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ISSUE #4 - 2012

IN THIS ISSUE: Under the Sea Including:

Awkward Beach Moments British Beached Whales Wannabe Surfer A List of the Seven Greatest Ever Searelated Albums


Ask your reps a question... 15th August 2012 @ the TAV, 12:30 - 2.00pm


ISSUE #4 2012 CONTACTS

Editorial - 9266 2806 Advertising - 9266 3087 Email - grok@guild.curtin.edu.au EDITOR - Hayley Davis LAYOUT - Rozanna Johnson COVER - Chloe Sellars Grok exists for entertainment purposes only. The views expressed therein are not necessarily that of the Curtin Student Guild. CONTRIBUTORS Grok would not exist were it not for the generous donation of time and effort from it’s contributors, to whom we are eternally grateful. (in no particular order) Hayley Davis Athina Mallis Cassie Rees Jarod Rhine-Davis Belinda Teh Stacey Malacari Ian Seaborn Maya Rose Chauhan Anthony Pyle Trent Macri Scott Donaldson Caitlin Goddard Courtney Meagher Michael Ball Radhika Kayarat Connor White Emil Cholich

Corrections Issue #3 2012, p12 Muslim Women, Lets Get Naked! Grok would like to apologise for the following mistakes made in Issue #3 in the aforementioned article. Aisha Novakovich’s name was spelled incorrectly and her age is 28 not 27

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Dear Editor I would like to address some issues with the article “Muslim Women, Let’s Get Naked” in Issue #3, 2012.

CURTIN QUEER DEPARTMENT I think this is the part where I’m supposed to make some subliminal message about life and queerness, etc. But enlightenment is kinda hard to achieve when you’re distracted by the way your throat itches while brain matter continuously trickles into the wads of Kleenex you’ve held up to your nose. What a way to start semester. Blerg. Anyway, in a few days I’ll head off to get inspired at this year’s Queer Conference. By the time this issue hits the stands my mind will definitely be chock full of fresh ideas for the department. Or it might not. Not to worry, we’ll still run our bi-weekly movie nights and monthly meet n’ greets. Anyway, funny story. I finally had time to visit Kitchen Warehouse— moving residences necessitates the purchase of shiny new things—which sent my inner 1950’s American housewife into pure bliss. And much like a 1950’s housewife, I’d like to make every queer feel comfortable by force-feeding them baked goods (sans the coiffure, because I just don’t have enough hair on my head for that, and the goofy apron. But hey if that’s your kind of thing...). Let me buy you coffee. Get in touch: sexuality@guild.curtin.edu.au or 9266 3385. (Hmm... this is definitely a better medium to advertise our contact deets. Toilet stall doors are so passé.) Katrina Alarkon The next Rally for Marriage Equality will be held at Stirling Gardens on August 11. The recent attacks on the civil rights of LGBTIQ people in Queensland really highlight the current need for all of us to continue the fight for marriage equality. The Liberal National Party has taken away the right of civil ceremonies and altruistic surrogacy. This is a testimony to the continued need to stand up against bigotry and fight for equality. Check out Equal Love’s upcoming events by liking its Facebook page Find it at http://www.facebook.com/EqualLoveWA Thanks Sam Cavallaro

It was my understanding that the article intended to shed more light on the hijab and niqab debate, and the lived realities of Muslim women. However, I feel that the article fell short of that goal. I was shocked to discover that the adult parties became the main focus of the article. I am no stranger to the stereotype of the ‘poor, oppressed Muslim woman’ in the West. We Muslim women are multi-faceted creatures, like many other women: vibrant, dynamic, educated and articulate. However, I felt that the article echoed the Orientalist stereotype of the ‘exotic’ other in the East; of Muslim women as a seductress from a Sultan’s harem. This image was evoked by underlining that I, and other Muslim women hold ‘adult parties’. I would like to state quite firmly that these adult parties are tastefully conducted and provide an educational forum, where women gain knowledge and understanding, in a safe and fun environment. None of this context was provided in the article to provide the full picture. I strongly feel that the article left out many key points about the complex nature of the Muslim woman’s identity, including her sexuality. Many Muslim women readers felt misrepresented, including myself. A discussion on these issues could have taken a more sensitive approach. I also wish to clarify that there were several inaccuracies like my age; that I say things behind a niqab; and even the spelling of my name. Further, I was misquoted in one paragraph. It is often difficult to challenge stereotypes about Muslim women. I do appreciate the effort. But I felt that the ‘adult party’ angle only replaced one negative stereotype with another. Aisha Novakovich

Dear Aisha, We would like to apologise for the inaccuracies contained in the article you mentioned, as well as for misquoting you. We should have proofread the article far better and clarified any details we were unsure of. We realise also that it was inaccurate to describe your words as coming from behind a niqab, as you have not worn the niqab for many years but rather a hijab. We did not attempt to make the hijab as a symbol of women’s oppression the focus of the article, instead we tried to highlight that many items of clothing from ‘western’ traditions such as corsets or even common items of clothing in contemporary culture, are not as obviously criticised. Whether we succeeded portraying a complex, heterogenous Muslim woman and representation of women in general is up for evaluation by those who read it. Thankyou for your close engagement and follow up to this article. We strive to provide accurate, in depth articles that consider multiple sides and perspectives of a story. Letters like these serve to push us to constantly improve. Thankyou for keeping us accountable to these standards of quality in our journalistic and creative writing as well as in our imagery. Dear editor,

CURTIN ENGINEERS CLUB How is everyone? We hope your exams went well.

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With semester two just around the corner, we have some awesome events coming up. Why not come on down to Upper Henderson Court join us with Beers on the Lawn 3 which takes place on Friday 27 July from 2-6pm. If that isn’t enough, the 2012 Ignite Ball is nearby on 8 September at Challenge Stadium. This year’s theme is Fire and Ice. As always, we will have a three course meal and unlimited drinks (beer, cider, wine AND spirits). We are expecting a slightly larger crowd than usual, thanks to our event partners...the Curtin Commerce Club! Uniting the two biggest clubs on campus guarantees a night to remember.  Tickets will be on sale from week 1 of semester 2. And this year, to make your lives a little easier, we will have EFTPOS machines. Tickets will be on sale from the usual place outside the Basement Cafe (Building 204) between 12 and 2pm daily, as well as the CCC’s office. Be there!

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The content really seemed quite provocative, talking about private issues that you don't often hear in day to day conversation - ironic considering how the media is often criticised for being over sexualised.. Truly this is one of the frontiers that is not often explored for the average person...I really thought it was brave to bring these stories of suppressed sexuality and also the story of rape. The politically incorrect party... if I could only be so brave xD. Somehow I leave from reading this mag, a little more enlightened...but also wondering if all these taboos are hiding what is natural, stopping progress to something else...is this world that we are becoming going to be a better one? Dana

Dear Dana, Thankyou for your thoughts. It is always a valid and important question - to look at what is socially acceptable now and how we really feel about that. We certainly did have some very brave writers and also interviewees who were really willing to put themselves on the line for this issue or share very personal stories. Please let us know if you do end up throwing a politically incorrect party - and send us photos!

3/07/2012 2:41:47 AM


I sat for a while contemplating whether to take the wanky route of telling you all that I’m writing this editorial from China. Well, thank fuck that’s out of the way. I decided the relevance of what I’m learning here on this Curtin-subsidized

holiday - I mean, er, ‘study tour’ - is more important than my personal ego and shame about being a pretentious twat. I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying that. But the fact is, I can say it. Or can I? Well actually, it depends whether this editorial gets the final sign off by those who employ me - the Curtin Student Guild. Though Grok is owned and funded by the Guild, it is meant to be largely editorially independent. However, the Guild may not want to publish certain content which, for example, implicates them in a negative way or that ideologically contradicts the values of current Guild councilors or contained within particular Guild policies.

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Furthermore, I may be encouraged to self-censor myself given the opportunity Curtin has provided me to travel to Shanghai and attend seminars at Fudan University, one of China’s most prestigious educational institutions. Ultimately, if we at Grok made the decision to really push Curtin University’s buttons, would they stop us from operating? Would I be called into a meeting with John Rowe, our Academic Registrar? If we started to include some really rigorous investigative journalism that focused on stories to do with this university - would we be reigned in?

EQUITY DEPARTMENTS

Unfortunately, this editorial is far too short for this kind of conversation - a conversation that we feel is important for a healthy media environment. As such, it is continued in one of our articles later in this, our fourth edition of Grok for 2012 - entitled ‘What BP Oil Spill? - the short memory span of a news consumer...plus the dangerous ramblings of a gallivanting student journo’. I’ll be honest here, the token reference to the BP oil spill is slightly opportunistic. It provided a kick-ass segue between issues in Australian media and the theme of this issue: ‘Under the Sea’. We like to think we’re clever mafuckers (and also gangstas, evidently).

I’ve also recently decided I should probably cut back on my use of expletives in much of my every day speech. I have begun to feel a little rough and unrefined. ‘Potty-mouthed’, if you will. However it’s interesting when I begin thinking this way. It would seem the little angel on one of my shoulders is fly-kicking me and reminding me of the ‘lady’ I should be growing up to be, while that devil on the other is kickin back, rolling around on the floor laughing (ROFLing?), enjoying constant victories as I seemingly have no willpower to resist anything sinful, fattening, or immoral.

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(CUT):

3 Editorial 5 your guild: PRESIDENT 6 your guild:

VPs 7

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FACULTY REPS

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IN AND AROUND THE GUILD

Awkward Beach Moments

First Breaths Under the Ocean

Ask Someone Better

10 feature: 12 feature:

16 opinion:

What’s up With the Barrier 18 feature:

20 24

British Beached Whales CALENDAR your guild:

These usually involve activities that would shock my parents or anything anyone has told me not to do. Let’s face it, I’m a sucker for mischief and fun, and I’ve a slightly sadistic pleasure in ruffling feathers for the sake of a good debate. And in regard to subjects good, bad, moral, immoral, refined, dirty and all things in between, we can definitely say that our last edition of Grok got some colourful reactions!

STUDENT ASSIST

Wannabe Surfer

The topic of Taboo spanned stories covering sexuality, nudity, porn, politics, religion, and pubic hair. Some - intrigued by the new, plastic wrapped version of our publication - flocked to the stands to see what it contained. Some were delighted and found it comical, others were offended. Some found the content informative and insightful, while on the ‘Controversial Curtin’ facebook page it was likened to soft-core porn. I did hear a story about one girl in the library trying to peer between the pages to see what lay within, while keeping the plastic wrap on.

An Interview with Hoda Afshar

28 creative:

Till next time kiddlywinks... E.d Hayley Davis * ‘Suffice to say’ defined by Urban Dictionary as: A term that has no meaning. Usually used by individuals with an IQ of, or less than, a tape dispenser and wants to sound smarter than he/she actually is. People that use this term are typically painstakingly boring,backwards thinking and self-aggrandizing pompous assholes.

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26 arts:

Red Herring

What BP Oil Spill?

30 opinion: 32 feature:

I Want to be Under the Sea 34 politics: “I think same sex couples

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should be able to get married”

restaurant review:

Lapa Brazilian Barbeque

37 reviews:

Film & Books 38 reviews:

Music

39 reviews:

Games 40 feature:

A List of the Seven Greatest Ever Sea-Related Albums

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Suffice to say*, we were all pretty knackered after the Taboo edition. This is really me being completely honest in that at the moment, most of our writers and myself are recovering from the energy needed to produce the Taboo edition. Some of us have fucked off on (well deserved) holidays. Others are staying up till 3am in the morning in shit-hot Shanghai trying to deliver an edition worthy of welcoming our mid-year entries! So we apologise in advance for this edition of Grok being slightly shorter than others, but hope that you enjoy the mystical stories, beach related articles and the bubbles. We also hope that after you read the theme name, that Sebastian’s jamaican voice starts singing Under the Sea over and over again in your head. If you don’t get this reference your life is simply not worth living...but a better conclusion would be that you should go watch The Little Mermaid....RIGHT NOW!

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Guild Rec A3.pdf 1 2/2/2012 1:49:18 PM

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Check out the sem 2 program now!

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Welcome Back and a little bit of SSAFusion

Whether you’re part time, full time, regional, metro, postgrad, undergrad, or internal/ external student at Curtin you would have received an invoice from the University for the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). I have received a lot of emails recently from students regarding SSAF and I wanted to use this space to clear up some misconceptions. 1. SSAF is a Fee that the UNIVERSITY is deciding to charge students, NOT the Guild. 2. SSAF is NOT a repeal of Voluntary Student Unionism. 3. The Guild will be receiving 50% of the revenue raised from the University to spend on services and amenities. As a way to communicate and be transparent to students about what we are doing with the SSAF revenue the University is giving us, I will be constantly updating the Guild website under ‘SSAF Diary Updates’. Some anger

has come about over the projects that we have decided to implement, students saying that these projects aren’t relevant to them. I want to re-iterate, that this list is on-going and not finished, it’s a work in progress. If there is something that you think is missing on campus that you would like to see – send me your ideas. The SSAF has given the Guild the opportunity to rebuild some of the services we have lost over the years due to lack of financial income. I want to assure students that we are using this money with the best of intentions and will be putting it to good use. Admittedly, it is a shame that Curtin has to charge this fee in the first place to improve services and amenities on campus, but alas, this is what they have decided to do. It’s time for students and therefore the Guild to now question the University on what they will be using the money for, is it really in the best interests of students? You can count on me to be very critical of that. Email me with any questions, and I will do my best to answer them – president@guild.curtin. edu.au Enjoy the Semester! Ali x

Humanities Faculty Rep

Guild Executive Guild President

Ali Kirke p: (08) 9266 2934 e: president@

Education Vice President Jess McLeod p: (08) 9266 2920 e: educationvp@

Activities Vice President Dave Farr p: (08) 9266 4578 e: activitiesvp@

General Secretary Joe Quick p: (08) 9266 2918 e: generalsecretary@

Faculty Reps Business Faculty Rep Noelle de Marigny p: (08) 9266 2764 e: business@

Health Sciences Faculty Rep Keturah Mudhan p: (08) 9266 3392 e: health@

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Ali Kirke Curtin Student Guild President 2012

Michael Ball p: (08) 9266 2764 e: humanities@

Science & Engineering Faculty Rep Maz Rahman p: (08) 9266 3392 e: science@

Guild Departments CUPSA Chamonix Terblanche p: (08) 9266 4465 e: cupsacouncil@

Indigenous Department p: (08) 9266 3150 e: indigenous@

International Students Committee Amir Nouranioskoui p: (08) 9266 2910 e: isc@

Queer Department p: (08) 9266 3385 e: sexuality@

Women’s Department p: (08) 9266 3386 e: women@

Other Contacts

University Contacts

Student Assist Officers

Graduations

p: (08) 9266 2900 e: reception@

p:

Grok Magazine

p:

p: (08) 9266 2900 e: grok@

Housing

Guild Clubs p: (08) 9266 2908 e: clubs@

(08) 9266 7115

Health Centre (08) 9266 7345

p: (08) 9266 4430 International Office p: (08) 9266 7331

Parking

Guild Recreation

p:

p: (08) 9266 2900 e: rec@

Physiotherapy Clinic

Guild Tavern

Security

p: (08) 9266 2904 e: tavmanager@ All Guild email suffixes are: @guild.curtin.edu.au

Guild Reception Building 106F Open: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm p: (08) 9266 2900 1800 063 865 (free call) e: reception@guild.curtin.edu.au w: www.guild.curtin.edu.au

p: p:

(08) 9266 7116 (08) 9266 1210 (08) 9266 4444

Dial 5 from any campus phone (24h)

Student Central – Bld 101 p:

(08) 9266 3399

Student Fees p:

(08) 9266 3500

Switchboard p:

(08) 9266 9266

T.L Robertson Library p:

(08) 9266 7166

Uni Counselling p:

(08) 9266 7850

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Welcome to Second Semester and to all the new students on campus! Grok is one of the ways in which students can communicate and engage in conversations with each other on all things related (and not!) to being a student at Curtin. Make sure to grab your copy for some interesting reads and goss.

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Activities Vice President DAVE FARR Get ready students of Curtin for one of the biggest semesters seen in a long time. We at the Guild have been working nonstop during the holidays to bring you a massive events schedule in coming months. From Zombie Crawl to Oktoberfest, we will have you screaming out for more.

Guild Day / After Party

Education Vice President JESS MCLEOD

Hi everyone, Welcome back to uni for semester 2. There are a couple of important protests coming up in August, so you should pencil them into your diaries now. Equal Love rally for marriage equality 1pm on Saturday August 11 in Stirling Gardens (corner of Barrack St and St. George’s Tce). This date marks the 8th anniversary of the ban! Support for marriage equality continues to grow and supporters are certainly the majority, so we need to make sure the politicians know that we won’t be backing down. As one of the popular chants at the march goes: Gay or straight, Black or white; marriage is a civil right! On August 26th the Refugee Rights Action Network will be converging on the recently opened Northam Detention Centre to protest against mandatory detention of refugees. This year marks 20 years of the policy of mandatory detention - that is 20 years too many of human rights abuse and misery for refugees. It is time to end this disgraceful situation and replace it with something fit for humanity. Curtin students will join students from ECU, Murdoch, UWA and Notre Dame for a one day bus trip to Northam, to take a stand for refugee rights. You will see first hand the institutions in which thousands of people are incarcerated each year. You will join others in standing against unjust and racist government policy. And you will give hope to refugees that there are people here who welcome them and who will defend their right under International law to seek asylum.  E-mail me for details or go to www.rran.org

Zombie Crawl What do 1000 Uni students, multiple Uni Guilds, 2 Taverns and a team of make-up artists, a convoy of buses and Villa Nightclub have in common? Zombie Crawl: The Night to end all Nights. We will spread chaos on the streets of Northbridge as we walk as Zombies to one of the most epic parties seen at Villa in a long time. We have ‘The Only’ and ‘Rob Pix’ fresh from their Ministry of Sound Electro House Sessions tour ready to have you partying all night long. Tickets are on sale from Moshtix or through Spotlight tickets in the Guild Complex. You will want to die before you miss this event.

Oktoberfest Massive news has hit the Guild!! Oktoberfest is coming back to Curtin University and it will be bigger and better than ever. You heard right folks, we have been fighting to bring this event back to its rightful home and we have succeeded. We will be transforming the University into an all-day German paradise. Massive live acts and some of the best German food and culture you have seen. Expect to hear much more news about this in coming months. There are no imitations of the TRUE Curtin Guild Oktoberfest.

Curtin Gaming Exhibition / Tournament For all you gamers out there, and let’s be honest, that is most of us, we have an event that is going to blow you away in 2012. We are transforming the stadium into a gamer’s wonderland with a massive gaming tournament and gaming exhibition. I’m talking about a huge gaming tournament setup with massive Full HD screens and a tournament-like atmosphere with some amazing prizes for the winners. We are also inviting the best gaming and hardware companies from around Australia to present their products and upcoming projects for you. Keep your ears open for more news and signup details for this massive FREE event for Curtin Students.

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Lastly, I have had reports on issues such as USB thumb drives not being returned to students, issues with exams, untimely academic feedback on assessments, and inadequate study and support facilities. If you have any education or welfare issues, please get in contact, and we will do what we can to help you out.

Guild Day is here and everyone here at the Guild is bursting with excitement to welcome the new students at Curtin in 2012. We have a massive amount of giveaways and entertainment on July 18th from 11.00am-2.00pm so come down and say hey, join some clubs and get as much free stuff as you can. Then in the evening make sure you all come down for the first Wednesday night at the Tavern for Semester 2. We have two Australian DJs on the night that will be mixing up some sweet beats. We at the Guild are excited that we will be hosting Uberjak’d, an awesome upcoming DJ that always puts on a good show. Headlining the event will be Sam La More, the key ingredient to one of the hottest DJ teams in the country. All in all it’s going to be a massive day. All students welcome, so don’t miss out on all the shenanigans we have in store for you students.

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MAZ RAHMAN Well well well, looks like semester two is upon us! That dastardly thing is a sneaky little one isn’t it? Well, I guess it’s no use trying to deny it, the days of pretending to pay attention in what the kids call “lectures” are back. Hopefully everyone has caught up on their well deserved sleep-ins after a harrowing two weeks of exams. This semester all you science and engineering folks can look forward to two competitions I plan on holding. Let’s just say that for once, not checking those OCCs might be a good thing, or if you’ve ever had a complaint about your lecturer or the uni, but have been too lazy to do anything about it, well, you might have some incentive to finally send me that email. So keep your eye out, it might mean beer money, or coffee money, for lots and lots of coffee. Don’t worry, all of you in Kalgoorlie haven’t been forgotten, I’ve got something planned for you too. As a parting gift to some of you, here’s a handy hint that I think is much needed after the ridiculous examples of plagiarism I’ve seen during my stints of being the student rep on a number of faculty disciplinary panels. If you’re going to plagiarise, and let’s face it, we all do it, at least plagiarise smart. If you’re dumb enough to copy huge chunks of work off the internet, especially on an assignment being submitted through Turnitin, then yeah, try a different uni, I hear ECU is still open. Maz

Business

Humanities

Health Sciences

NOELLE DE MAGRIGNY

MICHAEL BALL

KETURAH MUDHAN

So here we are beginning another semester, yay… hope everyone had a fantastic break and welcome to new students joining the commerce bandwagon midyear. Things have flown by so far and I am hoping this semester goes even quicker, so what does the Guild have in store for this semester? First and foremost make sure you visit Guild Day on the 18th July, it is always a fun day with heaps of free giveaways, this is also the start of another semester of amazing Wicked Wednesdays at the Tav with the Guild serving free sausage sizzle around 9pm. Get excited for one of the most amazing events of the year… ZOMBIE CRAWL! An event run by the Curtin Guild in conjunction with the UWA Guild, 1000 people dressed as zombies on the 3rd of August with an after party that will out do all other events that night. As always MidSemester Bash and Tav & Bass night at the Tav are always a good way to spend a night out so keep a look out in you Guild diary for dates.

Morning chums, how goes it? I hope you all had a great break away from this machine that is Curtin. Sadly it survived the great storm of 2012 (although campus was evacuated), and we’re back for another semester. By now hopefully you all have your unit outlines and that shiz, so there’s no better time to be emailing me a question that you might have.

I’m a little sad here at my desk; it’s far too quiet on campus and I miss seeing busy little Health Science students through my window run in and out of the Public Health Building with varying expressions of tiredness, panic and fury. Plus there aren’t any OT students in the 108 common area (“area” since you poor things don’t have a common “room”) for me to perv on from where I sit in the Fac Rep office. Sigh. But, I sincerely hope you are all having a lovely break and/or studying for supps and deferred exams, and that none of you are… under the weather...WEATHER!! Get it? Like in Under the Sea??

For new students attending Curtin, make sure you check out all the clubs around the Curtin campus, I highly recommend becoming involved with a club as they definitely can make your time a university for enjoyable. There is only one club that is situated in the commerce buildings and that is a social club called the Curtin Commerce Club but there are many other clubs that you can join around campus. Just a reminder, I am always available for those commerce students who have questions. You can visit me in my office or email me at business.guild.curtin. edu.au. Until next time, Noelle

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I know some of you had issues with assignments last semester, and telling the Guild now will be much more effective than telling us later in the semester. Uni issues aren’t like stray cats, if you ignore them, they don’t go away. So if your assignments aren’t explained well enough, or if you have an average unit outline, please let the Guild know, and we can try and sort it out. Now is probably a good time to tell you about the various services that our Student Assist team offers, having used them myself on a number of occasions I can definitely recommend them. These guys are amazing in their knowledge of policies and general ability to help you regardless of the situation (once they even welded my BBQ for me). I know that sometimes the campus can be covered by issues that don’t really affect most of the student population, so if there’s anything that you think the Guild could be doing, or even any faculty/school specific issue, feel free to drop me a line. And now, to make what I just wrote look that much better, a shite joke to compare it to: “A dyslexic man walks into a bra” Cheers, Balls out xx

Anyways, a big welcome to all the new Health Science students that have joined us mid-year! Our Health Science based clubs are an uber-cool way of meeting other students, especially ones from your particular school! They’re always hosting wicked events, and also provide fantastic support for your uni life and study, both on and off campus! Get in quickly because Club Olympics is just around the corner, and this year it will be massive! Go us!! I will be there shaking my pom poms for you guys…and perhaps shaking other things too… An excellent example of how amazetastic our clubs are is the creation of the Red Carpet Curtin Health Ball 2012!! This interfaculty event is due to be held on the 24th of August at the oh-soglamourous Perth Convention and Entertainment Centre. Tickets go on sale this week (O Week) and are $120 for Guild member and $135 for non-members. Hit me up at health@guild.curtin.edu.au for more juice.

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Science and Engineering

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CURTIN STUDENT GUILD

ELECTION NOTICE

In accordance with regulation E0501 of the Curtin Student Guild Regulations

2012 Annual Guild and NUS Elections

Nominations are invited from interested and eligible person for the following positions in the 2012 Annual Guild and NUS elections:

International Student Committee Convenor Curtin University Postgraduate Student Association (CUPSA) President  Queer Officer (2)  Women’s Officer (2)  Mature Age Student Representative (2)  Indigenous Officer (2)  Guild Councillors (9)  National Union of Students Delegates (7) Nomination forms will be accepted from 8.30 am on Friday 17 August 2012. Nomination forms, group registration forms and voting ticket forms are available during business hours from the Curtin Student Guild Office at the following location: Building 106F, Curtin University, Kent Street, BENTLEY or online at www.guild.curtin.edu.au.        

Guild President Education Vice President Activities Vice President General Secretary Business Faculty Representative Science and Engineering Faculty Representative Health Science Faculty Representative Humanities Faculty Representative

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ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA Candidates shall be Financial Guild members at least seven (7) days prior to the opening of nominations and not otherwise disqualified. A nomination form shall be signed by a witness who shall sight the nominee’s Curtin student identification card; this witness must be a member of Guild Administrative staff, the Returning Officer or a Justice of the Peace. On satellite Campuses University staff members on that campus act as acceptable witnesses in the absence of Guild Administrative staff, the Returning Officer or a Justice of the Peace. Guild Administrative Staff may not sign nominations forms if they are enrolled Curtin Students. Electors shall be students enrolled in an award course at Curtin University of Technology as at close of rolls and not otherwise disqualified. LODGEMENT OF NOMINATONS Nominations, completed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Guild, must be lodged in a sealed envelope with the Returning Officer in person, or by placing into the nomination box located in the Curtin Student Guild Office or posted to the Curtin Student Guild at the above address, to be received no later than the close of nominations, 12.00 noon, Friday 7 September 2012. Prospective candidates wishing to nominate outside Curtin Student Guild business hours, must first contact the Returning Officer to arrange a suitable time to lodge a nomination or other prescribed form. No nomination will be accepted no later than 12.00 noon, Friday 7 September 2012. You may include a policy statement of up to 500 words on a CD or DVD in Rich Text Format. You may also include a recent passport size head and shoulders photograph. The photograph must have the nominee’s name, student number and signature on the rear of the photograph. A digital photograph on a CD or DVD labelled with the nominee’s name, student number and signature will be accepted. A nomination deposit of $10 per candidate is required, payable in cash and must accompany the nomination(s) form(s). No nomination deposit is payable for NUS nominations. A refund of the deposit will be made to all candidates elected. LODGEMENT OF GROUP REGISTRATION FORMS Group Registration forms shall be lodged with the Returning Officer in person or by placing into the nomination box located in the Curtin Student Guild Office to be received no later than the close of Group Registration, 12.00 noon, Monday 10 September 2012. DRAW FOR BALLOT PAPER POSITIONS AND ALLOCATION OF COLOURS The draw for ballot paper positions and allocation of colours will take place at 8.30 am, Tuesday 11 September 2012 at Guild Reception. VOTING PREFERENCE FORMS Completed Voting Preference forms shall be lodged with the Returning Officer in person or by placing into the nomination box located in the Curtin Student Guild Office to be received no later than the close of Voting Preference forms at 12.00 noon, Wednesday 12 September 2012. POLLING Polling will take place online for all enrolled students between 10.00 am Tuesday 25 September 2012 to 4.00pm Thursday 27 September 2012. All students will receive an email to their student account with an access key to the electronic ballot. Students may also vote at Building 106F from 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on Tuesday 25 September 2012, Wednesday 26 September 2012 between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm and on Thursday 27 September 2012 between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. POSTAL VOTE APPLICATIONS Postal vote applications may be made to the Curtin Student Guild Office on the form available from the office and published in GROK. Postal Vote Application forms can also be downloaded from the Guild web page. A completed, signed and witnessed application form must be received by the Returning Officer no later than 5.00pm on Thursday 20 September 2012. Natasha Freeman RETURNING OFFICER Mobile: 0421 451 117

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10 - feature

image: http://www.beachbelievers.com/blog/2011/03/22/stephanie-seymours-awkward-day-nude-beach

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Athina Mallis

One of these ‘awkward beach moments’ isn’t exactly ‘awkward’ it’s more of an irritation. The 12-15 year olds who walk around Cottesloe beach, with the tiniest bikinis (even though they have the body of a 10 year old boy) and thinking they’re as hot as Miranda Kerr. Trust me, you’re not. You aren’t even in the same league as Miranda or Bindi Irwin for that matter, so go home, put on some clothes and watch play school. Seriously, why do you go out in public when most of us sit there and judge you, by most of us I mean everyone apart from the horny 17-year-olds who know that you’re an easy target. I swear every year gets worse, the younger the girls and the tinier the bikini becomes. I’m blaming Tumblr; that’s my only explanation. A personal frustration of mine has to do with those canine creatures people have when they’re so completely incompatible that only a dog would give them company. Ok, so maybe that’s not a rational inference, but in any case when

GROK#4_2012_2.indd 11

I’m getting my tan on to become the bronzed Greek goddess you all know me as (it’s not a coincidence my name is Athina!) I don’t really appreciate the hot breath of your stinking pup on my face as it licks and slobbers all over it. The sand/saliva mixture is not my exfoliant and cleansing routine of choice. Put the shit creature on a leash and keep it the hell away from my high cheek-boned face. Couples and PDAs grate on me more than most of these things. Picture this, you’re sitting on your towel, listening to some music and suddenly you hear a groaning noise. You look around wondering where the hell is that coming from and you realise it’s being made by the slightly overweight 40-something couple, 10 metres away from you rolling around, destroying everything in their path. No sane, single person wants to see you flaunt your heavily sexual relationship in public. I don’t understand why people want to do this in daylight. No one wants to see it. Do you think I go to the beach excited in anticipation to see couples having dry sex on the beach? Of course not. Get a room or just hold hands. It’s not that hard. Sharks, you stop me from swimming in the beach when it’s 40 degrees outside, just because you’re nice and cool in the deep blue doesn’t mean you can ruin my fun. Remember those days at the beach when it was really wavy so you used this opportunity to show off your body-surfing skills? I enjoy a good body-surf every now and again. Unfortunately, the waves are not made to keep your bikini top or bottoms on. So last summer I somehow forgot about this little piece of information, so I naively body-surfed in rough waters, looked down at

my chest and realised my bikini top was down near my knees. How awkward. Not as awkward however as the time I was attempting to pull off some stealth, bay-watch like manoeuver to impress the lad I was seeing at the time. Needless to say it backfired horribly when not only did I get dumped, but as I strutted out of the water I felt my bather bottoms being a little heavier than usual. After investigating further I realised that sand had gathered in the pockets of my bottoms, and looked exactly like I had crapped my pants. Awesome! When you go to the beach there is normally an array of people there: families, juvies, couples and drunken youths. However there is another nearly almost forgotten: pervy men. They sit at the back of the beach, near the sand dunes and watch. They watch any moving female object with a two-piece and a cup size larger than 10A. It’s disturbing but that’s what happens. Though you’d have to give one to the poor boys. The embarrassing moment when the poor boy spies someone fanciful and can’t control the tent forming in his board shorts. For all the shit we give them, at least we don’t have external appendages that, from time to time, decide they’re going to do whatever the fuck they want. Save for the nipples on a cold day.

11 - feature

The beach, a beautiful place where land meets sea, where we can frolic in the waves and enjoy a little piece of heaven. Unfortunately, the beach sometimes attracts certain annoyances that ruin our delightful experience. Whenever I go to the beach I see some things that I don’t really want to; I experience some awkward beach moments.

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First Breaths Under the Ocean Anthony Pyle

Wikipedia defines Scuba diving as an extreme sport, but how could something so silent, slow and peaceful be extreme? I could only imagine that it’s due to the tonnes upon tonnes of water surrounding you at all times. That the pressure that ensues with depth becomes dangerous. That the inexperienced may run out of oxygen or crash into a boat on their ascent. The process of learning to dive starts in a swimming pool or shallow, calm waters. You learn how to breathe through the regulator. Sounds simple enough. You’ve been breathing all your life. How much harder could this have been? It’s less about breathing and more about controlling your intake. Most breathe too fast at first. The concept of being underwater makes people use their oxygen faster than they would above water. This fear of not having enough means you might just run out while diving, which can cause greater complications beyond not being able to breathe. It is normal for people to freak out, after all. Breathing under water is not the natural reaction. Even some experienced divers take two oxygen cylinders diving with them because they’ve never gotten the hang of slowing down their breathing. Once you have breathing down, you learn to descend further and control the air in your Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) so you can sink safely into the water. This is the tricky bit for beginners. Your ears start to hurt from the pressure, and for some divers this ruins the entire experience. If they can’t clear their ears they might have to end their dive, or risk popping their ear drums. A good trick they teach you is that you can move your jaw around, which sometimes is hard to do depending on how much the regulator fills your mouth up. Another cool trick is that you can grab your nose and just blow as hard as you can, which sometimes isn’t easy. The worst part is looking like a fool for having to blow your nose for minutes on end to no avail.

Waiting is the worst because you are wasting time. You can’t stay under forever, and the oxygen will run out. As not to waste the precious oxygen and time we had under the water, my sister and I devised a game in our local dive spot. The lake was full of tiny jellyfish. They weren’t strong enough to sting you, so we would pat them around back and forth, and they would just fly away. Now some might think this cruel but they were literally everywhere, and with each motion you made you had a possibility of sending a group of them flying. So we bopped the little jellyfish out of the way, when one touched my lips. I felt the sting at this point, these jellyfish who couldn’t hurt us, apparently could, but then only on our lips. The light tingling pain stayed with me for days, and I suppose it was karma for me batting away all those previous jellyfish. Once everyone is ready and at the bottom you learn what is essentially underwater aerobics. You learn to do forward rolls and to move gracefully through the water, which sometimes isn’t so easy with a massive tank strapped to your back. Your instructor will remind you to continue to check your oxygen gauge, which will be a horrible reminder that you can run out of air. A point to mention now is that the regulator can’t stop giving air; it can only free flow, which is when it gives too much air. If this happens though, it’s basically just pouring all the air out of your tank, which isn’t really an issue. If this can’t be fixed by turning the regulator to the ground, then just grab the spare oxygen supply on your buddies BCD. There are of course stories of people learning to dive, who panic when they don’t think they are getting oxygen or their regulator goes into free flow and have stolen their instructor’s regulator right out of their mouth. I know many people who’ve heard this story and condemned the diver

for stealing oxygen from someone else, but then I suppose it’s human nature to grab the air you know definitely works, although I imagine if your buddy did this to you, your friendship might be on the rocks after your dive. Once you’ve got the basics down of diving, and you’ve shown you can swim around, not suffocate and clear your mask of water, you are pretty much a novice diver and one step closer to your license. You have to get back out of the water now, and you have to do it slowly. You should stop for a minute every few meters to avoid decompression sickness, which is commonly known as The Bends. Unless of course you are returning to the surface because you’ve run out of oxygen, then you’ve got to decide if you want to drown, or crush your insides. Yet again though, this should be easily avoidable, you can use your buddy’s spare regulator to get back up to the top. Honestly, I can’t see why diving would be considered an extreme sport. Kids as young as thirteen do it, and are fine doing it. Perhaps it’s due to all the safety nets that you are given, but compared to other extreme sports, it seems like a piece of cake. Although I’ve known people who would happily dive out of a plane, but not into the ocean, so in the end it’s all personal preference. If you do want to dive though, then you should get down to your local diving centre, they are pretty much everywhere if you live near the coast. Ask about getting your diving license, and start exploring the world that lives beneath the waves. But if you need more selling points on diving, I’ve searched sunken helicopters, interacted with fish, swum alongside them and seen life that you just can’t see just by holding your breath. Although a final note, if you take up diving, it will screw up snorkelling for you forever. Having to admit you’ve nearly drowned yourself because you thought you were diving and swam further down only to inhale much water is not my proudest moment. If you want more information about diving, you should go look on www.padi.com/scuba/. PADI is the most recognised certification for diving around the world, so you can’t go wrong with them.

13 - feature

Now there’s not always a bottom to your dive, you won’t always reach the ocean floor, but fortunately when you are taught how to dive, they think it best to give you a base. Once you

are at the bottom, it’s just a matter of waiting for everyone else to arrive. Unfortunately when it comes to diving, turning up fashionably late may mean you are at the party for no time at all. I’ve done my waiting at the bottom of sand filled lakes, waiting for the rest of the group to turn up, trying not to kick up the sand - which I eventually did just because I moved too heavily. This destroyed the visibility, as sand plumed around us and made the rest of my dive-group almost invisible a couple of meters away.

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Cupsa wine_grok.pdf 4 2/07/2012 3:24:12 PM

C

Thursday 19th July 2012, 6-9pm John Curtin Art Gallery

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Dress: Smart Attire

CM

This is a free event, however please RSVP before Thursday 12th July by emailing cupsa@guild.curtin.edu.au

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CMY

cupsa promotes responsible drinking.

14 - creative

K

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Ask Someone Better

Emil Cholich

How’s your life going? Probably pretty poorly - I mean you’re reading a student magazine, your day has probably sucked, and you’re ugly. Look at you, it’s horrible you even exist. Don’t you wish you’d made better life choices? No, because the only life choices you’ve made yourself have been screw ups, so why not ask someone who’s better at life than you. Email me your life dilemmas, and I guarantee you a response of some nature, whether it’s a heart warming paragraph or three, or just a picture of a donkey doing some stuff to a goat. emilcholich@me.com Hey Emil Mid semester break is pretty long. My plans are just to flick through old Groks reading your clever witticisms, but I assume that you have better things to do. What are you doing this break (besides avoiding the deadline for this article like it‘s a blowjob at a herpes convention)? Sincerely Not Fictional Person Dear NFP This mid semester break I decided to kick back by hitting up my home-country, rural ex-Yugoslavia. It’s kind of like being in Perth during summer except shops are open later, and are occupied by (like the rest of Europe) old men who lack the shame gene, which is most noticeable in their constant attempts to attain new levels of public nudity and acting absolutely nonchalant about it. The bad thing about traveling to areas like this, is that it’s like going back in time 6 months or so. It’s teeming with Gotye. On the radio, on the TV, on the beach, in cafes, and you have to listen to it because apparently “you don’t have to cut [him] off”, he’s not a fan of that shit. I can’t even concentrate when that music video is on, I keep thinking that maybe if I look at the video from the right angle I’ll get a good look Kimbras breasts, but I never do. And it ruins my whole day.

Whilst I’m here, I thought I should embrace my heritage and see everything the region has to offer. I eventually googled up something interesting called the Bosnian Pyramids that my cousin had told me about. They’re the worlds oldest and most primitive pyramids apparently. My entry into the town nearest the pyramids felt strangely like the beginning of ‘The Hills Have Eyes’. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Wes Craven had actually been there and his time had been entirely occupied with creating creepy towns in the Bosnian countryside, because god knows he has free time since he stopped writing new movies and just started shitting out remakes of his own shit, kind of like a one man human centipede. Anyway, a three toothed man started guiding me around said mountain. We hit excavation site after excavation site one by one, while he told me the history of the pyramids. Apparently they were discovered after an American radar drone was scanning for hidden weapons and happened apon them. As we went from one slightly rocky plateau to another and then to a gift shop with all the charm of laser eye surgery performed with used tampsons wrapped in razor blades, it was hard to avoid the smell out there. Sure, there was sheep shit but there was also an undeniable overpowering waft of bullshit. So after some Wikipedia-ing I found out that this pyramid is most likely just a very squared off hill, and that all of the archaeologists cited as witnesses actually deny ever having been to the pyramid. Thats just embarrassing Bosnia, that’s like inventing a fake Facebook girlfriend, then getting caught because you’re using photos of your cousin and because the name “Daenerys Targareyn” isn’t a real enough sounding name. Emil

15 - advice

And there’s also an abundance of Christmas movies on here all year round. You know whats fucked about those movies? Every year Santa rocks up and gives presents to kids. Random presents appear at these houses and the parents in the movies still don’t believe in Santa. Instead they’re like “do you think?...

Could it really have been?... No!”. The guy was just in your home... he left a box there... he’s clearly real!

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What’s the Deal With The Barrier? Radhika Kayarat

I love the ocean. I grew up on the ocean. I took my first steps, spoke my first words, lost my first tooth sailing on the ocean, so it’s no surprise I love everything in the ocean. Big fish, little fish, jellyfish, sea cucumbers - you name it I love it - so it makes me really fucking angry when I turn on the TV and hear things like “Campbell Newman slams new Great Barrier Reef warning, Queensland’s economic future will not be shut down!” and “UNESCO gives Australia eight months before the Great Barrier Reef is in danger!” The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Area, home to thousands of unique and endangered species of marine flora and fauna, a place of exceptional universal ecological and aesthetic value. It never ceases to amaze me how such a breathtaking and irreplaceable ecosystem, half-a-million years old, can be so threatened by a few short decades of industrialisation. We may not have know the effects of coastal development back when it first began but we sure do know the effects now, so naturally the government decides to build a $16 billion gas processing plant on Curtis Island in the Heritage Listed reef area; anthropocentrism at its finest.

This unprecedented rise in incompetent coastal development schemes immediately set off alarm bells for environmental scientists and conservationists; UNESCO’s report into the state of the reef earlier this month blamed the high industrial activity over the last 12 years for the ecosystem’s declining health and sustainability. There have been outbreaks of diseases among reef communities and a decline in fertility among several species. The reef will be ‘danger listed’ in the next eight months unless the government can display substantial conservational and coastal management progress by February 2013. Earlier this month plans were announced for 44 more large areas of marine reserve to be added to our existing protected areas, making Australia home to the largest marine reserve in the world. It is just a shame that it has had to reach this point before any bureaucratic protective action was taken, and even then nothing was mentioned about dredging in the coral area. The development of gas plants off the Queensland coast over the next 20 years is only going to mean more ocean traffic at dangerous proximities to the reef, with a high risk of ships stranding and therefore spilling oil. The damage caused by an oil spill to the already fragile reef ecosystem would be devastating. We are still waiting to hear how the Queensland and indeed the Federal Government plan to stop the Great Barrier Reef from being placed on the World

Heritage Danger List. In a paper-chasing world of increasing uncertainty the human race tends to forget that we are indeed not the only inhabitants of this wonderful planet. The struggle for survival transcends any single individual; the collective fight for life in the natural world is stronger than ever, with the rise of the industrial empire over the last century suddenly presenting challenges to organisms and changes to the environment, a slap in the face to millions of years of evolution. We are lucky enough to be the dominant race on Planet Earth, rising above the odds, spreading to all corners of the globe, growing in our knowledge and our power. This also means we have a responsibility, to both the planet and ourselves. We are the natural world’s big brother. Big brothers like to bully and abuse their little brothers, sometimes they don’t realise their fun, games and power displays can actually cause real harm. But when the time comes, big brothers need to accept responsibility for their actions and step in to offer an arm back up because they need their little brother and he’s the only one they’ve got. When the government decides to take proactive action against damaging industrial practices in the Great Barrier Reef we are essentially offering the irreplaceable ecosystem a helping hand, a yank back up to its feet even.

It is time for the eldest child to realise that he is not the centre of the universe and do something nice for his baby bro. Every species and ecosystem on this earth has the right to be here and it is our responsibility to look after them, but if big brother doesn’t lift his game pretty soon (say, in the next eight months) he might just beat his baby bro within an inch of his life.

16 -- creative opinion

How have we reached this point, Australia? I literally cannot comprehend it. The damned United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation is telling us point blank that the world’s largest coral reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world, an entire ecosystem priceless in its ecological value is going to be damaged beyond repair unless we change our coastal management approach in the next eight months. Logically, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman as a response to this report, in all his might declared his loyalty to coal and gas processing off the state’s coast (good one, bro). The Curtis Island plant off Gladstone has created 6000 new jobs but more importantly will be worth about 60 billion smackeroonies to Queensland’s economy. It all sounds fine and dandy but the problem

lies with the fact that the Gladstone Ports Corporation is undertaking the largest dredging operation attempted inshore from the Great Barrier Reef, scooping out 46 million tonnes of sludge and any contaminants from the sea floor in to make room for the massive gas tankers in Gladstone Harbour. What are they going to do with the yummy 46 million tonnes of sludge and contaminants, you ask? That’s easy, store it for land reclamation right opposite the World Heritage listed Curtis Island, with any excess spoil of course being dumped at a disposal site 400m from the Barrier Reef Marine Park. Wankers.

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17 - opinion GROK#4_2012_2.indd 17

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Succumbing to Aussie Enthusiasm with Sand in my Knickers

18 - feature

Cassie Rees

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There is a strange phenomena that occurs throughout Australian adolescence which is perpetrated by none other than their so-called “loving” parents. The tradition goes as follows: at 7 am on a Sunday morning the parents-inquestion emerge from a red-wine hangover and wake up their gently slumbering progeny, force a super-speed breakfast, then hurtle them down to the local beach where they will be made to sprint, do push-ups, fake a drowning and save each other’s lives – and the sun has only just begun to rise.

all got their Bronze-Medallions, so they’re pretty much qualified to run the show, ya know? Then Tara, Storm and little Shelley are doin’ real good jobs so far so I reckon they’ll be followin’ in their brothers’ footsteps, ya know?”

The Australian Surf Life-Saving program is – in theory – a fun way to keep kids active while teaching them vital life lessons. It also gives the parents an opportunity to network and socialise with other communities from their neighbourhood. In reality, it’s a gigantic pain in the arse. Here is my experience…

“Oh…true?”

Growing up along the coast was sometimes a bit of a struggle for yours truly: I was a chubby, English kid who said things in a funny accent - an accent so funny that I was made to repeat myself whenever I mentioned ‘yoghurt’, ‘vitamins’, or ‘dancing’. I still don’t understand why my parents ever decided that signing me up to Surf Life-Saving was an ingenious idea: surely I could learn how to not-drown and be bored at the local swimming pool? Apparently not. As I mentioned earlier, my parents and I had to wake up at un-godly hours on a Sunday morning to hurry down to Mullaloo beach before all the parking spots where taken, which they normally were by 7.10 am. I had to squeeze my awkward, pre-pubescent figure into a humiliating bathing suit, while sticking a spandex-tight cap over my gigantic forehead. Because of my unusual tallness for my age and abundance of baby fat, (I’ve had breasts since I was, like, 9) I would innocently strut about the beach getting seedy looks from old, leathered men. The day would begin with me being thrust into groups with sporty, superior Aussie kids who outright ignored my general presence, (bloody show-offs), while my parents stood in the cold, shivering and having forced conversations with the overly-enthusiastic, freckled-skinned adults. My dad would often slyly knick-off for a while to have a smoke, so my mum was forced to have surface-level chats with another mum who would list off the various accomplishments of her over-achieving children. I imagine it went something like this:

“How’s Cass goin’?” “Oh Cassie is doing fine. The other day she managed to sneak an entire packet of Mars Bars from the kitchen and ate them all under her desk.” Once we were split into groups and factions depending on age and what I’m convinced was prejudice against the “fat one”, we were made to jog up the beach, up a sand-dune, back down the beach, then swim about 100 metres out into the ocean. This was always terrifying for me as I had an allergic reaction to waves and the blue, spidery creatures that lingered in its nests. It was during these times in my childhood that I would learn of the classic Aussie motto for life: “Have a go!” These 3 words boil down to simple components of encouragement, embracing new opportunities and conquering your basic fears, however, when a small girl is quivering and crying over the fear of getting sucked into the expansive blue of the ocean, maybe we should let her be? I was to come across this tedious encouragement over and over again in school when I was forced to hold a poisonous snake or climb up a mountain or abseil into a cave or anything that wasn’t being alone in my room learning the dance routines of Britney Spears’ videos or reading. Eventually I would be coaxed into the water with a caring adult, where I would immediately get dumped by a gigantic wave and emerge a few seconds later with buckets of sand in my bathers, snot pouring out of my nose and my skin dotted with the stings of jellyfish. What marvellous fun! Then there was the game called “Flags”. Any person who has ever been forced to play this game has probably just shuddered a little. “Flags” begins with a row of, say, 10 kids lying face down in a line with their chins resting on their hands. After a suspense-period of around a minute, a starting gun would be shot and the kids would have to jump up and race for pieces of hose sticking out of the ground 100 metres away, to which there were 9 for the 10 kids. Whoever missed out was eliminated. I’ll

After a full summer of early Sunday mornings, forced enthusiasm and a dash of trauma, I finally graduated to green caps division for the under 12s. This meant getting a 3-metre foam surfboard which was inevitably going to live in the shed as a crooked home for spiders and cockroaches. When the next summer began I was finally confident with the ocean: I would happily ride the waves to shore or dive under the bigger ones with poise and ease, and I was even contemplating surfing lessons. However, my parents pulled me out that summer after a mere couple of weeks when there were a few shark sightings and a couple of attacks. Apparently mum wasn’t willing to compromise my life over the opportunity to “have a go!” I had always wanted to grow up and become like the older girls at the surf club; they were tall, tanned, fit and beautiful. They were fearless and ran into the ocean cutting the waves with their powerful yet elegant legs and diving through the deep abyss with confidence and ease. Well, I’m sorry childhoodself, but that’s not who you are today, although you aren’t that scared of waves anymore. Okay…maybe a little. I still like to call myself a bit of a beach bum though, despite the fact that when it’s warm enough for beachweather, I lie on the sand slowly roasting while reading a magazine. So, I’m still a little awkward, I still opt for “yoghurt” over “yoiiighurt” and I still recoil around rough oceans, but I can honestly say that if it weren’t for my Aussie peers encouraging me to push myself, I wouldn’t have grown into the confident, fearless person I am today, and to that I say bloody-fairdinkumgumnut-emu-wallaby-streuth-n-farkin’ THANKS!

19 - feature

“Yeah, so, Jackson, Braydon and Ashton have

“That’s wonderful.”

give myself a small amount of credit here for genuinely trying the first couple of times – I tend to get super competitive even though I’m pretty much useless at everything – but my feeble legs simply couldn’t run fast enough, although I’m sure some kids actually let me win a couple of rounds which is another characteristic of an Aussie childhood – everyone deserves “a go”. It’s a nice thought but somewhat futile seeing as I saw what I was doing as banal torture.

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Monday

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Tuesday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

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9 O Week

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16 Semester Starts

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18 Promenade Guild Day. Sir Charles Court 19 TheCandidate Fremantle 11am-2pm Djs in the TAV Opening Night from 7pm.

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24 Ladyhawke

25 Pyjama Laser Tag Ovent Party @ the TAV

26 Karnivool

30 Week Humans Vs Zombies, long OVent!

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1 National Campus Band Comp Heat 1 2

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8 Inflatanoon OVent 9 National Campus Band Comp Heat 2

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15 Beauty Curtin Student Guild AGM & the Geek @ the TAV

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Friday

Saturday

Sunday

13 O Week Party @ The Tav

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20 Tav Friday @ The Tav

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27

28!

29 Mundaring Truffle Festival

3 Zombie Crawl. Starting @ the TAV

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17 Tav Friday - Bogan Bingo

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Fremantle idate Opening Night

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21 - calendar music

nivool

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22 - creative GROK#4_2012_2.indd 22

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23 - feature GROK#4_2012_2.indd 23

3/07/2012 2:43:26 AM


Better than Bacon, Tougher than Chuck Norris,

Time Management & Study Skills Time Management

Integrating the demands of studying with an already busy schedule of commitments can be very challenging. It is therefore essential that you manage your time efficiently to complete all your tasks on time, and adopt useful and effective study skills so that you can make the most of, and enjoy, the time you have. ‘So, where do I start??’ Organise a Semester Plan Look at significant Curtin dates for the semester, including university deadlines, exam times and holidays. You can view the most up to date schedule on http://students.curtin.edu.au/ study/important_dates.html Draw up a semester timetable, marking in the dates and times of when lectures and tutorials are held, tests are set and assignments due, as well as any other significant events. Your Unit Outlines are an invaluable resource to help with this.

Draw up a weekly plan Draw up a blank timetable for the week, with the days marked along the top of the page, and the hours of the day marked down the side (there are some of these in your Guild diary) At the beginning of each week, refer to your semester timetable and use this as the basis of your weekly plan. Mark the important dates into your plan Rank tasks according to what needs to be done first, what is most important, what will take the most time etc, and add into your timetable Alternate between difficult and easier tasks, and timetable in short breaks (no longer than 10 minutes) every hour or so to refresh your concentration Allow time for fun, including social, sporting and personal activities

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Stick to it! Not everyone is used to being this organized, and it may take a few weeks to get into the swing of using a timetable. It is tempting to just go with the flow and take study as it comes, however this isn’t really a good idea because study demands can quickly get on top of you if

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you are not in control. The trick is to be realistic about how much you can achieve in each study session, mix up the hard and the easy tasks, and schedule in time for other activities that you enjoy.

Study Tips Time your study sessions strategically An important aspect of study time management is deciding when to study. This will make your study session more effective, which is more important than the actual amount of time you spend studying. Generally the most effective times to study are:

After lectures. This allows you to review and

reflect on what you have just learned, whilst information is still fresh in your mind Before tutorials. This allows you to do required reading and to prepare for the tute

Before exams. Avoid last minute ‘cramming’. If

you have been following a well designed study time management plan you should need only a general revision to remind you of what you have learned over the semester Observe your own personal preferences. For instance, are you a ‘night person’ or a ‘day person’? Plan your heaviest study for the time when you are most productive

And More Awesome than Giant Mutant Cyborg Dinosaurs with laser cannons! Student Assist is the welfare department of the Curtin Student Guild.  Mandy, Simon and Juliana are there to support all students, postgrad and undergrad, with any personal, welfare or academic issues. Their services are free for all Curtin students and cover things like • Leave of Absence • Deferral from Study • Assessment Appeals • General Appeals • Appealing terminations • Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct • Withdrawing or Changing Courses • Career and resume help • Centrelink difficulties • Discrimination and harassment • Finances • Health and wellbeing issues • Time management help • Study skills advice • Tenancy advice • And more….

Student Assist is completely confidential and will help make your life at University that little bit easier. You can drop by Guild Reception (Building 106F) or you can make an appointment at a time that is convenient to you. Call Reception on 9266 2900 or email reception@guild.curtin.edu.au

Create a Comfortable Study Space When you associate a certain place with a specific study activity, you are less likely to waste time settling down to work. Try to create a work space where:

• Lighting is good, your computer is at an appropriate height and your chair is comfortable for long study sessions

undergraduates and postgraduates. Contact Bev Priest on 9266 3828 for information and bookings, or check out their website at http:// learningsupport.curtin.edu.au/(.) In addition, Student Assist Officers at the Guild are available if you require help with managing your studies, and can help you out with useful study techniques and strategies. For an appointment drop into Guild Reception or call the number below.

• You can shut out distracting noise

STUDENT ASSIST CONTACTS

• Everything you need is easily accessible: dictionaries, file cards, note pads, spare thumb drives etc • You can leave your work set out for the next study session

These helpful suggestions are really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of time management and study techniques. For a more comprehensive overview, the Student Learning Support Unit situated on the ground floor of the library building (Building 105, underneath the library), offers academic support programs for

Reception 9266 2900 or 1800 063 865 for country callers Email: reception@guild.curtin.edu.au

Adapted from ‘Time Management: StudyPlus Series’, Curtin Student Learning Support Unit

3/07/2012 2:43:28 AM


Wannabe Surfer There are many, many ways that a person can make themselves look and seem like a douchebag. They can wear their hat to one side, to protect their ear from sun burn. They can wear their pants lower than their bottom, exposing their ass crack to horrified onlookers. They can even wear V-necked tee shirts that cut so low one has to question whether it is chest or pubic hair that we can see. But one look that achieves maximum ‘doucheosity’ is definitely the ‘wannabe surfer’. Yes, I’m talking about that one guy everyone knows who clearly never goes to the beach and would probably struggle to swim, but tries more than anything to look like he does because he thinks it makes him look sexy. Salt spray is one of his most vital tools. Yes you read correctly, salt spray. This can be purchased at most supermarkets around our apparently pretentious country. The substance is applied to the hair before one leaves the house, giving off the impression that the individual has spent a large portion of the day in the ocean (or at least they think so). I feel like this is so senseless I almost don’t need to pull the piss out of it, but who am I kidding, I can’t resist. Firstly, it’s winter, and it’s raining; Kelly Slater didn’t go to the beach today and you most certainly did not drag your poser ass down their either. And secondly, how bad is your hair that you need to make it look damaged by the elements in order for it to have texture? The surfer wannabe does own a surf board, however, so did my grandad at some point. That doesn’t mean I ever want to see him at the beach; mainly because he’s dead, and I would be scared, but that’s not the point. Just because you are at the beach with a board, doesn’t mean you look cool. We can tell that you’re not a surfer, mainly by the fact that you’re not bloody surfing. The only girls that you are going to impress are just as stupid as you. When they are not on the beach, these people like to ride the penny skate board, a smaller, more agile version of the original skateboard. These come in fluorescent ‘look at me’ colours and are almost indestructible. At this point I will propose the hypothesis that they are built to be indestructible because most people want to hurt those who ride them. This strange specimen of human wears what are called ‘fleshies’, round earing like devices that stretch the ear lobe to form a large hole. Upon great research and consideration I reached the conclusion that these must provide an aero dynamical advantage whilst riding the penny skateboard. Beach goers beware, the wannabe surfer travels at high speeds and is likely to be distracted trying to see their own reflection in passing windows. Avoid at all costs. I tried to interview one of these people in order to gain another perspective. You know, be respectful and shit? But during their response to my questions I suddenly felt the overwhelming compulsion not to listen. Say what you will about my intelligence, but all that was going on in my brain was incessant giggling as all my proposed hypotheses about the wannabe surfer unfolded before my eyes.

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25 - feature

Ian Seaborn

3/07/2012 2:43:31 AM


An Interview With Hoda Afshar . 26 - arts

Maya Rose-Chauhan

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3/07/2012 2:43:36 AM


The images in your recent series I’m not the other are really intriguing, not just in their visual quality but also in their explicit questioning of what it means to be Australian. How did you come up with the idea? Basically I am a migrant, a so-called “other” with a juxtaposed identity. Since I became displaced, the constant challenges and everyday encounters of living in Australian society as a migrant became the major sources of inspiration for my art practice. From the beginning of my journey, I’ve been inspired with the process of going from a local self to a global state of culture. Throughout this process I realized that if I want to become a proper member of this new-to-me community (the Australian society), I need to adjust myself to the regulations of the host culture which I found contrasted with the values of my home culture. This transitory process created an awareness of multiple consciousnesses which faced me with the question of identity and also gave me a critical view on nationalistic fantasies that I was challenged with. I believe these challenges are vital parts of the experience of migration. Therefore in my recent work I’m not the other, I portrayed a series of social parodies based on performative masquerades to capture the essence of migration based on my personal experiences, however, I tried to avoid the sad feeling which is always behind a diasporic experience through the language of humour.

On your website you state that your art tests post-identity politics. What does this mean? The term post-identity describes a range of politics which are empowered by earlier debates on multiculturalism, identity, gender, ethnicity, race and so forth. Post-identity artists distance themselves from identity labels and attempt to criticise the politics of representation by collapsing the boundaries between the local and national identity. I believe today the art world is moving beyond the individual stories

that represent their own cultures in the market place of exoticism. Instead we are embracing plural perspectives, multiple histories and influences by reinventing identities and redefining cultures suitable for the twenty-first century.

You grew up in Iran after the Islamic revolution. What was it like for you while you were studying, living and working there as an artist? Iran is a country caught between tradition and modernity. As an artist I’ve always been infatuated by the continuous resistance of the traditional and religious views against the temptation of westernisation. For many years, I employed my camera to document this contradictory life that I was surrounded with as a way of exploring different aspects of my locality as well as my personal life and identity. My generation, who was born after the Islamic revolution of 1979, was labelled as ‘the Children of the Revolution’. We grew up with two paradoxical identities; one which was determined within the family, based on cultural heritage, traditional values and a constant return to a true and glorified Iranian self, and the other identity which was shaped through satisfying the expectations of the society; the one that defends the Islamic values against westoxication and celebrates the victory of Islam over the nation’s historical consciousness. The paradoxical nature of these two identities gave me a plural perspective followed by a sense of exile in my home land.

Were there limitations on the political messages you could involve in your photography? You know, there are always various kinds of limitations in every country and culture when it comes down to political issues and Iran is not an exception. Somehow, I like restrictions. I grew up with them. Whenever there is a limitation, I start exploring its roots, in fact I consider it as a new challenge and also a starting point for a new project.

To get accepted in the society, migrants try to occupy pre-existing structures of the host culture. For instance, you see lots of migrants in the streets on Australia day celebrating along with others, while some non-indigenous Australians, who have a sense of ownership of the land, feel threatened by the ‘outsiders’ as if they are attempting to take their lands away from them. In my work I tried to criticise both parties by depicting these conflicting scenes that I personally witnessed in our society.

What does the future hold in terms of the direction you’d like to take your art and photography? I would like to examine other mediums such as video and installation in the future. As an Iranian-Australian artist, I will always get inspired with the contradictory character of the double vision I gained through migration. I believe that art should be political and I also trust in art as the best language for the nations and cultures around the world to communicate with each other in the time of globalization. Thus, I will continue making art based on my experiences of living in this contemporary condition.

What advice would you have for aspiring photographers and artists who want to engage with contemporary issues? As I mentioned before we are living in the time of globalization and capitalist ideology is moving us more and more towards a homogenized future. Therefore as artists it is our responsibility to create works that stand against this movement through focusing on

You pick up on some potentially sensitive issues for example the photograph of the couple sitting in a car wearing green and gold and sticking Australian flags out the windows. It seems in a way you are exploring Australian nationalism. What prompted you to start exploring issues such as this? Being cosmopolitan is one the most prominent characteristics of Australian society today. However; I believe what we are practicing as multiculturalism is an institutionalised strategy manipulated by global capitalism. We pretend to value ethnicity, race, gender and other markers of identity while at the same time we

Images: from the series Palm Tree and the Yellow Sun by Hoda Afshar

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try to homogenize our differences by enforcing a standard image of what it means to be Australian.

the present, emphasizing on differences and appreciating singularities. Whatever artistic medium we choose to work with, we need to create art works that are objects of negotiation for the audiences of a first truly worldwide culture.

27 - arts

Hoda Afshar is an artist and photographer and a PhD candidate at Curtin University. She has worked as a documentary photographer in her country of origin, Iran, but now calls Australia home, having moved here in 2007. Here, she discusses her recent photography series I’m not the other and how her experiences as a migrant have influenced her art.

3/07/2012 2:43:38 AM


Red Herring

28 - creative

Jarod Rhine Davis

Well... This is my first internal monologue, so I guess I might as well go through the basics. I’m a herring and I live in th- ... Hmm, I thought it would be a lot more free-flowing than this. I’m probably putting way too much thought into it. Yes, yes that’s exactly what I’m doing. Umm.. Ehh, this is so confusing. Ohhhhww, just clear your mind. Okay, on the count of 3. 1...2...3... Now all I can think about are numbers. Now I’m thinking about jellyfish. Damn... Internal monologues are hard! Let’s just go through this step by step. So pretty much I’m a herring and I live in the sea. I like swimming around in the big ocean. I have a great life. The waters are so clear, and I can frolic anywhere I like with my best pals Dave Salmon and Terry Cod. I’ve never been happier. I wish it could stay this way forev- WHOOP! Almost slammed right into that rock. Man, this reef has some very sharp edges. Almost chopped my body in half. Oh god, and there’s Dave. Just looking at me. With an expression on his face like “what the hell were you thinking”. God, so embarrassed right now. Wait, now he’s asking me what it was like. What it was... like? Why does he want to know that? What possible use could that be to him? A life-threatening experience? He just called my almost slamming into a rock a “lifethreatening experience”? What a load of... What did he just say? What happens to you just before

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you die? Your “life flashing before your eyes”? Is that it? How interesting. So he thinks this thing happened to me because I almost died? A bit of an exaggeration but, oh well. It didn’t. Now I wish it did. Seems exciting. Hmmm...he’s giving me that look again. Better wipe that wide grin off my face. I’ve got some interesting and quite scary news. I was in the middle of my daily swim right round the coral reef – to keep fit and healthy and all – when my eyes suddenly rested on a red goddess, her ghostly silhouette approaching from beyond the horizon. Such a beautiful young thing, yet so used – as if she had concluded a mighty adventure she had never wanted to begin. Confusion turned to mesmerisation. I was transfixed. Stuck. I couldn’t look away. As she swam towards me – my general direction – she seemed to break into a second wind and speed up with every muscle in her body, defying the logic her brain was feeding her, that enough was enough. I became hypnotized by this fish, advancing at lightning speed. Clearly distressed. Clearly distraught. As she approached, my fascination grew. So much so that I kept on swimming my daily path, despite using all my concentration to stare at her forlorn face. Needless to say I crashed into a rock, which made my head spin - I really must watch out for

those damned things. Once again no flashing of life before the eyes though. A shame, really. At least my suffering got a slight giggle out of her, though she soon returned to her anxious state. As she continued to swim closer, I could tell that her body was slowing down. Shutting down. She was overcome with fatigue. I immediately swam over, just as her body had given up, and started to plummet to the ocean floor without resistance. Luckily I caught her frail frame just in time, and eased her gently onto a nearby piece of seaweed. Seconds dripped by. I became worried. Had this innocent creature been ripped from me before a word had even passed my lips? I fanned her face as seconds bled to minutes. Minutes led to more. Finally, she woke up with a start. I stroked her face, looked her right in her bright blue eyes, and asked her what was wrong – as any fish would do! She said... Oh, I’ll never forget what she said. Her story took place earlier that very same day, in a neighbouring village. She had been doing nothing, nothing at all – minding her own business — when suddenly a cylindrical object floated down and crashed on a rock a few millirays away from her. She was so scared. She was shaking. Can you blame her? Even retelling that dreaded tale sent shivers up her spine once more. I had to calm her with some soothing words and urge her to continue. She said she

3/07/2012 2:43:41 AM


Just as I’d feared. Those UFO’s – those items of doom – have started to appear nearer and nearer to us, threatening our very existence. Have they come to us from beyond? From the heavens? That dark shadowy void of horror and the unknown that rests above our heads? Or perhaps they have been carried here from afar by harsh currents – currents who are taunting us, torturing us, playing with our lives as if they were pieces in a game. Everywhere we go, we see both the rotting flesh of the earth’s sweet produce, and the Frankenstein’s creations made from abuse of the earth’s elements. They say we should turn away – to not look directly at them for fear of being given a terrible curse, but we do anyway. We have to. We have no choice. They dance around us – fierce predators encircling their prey, forcing us to watch them mock and jeer like the defenceless victims that we are. They have sprinkled our daily lives with the stench of death, and have made it exceedingly dangerous to tread anywhere without falling into one of their sneaky fatal traps. I fear I may not be able to take one of my daily treks ever again. No more treks to find lost travellers from another world. No more treks to save them... She – that mysterious temptress who I resuscitated from near-death all that time ago – has since left this earth in the same folly with which it began. Tired. Exhausted from running – trying to escape the inevitable. I think she just gave up on life. Everything she had known was ripped away from her, and she needed closure. Psychologically drained and emotionally empty, she stopped the beating of her heart, and chose her last breath at her own will. At least the blood did not taint the colour of her stunning scarlet flesh, though her eyes have now been stained an eerie violet. I hope she is in a better place now. Thank heavens I never allowed myself to become too attached to her. I wouldn’t have been able to cope. Perhaps the coldness I gave her contributed to her spiral into the pits of hell. I sincerely hope not. The very thought chills me to my core. I am sad. So sad. But I will recover, and wake up tomorrow. Life has not been easy. It hasn’t been much of a life at all. I drift by – from every day to the next – on and on, in a never-ending pattern of woe and despair. A trek of the mind. That feeling when every bit of your existence is working overtime to try to make sense of the world around you, and

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yet you are unable to do anything. It just kills me. I try. Every day is lived in constant worry. I have become a prisoner in my own home. Sometimes I look outside, and stare into the apocalypse – that ominous presence that surrounds me. I try to make myself think of nicer things, but my delusional mind always slips back to our poor village, ruined and ravaged like a whore, while the devil’s minions continue to strike without a second thought. That black poison – the oozing goo that visited us a short while ago, now clings to us like a leech and blocks out the night sky with an even darker presence. It has destroyed my reef. My home. And I have run out of things to say. I continue to survive. But only just. And there are many friends who have been lost along the way. Causalities. Too many. Terry. Ohhh Terry. I miss you so. If only you hadn’t gone out exploring that day even after I had begged you not to. If only you had seen the six ringed monster fall on top of you and cling onto your fragile neck. If only you hadn’t squirmed and flailed, uncaring of the specks of crimson beginning to float around you. If only you hadn’t ignored the reality of your flesh being contorted and mangled and crushed by its sharp edges. If only you had called out for help sooner, rather than letting out that final ear-piercing scream as your spine snapped. If only I hadn’t followed the scent of blood like a shark on the prowl, through twists and turns, over seaweed, past rocks, battling my body through the waves and currents to find you as fast as I could. My tears were washed away with the tide. If only I hadn’t found you there. Still. Unmoving. Staring at me with those cold dead eyes. I could hardly bear to look. If only I hadn’t heard that last awful moan, your dying breath. And then you left me – you bastard – there, calling out for help. To a friend. A neighbour. Those cowards from above. They give and take life while hiding out of sight. Who hinder and hurt without meaning. Without consequence. And to you – the best friend I ever had. The greatest fish I ever knew. As I screamed and wailed, all I could think of was how they could knowingly do this to us. Perhaps they didn’t even know. That fleeting thought scared me the most. I stayed there for hours, but no one ever heard my calls. No one ever came. The only feeling flooding through my veins, keeping me from going insane, was that perhaps you found comfort in your wonderful life flashing before your eyes in those final agonizing moments. You were the first. The first of many. At the hands of those alien demons who lurk within the shadows constantly, eying their prey, waiting for their chance to strike without mercy. I stopped caring after that, yet once in a while my mind would flicker back to that darkest point in my life, the same questions penetrating my very existence. What could I have done differently? What could I have done to save you? If only you hadn’t struggled against that menacing beast all trapped and alone. If only you hadn’t been stolen from me. If only I’d been there. If only. Death, dying, destruction, desolation... they surround us. Bind us. The smell of disease and rot of our friends and neighbours is so commonplace, we don’t even shed a tear. It does not make us stop. A brief newscast, if anything an announcement. We mutter “How sad!” and give it little more thought. Though perhaps they did. For the corpses lain out in front of us never seem to prevent others from choosing the same fate. When we see the fallen ones, we just swim by with a deadpan expression

glued to our faces, and coldly wonder who will be next. No more sadness left to give from our already-broken hearts. We have all become so cautious now. Threats around every corner. In every gap. One lapse in concentration is all it takes. Another body on the pile. Another mouth left unfed at day’s end. Another creature only survived through the memories they have given their loved ones, the few who linger on. Another heartbreak for the unlucky ones, the ones to survive... The remnants of the community have banded together as one fractured but brave whole. Our family has gotten so small. We’re forced to make do with what we’ve got left. It isn’t much, but it’s something. These days, my mind has turned to mush. Ever since I met that fish. It’s her fault. She was a bad omen, she conjured our bad luck and left us here to meet the same fate. She is innocent, too. A victim. Just like me. But now I am victim to my paranoia. It just doesn’t make sense. None of it does. I am overwhelmed by confusion. Drowning in the vast ocean that surrounds me. I can’t breathe. I can’t think straight. Falling. Into the depths. With no end in sight. On. And on. These days I shake with an artificial fever, brought on by my slow descent to madness. Longing for an answer that I know will never come. Dave died a few days ago. I don’t care.

The moment when your life flashes before your eyes, right before you die. I used to stare at those who told me these fantastical stories, wondering what that sensation would be like. Such a beautiful marriage between right and wrong. A tranquil scene playing out before you at the very end. My strange curiosity for this gave me a near necrophilic fascination with death. And it never truly went away. And now I find myself here, narrating it all for you. One careless mistake, and that was it. I myself have now fallen victim to the metal and plastic. Who are“they”? I don’t know. I just don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever truly known. I’m not sure about anything anymore. Why am I caught in a trap – this thin flaccid bag wrapped around my neck? Perhaps out of loneliness. Perhaps out of desperation. Perhaps out of the unbearable disillusion I have from the loss of everything I ever loved or cared about. My incomprehension led to disorientation, and then panic. Suddenly I snapped, and swam further and further up, knowing full well that I would suffocate myself in the open air, but I swam anyway. This bag was my saving grace. But now the hypocrisy. For now I die at its hands instead. I turn my head back towards the sky and ask what was always brewing at the depths of my soul. “What things would do this to us? What deity? Are we merely counted as the sand of the seas to you?” ... My voice grows hoarse and my mind weary. As the deep red blood seeps from my skin into the waters beyond, I am left with one thought. One task that must be done. I manage to open up my mouth once more, with dying breaths. “Help us! Let this suffering cease!” I should laugh it off, shouldn’t I? I know I should. It’ll get better. Yes, I should laugh it off, but all I can do is cry. And every sob sends a throb of unbearable pain through me. I inch my head north once more and whisper: “Why? Wh...”

29 - creative

had heard rumours of similar objects appearing all over the place, but had never seen anything like it herself. When other fish told her the myths and legends of evil aliens who abducted their kind for sport, she had merely laughed it off. And even when these new stories started to appear, she forced the very idea of such horrific things in her little village creep from her mind. She figured that even if they were happening, they’d never happen to her. She was too good. Too pure. Bad things just didn’t happen to good fish, she kept on telling herself again and again. But she was wrong. And when they did... it changed her. She left home. Just like that. Away from everything she knew. To freedom. To sanity. Yet she found me. Little me. I’m not quite sure what she sees in me – why she’s clinging onto me. Maybe I’m just the first one who’s shown her a glimpse of kindness after her treacherous and painful voyage. The first one to actually stop, and turn, and ask: “are you okay”? She looked at me with those tired, longing eyes and asked me to stop this madness. I’ll do the best I can.

3/07/2012 2:43:43 AM


30 - opinion

the short memory span of a news consumer... plus the dangerous ramblings of a gallivanting student journo Hayley Davis

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3/07/2012 2:43:43 AM


Recently I was talking to a friend about the 2010 BP Oil Spill that occurred off the Gulf Coast. He wondered why it was that we don’t hear about it in the news anymore.

financing the industry with free content online and, more recently, the influence of advertisers and commercial considerations in editorial decisions. When considering issues from an Australian context, we indicated that a market oriented media system does not guarantee a robust, accountable press, which functions as an effective check on institutions of power. As the Editor in Chief at the Shanghai Daily aptly noted, “Every government wants the media to be on it’s side”. So whether it is a one party or multi-party system, governments will do what they can to influence the news and the way they are represented in it. In Australia we also face a talented and well funded public relations industry that work tirelessly to control the information put out to the public about their organisations.

Having a market oriented media system and a democratic political system can lead to the factors of control being less easily recognised, veiled in legalese and public relations and scattered among editorial staff, media proprietors, shareholders and advertisers. Thought the mechanisms of influence are less overt than in socialist countries, I would argue that our media is far less free than some of us would like to think. The recent Finkelstein Inquiry identified

the level of concentration of media ownership in Australia as problematic for a healthy news media and democracy. However, the government commissioned inquiry itself was so bound in its frames of reference that Finkelstein was not even permitted to investigate the impact of concentrated media ownership. A few months ago students at the University of Canberra launched an Freedom of Information application to find out about planned cuts to the journalism program, when the university allegedly pressured the students to withdraw the application. For a university who taught these students the skills of investigation and to constantly ask ‘why’, to then turn around and try and deny their right to freedom of information is certainly worrying. There are some fascinating transitions happening in China currently and they are occurring at a rapid rate. Some of the catalysts for such changes have come via increasing amounts of information available online and China’s awareness of needing to establish trust and legitimacy in it’s foreign relations. What was certainly evident from our visit to Shanghai was that the issues of media freedom in our two very different countries were actually far more alike than we may have thought.

31 - opinion

Surely the impacts of the spill are still being felt or even just realized by the surrounding communities. In an article in Time Magazine’s science section, Bryan Walsh commented on the one year anniversary that scientists still didn’t know enough about the extent of what happened to accurately predict the impacts, which could be felt for decades to come. So why aren’t we hearing about this anymore? “Simple!” Many first year journalists versed in basic news values might answer. “It isn’t new, current.” Ok...so...yes...Fair call. Timeliness and currency are basic news values. What this can sometimes mean is that, even though issues are still relevant or important, they may not feature in the news because they don’t meet the criteria of being ‘news-worthy’ - save for perhaps follow up documentaries. What are the implications of this? Do the issues fade from the general public consciousness? The fact that so many millions of people die every day from preventable disease is surely extraordinary, yet because it happens every day, it rarely warrants a front page headline. It might then be argued that stories which are important for the public to be aware of - that is, those that are in the public interest - do not always feature in the news. The public interest is definitely different to those things which may interest ‘the public’, or at least what editors and news organisations deem the public to be interested in. The media is a business. As such journalists are often required to make news not only accurate and informative but also entertaining. It does not solely perform the functions outlined in western liberal philosophy as being necessary for a healthy democracy, along side the ideals of freedom of speech and expression. I found myself thinking about this when a group of Curtin media students and myself arrived in Shanghai on the June 24. We’re here for a study tour hosted by Fudan University. I noticed that my fellow students and I, almost by default, fell into a particular line of questioning. “Do you like this about your media system? Doesn’t (a) make you feel this way? Why doesn’t anybody do anything about (b) and what are the consequences if you write an article in a way the central government does not like?” Despite the fact that many of

us would be aware of socio-cultural theories of The Other and Orientalism and regardless of our capacity for self reflexivity, we still almost naturally approached our Chinese hosts with a certain level of presumption and arrogance. We had certain ideas about a media system in a socialist political system and it being counterintuitive to the way we feel a press should operate. While I can only truly speak for myself, it was apparent that many of our perceptions were challenged in conversation with the professors and students at Fudan University. This was the case not only in relation to the media but also culture, economics and policy. In discussion with the students from Fudan about ‘Issues of the 21st Century’, one notable example came up regarding China’s One Child Policy. The Australian students were particularly interested in how this policy made the Chinese students feel. Albeit some people in their late teens and early twenties may feel differently about this now than what they would later in life, but nevertheless the students shared their thoughts. Some expressed that though there were definite negatives to the policy, it was necessary given the incredible size of China’s population. Associated with this response was a feeling that the needs of the community were sometimes more important than those of the individual. With regard to the media, it was clear that conception of the role of media in society is informed very differently. Of course this is fundamentally based on differing philosophies between liberalism and socialism. In China, journalists are deemed to play a role in maintaining a stable society. In terms of economics, for example, the media are encouraged not to communicate negative realities, given that the global economy relies on confidence. “Any bad news about the economy would relay negative sentiment to the public and will affect economic strength,” Professor Deng from Fudan University explained. “China has put restraints on the reporting of negative news about the economy. This confidence will be transformed into action which will boost the economy,” he said As we continued discussions with the students and media professionals from the Shanghai Daily and other Chinese and English news media stations/publications, it was astonishing the similarities - not the differences - in the issues faced by the media industries in Australia and in China. Our hosts spoke to us about issues of censorship and government regulation, the challenges of

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3/07/2012 2:43:43 AM


32 - feature GROK#4_2012_2.indd 32

3/07/2012 2:43:49 AM


I Want to be Under the Sea Stacey Malacari

If you ever had a crush on Ariel like I did as a kid, then you will surely have wished to live under the sea at some point in your life. After all, ‘darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter’. Ignoring the obvious sexual connotations of that lyric, the girl had a point: living under the sea would be awesome. But, unless you’re a mermaid, is it even possible? Of course it is. Here are ten ways how in no particular order… Most of the world’s underwater habitats (as is the official name for such human living quarters) are research laboratories. So it’s simple, really: switch your education degree for some sort of highly specialised marine sciences one and you’ll be living underwater scraping samples from rocks deep within the oceanic trenches in no time. Join NASA. Apparently they’re not content with just floating around up in space, so they’re sending astronauts to the bottom of the sea to practice moon-walking. As you do. Get accepted into Hogwarts and get your hands on a large supply of Gillyweed. Alternatively, become awesome at transfiguration and turn yourself into some sort of excellent sea creature. Link up with the Guinness World Record holder for the longest time spent under water on a single breath, Swiss free-diver Peter Colat. Colat held his breath for 19 minutes 21 seconds, after breathing pure oxygen for ten minutes to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in his blood. After a few years of training like this, you should be able to live like other sea mammals and just pop up to the surface for oxygen occasionally. I’m not sure if it’s the undersea life or the fact that he’s Swiss, but Peter Colat is one very pasty dude. You’ve been warned.

For those who suffer inner ear problems – pull a Troy McClure and replace your bedroom walls with aquariums. Sleeping with the fishes has never been so enjoyable. For a more well-rounded life on and under the sea, become a member of the Bajau tribe of Maritime South-East Asia. Commonly known as ‘Sea Gypsies’, the Bajau are an Indigenous tribe who spend so much time floating about on the ocean that they get ‘land-sick’. The best hunters in these tribes can hold their breath for over 5 minutes and walk along the ocean floor without the use of weights. Negatives of this life include pirates, a lack of citizenship to anywhere and a heavily seafood-based diet. You will get a fabulous tan, though. Discover the lost city of Atlantis and ask their leader to give you the power to breathe under water. I think it might be somewhere near Rottnest. Invest in the Israeli company ‘Like-A-Fish’. They’re dedicated to creating artificial human gills and I’d bet their investors get first dibs if they ever succeed. Just don’t volunteer to test anything. Ever heard of a submarine? If you ignore the confined, crowded quarters and possibly being sent to war, this is probably the most achievable option. Plus, giant piss-ups in Fremantle every so often. So, clearly it’s extremely easy to lead a life of undersea adventure. I’m actually not sure what we’re all still doing on dry land.

33 - feature

Book a night at the Jules Undersea Lodge, an underwater motel off the coast of Florida, for the bargain price of $600 per person. The whole place looks like it was last refurbished in the 1960’s and the website uses phrases such as ‘command

centre’ and ‘undersea mission’, but Steve Tyler apparently stayed here once so maybe it’s not as dodgy as it seems. The Jules Lodge is currently the only working undersea accommodation in the world, but there are plans for multi-billion dollar state of the art hotels off the coasts of Dubai, Fiji and Istanbul. All three of these were due to be open by 2009, but none have managed the task yet. Richard Branson is also keen to get his thumb in this tourism pie, right after he’s finished sending millionaires to the moon.

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3/07/2012 2:43:53 AM


“I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” The ripples of Obama’s bold statement reach the shores of Australia.. Trent Macri

On May 9 this year, President Obama made history, becoming the first sitting president to openly declare his support for same-sex marriage. It is hard to say whether the president’s unprecedented statement was more of an expression of his personal convictions, or a political calculation. The likely answer is that it was a bit of both. This writer has always found his previous comments – I support gay rights blah blah blah… but marriage is between a man and a woman – hard to swallow. It was hard to believe that such a progressive and liberal visionary would not personally support the notion of committed same-sex couples being allowed to marry. Indeed, his previous token line of marriage being “between a man and a woman” was likely more of a political calculation, just as it is here in Australia. If indeed it was a political manoeuvre for the president, it was a risky one with the November elections looming. Unlike here in Australia, but in fact like the majority of democracies throughout the world, the United States does not have compulsory voting. Perhaps Obama is trying to give the same young, energetic voters that came out in mass levels to vote for him in 2008 a reason to come out and vote for him once again in light of his dwindling support. It may however unfold to haunt the president later this year in swing states where conservatives tend to latch to contentious issues such as this. Whilst symbolically this is a milestone, the material effect it will have in the U.S. is likely to be limited. The president still maintains that this issue needs to be decided on the state level, as it has been rather excitedly over the past few years. In 2008 California legalised same-sex marriage, only to have it overturned later that year by the passing of Proposition 8. Last year same-sex marriage became legal in New York after passing the state legislature, whereas other states are moving in the opposite direction with constitutional amendments similar to that of California. The only certain effect is that it is likely to ignite energy on both sides of a long, drawn-out debate.

Whether this is a political calculation – at first, to appease the right-wing faction of the Labor party, and now not wanting to once again backflip on yet another issue – or not, she is falling behind her foreign counterparts. Not only is same-sex marriage now okay for the left-leaning U.S. president, but last year it was also fervently endorsed by the Conservative prime minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron: “Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative, I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative.” Our prime minister is one of two people: either a politician not wanting to lose face on another issue, or someone with confusing and contradicting views. One thing is certain – neither is particularly inspiring. Frustrating as this may be to many citizens, myself included, the future of this issue is not so bleak here in Australia. Unlike the United States, we don’t see the same forces mobilising on a grassroots level to ‘defend’ marriage in our legislature (at least not often or with any effect), nor is it reduced to a state issue. On the contrary, proponents of gay marriage have grown to become an overwhelming force, rallying in greater numbers with greater frequency. Politicians are no longer comfortable towing the party line on such a deeply personal issue, and it is with great relief that the majority of them will now be able to vote with their conscience on this issue. Last December, the Labor Party also made history at its national conference, reversing its official platform policy to support same-sex marriage, but allowing its MPs a conscience vote when several bills come before parliament later this year. Unfortunately the prospects of these bills passing through the House of Representatives are dim so long as Tony Abbott disallows a conscience vote within the Liberal Party. Support, however, is growing unstoppably both on the public and political level, and for that reason those in favour of reform can rest assured that same-sex marriage is inevitable here in Australia. Everyone just needs to decide which side of history they want to be on.

34 - politics

We’re seeing this ripple effect reach our shores here in Australia. The story was headline news on which both our prime minister and the opposition leader were forced to comment immediately. Their answers both failed to surprise or inspire a country where polling consistently shows that a majority of its citizens support gay marriage.

Trying to understand our PM’s reasoning is like trying to understand quantum physics. She is, after all, an atheist ‘living in sin’ with her partner.

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experience it yourself to understand what I’m talking about. Sometimes new customers will come in and ask for the ‘buffet’ – which I think is a bit of an insult. For me, the word ‘buffet’ calls to mind people awkwardly lining up for watery-looking casseroles, large trays of sliced salami, funky salads, and being surrounded by a disproportionate amount of old people. But not at Lapa. Firstly, you don’t go to the food – the food comes to you. Your source of power is a little cardboard coaster next to your plate that is green with ‘sim por favor’ (yes please) on one side, red with ‘não obrigado’ (no thank you) on the other. Provided that little thing is green, passadores (meat passers) will come to your table every five minutes or so and place a 1-meter skewer of meat on the table. Equipped with a large machete and agreeable biceps, they will slice off a succulent piece of meat for you, fresh from the oven and onto your plate.

375 Hay Street Subiaco 08) 9381 1323 www.lapa.net.au REVIEWED BY BELINDA TEH

Last year, I decided to backpack around Brazil over the Christmas holidays, to see the world and learn a new language. My friends couldn’t

“I see. That’s all very well, but the thing is, we kind of need you to be able to speak Brazilian Portuguese, so unfortunately I don’t think you’ll be suitable.”

understand why I wanted to go to Brazil of all places. Mother was less than pleased. “Why you go there la? You so silly you, why not learn Spanish ah? No one speak Brazilian Portuguese in Perth isn’t it, aiyoooooo.”

“Well, as a matter of fact…”

But I knew what I had to do, so I handed in my resignation at Vodafone and packed my bags. I came back in March with new hopes and dreams, a startling tan and some basic Portuguese. Unfortunately I also returned home with a ghastly credit card debt and no job. My plan had been to just find one when I got home – how hard could it be?

Lapa is a Brazilian churrascaria (barbecue restaurant) that has made a name for itself in Perth for its unique dining experience, weekend samba performances, noticeably attractive Brazilian meat carvers and consistently excellent food. Since opening in December, Lapa has received 14/20’s from Rob Broadfield and Gail Williams, a nomination for the Australian Ethnic Business Award and widespread approval by the Perth foodblogging community. It’s generally booked out three weekends in advance and even packs out on weeknights. And yes, I am bragging shamelessly.

A month later, I’d distributed a bajillion resumes, blanket-spammed Seek and was still unemployed. One afternoon I sat on Urbanspoon, flicking through high-end restaurants I would love to work in, many of which had already rejected me as I had no fine-dining waitressing experience. I was about to snap my laptop shut when a link caught my eye under the ‘Talk of the Town’ section: Lapa Brazilian Barbecue. I practically fell over myself running to find the phone, and dialed their number. “Hi! My name’s Belinda, could I please speak to the Manager?” “Yes, speaking.” “I was just calling to enquire whether or not you guys are looking for waitresses at the moment?” “You’re Australian?” “Yes.” “Well… Yes, yes we are I suppose, do you have any waitressing experience?” “I worked in a little restaurant for about 6 months last year, and I’ve worked in three cafés.”

GROK#4_2012_2.indd 35

And there you were thinking Brazilian Portuguese was a useless language.

The Restaurant

The secret to success? Enter Fabio Silva: head chef, experienced restaurateur and an all-round nice guy. Born and raised in Curitiba, Fabio gained experience running his family’s churrascaria, a business passed down from his grandfather to his father, and eventually to Fabio himself. It was there that Fabio learned everything he knows about authentic Brazilian food and how to cook the perfect churrasco. By running his own eatery, he learned that while plating up good food is important, all elements of a restaurant need to work together in order to create a first-rate institution. So when you come to Lapa, you don’t just get Brazilian food, you get a Brazilian experience.

The Rodízio The most popular item on the menu at Lapa is the $49 ‘Endless Feast’ or Rodízio, and if you’ve never tried it before, you have to

There are 16 different cuts of chicken, lamb, beef and pork on offer at Lapa. There’s a floorto-ceiling glass window separating the kitchen and the restaurant, so customers have a view of the oven (which is the size of a small van) where all the different types of meat slowly roast on rotating spits. The set consists of: picanha rump cap (a Brazilian favourite), whole rump, Argentinian scotch fillet, beef ribs, finger ribs, Brazilian pork sausage, kebabs, pork belly rib, pork scotch fillet, lamb rump, lamb chop loin, chicken wings, chicken parmesan, chicken hearts and chicken medallions wrapped in bacon. And that’s just the meat. There’s also a plethora of side dishes you can choose from, with everything from chimmichurri sauce to barbecued cinnamon pineapple. My favourite would hands down have to be the pork belly followed closely by the beef ribs – a slab of meat so big that it has to be wheeled out on a trolley. Because it’s been slow-roasted for 18 hours, it never fails to be this succulent, rich, melt-in-your-mouth consistency and goes really well with some refreshing molho vinagrete (Brazilian salsa) that also comes to the table. I also have a personal weakness for the cheese lasagna, which is loaded with mozzarella and makes you feel like any exercise you’ve done in the past week was a complete waste of time. If it’s your first Brazilian dining experience like many of our customers, go all the way and order a Skol (Brazilian beer), Caipirinha (Brazil’s national cocktail) or a Guarana (Brazilian soft drink), which are hard to find around Perth. Also, check out the dessert menu - but only if you have room. At this point, all the blood would have rushed from your head to your stomach, and customers passing out in the restaurant is not a good look. In the two months that I spent in Brazil, what really struck me was the incredible energy, warmth, flair and spontaneity of Brazilian people. You can see it in the way they greet each other, the way they go absolutely bananas for their soccer team, in their love of the beach and all things to do with being in the sun. This incredible zest for life shines through so clearly in their food. A delicious cuisine for a delicious culture.

35 - review

Lapa Brazilian Barbecue

3/07/2012 2:43:55 AM


Australian Association of Campus Activities presents

YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO BREAK OUT AND GET NOTICED IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

01 AUG & 08 AUG, 2012 @ the TAV GROK#4_2012_2.indd 36

STATE FINALS HELD @ THE ROSEMOUNT, 14th SEPTEMBER NATIONAL FINAL HELD IN SEPTEMBER IN ADELAIDE

Previous winners include Jebediah, Eskimoe Joe, The Vines, Proem, Grinspoon, Transport & Rubycon

$8000 NATIONAL PRIZE 5 full days recording at the prestigious Chapel Lane Entertainment Studios, 5 nights luxury accommodation at “The Manse Guest House” and $1,000 cash to get the band to Adelaide!

3/07/2012 2:43:55 AM


CARELESS LOVE

UNTIL I DIE

REVIEWED BY: COURTNEY MEAGHER

REVIEWED BY: CAITLIN GODDARD

Films about prostitutes often cause me to groan. They’re overloaded with ridiculous pornographic scenes that exaggerate the eccentric and involve a clichéd development in the prostitute’s character. “Ooh, I’m a prostitute and I’ve had a rough past with a questionable upbringing and now I’ve seen the errors in my ways and I’m going to strive for a brighter future”, blah. Seen it all before. Careless Love is different in that it seriously deals with the social issues associated with prostitution and doesn’t make fun of the profession in the process. Why is it that prostitutes are socially despised, yet so in demand? Careless Love doesn’t screw around with false pretenses about moral codes, rather it provokes you to think more carefully about the moral codes we have in society and whether they are still valid in the modern world.

Careless Love follows the story of Linh, a university student studying sociology in Sydney. In order to support her parents, who are about to lose their house, she takes up prostitution to make ends meet. Her story has a thick historical background, her parents were refugees from Vietnam and she was brought up in a refugee camp, pushing her towards politics as a profession. Linh develops a relationship with a young bartender, Jack, which takes a nosedive after her private and professional lives collide.

Whilst this film is intellectually compelling and aesthetically pleasing, I couldn’t keep my mind from wandering. Yes, I am less patient than the average person but that is beside the point. The truth is, Careless Love lacks a particularly crucial component of any film - a compelling storyline. I’m not talking about explosions and shirtless hot male characters, I’m talking about tension. Yes, this film possesses the correct amount of tension, but that is only because I have averaged out the tension throughout the film. If we were to look at the tension in the form of a graph, it would not resemble the bell shaped curve we all know and love, but instead a dying mans heartbeat or a graphical representation of the public’s interest in boy bands. This film introduces the obstacle far too late in the film, instead dwelling on insignificant parts of the story.

I now move onto the most frustrating part of Careless Love, Linh’s character. She was infuriating, party because I could not work her out. She seemed very shy and reserved for most of the time, then she’d be amazingly confident. She seemed sophisticated and mature, then she’d rip out her laptop and type away at her diary like a pubescent schoolgirl. Her character was as weak-willed as she was strong-willed, a walking contradiction. The one thing I appreciated about her character was her development. The ending was satisfying, and suited this development well. Nothing more annoying than a film that ends stupidly. There were moments where this film seemed it would enter this category but it saved itself with a clever ending. The cinematography in this film is AMAZING! I don’t want to sound like a pretentious film student but the cinematographer really went home on this one. If you’ve seen the documentary Forbidden Lie$, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t, you’ll know Kathryn Milliss’ work in the cinematography field. She has a great eye and doesn’t fail to impress with her work in Careless Love.

Amy Plum

Love. Heartbreak. Betrayal. Sexy supernatural men. On paper, Until I Die sounds like your typical romantic fantasy novel. Boy and girl meet, fall in love, can’t be together because boy is a supernatural being and girl must find a way to keep them together. As I read it, I realised though Until I Die kept me interested for its 353 pages, it never really rose above this basic premise. But that’s ok because the novel is aimed at teenage girls, and this formula has already proven that it works. Without giving away the storyline, the book revolves around Kate, a human, and Vincent, a revenant. A revenant, I hear you ask? Yep, despite the fact that I consider myself somewhat of a fantasy buff I had never heard the term. A revenant is basically an undead being in human form. They are originally humans who have died in order to save another human life. To continue to exist, revenants have to continue to die to save humans. Everytime they die, they are reborn at the age they originally died at. Well this is certainly a fresh take on the typical fantasy love story I thought to myself as I read it. Kate is Vincent’s girlfriend and understandably she’s not too keen to see her boyfriend’s mangled body every time he dies to save a life. The plot revolves around this somewhat unconventional love story of Vincent and Kate both looking for ways to stay together despite the huge differences in their wordly responsibilities. Be warned: the ending is a tearjerker. There is also a second storyline which I found to be the more entertaining of the two, not being a huge romance fan. The revenants are fighting their mortal enemies the Numa who are evil and stand for everything the revenants fight against. A whole swag of characters are introduced into the mix on both sides, and these characters provide the necessary action and comic relief the story needs to escape from being just another teen romance novel. I loved the delicious surprises author Amy Plum threw into the mix; just when you thought you knew who the bad guy was BAM! The plot certainly thickened. Though I’m not a huge romance fan I did enjoy reading the book, especially as it was set in Paris (my dream holiday destination!). Amy Plum’s writing style is entertaining and the story has been written well. There were a few moments when I felt maybe her writing fell a bit flat but it easily picked up as the story gained pace and momentum.

Until I Die is the sequel to Die for Me and with numerous

references to the first book this was pretty obvious. The ending also had me wondering if Plum was intending to continue the series. If I had time to, I would read the first novel as I liked the characters and I would like to know more about their backgrounds. Though I may be a little older than the book’s target demographic, I am a firm believer in some guilty pleasure-reading. So go ahead and bribe your 14 year old sister to pick up a copy for you.

Funniest moment of the film - hearing a business man wish Linh “night night”. Only in an Australian movie…. 7/10

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7/10

37 - reviews

Directed by John Duigan

3/07/2012 2:43:57 AM


STAY FROSTY

CAMP (2011)

ELECTRIC CABLES

REVIEWED BY: JAROD RHINE-DAVIS

REVIEWED BY: MICHAEL BALL

REVIEWED BY: CONNOR WHITE

EMPERORS

Stay Frosty, the 10-track debut

album of the up and coming artist Emperors is an interesting yet ultimately uninspired work that doesn’t deviate too far from the norm. ‘Be Ready When I Say Go’ is a proud, confident first track that opens with a roaring opening guitar riff. However, the song seems half finished, almost as if Livingston steps away from the microphone at various points, causing a jarring lack of vocal at pivotal moments. The pompous title of the second track ‘Song of the Year’ made me giggle, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to its promise. Its banal, simplistic and repetitive melody overshadows the undercurrents of repressed anger and rebellion. Undeniably my favourite track is ‘I’m Not Dead’. The extraordinary key-changes immediately grabbed my attention. The harmonies in this song are incredible – something the band has obviously mastered.

38 - reviews

However, the majority of Emperors songs are practically indistinguishable, and their musical flavour grows tiresome. The lyrics are nothing to write home about, and a lot of the time it’s hard to understand them at all. That said, Stay Frosty is a strong effort which will attract indierock/indiepop lovers, but won’t convert any nonbelievers. Emperors have a strong, identifiable sound – they know who they are, and they stick to it, even at the expense of creativity and variety.

Childish Gambino

“…My dick is made of carrots, bunnies wanting to be fed it; I meant honeys oh forget it.” If you don’t like that, you probably shouldn’t read on. You might know him as Troy from ‘Community’, but Donald Glover is also at home with music.

Camp by Childish Gambino lets

you into a world of dick joke after glorious dick joke, but this album has a lot more depth than you might expect. In particular, ‘Hold You Down’ lets you into Glover’s school-age life highlighting the importance of family and friends, and issues of racism in America. In a sense this album has done something that Curtin yearns to do every day, make education fun (by use of dick jokes). The beats are as good as any by Kanye or Lupe, as Donald and Ludwig have excelled in their technical skills. Now is probably a good time to mention that I’m white, and I love this album. ‘Camp’ and ‘Heartbeat’ are two songs which allow white kids everywhere to feel a little bit less nerdy when they break into spontaneous rap outbursts in their cars. This is only awkward when (yes, this happened to me) you get to the ‘N’ word part of a rap and let it out as you drive past one of your lecturers. I won’t enter into a debate about the use of that word but if you YouTube ‘Donald glover n word’ you’ll realise he wanted me to say it.

Stay Frosty is not an instant classic, and while it does have some reasonably nice tunes, it ultimately leaves me feeling unfulfilled and bored. While I would never choose to listen to any individual song again, the general feel is quite nice.

Essentially a great mix of songs, with sing alongs and dancing ensured every time. If you can handle some swearing, and appreciate the fine art of dick jokes, then this album is for you. It may change your perception of the show ‘Community’ when you realise that Donald Glover is actually an intelligent, creative man, but it’s worth it.

6/10

8/10

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Lightships

To the internet’s dismay, I’ve not much been one for indie rock. The meaning of indie and what it represents has become so diluted that it no longer means anything, and people can use that term to try and get away with just about anything. Such as it is with Teenage Fanclub side project, Lightships. Electric Cables is as twee an album as you can get. Whilst very melodic, each track is very slow, very dreamy sounding (especially with the amount of piccolos), and it makes the short duration of 40 minutes fade away into nothing. It’s a decent background listen, but put it on the forefront of your activity and you’ll be very unimpressed. One must mention that the drums are so repetitive they might as well be made by a machine. The album, from the opener ‘Two Lines’ and the promo release ‘Sweetness In Her Spark’ to the closer ‘Sunlight To The Dawn’ are seemingly made around the sole tenet of making the atmosphere as sweet as possible. It’s not bad by any means, but it does absolutely nothing in terms of musical development. Incredibly airy vocals, high-pitched guitar lines with a dull bass; the aim of the album is very apparent, which hamstrings your chances of getting anything out of its entirety. The best track is “Girasol” which, between creative use of mellotrons and developed musical lines, simply has the most going on. “Sunlight To The Dawn” also has a short guitar solo, and I’m not saying every track needs one, but it was the most interesting way Lightships could have possibly closed the record off at that point. I have confidence Lightships can do more than just “happy”, as every member, save for the drummer, is technically proficient. But man, there’s a lot of work to be done yet. 4/10

PINK FRIDAY: ROMAN RELOADED Nicki Minaj

REVIEWED BY: ATHINA MALLIS This is Minaj’s second studio album and her music doesn’t surprise at all; but let’s be honest, a crazy, doped-up, semi-pornographic album was what was to be expected here. That’s Nicki Minaj. As I played this CD for the first time, I felt that not only were my ears violated, but my speakers were, too. However, over time this album became catchy even though some of the songs were ridiculously vile. The first couple of tracks from the album are basically Minaj talking smack about drinking, being Roman and wanting people to suck her dick or put her dick in people’s faces. Not. Even. Joking. After that, Minaj’s songs begin to head down the mainstream road where you know they will be able to be played on the radio without conservative parents calling up the station abusing the DJ’s and their poor taste in music. Actually, that probably will still happen but at least the swear words are blocked out, right? ‘Roman Holiday’, the first track of the album pretty much sets up what the rest of the record will be like: edgy, loud and crude. ‘Starships’, basically lets us know that starships are meant to fly and we should put our hands up to the sky, we can’t stop because we’re so high and we should do it one more time. ‘Beez in the Trap’, I think it’s about her ass, on the video clip that’s all I can see, so I’m guessing that’s what it’s about. In this song she also explains to her listeners that she’s the “female Wheezy”. Good for her! Lets be honest only Nicki Minaj can pull off an album like this, anyone else did this it would be used as a form of torture for prisoners. That being said I do enjoy a bit of Minaj before I enter the hood.

6/10

3/07/2012 2:43:59 AM


Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention

Max Payne 3

The Vita’s barely seen any use from me since I reviewed it earlier this year. In fact, short of the game I reviewed, Shinobido 2, and Uncharted: Golden Abyss, this is the only game I have bought for the system. So I am pleased that it is good one.

It’s been nearly ten years since Max’s last game, so it was interesting to see how well he fared on the next generation of consoles. Having lost everything he ever had in the last two games, Max is a man who has essentially quit life to live in squalor in the backend of New York. He drinks away the days until an old friend from the police academy convinces him to pull bodyguard duty in Brazil. It does not last long until things go awry and it’s a race across Sao Paulo to rescue the wife of a billionaire business owner.

Playstation Vita REVIEWED BY: CONNOR WHITE

Mao is a mischievous student of the Demon Academy, an institution in the Netherworld where being bad is considered good. The son of the chairman of the school, Mao wishes to become a hero so that he may defeat his father and become head of the school himself. To be the biggest villain in the Netherworld. Yes, as you can expect from this synopsis, the plot is suitably bonkers, with many wild and wacky characters to meet along the way, including a trio of women hellbent on turning Mao on the straight and narrow path and a loyal yet cynical butler. It’s not quite as riveting as the past two titles but it is arguably funnier than the last one. As for the gameplay, it’s pure turn-based strategy, with the simple goal of killing every other mob on the field. It’s based more on statistics than tactics, which may upset some, but there are plenty of opportunities to bend your brain regarding the geo puzzles, which are parts of the map based on grids of coloured blocks. It’s kind of hard to explain without actually looking at a tutorial, but suffice to say they have been amped up to give a further edge to the gameplay. The whole atmosphere is pretty cheery and loveable, with some great music of all genres to follow you in your battles and beyond. The pace is also good for a handheld game, with quicksave options to suit your need and battles having varying durations but rarely going above five minutes. But this is a fairly old game, being released on the PS3 at around 2009. Visuals being “downgraded” to the Vita helps, but there is a definite age to the product, with character sprites having visible borders that don’t always mesh well with the environments. It can make the game just a little ugly sometimes. Otherwise, Disgaea 3 is still a swanky game. It’s the kind of game that you can keep playing past the point of sensibility. Not quite essential, but surely it says something that it’s one of three games I have for the “new” console at this point? Make more games, guys!

XBox 360, PS3, PC REVIEWED BY: CONNOR WHITE

If you knew anything about Max Payne, it would be the bullet time, or slow-mo mechanic, in which Max can slow down time for an edge over his foes. It was a stylish and groundbreaking mechanic many years ago, and is still somewhat cool in Max Payne 3...half of the time. There are many setpieces where time will automatically slow down, and these use bullet time well enough to create an exhilarating moment in the game. The final shot of each fight leads to a slow-mo sequence where you can really see the damage you’re doing. It’s a primal thrill that never gets old. However, the gameplay also bows too much to modern mechanics, particularly by encouraging you to use a sloppy cover system by way of making Max incredibly fragile, and with no regenerating health either. Thankfully, and unfortunately as well, there is a “catch up” mechanic where continuously dying will give you more health, ammo and painkillers after a certain amount of respawns. It can be helpful, but it can also be abused, making some sections quite easy. The game as a whole, however, is quite hard. While ammo isn’t really an issue most of the time, judicious use of cover is needed in order to survive. This can sometimes nullify the bullet time element and slow progress down, crippling the pace. It also doesn’t help that the story seems to suffer “your princess is in another castle” syndrome, leaving just one step behind each and every time, sometimes making levels feel unrewarding. Max Payne 3 is altogether fun when you’re firing off lots of rounds in mid-air to five or so assailants, but the game expects you to slow down for a lot more of it, and it just doesn’t mesh well with the established Max Payne gameplay. Sometimes, I was downright bored or annoyed at the game, and that was sad because when I was having fun, it was some of the most fun I’ve had all year.

8/10

GROK#4_2012_2.indd 39

6/10

39 - reviews

Would I recommend this game? It is fairly long for a shooter, spreading onto two discs on the 360 version, so if you are up for some mild thrills, it may be worth looking into. Some, however, may be too frustrated to be satisfied, and I couldn’t blame them. Not quite the comeback I was hoping for.

3/07/2012 2:44:00 AM


7

. DIO Holy Diver

It’s a well-known fact that every guy on the planet knows the lyrics to ‘Holy Diver.’ What you may not know, however, is that there are eight other songs on the album, and they’re all fantastic. ‘Straight to the Heart’ will make you want to air-guitar until your fingers bleed (think about it); ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ will make you laugh, and then immediately hit yourself square in the jaw because you realized how stupid you were for laughing at ‘Rainbow in the Dark’; and ‘Stand up and Shout’ will make you stand up and shout, and then punch a nun. Seriously.

6

. GORILLAZ Plastic Beach

With a wee bit of help from their music videos, Gorillaz have turned each one of their albums into sprawling tales of love, loss, hope, betrayal, grief, and demonrelated mishaps. But mostly demonrelated mishaps. The debut outlined the circumstances surrounding the demonic possession of their drummer; the second album followed a conspiracy regarding the alleged death of one of the band members; and ‘Plastic Beach’ covers the band’s relocation to the island known as The Plastic Beach in the wake of an attack from the forces of hell. Also, a demon known as the “boogieman” has surfaced and is trying to kill the bass player. Also, pirates.

5

40 - feature

GROK#4_2012_2.indd 40

. PRIMUS Sailing the Seas of Cheese

Musically, the nineties consisted of four things: embarrassingly un-self-aware altrock, Metallica’s ‘terrible-at-leastwhen-compared-to-all-our-other-phases’ phase, the X-Men intro theme, and Primus. Their opus of sorts, ‘Sailing the Seas of Cheese’, taught us that as long as you’re a decent musician, you can make sounding terrible sound great – if that makes sense. Listening to this album, you can tell that if it were anybody other than Les Claypool fucking around – for lack of a better term – on those basslines, Seas would just sound stupid(er).

4

Sea of the Dying Dhow

3

Oceanic

2

Leviathan

1

Permanent Waves

. SHELS -

Never heard of Shels? That’s okay, nobody has. But that doesn’t mean they don’t kick unbelievable amounts of ass 100% of the time. The post-rock supergroup (apparently) is fond of slow, teasing build-ups and crazily epic outros and bridge sections as a result of said build-ups, which, put into words, are essentially the aural equivalent of a gunblade-wielding Jason Statham leaning out of the TARDIS as it speeds down a highway with a fleet of X-Wings hot on its tail.

. ISIS -

See #4, but the X-Wings are piloted by the cast of LOST.

. MASTODON -

With their second album, Georgia metallers Mastodon opted to casually adapt Herman Melville’s Moby Dick into music form. The result? Forty-five minutes of sludgy goodness. Not only do they actually follow the story pretty damned well (for a big dumb metal band, anyway), Mastodon have written some fantastic riffs here, from the chugchugchuggery of ‘Megadolon’ to the “holyshit-the-epicness-is-literally-explodingmy-brain” of ‘Blood and Thunder’. Top stuff for fans of both head-banging and classic literature.

. RUSH -

Given that all of Rush’s albums are simultaneously the greatest album of all time, Permanent Waves was the obvious choice to top this list. The title comes from part three of the ten-minute album closer, ‘Natural Science’ (I dare you to come up with a better song title), which is about planets and art and tides and stuff. The rest of the album doesn’t really concern itself with the ocean, or waves, or even water for that matter, which may lead you to question its presence here. If this is the case, please reread the opening sentence.

3/07/2012 2:44:00 AM


STRICTLY 18+ EVENT. ID MUST BE SHOWN. MOSHTIX TICKET SCAN IN MUST OCCUR AT CURTIN UNIVERSITY TAVERN BETWEEN 6.00-9.00PM ON AUGUST 3RD (LANYARD & WRISTBAND WILL BE SUPPLIED FOR MAKEUP, BUS AND VILLA ENTRY). VILLA NIGHTCLUB WILL REFUSE ENTRY IF CORRECT ZOMBIE CRAWL WRISTBAND IS NOT PRESENTED UPON ARRIVAL. FACE MAKEUP CAN ONLY BE GUARANTEED IF TICKET HOLDER ARRIVES BETWEEN 6.00-7.00PM ON THE NIGHT OF THE EVENT. THE STRICTLY 18+ EVENT. ID MUST BENOT SHOWN. MOSHTIX TICKET SCAN MUST OCCUR AT CURTIN UNIVERSITY BETWEEN 6.00-9.00PM ON AUGUST 3RD (LANYARD & WRISTBAND WILL BE RESERVE SUPPLIEDTHE FORRIGHT MAKEUP, BUS AND VILLA ENTRY). VILLA PROMOTER AND PARTNERS WILL TOLERATE ANY ANTI-SOCIAL ORINILLEGAL BEHAVIOUR DURING THE EVENT.TAVERN OFFENDERS WILL HAVE THEIR TICKET CANCELLED. THE PROMOTER AND PARTNERS TO REFUSE ENTRY. CURTIN NIGHTCLUB WILL REFUSE ENTRY IF CORRECTSERVICE ZOMBIE OF CRAWL WRISTBAND IS NOTCURTIN PRESENTED UPONISARRIVAL. CAN SMOKING ONLY BE WILL GUARANTEED IF TICKET PHOTOS HOLDER&ARRIVES BETWEEN 6.00-7.00PM ONPROMOTIONAL THE NIGHT OFMATERIAL. THE EVENT. THE STUDENT GUILD PROMOTES THE RESPONSIBLE ALCOHOL AT ALL TIMES. UNIVERSITY A SMOKEFACE FREE MAKEUP CAMPUS AND NOT BE PERMITTED. VIDEOS MAY BE TAKEN FOR GUILD

PROMOTER AND PARTNERS WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY ANTI-SOCIAL OR ILLEGAL BEHAVIOUR DURING THE EVENT. OFFENDERS WILL HAVE THEIR TICKET CANCELLED. THE PROMOTER AND PARTNERS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ENTRY. CURTIN STUDENT GUILD PROMOTES THE RESPONSIBLE SERVICE OF ALCOHOL AT ALL TIMES. CURTIN UNIVERSITY IS A SMOKE FREE CAMPUS AND SMOKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. PHOTOS & VIDEOS MAY BE TAKEN FOR GUILD PROMOTIONAL MATERIA


Big weekend. Pulled an all nighter. Can’t get into it. Whatever the deal is, nothing can kick-start your day like the full flavour and irresistible aroma of a SuperBarista Coffee by Braziliano. Available from Curtin Student Guild Catering outlets across campus.


Grok Issue #4 2012