate remittances back home, with relatives not knowing that everything going on here is not as per the rules and regulations. This leads to social inequality and disturbance. I would also mention the tax evasion element here which, in my view, is a crime committed by not one but both parties. This all comes from exploitation of just one particular segment in society. I assume that if labour rules are enforced it is possible to bring a significant reduction in the scale of this “subsidised labor” and to provide a chance to students to manage themselves in a better way. I would like to express my interest in finding a job in the tax department to crackdown on as many black sheep as I can.
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WHY DON’T WE SMILE ANYMORE ? By Jisna Saji I board the usual 7.10am bus that takes me to the railway station and I tap on with my Opal card. I always smile at the bus driver and greet them. "Morning", I say with a bright smile. The bus driver returns a nod with a subtle smile, but the smile doesn't reach his eyes. I notice this in a lot of people nowadays - not many people smile at a stranger, even if it's someone appearing to have good intentions. Appreciating the fact that I was at least acknowledged, I walk further up to the back of the bus to an empty seat. As I settle down, I catch a high school student a few rows in front, staring at me. Instead of glaring, I give her a simple smile. She immediately looks away, as if she wasn't expecting me to notice. Soon enough, I am on the train en route to uni. Other commuters on the same carriage seem to be in a world of their own: deep in their smart phones. Those sitting in social groups or couples are doing this as well. No one is talking, nor are they making the effort to. What happened to regular conversation? I understand that not everyone is a “morning person” but why not have an actual conversation with the person travelling with you? I experience more instances where I catch people eye-to-eye with me. I smile every time. Out of the six people I randomly “caught” on this trip (yes, I actually counted) only one person smiled back (and with an even bigger smile than me!). It's like the others had something holding them back. I'm just a fellow commuter, minding my own business, but also willing to pass on a little positivity just by smiling at you if I randomly catch you looking my way. Just a smile could be enough for someone to start thinking positively. "That was a nice stranger. She smiled at me." "I feel acknowledged. Someone just smiled at me." I think we should bring smiles back. Let's make this a silent movement. The Smile Movement. All you have to do is genuinely smile at someone when you catch them looking at you; or you could say a simple "hello" or other suitable greeting with a genuine smile when you find yourself next to a stranger. Who knows? It could be all they need to feel positive. image:shroomstudio & Kinetica
By Sunila Dixit
Two decades ago, a sitcom arrived in everyoneâ€™s lives. Little did we know that it would take a permanent place in our hearts, then and in generations to come. The sitcom was an instant hit, particularly among the youth. It was about a group of six friends who live close to one another and consider themselves a family. They were there for each other, through thick and thin. As everyone would have guessed by now, the sitcom I am talking about is none other than F.R.I.E.N.D.S. The day Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey came into my life struck a chord. I revelled in their joys and felt their sorrows. Those moments where Ross and Rachel kissed for the first time, Chandler proposed to Monica and exchanged vows at their wedding brought an ear-to-ear smile to my face. The times Ross and Rachel broke up, Monica came to know she could not conceive were so real that my face instantly dropped. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was my first window to how life is in the West and it helped me broaden my vision. It taught me what it would be like to live on your own. There will be times when you have money and it will be all good and there will be times when you can barely scrape out a living. However, if you have your friends by your side everything will be fine. The show acted as a mood lifter on my bad days. To cheer myself up, all I had to do was put on a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episode and that was more than enough. I am so glad that I started watching the show after it officially ended. I do not understand how people had the patience to wait for the next season to begin. I have watched each and every episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. more than ten times and I can say that I have memorised most of the dialogue now. I am sure there will be many others who can claim this! Watching the last episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was heart breaking. Seeing the scene where it closes in on the photo frame on the door, knowing those six friends will not be visiting us with new stories anymore was difficult. Nevertheless, it is an evergreen show and watching it even for the 100th time makes you laugh hard as much as you did when you watched it for the first time. It will never be too dated for coming generations!
Emotion Is Okay By Laura Day
We live in a society where we have been taught to suppress our emotions, only showing people our ‘perfect’ lives, that we are living the ‘right’ way, doing the right things, and that we musn’t differ from that path because we will be rejected. Women are meant to be the perfect ideal with the perfect unattainable body, happy, gentle, motherly whilst men have to be strong, masculine, unaffected by emotion. If a person is seen crying or angry or affected, we look down on them as a victim, as someone weak and not strong enough to do it on their own. We attribute negativity towards negative feelings because we have been brought up thinking that sadness is bad, pain is immoral and emotion is merciless. I want to be a strong and empowered woman, but as soon as I show a side of myself that isn’t a happy, bubbly, welcoming presence people think there is something wrong we me. I become the victim. I begin to say to myself, “how dare you feel like that, there are people in this world experiencing so much more pain than you could ever imagine. You do not deserve to be sad. You should be happy and grateful for the life you have been given.” But you know what, no matter how much we try, there is always going to be poverty, there will always be war and there will always be someone experiencing suffering greater than you can ever imagine. Your sadness matters. Feeling pain does not make you any less human; it is a part of you. Ignoring our pain and emotion is ignoring the growth and transition we need in our lives in order to push forward and to move through all our shit. Emotion is okay and feeling feelings is natural! Don’t be scared to feel your own pain. image: Nena B. 29
STUDENT LEGAL service
STUDENT LEGAL SERVICE: Parking on campus By Jayd Raffoul – Solicitor, Student Legal Services
Imagine this, it’s week 3 and you arrive for your 10am class. The car parks are packed and after circling for the hundredth time, you see a line of cars parked on the grass. You can see a free spot on the grass so you head over at the permitted 40km/h. You’re not entirely sure whether you’re allowed to park there; but you’ve been circling for the last half hour and hey, if they can do it why cant you? So you take the chance. As you’re walking back after class your stomach drops and you see that white paper wedged under your windscreen flapping in the wind. You’re hopeful it is a letter from that cute boy in Stat 101 but life isn’t a romantic comedy. As you move closer you recognise it as one of those wretched parking fines. Is this situation all a little too familiar for you?
Parking Permit Application Form. However if you lose it twice, you will also need to complete a Statutory Declaration before you get your new permit. If you’re not sure how to write a Statutory Declaration, or need someone to witness it for you, contact Student Legal Services (SLS). What about motorcycles? Those of you riding motorcycles have different rules, especially around displaying permits. When parking your motorcycle, you won’t need to purchase a permit if you are parking in an allocated motorcycle bay. If you are unable to park your bike in a motorcycle bay (for whatever reason), you will have to park in a car spot. This means you will then have to purchase a permit and register it with the on-site Campus and Security Office at these locations: Bankstown: 9772 6444, Bld 10 Campbelltown: 4620 3444 Bld 21 Blacktown: 9852 4001, Bld C1 Hawkesbury: 4570 1361, Bld J9 Parramatta: 9685 9169, Bld EA Parramatta (Westmead): 9685 9749, Bld J Penrith: 4736 0431 (ext. 2431), Bld J, Rm G.01
Well then let’s talk about Western Sydney University’s Parking and Traffic policy (Parking Policy) and see if we can avoid that happening. Remember that the rules apply to all campuses, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and if you continually breach the Parking Policy, the University may withdraw your permit! What are the rules? Penalties can be given for (but are not limited to): * Parking without a valid permit (this includes displaying an expired parking permit or displaying a permit incorrectly); * Parking in a parking bay contrary to signs and permit allocation; * Not parking a vehicle entirely in a parking spot; and * Parking in a spot that is not a marked parking bay. * When purchasing an annual or half-year permit, the University iPay receipt can be used as a valid permit for 10 working days from the purchase date. If you use the permit past this time, you may be fined for breaching the Parking Policy. When you receive your parking permit, make sure it is displayed on your front windscreen. If you happen to lose the permit or it gets damaged, you will need to complete the online Replacement
How to challenge the fine? If you have received a fine and would like to challenge it, the first step is to request a review through the Office of State Revenue, or SDRO. This can be done online or in writing, and information on both methods can be found of the SDRO website. If you are deciding on challenging this option, contact SLS for advice on how to complete the form and your prospects of success. Remember there are strict time limits for when the form is due; so don’t leave it too late! Jayd Raffoul – Solicitor, Student Legal Services The info should not be relied on as legal advice. Contact Student Legal Services on 8688 7875 or email@example.com WSU Student Legal Service is a joint venture with Macquarie Legal Centre at the Parramatta Community Justice Clinic, Parramatta Local Court. It provides advice to currently enrolled WSU students through SSAF funds. 30
Ten days of skating in Tokyo By Naomi Hastings
As I write this, it’s been ten days since I moved into my apartment in central Tokyo, where I will be living for the rest of this year, as part of a two semester exchange program at Meiji University. It’s also been ten days since I unpacked the four wheels, two trucks and single wooden deck from the bottom of my oversized backpack, reassembled them to make up my skateboard and began skating down the back streets, side alleyways and main roads of this exciting city. The first place I headed to was FTC Tokyo, a skate shop in the heart of the scene in Shibuya. FTC (For The City) Tokyo held strong appeal to me, as it is Japan’s distributor of Pass~Port, a stylish Sydney-based skateboarding company. In 2015 the Pass~Port team visited Tokyo, documenting the skate scene over there as they were toured around by the FTC crew. When I visited FTC, I gave the staff copies of an Australian skate zine which featured some of the Pass~Port skaters and it was cool to see their excited reaction to the zine. Just around the corner from FTC is Tokyo’s most central skatepark called Miyashita*, where I’ve been spending a large portion of my time since arriving. The bowl and transition sections of the park are a lot of fun to skate and it’s great that the park is lit up until 10pm. The park attracts many Japan-locals and visitors and there has always been a strong mix of skaters each time I’ve been. The skatepark was set up by Nike, and is part of a larger park containing mini soccer (futsal) fields, rock climbing walls and a dance space. Being privately owned, it has more rules than the public parks I’ve been used to skating back in Oz, but overall the atmosphere is very friendly.
Over the weekend, I was going through a park that was filled with people picnicking under the blooming cherry blossom trees, when I came across a group of guys and girls skating and filming tricks in the foreground of the flowers. They were really friendly and invited me to join them at their picnic, and soon we were heading to another nearby skatepark together that I hadn’t had the chance to visit yet. Skateboarding has been a really fun way of meeting new people and learning more about the Japanese culture and language. I still have so much more of the city and country to explore, but judging by how it’s gone so far, I know it’s going to be a good ride. *Yes, these kinds of places names are common in Japan. Don’t get me started on Takeshita Street. Like ‘Skuws – Skateboarders Western Sydney University’ on Facebook and follow @skuws on Instgram.
What has really surprised me is how popular skate culture is in the Shibuya/Harajuku area. Every second person is carrying a board and almost everyone is wearing skate-branded clothing. I’ve come across at least 10 skate stores in the one kilometre radius. There seems to be a really high proportion of female skateboarders here, which is exciting. 31
Mortals amidst Mountains By Liam Bell
I have never been to a disaster zone, and as I flicked through some old TIME magazines a mere week before the group was to depart, I was not sure we were prepared. Two issues, March 2015 and the following April, were both blazoned with a cover of sheer agony; the Nepalese devastated by earthquakes. But the fact remained, be it brave, naïve or stubborn, a group of 6 medical students from Western Sydney University had volunteered to help. As part of Global Health Awareness Western Sydney (GHAWS), we were committed to a previous legacy of building ties with a remote community in the Solu region of Nepal. The village of Junebesi, from 2006, had seen the growth of a district medical centre run by the local committee of Kushudebu Public Health Mission Nepal (KPHMN). The service, run 24/7, is critically placed to allow for some access to healthcare, despite several having to walk hours and even days to reach medical treatment. The team at KPHMN had proposed a community project for us, to build an incinerator to dispose of medical waste and thus prevent disease. We agreed, organised fundraising events for local labour, equipment and resources and independently funded our own way to Nepal to see the project through. It was dark upon arrival, and as we cautiously exited the arrival gate, there was a warm smile to greet us. Mr Ang Sherpa; the man who had started the Kushudebu medical centre, and Keep Walking Nepal, the company that had organised our stay – the humble guy who would become our surrogate father for the trip. Only the night in Kathmandu, 15 minutes for breakfast and another flight to catch to Paplhu. It was only when I saw a US aid envoy at the airport that it dawned on me the stark contrast of who we were, juxtaposed against where we were and what we were planning to do. I could say there was a surge of adrenaline, excitement, perhaps a dose of distress, but thankfully the reality-check produced none of that melodrama. Instead, it was a matter of sharing the experience; from the sobering realisation that global help is required, to the novelty of having spinach as cargo on the small plane, together we were awakening, as a unit, to a different way of life. The constant jarring of a turbulent 20-minute flight was made worthwhile by the sight out the window. Mighty mountains surrounded us; stoic beasts our tiny plane would have to weave through to reach our destination. With a sudden turn, a nose-dive and a moment to call to a higher deity, there appeared a runway. With feet on the ground and the opportunity to take a 360 degree
view of our surrounds we began our relationship with the humorously entitled ‘Nepalese flat.’ For the next 12 days, any location we were to visit was only accessible via our two feet: walking is the way of Nepal. Junebesi was a day’s trek to reach, which left us exhausted and with full clarity that any preparatory exercise regime or notion of being ‘fit’ would not stand in Nepal. There was only endurance, and respectful adherence to traditional custom each time we walked clockwise around the ancient Buddhist engravings that we happened upon. There was joy and relief, when, through the rhododendron forest, the village was spotted. As we walked through Junebesi, there was no mention from the Nepalese of the earthquakes, but we could see the rubble testament, and only when we asked did we learn that their school had been destroyed. Nevertheless the children were happy, and laughter resonated from the temporary setup. The community demonstrated such hospitality upon our arrival with a welcome ceremony where khadas (traditional scarves) were gifted with abundance after which, a tour of the medical centre was held. While the laboratory is equipped to run tests, the results are sent to Kathmandu for interpretation, as there are no doctors at the centre. Similarly, though simple fractures can be treated, the imaging facilities and technicians rely on external medical professionals for diagnosis. Nevertheless, the nurse Ooshin, who currently runs the centre told us of emergency situations she was able to successfully manage independently. She was most proud of her ability to save a child who suffered from meconium aspiration syndrome by applying positive pressure. The medical centre also conducts regular health-camps at a large monastery, a morning’s trek from the village. With the aid of translation, gesticulation and friendly smiles, blood pressures were taken, knee examinations were performed and a small-scale pharmacy distributed relief from pain, particularly in the joints. It was a chance to realise our purpose as medical students and hear first-hand what we could do to assist. We learned that osteoporosis, arthritis and hypertension were the most prevalent chronic conditions facing the community and while there was a stock of medications distributed at minimal cost to the locals, with the need for ongoing treatment the supplies are often drained. Regarding the incinerator, local carpenters had laid the foundations before our arrival and work continued with full zest. We carried rocks, shovelled soil from the 32
mountainside and carried mud by a wobbly wheelbarrow on unpredictable terrain. The days of work would be balanced with play; the Australians taking on the Nepalese in a game of volleyball held on the helipad, attempts to scaffold a well-placed rock and enjoyment of a new set of swings and sea-saws constructed by some friendly Canadians. The final activity we were privileged to share with the community was at the school. It was an opportunity for education and fun, as public health was extolled. With some brainstorming we came up with creative ways to inculcate good hygiene practice, playing games that focused on using a toilet, washing hands and picking up rubbish. The children were very enthusiastic: litter was scoured for and disposed of with zeal. Many ran to the rubbish bin as champions, some were overly keen in presenting material that wasn’t to be thrown away, but all were happy and washed their hands with soap. Our time at Junbesi had come to an end and while we were sad to leave, the farewell dinner thrown by the committee members was a time for celebration. Nepalese song and dance had been promised and though we were not adept at the moves, there was merriment in an artistic fusion of cultures. Around the lodge’s fireplace we shared hearty Sherpa stew, blessings for the future and mutual gratitude. The following week would see us traverse across a distance which would take us a mere 20 minutes by flight back to Kathmandu. The nights were feverishly cold and warm blankets were thrown on top of the thermals, downjackets and sleeping bags in which we were bundled. From morning, slippery rocks called for a meditative focus lest we slip, (which happened at least once to us all), and the clamouring bells of donkeys had us pressed against the mountainside lest we be stampeded, but we were surrounded by beauty: the Himalayas, rousing us to rise to her challenge. The trek was of steep climbs and descents that would have our knees in knots, but the joy of being together with our Nepalese friends remained. Such good will was demonstrated, not merely by holding of hands in a tight spot, but in the good Samaratan acts of kindness. Despites the arduous terrain, a lame man without the use of his legs was given our guide’s phone and walking stick as a crutch, A patient requiring hospital assistance was taken on stretcher as a band of men rallied to take turns to deliver him safely, in this land where no ambulances could survive.
Despite all that appeared arduous to us, there was no notion of life being cumbersome. The paths existed as a highway for men, women, children and animals to go about their daily business. Moreover, they would take the time to greet us, giving our own motivation an invigorating and life-affirming bolstering, though humble in intention. Our trek concluded at what I came to learn was the most dangerous airport in the world. Luklah, a bustling township encircled by mountains and frequented by tourists managed to daringly to squeeze a small runway among the commotion, which happened to end in a cliff edge. But amidst the chaos the planes came and went, minutes after landing they would be off once more. I was reminded once more of the tenacity and stoicism of the Nepalese back in Kathmandu for a final two days. It would take 7 years for the ancient district of Durbar square to be rebuilt and the once strongly woven fabric of a tourism industry was in tattered threads, an unstable income for many due to the disaster. Nevertheless, mere months after lives were lost and buildings rendered debris; the population was being crippled again, facing a fuel crisis. The aftermath of the earthquakes proved to be of secondary concern with locals waiting for hours to receive rationed petrol for transport. Our guide expressed expressed thanks for coming despite any fears – the financial income from the trekking industry was scarce with tourists afraid to travel Nepal. Ultimately, my preparatory reading was futile. While there is always wisdom in research, (certainly around any potential threats to safety) there were degrees of separation that was not initially apparent. An outsider looking in will always lack insight. In contrast, it was in the process of listening and sharing the human experience, immersing oneself in another’s tale that we began to understand. Emotion is universal, but we can only truly respond when we truly know. We all left with the hope that in years to come equipped with more skill and experience we would return. With thanks to the team: Liam Bell (President of GHAWS 2015), Zahaara Ahadzada, Samantha Tripp, Heather Day, Katie Garcia, Ang Sherpa (Keep Walking Nepal, Kushudebu Public Health Mission Nepal), Paul Jury, Chungba Lama (Kushudebu Public Health Mission Nepal)
Eternal Sleep By MJ Flack In pages long forgotten. In images vague and dim. We find the truth revealed. And once again turn to him. In memories once cherished. In voices soft and sweet. We find our path converging. With the one we long to greet. In plans we sometimes cling to. In hopes we place too much measure. We learn the secret answer. Thereâ€™s only one true treasure. In times when all else fails us. In days when our faith may falter. We find the strength to continue. When we lay all at his altar. Why do we seek redemption? In empty thoughts and deeds. When all we need is waiting. As he fulfils our needs. No conundrums here to ponder. No wisdom hidden dark and deep. Seek now that hand of comfort. Before the hour of eternal sleep.
By Jemimah McMurray A boyish grin in your branches brother, climb into the sky fingertips on tree-bark to its shoulders, through its eyes on red-gum scribbles wooden heights Barefoot, scamper upward Earth in your lungs roots in your chest native, the song on your tongue as web-woven shadows dance like fire Build your castle there and champion truth with that sun-blonde hair in the sky of sea, adrift in the light on cotton-white tides lift your chin to the breeze As fifty-two birds find the air like cards, dealt ever upward taking chances and delight in their paper-skins, like you take flight, take flight with your hearts and your diamonds red as the land below
Our Sacred Little Milky Way
By Gabrielle Lawson Let’s build a fort Where you and I Can share our every secret; Expose the things We’ve both kept hidden Dream our lives away. Lay here with me Beneath the stars We’ll laugh in reverie; Recklessly abandoning We’ll build a world of fantasy. Our little midnight escapade No one needs to know The things we shared When we were there In our sacred, little, Milky Way.
Shooting Star - A moment By Alby Davidow A dark unstable burning trail; Of Moonlit flying fire; A star circling the core; Ancient, vivid tormented spirit; A being with time to burn; A eon livid in the night; Within a phosphorescent sphere; Explode across the speckled void; A blinding animus across the apathetic sky; Released by the universe’s dark desire. A shooting star for the world to wish upon.
Grim By Mitchell Flack A whimpering willow sways under the tyranny of whispering winds. The face of death stares down at the panic from amongst the clouds. A bitter face, full of dreariness and unrest. Do you hate your job? The animals scurry with glee. A million sounds perforate the eardrum. The clamber of mundane lives that never hear me come. A girl is skipping rocks by the river. Plonk, plonk. Lost and never to be found. The bittersweet taste of remorse. A life so young, and so short. Yet destined to be. So finite. The fragile hands of the clock refuse to budge. Are you crying? The storm unwinds and the wind picks up. A splashing sound, a sunken rock. A life untaken, it cannot be. A storm has come, and cannot flee. The willow sways with destiny.
Stars by Jodes
by Jodie Sale
ARIES: You’re quite shy, eccentric and energic. We know you’re a deep thinker and with the winter solstice upon us, you will unleash all your problem-solving energy. Gather all the Luna energy you need and tackle the problem head on. TAURUS: You’re so friendly and willing to help anyone, it may get you in a muddle as you won’t have the time to complete your own projects. Try not to get too emotional with all the short days and cold nights. Remember not everyone is generous as you; you don’t need to share everything you have with everyone. GEMINI: Forever courageous and confident, your energy creates turbulence. Your need for speed and completion is your driving force. All the planets are feeding your fire, and your search for answers to the metaphysical will be at the top of your agenda. This month, ensure you slow down so you can receive the answers. CANCER: Ruled by the mysterious moon means you’re an enigma, compassionate to those you love, harsh to those you don’t. You move like the moon - full and fine to sharp and piercing. We know there is always a softness to a moon child; make sure you allow others to see it!
LEO: The born optimist, charismatic and fortunate is the sign of fire. You always survive life’s ups and downs with your abundance of friends and opportunities. Take what life offers you; it won’t be wrong. You are the leader and others are the followers; assume your position with authority.
SAGITTARIUS: Ruled by Jupiter, companion of the moon, your life is joyful and exuberant. You love adventure and the unknown. You’re a natural optimist and can be alluring to many. You believe anything is possible and are capable of so much. Don’t let anything slow you down.
VIRGO: Fussy, narrow-minded and annoying - that is what others say. But being a perfectionist is not a fault; having a strong work ethic and being efficient are good traits. Your service to others hasn’t gone unnoticed. Ensure you gather all the energy you need. A short cut is by paying homage to the moon. You will receive all your rewards this month.
CAPRICORN: Free spirited and a natural high roller; place your bets ,it’s your turn to win. Understanding you climb forever higher and higher, remember what goes up always come down. Know your limits and learn them the hard way.
LIBRA: Your sun is clashing with your moon, at the time of your birth. This leads to a life of turbulence. There are, however, ways to rectify this. You spend your life trying to find harmony and being the peace maker, in every conflict that arises. Remember, it’s not your responsibility. Try and observe the conflict. Don’t get involved; it’s not your problem and never was. SCORPIO: The most powerful of the signs, you are dramatic and powerful. The moon concentrates on you and you know it. You’re a know-it-all and you have all the answers. You know where your life is headed and no one will derail you, but remember happiness is not always wrapped up in the success you’ve been aiming for.
AQUARIUS: You’re the leader, the “Age of Aquarius”. You march to the beat of a different drum and everyone will follow. You love an intellectual conversation, you love innovation, inventors and eccentrics. They need you to show them the direction for their ideas. You know who they are make sure you allow them to shine. PISCES: Mysterious and alluring, extremely talented, your creative energy drives you. Your motivation is the human condition, you cannot move past it. Remember, if you don’t create, no one knows what you’re thinking. Let the world know what you understand; they need to know it also.
Contact Guru and Jodes at
Dear Love Guru How do you know if you are in love ? I study science and can¹t stop thinking about dopamine, oxytocin, elevated heart rate etc. It¹s just autonomic response isn¹t it? Should I pen a poem? It’s time to drop your scientist ego and swallow the fact that at the end of the day, you are human. So when love calls, do what humans do – embelish the moment with art. Turn your technical terms into imaginative phrases like ‘this intense burning consumes me like lava, the ache whisks through my every nerve, courses through every limb. Shatter goes the glass of my heart. O sweet venom dripping from my lips, my body cries for more. More, more, more,’ or similar.
by Jesse Neo
Hi Jesse I picked up my mum¹s phone and found she had been sending photos of ``herself'' to a mutual friend we call Al. I kind of like Al too. What to do ? It requires more than photos to prove you like someone. To draw Al nearer, take the step beyond images and show your flesh. Take Al to a comedy show, to the motor expo or the aquarium. Maybe you two can even take snapshots together. I bet they’ll be so much more pleasing than the solo photos your mum has been sending.
Dear Guru My partner is crafty. The stench of hobby glue hangs low in our apartment. Cheerful bunting obscures the biscuit cupboard. Fat felt faces smile blank-eyed from the fridge. Our bed is a shelter for malformed creatures. I myself am an archer. I like to fire arrows into straw-stuffed targets. One day I fear our hobbies will collide. Where can I seek help ? If your partner is so eccentric with design and craft, challenge them to an impossible project; a carport? Keep challenging them with a task so beyond their limits their hair falls out. They’ll be so busy with the project they’ll forget your parts of the house.
Leo: You are aware that your number one choice of massage is back massage because all your tension is harboured there. Free yourself with a deep pressure massage. Virgo: Of all the signs, you have the most health issues as toxins and negative energy easily build up. This can cause sensitive skin. Your fix is a detoxifying body wrap and a massage in the middle back. Libra: Pain caused by stress can present in your lower back. Deep tissue massage, yoga and a head massage will free your body. Scorpio: Scorpio rules sex, so you must be thinking about massages in those areas! Tantric massage will do wonders, along with sensual hot stone massages and lubricated kneading massage on your back.
Sagittarius: Your buttocks and thighs tend to accumulate the most pain after endless hours of study and work, so concentrate on getting your massages in those areas. The more pressure the better. Capricorn: Studying too long can cause stiffness in your bones. A Thai massage that stretches your being will bring relief and make you feel whole. End with a calming leg massage. Aquarius: You suffer from cold or sweaty hands. Chakras hot stone massages and acupuncture will get your health in balance. Pisces: No signs benefit more from foot treatments than Pisces. Reflexology and pressure points massage can soothe your entire being, but the strokes must be long.
by Jesse Neo
Aries: You have a habit of over thinking your uni work and cramming excess ideas into your head. This creates headaches. Get an Indian head and temple massage. Taurus: You know you are stressed when your neck and face begins to tense up. Heal yourself with an aromatherapy neck and face massage, and get a facial while you’re at it. Gemini: A lot of tension inhabits your upper body, Your nervous system is more sensitive than others, so a whole body massage with gentle music will do you well. Cancer: Toxins build up in your lymph, so massages around those areas. Other areas where tension builds include the breast and stomach, so gentle massage there is also recommended.
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