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EDITION 3/SPRING 2016
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, Iman Sohail, Jodie Sale, Nicole Gismondo
image by Helen Ryan: 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.
COVER Our Dances, by Navesja Nugroho. ‘‘Western Sydney is home to people who come from cultures brimming with colour and passion, and through my artwork, I aim to celebrate this. As dance is a form of communication that is often partnered with a sense of celebration, I have illustrated an arrangement of dancers from different cultures found in Western Sydney in mid-dance. In doing so, I portray the people of the area as filled with passion, liveliness, and a love for not only their own cultures, but the cultures of those around them.’’
CORRECTION: In the last edition, the Parramatta SCC report, page 10, was attributed to Nicole Gismondo. The author was Jawad Rana.
CONTENTS clubs 9
student representatives 15 Why We Should Affiliate with NUS
events 19 Whine & Wine
A New Year for Women: NCOSS
diversity fest centrefold campus 43 47
Halal Snack Pack a Winner
The West Needs Performing Arts 50
Oh Deer, Iâ€™m Queer !
reflect 51 A Transgender Tomboy Investigates Her Own Place Within and Without Gender
Diversity on Screen: Asian Australians and The Family Law 59
Pauline Hanson and the Politics of Fear
poetry horoscopes love guru
Diversity at Western Sydney feels like something that goes without saying, really. With so many campuses spread out across the western suburbs, how could we not be diverse? I think one of my favourite things about this university being home to such a wide range of students from different cultural backgrounds is that it’s just become second nature. It’s not at all out of the ordinary for any tutorial discussion to venture into cultural difference, into different life experiences and how we bring those experiences to what we learn. You come to university to be challenged, sometimes with viewpoints that are miles off from what you know. Getting to come face to face with such a massively diverse range of people, both in the classroom and out, is perhaps the most valuable thing Western Sydney can offer to any university student.
‘‘I look to a day when people will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character’’: Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963). A beautiful quote but often misconstrued as advocating for ‘colour-blindness’. Those who purport this notion of colour-blindness believe they can do good by ignoring the colour, or gender, or disability of another human, and by equating their struggle with the rest of mainstream society’s; we know that is not true. We only need to look to various issues across Australia that highlight the need to work with these marginalised groups such as the over-representation of Aboriginal youth shamefully treated in youth detention centres in Nothern Terroritory (Four Corners, 2016), or how gender norms in Australia have contributed to the alarming rate of one woman being killed per week due to domestic violence (whiteribbon.org.au, 2014), or the cuts to mental health services which have resulted in services closing down across Australia (ABC Online, 2016). So my point is, I beseech you to not fall into the trap of preaching “colour-blindness” but instead celebrate, recognise, and uplift the differences within our diverse community - all the while not forgeting the struggle these groups face.
What does Diversity mean to me ? Being transparent and understanding that we are different and have differences. An important factor is recognising, acknowledging and discussing differences. Often people don’t want to be the cause of incohesiveness so they don’t bring up differences. However, understanding diversity means needing to acknowledge the differences and ongoing discussion of the differences in beliefs and, in turn, exchanging ideas and bringing differences into the process - aiming to utilise them to increase productivity rather than suppressing them in the hope that they don’t cause friction. So I think useful steps would be emphasising communication, viewing workers as individuals, encouraging diverse work groups to allow an exchange of ideas and basing decisions on criteria, not personal bias or a cultural base. 4
W’SUP SAVED REFLECTING ON A PROTESTER’S EXPERIENCE It was mid-June and we’d just got an email from the staff at student representation that the university was not renewing our publications officer’s contract. No prior warning given, we didn’t even know it was up for review. What do you do in that circumstance? It was holidays so it wasn’t like we could rally a campus presence. With 2 of our editors working full time, and one other one out of state for the holidays, our editors Melissa and Nicole got to work on the campaign. In broad daylight in the Penrith Campus library we hatched a plan. Our initial Facebook post had over 5,000 views which was an astounding amount for our modest little page. It was shared over 50 times! Dozens of students were then emailing the Vice-Chancellor, and for the first time we started to receive replies. At first we received a four-week contract extension, but we quickly realised that couldn’t make the paper last. We kept the pressure on, and the contract was then extended to the end of the year. Still we knew that meant the paper would be in its last year. We pushed on. Then the news came in late July/early August, WE WON! A two-and-a-half year extension may be a problem for the next bunch, but we’ve shown that students at Western Sydney are more than up to the challenge. Remembering some of the victories of the campaign, it was clear that student voice is alive and well at Western Sydney, just a little bit buried (and basically only facilitated by the W’SUP). • 135 signatures on Change.org! • We got UWS Confessions on our side! • Our Facebook Page gained over 1,000 likes for the first time in its history! • We were published in Honi Soit! Of course the SRC was also a massive help with the design of the LIMITED posters opposing the cuts. In a true showing of how hard it would be for students to publish a paper of their own accord, we had only just finished our limited release W’SUProtest edition which in the end we were only able to distribute to Parramatta Campus… We would like to thank all of our supporters for the encouragement, and the university for listening to its students. Our publication is special – it should stay, and YOU should write for it! NICOLE GISMONDO
Our diversity today is extraordinary. The points on which humanity differs are endless. Yet, despite the differences in race, nationality, religion, colour, gender or class, at the end of the day we are also just human beings, and that is what should unite us. We are so lucky to live in such a multicultural society and I think the key for the preservation of mankind (maybe even a peaceful world) is everyone consciously embracing diversity. Go out there and learn about a different culture, learn a few sentences of another language or enjoy a different cuisine; do something to embrace our diverse world. And just a little about me: I'm currently in the Master of Research focusing on ways to prevent prostate cancer recurrence through herbal remedies. Whilst my mind is pretty much science-focused, I also have a passion for global politics and international relations so you will most likely be reading my (strong) opinions on any interesting political events. Have a great day!
When I think of diversity, I think of the collective movements on our campuses, the budding women’s collective, newly established ethno-cultural collective, and thriving queer collective. When I think of diversity, I think of the variety of student clubs that I see put bids through in my role on the clubs extra SSAF funding committee. When I think of diversity, I think of all the CALD people that attend my university and take classes with me. When I think of diversity, I reflect on all the articles we receive each edition of the W’SUP. When I think of diversity, I think Western Sydney University. This is why it is so great that Diversity Fest is able to tap into that every year, and be a celebration of everyone. I sincerely hope that you enjoy this edition and all the diversity of ideas that we have been able to compile. As always, make sure you write for our next edition!
for more students’ outrage over this, see story on page 48
Campus Health Checks brought to you by your Student Councils By Nicole Gismondo
BANKSTOWN Campus Council Office: 1.1.210 Student Kitchen: 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: Has less issues than Parramatta! 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)
HAWKESBURY Campus Council Office: Stable Square K4.G.82 Student Kitchenette: G1.G.46A in the Learning Commons, M3.G.02, H7.G.02, K4.1.14 Women’s Room: K4.G.79
Prayer & Meditation: 10.G.13
Queer Room: K4.G.74
Parking: Never poses too many issues; you’ll usually still get a spot right down the end of campus
Parents Room: K4.G.20
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.
Prayer & Meditation: P23.G.01
Future Construction: Second exit from the carparks to come! Best Coffee: Café in Building 1 or Oliver Brown? Best Lunch: Also café in Building 1 or trek it to Ashford Ave Gym: Building 18
Muslim Prayer Rooms: P22.G.02
Parking: Next to G block for lectures, not on the grass (snakes). Public Transport: Train to Richmond station or East Richmond station and the shuttle that goes past both is pretty convenient, with multiple stops in and outside campus. Otherwise a fairly flat 20-30min walk from East Richmond. 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: After census will be better, but generally try to be early (before 9.30am) to get a spot and fluke one during the day and early arvo. 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: 1 PSQ in Parramatta CBD (other construction should be done yay! 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: Library carpark is in hottest contention, other places are ok, but be prepared to park far away from buildings at peak times. Public Transport/Shuttles: Long walk from Kingswood station but doable. Otherwise the shuttle comes often enough, but Werrington is always second. Shuttles don’t run weekends. Current Construction: The construction zone is blocking everything – but soon there will be a new Student Plaza Precinct. Best Coffee and Best Lunch: Piccolo Me Cheapest lunch: Subway Gym: Building L Compiled by Nicole Gismondo- W’SUP Editor, Women’s Officer, Clubs Rep on 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.
AROUND THE CAMPUS IN CLUBS: STUDENT LIFE REVIEW The clubs scene at our university is still fairly early in its development. We take a look around the campus to find out what the scene is like on your campus. You can find all clubs on OrgSync – the University’s official platform
Bankstown (40 clubs) – Student Policing Association of Western Sydney (SPAWS): One of the relatively newer course based student associations, this club started on Penrith in 2013 and is now predominantly on Bankstown. SPAWS regularly runs boot camps for all students targeted at policing students being able to pass at Goulburn. This year they got behind the NSW Police Legacy charity and raised $1300 through its City2Surf team. So if you are looking to have a career in policing or the criminal justice system, and want to pad out your resume, experience or just plain want to meet likeminded people, give SPAWS a shot!
Hawkesbury (13 clubs) – Hawkesbury and Community (HAC) Rugby: The oldest student club at Western Sydney was established in 1891 (yes you read that right). The first rugby union game this club played was the 28th of May 1891 and they have played consistently for the 125 years since! Back in the land of 2016, and on the 20th of August 1st Grade won the Clark Cup 18-6 over Brothers and 2nd Grade won the Farrant Cup 30-27 over Beecroft. So if you’re looking for that elusive sense of community, whether you are a rugby pro or complete first timer, head on over to HAC Rugby for a good time. You might even have a good shot at success too.
Penrith (25 clubs) – Western Sydney U Nerdfighters: Another example of a club that got its succession plan right, this club started in 2014 and they are barely sure who it was that started it. This year it’s been bigger than ever, tripling its membership to 120 members. You may have heard of them earlier this year as they played games for 24 hours straight during STUVAC! Sounds nerdy, but it has also helped them raise over $2000 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Looking at joining? We can confirm you will instantly gain 120 new nerdy friends and have a great time. And remember, don’t forget to be awesome!
Parramatta (62 clubs) – Western Sydney U Indian Society: The campus with the most clubs probably by sheer size of student cohort, we decided to spotlight a real newbie on the Parramatta club scene, the Indian Society is only a couple months old! They held their first event in early Semester 2, showcasing the wonder of Indian cuisine to around 180-200 students. So if you’re Indian or not and just want to experience the magic of Indian cuisine, culture and celebrations, make sure to get involved! Campbelltown (33 clubs) – Gaming Gang: Another club that has been around since 2013, this has been one of Campbelltown’s more active clubs over the years. These gamers, like their name suggests, have accumulated a horde of consoles and meet up from time to time – even having enough people to have meetings in lecture theatres occasionally. This year has been a quieter year for them, but they promise they’ll be back to their full strength by next year. So if you’re looking for just a bit of fun on Campbelltown campus, make sure to give these guys a shot.
By Nicole Gismondo Clubs Rep | Parramatta Student Campus Council Student Editor | W’SUP Chair |Student Advisory Group Forum
resistance Q&A Q&A resistance By Ian Escandor (Campus Organiser, WSU Resistance Club) When was the Resistance Club established? The Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance Club has been active on WSU/UWS since the late 90s. Members of the Resistance Club were directly involved in the various notable demonstrations such as the Pauline Hanson High School walk-outs in 1996, the Books Not Bombs protests against the Iraq War in 2003, and the 1999 Bankstown Occupation. Resistance was formed in 1967 as a university students group protesting the Vietnam War. Over the decades, the club has gone through changes in governance to now affiliating to the national organisation, Socialist Alliance, as its youth wing. At WSU, the Resistance Club is decicated to working with students and staff in building an equitable and just campus free from discrimination. What events/activities does Resistance run? Every week, the Resistance runs a stall and holds an open group forum. Through the weekly stalls, we aim to meet with like-minded students and promote any of our upcoming events. Our open group forums are a time where we can meet with our active members to discuss relevant issues and organise particular demonstrations. Why should people join the club? Young people â€” students, young workers and the unemployed â€” play a vital role in building movements to make fundamental social change. If you believe that there needs to be change in today's society, Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance seeks to engage, educate and involve young people in getting active to change the world. Is membership open to all campuses? Membership is open to the world! But for the sake of the nature of the magazine, yes we are open to all campuses.
Q&A with Michael Flack of Bankstown Writers’ Club
Q&A with founder of the Combat Against Dark Arts club and FIghter of all things evil, Anthony Tran
By Ian Escandor
By Ian Escandor
What is the history behind the club? The club was originally started at the Bankstown campus where I was going to start my Diploma in Arts. The idea behind starting a Writers’ Club was generated from random conversations I had with fellow students, those who expressed an interest in writing across a range of styles and formats. It is envisaged that the club should be a place of encouragement and resources, a place for writers of all levels to work cooperatively with others. What types of events do you run? The club is still new and has had several informal meet and greet events. The plan for the club is to; • Meet on a regular basis. • Provide a range of resources free to members. • Have an Anthology of the writers’ selected works. Why should people join your club? As the definition of the club is focused on writing, the people most interested would be established writers and budding writers. Of course anyone who enjoys reading would be equally welcomed. The benefit of joining the club is the environment of mutual interest and support. Is your club open to members outside of Bankstown? Originally the club was set up at Bankstown and on the Western Sydney Orgsync website. The idea of expanding to other campuses had not been considered. But as students from other campuses have shown an interest in the club and its concepts and purposes, there will be contacts made to assist in setting up other clubs. The actual format and relationship of these satellite clubs will need to be developed. If you could recommend one writer for a student/ reader of WSUP, who would it be and why? There are many fine examples of writers that could be suggested. It really depends on the genre an individual likes. • Romantics & Social Climates: Jane Austin, Emily Bronte • Science Fiction: Jules Verne or Isaac Asimov. • Adventure: Alexandre Dumas or Herman Melville • Poetry: Christina Rossetti or Richard Brautigan The list can continue to cover an amazing range of genres such as comedy, history and drama. As expressed, the choice of author is really selected by the readers interests. The authors I have listed are ones I have personally enjoyed over the years. 10
What is the history behind the club? Back in 2014, I was part of the Gaming Game club at Bankstown. Within the club, there were a few people interested in not only games, but martial arts. I thought about running a small martial arts club to train at university for my friends and I, and for anyone else who wanted to join as well. So at the end of 2014 I applied to open the club and got a large number of signatures from friends. The club got approved fairly fast but it took a while to get the equipment. We didn't get the equipment until 2015 second semester. So that's when we started running sessions. Overall I started it. What type of events do you run? So far we have only run training/sparring sessions with the small community of members. We also ran a magic card tournament randomly once. Why should people join your club? I never planned for the club to be big. I also haven't really done much marketing. I guess, join if you feel comfortable and if it benefits you. We mainly socialise and train physically for good health. We roughly have 15 active members. Is your club open to members outside of Bankstown? Yeah, feel free to join. Naturally, the club name, Combat Against the Dark Arts, surely piques curiosity amongst some. What or who exactly is the Dark Arts? Back then I needed a name for the club, but I didn't want a name that looked too arrogant or serious something funny but meaningful. Most of my friends found it pretty funny. In terms of 'the dark arts', it simply refers to anybody who uses violence to harm or control any innocent victim. So our club philosophy is to protect those in need. For more information regarding the Combat Against the Dark Arts, feel free to contact Anthony on 1702771@ student.uws.edu.au
REFUGE An exhibition of work by Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) students in the Rabbit Hole studio and throughout W’SUP Diversity edition. This exhibition explores Western Sydney as a ‘safe shelter’, and the important role local communities have played in humanitarian migration. As part of our 2015 re-branding program, a series of promotional videos telling stories of successful graduates was launched, and holding particular resonance was the story of Deng Thiak Adut: refugee and former child soldier, Western Sydney U alumnus, now a Blacktown-based lawyer and community leader. The crux of this video is the line ‘Western Sydney took him in’, and this sentiment is the springboard for our 2016 exhibition. Certain media commentary about the overall re-branding and Deng’s story in particular revealed that there is a perception that Western Sydney ‘hates refugees’. This correlates with studies that highlight how Western Sydney has been perceived—by people living outside of the region—as a place populated with people who are coarse, uneducated, and culturally bereft. On the contrary, refugees have been welcome in Western Sydney for a long time and the vibrant communities of Cabramatta, Fairfield, Liverpool and Blacktown attest to this. Fourth year design students working in the Rabbit Hole studio were asked to develop a personal response, and visually communicate it through a poster, highlighting Western Sydney’s long-standing capacity to provide refuge and celebrating our culturally diverse communities. In doing so, they demonstrate that people in Western Sydney are culturally engaged, creative, intelligent and compassionate. 21 September–27 November Western Sydney University Art Gallery, Building AD Werrington North Campus
BE HAYLEY DOUGLAS I believe that Western Sydney is a place of acceptance that allows individuals to feel safe and comfortable to be themselves. Western Sydney’s multicultural landscape tells this story. While other communities may oppress or suppress one’s individuality, Western Sydney nurtures each person’s uniqueness and personal story; Western Sydney’s refugee population is evidence of this. We have welcomed them in and embraced them, encouraging them to express their cultures and personalities. It is through these many unique individuals, that Western Sydney has become a culturally diverse, lively and forward-thinking community. It is this message that I wish to communicate: no matter who you are, or where you have come from, Western Sydney will take you in and embrace you. This message has been communicated through the poster’s focal point “Be”, with a list of following words that convey that the state of being in Western Sydney goes beyond the physical sense of the word. This is reinforced by the tagline “Free to be You”.
DREAMS RHIANNON MILLS I’ve approached my poster from a child’s perspective: most children don’t understand the subject of war, nor fathom what it would be like to experience it, let alone live it. Children see the innocence and the good in everything in the world, because they haven’t lived life long enough to experience great tragedy that can tarnish that. This poster is to remind everyone to see refugees from a child’s view, a more humane perspective, and understand that they, just like everyone else, have dreams they hope to accomplish. Refugee families have hopes that their children will live a happy, educated and safe life— and fulfil their ambitions without the lingering fear of war. In Western Sydney they can achieve this.
Diversity: What is it ? thoughts from parramatta student council
Diversity. Sometimes it’s not as visible as seeing multicultural individuals or differently-abled students working or spending time together. Diversity; sometimes it’s in the small things we enjoy. So as you sit down with your friend from another part of the world and eat food that is from another culture, let me tell you what diversity on our campus means. It’s the smell of Indian food, halal snack packs, Chinese food, and Thai food as you walk from one class to another. It’s feeling safe to voice your opinions. It’s knowing that there is a women’s room on campus and you are always safe. It’s seeing mature students and younger students working together to perform amazingly. It’s having events like “Wear it Purple” day to give individuals the voice to say “I am who I am and my sexuality and gender identity does not change that”. It’s what teaches us to respect one another regardless of age, sex, race, sociocultural, sexual orientation, ability, status, language, religion or anything that sets you apart from another individual. To celebrate this diversity, the Parramatta Student Campus Council supports various multicultural events as well as clubs. Their support was seen recently as they held a Free Halal Snack Pack event on campus and everyone was able to enjoy different cultural food, and petition to have more halal options on campus. This event saw many Muslim, as well as non-Muslim students come together to enjoy a meal together and help provide more food for these individuals by signing the petition. To support students with different sexual orientation and gender identity, the council have brought on a new member;
Maxwell Jane Dwyer, to hold the LGBTIQ+ portfolio. And to ensure that students that are differently abled both physically and mentally are represented, a new member, Christine Cardona, now holds the Disability Portfolio. With the new members’ help, we hope to deliver more events like the Wear it Purple Day. We also have two ALLY representatives – Marija Yelavich and Christine Cardona. To learn more about how diverse we are at Parramatta campus, join us at Diversity Fest, 21st September outside The Hub. “Diversity Fest is not only about respect and acceptance of cultures but that each individual is unique; it’s about understanding each other and embracing the diversity contained within each individual” Christine Cardona, Disability Officer Parramatta SCC. “We have such a diverse population on campus, it really is such a vibrant community. Unfortunately for our queer population, many can't express their diversity at home. Our university gives them a valuable and vital outlet to explore and celebrate our diversity, and I think that's one of the most amazing things there is" – Maxwell Jane Dwyer, LGBTIQ+ officer Parramatta SCC
Clubs rep- Parramatta Student Campus Council President- Western Sydney University Indian Society
Why we're affiliating with NUS
The National Union of Students (NUS) has come under criticism in recent years. In NSW, voters remain sceptical of unions, and student politics more broadly remains the domain of die-hards and hacks. While these claims aren't totally unfounded, reform and change can only come from inside NUS, and affiliation gives us the best chance. EdCon, the NUS Education Conference, brings together members of NUS affiliated organisations across the country to focus on education organising. The opportunity to network with other students and learn from their fights against university management and governments is vital to ensure that student organisations move forward, and learn from the past. Despite a week of riotous screaming and petty factional fighting, there remained the opportunity for students to become involved in the discussion about how we fight issues such as Fee Deregulation. Since EdCon, members of Western SRC (the student reps of WSU) have been involved in planning National Days of Action, supporting the national Student Wellbeing Survey (run by NUS and headspace) and contributing to discussions about the future of higher education. Collective action remains one of the most important ways for students to achieve change. While it's powerful for a single group to take action (i.e. the occupation of Sydney College of the Arts), strength is in numbers, and by working with our peers across the country, we have one united voice. Through NUS we can lobby politicians and create change on levels above where any one student organisation can. Voting for student representatives, including National Union of Students Delegates, is open from October 4-14. Help shape the national conversation and represent Western Sydney - visit westernsydney.edu.au/studentvoice
President | Western SRC Chair | Parramatta Student Campus Council Equity Officer | Western Sydney Debating Union
pENRITH student campus council We’ve made a flying start this semester. Straight off the bat we went to a Provost meeting and discussed topics that are troubling the students of Penrith. These included smoking on campus, noise in the library and issues with shuttle busses. We are pleased to report that positive change and action is being made on all of these topics. The university is looking into how it can monitor smoking on campus. A friendly reminder that smoking is not permitted on university grounds; If you’d like to smoke you need to leave the grounds. When it comes to noise in the library, we were glad to hear that the library staff are aware of the issue and capital works has promised that once our new student plaza is open, the library will become less noisy. Shuttle buses have already greatly improved since our meeting! We’d like to thank the shuttle bus team; we have noticed and appreciated your hard work when it comes to improving the shuttle bus system. We haven’t just been complaining! We also gave out about 200 serves of mini donuts and hot chocolate. Thank you to everyone who came down to see us and say hi! It was great to see so many people and hear your stories. Be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook page for more info about our campaigns and upcoming events.
Emma Del Dot
Clubs Rep| Parramatta Student Campus Council President and Co-Treasurer | Western Sydney University Nerdfighters Club - DFTBA = Don’t Forget to be Awesome Peer Assisted Study Session [PASS] Facilitator
A note from Hawkesbury SCC The Hawkesbury SCC has been going well this semester. We have currently run 3 events this term; Dippin Dots, Frutti Tutti Day and Mini Donuts and Slushies. We also have a few more to go ‘til the end of the year and then we will be having our Nightmare on Stable Square Halloween carnival. The HSCC has also been more active on campus as we now stock 2 bathrooms with tampons and pads for females if emergencies occur. We are also supplying kitchens with coffee, tea and milk, in the same buildings as the bathrooms we stock - K4 and G block.
Chair | Hawkesbury Student Campus Council Member | Student Representative Council Ph: 45701419
whine & wine Looking to see the diverse talents of your peers on Parramatta campus? With similar taste to the events run on Kingswood Campus earlier this year, the poets of the Western Sydney Women’s Collective and the performers of the Western Sydney Queer Collective have teamed up with the Parramatta Music Club to provide entertainment to the people of Parramatta! The Whine and Wine poetry slam/performance night shall be held at the Boilerhouse on Parramatta South campus on October 17th from 6pm-8pm (doors open and music performance begins at 5). This event features poets from the Woman’s Collective and provides a buffet and a selection of wines to keep the merriness flowing. Whine and Wine will also feature songwriter Maxwelle-Jane Dwyer, president of the Queer Collective in Parramatta, as well as Delilah Von-Tramp, the Marrickville-based drag performer of the Queer Collective most recently starring in the Real Housewives of Marrickville. The event will also feature a selection of talents from the Parramatta Music Club and is not to be missed! Whine & Wine will be collaborating with THE PLOT, presented by Cattleyard Promotions. THE PLOT will feature 30 + emerging artists across three stages and is a celebration of inclusively, diversity and discovery. It is part garden party, part playground for local creative types and includes a spread of tasty treats. Above all it is a place for music lovers of all ages to come together and discover a diverse range of live acts. THE PLOT will feature a couple of surprise appearances from the Women’s Collective and Queer Collective – make sure you watch out for them at the event! Every poet at the Whine & Wine event will receive a ticket the THE PLOT plus there will be a bunch of giveaways on the night so anyone with an appreciation of music or the literary arts should definitely come along. Maxwelle-Jane is a second semester B Business (ABL)/B Laws student on Parramatta campus. She is currently president of the Western Sydney Queer Collective in Parramatta and is a current member of the Western Sydney Women’s Collective.
“A good story—one that knows its use and power— startling imagery and syntax, and a curious perspective can help us bypass problematic social and political structures that are in part designed to limit voice.” – Landan Osman
Kingswood campus’ Whine and Wine event (earlier this year) was the perfect experiment for the participating in the act of good stories and good story telling that we have in Western Sydney University. Our clubs are exemplars of good stories. PATHE, The Queer Collective, Student Campus Council, Parramatta Music Club, Groove in the U, and The Women’s Collective all have our little stories. We are a political and creative force that needs to be cultivated by students for students. We are the voice of change and togetherness across the decentralised divide of multiple campuses. I dreamt up Whine and Wine from my deep desire for wholesome campus events that would bring people together into something we could all relate too: music, storytelling, and familiar faces. As students of WSU, we are at university almost everyday, but we simply just go to class and the go home – because there is no driving call for togetherness. Instead, we are socially constructed to feel that the city uni’s and the city altogether is ‘the place to be’ for culture. Wrong. There is nowhere
as diverse, as plentiful, as full of good stories as Western Sydney and Western Sydney University. We must change our self-perception and I hope Whine and Wine will become a starting point. The first Whine and Wine, and its future successors, will always be about inter-campus collaboration and inspiration. Whine and Wine will always be about active clubs and their creative members. It will always be about students. It will always be about Western Sydney. Whine and Wine will always be for students by students, however they see fit to use the idea. I would like to thank Groove in the U for providing equipment on the night, without them nothing would have been possible. I would like to thank all the poets on the night – your hidden creative talents inspired Whine and Wine completely. I would also like to thank the Women’s Collective for jumping on board my idea so many months ago and helping me grow as a female. Let’s keep the discussions and friendships we made last night an on-going collaborative conversation. Here’s too more whining and wine-ing with my fellow students across all campuses. Poetry has been and always will be about collectiveness and creativity, no matter where, no matter what. By Winnie Dunn
We Came, We Gamed, We Conquered By Melissa Swann For 24 hours over June 2nd and 3rd, the Western Sydney U Nerdfighters hosted a charity gaming marathon at The Cottage on Werrington South campus. We dubbed this ambitious adventure ‘Game Hard or Go Home.’ You may have heard about the event in the lead up, or caught up with us on the university’s Snapchat story on the day, but if you’re wondering how we went here’s a catch-up for you! Over the 24 hours we had 31 participants join us, 13 of which gamed their absolute hardest and stuck around for the full marathon. Gamers played a range of console and table top games including Catan, Betrayal At The House On The Hill, Guitar Hero, Halo, Super Smash Bros., Werewolf, and Say Anything, just to name a few. The night got cold, the nerds got tired – but we persevered! Come morning light we rallied our strength for breakfast and tapped our way through another round of Smash before looking back on our efforts. In the end, by selling charity chocolates and collecting generous donations from our supporters and gamers, the event raised an amazing total of $1,376.40 for Starlight Children’s Foundation – the organisation we have chosen for our Annual Charity Project this year. This has been a tremendous effort for our Project, and the club is eternally thankful for all those who came out to or supported the event in some way. We’d like to thank The Penrith Gazette and the Western Weekender for publishing articles about the event, as well as Omar Hosny and Jessica Juler for their promotion of the marathon through official
social media channels. Matthew Stansfield for his assistance through Student Clubs. And especially to Mega Games Penrith for all their help in getting some additional board games together for the night and their donation of the game Werewolf! Even bigger thanks to Sheridan Rynne, our Campus Life Officer and honorary Nerdfighter Mother Hen for championing the cause and the event, and for all her incredible support, faith, and endless excitement. Our amazing club members who went above and beyond to help us out behind the scenes: El Sail-Hayes, Tom Wylie, Mitchy Green, Lucy Gallagher, Jennifer Russell, Chris Holtom, Alexandra Pullen, Peter Allen, Lawrence Busuttil, Melissa Swann, and Emma Del Dot. Last but not least, the Western Sydney University Community, for not only backing us financially but also supporting us through the entire process and enabling us to run what turned out to be an amazing (if tiring) event! So, where to from here? Our fundraising goal for Starlight Children’s Foundation this year is $1,500 – but not to worry! The Nerdfighters took part in The Color Run at Centennial Park on the 21st of August, in order to sprint (or lightly jog, for some of us) our way over that goal. If you’d like to support the Nerdfighters in the last leg of our Annual Charity Project for Starlight Children’s Foundation, donations can be made at thecolorrunsydneyaugust2016. gofundraise.com.au/page/EmmaDelDot Stay nerdy and DFTBA! (Don’t Forget To Be Awesome) 20
Med Revue 2016: Are jokes about prostate examinations really that funny? By Michael Wright
(who laughed a lot at the opening night of WSMS’s 2016 revue)
Revue: “multi-act popular theatrical entertainment that combines music, dance and sketches.” (Wikipedia, 2016) The Boy Who Fluked, Western Sydney Medical Society’s (WSMS) 2016 revue, is an enjoyable evening that may not be The Cursed Child, but doesn’t cost as much as flights to London. It is well worth the $15 ticket price as a light-hearted night out with good performances resulting in sincere laughter. The show follows Justine Binny’s Harry Spotter who, due to Hagrid’s ‘clerical’ error manages to get accepted to WSU’s Medical School without sitting the UMat and narrowly passing the HSC. The parody takes inspiration for its primary plot from Rowling, however some clever writing allows this storyline to hold interest regardless of how many of the Potter books/movies you have read. Several of the revue’s cast gave terrific vocal performances, especially on well-adapted parodies of Sia’s Cheap Thrills and Adele’s Hello. An acapella take on anti-vaxers set to Lorde’s Royals, however, suffered from ill-preparedness; the two talented singers lost time and struggled to regain their confidence. Other pieces that fell flat included a Disney show-tune that addressed institutionalised childsexual assault and a sketch about a recent terror attack, with no clear punchline. While these jokes
left the audience generally aghast, at other points objectively funny sketches were met with little applause/laughter as the audience struggled to find their cue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the students worked in a number of takedowns of their coursework, including a rather ironic practical placement in a pharmaceutical-free vegan commune. While many jokes played on specifics of the School of Med, there was more than enough to keep non-Med students laughing. Some of the best punchline hit/miss ratios came from a recurring series of “if med students were honest” videos, alongside other highlights of the night including a bid by Donald Trump to run for Dean of the School of Med in 2017, and Steve Irwin filming a wildlife documentary in Campbelltown Hospital. Prostate examinations became a repeating theme of the night, begging the question of whether the concept of ass-play is inherently funny. While there was definitely some hard-hitting satire on the idea of consent, the joke became overused and was perhaps not as clever as many of the other sketches. Regardless of any faults however, ‘The Boy Who Fluked’ proves that WSMS have a winning formula for their revues, improving on last year’s Mean Tweets. Overall, it begs the question why MedSoc is the only campus group providing an annual review, and keeps this reviewer keen for 2017’s offering.
THIS IS THEIR HOME PRIYA PULIKKAL This poster was designed to celebrate refugees in Western Sydney. It encourages the audience to think outside of the common ‘Westie’ stereotype and to see the good that Western Sydney offers its residents, especially its newcomers. The poster illustrates a concrete wall with a hole that is shaped as the map of Western Sydney. This wall can represent that of a detention centre or a barrier that is stopping refugees from coming to the area. The map is seen as both a light at the end of the tunnel and as an escape from war and danger. Within the map are images of previous refugees expressing their culture, their new life and the resources that are provided to help settle refugees into their new home. Many refugees have experienced different forms of racism. One common racist expression is “go back to where you come from”. The text at the bottom of the poster indicates that Western Sydney is home, a place where we are all safe from war and destruction.
NOWSA 2016: Penrith Women’s Collective By Winnie Dunn
When women get together there is a specific type of talk that cannot be replicated. It is a specific conversation of experience. It is a specific type of empathy. It is a specific type of feeling. This is what NOWSA16 at UTS from 11-16 July was all about: the specificity in the talk and togetherness of women – something yet to be completely recognised and supported at Western Sydney University. The Women’s Collective here at WSU is young for all the wrong reasons. The Collective is yet to go through the major changes other university women’s collectives have had the privilege to grow with. Whether through funding cuts, the stretch of multiple campuses, or simply a level of student apathy towards learning, our women’s collective is yet to be a forcible and recognisable movement within and outside of the university. I love my fellow women, but I feel we have yet to stand in complete togetherness on campus and beyond. The chance to attend NOWSA and surround myself with fellow women who are engaged in changing the institution of our education has been a fundamental learning curve in, what I feel, will be a substantial growth in Western Sydney’s Women’s Collective over the coming months in my officer duties and beyond. NOWSA held important conferences in understanding: intersectional feminism, equity movements in disability and LGBTQIA+ spheres, and the institutionalisation of sexism, racism, and misogyny in all facets of life including the cyber realm. The chance to talk to all women’s collectives and movements nationally has been the most important opportunity for our young and growing Women’s Collective. To be able to share ideas along Kasandra (Parramatta) with more established
Australian Women’s Collectives has shown that our own need the following: * To be an autonomous group. * To have a Culturally Linguistically and Diverse branch for women. * To be more accommodating to single female identifying parents. * To have our new room be a safe space for breastfeeding parents, transwomen, and people who have once experienced female based oppression. * To reach out to Western Sydney Community spaces to grow in understanding for the women who live near and around the university location. * Hold more constant and relevant Collective meetings and events. * Open our space for Indigenous female yarning sessions. * To advertise and create awareness for female safe spaces and sexual safety. * To make aware that our existence is a reaction against the harmful and still very real patriarchy. * Educate city-based universities, and especially other females in those areas, on the rich culture and education of Western Sydney University. I am thankful for the subsidy the university has provided for me to attend this meaningful experience both as an individual brown female but also as a representative of the women on Penrith campus. NOWSA has made me more aware of my responsibility to my female caucus on campus. It is a position that I have been, and will continue moreso, to work incredibly hard in. Attending NOWSA has given me the valuable tools, knowledge, and connections to do so. 23
ReFLections on National Union of Students EdCon
By Janice Yane, Vice-Chair Penrith Student Campus Council Aside from the obvious benefits of attending the Education Conference by National Union of Students (NUS) and listening to the respected guest speakers during multiple workshops and seminars, Iâ€™ll admit that my favourite thing about my student life transformation from earlier this year is, without a doubt, my newfound interest in politics. The closer I come to the EdCon 2016, the more eagerly I expected being one of the six delegates sent by Western Sydney University. I spent four hours on transportation each day of the conference because there was only one Penrith campus shuttle bus in service during the winter break. As I am living on campus, I committed myself to getting out of my warm bed by 6:30 am and travelling to the city. I walked a long way from Redfern railway station across the University of Sydney campus to the auditorium in Eastern Avenue theatre complex. I write this three weeks after the education conference (it was held July 4-7). I recall the most impressive message was from the panel of journalists who shared their knowledge and experience and gave genuine opinions about the media industry. It was my third time watching the movie Hunting Ground. The theme of the movie is sexual assault of female students in American university campuses. The aim of the screening at the conference was to raise awareness of violence against women to prevent it happening in Australia.
During the conference, while some students yelled at each other across the auditorium where I had been spending a large portion of my three days, overall it was quite friendly. Some student representatives invited me to add them via social media, and soon we were connecting with one another on Facebook. Social media provides the platform that has been a really fun way of making new friends and learning more about different cultures, sharing photographs and video clips. What really surprised me was how popular political culture is in the other universities. Every second participant I met belonged to political parties and almost everyone was aware of politics. I came across at least 20 students from different universities. They seem to have been trained with political knowledge there. It was cool to see their excited reactions to political and university policies and their arguments or criticism of others from different political parties. Some students held strong appeal in their expression of outrage over cuts to education funding. Compared to university students in some parts of Asia, the students of this exciting city and country are lucky to be able to enjoy freedom of speech, assembly, expression and information. Feel free to like Penrith Student Campus Councilâ€™s Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/penrithscc/ If you are from other WSU campuses, please like our page at https://www.facebook.com/westernsrc. org or visit our website at www.westernsrc.org 24
Council of International Students Australia conference 2016 The 6th CISA National Conference was held in Darwin, 5-8 July, in partnership with StudyNT and the Northern Territory Government. Darwin is the gateway between Australia and Asia – a tropical city closer to Indonesia and Singapore than Sydney or Melbourne. It has a rich Indigenous heritage and population, plus unique natural environment that many international students do not have the chance to experience whilst studying in Australia’s southern jurisdictions. CISA is the national peak representative body for international students in Australia. Their major objectives; Many Cultures, One Community! Their vision is to be recognized as a holistic voice for international students in Australia by the local, national and international community. This year the conference theme was “Breaking down barriers, facing the future together as one.” CISA was inaugurated in 2010 at the University of Tasmania through the joint efforts of the National Union of Students, Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations and the Australian Federation of International Students to form a unified voice for all international students. The conference provided a significant opportunity to meet government officials, representatives from Legal Aid and other government departments, education agencies and student delegates, to collaborate, share inspirational opinions and goals. The conference delivered a great amount of exposure, solving complex problems faced by international students across Australia, on how to improve student engagement and offer better services to this international group. According to Mark Darby, General Manager of StudyNT, being a part of CISA brought benefits such as the consideration of international students, elucidating complex problems. Key Learnings * The concentration of educating Indigenous people and need to provide an environment to grow, lead a healthy life and a descend life. * Social Innovation is a mindset and set of strategies. Problems should be considered as an opportunity rather than mere problem * Data collection enables opportunities to grow. * Lectures should focus on creating different mindsets, such as problem solving, resourcefulness, experimentation, reflective thinking, story telling, optimistism, observation and creativeness.
* Safety on campuses to be made stronger with the help of NSW Police. * Improve student engagement with the help of students as “students can sell to a student” * Various scholarships are offered by StudyNSW, Navitas and other various universities. * Universities should focus on providing the best possible student experience. (Tom O’Brien – Director (A/G) International Education Group, Department of Education) * Travel concessions for International students are still in process. SUPRA, with assistance from other universities is filling a petition to parliament once 10,000 signatures have been collected. * English communication skills will let students excel in their career path. * Every year, International Student Awards are provided, CISA and StudyNSW have been providing International students with recognition. The Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Tourism and International Education and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment, announced on April 30 the creation of the new Council for International Education at the launch of the National Strategy for International Education 2025. This Council will provide the vital industry experience to enable Australia’s international education sector to be more adaptive, innovative and globally engaged. CISA President, Nina Khairina is a part of this council as well. All students are requested to share their stories to CISA. At this National Conference, in order to bridge the gap between international and domestic students, a survey has been launched to reduce the gap and will take only 15 minutes. Kindly logon to surveymonkey.com/r/cisa2016 and the deadline will be mid-september and ipads will be offered to one lucky winner. Next year the conference will be hosted by Australian National University in Canberra. Expressions of Interest to attend and nominate to the Executive Committee Board and Awards will be opened next year. CISA membership funding has been approved by the SRC. For details www.cisa. edu.au/ Ash (Ayswariya) Subhashini
Member | Western SRC Vice-Chair and International Student Representative| Parramatta Student Campus Council
A WORLD ALL TO OURSELVES CHRISTIAN PALMON Imagine if you could concentrate most of the world’s cultures into a single area, creating a world for hundreds of different ethnic groups in our planet. For me, this is what Western Sydney is: a whole new world. For inspiration I looked to middle 20th Century sci-fi poster art featuring simple shapes and colours combined with a grand sense of scale; these posters often inspired us to venture out into the universe for life, love, adventure, and home. But you don’t have to look to the stars for these qualities when they’re right here in Western Sydney.
Beyond Boundaries more than just your average postgraduate conference By Narelle Ontivero
How many people does it take to organise a Postgraduate conference? Five students; and, two convenors. I’ll be first to admit, the words “Postgraduate” and “Conference”—like the lame attempt at humour above—are not the most smack-bang riveting words we associate with university life. The two words might even bring on an agitated, neck-jerking reflex (remnants of those quiet, grey, lectures that left a few scars during our undergraduate years). So, let’s be honest, what is this ‘thing’? And, why does it even exist? Behind its formal veneer and fancy name, the Interventions and Intersections: Postgraduate Conference is an inviting and engaging platform for Postgraduate students and academics in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts to meet; bounce ideas off each other; and, relish the opportunity to scavenge through “free food and coffee”—by far, the holy grail in any student’s vocabulary. But it took a while to figure this out. Months earlier, I was persuaded by my kind supervisor—and Vitamin-D-deficient skin—to leave the little cave I call an office and talk to real people. The result was a haphazard jolt into the student committee to help organise the 8th Annual WSU Interventions and Intersections Postgraduate Conference! Suddenly, it seemed as though a neverending stream of fortnightly, then weekly meetings and emails followed. But, beneath what seemed a slur of conventions and checklists, a new world of academic culture and possibility unfurled. Believe it or not, this academic world is actually a lot friendlier than you think! Being on the student committee unveiled the possibility, engagement, camaraderie, and the willingness to
collaborate that is embedded in the life-system of the WSU community. Do you need a speaker? Sure we’ve got one! Think you don’t have a panel? Well you just haven’t met *insert cool or generic name*! The integrity that ran through the preparatory months in the committee happily filtered through to the conference event. Spread over two days, and interspersed with three heaven-sent meals each day, the two keynote addresses and masterclasses gave us an unsweetened take on the realities of life after PhD [and possible PTSD]; as well as the joys and challenges of interdisciplinary research. Refreshing honesty! Most importantly, this year’s Beyond Boundaries conference celebrated the quality and innovation of student research. Linguistics, Music, Digital innovations, Literature, Politics—these are just some of the categories addressed by students, that inspired so many conversations, and exchange of ideas, throughout the day. All this contagious enthusiasm culminated in the 3-Minute-Thesis Competition: an electric and exciting competition, in which postgrad students have three minutes to present their 90,000-word thesis to an audience (it’s like the X-Factor of the academic world, celebrity WSU judges included). The good news is you haven’t missed out on all the fun! There’s another postgrad conference happening next year, and there’s a seat with your name on it. Trust me, even if you think you’ll only be going for the food, you’ll be swept up in the excitement and end up staying for the conversations. Special thanks go to fellow committee members Dr Anna Pertierra, Dennis Lam, Peter Long, Jo Williams, Janet Saunders and Amanda McNamara—the real backbones of the Conference. 27
A New Year for Women: N NCOSS Summit wrap up By Lauren Nicholls
The 17th of August found women and a few men from all reaches of NSW descendingw upon Cockle Bay Wharf to participate in the launch of NCOSS’s campaign, ‘New Year for Women’. The campaign brings economic empowerment into focus, linking economic disadvantage to gendered violence, lack of representation in the workplace and the growing group of older women that are becoming homeless. CEO of NCOSS, Tracy Howe, highlighted intersectional disadvantage and the effect that compounding oppression has on people and groups. American-born women’s rights proponent Lisa Witter encouraged participants to engage in psychology and communications theory when pushing their agenda, arguing that facts alone will not persuade, and that engagement with the audience is key. Storytelling and evoking emotional responses is the name of the game. Shared values are more effective at forging interest than straight policy. She talked of collaboration across sectors. Witter recognised that between women’s rights groups and corporations there is a large relational gap, and this is stopping the movement’s momentum. Win-win situations are the key to forwarding empowerment for women. Witter argued that the push for rights and opportunities doesn’t have to be one of sacrifices alone. Engaging business in mutually beneficial opportunities, such as guiding them in creating legitimately women-friendly policies that result in higher returns for the business, is more beneficial. Following Witter were addresses from both Pru Goward, Minister for Women, and John Barilaro, Minister for Skills. Premier Mike Baird was not in attendance, however he sent his apologies and a promise of $100,000 in funding. Goward walked the economic line advising the audience to ‘always follow the money’, saying that what a rights issue was once, she now considered an economic problem. She linked economic empowerment to facilitating women’s ability to leave domestic violence situations, without
the mention of how these situations are formed in the first place. When she wasn’t blaming those who have experienced domestic violence, Goward explained that what attendees were currently discussing was something she was discussing over 20 years ago, conveniently skipping over the fact that she refuses to label herself a feminist. Barilaro took the community track, talking of small business statistics, and how women are remarkably underrepresented, making up only 4% of Sydney’s start-ups. Where Goward urged change makers to move Australia slowly, Barilaro countered, saying that the ground is fertile for change to push ahead. Goward closed on an interesting note, the ‘Princess Problem’, where girls leave high school not taking their academic future seriously, because they are expecting to meet ‘Mr. Right’ who will cherish and pay for them. There was many a quizzical head tilt during this time. In later conversations I had, people refuted ever experiencing or witnessing this apparent princess problem. It was argued that, if anything, girls coming out of high school experience the opposite; they have spent their entire schooling being told they can accomplish anything, then come out to find that in fact they’re not considered equal economic contributors in society. Sophie Cotsis is the Shadow Minister for Women, and Prue Car is the Shadow Minister for Skills. Both women spoke about how literacy heavily affects economic empowerment for English as a Second Language women. Car highlighted how TAFE cuts downgraded English literacy programs, thus directly impacting these people’s education. Housing affordability, child care affordability and retirement savings were all issues that were named as barriers to women’s empowerment. Costis urged women to get into the face of their MP, to be consistent, to be firm; to form a delegation and force the politicians to have the conversation, to make the personal political. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, Professor of Law Vij Nagarajan, Executive Director
‘‘A widely diverse range of people in Australia are governed by an extremely narrow group of people that mostly share just the one identity: white, male’’
of the Sydney Business Chamber The Hon. Patricia Forsyth, CEO of YWCA NSW Anna Bligh, and Koori Mail journalist Keira Jenkins, made up the next panel discussion. What was made very clear was that women from different groups and different geographical locations have very different oppressions and these barriers accumulate from a young age, eventually forming large gendered economic differences. ‘‘The gender pay gap is reinforcing that I am not as good as a man every day of my life’’ said Jenkins, by far the youngest on the panel. Anna Bligh noted that throughout her whole women’s movement career there had been moments when she thought ‘we’re really cracking this’, but quickly realized this was not the case, reinforcing to the audience the reality of the long, winding road ahead. Nagarajan argued that the systematic oppression of women is so galvanized due to the entrenchment of disadvantage in the law and structures. The structures that exist in Australia, the legal and economics frameworks, are geared toward the world of men. One example, is the legal structure around domestic violence, and how the rights of the father to see the children so easily overrule the conditions of an AVO. The topic that resonated with me the most was Keira Jenkins proclaiming that ‘woman is only one layer of my identity, everyone in this room has all these different layers!’ From there it was reinforced that women are not a homogenous group that can be empowered with a one-size fits all solution. Even with this in mind, the widely diverse range of people in Australia are governed by an extremely narrow group of people, that mostly share just the one identity: white, male. Prominent Aboriginal rights activist, Jenny Munroe requested all indigenous identifying women to join her in a separate group, so they could speak about the topics with a specific focus on the needs of Aboriginal communities. What ensued was remarkable; the
agenda was changed from the young women’s round table wrap-up presentation, to a forum featuring the group of women gathered by Munroe. Munroe immediately made every white person in the room uncomfortable – and with good reason. She first pointed out the hypocrisy of the welcome to country, explaining that the welcome to country should not be used by Australians paying lip-service to Aboriginal oppression, that it is a protocol of respect used by the First People to move across territories. Those live tweeting struggled to keep up with the rapid onslaught of quotes that needed to be publicised. Munroe continued ‘our people have endured a 200year holocaust, and there is no end in sight’. People shifted in seats uncomfortably, with white privilege undeniably on display. Dorothy entreated participants to lift Aboriginal women up with the movement as well, with no sister left behind. She said that Aboriginal women have so many barriers to face before they even came to the problems that summit participants were discussing. She then went on to recount a story of police discrimination. In a beautiful moment, Jenkins was named by the panel as ‘the face of the movement’, and as each woman spoke, the vastness of the disadvantage that Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people face every day became palpable – the emotion was such that I have raised goose-bumps as I write this a whole day after. Lisa Witter’s closing remark was something I heard echoed multiple times afterwards: ‘my journey of learning white privilege was painful because it was shameful’. The general consensus at the end of the summit was one of awe, which is not commonly found postconference. The sheer power of the collective was felt by each person in the room. This left everyone with a small fire of that thing that drives movements and pushes change.
THE CHANGING FACE OF THE WEST DYLAN GAGE I wanted to show that the negative stereotypes of Western Sydney are out of date. Western Sydney is made up of a large number of different nationalities that work together to make up a vibrant community. A number of diverse faces were merged to create one; they may look different, however together they form one united human face of cultural diversity.
VOTE ! Student elections
Candidate Statements are now online at westernsydney.edu.au/studentvoice for 2017 student campus council and editor positions voting voting opens opens OCTOber OCTOber 4-14 4-14 check student email for details 31
WE GILLIAN FERRI My poster is a comment, an invitation, and a reminder. In areas of Western Sydney, up to 51.8% of people are born overseas, including myself. We make up one of the most culturally diverse parts of Sydney and yet there is still a lack of acceptance and in some cases, division. My comment is that we are a community united. My invitation goes out to those who have come across the seas, who have gone through trial and difficulty hoping for a new home; [in the West] WE welcome you. My reminder is for those who have already made a home here, including myself; that our anthem will not be sung in vain, that we will not continue down a road that is divided, but that we journey towards unity.
SAFE HAVEN GABRIEL BARRA As a first generation Australian, I grew up in an area surrounded by cultural diversity. I have seen the worst of the West but most importantly I have also seen the best. To me, Western Sydney is a safe haven for everyone, ranging from Australian-born, migrants, and refugees. Like the WSU advertising states—the West has taken them in. In my poster, this is represented by an image of various birds huddled together in one big nest. However I have not used just any birds: these are the national birds of some of the largest cultural demographics that live in the West, such as India’s peacock and the Red Crowned Crane of China. To help reinforce the idea of diversity, I quote singer Ani DiFranco: “I know there is strength in the difference between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap”, and to bring the whole thing together I used watercolours. The reason for this choice of the medium is that it’s unpredictable, and colours can blend and leak together. It’s not perfect, however the image remains beautiful, and in my opinion this represents Western Sydney.
The life of a Spy The wonder of UWS Confessions has been the true barometer of the student experience of Western Sydney for the last 3 years. With Macquarieâ€™s confessions at a measly 157 likes, UTS at 15,097, USyd at 15,029 and the nearest rival UNSW at 22,583 our editor NICOLE GISMONDO decided to look into the success of UWS Confessions (28,494), and live vicariously through the UWS Spyâ€Ś When did you start UWS Confessions? I started UWS Confessions while I was in my second year. I still remember launching the page when I was in my Contracts class... I was really bored so I started to procrastinate and ended up on Facebook. I shared the page on UWS Memes then after a few minutes of phasing in and out of day dreaming and trying to concentrate in class I noticed a few people in front of me on their laptops on my page. Was kind of weird since I never thought it would get out that quick. Why did you start it? I didn't really have any purpose at first. I just saw other uni's having big confession pages so I thought to myself that we should have something like that! I kind of had some experience running pages so I knew what people wanted to see on their newsfeeds and what they didn't want to - for example advertisements. I had a basic recipe for the page and just sat back and let it grow. Were you always intending to be the UWS spy? Or did that come after Confessions? After a few months of running UWS Confessions, something awesome happened. I was sitting down with a friend in the UWS Labs, finishing up on an assignment and it was getting pretty late. We were the only two in the labs at the time. My friend had an old iPhone 4s and a weird idea came up, I thought we could use it as bait and see what people would do with it. The individual who found the iPhone started making calls to his cousins on how he can unlock it and sell the phone. It was interesting watching this individual, it felt like he was part of some sort of human experiment. The following day I typed all the details of the experiment and posted it on the Confessions page. I didn't expect much from the post, but it exploded and received over a thousand likes and over five hundred comments. People seemed to love the idea of the social experiment for some reason and it was interesting to get all the feedback from my followers. After this my friends and I conducted a number of other social experiments, uploading the details on the page. Each experiment would always attract thousands of views, likes & comments and people seemed to love them. At first people would call me a "vigilante" or even "batman" but one of my friends suggested the title "Mr UWS Spy" and I've hung onto that since! What has been your favourite social experiment? It would be one of the early ones. I set up an iPad as bait to see what people would do with it. Some blonde chick picked it up and started playing with it trying to unlock the device. The funny thing was my password 34
Confessions was (0000) so it really wasn't that hard to crack! She then walked out of the library with the iPad and went to her car which was an expensive BMW. My friends went and asked her for the iPad and she was becoming belligerent towards them so I walked up to her and showed her two photos that my mates took of her taking off with the iPad. It's funny how one second an individual does anything to deny something then two seconds later they just silently hand back the device and apologise. This person then went onto help us with the next social experiment we conducted on the Parramatta campus. So it was a very weird but interesting outcome. Has an experiment ever gone South? No. We ensure that our experiments go smooth by planning. We don't just spontaneously conduct them without getting together and discussing how, where and when we are going to do one. Whenever we do conduct experiments we position ourselves at vantage points so that we don't lose our bait and that they are conducted in public spaces. What do you think will happen to confessions when you graduate? (Assuming you are a current student?) My plans are to pass this page onto a first year/second year student when I graduate. I'm not going to be around forever and I don't intend to run this page after I graduate since I'll be very busy. I'll advertise it on the page and ask for people who are interested to inbox the page and I'll decide from there. I'm hoping to find someone who can keep the page active so if they're up for that... then inbox! The page currently has over 28,000 likes, one of the only UWS pages that rivals other Sydney Unis, what do you think makes it so popular? I think it's because the admin of the page aka the UWS Spy is a familiar character on the uni campus. Most people know about my character and it keeps people entertained. I try to post up original content and refrain from posting anything like click-bait advertisements which many other uni have a long reputation of doing. Ultimately it's the original content and the drama that brings people back onto the page. I try to keep things interesting for everyone without offending anyone... so it's a hard game to play but I think I've learned a lot of lessons since day one. Do you intend to ever change the name from UWS to WSU or some variant? At the moment no. The reason I decided to keep this page as UWS confessions is mainly because UWS holds some sort of a sentimental value to me and also to the many other students who are the 'veterans' of this university. I've also got other reasons which is more leaning towards marketing, since the university went through a brand and name change I didn't want the content of this page to impact their work. They've done an amazing job of it so hats off to them. When the page does get passed down to my successor who knows, maybe they will change the page name to WSU Confessions. 35
STUDENT LEGAL service
student legal service:
car insurance It’s everyone’s worst nightmare – you are driving to uni, running a little late to your lecture and there is traffic everywhere. You finally make it to the intersection just before uni and you go to turn the corner and out of nowhere you hear that awful sound of screeching tyres and metal crushing metal. BANG! Your stomach drops and you let out the world’s biggest sigh. You’ve just had a car accident. You get out of the car to inspect the damage and you notice long scratches on your car and a huge dent on the other car. You think to yourself, “Thank goodness I have insurance, that will surely cover it”. But then the driver of the other car asks you what type of insurance you have, and you pause; you didn’t even realise there was more than one type… “Oh no!” you think to yourself, “This is going to be much more complicated than I first thought”...
Whether or not you can claim on your insurance after a car accident depends on the circumstances of the accident and the type of insurance you have. There are three types of insurance: Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Third Party Property Comprehensive Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance CTP insurance, commonly known as the ‘green slip’ is compulsory in Australia. It is against the law to drive a vehicle or motorcycle without CTP and a maximum fine of $5,500 can be issued for this offence. What CTP covers? If you caused the accident i.e. are at fault, CTP will cover: Compensation to any person who has been injured or killed in the accident e.g. your passengers, other driver & passengers, pedestrians etc. This ONLY covers injuries and does NOT cover any compensation for property damage to your vehicle or other vehicles. Limited medical expenses and loss of income for the driver at fault. BE CAREFUL: If you only have CTP insurance and you cause an accident and the vehicles involved are damaged, the owners of those vehicles can commence legal proceedings against you to recover the cost of the repairs needed.
Third Party Property Insurance Third Party Property Insurance is optional. What Third Party Property Insurance covers? If you were at fault in the accident, the insurance will cover the cost of repairing property damage to other vehicles. This means, if another driver involved in the accident pursues you for money for repairs, you can make a claim on your insurance company and refer the other driver to your insurer. Your insurance company can then act to settle the claim with the other driver. You will most likely have to pay an excess for this claim but will avoid being sued directly for the repairs. In limited circumstances, if you were not at fault in the accident, the insurance may cover some repairs to damage sustained to your vehicle. To claim this cover, you must be able to provide to the insurance company the name of the at fault driver. You should check directly with your insurer if your policy covers compensation for this type of damage. If your insurance policy does not cover damage to your vehicle, you can try and recover costs from the person at fault either through their insurance company or by commencing legal proceedings against them as an individual at court. You should seek legal advice from Student Legal Services before commencing any legal proceedings.
STUDENT LEGAL service clubs
Some FAQs: How do you know whether you were “at fault” in the accident? Fault is determined by the law, specifically the Road Rules (NSW) 2014. Sometimes it is obvious to determine who was at fault i.e. if you rear-end a car, you will most likely be at fault. Other times, it is more complicated and it can even be that both parties contributed to the accident. If you are unsure, you should seek legal advice from Student Legal Services.
Comprehensive Car Insurance Comprehensive insurance is optional. What Comprehensive car insurance covers? If you were not at fault in the accident, the insurance will cover the cost of repairing the damage to your car and damage to other vehicles. If you were at fault in the accident, the insurance will still cover the cost of repairing the damage to your car and damage to other vehicles. You may be required to pay an excess. BE CAREFUL – your insurance claim could be refused if you were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Note: The above is general information in regards to types of insurance. Insurance policies may vary and therefore it is necessary to consult the individual policy.
Should you always make a claim on your insurance? This depends on whether or not you have to pay an excess, how much the excess is and how much the repairs are going to cost. If the cost of repairing the damage is similar to the cost of the excess, it may be worth paying directly for the repairs as a claim on insurance can affect your premiums, no-claim bonus or ability to get insurance later on. If you are confused about how to proceed after a car accident, contact Student Legal Services. You can receive free legal advice from a qualified solicitor about your particular situation. By Susannah Coles – Solicitor, Student Legal Services
Disclaimer: The information is general and should not be relied on as legal advice. Should you require advice, contact Student Legal Services on 8688 7875 or email email@example.com WSU Student Legal Service is a joint venture between Western Sydney Community Legal Centre and WSU. Located at the Parramatta Community Justice Clinic, Parramatta Local Court, it provides advice to currently enrolled WSU students through SSAF funds.
ANCHOR KYRUS MACALALAD This poster is created with five elements: the anchor, the soil, the chains, the vines and the butterflies. The main focus of this poster is to communicate the idea that Western Sydney has become a place of acceptance and opportunity for immigrants of all kinds to hone their skills, and contribute to the growth and success of the NSW economy.
SEP 19 - 23
Nirimba is lucky enough to have Marlene Cummins Trio, Australia’s foremost Indigenous female blues performer with gozleme at lunchtime. + silent disco, open mic and visual projections.
NIRIMBA SEP 23
From 12.15pm take in Masha’s Legacy, a sumptuous intercultural melting pot of music and performance, and grab a Halal Snack Pack outside The Hub at Parramatta! In the afternoon, 3.30pm, catch a highly entertaining panel discussion on religion and sexuality with Bec Mac, ``Aphrodite’’, of Love TV in the Janice Reid Pavilion. Gayby Baby screens there at 4pm. + silent disco, open mic and visual projections.
PENRITH SEP 19
Shimmy to the sounds of Performing Brazil from 12.30pm, celebrating all things Brazilian and particularly chorinho, the “Brazilian Blues”. Drop in on Koshari Catering outside the library and call it the best lunchtime at Penrith this year. Open Mic from 2pm. Gayby Baby screens at 3pm, V.G.05. Don’t miss Tabua Harrison - experimental WSU music duo Holly Harrison (drums, electronics) and Joey Tabua (guitar, keys) from 11.30am (also at Parramatta and Bankstown, same time) + silent disco, open mic and visual projections.
Chill to the sounds of Mohammed Lelo Arabic Trio at lunchtime with catering by Koshari at Stable Sq. + open mic and visual projections. Gayby Baby screens Sep 22 at 5pm at Hawkesbury, G1.G.51
CAMPBELLTOWN CAMPBELLTOWN SEP SEP 22 22
Roots reggae trio Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun bring the joy to Campbelltown outside Bldg 2 at lunchtime with catering by Koshari. Gayby Baby screens at 5pm, in 4.G.17 + silent disco, open mic and visual projections.
BANKSTOWN PARRAMATTA Headlining at Diversity Fest Bankstown is Joseph Tawadros, one of the world’s leading Oud players. Tawadros has expanded the Oud’s familiarity in mainstream western culture and has been recognised in the Arab world. His collaborations have won him three ARIA Awards. Tawadros will perform alongside the Poetry Slam at Bankstown campus, Building 20, on September 20 from 7pm, with catering by Koshari. Keep your eye out for further Diversity Fest performers at Bankstown including the pioneers of Indigenous hip hop, The Street Warriors, (pic above) at 12.30pm, outside Bldg 1. Pick up your Halal Snack Pack and be amazed by the Spanish Michael Jackson impersonator at 1.20pm. From 1.50pm it’s an Open Mic free for all. Gayby Baby screens at 3.30pm in 2.G.05. + silent disco and visual projections.
BANKSTOWN SEP 20
THINK AGAIN RACHEL MCFADDEN Take a look in any newspaper and you will likely find an article talking about Western Sydney as though it was a cultural black hole, full of bogans and racists. In reality, Western Sydney is a diverse mixture of cultures and communities, built on a rich history of immigration, creativity and innovation. This poster encourages people to pull back the stereotypes and look beneath the surface to see the real story of the West, and the people that have built a new life in the diverse and rich communities of our region.
NEWS NEWS campuS NEWS
HALAL SNACK PACK
Salam brothers and sisters! As part of the Campbelltown Student Campus Council (CSCC) who brought you free HSP during week 1, here is my review of that glorious day! Signage: N/A No signage present but considering this was an onsite setup, l decided to not deduct any points. Not to mention the holy presence of the 3 brothers, which had a greater beard-to-hair ratio working tirelessly to prepare the delicacy that is the HSP left no doubt in my mind that the meat was 100% halal. Greeting: 10/10 “1x HSP coming right up, brother!” this was enough to make me embrace the passion he felt in preparing my snack pack. Meat: 8/10 As l stared down on my freshly made HSP, l could feel the salivary glands (mostly the submandibular gland) prepping my mouth for the succulent meat l am about to eat. And with every bite, my taste receptors were vigorously activated and the rush of flavour became abundant. But to my disappointment, the lack of bite-sized pieces made the meal difficult to eat and l found myself rolling up 43 the meat as if it was spaghetti.
Chips: 7/10 The chips, while sometimes overlooked, is without a doubt the base – nay, the foundation of every HSP! And while the chips were well salted with the glorious chicken salt, they lacked the golden crunchiness you’d except from any perfect serve of deep-fried potatoes. Sauce: 8/10 Naturally l ordered The Holy Trinity (garlic sauce, BBQ and chilli) and while the garlic sauce was prepped freshly on-site, it lacked that dominant garlic flavour – the kind of flavour you’d expect anyone with a normal functioning nose to turn away from before the air even blows through your larynx. However, the BBQ and chilli sauce made up for this. Packaging: 10/10 Styrofoam – nuff said. Overall: 8.6/10 If you missed out on this event, don’t worry! The council is hosting ANOTHER HSP event as part of Multicultural week during week 8. Be sure to check out our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all the exciting upcoming events we will be hosting!
By Mahmoud Al-Dabbas
Campbelltown Student Campus Council
Online quiz fail
By Dave Butler I bring to studentsâ€™ attention an unreasonable flaw in the WSU quizzes which are run online. As it currently stands, many units run an online quiz, with the majority open for a week and managed from the Vuws site. Recently I spent several hours studying and note taking for one of my units in preparation for my just-opened, half-hour, multiple question online quiz at home. I was given information on Vuws to study a specific chapter of the text book, and to my distress when I opened the quiz, it was based on a chapter which I had not read or studied. As it turns out, the wrong information was posted on Vuws. I quickly abandoned the quiz and sent an email to the unit coordinator to alert them to the mistake, and it was immediately rectified. The problem being, once you start the quiz you have to finish it in the allocated time, and when I asked that my results be annulled due to the error, the unit coordinator explained they could not do this as they cannot access the system to change marks. I completely understand why lecturers and tutors cannot access the system to change grades. However, this leaves me in a situation not of my making, where I am now down as failing the quiz due to my abandonment. Luckily the quiz is best of two, and I did well in the first, so am not overly concerned about the result affecting my grades. I was also able to apply for special circumstances and resit another quiz if I was not happy with the situation. However, I would like to give another example of the inflexibility of this particular system. If for example you lose your internet connection, or press the wrong key and lose the page whilst attempting a quiz (which is easy to do), the result is the same, you will be graded on what you completed, which is wholly unfair. I personally do not attempt any quiz in the WSU library or whilst using the WSU wifi as it is altogether unreliable, and luckily I have access to a good, (but expensive), internet connection at my home. This seems completely unwarranted to me, and does not take into account human or service provider error, or the increasing unreliability of those major service providers, and the presumption by WSU that we are machines that never make a mistake. I would suggest if WSU was to broaden the current scope of updating the online enrolment process to include an examination of the online quiz system, it would be a vast improvement to the current model, and prove satisfactory to all parties involved. 44
Looking at the whole picture: My experience at WSU By Vanessa Noble We see it every day, people forming opinions based on a single experience with an organisation. People may have a bad experience with airline staff on a flight, with a checkout operator at a major supermarket chain or with a tour guide whilst they are overseas. In many of these instances people persist in ridiculing the organisation involved, in forming a negative opinion of them and in communicating to everyone how bad they believe the customer service really is. Conversely, other individuals may have a very positive experience with an employee in an organisation and their entire perception of the organisation is enhanced as a result. What I am trying to get across is that many people do not view organisations as a whole and do not base their whole perception of a given organisation on their individual experience with one or a few employees. This is also relevant to universities around Australia and the world, particularly when students persist in ridiculing universities based on their experience within their respective degree and school. Personally, I have had a fantastic experience so far at Western Sydney University studying my Bachelor of Psychology. Not only is the degree itself interesting and the staff professional and friendly, but the method of content delivery has also been fantastic across the board. Many people do complain about online lectures and material, however I have found that if this is executed well then this material is sometimes even better than when it is presented live. Additionally, throughout my experience so far, staff have persistently encouraged students to provide honest feedback on units of study and staff members. Although some individuals believe that this feedback is not considered, I do know for a fact that much of the feedback that is provided is acknowledged and I have seen changes implemented to units in proceeding semesters based on student feedback.
Although my experience has been fantastic, I know that other students’ experiences have not been as good. However, I also believe that ridiculing or ‘dissing’ the university as a whole based one’s individual experience does not achieve anything. If you do not like how a unit was conducted or the quality of teaching by a staff member, provide comprehensive feedback in the unit evaluations at the end of semester. If something is of concern to many students in a unit, email the coordinator or organise a meeting to voice your concerns. If contacting respective persons in your unit or school does not result in change, contact representatives on your student campus council who can potentially voice your concerns higher up the university hierarchy. If you are having a really bad experience within your degree and school, then change universities and see whether your experience studying elsewhere may be better. In recent years, our university’s reputation has improved dramatically as a result of many changes, with one large modification being the recent name change and advertising campaigns. Yes, there are still aspects of course structures and university life that could be improved, however no organisation will ever be perfect and as long as attempts are being made to seek feedback to grow and improve, then that to me is a sign that an organisation is trying to be the best it can be; I believe that Western Sydney University is doing this. So next time you find yourself or someone else dissing a university, business or organisation, think about whether your or their opinion is a reflection of a bad individual experience or whether it really reflects the respective organisation as a whole. 45
A Taste of Social Work in Blacktown
PICTURED: Gabrielle Lawson with Rebecca Poulson, domestic violence author and speaker
By Gabrielle Lawson What exactly is social work? It is an industry that carries with it many connotations, some of heroism and others of negligence. To be honest with you, I was unsure of what social work looked like until the third year of my social work degree. Having finished my placement at the Blacktown Women’s and Girls’ Health Centre, I have been both inspired by the work that is done and also frustrated with the lack of funding the Centre receives. The Centre offers a range of services including counselling and case management, exercise and art therapy programs. It also works with outreach services like Family Planning NSW, who provide a female nurse and doctor for clients every week. The Centre also auspices the North West Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service which supports up to 500 women each month going through the court system. I was lucky enough to attend Blacktown Local Court with the staff and observe the work that is done to support women seeking Apprehended Violence Orders and other legal aid. It was the first time during my placement where I was confronted by women crying in front of me. One of the things I have learned is that you have to constantly climb over your comfort zone because that is how you reach the people who need you. During my placement, I offered to update the Centre’s Referral and Information Guide. As a local resident of Blacktown, I was not aware of more than half of the organisations listed which made me
question how many other people in our community need services they don’t even know are around the corner from where they live? Organisations need to promote their services so that people are aware of their options and are empowered to seek the help they need. I participated in many community events including the Blacktown City Festival and a candle light vigil for National Sorry Day. I learned how difficult it can be to collaborate with other agencies, especially when they have their own agendas to meet. Overall, I found that the best way to overcome these challenges is to remember that it is the community you are working for and that it is their needs and wants that should be represented. One of the most surprising things about my placement was the community support. The Waratah Slimmer’s Club, a local exercise group, fundraised $1,000 for the Centre. It was inspiring to see the lengths that local residents go to ensure that community organisations continue their work. So what exactly is social work? It is more than phone calls and endless paperwork. It is more than meetings and home visits. Social work encompasses many different methods. It may involve walking in a local parade against domestic violence. It may include fundraising so that a family in need has food to survive. Social work is about striving for social justice and human rights for all people. You have to start where the people are, and join them on the journey upward. 46
Open Letter to the VC: The West needs Performing Arts By Dr Mel Macarthur
Dear Professor Glover, A word of introduction. I am a graduate student (D.C.A.) currently in my third year at Western Sydney University in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. I have previously taken degrees at the three long standing universities in the Sydney metropolitan area (and some others besides). My experiences of Western Sydney University are very positive and compare favourably with other universities I have attended. Having said that, I will raise a matter which I consider Western Sydney could beneficially rethink. Western Sydney has recently undergone an exercise whereby, it seems to me, it has sought to redefine itself and ‘claim’ the social and cultural environment in which it is situated. This would suggest that the University is sensitive to its surrounding social and cultural environment. It therefore seems to me to be an anomaly that the Playhouse, a building designed to foster the performing arts (and at the main entrance to the Kingswood Campus) is underutilised for the performing arts. Perhaps this decline commenced when the University dismantled the Bachelor of Performing Arts degree, a degree which produced notable performers for stage, film and television. I have seen fine numerous fine productions at the Playhouse. I am not privy to the reasons why the performing arts were thereby diminished at the University and a fine facility underutilised for the purposes of performing arts, especially drama. I am tempted to speculate that it may have been a striking lack of foresight, or perhaps rigidly fiscal perspectives of previous administrations. I will refrain from further speculation. What is definitively not speculative is that, since the time of the aforementioned decisions about performing arts at the University, the region of Greater Western Sydney has expanded very significantly, both in population and the diversity of its culture. The area has a wonderfully rich and diverse ethnic and cultural background and this can only increase. It is an exciting place to be. There are many talented people in the Greater Western Sydney area. The Writing and Society Research Centre exemplifies the talent in this geographical area, and of people from other areas, who have been attracted to this University to undertake their imaginative work.
In my recreational time, I lead walks for young people from Bidwill across the Overland Track in Tasmania. Part of the preparation for the Overland Track is the undertaking is a series of day walks. On these day walks I have come to know these young people and I have been very impressed by their talents and with their aspirations. Most of these young people identify as Indigenous. A considerable amount of their interest and talent is in the performing arts. The active encouragement of such young people I would see as an important undertaking and the University would benefit by an even greater engagement with them through the use of its resources, the Playhouse in particular. I often pose questions when I walk past the Playhouse to enter the University, questions such as: ‘Could the University be doing much more to foster the performing arts in an area so rich in talent and multiple cultures as Greater Western Sydney’? Could the Playhouse once again become a hub of activity showcasing the performing arts and thereby encouraging the talent that I consider to be so evident in this area? If the University has sought to rebadge itself, could not a vigorous involvement in encouraging the performing arts be at the forefront of its activity? If, in fact, the University is redefining itself and claiming Western Sydney as its ‘turf’, what is its policy with regard to the performing arts in this rapidly growing area? What is the University policy and practice with regard to outreach and connection with the area in which it is situated, particularly with regard to the performing arts? I consider that Western Sydney University could play an even larger part in the social and cultural development of Greater Western Sydney, dare I say it, much as the University of Sydney Dramatic Society has done in its area (and far beyond). Times have changed, and radically, since the University abdicated from its wider involvement with regard to the performing arts. I consider it time for the University to have a re-think of the way it engages with and encourages performing arts in Greater Western Sydney. Professor Glover, I respectfully submit these matters for the consideration of the appropriate University committee/department. I am of the opinion that considerable numbers of students would be as interested in your responses to these questions as I am.
By Aldric Chuah The recent decision by Board of Directors/Vice Chancellor Barney Glover to arbitrarily remove the position of Student Publications Officer was one made without prior consultation and without qualification. The unilateral decision caught many of the editors by surprise given that the role is of such significance for the student newspaper. Given the economic climate of the country we can gauge that the most likely rationale behind this decision is one of fiscal responsibility. However through the actions of the Board of Directors they have shown to be socially unaccountable to the students of Western Sydney University. I understand that the Vice Chancellor has a responsibility to ensure that the university is fiscally responsible and not operating above its means so as to speak. However, the Vice Chancellor has an obligation to ensure that the voices of the student community/bodies are heard and we as a whole would like to express our displeasure at the decision. There is a role for student newspapers in fostering a sense of community amongst students as well as providing an avenue for students to express themselves creatively and allowing students to voice their opinions on events both within and outside the realms of Western Sydney University. It is a paper produced by our students, but one which ought to be shared around the world. As students we are the leaders of tomorrow and the advocates of our generation. Our ability to do this will be diminished through the removal of the Student Publications Officer position. The Officer is vital to ensure the effective and efficient operations of the paper. In addition, this role requires the staff member to; manage print services, organise distribution/
advertising as well as being a conduit between the student editors and the authority within the university. Through this we are able to better voice our concerns and ensure that they will be passed onto the relevant authority. The staff member takes cares of the logistics; we take care of the content. Hence this staff member provides unconditional support to student editors and ensures that an equal opportunity is provided to all. Once that proverbial link is broken, the Western Sydney University Paper as we know it will dissipate and be at great risk of being consigned to the pages of history. If the Board believes that we will let this paper go down in to a state of disrepair they are sorely mistaken. We will fight to the hilt to ensure that operations of this paper are adequately provided for. As Whitlam Institute Director Eric Sidoti eloquently pointed out at the launch of the (then) Cruwsible student newspaper â€œComfort the afflicted. Afflict the comfortedâ€?. We will strive to do that and will continue to do so. However as students we have to attend to our education/studies and arenâ€™t always available to assist on the operations of the newspaper. Someone is needed to assist us. The removal of this position sets a poor precedent and undermines the confidence of students in the credibility of the Board and the newly installed Vice Chancellor Barney Glover. A Minister of the Crown has public servants. A company CEO has Directors and a student publication has a Publications Officer. We sincerely ask Barney Glover; as the representative of this university that this decision by reversed to ensure the vitality of Western Sydney University Paper. (editorial note: the Student Publications Officer role has been extended to the end of 2018. See story on page 5) 48
Respect.Now.Always Update The Respect. Now. Always. project has been supported by Universities Australia and the National Union of Students (NUS) and commenced in March 2016 with screenings of the Hunting Ground documentary. The Western Sydney University project team believes that it is important for Western Sydney University to engage in actively promoting Respect. Now. Always. in order to raise awareness of sexual assault, start a dialogue about the importance of reporting and provide information about support services and processes at Western. A website has been developed and I encourage all students to take the time to review the information, so that if there is a situation that occurs students are familiar with some of the resources available to themselves or others (www.westernsydney. edu.au/respectnowalways). The development of resources for international students is underway and the electronic resources will soon be added to the website. Guidelines for staff in Responding to Allegations of Sexual Offences have undergone extensive consultation, including consultation and feedback from the NSW Police Sex Crimes squad. These
guidelines have now been finalised and the project team will commence the dissemination of the guidelines to staff and student leaders during 2016 and 2017. With the health and welfare of all students of paramount importance and with the goal of creating a culture at Western Sydney University of safety and respect, with zero tolerance to sexual assault or sexual harassment, key university staff have completed the Sex, Respect, and Ethics training which was provided by Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia (Full Stop foundation). Help us all create a University of safety and respect by contacting the Project Officer to discuss how your collective, club or school can benefit from a seminar, information session or discussion session. Sexual consent and bystander intervention sessions have so far been provided to new residents of Campus Living Villages and University Games Leaders. For information on the National student survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault please go to www.westernsydney.edu.au/respectnowalways
By Julie Xiberras (Respect. Now. Always. Project Officer) Did you know that Western Sydney students can receive discounts on a variety of products and services? All you need is a valid student ID number to access vUWS or a valid Student ID card. Student discounts are offered in a huge range of areas including entertainment and travel, dining, retail, online shopping, health, fitness, beauty and more. Visit westernsydney.edu.au/studentdiscounts for the full list of participating businesses. A SSAF funded initiative !
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Oh deer, I’m Queer !
By Faelan Mourmourakis, Hawkesbury Queer Officer Say hello to Hawkesbury Queer Collective’s new mascot. A peryton is a mythical hybrid creature combining the features of a stag and a bird. The peryton design was decided upon by the members of the Hawkesbury QC to create a better sense of community and pride, all artwork having been designed by a member of the QC. The unicorn has been a long-time popular symbol of the queer community. Following this theme of solidarity with mythical creatures, a peryton was voted in favour for the new mascot. Influenced by Hawkesbury campus, a prominently agricultural and science based campus surrounded by farms, including hand raised deer. We’re now happy to announce the winning name of our new mascot! Suggestions for names were taken by Hawkesbury Western Sydney U students and an online vote decided the name of our rainbow mascot. It is now official, as decided by the Western Sydney U community that the Hawkesbury QC’s mascot’s name is: Peire the peryton! Thank you to everyone that voted and suggested names. Hawkesbury’s queer space is located in Stable Square (K4.G.79) next to cuts on campus. Look for the rainbow door! To find out more about what is happening in the Hawkesbury Queer Collective follow us on: Facebook page: facebook.com/hawkqcuws/ Instagram: instagram.com/westsydqueercollective/ OrgSync: OrgSync.com/137250/chapter 50
A Transgender Tomboy Investigates her Own Place Within and Without Gender By Maxwelle-Jane terrors best left unmentioned. Aggression? Never mind, I can hear your chuckling from the desk I’m writing this article on.
What is a tomboy in the 21st century? The definition of a tomboy has always (much to the dismay of 3rd wave feminism) defined women based on how similar they are to men, rather than how different they are as women. The Oxford Dictionary identifies a tomboy as “girl who enjoys rough, noisy activities traditionally associated with boys”, the Meriam Webster dictionary defines a tomboy as “a girl who behaves in a manner usually considered boyish”, and the Urban Dictionary (with surprising tameness) defines a tomboy as “A chick that usually acts like a guy”. Obviously, these outdated definitions do discredit to tomboys and women in general by failing to identify what aspects of women are considered feminine or masculine. But to the modern young adult, the lines are more blurred than ever before.
The only divides found between “masculine” and “feminine” can be found in stereotypes derived from (weakening) societal pressure; man’s stoic “strength” versus feminine emotion. Even that is a poor judgement in masculinity and femininity, as while society still pressures men to mask their emotion, this line is being blurred as anyone who has been revealed as a “happy” or a “sad” drunk can attest. Furthermore, emotional outbursts are actually deemed unacceptable in men due to values of professionalism in a corporate space, not gender in itself, with more and more women finding themselves under the same corporate pressures as the gender gap closes (too slowly, but that’s outside the scope of this article).
Within the last five years (at least), the typical “feminine” image are not of women bound mindlessly by dresses, tabloids, television, nor pop “idols” such as Bieber. They are instead the revelations of decades of social rebellion, defined by weakening gender roles, new age digital multimedia, and the explosion of sexual and romantic independence and visibility. It’s hard to find a 21st century woman who has never enjoyed either wearing pants, playing video games, or listening to distorted guitars (P!nk, Fall Out Boy, and All Time Low all spring to mind). So what of masculinity? While the “jock” and “nerd” stereotypes still exist both in modern media and modern society, finding qualities considerably masculine without resorting to cheap stereotypes remains just as elusive as defining femininity. Bravery? Us women utilise bravery in all facets of life, be it in public speaking, the occasional bug (this writer will not admit to fear in public, but has panicked in the presence of a spider on more than one occasion), or just going out at night-time from
So what of tomboy-ism? As a transgender (and previously non-binary) member of our community, it’s impossible to gauge whether the tomboy is relevant. On one hand, it saved me from a lifetime of questioning my own gender, as my shift from gender-fluid bi-gender to full-on femme was fraught with “but I don’t like floral print nor do I cry easily, how can I be a girl?”. Identifying as a tomboy eased that transition when my gender suddenly stopped sliding last year. But at the same time, how can I identify with a word based on sexist misconceptions of who I am, with no concrete list of factors or attributes to my identity? It’s a word I clutched onto deeply in the early stages of transition, but now, I think I’m ready to let it go. Are you? Maxwelle-Jane is a second semester B Business (ABL)/B Laws student on Parramatta campus. She is currently president of the Western Sydney Queer Collective in Parramatta and is a current member of the Western Sydney Women’s Collective 51
The Strength and Struggle of a Tongan Female In memory of the 200 Tongans (called kanakas) who were dumped on an uninhabited Cocos island by Captain Thomas James McGrath and Captain Escurra. They claimed $30 from your heads and left you to die with contagious diseases. Some of you would never see your home again. Some of you will die on the voyages. Some of you will be saved by King George Tupou I and taken to ‘Eua. Your descendants still live in Ha’atu’a/Kolomaile to this day. They will never really take us. They will never really break us. “What?” “Where’s that?” “What?! You don’t look Tongan!” “You don’t even sound islander!” “You’re too skinny to be Tongan!” “Are you fob?! You’re joking!” “Are you sure?” Yes. I am Tongan. I am a Pasifika. I am light-skinned because of unofficial colonialism (Tonga is the only island in the Pacific never to be actually colonised). My thin figure is only socially valued because of capitalism. It isn’t my fault you think all “fobs” are fat and dumb. This is what I wish to say when someone asks me about my cultural background. I want to violently shove their sticky noses into my ambiguous racial looks and finish with: “There! Happy?!” (I am reminded: “violence is not the answer,” though I am unsure why). I don’t think people actually understand how casually racist they are being when they reply in such a way. How invalidating it is to my identity as a brown girl. I know I am not the only person of colour who would get such a response. It seems to be the universal response if you don’t look like your assigned racial stereotype. White people and even fellow people of colour who should know better will do anything to uphold White capitalist supremacy because it benefits the White collective, and many people of colour over many years, have come to believe in their own oppression.
People of colour have come to internalised white beauty standards through popular culture and something as casual as: “you’re too skinny to be Tongan.” At one point, even I wanted to be white. I would straighten my mahana (bushy) hair, change my voice to sound lighter and pack on sunscreen so I didn’t go “black.” I have known darker skinned cousins who went so far as to buy whitening cream. In the words of Malcolm X, (who used to conk (relax) his “nappy” hair): such an act is the first step to self-degradation. Any people of colour are taught to relax themselves to white beauty standards or be considered slaves. Once called kanakas, now called fobs and over-stayers, my people are still seen as slaves. And the rest of society is quiet about it. Western Sydney has the highest population of Pasifika’s in Australia…but where is our representation? I will not relax. I will not accept your casual racism that tries to strip me of my heritage. Although like Tongan poet Konai Helu Thaman I sometimes feel like my own ta’ovala is broken, I am still a proud Tongan – no matter how I look. This is what it means to be diverse: You are born into a culture. You do not choose it, but it is yours, no matter what. You must understand that as someone lighter in your culture, you will have more capitalist privilege, accept this. Understand your levels of privilege but also your levels of oppression. You do not need to be white. Love your Grandmother for she has all the stories. Learn your history. Use your second/third/fourth generational privilege to eradicate racism through critical thinking. Love other people of colour, especially women of colour. Do not ever be ashamed of your name. Make people learn it. Remember it. Love your skin and then love it again. Do not relax. I will keep repeating until you learn (and until I learn): Yes. I am Tongan. I am a Pasifika. I am light-skinned because of unofficial colonialism (Tonga is the only island in the Pacific never to be actually colonised). My thin figure is only socially valued because of capitalism. It isn’t my fault you’re a blatant racist. I am proud. I am in love with myself. I am in love with my people who I will always be a part of.
By Winnie Dunn
FLOODED KATE VIETZE I see it and read it on social media everyday: â€œwe are being flooded by refugeesâ€?, and it seems that the rest of Sydney has concluded that this sentiment comes mostly from the West. In reality, refugees have come to call Western Sydney home, and we have socially and culturally accepted them into our way of life, and learned about theirs. My poster is a statement about Western Sydney being a metaphoric umbrella for refugees who have sought shelter, safety and most of all, acceptance. It turns around the conversation to a more positive one, challenging current perceptions about the people of Western Sydney.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. au for maths workshops, email@example.com. au for academic literacy workshops and firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL ARE WELCOME JONATHAN HERRING The objective of this poster is to demonstrate that Western Sydney openly welcomes refugees into our community. Through the use of the image of a golden ticket, Western Sydney is represented as a rich place—culturally, environmentally and socially—due to the diverse cultures that make up our community. The purpose of the ‘invitation’ is to show that Western Sydney takes pride in our cultural diversity, and that refugees are welcome here.
, Will we catch em all? By Melissa Swann Pokémon GO shattered download records when the Californian developers Niantic let it loose upon the world. While the craze took much of the world by surprise, the huge mobile hit didn’t happen overnight. The 21 year old Pokémon franchise aside, the first hints of Pokémon GO came way back in 2014 when Google Maps implemented a feature for April Fools Day that allowed you to virtually scour the world to find Pokémon. From there people all over the internet dared to dream (and think up theories), one user even musing on the thought of Nintendo teaming up with Niantic to use the concept and platform of their existing game, Ingress, to create a Pokémon version. And that’s exactly what happened. Luckily for us, Australia was one of the first countries to start hunting Pokémon, before the UK, Canada, and even Japan. The game dropped just a week or so before the beginning of semester, and despite overloaded servers constantly crashing the game right before you could catch that damn Eevee, every campus was still full of budding Pokémon Trainers battling out the gyms and trying to find something other than another Rattata. Some campuses are a little more fortunate than others when it comes to PokéStops: the few at Kingswood campus are nothing compared to the sea of PokéStops over at Parramatta South – but I digress. For the first few weeks on campus it was all too easy to spot someone playing the game. A group of people huddled outside the library? All intently staring at their phones? Gym battle. Determinedly
stalking around campus? Changing direction every now and then? Definitely trying to track down that pesky Poliwag. You might have even spotted Ash Ketchum wandering around Penrith campus during Clubs Week. We’re about half way through the semester now and things seem to have dwindled. You could guess it’s because students have their heads down in their studies, just too dedicated to chase down a Growlithe on the other side of campus. But perhaps the hype has died down due to the game not really advancing all that much. For one, tracking Pokémon has become virtually impossible these days. With the in-game feature broken (and then removed entirely!) and all third party tracking sites shut down, regardless of whether or not you thing they count as ‘cheating’, the game doesn’t really do what we expect it to. Never mind the fact that leveling up gets ridiculously grueling around level 20, or that hatching eggs is really only worth your time if you’re spending real money on those sweet, sweet Pokécoins to buy extra incubators. And don’t get me started on these region exclusive Pokémon! I can only get a Farfetch’d in Asia? Are you kidding me? With no trading feature confirmed (but coming “eventually” says Niantic CEO John Hanke…) it seems that the game as it stands now, not all that different from release, just hasn’t been enough to keep the hype going long enough to for us to bother to Catch ‘Em All. 57
Diversity on Screen: Asian Australians and ‘The Family Law’ on SBS By Mark Mariano Let me begin by saying how great 2016 has been so far in terms of multicultural programming, and it goes without saying that The Family Law has pioneered the movement with its bold January release.
Ben’s ambiguous yet somewhat assumable sexuality in a way that doesn’t ridicule homosexuality. The Family Law switches things up a little, with its Caucasian characters instead being the archetypical sidekicks (Ben’s friend Melissa, played by Bethany Whitmore). You know who I’m talking about, the ones that say the occasional supportive yet mundane line that pushes the main character into motion (Gilmore Girl’s Lane Kim).
Spanning across six episodes, this fam-com (based on Law’s book of the same name) follows a young Benjamin Law on his journey to stardom. While the show is mainly from Ben’s perspective, the SBS series hits home with its hilarious albeit accurate portrayal of his immigrant Asian Australian family dealing with regular family woes, including, but not limited to; romantic dysfunction to the point of parental separation, a father’s disapproval of his eldest daughter’s boyfriend, the bickering of young sisters, and the perils of having a soon-to-be-famous family member. Besides its ingenious writing, witty yet subtle jokes and humble production values, more needs to be said about the scenes with pure Chinese dialogue, a rarity on Australian TV. We are given a glimpse into Asian culture, with this series being a depiction that doesn’t place Asians in a farcical light. It is so incredibly refreshing to see a full Asian cast playing an Asian family. Law is breaking down huge barriers to casting within the Australian film industry and by default, Law has catalysed a movement that will inspire many young Asian Australians to pursue their dreams in whatever career they chose. More also needs to be said about Trystan Go’s incredible encapsulation of Benjamin Law. Go plays a little with
We saw it briefly in the long running Aussie classic ‘Neighbours’, in which Hany Lee plays the heavily Korean ‘Sunny’. Ethnic comic relief has twisted cultural representation not only domestically, but in many Western films. May it be Ken Jeong in ‘ The Hangover’ or ‘Community’, or Sofia Vergara on ‘Modern Family’, or Lucy Liu in anything. It wasn’t until the likes of Rush Hour in 1998 where Asian and African American actors were able to mainline a successful film franchise. With Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off The Boat, Lee Lin Chin’s ‘The Weekend Shift’, alongside her rise to fame on every social media platform and of course The Family Law, soon the Asian/Black/Hispanic comedic side character trope will be a thing of the past.
If TV were a theme park, The Family Law bursts onto the scene as the underrated yet enjoyable rollercoaster sure to put a smile on your face. Grab your own copy of the first season now and prepare yourself for the second season in 2017, confirmed on Law’s Instagram.
Pauline Hanson and the Politics of Fear By Phil Craig Pauline Hanson is well known for utilising the politics of fear to gain the support of Australian voters. In the 1990s, her attacks on Australia’s first nations and Asian communities was unrelenting. Her comments about Asians led to the conservative PM John Howard demanding she quit the Liberal Party because he was worried about the impact on trade with Asia. In Hanson’s first speech to the House of Representatives in 1996 she said: “I won the seat of Oxley largely on an issue that has resulted in me being called a racist. That issue related to my comment that Aboriginals received more benefits than non-Aboriginals.” Hanson then asserted that Australia was in danger of being “swamped by Asians”, and that these immigrants “have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate”. Hanson said that “mainstream Australians” were instead subject to “a type of reverse racism … by those who promote political correctness and those who control the various taxpayer funded ‘industries’ that flourish in our society servicing Aboriginals, multiculturalists and a host of other minority groups”. This theme continued with the assertion that “present governments are encouraging separatism in Australia by providing opportunities, land, moneys and facilities available only to Aboriginals”. Among a series of criticisms of Aboriginal land rights, access to welfare and reconciliation, Hanson criticised the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), saying: “Anyone with a criminal record can, and does, hold a position with ATSIC”. And yeah, Hanson still denies that she is a racist. In 2016, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON) party won four Senate positions, including Malcolm Roberts who believes that NASA manipulates the scientific data on climate change as the world, apparently, is not warming. He says there is no “empirical evidence” to show that carbon dioxide even affects the climate. The resurgence of PHON is being supported by the small far-right groups, such as Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front, and the Party of Freedom whose goons recently stormed a Sunday Service of the Gosford Uniting Church dressed up as Muslim stereotypes.
But around half a million others voted for PHON, largely because of its right-wing popularism: it attacks the major parties for being out of touch but doesn’t criticise their economic and social policies which have led to job cuts, precarious employment and a lack of services. Instead, minority groups are being blamed. The major parties are responsible for setting the political framework for racism and xenophobia. The bipartisan anti-refugee policy and the bi-partisan “war on terror” policy which allowed for the deployment of troops to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have helped develop a racist, right-wing populist support base. Some of PHON’s reactionary policies are: * Surveillance cameras for mosques (but not in Christian churches). * A Royal Commission into the corruption of climate change science (but not into the billions the dirty fossil fuel companies receive from our tax dollar). * Stop Muslim immigration and the intake of Muslim refugees (discrimination based on religion). * No marriage equality (because apparently it could lead to child marriage). * Abolish multiculturalism and the Racial Discrimination Act (opening the floodgates even more to hate speech and discrimination). * Ban Halal certification (halting exports to several countries and costing billions) * Ban the Burqa and Niqab in public places (similar to the divisive policies adopted in France and Belgium and which leads to pressuring women to stay at home). How are we going to respond? It’s useful to look back about 20 years and see that Hanson has been subject to a great deal of resistance from those, particularly high school students in the late 1990s, who rejected her divisive racism. We have to step up that organising again, in particular in support for refugees and asylum seekers, Muslim women and First Nations peoples, all of whom need allies in their struggles for freedom and against discrimination. Hanson’s divisive policies are doing anything but creating a ‘one nation’ that is inclusive of all Australians. Phil Craig is a member of Resistance Young Socialist Alliance at WSU. Get in touch with him here: email@example.com
WSU Calls Cut on Media Production at Penrith
By Michael Wright Students studying Media Arts Production and Design courses at Western Sydney University have been told they must move to Parramatta to continue studying in 2017.
listed buildings at Parramatta South. The university has since confirmed to WSUP that this is not the case, and the new studios and editing suites will be in Building EA.
The School of Humanities and Communications Arts will leave purpose built facilities on Werrington South campus at the end of Spring Semester, moving into retrofitted buildings at the University’s Parramatta South campus.
“Students will have the same access to purposebuilt design facilities, digital video equipment and/ or in-house production and editing studios as are currently provided at the Werrington South campus” said a university spokesperson.
The Dean, Peter Hutchings, told students about the move in an email on August 26, since leaked to WSUP by students. Unconfirmed rumours circulated earlier in the year, when a number of technical and academic staff indicated they had heard about the move. This email, however, was the first official notice to students.
Matt Womsley, a second year Bachelor of Communication student told WSUP “the University is putting profit before education”.
When asked by WSUP about student consultation and involvement in the decision, a Western Sydney University spokesperson said the move ‘‘is in keeping with the long-term vision for the University’s academic programs, and the ongoing master planning for the University’s campus network”. SRC Secretary Grant Murray said a lack of student consultation about major changes was symbolic of the university’s systemic problems. “The rebrand, One Parramatta Square, degree changes, the new science building and now Werrington South, all massive changes with lacklustre consultation”. “University management does the bare minimum to tick a box saying they’ve told students, but don’t actually listen to us”. Early rumours had suggested that the Design and Media Production facilities would move into heritage
“Instead of waiting, the Uni believes that moving everyone at once will be beneficial to their bottom line. I personally hate the idea, as [moving campuses] will affect the learning opportunities that we have as current students”. Other students took to Facebook to question the school’s motives. “We [Media Arts students] get the massive raw end of the deal” said Jess Armbrust, a current student. “At Parramatta, the traffic is crap, and parking is impossible”. Several academics have told their classes that they shared this sentiment. Many staff and students live in Penrith or the Blue Mountains, meaning that the move significantly disadvantages them. The university will be holding a Q&A session in the coming weeks to inform students about the details of the change. More information can be found at westernsydney.edu.au/hca/parramatta_relocation
Justice For Don Dale By Mariam Tengbeh
Emotions ran high as an emergency rally was called at Sydney Town Hall demanding justice for the children tortured in Don Dale Correctional Centre. This came after the shocking footage shown on the ABC Four Corners program, of Aboriginal children being tortured in Don Dale. The video footage blew the lid on systematic child abuse across the country. Following broadcast of the footage, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that a Royal Commission into the centre will be conducted. With already countless inquiries into policies that breach the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the rally demanded immediate justice. Aboriginal support worker Ken Canning, who played a role in organising the rally, said “it’s a response to the atrocities that Indigenous people face everyday”. “Since the story broke out, both sides of politics on state and federal level have continually lied about their knowledge of institutionalised torture and maltreatment of indigenous youths.” “It’s a series of national rallies that will take place. We don’t want this issue to go away until the government takes full responsibility and brings justice. We are not letting this one go untouched,” Mr Canning said. Guest speaker Aunty Jenny Munro gave an emotional speech saying “We need to know who our enemies are and fight them together; our enemies are this racist government and the system”. As promised, the rally remained peaceful with 1500 people in attendance, and it couldn’t have come at a better time following the Black Lives Matter rally on July 16.
Less than a fortnight earlier, a group of young activists stood in solidarity with the US to lead the Black Lives Matter rally in Sydney CBD and Melbourne. The Twitter hashtag #blacklivesmatter has become a genuine political force demanding an end to racism in Australian society. Organiser Enoch Mailangi recalled the struggle he endured organising the Black Lives Matter rally. “The whole week the police called us telling us to cancel the rally and we were worried that if we went ahead we could be arrested,” he said. With alleged police intimidation and death threats the rally successfully attracted over 2,000 people in Sydney and an additional 3,000 in Melbourne. Organiser Keshia Gibson talked about her experience as a coloured women. “One death is a tragedy but two deaths is a crisis and I was absolutely disgusted that our ancestors fought hard and long for our rights yet still today, in 2016, the twenty first century, we are still having this conversation. “The rally had many opponents saying ‘this isn’t America’ or ‘stop trying to bring this problem to our peaceful country’ and this disturbed me because the First Nations people of Australia the Aboriginal people have suffered, to date, 560 deaths in custody which are not given any light or media attention” she said. Aboriginal rights activist Pip Hinman from Green Left Weekly hoped that the rally would have an effect on the wider Australian population and would encourage people to stop sweeping Indigenous issues under the rug and to stand up for what is right and to demand change and justice.
COMPASSION KIMBERLEY BROOKS The citizens of Western Sydney are culturally engaged and diverse. Due to a ‘Westie’ stigma, they are far more intelligent and kind hearted than what they are often perceived to be. The people of Western Sydney are compassionate in their support of those who are in need of a place of refuge and more importantly, a new beginning. I have portrayed this in my work through a variety of bright colours, creatively representing the culturally diverse people that make up our community. The hands have been included to represent our community’s giving nature in providing a home to those seeking it.
Youth Voice in Western Sydney
By Nicole Gismondo On Thursday the 16th of June I represented Western Sydney University and The Academy at Youth Action and the Committee for Sydney’s event, Future Proofing Western Sydney. There were four keynote speakers, including myself, Khushaal Vyas from UNSW, Alice Yan from James Ruse High School and Courtney Carter from Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School. The event was hosted by Youth Action’s Natasha Lay, and SBS Pop Asia Host Andy Trieu. I spoke on transport, and as a student from the outer west, how this affects all parts of my life. This included my university life and the 2.5-hour trip by public transport to Bankstown. Secondly I spoke about how it affects my search for employment and whether I am able to travel within Western Sydney for employment, or have to travel to the city, as that is where transport is geared towards. I then moved on to the impacts on my social life and being unable to engage in the night time economy. Finally, I gave some insight into my view for rail crosslinks and an orbital Sydney rail line, with which I think Sydney could be future proofed. Khushaal spoke on creating a positive youth culture in Western Sydney, and how this can empower youth to become involved in politics and their communities. He noted that his own local community saw a wonderful youth culture spring forth in the Fairfield area. Alice spoke on the need for a new teacher feedback system. Courtney expressed her concern for teaching the basics in light of the tech revolution, reflecting on her own experiences of disadvantage. This was followed by panel discussion about housing affordability, transport, the arts and youth voter disengagement. Joining myself and Khushaal on the panel was Labor MP for Parramatta Julie Owens, Liberal Candidate for Parramatta Michael Beckwith and Chair of the Committee for Sydney Michael Rose AM.
Of particular note was the discussion on graffiti as art, and how that can be integrated into the community. The issue of housing affordability was discussed at length, with great points about the housing shortage, but also the need for any housing to be accompanied by transport and services, else young people (and anyone else) won’t consider it affordable. We also discussed youth opportunities in Western Sydney and how youth struggle to enter the jobs market, and gain the same opportunities as in city schools to have a predetermined advantage. Despite both politicians taking their chances to blast previous policy decisions of the other party, I believe it was a very productive and informative discussion. It was a great experience and a great chance for youth to engage in discussions with politicians who have the power to affect these decisions. However, the most exciting part was the reaction towards my own speech by the Committee for Sydney members Johanna Pitman and Michael Rose AM. As a result of the Forum I was invited to attend an exclusive business NSW Budget Address with the former transport Minister, now treasurer, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian. I was able to voice my concerns and network with many industry members with a stake in decision making around holistic planning for Sydney. In short however, while there is record spending on infrastructure in and for Western Sydney, there is no plan to fix the current lack of cross-links; most lines planned are for the express purpose of funneling people to the city. I think it was an excellent example of youth speaking out, and it being able to matter. So I say to Western Sydney students, your voice can matter, you just have to find your passion, an audience, and speak out.
By Nicole Gismondo Student Editor | W’SUP 63
AN OASIS KAITLYN DURGALI When I consider the word â€˜refugeâ€™, I immediately think of the multitude of news stories reporting on the displaced people entering European countries, fleeing from war in the Middle East. Violent thoughts about the horrors these people have faced, the trials that are yet to come and being forced out of their own home from fear, is unfathomable. Instead of focusing on the destruction of war and the many suffering refugees, I decided to concentrate my idea on the idealization of a refuge. The type you hear of in stories and movies: a deserted island, palm trees, coconut milk, white sands and untouched natural beauty, but with a Western Sydney twist. This is what I imagined as I was floating in my pool with eucalyptus trees slowly creeping into my peripheral vision and sky a bright blue with no clouds on the horizon. It was picturesque. And in that moment, I discovered the obvious contrast between what a refuge means to me, and to those who seek refuge for the safety of their lives.
By Leisa Riley-Stewart Warm and splendid, Blossoms bloom; The sun is starting to outshine the moon, The birds are nattering As the frost decays And we welcome back The warmer days
Dictator By Gabrielle Lawson I will not be dictated By who you think I am; The labels that you give me Are not my one command. I am not my colour My gender or my age; Your judgments won’t confine me To a small and empty cage. I may surprise or shock By what I do or say; But I’ll not be a prisoner I’ll shine in every way.
Three on Three By Melissa Swann My mother, like the back seat on a bus or the exit rows on airplanes, has never been fond of too-crowded train rides. My sister, tiredly grumpy, hoping for home glares out the window counting passing blurs of trees as seconds. I claim the aisle seat peering down at heads that bob bodies that sway with the curve of tracks beneath. Avoiding the digging eyes across from me. We had squeezed in opposite them; A man and his two young sons, they are what we are not – mirrored in the direction of travel. Our seats face home, theirs, built into that side of the carriage, fixed in place, pull them backwards. Maybe it’s all the same. Unable to deviate, to lift our wheels skyward and away from the rocking screech of metal tracks, set down and singing at our feet. We are dotted at our various stops and linear all the same. Fixed points. Still, we sit opposing. Three on three. Speaking to my mother with the short, quickly clipped words of a learned language flown phonetically from Asia. North of here. A more specific guess slips by me between the slits of slanted, un-hooded eyes. The kindness in them causes shame all my own – the surprising severity of a cupid’s bow condemning of my assumptions. The word Mandarin catches somewhat familiarly on his pacing tongue and my burning ears …but the recall fails me, and I don’t dare to ask. His boys seem just as shy – we are young, after all. The older one in front of me, his legs are long mine short, our bony knees pressed together. We are thin branches of youth, sharp angled and smooth skinned. 66
His father explains their attempts to teach him: English a strain for them alone to pass on to an already filled mind. They, though managing our language, remain situated by time and habit on their own tracks of nativity. Here is the barrier, the gap from platform to train opening up in the space between our knees – though nothing has changed, strangers with no words to tether us in the first place, but the boy seems further now in the narrow room there. Still three on three. Would he understand if I spoke? The second son, legs swinging under his seat, back out again. With his face full of lingering childhood -both in clumsy curiosity and infantile chubbinessoblivious, he glances round the carriage. Craning to see out the window, scenery that disappears behind our backs. My sister ignores him. The reverse of his brother, an attempt, the man says to get it the ‘right way around’ this time they speak to him in English, we learn quicker, sharper, he says, easier with the first language. Now he can learn his language. But the racing sounds of Asia’s tongue glance right over my shallow ears, not quick enough to hold them or hear them – let alone learn. My lazy language, a market commodity, abundance so taken for granted, too easily assumed and crippling, has left me slow of ear and speech. I hope this boy is not the same. For all the differences of my sister and me, we at least share our words. Our lines run parallel. In her nature, my mother sighs and tsks and nods understandingly. Uhms and ahs in politeness – skating on the surface tension of strangers. I am still wondering about these boys; how they speak and play and fight. Even as they shuffle out, their stop arriving, new passengers replacing them from the platform. Squeezing in opposite us, three on three – again. 67
One in one Greater One By One of many ones One. Only one. Only one is needed. Only one is needed to smile, only one is needed to frown, only one is needed to be happy, only one is needed to be sad, only one is needed to begin what hasnâ€™t begun, only one is needed to accumulate more of one. Only one is needed to find perspective, only one is needed to bring perspective, only one is needed to find hope, only one is needed to bring hope, only one is needed to bring comfort, only one is needed to bring chaos, only one is needed to make amends, only one is needed to apologise.
Be one. Be one of one. Be the first one of one. Be the first one of anyone. Be the first one of any one. Only one is needed to be one, only one is needed to do or be any other one. Individually we are all one, but together ones can be one of a greater one. But be your own one, as, if all ones were ones of a one, then that one will be THE only one that exists to be; there will only be the one one. Different is the only one one that one should be one of so one may be any many of many ones.
Only one is needed to do a great many ones. Who is this one? What is this one? Why is one...one? Where does a one come from? I am one. You are one. You are one of one. You can be one of another one. You can be one of many ones. One is a whole, and a whole is one. One can be one whilst being one of a one greater than one. But one must begin as one. As one becomes 2 or 3 or 4 or greater, one remains one, just the one becomes one greater one.
By Brendan Tran
Gonna dropout out , make em songs die poor , what for?, could give a beat stuff a Lec-Tut, won’t attend , tell a teach you bored as me see it in your tone , rather point out all the sheep rather say how I should leave , doze off again and again I need , don’t need this shit I used to know , don’t wanna learn Chose wrong path , Crashed before I flew Like Chris I conquer lands , plant flags in golden sands Alcatraz island we headed back home Learn trees , strip weeds , fund masterplans problematic maniac building borders, down till they trump down on little can I “Vote” Mexi men can’t , go build wall fence pay us , reach out , no helping hand , can’t stand on my own flustered feet reeks of molten mould Opaque Oblivion to Onyx Obsidian get paid in full like Ace miami 02 do Not from harlem hoods , but I saw slums to Saw same skin , scour snacks , salvage cents so canine sick, I stride right past so many can’t even eat , that prison meat we be out in time , takes some time now Was bloodlines ,hot pot chick chook We ate em bones , return , want years due sent dozen spam , 12 inch snack sub sent wine in her box , she told me stop But she never know , what I’ve seen She seen same things , only post rich-graphs districts ain’t bad , ever been country side? passport she travel , first class clique one day you see the world , it ain’t that big only matters how huge hearts unison we are been there to , she went once , pass me by She never smiled back , I never said hi so she bye she changed , she chose Bleach , I looked her online books phonebooks , read scripts, key wiki print it free unlocks taken back to 09 , no DMC I ran her back what I said , told her lies , worst 2 , Block;Ignore face that match , went to store , Papier mache wonder if spotlight still sell paper mosaic She my origami craft , celestial crane , gift wings pearly carbon circle ring , melted in matrimony
Lines Composed on rooty Hill
By NTL Clugston
Hearing the eminence had been put forward for heritage listing – Being the highest elevation in Western Sydney – I travelled out to Rooty Hill. It’s a nondescript hill as you often see in rolling farmland, Nothing to write home about – ‘Mum, I’ve just been to Rooty Hill!’ – And no one was on its slopes except me – The citizens all at the oval below, Racing miniature cars and riding bikes whose snarl was greater than their grunt. At the summit I surveyed the encircling suburbs, Unable to put any names to locations, Except the Blue Mountains away in the west, Which were truly blue. The summit was bare, with no buildings, no monuments, And no roots… (Snigger, snigger.)
The lonely dandelion and the magical breeze By Angelico D. Aputen There was once a dandelion that stood on grass, joyful as it looked up to embrace the magical breeze. Although, it tried to flap its yellow petals, pity, it couldn’t move from its place. It continued to look up to feed on more magical breeze alongside rich and glorious rays. One night, the dreadful moon revealed its shadows that blanketed over the lonely dandelion. It didn’t scare the dandelion. Instead, the moon gave a reason for it to laugh once more. The following day, the dandelion looked somehow different. It was bowing to the ground as if it was grieving alongside with the burned grass. The dandelion stood once more preparing its final flight then the magical breeze came back, finally fulfilling the dandelion’s wish to explore places.
To My Diverse Friends By Blair Lord There is a subtle, warm feeling That I am now cognizant of Which permeates the mundane And renders the routine wonderful That is what I live for. Although outwardly I complain It’s more facetious than truth I’ve never been very good At saying what I really mean I’m getting better now. There are people to meet Bonds to build Which may break or fade with time But we can start anew There’s nothing stopping that. To live is to regret And regrets turn to resent I resent the past Which strives me to improve And get closer to you all. So thank you all For entering my life You might not have meant it But it means the world to me And it always will.
Untitled By Sione Mapapalangi I see how it is now. We walk around in packs, Groups cloaked with heavily fuelled gang-pride, Reeking the distasteful scent, Of hate and resentment for those of our own kind. You see, we’re the same through culture; But rivals based on area codes, Enemies depending on origins, And our respect? It’s constituted by colour, Oblivious to the fact that we are all practically brothers. So why… why do we feel the need to fight off one another? I mean, look at our value! Where do we stand in society? Don’t even front, we’re practically a minority. I remember the time my mother would pick me up from school, see me hanging with my pacific islander friends and she’d say to me– “Son, why do you hang around those boys. I want you to hang with the palangi kids because they will be good influences on.” And as angry as I was I’ve only just understood, Because all she’d ever knew of them, were the boys running around, Starting fist fights and brawls in our neighbourhood. Look at what we’ve done! We’ve labelled ourselves wrong. To think that all you will ever leave behind, Is your initials on the partly set cement. All that you can ever be known for Is the negative statistics High drop-outs and drug offences, You can’t argue with logistics, Alcoholism and domestic violence, It’s primarily animalistic. We’ve shunned ourselves, Shot our culture in the foot. With every pint of alcohol, We have drowned our long held traditions. With the inhalation of drugs, We exhale our own cultural image. A transparent ethnicity, That’ll evaporate as quick as the lit cigarette in between the fingers of our younger generations.
So what makes you proud? The 6 cases of beers Or your 6 wasted years In a 6 by 8 foot cell? Or your washed out dreams, Dishevelled by the white powdery substance. The chemical that got you ‘high on life’ But low on income. Will you not regret the ambitions you swamped in Wild Turkey and Extra Dry? The remnants of your burnt out future, Like the pieces of carbonated ash that stains your glass pipe. Stereotypes - they have emerged with our reality. Just as we’ve become figures in demography. We’re just percentages and integrals, They’ve wrote us off as minimal, And just tallied us up as a large sector in a pie-chart of failures and criminals. That seems to be who we are… But I pray it is not who we will always be.
An Open Letter By Brendan Tran sealed lit bitumen note , left it in red ashes stamped , holding asphalt , wig woven with wax spent many hours , many fossil resources tax thought you craved wine , left the 4 agreements twas read on the other side , who picked it up? no clue hope Miguel’s words reach them to think bout Oceans Blond , think bout Sailing Blondes sea waves silent , Been on Broken Boulevard , Hanoi Rock Shores Shards broken feet worn shoes , Pay me less attention soles loitered MSN , online for you , years still treat me same Never thought lungs would gallop race now I’m losing patience at gallon rate You went threaded Bleach , I’m still at timber bench You locked closed door , I’m not willing to scare not anymore , I’ll tranquillise this heart beat sooner Reminds me of you , my new house Told mother take down lights also got blue pool , jumping castle Don’t judge or stare , my little bro cares I don’t go up or swim down , would rather leap Swinging below empty seats under ridge cliffs
yes all men By Talia May Nobody said “Yes all men” Until after you said “Not all men!” We saw you throw up your hands in defence, Dismiss all our claims because “Not all men!” “Yes all men” is a reaction To your reaction of disgust To our reaction of rebellion Against your action of oppression. You say that “yes all men” is an overreaction But what you don’t realise is that we are OVER your reaction, Your actions, your inactions, Your inability to distinguish between generalisation and overdramatisation Is what fuels the cries of “yes all men” I was part of the problem. I remember one night, talking to my best friend About this girl who I thought was leading me on, Giving me attention and generally being polite. I was fixated on her, so everything made me think she was into me That I had a right to feel hurt when she said she wasn’t Over and over again That I had a right to be angry That I had a right to say vile things about her That I had a right My best friend, a girl, like most of my friends, She didn’t speak up that night, She just smiled and nodded, So I must have been right I must have been right to feel these things I must have been right to say the horrible things I said I must have been right It was my right. The guys at school laughed and agreed Told me “fuck that bitch” “What a whore” That only fuelled the rage more I was right It was my right Can you imagine how the whole world shifted when I realised who I was? Can you imagine going from being part of the problem, To seeing the problem Trying to fix the problem To living the problem? The first time I went out while out, The teenagers in their shitty car Wearing their school uniforms My uniform The uniform of a place I loved and respected They jeered, they whistled and told me they’d be back. My bus took too long to come that day, 74 longer But they took even
Of course, nobody experiences catcalls like that They never happen Just ask the internet, Plenty of guys will tell you so They’ll tell you how women make this up To feel better about themselves To feel wanted To make other women jealous That they tell these lies to make men look like vultures, Buzzards circling the walking meat that is all a woman is to them That these things cannot happen They never happen It was my first day being viewed as a woman, The first strangers to see me that day made me fear for my life The first interaction I had as a woman Left me crying, trying to figure out if I needed to go home Or if I could hold on until I met my friends But is it all men? Of course not It’s not all men, just the first ones I ran into that day It’s not all men, just the first random stranger to come up to my friend when we went clubbing Who followed her around for over an hour trying to get some She made it clear she wasn’t keen, He hung around for another half hour Before finally getting angry and leaving It’s not all men, just that one guy crossing the street later that night, The one who stopped me and my girlfriend at the edge of the road Who put his arm around my waist while staring at my girlfriend It’s not all men, just the ones who whistle and toot as they drive past While I’m walking in the dark, already fearing for my life
Study Tour in South Korea: Regional Tourism Forum
By Brittany Hardiman Eight Western Sydney University students recently connected with local tourism networks in South Korea, through the Business of Sustainable Tourism program, funded by the Australian Commonwealth’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Project. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Tourism Management, undertaking the Destination Management Unit, along with two University staff, undertook a two-week transformative study tour in July. Based in the Tongyeong Sejahtera Centre and the city of Busan, the students learnt about sustainable and cultural tourism and embraced the local cultures and cuisine. The students connected with students from Yonsei University and Gyeongsang National University during their stay, supported by the United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development network. They participated in cultural tours, lectures, handson activities including a joint session on Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and a Regional Tourism and Policy Planning workshop attended by forty local tourist operators, organisations and local government members. “Indeed, we truly enjoyed the visit and it created a unique chance for the young people of three universities to connect with each other under the common goal of sustainable development”, said Won J Byun, Sejahtera Forest Centre Chief Programmer. “Personally, I enjoyed the insightful comments students made regarding what may be improved in terms of sustainable tourism in Tongyeong, which was also shared via local newspaper”, she continued.
At the forum students were asked to comment on their experience in Tongyeong after a scheduled city familiarisation day whereby they visited the local food and fish markets, old Buddhist temples and the modern cable car. They addressed the positives and negatives of their experience as tourists and young professionals and presented their ideas to the attendees. Kim Dong-Jin, Tongyeong Mayor said “Tongyeong is a city with many opportunities in areas such as work culture, history and the ocean. Today through the international exchange of 3 universities, I hope Tongyeong can move towards an edu-tourist city.” Western Sydney student, Jessica McNevin, reflected on the experience: “We attended the Tourism Sustainability Forum this afternoon where we listened to guest speakers (including our own Dr Ian Knowd) and collaborated with our groups in order to come up with ideas for improving tourism within Tongyeong. The atmosphere within the room was amazing; we wore headsets for interpretation as the speeches were spoken in Korean. To have the opportunity to sit in on a forum like this which is spoken in a foreign language is a privilege. It gave a real sense of the passion and efforts that are put into the program. The body language, facial expressions and tone really emphasised the importance of sustainable tourism within the Tongyeong area”, Jessica said. RCE Tongyeong will be holding another local tourism forum in September of this year to continue on the work around sustainable tourism.
India immersion a life changing experience By Andrew Phong
‘‘We must live simply, so that others may simply live’’ - Ed Begley The New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant in collaboration with Western Sydney University’s Immersion Experience in India has given me the invaluable opportunity of viewing the world through a different lens. I was exposed to challenges that I was previously unaware existed, which contributed to my overall growth on both personal and professional levels. I have always had an open perspective and positive mindset when it comes to education, continued learning and development. This however was heavily challenged when I was on my internship with The Akanksha Foundation in Colaba, Mumbai. I was thrown into the deep end. I did not anticipate teaching on my own, to a class of over 40 students no older than 5 years old who did not know a single word of English. I was shell shocked and started to second guess my capacity to succeed in this role. I undertook hours of extra research, study and consultation with senior staff members at the NGO and school after my first class to further my understanding and better coordinate my classes; to ultimately be the most effective and engaging teacher possible for these young bright minds. My next few classes were incredibly more structured and fluent as I implemented innovative solutions to my previous challenges such as flash cards, drawings, pictures, animations and play-doh to not only engage the students but also contribute to their learning. I have a history in health and fitness so I applied this skill to assist the local P.E. Teacher at the school in running soccer and cricket classes for elder students on a few occasions. The amount of passion, love and joy that was expressed by every single person I was fortunate enough to have cross paths with, was truly amazing. Their warm and friendly nature allowed for a strong supportive network when I was up against the wall during my 1 month stay in India. When I was afraid that I would not succeed, they reminded me that failure is a blessing from the Gods so we can become better from our mistakes. The many stories that I have been privileged enough to have been told by the locals and my new network of professionals, have inspired me to reach even further heights in my own life. For example, Noorjaha (the school aid) traveling 2 hours each and every day to work to support her child’s
education following her husband’s passing. She has no other family members and often finds herself working too much to be able to establish deep and meaningful connections with others. She is often left feeling isolated and alone yet she is able to muster the courage, strength and resilience to keep moving forward with a smile each and every day to achieve her goals. This was truly enlightening. This has made me believe that I should not let my very own limitations restrict me from taking on life’s challenges in order to reach my dreams and aspirations. Rehan, the little school boy in Year 3, tells of his dream of becoming a doctor and studying medical science in an attempt to get rid of cancer within the world. He dreams of a day where loved ones are not taken prematurely due to terminal illnesses. His Mother was tragically taken away from him when he was at the tender age of 2 and the only lasting memory of her is a photograph of him and his Mother clapping in their little home during what I believed to have been play time after dinner. Together with my professional development in areas such as intercultural communication, planning, lateral and innovative thinking, resourcefulness and leadership, my personal growth was dramatically affected in an extremely positive manner. From getting to know everyone that I came into contact with, I have gained a different perspective on the world and have started to understand the ironic beauty of life itself. It has reinforced the significance of time, education, love and a positive attitude in my everyday life. It is too often that we become sheltered from the world’s poorer conditions and end up taking the simplest of human rights for granted. Education, clean food, water and a roof over our heads are a given expectation in our lives but these simple human necessities are only distant dreams for our friends from across the border. If they can move mountains, so can we. Ed Begley’s words “We, who have so much, must do more to help those in need. And most of all, we must live simply, so that others may simply live” captures this notion of giving back and growing as a human being for the better of our world. I strongly recommend the Western Sydney University Cultural Immersion experience in India to all students. Believe me, you will experience a transformation unlike any other. Thank you for this wonderful life changing opportunity, I am forever changed.
Stars by Jodes
by Jodie Sale
Aries Exposing your inner nature and exploring your light is essential. It’s time for your inner warrior to be exposed. Embrace your masculine side, you are bold and confident. Whatever you choose to do will be the correct choice. Taurus Time to meet up with old friends. Explain how things have changed; you’ve embraced yourself and it’s time for them to embrace you as you. You’ll be surprised by the response. They loved you before and they’ll love you now. Gemini Intensity sums you up perfectly. Usually everything you do is at 100%. But recently something is not right. Your energy is blocked. Concentrate on your blockages, start your chi energy healing training - you won’t know yourself. Cancer Exchanging ideas is not something you enjoy. You think the way you like and you like the way you think. But just imagine meeting someone intriguing, someone who changes the way your view the world; you’ll be surprised to know most sapiosexuals think the same way.
Leo The weather’s dull but that is not enough to stop you exploring. Only when you follow your dreams will you find the right path. Staying on the path made for you may intersect with other explorers on the way, and you may be tempted to stray but don’t – it’s all part of the journey. Virgo It’s very hectic trying to keep on top of assignments, work and all those protests and causes to action, via Instagram. It doesn’t leave much time. Remember getting things done requires goal setting. Pick a few world causes and finish assignments before getting online to save the world. Libra Expect the unexpected; the scholarship, internship. Something is going to happen. It will change the direction you’ve planned but with your energy and intelligence you will see all your hard work pay off and you’ll understand why it’s all been taking so long. Scorpio Staying on top is what it’s all about. No way you‘ll allow it to be any other way. Someone around you is trying to take the lead; allow a bit of bargaining but stick to your position as always rightfully on top. Be prepared to burn some bridges on the way.
Contact Guru and Jodes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sagittarius The person everyone wants to be, your phone runs hot, your inbox is always full and you don’t bother answering friend requests. Your friends tell you one thing but you feel something else. Trust your instincts, follow what you think is right and your popularity will only increase. Capricorn Your creative drive is in overdrive. Take advantage of the situation. Write down what you think and feel; keep the record, it will be needed. You don’t know when, you don’t know why, but you and all artists will marvel at the results. Aquarius Philosophy, history and spiritualty occupy your thoughts. “The one who moves while not moving”; how many times can you consider the meaning? You’re living in your head and it’s stopping you from seeing the love of your life in front of you. Stop thinking and start talking; someone is bursting to reciprocate. Pisces It’s time to let go, you are cracking under the pressure. It is not your fault, the energies of the new moon are also affecting you. Societal norms are driving you crazy - how long can you keep up the charade? Love is pure in any form and it’s time the outmoded societal structures take a back seat to enlightenment, love and peace.
by Jesse Neo
Dear Love Guru, I have a real problem with making eye contact. Sometimes I feel that making eye contact comes off as aggressive – it seems intrusive and like something that should be reserved for people you know very well. Many people say that eye contact shows sincerity and trustworthiness. Who is right? It all comes down to the place and time. A small wink in a bar and then diverting your eyes to a table can make sparks fly, but I’m not so sure if that wink can create the same magic on a train. Take some time to learn about your environment, and your instinct will reach your eyes.
Dear Guru, My girlfriend says I don’t respect her. What does that even mean ? I think she is just trying to get her own way so that I am the weak one. Respect differs from person to person. The most basic fact is that doing anything that is not desired by someone else would mean disrespect. So yes, you can say that she is trying to get her own way, and that way doesn’t include something you are doing. The fix would be to have a discussion about the boundaries, what you both want, your expectations and intentions, and then compromise to have these fit for both of you.
Dear Jesse, I forgot my Mum’s birthday and now she is torturing me (emotionally). You still have a chance to give a good account of yourself! Her birthday may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give her a belated present. You may just get away with pretending the delay was all part of a surprise act – that you didn’t really forget her birthday, but the delay was just to add to the excitement. Except now you just need to find her a present good enough to surprise her through the roof to justify the wait.
Hi Jesse, Some people don’t have a ``type'' but I think I just discovered what my type is. Should I pursue this new passion with all my energy or try to remember the pleasure in variety ? So this is a ‘new’ passion and based on experience, anything new can turn old. Sure, go for the hotties who fall into your new type clique, but don’t turn a blind eye. The next ‘type’ may just be around the corner, and what you thought was your calling might be an illusion after all.
HOPE AARON DE LEON The people of Western Sydney are of many different cultures. We’ve all come from different backgrounds and have unique stories, and as a result, Western Sydney’s identity is constantly evolving to reflect this growth. In my poster, different individuals gather and shelter underneath the trees in a warm landscape, and in the background, balloons float upwardly to reinforce Western Sydney’s hopeful future.