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NO. 2 | April 2019


# April 6th - May 31st

JCU needs your help for this years’ Vampire Cup

VAMPIRE CUP BLOOD DRIVE 1 in 3 people will need blood in their lifetime | p. 9



Volunteer in your community garden | p. 14

What it means for students and young people | p. 21


what’s on for the month


From the President


Mayi Tjulbin Ma Bugarra


From the Editor


Rotary Sunshine Edible Garden




Get to know your councilors




The Vampre Cup


National Budget


Positive Procrastination


Arguments for Amenities & Call for Submissions


Sebastián Romhany

Laura Leyden

We’re here for you

Services and membership


4 tips from A Peer Advisor

JCU Cairns Community Garden

JCU Townsville Community Garden

Cairns Update

Townsville Update

What it means for students

Contact us Publisher Sebastián Romhany Editor Laura Leyden Contributors JCUSA Council | Jason Conn | Brenton Ricci | Rebekah Lisciandro | Adam Connell | Elliot Dunn

Design Ifrah Mahmood Print APN Print

Cairns P (07) 4232 1160 E Freecall 1800 330 021 PO BOX 6811 James Cook University Cairns QLD 4870

Townsville P (07) 4781 4400 E Freecall 1800 330 021 PO BOX 1 James Cook University Townsville QLD 4811

From the President Hello JCU, As we moved deeper in to the semester and assignments become an imminent reality rather than a faraway task, I am proud to say that the JCUSA has been working hard at achieving its goals one by one. This year we have put up great events ranging from O-Week trips to an Entrepreneurial Leadership Program for student clubs. We will continue to work on creating events that improve the lives of our students and we are always open to any suggestions and ideas from students as to what they want to see. An area that has seen a lot of work so far this year is Clubs and Societies. Acknowledging the shortcomings of previous years and wanting to improve ourselves, the JCUSA now has a project in place to develop all of our processes related to Clubs and Societies. Our goal is to become more efficient by making use of available technology and re-working complex procedures into simple, straightforward systems. The Councilors and I have also made sure to welcome all enquiries, feedback and messages from our affiliated clubs. Good relationships cannot be made if communication is absent and we value our relationships with our clubs. Some of the things that Clubs can look forward to are a list of equipment the JCUSA has available for clubs to borrow free of charge, as well as many more great changes to come. Besides all of the internal development, I have also worked towards keeping contact with all of the different services within JCU. Since we all work towards making sure the students enjoy their time at JCU as much as possible, it is clear to me that the different teams must work together and collaborate wherever possible. As the weeks keep passing and stress levels rise, I advise you to take a deep breath, think of yourself after the semester has passed and have confidence that you will accomplish everything you need to accomplish. Best of luck with studies and assignments, Sebastian Romhany JCUSA President E

From the Editor I am moderately awkward at introductions at the best of times. How do you

introduce yourself to so many people via a letter? What if no one reads it? I am a researcher (not a real one), so I researched. Ice-breaker. I flicked through so many awkward options before I found two truths and a lie. So, here goes. I’m colourblind, I was once bitten by an infected bee mid slippery-slide, I hate water slides. Voila, sufficiently awkward broken ice.

Like many of you, I relocated to Townsville barely two months ago, during a once-in-a-five-hundred-year flood event. I have just completed my undergraduate degree, am now officially a Nutritionist, and have commenced a Master of Public Health. I have a (very good) dog named Simba. I have a husband, who is also studying at JCU. Throughout my degree I worked as a content manager in ecommerce, which I am excited to say qualified me for one of my many dream jobs, Editor. My vision for the Bullsheet this year is an almost-monthly newsletter that supports you, encourages you, inspires you and (sometimes, hopefully) makes you smile. To do that, I want you to be involved. If there are things happening around your campus that you think everyone should know about, write to me. Got a podcast recommendation? I want to know. For anyone and everyone who might be interested in contributing in a weightier way, I am open to ideas for regular segments, op-eds, humaninterest stories, etc. Importantly, it looks great on your resume. So, I beseech you, get involved. Also, I am a qualified Nutritionist now, if you send me nutrition-related questions I will answer them in the newsletter so that everyone can benefit. I am excited to introduce a new segment, Arguments for Amenities. There will be prizes. Here’s how it will work. If you identify a need, an amenity gap, I want you to make the argument in 200 words or less. You might feel passionately that, like a number of universities around the world, we should be allowed to have pets on campus. Perhaps you have some thoughts about the lack of student lockers. Make the argument. The most convincing arguments each month will be rewarded with a prize. Between April and May, the JCU Medical Students Association are running the Vampire Cup. A national competition pitting uni against uni to drive donations of blood and plasma. Last year JCU bloody won (sorry)! Seriously though, 1 in 3 of you will rely on blood from a stranger at some time in your life. Grab a friend, make an appointment and donate. The JCUMSA have DOUBLED the target from what you guys achieved last year. It’s a big, fat, life-saving goal. Get involved. The Federal Election has been called for May 18th. The cut-off to enrol to vote or update your details in THIS Thursday, 18th April. I updated my details on the Australian Electoral Commission website, it took me 2 minutes. We are fortunate beyond measure to be citizens of a democracy. You have a voice, use it.

Laura Leyden Editor E

We’re here for you The JCU Student Association is run by students for students. We offer a free, confidential, non-judgemental service. Come in to see us if you need help with the following: - Support & academic advocacy - Academic misconduct (plagiarism) - Student appeals - Review of assessment - Special consideration & deferred exams - Leave of absence from study - Enrolment issues - Understanding University policies & procedures - Post-grad supervision problems - Student complaints & feedback In addition to academic advocacy, our team provides free and confidential advice and assistance to students who require information, referrals and support. We can help with: - Emergency food & transport assistance - Referral to legal services - Assistance with Centrelink - Referral to other support & mental health networks


The SA runs great events throughout the year, on and off campus, including Market Day, Toga Party, Cultural events and many more.


Your SA+ Membership Card gives you access to a range of fantastic discounts on and off campus. New deals are regularly added so check out our website for updates.

Clubs & Societies

Joining a club or society is a wonderful way to meet new people. Clubs and societies run all kinds of events, including professional networking events and pub crawls. If you have a new idea for a club or society, get in touch!

JCU Sport and Gym Facility

Getting involved with one of the many sport and recreation programs is another great way to meet new friends and stay healthy. Gym membership discounts are available for SA+ members.

Get to Know Your Councilors

QUESTIONS 1. What is your go-to breakfast? 2. Netflix or Stan? 3. The emoji I use too often is... 4. My best study tip is... 5. My favourite thing to do off-campus is...

SebastiĂĄn, President 1. Eggs and toast, every day. 2. Netflix 3. 4. After reading a paragraph, summarize it in your head. 5. Getting food from GYG

Phillip, Vice President 1. Pancakes & Ice-cream. 2. Netflix. 3. 4. Don’t leave it to the last minute... 5. Hangouts at the strand.

Harrison, Cairns Campus Officer 1. Leftovers from the night before. 2. Netflix. 3. 4. Just get your assignments done as soon as possible & use spaced repetition to help remember your notes. 5. Read and sleep.

Kyran, Townsville Campus Officer 1. Anything with hollandaise sauce. 2. Netflix, obviously. 3. 4. Actually do it. 5. Relax, read, take the day slow.



Klara, International Officer 1. Oats with fruit. 2. Netflix. 3. 4. Get enough sleep and have small study groups. 5. Go to the strand and being in the water.

Hayley, Equity & Diversity Officer 1. My go-to breakfast is toast because you can change it up whenever you get bored. Currently I’m on a peanut butter and honey kick. 2. Definitely Netflix. 3. 4. My best study tip is to always reward yourself along the way. 5. My favourite thing to do off campus is to go on adventure whether its hiking or just going to the beach.

Rei, Post Graduate Officer 1. A piece of fruit or liquid perseverance (coffee). 2. Netflix. Who is Stan? 3. 4. Look for and ask about key points in the lecture and review your notes once a week. 5. Off campus I like to geek out over invertebrates, eat, be active and read. In that particular order

Tom, Sports and Recreation Officer 1. A strong black coffee and a banana 2. Netflix all the way 3. I use the way too much, but I also have a soft spot for the 4. The best study tip I have is to find a quiet room, put your headphones on and get some groovy music going. 5. Off-Campus I love to get involved with local sports, not only playing but coaching juniors too. It’s a great way to make friends and get active.


#RALLYTHENORTH FOR THIS YEARS’ VAMPIRE CUP BLOOD DRIVE COMPETITION What is the Vampire Cup? The Vampire Cup is an annual blood donation drive that is run by the Australian Medical Student Association (AMSA) in partnership with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. This competition is a part of Red Cross’ “Red25” initiative, where local community groups and workplaces work towards securing 25% of Australia’s blood donations. 22 universities from Australia and New-Zealand compete in the competition, battling it out to rally the most members of their community to donate blood or plasma between the 6th of April to the 31st of May.

1 in 3 Australians will need blood or plasma products in their lifetime, yet only 1 in 30 Australians give blood each year. Vampire Cup 2019 In 2018, JCU created the most successful campaign by an individual university in Vampire Cup history! Thanks to the widened support of our local community, last year saw JCU break the all-time record, with 426 donations, saving over 1300 lives! This year JCU want to take it to the next level. This year we aim to achieve 800 donations! Our sights are set on expanding our donation base throughout our community, with our motto, a Game of Thrones based cry to action, Rally the North. This year we are asking you to join the likes of the NQ Cowboys, Townsville fire, 4TOFM, JCU, and numerous community groups as we defend our title.


Why your support is so important JCU’s success in the Vampire Cup competition relies on the support of our local community. Our efforts in 2018 to widen our target donor base into our local community gave us the opportunity to increase our donations by 888% on the previous year’s campaign! This year team ‘JCUMSA’ want to increase our community’s donations with the help of our local businesses, as we endeavour to surpass last year’s donations and save even more lives. To do this we need you!

How to get involved Step 1: Join our Facebook Page at: https://www. and don’t forget to add your friends and family! Step 2: Register as a plasma donor and sign up to our red 25 group ‘James Cook University Medical Students Association’.

Note: The Townsville donation centre is plasma-only. This means they will take your blood and spin it through a centrifuge, then give you back your red and white blood cells, so you won’t feel tired or nauseous after the donation. You can also donate plasma every 2 weeks, which means you can make multiple donations during the competition! It is important that you sign up to the ‘James Cook University Medical Students Association’ red 25 group. There are some JCU affiliated groups still in the system from recent years, but this is the group for the 2019 competition.

Step 3: Donate! Register and book an appointment online here join-red25-group or call to book on 13 14 95. Session must be between the 6th of April and the 31st of May to ensure our victory! Step 4: Make sure to snap a selfie whilst donating and post it in the Facebook group or on Instagram with #RallyTheNorth for your chance to win some amazing prizes. Also, don’t forget your #team (course) and #team (college - if applicable) for our inter-faculty and inter-college comps. Contact your course representative for more information.

Thank you all and happy donating!




B. Arts Honours / Sociology, Peer Advisor

We’re about at the mid-semester point, which means that we’re also not too far away from lecture recess. One whole week without classes! Lecture recess is the dream of every overworked, stressed student. It’s also easy to think, “oh it’s lecture recess, I have plenty of time! I want to go on a road trip!” Unfortunately, time is a tricky bastard who will move too fast and make your whole relationship uncomfortable, and before you know it, it’s exam time and you’re three weeks behind. I just completed my bachelor’s degree, am now doing my Honours, and for the last two years I have worked as a Peer Advisor at the Townsville Learning Desk as part of the Learning Advice team. I’ve watched people, and myself, get tripped up on this. As someone who is literally tired all the time and lives for lecture recess, here are four hot tips to take advantage of that tiny slice of free time. The best way to think about it is as positive procrastination: things that you can do in-between other tasks, at the end of a day, or when you need a break from whatever uni work is draining your soul.

1) Make a schedule or routine

Time: 10-20 minutes, depending on how complicated your schedule is Since I apparently never aged beyond 14, I hate being told what to do. Unfortunately for me, I also generally have zero motivation for anything that’s not lying on my bed watching TV. I implemented scheduling slowly over my degree to counteract this general lack of motivation, but when I started blocking out time to do tasks it made a huge difference and has saved my butt more times than you’d think. I realised how long things actually took

me to do, leading me to develop more efficient ways of doing things. I went from taking two days to do weekly readings to five hours, which I could break up over as many days as needed. But the best thing about block scheduling is that while you have to schedule in study time, you also schedule in fun times. When you can pick what times you lie on your bed and watch TV, or play sport, or do anything fun, you become intrinsically more motivated to do the tasks beforehand to get it done early or to go do these things without thinking about all the things you failed to do. Will you mess up sometimes? Probably. But practicing this skill now will set you up for later.

2) Start working out how to catch up

Time: 20-40 minutes to assess where you’re up to and 40-60 minutes per day to do the catching up itself If you haven’t been keeping up with readings or course work and you have an assessment designed around those things at the end of semester (i.e. an exam) put aside time to work out what you’ve missed and how to catch up. Then start doing it now because your future self will love you dearly. A good rule of thumb is to look at how much the assignment is worth overall, and then use that to work out how many weeks before it you should start. So, if an exam is worth 60% of your overall grade, you should start studying about 6 weeks beforehand. This doesn’t mean full on study; you can begin by re-familiarizing yourself with content or catching up. Think about the topics you have covered so far (usually a subject outline will have this week by week), work out what is relevant to your assessment and focus on that.


Tip: For chapters/journals that you don’t want to read in full (because I know you don’t even though you should), look at the abstract, introduction and conclusion, and highlight the key words, research question/ hypothesis, theories or results. Write that down in a book. Repeat until caught up. Now you have basic scaffolded notes for exam time for in-depth study. This is the basics of a five-step approach to reading a journal article or book chapter, which is worth Googling. 3) Create an outline for written assessments Time: 10-30 minutes depending on level of detail It can be super helpful to make an outline, list, or mind map of any upcoming assignments. In fact, it’s probably one of the first things we’ll advise you to do at the Peer Desk. It can help you understand what you need to do and figure out what you’ve learned in your course that you can apply to your assignment. Break up your question and look at what it is asking you. For example, if you’re writing an assignment about pathologies of the eye, you know you need to talk about eye anatomy, the things that can affect it, and how these develop and are treated. Boom, there’s your body paragraphs. Stick an introduction and conclusion on that bad boy. Now he’s starting to look like an essay, and you can put that away until you’re ready to start doing the actual legwork. Mind mapping is also helpful. It’s basically a colouring in project with a purpose – I always used a bunch of coloured markers, wrote messily, put lines everywhere that would later become incomprehensible, it doesn’t matter. It’s about getting an idea of your assessment and what you know, except you can doodle and it feels fun.

4) Assess how you’re spending your time

Time: 5-20 minutes

Sometimes it’s important to reassess how much effort you’re putting into class vs your study load vs your other commitments and see if it’s a good balance. No one can know this but you. If you’re studying full time, your study load is usually averaged to 40 hours per week including classes. So, you could ask yourself: Do you think you spend that much per week on your study? Do you think you need to spend more or less? Is this feeling overwhelming? Do you need help? This is a good


skill to start practicing now. Work/life balance are increasingly important discussions in workplaces, and I’ve had people ask me about it in job interviews. Of course, there’s eight thousand types of advice I could give, but it’s all about experimenting to find what works for you. When I studied anatomy, I spent weeks creating flash cards I used for two days – it was the writing and finding the answers that kept things fresh in my mind rather than using the finished product. I remembered so much more than I would have otherwise, because physically writing things out works for me (I have the sore shoulder to prove it). Making up posters, creating jokes or mnemonics – it’s all part of the process of understanding how you learn. You can always come and have a fifteen-minute session with the Peer Advisors in the Townsville or Cairns libraries. Drop-in sessions are available between 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, so no need to book ahead! We are fellow students who have lived through these struggles, and we usually know and have tried a variety of these things. You can also see a Learning Advisor for longer appointments - check out the Learning Centre website, which can be found under the “Current Students” dropdown on the JCU homepage, under the “Support” heading. You can also talk to your mentors, the Counselling Service or Accessibility, or your College’s first year Student Support Officer. The JCU Student Association can also help if you’re having trouble understanding policies, procedures or formal communications from JCU. The JCUSA has advocates who can help with academic advocacy and welfare issues. There is a lot of choice, so never feel like you can’t reach out.


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS We’re calling for stories, recommendations and questions. Contributing to your Student Association publication will look fantastic on your resume and might even improve your writing skills. There are no rules, and no reason to be intimidated. If you have an idea for an article, or even a regular segment that you would like to explore, contact Laura at


Make an argument in 200 words or less for an amenity you think is missing from your learning experience. Prizes will be awarded for the most convincing arguments, and the winning argument will be published in the following issue. Send submissions to




TropEco Sustainability Assistant

Djabugay Traditional Owners have given the JCU Cairns Community Garden the name, Mayi Tjulbin Ma Bugarra. The name translates to ‘food and fruits, vegetables, trees and berries from the rainforest’. After five years of planning and development, the garden officially opened in October 2016. Fast forward to 2019 and it has blossomed into a lush landscape of edible fruits and vegetables. The garden is not only a space to learn about permaculture, but also a space where students, staff and the broader Cairns community can come together to socialize and de-stress. In addition, the garden is also used as a teaching resource for several different classes. If your interest extends to the animal kingdom there is an assortment of wildlife you may spot while at the garden, including lizards, birds, frogs, and if you’re lucky, a python. aaaaaa

Amazingly, the garden turns much of the campus’ food waste into organic fertilizer. The student food lab and every staff tea room have compost bins. These bins get collected several times a week and taken up to the garden to be composted. You can contribute by collecting your food scraps and disposing of them in the little compost bins with the green bags inside, and actively help your Community Garden to grow! The garden grows delicious organic produce including; passionfruit, bananas, lemonade fruit, davidson plum, papaya, pumpkins, sweet potato, ginger, turmeric, tomatoes, chilies, onion, rocket, lettuce, chives, lemongrass, mint, Brazilian spinach, beans, and much more! The Papua New Guinea section of the garden grows a range of traditional foods including Tapioca


(Cassava), and Aibeka. Thanks to a TropEco intern, the outside perimeters of the garden are currently being revegetated with native plants to increase and pollinators within the garden. Stage one recently took place with great success. If you would like to get involved in planting native trees, contact us about helping with the upcoming second and third stages.

How you can get involved Take a study break and check out the Community Garden, everyone is welcome. It is located on the JCU campus grounds, behind the library carpark. To regularly visit the garden requires an induction, which are held every fortnight at the Community of Gardeners Club working bees, on Thursdays at 2pm. The next induction day is scheduled for the 18th April. We host a weekly working bee every Thursday from 2-5pm at the garden, and will be hosting a signwriting workshop on Thursday, April 11th


from 2pm-5pm, where we will be painting corflute with water-based paints to provide better signage at the garden. On Thursday, April 18th we will be hosting an Asian Gardening Workshop. The Community of Gardeners Club (COG) hosts regular events at the garden. Check out the Facebook (JCU Cairns Community Garden). You can get more information about the garden at



ROTARY SUNSHINE EDIBLE GARDEN JCU Townsville Community Garden By Adam Connell

Environment Manager, TropEco

It all started more than 25 years ago, when Rotary International House established a community garden site to enable residents to grow and harvest their own produce. While it was successful in its early days, over time the garden became overgrown and for many years became a giant weed patch. However, in 2012, after requests from residents, staff and students for a community garden on campus, TropEco received funding to refresh the garden. TropEco engaged permaculture expert Brett Pritchard to design and construct the newly named Rotary Sunshine Edible Garden.

TropEco conducts regular tours of the garden, there is plenty to learn and the garden is always changing. The garden is also used as a teaching resource, with a number of subjects utilizing the garden as part of their curriculum.

The new design included the installation of raised beds to make gardening easier, avoid weeds and reduce maintenance. With this new design, the garden became highly water efficient (perfect for a dry, tropical climate) and went on to produce more food with less effort. Since the refresh the garden has seen an expansion in the fenced area to allow more growing beds and the planting of a tropical fruit orchard to showcase some common and lesser known tropical fruit species.

If you would like to volunteer in the community garden, even for just an hour or two, you will have access to some of the delicious organic produce (we just ask you to be mindful of others and only take what you need). To get involved contact TropEco ( to organize a garden induction. We would love for you to come along to our next event on Wednesday 1st May at 3pm. We will be conducting a garden tour and short volunteer induction where you can learn about the plants and animals.

Besides being a source of delightful fruits and vegetables, the community garden is also a relaxing place to get away from the stresses of study. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the peace and tranquility only nature has to offer. The garden attracts amazing wildlife, such as our resident frilled neck lizard and dozens of bird species.

Some of the fruits and vegetables currently growing in the garden include bananas, passionfruit, dragon fruit, papaya, mulberries, chilies, oregano, Mexican coriander, chives, parsley and eggplant. Over the coming months we plan to plant out more species that are suitable for growing over the productive winter months.

How you can get involved

Be sure to keep an eye on the TropEco Facebook page (TropEco James Cook Uni), where you will find information about events at the garden.




By Brenton Ricci

JCUSA (Cairns) Sport and Recreation Officer

In 2019 the Cairns Student Association Sport and Recreation team plans to continue the expansion and development of all the successful programs and events we ran last year. This includes annual events, social sports, the Cairns intercollege competition, Gunyarra Cup, and the introduction of several new recreational activities and programs. This semester, our mixed netball competition has been our first annual event. Due to the success of this competition, mixed netball has now been added to our social sports program. Later this semester you can expect to see the beer mile, swimming competition and an interfaculty 6-a-side competition. This year our social sports program will run for 7 weeks, kicking off Monday the 25th March. Soccer is held on Monday evenings, Touch Football on Tuesdays and Basketball and Netball are run on Thursdays. All social sports are hosted on the JCU oval, from 5:30 pm. If you are yet to sign up but are interested, visit our Facebook page for more information.

The Gunyarra Cup is currently in the hands of John Grey Hall after they finished well with an amazing comeback last year. This year the competition will run over both semesters, so we have the opportunity to add several new sports. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and stay in contact with your college reps, as you never know what sports might be coming up. You can help earn points for your college by just showing up and supporting your team, so be sure to get down to the weekly events to enjoy the show and cheer on your college! The first new group recreation activity being added this year is Pokémon GO Uni walks. The walks will run every Wednesday and Friday afternoon, from 3 pm to 4 pm. Meet us outside our office to join in, and walk together around campus, hitting all the pokéstops and catching all the pokémon. If you are lucky you might be able to win high level raids with the help of others. We plan to continue to expand our selection of recreation programs this year, so be sure to keep an eye out for new additions!




By Jason Conn

JCUSA (Townsville) Sport and Recreation Officer

There is always something going on in Townsville at JCU Sport! One of our biggest programs on campus is the Fisher Shield Competition. Fisher Shield involves residential students from University Hall, George Roberts Hall, Rotary International House, Saints Catholic College and The John Flynn College. Student compete in ten sports across two semesters. This year is set to be extra special, as we mark 50 years since the first Fisher Shield competition, back in 1969! We started semester one off with the Swimming Carnival. The Swimming Carnival is always a great day of competition, spirit and fun. We hold traditional events, including the 100m freestyle, as well as the participation swim and conclude the carnival with the belly flop competition. Congratulations to John Flynn College, who won both the men’s and women’s competitions. The Water Polo Carnival was also held recently. The students played 26 games across the huge weekend. In the women’s final, John Flynn College competed against Saints Catholic College. We knew this final was going to be a great one and it did not disappoint, going down to the wire. In the end, John Flynn came out on top to win 9-6. John Flynn College played University Hall in the men’s final. Although John Flynn were undefeated going into the final, University Hall put up a strong fight, staying within reach of John Flynn at halftime. In the end, John Flynn proved to be too strong with the final score 25-12. The final score is not a reflection on how well University Hall played as they played out of their skin for the final! At time of writing our next competition is beach volleyball. While basketball is ordinarily played in September, due to construction delays on the multipurpose courts, we have had to move basketball to semester two. Also coming up is the Fisher Shield Athletics Carnival on April 13 as well as the Fisher Shield Rugby competition, which will be held on Wednesday’s from Weeks 7-13. For many, Fisher Shield Rugby is the biggest competition within the Fisher Shield Calendar.

Another big program we have on campus is Interfaculty Sport. Interfaculty Sport is the only free program on campus where students from the same faculty compete against other faculties. We are currently running our Touch Football competition on Wednesday nights. Interfaculty soccer will be held later in the semester, on Tuesdays in weeks 10-12. The third big program is Social Sport. Throughout the semester, students play touch football, 6-a-side soccer, netball or beach volleyball. This semester, we have introduced Rounders, which is where students get to play a different sport every week. Although registrations have closed for this semester, make sure that you get on board for next semester. Social Sport Starts in Week 3 (August 12) and it is $55 for SA+ Members and $75 for everyone else. We are also busy organising our JCU Teams to compete at UniSport Nationals, the largest Multi-Sporting Event in Australia. Every year JCU sends teams to compete against other universities. This year we are set to send teams away to compete in basketball, rugby 7s, water polo, rowing and more. JCU will be represented at both Div 2 in July and Div 1 in September. There is still so much going on at JCU Sport Townsville, including the resurfacing of our multipurpose courts (we hope they will be completed in the near future, as long as the rain stays away). We have recently obtained new equipment for our JCU Fitness Gym (located at Building 99). If you are thinking about buying a gym membership, make sure you head over to see the staff today for a tour. To keep up to date with all of the latest news and updates on all of our sports, make sure you follow us at JCUSA Sport on Facebook and on Instagram @jcusportofficial.




B. Arts Honours / Sociology, Peer Advisor

*Rebekah Lisciandro is not associated with any political party and has no known conflicts of interests, other than being a university student. She is not an expert on money or taxes. You should critically examine everything you read.

I’ve never been especially skilled at money. I’m not bad with it, but it’s not my speciality. I can save money, I have a stable budget and I know I have a superannuation because it came with my job. But I’m not really sure how investment works, or the best interest rates. Despite this lack of talent when it comes to money, I’ve read every federal budget that I can get my hands on. This year’s budget was released in early April, and the government flashed what will likely be its election push: we are back in the black, and we’re giving you tax cuts because of that. Of course, we’re not actually at a surplus yet, it’s just a prediction. Did you hear anything at all about students or universities? I had to write this article, and I sure as heck didn’t. So, let’s talk about what the Coalition government proposes to do with our collective money when it comes to university students and young people. This year wasn’t particularly devastating for students, which sounds good until you remember that all the devastating stuff has happened in the last couple of years and is just kind of…continuing unstopped? In Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s speech, he mentions the word university zero times and young people three times. So, what is happening? Enjoy this deep dive into every budget document and article I could find: • In case you didn’t know, there has been a funding freeze for universities that has been occurring over the last 18 months. The freeze capped funding for student places at 2017 levels, meaning cuts of

more than $2.1 billion and limits to how many people can attend university with deferred fees. This has particular impacts on regional universities, as reduced places mean that more students will have to relocate further to study. Many are concerned that this will increase the educational divide between regional areas and cities and will create inequality within universities themselves as only those who can afford to pay can attend. The Coalition budget did not address this at all, which means that the freeze will continue. You should also know that: o Destination Australia is replacing the Endeavour Leadership Program to supply scholarships for international and domestic students to study at regional universities. I’m not sure that will fix the problem of not being able to access a HECS debt, but it will provide up to 1000 scholarships to some students who plan to study at regional universities. o Indigenous students will see $276.5 million in scholarships and mentoring support to close the gap. However, in the context of funding freezes and the fact that the Indigenous Student Success Program has lost $11 million this budget, it doesn’t seem like this will close the gap so much as maintain the gap more or less where it is. • Potentially confusing news: the planned charges to higher education institutions to recover administration costs the government incurs managing the HELP system has been delayed until January 2020. I hadn’t had heard of it until now. It won’t charge students, but it will charge universities. What does this mean for students? I don’t know. There are some concerns that these charges may be significant enough to pull money away from university budgets, but very few people are talking about it.


• If you heard that TAFE did well in this budget, you are kind of right: the budget promised $523.5 million to vocational education but $3 billion dollars has been cut over the last six years. • JCU will receive $60 million of funding for the James Cook University Tropical Enterprise Centre in Cairns and may be attached to the Cairns Hospital. • The permanent migration target (for international students who apply stay in Australia after their studies) is to be reduced by 30,000 people. • If you’re earning above $18,200, you’ll see a larger tax break, until you earn more than $125,000. Those earning between $48,000 to $90,000 will see that this year. Of course, you need to pay tax to get tax relief. So, if you earn less than $18,200 you don’t pay tax. That’s many of us! We live below the poverty line! Yay? Wait. • After attempting to cut an energy supplement last year, the Coalition is now offering a one-off energy payment to help those on welfare pay electricity. I wonder what’s changed? (It’s the election). While this was extended to those on Newstart after the day after budget was released, it does not include those on Austudy, Abstudy, or Youth Allowance. So, no bill support for us which is unfortunate for those of us who do have to pay electricity. Also, no increase to any of these payments. • Potentially good news for teachers: if you work in a remote community for four years, you can apply to have your HELP debt removed, and $9.5 million has been put aside for a four-year period to help teachers teach maths and phonics. There seems to be some controversy over this, and I’m not qualified to talk about it. • Climate change is mentioned once in the government’s official Budget Strategy and Outlook paper and that was to explain something in a graph, and eight times in tables in its Agency Resourcing Paper. The word ‘climate’ does appear on the government’s budget website, and climate change is mentioned in Frydenberg’s speech. He said that the Coalition will provide $3.5 billion total to the Climate Solutions Fund to help meet Australia’s emissions target and $100 million to the Environment Restoration Fund for large scale environmental projects. $2 billion of the money going towards the Climate Solutions Fund will be spread over 15 years and actually reduces the amount spent per year from $200 million to $133


million. Most of the projects under this focus on energy renewability, such as the Snowy River Hydro project. Given that most of us and our children will have to live with the effects of climate change, this is super relevant to us. Listen, there’s a ton that is still relevant to us – the “unspent” NDIS money that will be re-purposed, funding for regional hospitals, and cuts to research funds for example - but my back actually, physically hurts from writing this so far. For issues that are important to many of us, there is little improvement and no positive outlook, if those issues are discussed at all. Of course, this all depends on whether the Coalition is re-elected at the upcoming election. So, what happens if Labour gets elected? In his budget reply speech, Bill Shorten talked about universities twice and young people three times, and the mentions of university were substantial. In their budget (and pre-budget), Labour has promised to: • Reverse the freeze to Commonwealth grants and

restore uncapped places, potentially providing 200,000 additional places.

• $440 million towards TAFE and supporting apprentices

in areas of skill shortage. This is less than the Coalition and remember the whole $3 billion in cuts thing, but if they follow through on earlier promises of $570 million, this reaches a total of $1 billion.

• I can’t find anything about their plans regarding

Centrelink payments and if they will increase.

• Those earning less than $48,000 per year will see

a higher tax cut under Labour than the Coalition – so someone earning $30,000 a year will get a $350-dollar cut compared to $255 under the Coalition government. Otherwise, this is the same as the Coalitions proposed cuts. But, again, see the whole paying tax thing.

• $2.3 billion to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for

cancer patients - more cancer drugs on the PBS, more diagnostic scans and consultations. This is good news for us all generally, but especially good news for health students.

• To reverse penalty cut rates that were introduced in 2017, a promise made pre-budget.

• To increase the emissions reduction targets to 45%

by 2030 and make renewable energy 50% of how we source our power by 2030. Labour doesn’t have a formal, detailed budget document the way the government has to have, so I have less information to work with.



What’s hard is that both the Coalition and Labour budgets are described in terms of campaign announcements; this is the push to win the election. These are the areas that the major parties will focus on as we head to the polls and it’s hard to know for certain what is actually going to happen once either party is elected, either due to broken promises or trouble getting something approved. This kind of up-in-the-air nature often leads people to feel a bit apathetic. But you have a horse in this race. Statistics show that one in seven of us regularly go without food, with this proportion increasing for low socioeconomic and Indigenous students – nearly 1 in 4 Indigenous students regularly go without food. If it doesn’t affect you, it affects a person sitting next to you in your lectures. There were days when I used to cry because I was so hungry, and I was pretty lucky – I only occasionally went without food. The solution cannot be to shrug our shoulders and hope it fixes itself. In the lead up to the budget, the National Union of Students, who fights for the rights of students across diverse areas, called for a National Day of Protest. The day after the Coalition budget was released, the NUS, Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, Union of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students, and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Postgraduates Association combined to provide a media release that criticised the government’s budget and its impact on young people: “[The union and associations] are willing to assist the Government to develop a tertiary education policy should the Government decide they need one.”

Regardless of who forms government come May, we need to be proactive to keep the issues that affect us on the agenda. As someone who spent four hours reading budget documents, I know how annoying and tricky and boring politics can be – but this is our future. People are struggling now, and we need to take action.

Some actions you can take: • Check on students around you to see how they’re going • Find out more information about the funding caps and the push to de-regulate university costs • Join or start a protest, petition, or Facebook page • Read more about the budget and, while understanding how the sources may be biased, look at what this means for different people in society • Look at the NUS Facebook page and website and learn about what other issues are affecting university students • Enrol to vote! Whether you’ve just turned 18 or have moved address recently, make sure your details are up to date at the Australian Electoral Commission:

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E 2019


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Profile for JCU Student Association

The Bullsheet 2019 - edition 2  

A James Cook University Student Association Publication

The Bullsheet 2019 - edition 2  

A James Cook University Student Association Publication

Profile for jsusa