FREE #3 2013
Independence day Getting off: on campus REgurgitator war on whistleblowers COMMUNIST INVAsION 1
Published by the State Council on behalf of the Tasmania University Union Inc. (hf. â€œthe publishersâ€?). The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Togatus staff or the publishers. The copyright in each piece of work remains with the contributor; however, the publishers reserve the right to reproduce material on the Togatus website (www.togatus.com.au) The copyright in this magazine remains with the publishers. Editor:
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CONTRIBUTORS On election night, you were...
Bachelor of Arts I did: The same as everyone else. Plus Nutella.
Bachelor of Arts Fast asleep. Newborn babies are exhausting.
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) I watched the ABC coverage and enjoyed the interviews with drunken candidates at their celebrations. Yes Malcolm Turnbull, I am talking about you.
Bachelor of Arts I got overly excited very early on in the proceedings, drank too much Grants, spent the remainder of the night being an obnoxious dickhead to the people in my vicinity, and eventually drowned in a pitiful mess of sorrow and vomit.
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science It started at The Greek Club with the Greens—it ended at Flamingos with Green lasers.
Bachelor of Arts I made gnocchi, drank wine, laughed at all the people surprised about the result but marvelled at Phillip Ruddock getting back in and burned a few blue ties.
Bachelor of Arts At work, successfully avoiding election night mayhem.
Bachelor of Biotechnology Desperately analysing NSW senate poll results, hoping that Australia aren’t disgraceful enough to give Pauline Hanson any remote say in how this country is run.
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business
Using the ABC coverage for its intended purpose: an election night drinking game.
James Walker @jaaameswalker
I was unjustifiably drunk at a house warming in Melbourne, yet blissfully unaware of the horrendous results of the most absurd election campaign ever known to mankind.
I was spinning a tabletop Lazy Susan like a roulette wheel, essentially summarising my experience of the election— except that I was pleased with the stance my sweet and sour pork took on immigration.
Wishing I was somewhere else.
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From the editor Hannah Grey
Welcome Hey there, you have just opened your final stock-standard edition of Togatus for the year. We hope you enjoy it. Our contributors have been busy: in a political frenzy capturing the action of election night (20), squeezing words out of a scatty stonerrocker (22), or simply wondering where all their friends have gone (42). Keep a look out for our new website, set to launch shortly. We will see you soon for our annual edition—a selection and celebration of all things UTAS in 2013. SERIOUS STUFF In my first editorial I stated that Togatus is your independent student media. It has since been established that this is not the case. Or perhaps what has been suggested is that Togatus is independent-but-not. Printing articles on music? Independent. Food? Independent. Culture? Independent.
But it seems that when the editorial team attempt to publish articles on the University of Tasmania or the Tasmanian University Union, things get slightly sticky. As Togatus is a publication primarily for students of the University of Tasmania, I find this stickiness to be of concern. I acknowledge that Togatus has not acted in a ‘watchdog’ capacity for many years (former editor Alexandra Gibson admitted as such in her final editorial). I understand that this revival of campus-based reporting may make certain individuals surprised or uncomfortable. Good journalism as Togatus sees it—informing the broader student community, providing a place for debate, and being able to facilitate (or at least encourage) transparency and accountability—often involves a bit of awkwardness and a bit of sweat. We think there is high
value in relevant reporting. We would just like to be able to do more of it.
There are a few reasons why we keep hitting a wall. Togatus’ close relationship with the TUU is #blurredlines at best. UTAS senior management has proven to be uncontactable. Some student politicians are of the belief that Togatus must procure consent before writing on our elected representatives. Certain student journalists express reservations on writing on relevant topics due to a fear of reprisal. We have seen Togatus spark honest debate, though noteworthy discussion predominately occurs on private social media pages.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? These issues manifest. If Togatus isn’t able to inform you of university-related matters, 5
we then aren’t able to provide a platform for informed debate. Perhaps this lack of media coverage is why so many students haven’t heard of the great things that the TUU get up to. Unfortuntely, many students are unaware of the existence of their elected student representatives. Maybe it explains the miniscule niche of UTAS students who choose to actively engage in student politics. Issues arise when honest debate is continually diverted onto private social media pages, as this excludes the broader student community; this pattern of circular debate repeats.
can i say... Togatus does not set out to brashly criticise. It just seems that whenever we take tentative steps to report on anything in relation to the University or the Union we are met with anything from silence, blanched expressions, bared teeth or just plain indignant comments. It has been suggested by the Union that we focus on the positive, and seeing as Togatus and the TUU share some similar aims—to inform and serve students—this is definitely on the cards. We have seen some incredible work put in by our student reps this year that we would like to share. But in order for Togatus to be an honest publication with credibility and integrity, the publication must have the scope to report with balance. The alternative? A rather insular publication. 6
It has been suggested that Togatus must adhere to section 5 (d) of the Union Constitution, which outlines the printing of any publication that is considered ‘desirable for the promotion of the objectives and purposes of the Association’. Is Togatus’ role solely to promote the objectives and purposes of the TUU? I believe that you, as a student of UTAS, want and deserve more out of your student media.
WHAT NOW? Change. Urgh, cliché I know. But I believe that we need to change our general attitudes to student media at UTAS. Let us open up. Let us connect. Campus-based reporting is integral for student awareness. And if this piques interest and starts discussion? Fantastic. Let us not shy away. Debate and free comment is all part of a rich and diverse university community. If we cannot have a free and open sphere for rapport and reporting in a progressive tertiary context, I’m not sure where that leaves us.
The Global Mail in Sydney and visited the headquarters of Honi Soit (The University of Sydney’s student newspaper) I have seen firsthand the benefits of independent media. I saw fired-up journalists working hard without external influences cooling their passions. True editorial independence for Togatus would require a change to the Union Constitution. Is this something we should be working towards? Let us know your thoughts. How do you see the role of your student media? Follow or direct debate to #togindependence or shoot me an email at editor.togatus@utas. edu.au
On the cusp of the Student Union elections for 2014, it would be great to see our student representatives open to communication with our student journalists, who in turn will feel more comfortable and welcome to report on matters that are relevant to every single one of you reading this. Is an independent Togatus the ultimate goal? Having recently completed an internship at
Hannah Grey @hannahlgrey
CONTENTS Independence day
CRADLE COAST CAMPUS EXPANSION
LESSON FROM THE EXPERTS
ELECTION NIGHT DUNE RATS
GETTING OFF: ON CAMPUS
DEATH BY 1000 CUTS
WAR ON WHISTLEBLOWERS
INSIGHT: WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING? COMMUNIST INVASION
INDEPEN DENCE DAY James Walker questions whether Togatus offers the independent and credible student media that is offered at other major universities.
Togatus has marketed itself as an independent student publication since at least 2006. Togatus back issues show why: for decades the magazine has published stories on controversial issues and freely criticised governments and the University. In recent years, these types of student contributions to Togatus have declined. Gone too are the days where the editors would put naked breasts on the front cover. The days where Togatus can publish stories critical of the University may also have ended. The last edition of Togatus was to have included a second article by contributor Gordon Luckman about student services and amenities fees (SSAF) at UTAS. It was refused publication. The Examiner reported on 13 August that Union executive officer Jenny Hart had taken the decision not to publish Mr Luckman’s article. A statement on the Union’s facebook page says that the story that now appears on “ssafwatch.com is not the article that was rejected due to factual inaccuracies”, the reason relied on to justify refusing publication in Togatus. Ms Hart is able to make decisions like this because she is one of the paid staff appointed by the Board of the Union to
oversee its operations. The Board is the controlling body of the Union. It has seven members: three elected students and four University appointees, including the Chair who has a casting vote.
can think of: higher quality, more diverse content, more content not from editors, we’ve got a very healthy budget, it’s sustainable”, says Fergus Hunter, Woroni’s current editor-in-chief.
It is not clear from the Union’s Constitution to what extent the Board or Union staff control Togatus. The Board is responsible for funding the student side of the Union and for exercising “due diligence” over student representatives, which includes the Togatus editors.
Woroni follows the Australian Press Council’s Statements of Principles and normal legal restrictions, such as not to publish defamatory material, but is otherwise editorially independent. The paper is run by a Board of eight elected students. To get published, six of the eight students need to approve a story.
The elected students sit on the various Councils of the Union. They are delegated powers by the Board, including responsibility for “student representation and activities”. Togatus could be one such activity. Ms Hart’s ability to refuse publication suggests that certain content that is written for Togatus is subject to her editorial control. Student publications at other major universities are separate from their student unions precisely to avoid this kind of loss of independence by student media. Woroni, the ANU student newspaper, split from the ANU Student Association (ANUSA) and became an independent incorporated entity in 2010. “In every sense we’re a stronger organisation for it, the paper is better. It’s better in every way I
“We’re free to make that judgment now, whereas previously they [previous Woroni Boards] were stopped from publishing things quite regularly, I’ve heard, because of the lack of independence from ANUSA.” That doesn’t stop ANUSA representatives and candidates from voicing their concerns. “People always get in touch,” laughs Mr Hunter. “It’s kind of an interesting relationship I mean, people do get pissed off. You wouldn’t get that many official complaints but you hear about how people are annoyed about how certain things are published, but that’s the most they can do.” The ANU funds Woroni using SSAF and Woroni negotiates directly with the Chancelry every year to renew their funding. Togatus funding 9
arrangements are very different; it gets SSAF through the Union from the University. Immediate past editor Ally Gibson was locked out of the SSAF negotiations about funding Togatus in 2013. “It was difficult, they [the University] wouldn’t even allow Ally to be at the table. Or even observe,” says a senior Union student representative familiar with the negotiations who asked not to be named. “We managed to get significantly more for Tog[atus] this year than last year after hard bargaining.” According to the same student representative, Togatus funding was threatened after Mr Luckman’s first article on SSAF in the May edition. Woroni has received similar threats. According to a statement on Woroni’s website, the Chancelry threatened to withdraw their SSAF funding in April this year over a cartoon about Islam. Part of a satirical series called “Advice from Religion”, the cartoon prompted complaints from international students. Speaking to ABC local radio at the time, ANU ViceChancellor Ian Young linked the Woroni cartoon to previous cartoons about Islam published internationally and stated it “actually breached the rules 10
of the university in terms of student’s conduct”. Mr Hunter recalls that the Board felt threatened by the Chancelry’s response to the cartoon. “They were threatened with things like, you know, academic exclusion and they control our funding so there’s only so much you can do to piss them off ”. Mr Hunter says the Chancelry had never interfered with Woroni like this before and has not done so since. Woroni’s statement says that such interference was “unprecedented”. While an independent Togatus would also probably need to be funded by SSAF to survive, this kind of interference with editorial policy is clearly very different from the circumstances that befell Mr Luckman. Whereas Mr Luckman’s story dealt with the University’s activities and student’s money, the Woroni cartoon dealt with sensitive issues of religious belief. Asked about the refusal to publish Mr Luckman’s story, Mr Hunter said he couldn’t speak for Woroni but had strong personal concerns. “My personal impression is that’s shit, that’s screwed up. That’s exactly why student newspapers should become independent. That’s not constructive for anyone,
apart from the self-interest of people in administration. The duty of a student newspaper is to hold people accountable on the campus.” Honi Soit, the University of Sydney’s best-known student newspaper, operates using a different structure. USyd has a separate SRC and student union, the University of Sydney Union (USU). Honi is run out of the SRC and the University negotiates directly with the SRC to allocate SSAF funding, including funding for Honi. Honi also follows normal legal restrictions, like not publishing defamatory material, when deciding what to publish. The paper is run by a Board of ten elected students. To get published, ultimately the SRC President has to approve content. The President can only prevent publication if content is defamatory or otherwise prohibited by law. “In the past, [shock jock] Alan Jones has actually threatened to sue Honi,” says current co-editor Max Chalmers. Because Honi is published by the SRC, Honi editors are concerned not to start legal fights they can’t afford. “If the SRC gets taken to court it has to pay for lawyers, the trial and everything, and this means it’s going to have to defund its
THAT’S EXACTLY WHY STUDENT NEWSPAPERS SHOULD BECOME INDEPENDENT.
AT OTHER MAJOR UNIVERSITIES, STUDENT MEDIA IS ALLOWED TO FACILITATE THAT DEBATE. 12
legal programmes, its welfare programmes. It means it’s going to have to stop telling students how to appeal unfavourable decisions the University hands down, stop finding them emergency accommodation, stop all the other great work the SRC does,” says Mr Chalmers. Honi ran into problems in recent weeks when it printed photos of eighteen naked vulvas on its front cover. After the SRC received legal advice that the edition was likely to offend a reasonable person, the images were censored using black boxes. When it transpired these were not sufficiently opaque, covers were cut off or put on the shelves in black plastic sleeves. None of this stops Honi reporting on what happens on campus. This is for a number of reasons, including that the SRC stands up for Honi’s right to publish stories critical of the University. “Our SRC is always pretty antiuniversity,” says Mr Chamers. “There’s been huge industrial action in Sydney, there were big staff cuts last year, and the SRC really fights the uni pretty hard. So they love it if we publish that sort of stuff. They’d be disappointed I think if we were publishing soft puffy pieces generated by university press releases.” “We have very strong independence when it comes
to writing about the University, and we have pretty strong independence when it comes to writing about other student organisations.” Mr Chalmers was just as unequivocal with his concerns about the failure to publish Mr Luckman’s second SSAF article in Togatus. “Fuck, that’s terrible,” he exclaims. “You need something like we have, which is very strong constitutional provisions with regard to our ability to write freely except where we’re pushing the law.” According to Mr Chalmers, Honi’s role is also protected by receiving SSAF through the SRC. “If we do something they [USyd] don’t like and they want to threaten to cut off SSAF funding, they wouldn’t actually be directly cutting off SSAF funding to us, they’d be cutting it off to those other services I talked about, the legal services and the welfare services, and they would look like dickheads, they’d look terrible.” “We would have to do something really beyond the pale for them to do something like that and even then they’d probably take different means rather than cutting off our funding.”
William Randolph Hearst, the American press baron who inspired the title character in Citizen Kane, is credited with declaring that “[n]ews is something which somebody wants suppressed: all the rest is advertising”. UTAS students want a debate about how the money they have no choice but to give the University is being used. At other major universities, student media is allowed to facilitate that debate. The University should engage in this debate—not avoid it—and it should use student media to do so. Instead, stories critical of the University are allegedly met with threats to cut off funding. The Union and the University should start moving towards an independent Togatus. It would enhance the reputation of all three and be a huge benefit to students. The University can use student money to fund independent and credible student media that publishes stories that matter, or it can have an advertising brochure. Surely the better option is obvious. Follow or direct debate to #togindependence
CRADLE COAST CAMPUS EXPANSION Mollie Coburn examines the nuts and bolts of the $4 million dollar project.
Words: Mollie Coburn Image Credit: UTAS Media Office BOUNDARY OF CT 162920/1
EXISTING SCHOOL OF DOMESTIC ARTS REFER TO DRAWING 1218 A140
F APARTMENT TYPES & BUILDING FLOOR AREAS
FLEXIBLE LEARNING SPACE
MENT COMPRISES INTERNAL WORK TO THE EXISTING SCHOOL ARTS BUILDING, INTERNAL WORK TO THE PAPER MAKERS TWO NEW BUILDINGS WITH A TOTAL OF 40 APARTMENTS IN AND A LAUNDRY IN THE OTHER. BOUNDARY OF LOT 1 ON CPR 8841
PARTMENT TYPES: A INTERNAL FLOOR AREA IS 23.65sqm B INTERNAL FLOOR AREA IS 36.5sqm
RE INTENDED TO BE SINGLE OCCUPANCY
EXISTING ACCESS ROAD
COMPUTER LAB / LAUNDRY
1293 sqm 33
29 28 27 26
EXISTING GRAVEL AREA. CONFIGURED AS 55 CARPARK SPACES
KERS WORKSHOP BUILDING
SHARED ACCESS WALKWAY 22
BOUNDARY OF CT 162920/1
G FLOOR AREA 245 sqm
W FLOOR AREA 420 sqm
RETAINING WALL 800 HIGH
BOUNDARY OF LOT 1 ON CPR 8841
OF DOMESTIC ARTS BUILDING
EXISTING PARKING / BUS LAYBY
EXISTING PARKING. 7 SPACES
EXISTING PARKING / BUS LAYBY
ENCLOSED FLOOR AREA
ENCLOSED BUILDING FLOOR AREAS OF APARTMENTS GROUND FLOOR 81 sqm A: 38 B: 2 LDING FLOOR AREAS 388 sqm 412 sqm 412 sqm
BOUNDARY OF LOT 1 ON CPR 8841 41
1:20 GRADE TO WALKWAY
RETAINING WALL 1000 HIGH
6,930 1:20 GRADE TO WALKWAY
BUS BAY 42
15 13 2
EXISTING PAPER MAKERS MUSEUM REFER TO DRAWING 1218 A150 & A151
PAPER MAKING WORKSHOP
EX IST ING ACCESS ROAD 1
RIGHT OF WAY (PRIVATE)
LIFT EXISTING CARPARK INCLUDING DDA ACCESS BAYS AND LARGE VEHICLE / BUS SPACES. 29 CARPARK SPACES ADMINISTRATION EXISTING PAPER MAKERS MUSEUM REFER TO DRAWING 1218 A150 & A151 2
LARGE VEHICLE SPACE
LARGE VEHICLE SPACE
LARGE VEHICLE SPACE
YLE AV E
EA SE ME N
EXISTING CARPARK 44 SPACES
The Cradle Coast Campus (CCC) is expanding, right onto some prime real estate known as the West Park waterfront. This is all happening with the aim of increasing tertiary student numbers for the region—a combined response between the Burnie City Council and UTAS that will refurbish the traditional concept of “university”. The expansion begins with the construction of $4 million worth of student accommodation, funded under the National Rental Affordability Scheme. This all might sound relatively boring, and it kind of is, but did I mention that there was local beef? Yep, the citizens of Burnie were super pissed when Steven Kons, the town Mayor, gifted (yes that’s right, gifted) a prized piece of community land, including the temporary ownership of the Makers Workshop (a multi-million dollar arts and crafts museum that also facilitates artists studios and workshops) to UTAS. But, public concerns were largely alleviated when it was announced that the site would be an “educational precinct” that would integrate both community interaction and tertiary education. So not really like a university as we know it at all. More like a learning park, with perhaps a slide. The future of regional universities, such as CCC, are becoming more precarious as student numbers are stagnating. A report put out by the Gratton Institute in 2011 concluded that regional universities were not typically promoting a higher rate of tertiary education attainment in their regions, nor were they retaining their skilled young people afterwards, concluding by saying that regional tertiary institutions were not only expensive, but ineffective. Pretty much, they said that they should be scrapped. Well, not quite, but pretty much. On top of that, another timely report the following year by Earnst and Young concluded that Universities were being struck down by “new technologies, increased competition and flat-lining government”, and that basically they now had to start whoring themselves out to niche industries to create “new, leaner business models”. Well, that sounds alarming. However, these two articles were cited to me as inspiration for change and transition to the West Park educational precinct.
As a student who had to relocate to continue my studies, I had initially intended on going to CCC and remaining close to my family. But when it came to assessing my options for courses I could complete within a University campus experience, instead of one-on-one with a computer, I found there was little for me. Aside from Business and Education, there was no other choice for Bachelors. When I spoke to Janelle Allison, the Professor and Director of both the Institute of Regional Development and the Cradle Coast Campus, she reflected my unmentioned concerns for a lack of academic choice. “To continue the growing engagement in tertiary education in the North-West, we must offer more choice, and more opportunities to study whilst looking for ways to grow.” Naturally, I was then disappointed to find that there would be no real expansion on course choice within this new education precinct. Instead, Janelle described to me the vision of an “education precinct”, telling me “the broader drivers for change around the student experience and the higher education sector are now the need for regional campuses to identify something special to offer”. In the case of West Park, this would translate to a highly accessible public facility, bike tracks connecting the CBD and the beach with the student accommodation and to the coast beyond. It would include the Makers Workshop, its public space and educational components and the pre-existing cafe. It is, without a doubt, an excellent location for student accommodation. But while it provides the opportunity for premium beachfront living, it has much less to boast about in terms of educational opportunity. Although the Makers Workshop will provide some opportunities for Fine Arts and Business students, these prospects will be limited (at least for the conceivable future) either to intensive-learning Summer and Winter school programs, or more postgrad opportunities— hardly a reason to relocate. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with accommodation being built for students at (what one assumes and hopes) a reduced rental cost. Hell, they should build me one. But I feel, not only as a 15
university student but as a former Burnie resident who did have to relocate, that accommodation is not a major factor behind dwindling student numbers. In fact, far from it. While Janelle tells me that the private rental market is small in Burnie, at the time of writing this article there are 135 available rental properties, in local vicinity to the current campus, and at approximately $70 cheaper per bedroom than Hobart. If it were all about the accommodation, I’d already be there. Rather, and I feel justified in speaking on behalf of young people in the North-West community from the general consensus I have gained over the years, the lack of appeal for the CCC comes from it’s lack of choice in terms of entry level degrees. Before the University provides accommodation as a solution, it would benefit in drawing more students to the area by increasing its educational capabilities. While the postgraduate sector is incredibly important, regional students need to be given the ability to access this, which obviously starts at an undergraduate level. And lets face it, once you’ve left the North-West Coast, you don’t usually go back. Another student I spoke with began her Bachelor of Education at the beginning of 2012. She told me that her CCC learning experience was isolated, and left her feeling confused about coursework, expectations and even how to research information properly. “Our library was tiny so basically, most references needed to be searched for at the state library or on the database. So, our campus is pretty deprived of resources in comparison to the other campuses.”
Should UTAS then perhaps be purchasing some books for these students, before they buy them a bicycle-way? She also told me that the majority of her coursework was covered online, which is shitty for anyone (unless you like lying in bed eating Sakatas all day in your underpants. I do). “It did my head in. Not everyone has a reliable internet connection at home so I would be at school until midnight some nights to work on assignments.” So not only do you have to do a course online involuntarily, some people are still forced to do it on campus, despite there being no resources. This is not an accessible, nor an equitable, university experience. If regional universities want to attract and retain young people, they need to make learning accessible (as in accessible to engage with, not accessible by bicycle) as well as appealing. Postgraduate research is undeniably vital for any region, especially within the North-West where it plays a strong role in the development of food production, manufacturing and innovative regional development. And naturally, the proposed education precinct would provide a great location for those students to reside in as they complete the higher end of their University studies. But if regional campuses are urgently requiring more choice in order to attract a higher rate of tertiary education for the area, shouldn’t the obvious priority be an expansion upon the current academic facilities, rather than a “learning village” offering prime waterfront living, cafes, tourist facilities and the occasional Fine Arts Calligraphy summer course?
EX IST ING P A P E R MA K E R S W O R K S H O P
R ES ID ENC E BUIL DING COMPUT ER LAB
BASS HIGHW A Y PA RK ING
Togatus PERSPECTIVE FROM SOUTH EAST ALONG BASS HIGHWAY
LessonS From THE ExpertS Words: Ella Wade Photography: Liam James
It can seem an overwhelming effort to cook exciting meals at home. Cost, time, effort and memories of previous kitchen disasters tend to hold us back. Popular Hobart restaurant Written on Teaâ€™s chef Yobo Liu was flown in from China for his dumpling expertise, and now he is happy to share his secrets. Here, the talented chef is giving you the how-to on these delicious morselsâ€”his technique is straight from the heart of Shanghai. You are guaranteed to side step any further kitchen disasters with this step-bystep guide. Trust me, I tried it.
You probably donâ€™t know this guyâ€Ś
but you do know his dumplings.
Pork Dumplings Serves: 1 - 2 Preparation: around 30 minutes You will need: Gow gee dumpling wrappers Filling: 200g minced pork 200g Chinese cabbage 10g ginger 50g spring onion 10g salt 10g castor sugar 20g soy sauce 10g chicken essence 1. Mix the above ingredients in a food processor until just combined 2. Wrap in the dumpling wrappers as shown 3. Steam for 10-12 minutes OR fry for around 5 minutes.
Taroona Lounge Bar If youâ€™re looking for a way to add some flare to an average meat dish, a simple marinade is the way to go. Taroona Lounge Barâ€™s head chef Simon Cordwell shared his Korean marinade that is guaranteed to spice up any cut of beef.
KOREAN BBQ BEEF Serves: 2 Preparation time: around 30 minutes * Use gluten free soy sauce to make this recipe gluten free You will need: 410g of any cut of beef Marinade 1/2 cup light soy sauce 1/4 cup dark soy sauce 1/2 cup water 3 tbsp green onion, chopped 2 tbsp garlic, chopped 1 tbsp ground black pepper 1 tbsp castor sugar 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted and crushed 1. Thinly slice the beef 2. Mix all of the above in a mixing bowl until combined 3. Marinate beef for no more than two hours 4. Sear on the grill for a few minutes on each side. Dipping sauce 1/2 cup light soy sauce 4 tbsp water 2 tbsp rice wine 2 tbsp green onion, chopped 1 tsp garlic, chopped 2 tsp chilli sauce 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted and crushed 1. Mix all of the above ingredients well 2. Serve meat with the dipping sauce and your favourite accompaniments.
Election Night Gordon Luckman describes the atmospheric evening through the political throng. Words: Gordon Luckman
When election day rolls around there are many traditional sights and sounds voters of Australia expect to see. Sausage sizzles, cake stalls, volunteers handing out election paraphilia, talking heads saying it’s too early to call seats, Antony Green and candidates surrounded by adoring supporters. On the evening of the Federal election, Togatus visited the election night events of the Labor Party and Denison Independent MP Andrew Wilkie. The Labor Party held their event at the Waggon & Horses, while Mr Wilkie’s event was held at Battery Point’s Shippies. The events offered a place of refuge for supporters, as somewhere to warm their cold hands (many had been up since 3am). Others were just looking for company while they celebrated or commiserated the results (or sometimes both) as they rolled in over the evening. 22
Photography: Nathan Gillam
At 7:30pm, an hour and half after polls closed, the mood at Shippies is positive. The word from those on the booths handing out ‘How to Vote’ cards and scrutineering is positive. One scrutineer from a northern suburbs polling place has figures that show Wilkie has doubled his first preference vote from 2010. An experienced former MP says that the second election is always the hardest and Wilkie has worked twice as hard and earned the rewards. Another volunteer describes a sense of relief that at least in Denison there’s going to be someone to keep Australia’s George W. Bush (Tony Abbott) under control. No one seems worried that Wilkie’s level of influence will likely be reduced by the Coalition’s clear majority in the House of Representative. Over in North Hobart, the mood at the Waggon & Horses is sombre, despite being packed with Labor faithfuls and locals watching the football finals. It’s a stark difference to the mood at Shippies. However, the pub
still cheers warmly when Cabinet Minister and Franklin MP Julie Collins arrives. She’s retained her seat and is the only Tasmanian MP to survive the large swing against Labor in Tasmania. Followed by photographers, she looks pleased and relieved as she flows through the room hugging supporters. Those around her describe the overwhelming sense of mixed emotions of the very long day and the bitter disappointment of losing other great members and candidates. Returning to Shippies at 8:30pm, Andrew has arrived and no one can get enough of him. Andrew thanks his volunteers and is congratulated by many, and is followed by video cameras with their harsh production lights as well as a throng of reporters and photographers all jostling for position—bemused locals and bar staff watch on. Many supports want selfies with Wilkie and he’s more than happy to oblige. One support
says that when Andrew entered the pub, it was like an enormous weight had lifted off him. With everyone wanting a moment with Wilkie to thank or congratulate him, the media are banked up wanting to speak to him. Wilkie says his feet haven’t touched the ground since 2010 and they’ve been even higher over the last five weeks. It doesn’t look like they’ll be touching the ground again anytime soon as Wilkie says his next community commitment is to lay a wreath on Sunday morning. There was no moment of relief for Wilkie like his support felt tonight as he looks forward to what he describes
as a very different term to the previous three years. Back in North Hobart, a television crew have arrived, and are pushing their way through the crowd. Defeated candidate Jane Austin has conceded her loss but declares there’s unfinished business in Denison to the cheer of the crowd. Later, Kevin Rudd is on the big screen, but nobody’s really watching. When Tony Abbott appears on the screen for his victory speech, there is a smattering of boos and someone reaches up to turn the volume down. The
room is still full and buzzing, beer and conversation is still flowing, and the discussion turns to speculation of who will be the next Labor leader and who will lead them to the next election. A smattering of tired faces stare at iPhone screens. The siren sounds on another television screen—Port Adelaide have beaten Collingwood. For some in the room, that might’ve been the biggest win of the night. Discourses: Gordon is a member of the Labor Party. A request to visit the Liberal Party’s election night event was sent but no response was received. 23
Words: Mollie Coburn Image Credit: Dune Rats
Imagine Jay and Silent Bob, only with tattoos and more stylishly unkempt clothing. And Bob is much taller, with metal hair. That’s basically the Dune Rats (there is also someone in the band called Brett, but that ruins my visual). Anywayz, they play some music that sounds relatively similar to everything else on Triple J (to my untrained and ignorant ears, at least) and have recently been touring around South Africa and Asia, entertaining hordes of aggressivelooking Asian punks and not washing their hair. They also like to party. Heaps. If you check out their twitter, you’ll find that nearly every tweet contains a phrase along the lines of “fully stoked” or “psyched as”, far too many exclamation marks, and the type of conversation you might encounter at a seedy Bakehouse at 2:30am. These guys like
By this stage, Danny is in a taxi on his way to the airport, and has seemingly only just realised he is in the middle of an interview.
to party almost as much as Andrew W.K does, and that’s a-freaking-lot (If you don’t know who Andrew W.K is then you may now excuse yourself and leave). So, other than public displays of depravity, a penchant for smoking filthy bongs and a general lack of cultural awareness, what do the Dune Rats bring to the table? Well... I’m still not sure. Alright, so we did stupidly organise the interview for the day after Splendour in the Grass, and that is our fault for being insensitive to the lives of rock stars. But when Danny finally picked up the phone at 4pm, he was still in bed, which you might imagine was nice and awkward. He requested that I call him back later, because “The Dunies had a big one last night”, telling me that he needed a shower. At that stage, I’m not entirely sure if he knew who I was, or why I was calling, or if he was somehow supposed to know me. I have no idea. Either way, I was now trying not to think about Jay from Jay and Silent Bob in the shower. Anyway, interview attempt number two went something like this: Mollie: So, tell me about Splendour. Was it good to play on home turf again after being away for so long? Danny: Oh yeah, Splendour was sick. There were so many good acts, it was awesome to be playing at a big Australian festival, they’re always the best fans and good to come home to. We got pretty wild. Mollie: On a scale of one to ten, how pissed of were you when Frank Ocean cancelled? Danny: About an eight, I was pretty cut at old Frankie. Mollie: You’ve been playing gigs in both Asia and Africa—that must have been a fairly crazy experience. How was the band received in those places? 25
Danny: Yeah it was cool, in Asia they can party pretty hard. We played at a huge festival with over 50,000 people attending so that was pretty mad. And Africa was kind of like a longtime dream so that was awesome too. Mollie: So you didn’t offend anyone? Danny: Nah, well, not that I know of... The conversation has begun to get slightly awkward at this point. By this stage, Danny is in a taxi on his way to the airport, and has seemingly only just realised he is in the middle of an interview. I was also really struggling to formulate any sort of proper conversation, made worse by the fact that Danny was seemingly holding discussions with other people in the taxi whilst trying to hold a phone call with me. Mollie: What does your mother think of your antics?
Image Credit: Dune Rats
Danny: Nah, our mums are cool. They are proud of us. They don’t mind what we do as long as we’re happy, so that’s the main thing. Mollie: So, how wasted is too wasted? Is there a line? Danny: Well, usually when you can’t stand up or play I guess. That’s probably too far (laughs). That has happened a few times now. Mollie: Okay, so... Can you tell me about the last time you went on a whitey? Danny, after some confusion over the definition of a whitey: Oh! A whitey. We call it “greening out”. But we don’t really get whiteys, because we wake up in the morning and get stoned, and so you kind of develop a tolerance. DUNE RATS! @DUNERATTS Mushrooms. Not only used for pasta.
Photography: Jack Ellis
Two anonymous students offer cheeky reflections.
Sex in the Library In the second year of my Arts degree I stopped going out three or four nights a week and learnt to binge on school instead. School nights were spent on the silent level of the Morris Miller library, where I learnt to savour the welcome hum of laptops and shuffling paper; where a wild night out meant the disturbance of rookie apple-munchers or guilty nose-blowers appearing in our tranquil, only mildly passive aggressive community.
and would be pacing down the stairs in no time. This particular night, I was so far deep in the circular world of postmodern thought that I didn’t register that someone was behind me until I felt a mouth brushing my ear, and saw my laptop screen closing down in front of me. Confused, I was guided by his hand down a flight of stairs to the second floor, turned right and led past several columns to the back row, where I’d borrowed textbooks on New Hollywood a semester ago. I remember thinking: but I’m not studying that anym—and then was pushed up against the wall with a hand reaching between my thighs. Not this time, Coppola, not this time.
media room late one evening that I happened to look up from the square and notice our exact spot next to the window, brightly illuminated in the night sky for everyone to see. My friend’s mum was working in the library that night. And to this day I’ve never known if she heard anything. We both never checked for CCTV. When I left the library that night, I remember a feeling of complete exhilaration, and a pride when looking back at the building— kind of like those men who stick their hairy leg up on the last over-turned rock in their freshly excavated and landscaped garden, and whilst surveying their land, stop and pause for a moment, and think “yerp, this one’s goin’ down in history.”
My boyfriend at the time often came and picked me up around ten. At that hour, I’d be able to hear the deep roar of his battered old van pulling into the car park
It was brief, strong and very hot. My stockings ended up with slightly larger holes than before. It wasn’t until months later, when walking out of the journalism
As a recent graduate of the University of Tasmania, I sternly advise all students to leave their mark in its history, by whatever means possible.
I have had the time to revive the lost art of the intrepid explorer. In my aimless, timekilling perambulations, I have rediscovered several sites of potential interest.
The scrabble-board block plot of the buildings leaves many nooks and crannies obscured, impervious to habitation as oil to water.
LOCATION, LOCATION WORDS: ANON
This semester, half of my classes have been scheduled to run concurrently. The motheaten timetable resulting from this, full of holes as the plot of a Marvel movie, has provided me with an opportunity:
Sandy Bay’s UTAS campus seems to have been cobbled together by some ancient race in an asymmetrical mimicry of one of the lesser famed constellations.
Amongst the ruins of what surely once were mighty buttresses now lie corpses of beer-cans, fagends, and pox-y spots of gum; telltale signs of attempted student settlement.
Patrolled by an extremely territorial wattlebird, the Amphitheatre is the place to go for the thrill-seeking sparrow. On wintery mornings, this jowly watchman patrols his trees, shaming fighter jets with feats of aerial acrobatics as he defends his territory from winged invaders. The stage itself, silent, aside from the whisperings of the occasional exhalation of tobacco smoke, now presents moss in lieu of Shakespeare, shadows in place of Aeschylus. The audience, long since departed, may these days notice the contrast of fluorescent orange safety fence against the emerald green emerging from the cracks between pavers. A single bin records the leavings of the day: plastic sandwich wraps and cigarette butts, a grim summary of what stands in its place. With memories of outdoor plays forgotten, the heavy stones recall (in place of eloquent soliloquies) spilt beer and empty cans, chunks and froth staining the hidden passage behind the stage.
Nestled behind the Maths And Physics buildings, this sheltered park is the Big Brother of benches. Surrounded on three sides by walls of windows, host to tier upon tier of studious smarties, the M.A.P.S Benches are the ideal inverse of the Arts Amphitheatre: a non-stage, surrounded by a constant clientele, complemented perfectly by the lack of performance and invisible audience. Typically, though, the Tasmanian sun ignores this cold pocket, glaring just enough to close the blinds of the four storeysâ€™ windows, rendering the hidden benches unseen.
The Grassy Knoll
Between Morris Miller and the TUU, hiding beside the admin block, rolls a single grassy slope, topped by a lone bench. A boat on a river, this bench provides a steady overlook of the rushing tides of students as they travel from class to bus to Ref, and back again. Hidden to the side like a magician’s aide, the Knoll’s bench absorbs more sunlight than the back of a neck at Falls. With views of cherry blossoms and foot traffic, the Knoll is discretely camouflaged, out of sight and mind, visible only to the handful of people who walk with their heads on swivels. Hidden in plain sight, the Knoll is a place of peaceful opportunity, the ideal mid-campus getaway.
A memorial itself to the bar below, the concrete blocks of the Unibar Roof mimic the Jewish Memorial of Berlin. Recognisable beneath the thin layer of old cans and boozestains, the Roof has sold more beer in two barrels than the shell of the bar has all year. A forerunner of the sacred ground known as “The Ref Steps”, the Unibar Roof can be found, surprisingly, atop the ruins of the Unibar itself. If tumbleweeds had a HQ, here it would be, the thick grey blocks and mushroomed umbrellas providing little relief from the incessant wind. Another haven haunted by the red punctuation of glowing cigarette dots, the Unibar Roof offers shelter from the cobwebs and breeze issuing from the cavern below.
This selection of spaces, museum-like in their silence, provide ideal alfresco study areas: silent as graves, yet fresh as flowers, this sampling of dedicated benches and cold concrete blocks is but a fraction of the many undiscovered pockets which litter the campus. Theoretically, there could be an infinite number of places unknown; these four, however, have taken their first steps out of obscurity. (Note: Avoid these places. The only thing they have going for them is their serenity—that is not something a crowd of tourists can share.) 30
FYI #1: We do not condone sex on campus…
DEATH BY 1000 CUTS Zoe Kean writes on the impressive wilderness that is the Tarkine. Photography: Rob Blakers
Ancient rain forests threatened by mining
When I finished year 12 I bought a plane ticket, shouldered a pack and travelled abroad. I headed first to western Canada where I began a journey that would take me up through the Alaskan coast, the Yukon and finally to Denali National Park. I was on a search for wild land and sea, and America’s last frontier seemed to contain it. After my time in North America I found myself in the buzzing cities of England and Spain. Newly arrived back in Australia, a few friends and I (one of whom had also recently returned from Europe) went to her families shack on the coast for the weekend. It was there, with the expansive beach to ourselves, that we r ealised and came to appreciate what Australia has, that Europe does not—space and wilderness. Thousands of years of human agriculture and industry have left Europe, like most of the world, 32
devoid of the ancient wild places that still cling on in our southern island. A standout among these wild places is the Tarkine. With its tempestuous coast and Australia’s largest tract of temperate rainforest, the Tarkine is a safe haven for many threatened and endangered species, including the last population of wild, healthy, Tasmanian Devils. Places like these have an inherent value and should be protected, not just for Tasmania’s sake, but, as they are increasingly rare, for the sake of the world.
areas. With the highest level of unemployment in the state, job opportunities in the North-West are slim. The tin, tungsten and iron ore deposits that lay beneath the rainforest have drawn the attention of mining companies. They now seek to bring their industry to the area, which they argue will bring much needed employment to locals.
In this article I will try and share my perspective on the Tarkine and an alternative future for Tasmania’s North-West. My ideas on this area and the issues surrounding it are still evolving, and I cannot claim to have the answers to such a complex issue. But this is what I see today.
Currently Labor and Liberal politicians are clambering over each other to prove to the North-West that they support mining more than their political opponents. Both parties claim that mines will be the saviour of the area, bringing jobs and wealth, while both conveniently downplay the environmental impacts of these mines. Labor Premier, Lara Giddings, reassured us all that that the proposed mines would take up just one precent of the Tarkine.
The Tarkine sits nestled in one of Australia’s most disadvantaged
The mines she references are open cut. Essentially, big, wide holes in
Savage River Mine
the ground—and this effect on the environment flows far beyond the mine site itself. The proposed pit at Nelson Bay River is likely to be 225 metres deep—that’s 100 meters below sea level. When the rocks that have been hidden deep below ground make contact with the air, they oxidise. This reaction creates sulphuric acid. These toxic tailings then leak out and contaminate river systems, creating massive dead zones in which animals do not survive. Another impact of these mines, beyond the immediate site, is the opening up of the area by road. In the Tarkine resides the last population of Tasmanian Devils free of Devil Facial Tumour Disease (TFTD). New roads increase animal movement creating highways for disease, pest species and fire. So the effect of mining goes well beyond the specific mine sites. The Tarkine is facing death by 1000 cuts. To me, new open cut mines are not an option, but I can see no way of preserving the Tarkine wilderness without also creating jobs in the area. Real, meaningful jobs that people want to do. Tourism is often flagged by fellow environmentalists as an alternative to habitat destruction in wild places. But compared to highly tangible jobs in mining, the tourist dollar can seem abstract and out of reach. However, tourism, coupled with other industries (including work on existing shaft mines in the North-West) can create an 34
alternative sustainable economy for Tasmania and the region. An economy which is not, like Western Australia and Queensland, beholden to the roller coaster which is mineral extraction. We here in Tasmania have a chance to build an economy, decoupled from mineral extraction. One that is strong and sustainable and has greater certainty then short term mining projects can provide. In Tasmania, one in eight people are employed either directly or indirectly through tourism. The Cradle Coast Authority’s Tarkine Tourism Development Strategy suggests that the Tarkine has the potential to support approximately 1100 jobs by 2017. So why isn’t the North-West a booming eco-tourism hub? Because as it stands now, there is too much risk to invest. The Tarkine is owned or controlled by several different entities, including Forestry Tasmania and the Parks and Wildlife Service. Nearly all of it is open slather to mining. Businesses, whose bread and butter is the wilderness, are not going to invest in an area that may well be destroyed by mine development. There has, however, been EcoTourism success stories come out of these woods, mainly from social entrepreneurs. A stand out example is Tarkine Trails, a business which guides people on multi-day walks through the trees and along the coast.
Tarkine Trails mission is “That generations from today, the Tarkine’s ancient forests, pristine eco-systems and extraordinary cultural heritage are highly valued, protected and globally sought after as a resource for wellbeing, ecological integrity and economic wealth”. Having never received government assistance, Tarkine Trails has continued to make a profit for over ten years and has employed up to 15 guides a year. The success of Tarkine Trails proves that there is a demand for eco-tourism in the region, but it also does much more than that. It provides an example of industry that treads lightly on the land and is economically viable. Creating a means by which people can connect with a wild place has its own intrinsic value. In a world where we are increasingly surrounded by our built environment, it is of utmost importance that people are allowed a place where they can escape, if only for a few days, to the bush. On earth, wild places are few and far between. Tasmania has something special in the Tarkine. It is our global responsibility to protect and share it. So it can go on, beyond our own time, remaining beautiful, ancient and special for future generations. Zoe Kean is President of Tasmanian Young Greens.
Mine site, Mt Lindsay
Words: James Stewart Photography: Alice Camm 36
James Stewart analyses the treatment of former US intelligence officer Edward Snowden.
We first learnt of Edward Snowden in May this year when Snowden leaked secret information about the PRISM, XKeyscore and Tempora surveillance programs to journalists at The Guardian. This has caused Snowden to be dubbed a traitor and an enemy of the United States. First there was Osama bin Laden, now we have Edward Snowden. Yet Snowden is not wanted on charges of genocide or terrorism. Instead, he is wanted because he has exposed secrets that reveal that innocent people from every corner of the globe are being spied on by their own governments and are having their private information recorded without warrant or just cause. The West used to hunt international terrorists and war criminals but now they hunt those who work for the side of government transparency. It is a deeply troubling state of affairs. After being imprisoned in Moscow’s Shermetyevo airport for more than one month, Edward Snowden finally left the airport on August the 1st having been granted asylum in Russia. His successful application was based on the likely possibility that he would be subject to unjust political persecution if he were expelled back to the United States. He had already been offered asylum in leftist Latin American countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela, but he was unable to accept these offers because he was on Russian soil and could not gain
access to their embassies. He was stranded in the airport. He was a man with no country because his US passport had been cancelled. Like Julian Assange, who is imprisoned at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, it seemed that he might remain trapped indefinitely. For some time Snowden’s fate remained uncertain. Being given asylum in Russia changed all of this. It thwarted the American plan to have him returned to the US for trial. The Americans have poured every resource into catching Snowden, just as they have poured every resource into catching Julian Assange. Both men are on the run from the US government and, given the precedent set by Bradley Manning, will likely be subject to harsh and immoral treatment if returned to the United States. They will undoubtedly face a kangaroo court, as Manning did, and will undoubtedly spend the rest of their lives in prison. They may even face the death penalty. Australian Attorney General Mark Dreyfus has recently claimed that neither Snowden nor Manning are legitimate whistleblowers because they did not reveal wrongdoing on the part of the government. This claim is quite unbelievable as Snowden has demonstrated convincingly that the United States government, in collaboration with the governments of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada,
are responsible for a set of international surveillance programs—the likes of which the world has never seen. These programs actively collect private data from individual citizens. This data includes not only electronic data captured from sources such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and various email services, but also phone conversations and text messages. Ostensibly the purpose of this surveillance is to catch criminals and terrorists. However, this can only be effectively achieved, we are told, by sifting through the data of innocent people who have nothing to do with criminal activities. This means that our private information is examined, sorted, and stored. It has been revealed by Snowden that not only is metadata examined and kept by these programs, but so is meaningful content such as emails and Google searches. In short, Snowden’s leaks have revealed that we are all being spied on by our own governments. The Attorney General’s claim that the government of the United States, and Australia, are involved in no wrongdoing is demonstrably false because these actions are a clear violation of our civil right to privacy. Snowden, therefore, is wanted for the capital offense of embarrassing the United States for revealing the extent of this monitoring. He has also revealed that other governments, including the Australian government, are complicit in these activities because their
“The story of Snowden itself is part of a narrative that the United States is developing in order to diminish his status and therefore swing public opinion against him.”
intelligence programs are responsible for assisting in the gathering of this intelligence. The infamous East German Stasi program looks completely primitive in comparison to these expansive surveillance programs. The American government has callously and cynically ignored the right to privacy owed all innocent people and Snowden has devastatingly revealed this. When Obama was first running for office he promised that he would lead a government of greater transparency and accountability. Even at this time the White House website features a memo that repeats this vision. Yet Obama’s assault on whistleblowers such as Snowden and Manning betrays his real agenda which is to destroy those who seek to increase government transparency. The Obama administration is perhaps that most secretive administration the United States has ever known. It is a regime that has completely dispensed with personal privacy. Needless to say, this is a totally unacceptable state of affairs. The story of Snowden itself is part of a narrative that the United States is developing in order to diminish his status and therefore swing public opinion against him. The United States has historically been very successful at producing narratives that suit their anti-whistleblower public relations campaigns. Bradley Manning is not a whistleblower, these narratives tell us;
he is a traitor who aided the enemy. In addition, he is an ignorant and dislikeable man-child. He made a poor choice in divulging state secrets because he was naïve and easily manipulable. Nonetheless he must unfortunately pay for his ignorance and he must be punished just as we punish a child. As for Julian Assange, he is depicted as being cold and aloof, a master-mind, a world-class super villain who pulls the puppet strings of simple minded fools like Manning. He is, of course, an enemy of the state. But in addition to that, he is reckless and bitter, childishly lashing out at the US just to get attention. Nonetheless, he must still face the “justice” of the United States courts. As we can see, these narratives are incoherent: Manning and Assange are at once brilliant and evil villains, but they are also hopelessly naïve. The incoherence of this narrative is immaterial because the real objective is simply to drag their names through the mud and divert attention away from the more pressing and serious issue of our increasingly eroded civil rights. Snowden has been co-opted into this narrative. He is described as an outsider, a loner who has few friends. We are told that he was just some clerk, not an important part of the NSA infrastructure. But he is a traitor to the United States because he has been colluding with the Chinese and the Russians. He is, in fact, a spy. This twisted biography is
what the US government’s narrative tells us. The US has a more difficult time with Snowden, however, because people are slowly starting to see the pattern the US is taking with the whistleblower cases. Since Obama has come into office more whistleblowers have been prosecuted than at any other time in United States history. The New York Times has counted six officials that have been prosecuted by the United States government. This has all occurred in the space of less than five years. The pattern that has emerged is this: as soon as a whistleblower crops up, they are publically vilified and all sorts of irrelevant ad hominem dirt is dug up about them. We see that the issues that they are trying to address are crowded out by a cacophony of accusations that these whistleblowers are in fact traitors and have put our lives at risk. The analysis is invariably shrill and one sided and resorts to emotive language about terrorists and traitors. On the 18th of August Glenn Greenwald’s partner was detained at Heathrow under schedule 7 of the British Terrorism Act and kept for 9 hours in the airport with no apparent access to a lawyer. One possible reason for this brazen and seemingly self destructive act was to make more public the fact that Greenwald is gay: an irrelevant piece of information but something that will, it is hoped, help misdirect people’s
“In short, Snowden’s leaks have revealed that we all are being spied on by our own governments.”
attention away from the important matters at hand. You can only rinse and repeat this strategy so many times before people start to see through it. Snowden is especially problematic because he is so principled. He personally gained nothing from the revelations, and in fact lost nearly everything. He is a fugitive who can never return to his home in the US, he has lost most of his money. He could have sold state secrets to a foreign country for enormous reward, but he instead released the information to the public because he believed secrecy was itself the problem. He has also been completely transparent about his motives and course of action. This made the public relations campaign against him more difficult, but not impossible. The media has also been extremely helpful in the Snowden case, as it has been in the case of Assange and Manning, for uncritically reproducing US government’s misleading narrative. The media has mostly focused on Snowden’s personal affairs and not the actual matter at hand which are the NSA leaks. At the time of writing if you Google ‘Snowden’ the highest searched entry is ‘Snowden girlfriend’ which tells you how superficial the treatment of the NSA case has become. The theatrics surrounding Snowden’s asylum applications is a case in point. The US has revealed itself to be utterly ruthless in its
dealings with countries that seek to assist Snowden. When it was believed that the Bolivian President’s personal plane might be carrying him, it was forced to land in Vienna delaying his return to Bolivia. Needless to say, this act of brazen disrespect of a world leader created something of a diplomatic confrontation. Furthermore, Latin American countries that were considering his application were threatened with trade sanctions if they agreed to let Snowden into their country. When Snowden was finally given asylum in Russia the Americans were furious. Obama expressed his grave disappointment by cancelling planned talks with the Russians. This insanity serves two purposes. One, it sends a message to other whistleblowers. The message says that anyone that releases state secrets will be hunted to the ends of the Earth, that no expense will be spared, and that the US will put every effort into seeing their head on a spike outside the White House. The second and perhaps more subtle purpose is to create a scene, to divert attention away from the central issue which is the discussion of the contents of the secret documents. It is much better for the US that they are seen to be doing an unjust harm to one man, than being seen to be doing an unjust harm to millions of people all over the planet. The latter, unfortunately, is the truth that we now all face.
In his first interview with The Guardian Snowden said, “The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change.” By persecuting Snowden in the way that they are, the Americans are desperately trying to make this fear a reality. The US wants to maintain the status quo, and it can do this by persuading the world that everything is okay, that it is all part of a greater plan that we do not need to concern ourselves with. They want us to believe that these whistleblowers are jeopardising this wholesome and completely necessary state surveillance program, and that through it being jeopardised we are somehow all at risk. Believing that the status quo is acceptable is an extremely risky affair and we should be mindful of Snowden’s fears. The reality is this: we may be facing the greatest civil rights crisis of the last 50 years and we must be aware of these attempts to distract us by superficialities.
Words: Brendan Fisher Image Credit: Regurgitator
Brendan Fisher chats to Regurgitator frontman Quan Yeomans and reviews the band’s 8th studio album, Dirty Pop Fantasy. I’ve just sat down to interview a man currently key-framing animations of Michael Jackson for an album teaser who is admittedly really excited, as he’s later travelling from Hong Kong to Shenzhen to have his first ever manicure. If his excitement for manicures matches my excitement for this interview, then he must be pretty overwhelmed. The man is Quan Yeomans: 1/3 of Regurgitator, who are gearing up to release their 8th studio album Dirty Pop Fantasy after 20 years in the business. Regurgitator have long been leaders in the unconventional; bridging the gap between rock, rap, pop, electro, punk and more on their impressive back catalogue. Dirty Pop Fantasy aims to do the same, with 19 tracks that tread styles that even this band haven’t trodden before.
of pop music on it, there’s some dirt on there, and maybe it is a little bit fantastical”. Dirty Pop Fantasy comprises the band’s most cohesive bunch of tracks since 2004’s Mish Mash. The band was originally “working on a double album as it’s always been a fantasy of (singer/bassist) Ben’s to have a double album”. This isn’t particularly surprising however, considering the 19-track final product. Quan explains that “this one had a lot of songs which is rare; I particularly had a lot of songs which is rare for me. I normally stick with 5 or 6 and just try and hone them, but this one I seemed to have close to 13 or 14 songs which is really unheard of for me. So we had to do a lot of culling at the end.”
The album captures Regurgitator’s classic quirky poprock style on tracks such as ‘Sine Wave’ and ‘Made To Break’, while showcasing a surprising foray into 80s The album was recorded in Quan’s home-awaypost-punk on the Joy Division-esque cut ‘Mountains’. from-home Hong Kong, where he has lived on The band doesn’t shy away from a killer hook, with and off for a number of years. The band rented trademark sing-alongs on ‘My Little Terrorist’, a yoga studio which was a 9-storey climb up an tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation on ‘We Love You!’, old Chinese building in Sai Ying Pun, part of the Western District of Hong Kong. Quan claims the and insatiable swingin’ rock on ‘Fuck You Sweetness’. Quan even manages to sneak in a bit of RnB on ‘Can’t band “had buns of steel after a month of being in there together”, yet another attribute the band can Stop’, which shows off the band’s incredible knack for quality production. add to their list. For the first time in their career the band shared living quarters together while Of course a Regurgitator album wouldn’t be complete recording, allowing them a schedule of writing without experimentation; the many obscure filler and recording every day before relocating to a tracks and punky blasts never cease to remind you studio called Red Room in Aberdeen, in Hong of just who it is you’re listening to. Regurgitator Kong’s Southern District. albums are often polarised by dual songwriters Quan and Ben, who contribute equally to the vast array of Quan describes the band’s 8th studio effort as tracks on Dirty Pop Fantasy. Quan explains “we have “a very odd album”, stating that “it’s hard, when you’ve worked on something for so long you kind our own ideas and then we’ll pick each others brains for ideas to push it forward and get it finished… of lose most perspective on it.” But the title offering support and small amounts of advice may offer a good descriptor, as “there’s a lot 41
production wise and just telling each other to let it go.” The album is certainly an amalgamation of everything the band is known for, and pushes the envelope further in terms of what they’re capable of producing. It may not have instant classics upon first listen, but it certainly presents itself as a wellrounded and cohesive body of work. The album is reminiscent of the band’s past ambitions and ferocity, which are certainly still in the foreground. It’s hard to avoid getting nostalgic when Regurgitator are mentioned, still garnering support from fans Australia-wide through the successful 2013 tours for seminal albums Tu Plang and Unit. After 20 years together in the business, Quan admits that “the nostalgia train is parked I guess, especially when you’ve been around as long as we have.” But an offering of fresh material from the band always serves as a new reason to head out and see them, and with an upcoming tour Quan explains that: “it’s just a thrill that people come to see us and have a good time, that’s all I really care about.” Being on the road for a number of years, and having tracks such as ‘Song Formerly Known As’, ‘Black Bugs’, ‘I Sucked A Lot Of Cock To Get Where I Am’, and ‘Polyester Girl’ permanently imprinted into the musical minds of Australians, Quan ponders over the routine of what it’s like to maintain the excitement for those tracks: “There’s still quite a few songs we still play from those two records (Tu Plang and Unit) anyway and they’re the strongest in our minds, so we’ll probably keep on
playing those until people get sick of them, and we get sick of them. It’s funny, when you’re in a band it’s quite surprising how immune to playing the same songs over and over again you get. You would assume it would be extremely boring to play songs that are almost 20 years old, but somehow we still manage to smile and enjoy playing the tracks. We’re pretty lucky in that regard I guess.” Tassie music lovers often only get luck-of-the-draw shows when a national tour comes around for a big band, but that’s not something we have to worry about with Regurgitator. Quan is quick to praise the state’s beauty and the fun crowds that attend their shows, and while other bands have excuses Quan states “we’re based in Melbourne so it’s pretty damn close to us so it seems a shame to not go down there”. Quan also opted to spend his 40th birthday in the state at the iconic MONA art gallery, explaining rather melancholically, “that’s probably the first birthday I’ve actually enjoyed for maybe 10 to 15 years. That kind of says something about how I celebrate stuff.” While Quan may not be into celebrating, and the band is now into its third decade of existence, they show no signs of slowing down. Regurgitator have always been a refreshing reminder never to take yourself too seriously, and Quan is simply just “always surprised when people are interested in what we do. It’s always a thrill for me.” Lovers of vinyl, stay tuned, as the band plan a re-release of Tu Plang, Unit and Mish Mash in the imminent future.
You Think You're Going? Rosie Hunt and Mollie Coburn lament the leaving. Why are so many Tasmanians relocating to Melbourne?
Tas-bournians Words: Mollie Coburn
There are two types of Tasmanians. The Tasmanians that live in Tasmania, and the Tasmanians that live in Melbourne. The former are a simple bunch of folk, content with the basic things in life, like Greencards and meat pies. The latter, however, not only require the extra stimulation that a big city such as Melbourne can bring (homelessness, creeps on trams, creeps everywhere you fucking look, soy milk… the list goes on), but they also rely upon the firm belief that where they are now, is better than where they were before. And while there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with being happy with the choices one makes about life, the unfortunate fact of this concurrent theme of “my life has gotten SO much better now I’m in a real city” from Tas-bournians is that it is more affirmation of identity than a legitimate reflection on life. And if you’re one of those people who likes to tout previous statement ironically, we all know you’re just as fucking bad. Fact: Moving to a new city does not suddenly make you cooler.
You’re still the same goober who spends a large portion of the day online rather than outside. You still like bad music. You still have terrible choice in clothing. Your blog still sucks. Black Milk still isn’t cool, and neither are the “beats” you keep uploading to facebook.
us, so pink hair is fine, right? Right! Wrong. Pink hair looks stupid, and just because there’s an entire fucking nightclub filled with prancing My Little Pony prostitutes doesn’t make it any more acceptable.
So, you cheeky Tas-bournians, think twice before you post another status The only thing that has changed? like “Omg, SO glad I moved to a There are suddenly more of you. place where the people ACCEPT In a population of 4 million, Black Milk and don’t call me a you’re bound to find someone goth for expressing myself through who condones your appreciation style!” Because no one in Tasmania of “digital art”. You like really bad accepted Black Milk because it is imitation Japanese export cars? incredibly stupid, not because we Awesome! There are fifteen different despise you and your tacky/eclectic meet-ups every week! Only like sense of style. reading books, nothing else, and are somehow under the illusion And to the loyal Tasmanian that you’re going to become a writer? Tasmanians, you just stick it out Excellent! You can find the support down here in the cold. We might group for that in Brunswick! Got a not have efficient tram services, significant crack addiction you just a magnitude of the population can’t seem to shake? Well, all you with dairy intolerance (“I’m vegan, need do is head to the bin collection actually..”) or a General Pants to point of Melbourne Central arcade purchase style-pioneering pieces and you’ll find enough crack fiends for only the most boring of hipster to start your own freakish movements. But we have pride, a commune. Free crack for all! sense of function and the ability to walk more than five minutes without And when you’re surrounded by a giving in and slotting yourself group of likeminded fools who, just between two aforementioned like you, think that Pastel Goth creeps on tram. is actually a thing, you’re going to eventually begin thinking that you And let’s be honest. The people in were right all along. This is called Melbourne only hang out with other hyperreality. There’s a majority of Tasmanians, anyway. 45
MELBOURNE OR BUST? Rosie Hunt explores the reasons for exodus to big city life. Words: Rosie Hunt
As a young student living in Tasmania, sometimes it can feel like Melbourne is slowly but surely stealing away everyone you know. Some go as soon as year twelve is over, others leave in the middle of tertiary studies, and then there are those who finish their education here before taking the plunge.
Tasmanian population than they do of the country’s overall population. The ABS data breakdown online says this is partly due to young people leaving ‘to pursue education and employment opportunities interstate’. Given anecdotal evidence of young people bailing as soon as possible, which many Tasmanians are probably used to hearing, this hardly seems surprising.
Is it possible to be a young, successful person and stay on the island for the duration? Do people actually want to leave for a land of hipsters, trams and football games, or are the opportunities here simply too slim to stick around? And when young people do make it to Melbourne, do they instantly forget Hobart and its perks, or is there actually something good going on here that we should think twice about leaving behind?
One obvious reason that young people might make the move is to find a job that suits them and the skills they have gained. The Commonwealth Government Tasmanian Labour Market Review Trends report from June 2013 shows the Tasmanian unemployment rate at 8.1 per cent, compared with 5.7 per cent in Victoria. This might not provide much confidence for those who want to stick around. For many young people, it may not only be the lack of jobs overall, but also the unavailability of work in their chosen field that drives them out of the state.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics census data from 2011, people aged 20-44 make up a smaller proportion of the 46
Jacky Ho completed a combined Arts/Fine Arts degree at UTAS,
majoring in Journalism and Graphic Design. Upon finishing his course, he worked at a local print factory in a graphic design job for a year before deciding that if he was going to have the kind of career he wanted, he would need to move interstate. “Hobart wasn’t really offering the opportunities I was looking for,” he said. “So that’s why I gave everything up, saved up a bunch of savings and moved to Melbourne without a job.” Jacky chose Melbourne because it was close to the home where he wished he could stay. He also loved the city itself and had dreamed of living there. He was successful in finding a job in graphic design, and now works at a footwear and apparel distribution company, designing for brands like Vans and Doc Martens. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jacky sees the main difference between
Hobart and Melbourne as the cost of rent and day-to-day living. He also says there is much more going on in Melbourne, which can be confronting, but also exciting. Jacky would like to move back to Hobart later in life, if possible. “It just depends on opportunities that other cities have to offer,” he said. “I can tell that Hobart is slowly expanding but I’ll just have to wait and see. I’d love to come back and settle down and have a family.” Some students make the move before they begin the job search, studying at a range of universities in Melbourne and surrounds. Although UTAS has many faculties and several campuses to choose from, in Melbourne there may sometimes be more choice due to the fact that there are several bigger universities in the one city. This includes technical institutions like RMIT as well as more traditional universities like Melbourne Uni.
Jess Baikie completed three years of her Arts/Law degree at UTAS. She started in Launceston and then spent two years at the Sandy Bay campus, before deciding to transfer to Monash University for the remainder of her degree.
and they deal with so many students and they just have absolutely no idea who you are,” she says. “I find that a bit intimidating, especially when it comes to exam time and you want to ask a question.”
For Jess, it was a lifelong dream of living in Melbourne, plus the opportunity to study law electives in her area of interest at Monash, that led her to make the move. While she hates the daily commute and misses her friends and family, she is glad she took the plunge.
Jess says she does appreciate Hobart now that she has moved away, but she doesn’t plan to move back after her degree−her goal of working in Melbourne was another reason she chose to move in the first place.
“I’m a lot happier here, I live in a nicer place, there’s a lot to explore¬−every weekend you can go to another suburb,” she says. Although Jess felt Monash had a more appealing range of law electives, she preferred the teaching style at UTAS, where there was a smaller year group and the lecturers know you and are happy to chat, which Jess says doesn’t happen at Monash. “There are just so many classes
Of course, there are attractions in Melbourne and on the rest of the mainland that go beyond a steady job or a specific university subjects not offered here. In 2011 and 2012, Melbourne was named by The Economist Intelligence Unit as ‘the most livable city in the world’. This means it scored highly on the following criteria: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. That is a pretty impressive accolade, and might reflect why so many people are keen to try out the 47
A LOT OF PEOPLE I’VE “TALKED TO SAY THEY WANT TO MOVE TO MELBOURNE AND THEY’VE NEVER BEEN TO LAKE PEDDER, LAKE GORDON, THE MOUNTAINS OR ANYTHING “ Melbourne lifestyle. Living in Tasmania has its own perks too, as a smaller community in close proximity to plenty of natural wonders. Plus, Tasmania has gained plenty of cool points in the past few years thanks to MONA and a growing arts and cultural scene. While there might be plenty of young people leaving our state, some are coming here from the mainland and enjoying what Tasmania has to offer. Jarrad Hunt has lived all over; having grown up in Bendigo, he has worked in Sweden and Melbourne and studied in Brisbane. Although he had never been to Tasmania before moving here, he was sick of the “impersonal” bigger cities and decided to apply to UTAS. Jarrad says Hobart has proved to be everything he hoped it would be. He is enjoying his course at UTAS (his only complaint is 48
the food) and loving his spare time spent here. “There’s so much stuff to do outside of Uni,” he says. “Where else can you sit and have a coffee and have a snowcapped mountain behind you?” As a newcomer to Tasmania who is seeing the place with fresh eyes, Jarrad thinks some local Tasmanians might undervalue their home. “A lot of people I’ve talked to say they want to move to Melbourne and they’ve never been to Lake Pedder, Lake Gordon, the mountains or anything,” he says. “They don’t know what they’re missing out on.” Jarrad tells me that many of his friends from Bendigo moved to Melbourne after finishing school.
This is an important point: Hobart is not the only place people leave for bigger cities, so should we really be surprised when people abandon Tasmania for somewhere with a bigger city? While Jarrad would like to stay here after his degree, he may face the same problem that confronts many Tasmanians who have grown up here. It will all depend on whether he can get a job in the area he wants. It is hard to know exactly what drives young people out of or into our state, as moving is such a personal choice that can be influenced by many factors. But even if some of us have to leave for a while, it is good to remember that we can always come back.
A move by Russian politician Mikhail Degtyaryov to introduce paid leave for menstruation has caused a flutter amongst various news and blog sites. Degtyaryov proposes each woman be entitled to two days leave per menstrual cycle, causing a significant increase in paid days available to women. Looking on the surface one would assume it is a step forward for women’s rights in Russia, however, feminist and human rights groups are critical of the move. Degtyaryov belongs to the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia which, for those of you rusty on Russian domestic politics, is pretty damn conservative. Rather than purporting a heightened understanding of the health needs of women, Degtyaryov is arguing something which sounds alarmingly like a gift to the ‘fairer’ and ‘weaker’ sex. She appears to argue that a woman with her period is a less effective worker and menstruation is the enemy of productivity. However, this is not just a quirky Russian idea. Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines all have similar entitlements. However, South Korea provides a contrasting case study. The Korean Times reported late last year that many women don’t take the days available to them, entitling their article, ‘Menstrual Leave—An
Entitlement Men Reject’. The move in South Korea was at the request of feminist groups, but many women had reservations in using the entitlement because men in the workplace become resentful. When asked to write a piece for Togatus on how these developments around the world relate to gendered workplace relations in Australia, I was at a loss to find a connection. There are a plethora of gendered issues in Australian workplaces, but I’d be drawing a fairly long bow to relate them to a quirky news item out of Russia. The reason why, however, is far easier to identify—in Australia, we just don’t talk about those bodily functions. It’s not that women necessarily want to explain to others in detail how their stomach is aching or the heaviness of their flow. But it is yet again another double standard when it comes to the bodies of men and women. I went through puberty living with my mum and it wasn’t until I moved into a house with two male friends that I was introduced to the freedom in which they could talk about the bits that came out of their bits. “Oh mate, I wouldn’t go in there if I were you”, “Ugh, I really don’t recommend coffee before breakfast”, and “I had a great time reading ALL OF THE ECONOMIST during that session”. Oh, how I would have loved to see the look on their faces if I came out and announced, “You 49
So if my bloody utopia “became a reality, what would it look like? Not bloody at all.“ wouldn’t believe the amount of blood that just came out of my vag.” While we still use expressions like ‘Aunty Flow’, ‘Communist Invasion’, and ‘That Time of the Month’ could we consign menstruation to the realm of every other medical concern? I think so, but history is against me in regards to women’s medical rights and bodily functions being ‘normalised’. I remember the first time a GP asked me how heavy my flow was as though I had some basis for comparison. I also remember spending the first four years as a sexually active woman apologising to every boyfriend I had when that time came around. I can’t think of anything more cringeworthy now. Obviously I’m not trying to start a movement for regular public discussion of menstrual flow. The point I want to make is the prohibitive way we expect women to deal with it. Menstruation is seen as the source of our ‘moodiness’, an avenue through which women are forced to constantly legitimise their feelings or explain their ‘lady emotions’. I imagine the worker in Australia, like those in South Korea, would rather fight through an overwhelming cramp then have male bosses or colleagues know why she’s going home.
So if my bloody utopia became a reality, what would it look like? Not bloody at all. We would keep dealing with what we already have to spend the majority of our lives dealing with. Maybe we would allow the freedom to explain why we’re really having a bad day, or the freedom to show that women have great days on their period too. If I really wanted to get carried away I’d suggest that boys are taught as much about them as we are— one person’s overshare is another person’s better health, better sex life and better intimacy. Do you know what I really want? Not having to employ something akin to military logistics every time I need to take a sanitary product into the bathroom. So thank you, Russia, for planting the menstruating seed. It’s not just an insult about a bad mood or an awkward sexual encounter but the myths that exists about what menstruation does and means. Some people say the presence of menstruating woman near a vineyard will turn wine into vinegar, others think having sex with a woman while she’s menstruating puts you at risk of contracting leprosy. The one thing I ask is that next time you have an opinion about a woman’s behaviour or a curiosity about her flow, just ask. We have to live with it, the least you can do is talk about it with a little respect and an open mind.