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the subcultures surrounding you

Jackson Langford uncovers the native species of UON

Could you ditch your social media hold? Yakkers go social media free for a sociological challenge ISSUE 26 / SEPTEMBER 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE U

CONTENTS Cover design by Robyn Roach




A Day in the Life of a Religious Worker on Campus

Drink. Drank. Drunk


Cultural Appropriation

Emily Steele - Managing Editor Owen Harvey - Deputy Managing Editor Amy Theodore - Deputy Editor, Features Jackson Langford - Deputy Editor, Features Lauren Gross - Deputy Editor, Features Madeline Link - Deputy Editor, Uni Content Liz Crichton - Lead Graphic Designer Katrina Reeves - Supporting Graphic Designer


Isabella Batkovic - Contributing Writer Mikaela Booth - Contributing Writer Renae Burgess - Contributing Writer Thandi Chindove - Contributing Writer Amanda Downie - Graphic Designer Kate Ellis - Contributing Writer Emily Frame - Graphic Designer Jessica Gouck - Contributing Writer Jemimah Irvin - Graphic Designer Jonathon Momsen - Contributing Writer Sam Rayfield - Contributing Writer Kim Saberton - Contributing Writer Kurt Sengul - Contributing Writer Amber Sewell-Green - Contributing Writer Hannah Sunderland - Graphic Designer Alex Toscano - Contributing Writer Abby Wilson - Contributing Writer


For advertising opportunities, contact Yak Media at

Check out Yak Digital online! Scan here.



Newcastle’s Cultural Festivities


Printed by PrintCentre on Callaghan Campus.


A Worldly Education: University Cultures of the World

Travel Politely


Yak Challenge: Could you ditch your social media hold?


Fun & Fury: Aussie Sporting Culture

04 Yak Online

09 Recipes

05 Five Tips + Sports

11 Rayfield’s Rants

06 Kate’s Conundrums

23 Mass Debate

07 Clubs & Societies

28 Watt Space

07 College

29 U Cinema + Unearthed

08 Health

30 What’s On

NEXT ISSUE: • Allday! • What To Do When You Finish Uni

Yak magazine is a free publication of UoN Services Ltd © 2014.


UoN Subcultures

Get your free copy from press-points around campus on Monday, 6 October.

• Dating 2.0 • Getting Robbed Overseas • Study Drugs

• What To Do When You Aren’t Drinking

Yak Magazine is published by UoN Services Limited at the University of Newcastle. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of UoN Services Limited or the University of Newcastle, unless explicitly stated. UoN Services Limited accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions of information contained in this issue of Yak Magazine. In addition, Yak Magazine may at times accept forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of affiliate compensation to subsidise the costs associated with producing the magazine. We recommend you do your own research and draw your own conclusions about any product claim, technical specifications, statistic, quote or other representation about a product, service, manufacturer, or provider.


It is around this time of the year that we all look for some desperate form of escape from our university lives. This normally comes in the form of airplane tickets, road trip maps or a dust off of the camping gear that we’ve never used. So here at Yak we thought it would be the perfect time to share our cultural issue with you. Packed with features from all around the world, our Yak team has gathered all things cultural (in the traditional and non-traditional sense) for you to explore and ponder. At the University of Newcastle we are lucky enough to be immersed in a seriously diverse group of people, so we should be taking advantage of this. There are international students from all around the world who are trying to make this foreign land home and as if that isn’t scary enough, they are trying to study here as well. Making friends with international students not only enhances their experience and makes them feel more at home, you will be benefitted beyond anything you can learn in a book. They share, you share. The iLead program has different activities to help you get involved in meeting international students and making new friends. You never know where you will be welcome in the world when you branch out and chat to someone new. These articles have been of particular use for me as I wished my youngest brother bon voyage on his self-discovery, typical Australian, foray to the great beyond of Europe and the motherland for the next three months. I spent quite some time convincing him that it was in fact, not the best idea to take Whoopie on TopDeck and Contiki with him. Whoopie being his childhood teddy bear who has, until now, tagged along on all holidays. Poor Whoopie remained behind with us poor suckers. I have also been answering close to 30 questions a day about various countries, customs and etiquettes, despite having only spent five months in Europe myself, almost three years ago. Apparently I’m some sort of expert now. Yes Kieran, they do speak other languages over there. Yes Kieran, lots of people speak English. No Kieran, they don’t all use the Euro. No Kieran, I’m not sure why they don’t. Yes Kieran, of course you can call any time of the day. No Kieran, you cannot, under any circumstances, walk from England to Ireland.

Yak Magazine - September 2014


THIS MONTH’S BITING QUESTION: “Which Mean Girl’s table would you sit at?” MANAGING EDITOR


I’m trying to decide what to do with my life, so obviously, girls who eat their feelings. DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR


Asian nerd, except not Asian.



Even in my third year, I still walk around campus with a look of utter confusion and despair on my face because I can’t find rooms and buildings, so I think I could comfortably fit in at the freshman table. FEATURES EDITOR


The greatest people you will ever meet, for obvious reasons. In fact can we all just put the greatest people you will ever meet? FEATURES EDITOR


The Plastics. They seem to just go shopping all day and hang out at Regina’s mansion while her mum delivers them cocktails. That’s my kind of table. UNI CONTENT EDITOR


As my first ever email address and general indicator of my most sterling quality was sporty_, it is only right that I take my place bulking and talking smack with the Varsity Jocks. LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER


Definitely girls who eat their feelings, those mainly being boredom and hate for my uni work at the moment. SUPPORTING GRAPHIC DESIGNER


Somewhere in between the greatest people you will ever meet and the desperate wannabes, because I am equal parts awesome and awkward. PROMOTIONS OFFICER

Madeleine Leeming

I’m 1/32 Chinese and I get cold easily so I guess I could qualify at the cool Asians table. CONTENT COORDINATOR


Unfriendly black hotties.

04 Yak Magazine - September 2014



Yak Magazine - September 2014


FOR BEING CULTURALLY SENSITIVE Thandi Chindove has some advice to stop you from accidentally being that culturally insensitive idiot. Our community is pretty diverse with 26% of Australian residents born overseas. With so many different cultures around us all the time, it can be easy to accidentally offend someone. Whether you’re a foreigner or have just met a foreigner, here are five tips to help you act respectfully.


Try not to assume you know everything about a person’s culture. The media expose us to so many different cultures that it’s easy to take things as face value. Brazilians don’t all live in the jungle and play soccer like Ronaldo and just because someone is from an African country doesn’t mean they can translate the ‘Circle of Life’. Be careful not to flaunt your ‘knowledge’ unless you’re sure it’s correct.

2. People from different countries don’t always think the

same way as you do. Be patient and willing to listen and learn. Even if you don’t agree with them, it’s still a great way to remind yourself that we don’t all think the same.


Be patient and accommodating with how people do things. Whether it’s eating with their hands instead of using a fork, not everyone performs actions the same. Take the time to learn, as this can broaden your way of thinking. It’s great to share your knowledge and culture but remember your way isn’t always the best/right way.


Continents are filled with different cultures, so keep in mind the average Liberian person may know absolutely nothing about the Masai. It’s easy to think of someone’s nationality as African, American or European but being a part of the same continent doesn’t necessarily mean sharing the same culture, language, ethnicities, etc.


Whether you know a little, a lot or absolutely nothing, don’t be afraid to ask. Personally, I love telling people about my home country and so do a lot of others. The most sensitive thing you can do is to ask and pay attention.


The structure of your question is vital. There’s a difference between “Is Canada very racially diverse?” and “There are Asian people in Canada?!”

UON Dominates Eastern University Games In case you missed it, this July UON hosted the 2014 Eastern University Games. While a good portion of our students would have fled Newcastle after exams for the comfort of childhood homes or the excitement of a well-earned holiday, our city came to life with the influx of over 3000 students from NSW, the ACT and even New Zealand. Flying the flag for our wonderful institution were 460 dedicated student-athletes, making up 41 teams and easily the biggest UON team of all time. And what a team it was, claiming 10 gold, five silver and five bronze medals for the week! Perhaps the sweetest victory of all was the Overall University Champion title, which we claimed for the first time since hosting the event in 2002 and brought the University of Technology Sydney’s run of four straight victories to an end. Our medal tally included: GOLD: Football - Women, Golf, Hockey - Men, Hockey - Women, Lawn Bowls, Oz Tag - Mixed, Squash, Tenpin Bowling, Touch - Women, Ultimate Frisbee SILVER: AFL 9’s, Basketball - Men, Basketball - Women, Netball - Mixed, Tennis - Men

BRONZE: AFL 9’s, Futsal - Women, Indoor Cricket, Netball - Women, Volleyball - Men. 2014 has been a big year in University Sport for Newcastle so far. Earlier in the year our orienteering team nabbed 3rd place at the Australian University Orienteering Championships, our surfing team scored two gold medals and a bronze at the Australian University Surfing Championships. September sees our snow sports team taking on the slopes with our strongest ever team, including Olympic moguls skier Matt Graham. Not to mention, of course, the Australian University Games begin at the end of this month, in which we have qualified for more sports than ever since the new qualification framework was introduced. Remember to check up on all our results and opportunities to compete at nusport and! Go team Newcastle!

06 Yak Magazine - September 2014

Next weekend I jet off for my first trip to New Zealand. My first ski trip as well. And, frankly, I’m a tad nervous. Not of flying, no worries there. I thoroughly enjoy flying. Well, other than the airline food, my legs cramping up, sitting still for hours on end, people invading my personal space and that one time I sat next to a lady who slept the whole flight, except for when I got up to go to the bathroom and my arse was precariously positioned in front of her face. And then there’s the fear associated with recent news events – but I’m feeling there won’t be many opportunities to fall out of the sky on a three hour flight. Okay, perhaps it’s more the destination that makes a flight exciting, but this time it’s the destination that has me apprehensive. All my previous adventures have been to far off northern isles to escape the winter chill. This time I’m heading into it. And as if the potential for extreme misery caused by runny noses and numb fingers will not be enough; it’s my first hack at skiing as well. And, I am a notoriously uncoordinated person. I have fallen over absolute nothing – I’m not even lying. Last week I hurt my right hip when I hit the shin on my opposite leg against a

sewing machine. I couldn’t decide which body part hurt the most (that was my question too – who the hell puts a sewing machine on the floor, next to a chair, where someone could easily fall over it? Thanks mum.) So, as you could imagine, the thought of willingly strapping long pieces of timber to my already shaky stability is frightening. The potential for my careening out of control, spinning wildly down snowy mountains on my backside, wailing off cliffs, or landing on my face is extremely high and real threat.

“’Except for when I got up to go to the bathroom and my arse was precariously positioned in front of her face”. Right now, I’m in a state of entropy, and it won’t be until I descend next week that I find out if I have secretly been a lover of negative temperatures. But, even if it’s the case that I return with broken bones, flu or hypothermia, it’s the experience that counts, right?

College. Jessica Gouck is looking to help international students feel at home in Australia

Imagine – you’re leaving home for the first time to travel to Australia and study in Newcastle. If you’ve taken up the opportunity of living on campus, you instantly become a part of a community representing over 60 countries. One option is to close your door and study the house down, but another option is to seek out the residents from all over Australia and the world. In my two years of living on campus, I have seen many international students choose the first option.

“One option is to close your door and study the house down, but another option is to seek out the residents from all over Australia and the world.” This year, I have been given an industry scholarship to work with UoN Student Living, in the ResLife team. So far I have been focusing on engaging international residents and improving their college experience, to make sure people aren’t missing out behind closed doors.

Yak Magazine - September 2014

of their orientation. As a result of this I am working towards implementing a college specific ‘Buddy’ program to be launched in 2015. The concept behind this program is that domestic students will volunteer their time to regularly meet with, and support, new international residents. Run by the ResLife team, buddies will also be able to improve their colleges’ chances of winning the coveted Intercollege Community Shield, as well as the opportunity of gaining points towards the iLead program. To further develop the connection between international and domestic residents, a day out at Blackbutt Reserve was held. This area, close to the heart of Australia’s sixth largest city, has a lively native animal population. With delicious food and a kangaroo taste testing, the day brought together residents from different continents and colleges proving distance is no factor in friendship.

Our first event took place in March and saw over 60 international residents attend an evening which was a vibrant melting pot of cultures. A common theme which became apparent as the evening wore on was international residents’ desire to meet more domestic residents as part

On a rickety boat, built on the foundations of hope and fear, social justice practitioner Isabella Batkovic sails her way through the university’s border security and into the welcoming arms of the UON Amnesty International Group. “Abbott what ya doin’ mate?”

“Tony pls stahp!”

Are these the phrases you hear yourself shouting at the five o’clock news each evening? Are you tired of feeling helpless? Struggling to find an output for your desire to help your fellow human beings? Are you the hero Australia deserves; a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a social justice knight of sorts? (cue Batman lawsuit). If stopping the boats isn’t your forte, but stahhhppping the endangerment of human life is, then the University of Newcastle’s social justice and human rights club, Amnesty International, is the place for you. With opportunities to become involved in the protection of human rights, members will focus on two very important contemporary issues in semester two, namely Indigenous rights and respect plus the impact of media in the perpetuation of human rights abuses. Good old Kevin


Rudd, or K Rudd as he is more widely known, may have made an apology to Australia’s Indigenous people in 2008, but there is still much more work to be done. By coming along to Amnesty International’s meetings, the club hopes students will leave more informed about global human rights and the projects underway that are raising awareness of human rights abuses. If you’re looking to be less selfish and more selfless, then this club’s got you covered. The club regularly holds forums on contemporary social justice issues such as the National Disability Scheme, marriage and gender equality, the death penalty and refugee rights; very important matters indeed. There isn’t anyone who can say they have not found themselves drunkenly discussing one of these topics amongst friends into the early hours of the morning. The club encourages open communication so if you are one for a good debate (minus the alcohol of course), get your social justice lovin’ keister to a meeting! Interested students are welcome to sign up at an event or meeting, or request to join via the club’s Facebook page.

08 Yak Magazine - September 2014

Madeline Link explains how you can maintain 20/20 vision in your twenties. 20




20 70

20 50



20 20

It was not too long ago I was waiting with bated breath, for the results I knew would confirm what many hours of gruelling Google searches already had - that I had a malignant brain tumour and was going to die. Fortunately, after a quick eye test it became clear I was one of the lucky ones. I got away with nothing more than astigmatism in my left eye and a bruised ego. But maintaining good eye health is important, so open your eyes and close your web browser, here are a couple of tips to keep your peepers in tip-top shape. As young children we all rolled our eyes at our mothers as they shoved carrots in our faces, insisting they would help us see in the dark. But, for once, they were right. Eating green, leafy vegetables, salmon, eggs, nuts, beans and citrus fruits can help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. If you’re a smoker, the benefits of quitting far outweigh the drawbacks. Not only will it greatly increase your general health and lower your risk of cancer, smoking makes you more likely to develop cataracts, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration. Research shows that putting on your hater shades will help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Try to find glasses that not only strike fear into the hearts of your enemies, but also block 99 to 100 per cent of both UVA and UVB rays. Nerds, be aware. Looking at a computer screen for too long can cause eye strain, blurry vision, trouble focusing at a distance, dry eyes and headaches. So position your eyes so that they are level with the top of the monitor and try to rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Even if you aren’t having trouble with your eyes, seek out a comprehensive test. They are often free and completely painless at your local optometrist. Many people don’t realise they could see better with glasses or contact lenses, so keep an eye out.

Designed by Liz Crichton

Yak Magazine - September 2014


Created by Amber Sewell-Green

An Indian curry in a hurry. A couple of Buddha-sized bellies.

1 Large onion, diced 3 Cloves of crushed garlic 1 Tsp of grated ginger 1 Bay leaf 1 Tbsp of olive or vegetable oil 1 Cup of lentils 1 Tbsp of curry powder 2 Tsp of turmeric

3 Cups of vegetable stock 1 Large potato or small sweet potato 1 Cup of mixed seasonal vegetables (capsicum, eggplant, carrot, peas and beans recommended) ½ Cup of coconut milk 1 Cup of baby spinach

1. In a large pot, fry the onion, garlic, ginger and bay leaf in the oil until the onions are translucent. 2. Add the lentils, curry powder and turmeric and fry for two to three minutes, stirring continuously. 3. Pour in the stock, add vegetables and coconut milk. 4. Cook for thirty minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. If too thick, add more water or stock. 5. Once cooked, stir through the spinach for two to three minutes and remove from heat. With rice or quinoa and your best Bollywood moves.

A free form Mexican rice bowl that will have you saying, “Olé!” Two amigos.

½ Cup of lemon juice ½ Cup of quinoa or rice 1 Tsp of olive or sesame oil 1 Ripened avocado 1 Tin of drained corn kernels Paprika and cheese to serve

1 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 Tin of red kidney beans 250g of lean mince 1 Tin of tomatoes 2 Tbsp of tomato paste ½ Diced onion

½ Diced capsicum 3 Tsp of minced garlic 2 Tsp of chilli flakes 1 Tbsp paprika ¼ Cup of water

1. Add the mince and olive oil to a saucepan and cook for four minutes until golden brown. 2. Add the onion and garlic and simmer until the onion is soft. Add the capsicum and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 3. Add the spices, tomatoes, beans and tomato paste. Simmer for ten minutes and stir occasionally. 4. Meanwhile cook the rice or quinoa according to packet directions and when cooked stir through the lemon juice. Place two portions into separate bowls. 5. Add beans to the bowl. 6. Mash the avocado with a fork, add oil and remaining lemon juice. Put on top of beans. 7. Add the tinned corn. 8. Top with cheese and paprika.

At your fiesta before a siesta.

10 Yak Magazine - September 2014

a religion worker on campus


Marcus Robertson enlightens us on his involvement with a religious group on campus.

he great thing about the University of Newcastle is that we are a giant melting pot - an epicentre of diversity where people from all different walks of life with different cultures and beliefs exist together harmoniously. Faith plays a huge role in the lives of some people and while we’re all inclined one way or the other, some students want to enhance their own and others’ religious experiences by involving themselves in on campus religious groups. Marcus Robertson is a 2nd year Bachelor of Communication student, well known for his loud declarations, hilarious jokes and turning up to lectures dressed as Lara Croft (complete with fake breasts). What you may not know about the coolest communication student around, is that he is a part of the UniChurch at UoN. Heavily involved and dedicated, Marcus just wants to show people “the real Jesus and how great he is.”

“This leads people who go to our church to be involved in a whole bunch of stuff, such as hanging out and reading the bible, setting up for things like church, and nights like Life, a series of nights where people can listen to a talk and ask questions about Jesus.” The main goal for Marcus is to teach his peers at uni about his beliefs and educate them to be more receptive to religion and its benefits. Involvement with the UniChurch has given him a sense of community and a place to talk with others about what he loves most. “I find it really exciting to go and hang out with a whole bunch of people my age and learn about God. “Also, we have double supper before and after the service…as fun as it is, it’s even better being able to know God and I love that fact that Jesus tells me my place in the Universe.” UniChurch takes place at 7pm, every Sunday in the CT202 theatre (near the Maths bus stop at Callaghan), which also has “double supper! #ShamelessPlug”. Life is run on Wednesday nights and gives people to opportunity to gather with other likeminded people and “investigate the claims of Jesus.” For more information, visit the Hunter Bible Church’s website ( or go along to UniChurch on campus.

The main goal for Marcus is to teach his peers at uni about his beliefs and educate them to be more receptive to religion and its benefits.

Yak Magazine - September 2014


With Sam Rayfield “Hello.” “Hey.” “Ticket?” “No…” “You cannot be here then.” “I know.” “You have to get off in Utrecht, okay?” “Okay.” But I did not want to be in Utrecht. Foolishly I boarded the next train and was asked to leave in Arnhem; with equal foolishness I boarded the next and was escorted off at Oberhausen by three plainclothes policemen, but at least I’d made it into Germany. After the shit storm that my time in Amsterdam became, it was good to watch the law at work again.

“I sat on the platform writing in my diary and must’ve appeared penniless, because some friendly drunk man gave me some coins”. In retrospect, Amsterdam held much to observe from a distance – the “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” that my Dutch friend told was the essence of her town – but this distance should have remained a safe one; that is, not from the depths of the town itself. The bicycle I rode from Paris was peddled; also my wallet, the €300 in which was likely filtered through the Red Light District in the few moments beyond its theft. It reminded me of when I felt too down and out in Paris and London to warrant a purchase of Down and Out in Paris

and London, so here, thankfully in Cologne, I’m therapying my way through a column’s worth of Down and Out from Amsterdam to Cologne. Leaving the station in Oberhausen and following the advice of the third policeman, the child’s fare to Düsseldorf (a town or two away from Cologne, the direct ticket to which was too expensive) was € 1.50, so from the € 5.17 in my pocket, I decided to pay as much as I could to get as close to where I needed to be, so as to appear honest and desperate, rather than dishonest and exploiting. I sat on the platform writing in my diary and must’ve appeared penniless, because some friendly drunk man gave me some coins. I irked that the idea of my appearance was homelessness, but had no real choice, did I? Then I became a little paranoid: what if I’m apprehended on this small journey and discovered with surplus cash for child tickets that I didn’t buy and don’t appear honest at all? Would they accept that I saved some coins for food? But nothing happened and I arrived without further brushes with the law. My purpose in Cologne was to visit a friend met in Nice and to have a few days to reassess the next few months. Friends throughout Europe are a valuable thing.

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RENAE BURGESS INVESTIGATES CAUSES FOR THE YOUTH BINGE DRINKING CULTURE. It’s Friday night, you have no impending assignments to freak out over, you don’t have work early the next morning and let’s face it, you’re starting to develop bed sores from the amount of TV shows you watch in your free time. There’s a party on and all your friends will be there. With this lack of immediate responsibilities, what are you going to do with this time? You’re going to get drunk. No matter what you call it, getting ‘blind’, ‘paro’, or ‘wasted’, I can guarantee that when someone says they’re going to get ‘plastered’ or ‘hammered’ your first thought isn’t, “Well gee, I thought they were studying communication; I had no idea they were so into house renovation.”

“IN A SHOW OF GLASS-ONLY-HALF-FULL (WHERE THE HELL IS THE REST OF MY DRINK) MENTALITY, THE MAJORITY OF TEENAGERS AND UNDER 25-YEAROLDS I QUESTIONED MENTIONED THEY DIDN’T SEE A POINT IN JUST HAVING A CASUAL DRINK.” We know the lingo and we catch on to it pretty quickly and pretty early. Teenagers in Australia tend to have their first taste of alcohol at about 15. By the time we hit the legal age, binge drinking is something of a norm, if not an expectation. As the supposed ‘selfish generation’, we’re not strangers to instant gratification. Need to know something? The answer is only a few clicks away. Need to immediately tell your friend about the really cute guy who just made eye-contact with you in the Gloria Jeans line? Text her. Want to have a good time and forget about the stress of higher education that may not guarantee you a job in our country’s employment industry? Well Wednesday night is student night and if you can down seven $4 drinks in a row, I’m sure you won’t be thinking too hard about too much for a while. Your only worry for the night is not losing your phone or wallet and then the next day you’ll hate yourself almost as much as your stomach and liver will. You

spend the remainder of your money on KFC and the remainder of the day cradling your pounding head and promising you’ll never drink that much again. But you know you will. The only question is, do you really know why? A discussion with one of the university campus counsellors revealed a few of the leading factors that make the excessive consumption of alcohol a popular pastime, particularly with teenagers. “Mainly it can be stress,” she said. “It can be a form of escapism for people, especially students. You’re studying a lot, you’re working a lot, and so when you get the chance, most people want to enjoy themselves by forgetting about all of that for a while.” A valid reason, but when I beseeched the teenagers of Facebook for their excuses as they uploaded crowded snapshots from Argyle and King Street, I was swamped with enthusiastic responses claiming, “because it’s fun!!!” And it can be. No inhibitions, loud music, animated conversation, beer goggles, what’s not to love? Another thing that makes it so attractive to the young and underfunded adults that we are? It’s cheap and easy and for university students living off ramen noodles, what else is there to do but go out and drink to get drunk with our jingling piggybanks in tow? So, to recap on why we binge drink: 1. Because we’re stressed. Tick 2. Because it’s fun (!!!). Tick 3. Because it’s (we’re) cheap. Tick Now, onto the seriousness of this issue. Other than binge drinking’s prevalence is the fact that many teenagers aren’t even aware that that’s what they’re actually doing. You’re probably thinking, “Well hey, I don’t go out and do shots and I certainly don’t have the balance for keg stands. There’s no way I could be binge drinking.” Here are the facts. If you consume more than four standard drinks at any one time, you are binge drinking. If you drink continuously for consecutive days or weeks, you are binge drinking. If you are drinking to deliberately get drunk, you are binge drinking.

Yak Magazine - September 2014

“One of the other reasons why binge drinking is so popular is because people don’t know very much about it or its consequences,” the counsellor said. “It can be fun, but it’s really very dangerous.” Out of every 15-25 year-old that gets admitted to hospital, one quarter of them will be there because of alcohol. In an average week, four Australians aged under 25 die due to injuries caused by alcohol. 70 will be hospitalised because of alcohol-related assaults. Half of everyone who gets drunk will do something they regret.

In a show of glass-only-half-full (where the hell is the rest of my drink) mentality, the majority of teenagers and under 25-year-olds I questioned mentioned they didn’t see a point in just having a casual drink. Now, of course some of those outside the 25 year-old age gap do still binge drink, but the phenomenon seems to be firmly in the grasp of the younger generations’ fist, while the other is busy sloshing a drink around as they dance to the music of their youth. Sadly, with this binge drinking culture comes an expectation of peers to follow suit. As generation upon generation before us has experienced, peer pressure is rife among those having a night out. Just remember that by no means do you have to go shot-for-shot or down your entire beer because you can’t answer your friend’s obscure trivia


question. Trying to ‘keep up’ isn’t a good idea either because not everyone can handle the same amount of alcohol. If you, as a 60kg woman, are attempting to go drink-for-drink with your 100kg best male friend, you more than likely will find yourself in a great deal of; a. embarrassment b. strife c. sickness d. all of the above. We can’t totally eliminate binge drinking. There will always be nights of excessive alcohol consumption for everyone, but we need to remember the risks associated with these kind of nights out. If you’re out to get ‘maggoted’, whether it’s because you’re stressed, poor or you just want to have some fun, it might be a good idea to remember just what you are doing to yourself. How you are going to feel the next day and really stop to think, am I enjoying this? The on-campus counsellors at the University of Newcastle welcome and encourage anyone seeking further information or guidance about binge drinking and other alcohol related issues to reach out and contact them with assurance of confidentiality and support. You can make an appointment via email or phone: | 4921 5801

One of the real problems you may face when binge drinking is alcohol poisoning, which occurs after excessive consumption. It can affect a person in various ways and if left untreated can be fatal. Know the Signs

How to Help


Call for help

Loss of co-ordination

Stay with them


Keep them warm


Put them in the recovery position if they are unconscious and check if they are breathing

Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths) Slow breathing (less than eight breaths per minute) Pale or blue-tinged skin

If they are still awake try and keep them talking and siting up

Low body temperature (hypothermia)

Try and keep them hydrated with water

What Not To Do Don’t just leave someone to sleep it off as your blood alcohol limit will continue to increase even while you sleep, which means they could face more trouble in their sleep Don’t induce vomiting as they could potentially choke on their own vomit (due to alcohol affecting the body’s gag reflex) Don’t walk them around as their poor co-ordination could result in further injury Don’t put them under a cold shower as it could lead to hypothermia Don’t let them drink more alcohol, for obvious reasons Don’t think you can handle it on your own, you will have been a better friend (or stranger) for having called the right people

Unconsciousness or passing out

Designed by Jemimah Irvin

14 Yak Magazine - September 2014

JUST THE DON’TS Madeline Link tells you why it’s not indie to work the Bindi.


e’ve all seen it; the incredibly ‘indie’ girl-nextdoor with an Elevate in her hand on her way to Fat As Butter, exclaiming to her friends that she feels, “so Frida Kahlo right now,” wearing the bindi she picked up at Tree of Life. Your eye twitches uncontrollably as the cringe-worthy cultural inaccuracy pains you in the same way your parents saying YOLO does. These are the times I can really identify with Aretha Franklin’s 1967 song, “Respect”. If you don’t know what it means to you, I’m here to school you on why wearing a Native American headdress to a festival is more than just a fashion faux pas. Before we get down to business, it’s important to acknowledge that I am a white girl. In fact, I’m so white I don’t even have to dress up as a ghost on Halloween. As such it should be noted that this is not my way of telling people of any race what should be offensive to them. Instead I’d like to educate the typical chai latte sipping, yoga pants-wearing people on how they can avoid using the culture of those who may have been systematically oppressed as their own personal style guide.

So what is cultural appropriation? In a highly ‘legitimate’ Survey Monkey questionnaire, responses varied from, “I’d google it,” to “the practice of taking a significant piece of another culture or society to whom you do not share a connection or bond with and utilising that item as a fashion piece or artistic statement separate from its original and intended purpose”. Adopting the cultural practices of others, specifically for the use of fashion, by dominant groups can be ignorant and culturally insensitive. The bad news is, like 73 per cent of respondents, you may have already engaged in cultural appropriation. But the good news is the buck stops here and in the famous words of Ice Cube you can, “check yo self before you wreck yo self.” As a person on this planet you get to make the choice about whether or not you want to help or hurt people.

No matter how much you might love the artistic, religious or cultural practices of others, chances are the people who have created these practices have at some point in our incredibly tumultuous history, have strong attachments to these physical creative representations of their culture. Consider that cultural traditions can be inextricably linked to the identity of those who practice them and that you may not be able to fully recognise that significance, no matter how much you love or are inspired by their practices. Respect that your appreciation for another culture does not allow you VIP access to it.

“I’d like to educate the typical chai latte sipping, yoga pants-wearing people on how they can avoid using the culture of those who may have been systematically oppressed as their own personal style guide.” Don’t get me wrong - there are times when you might be invited to engage in the cultural practices of others, but this does not include a Facebook invitation to a ‘Cowboys and Indians’ themed 21st where someone inevitably yells ‘Yee-ha!’ and vomits into the kitchen sink. At traditional Indian weddings guests are often encouraged to wear saris, but you should recognise that you are a guest and conduct yourself accordingly. You’re still welcome to stick your finger in the cake but understand that you aren’t entitled to the culture of others and that there are always boundaries to your participation. The Meredith Music Festival has now banned Native American headdresses and other “offensive signage, slogans, clothing and costumes

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16 Yak Magazine - September 2014

Besides the obvious parallels of mosquito infestations, abundance of foliage and the constant residency of construction workers, the university is also the habitat to a myriad of creatures, commonly referred to as students. All have different backgrounds and different futures, and all align themselves with different species. Take your pith helmets out and have binoculars at the ready as I take you through the ecosystem of the University of Newcastle, and give you a close encounter with the various subcultures that lie within.

Close encounters with Jackson Langford

Scientific Name: Boniver Topknottius

Scientific Name: Tuggerahtiticoastis

Commonly found sipping away at Kombucha or black coffee, this particular species considers itself at the top of the food chain. The reflection from their newly-polished Docs will show their face quietly judging you for your choice of outfit. Their outfit, however, will have either cost them $2 or $550 – nothing in between. Headphones blasting pre-Grammy-winning Arcade Fire, they are also often spotted staring at their MacBook Pro through oversized glasses (after whinging about capitalism), trying to stock up their vinyl collection. They are known for doing everything ironically whether they actually know what the word means or not. Being herbivorous creatures, they will feed on kale or whatever produce they have grown on their window sill. After a long day at university, the hipster will hop on its retro bike and ride back to its den, beard flowing majestically in the wind.

A migrating species, The Coastie will inhabit the train most mornings to get to university. While on a physical basis, the distinguishing features between Coasties and local inhabitants of Newcastle are scarce, the key differences between the rival groups lie within their university experiences. Novocastrians will fight for dominance among the pack, represented by what they refer to as a “car park”, while Coasties just stare in utter confusion. Resident students’ native dwelling in Ourimbah, being slightly smaller and a lot less populated, gives them ample parking to roost and they can inhabit the wide spaces the campus has to offer without having to worry about overpopulation or insufficient amenities to provide their survival in the university landscape. Really, ‘The Coastie’ might indeed be the most privileged of the subcultures as they receive the best of both worlds. The species migrates back and forth with no other threat besides running out of “money”, but this threat is universal among all student populations.

Yak Magazine - September 2014

Scientific Name: Stoked Barrelia Gnarlius

Scientific Name: Dickhead Maximus

One of the most prominent species inhabiting the university, these semiamphibious creatures prefer being in the water, by means of long objects made of polystyrene and fibreglass. They wake in the early hours of the morning and embrace the freezing water as a relaxation method, before heading to university. Due to the fact the surfer feels so comfortable with a board under its feet, it will often compromise being on land by travelling on what they refer to as a “skateboard.” Even if it is only ridden for even five seconds at a time, the surfer needs the apparatus to make him or herself feel at home on land. Surfers also have a quite unique way of communicating that most other species struggle to decipher. Here’s a quick lesson:

This elusive species does not really fit into one type of subculture per se. Instead, they span across all species and are identifiable by their actions as opposed to their looks. Quite intrusive, an asshole could be in your vicinity at university and you might not even be aware of it. They blend into the rest of the subcultures but are easily spotted if they are doing any of the following:

Rippin’ = Surfing really well Blow in = Out of town surfer (Refer to ‘The Coastie’) GoPro = a camera that is meant to be used to film while surfing, but is more often used to film music festivals or parties.

‣ Roosting in a booth at Godfrey Tanner Bar or Auchmuty Library completely alone, preventing your own clan from inhabiting the only space that is big enough to accommodate you.

‣ Claiming territory of the walkway by gathering there with the rest of his or her pack, preventing any chance of you passing by without any trouble. (Especially dangerous if said pack is moving at a glacial pace). ‣ When a rival clan is squawking obscenely loud while the elder – called “lecturers” or “professors” – is trying to bestow his or her wisdom onto the younglings. ‣ In a similar regard, any sort of loud noise-making in the silent zone of the library is considered a prominent trait of an asshole.

Assholes are the villains of the university ecosystem and sit at the bottom of the food chain. If you come face-to-face with an asshole, it is encouraged that you approach with extreme caution, or don’t approach at all. Like all subcultures, the more you communicate with a clan, the more you will be associated with that clan.


Scientific Name: Unknown While some argue that these have existed, it is of popular belief that this is actually a mythical species. Folklore speaks of wise, calm creatures that spread positivity and light into the university world from lack of stresses present in their lives. If this species does indeed exist, then the identifiable traits are likely to be more difficult to spot than any of the aforementioned subcultures. Instead, it would be easier to distinguish them from what traits they don’t share with the rest of those inhabiting the university. Each subculture’s diet usually consists of copious amount of alcohol, so if you’re aware of a sober creature’s existence it might be worth paying special attention to. If they don’t look stressed, miserable or frazzled, the likelihood increases. Finally, if they open up their leather pouch and retrieve a yellow note with “50” inscribed upon it, then they are definitely a part of this rare subculture. We encourage you to capture these students for closer study and analysis. An extremely rare and endangered species like this one needs as much as attention as possible to make sure that they don’t die out. Conservation and potential replication is key to maintaining the ecosystem. Do what you will with an asshole, though. We won’t tell anyone.

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18 Yak Magazine - September 2014

Thinking about going on exchange? Amy Theodore gives you a quick low down on what other universities of the world have to offer. We’ve all seen the movies about American college life. The fraternities, sororities and endless parties - do these guys even go to class? This might sound similar to a life led by many on our own campus, but what about in other parts of the world?



Thinking stereotypically, some of us may wonder if university is even possible in this country. Don’t these guys just drink 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week? According to Rebecca Males, an English exchange student who previously spent two years studying at Queen’s University in Belfast, “not all the stereotypes are to be believed.”

“I thought my semester abroad in Leeds would be pretty much a normal university semester, just a few degrees colder,” Georgia Monaghan said, after spending six months abroad.

“In Belfast, they do hit the liquor fast and hard,” she said. “But I found Australians drink more often and for a longer period of time.” “University itself is pretty hard,” Rebecca said. “Instead of continuous assignments, for my degree we had 2-3 huge essays throughout the year and might also be assessed on tutorial contribution.” They’re also just as into their sport as us Aussies, proudly supporting their rowing and rugby teams, plus “their library is one of the University’s crowning glories,” Rebecca said.

SAIGON, VIETNAM Studying in a developing nation is sure to bring you a different kind of learning experience, as Ellie Fuller discovered after spending four months “living, studying and breathing the Vietnamese way of life.” “University in Vietnam was very interesting and unique,” Ellie said. “I remember sitting in a Business Ethics class, making notes from my photocopied textbook I bought for $2 down the street thinking, ‘hmm, business ethics huh’.” Their approach to learning is definitely on the more laidback side. “The education was very different (read: not as good),” Ellie explains. “But the class collaboration and teamwork was really nice and cohesive.” As students here continue to advocate for sleeping pods and allocated naps times, it seems the Vietnamese have already taken a step forward in that direction. “Every day the university closed down between 11 and 1 for midday siesta, it was brilliant. “One of my fondest memories is making my way to see a professor during the day, however upon arrival I found all of the staff asleep on mats and pillows.”

“Being greeted by a ‘you a’right?’ rather than a ‘G’Day’ by my flatmates was just the beginning of a university life so different to that at Newcastle.” If you thought we knew how to party, it seems English students know a bit more. “Firstly, Leeds is a university town, so living within a 2km radius of most other students means later nights, later mornings, more social productivity and less study productivity,” Georgia said. “ As there were clubs open every night there’d be more than a few grim looking faces at the 9am lectures the next morning.” “The Leeds Union itself provided more opportunities to procrastinate. I somehow found myself learning the tango with the Latin Dancing Club and earning my orange belt in kickboxing.”

FLORENCE, ITALY Studying in this European country is like learning in a world caught between the old and the new, unable to fully commit to one or the other. “Walking through the small and historic cobblestone streets of Italy is a unique experience itself, let alone walking into the ultra-modern glass doors of the European Institute of Design in Florence,” Jemma Baddock said, after completing the short course on PR in Italian fashion. “Going on an exchange to an Italian University really combines the best of both worlds,” Jemma said. “Look around the room and you will experience a learning environment filled with sleek and contemporary software, then take one look out the window and appreciate the remarkable history of Italian cathedrals and architecture”. The laid-back and flexible nature of tutors means ‘assignments’ simply consist of taking photos at the upcoming fashion event, and it’s not out of the ordinary to turn to up class and be told, instead of sitting through a three hour class (yes, you do get a break), you’ll be heading on a field trip instead.

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e are sometimes described as the digital culture, ever attached to devices and fully up-to-date on the latest and greatest. So, in the nature of sociological research, I thought it would be interesting to test the limits of the new digital age, without their technological aids. Three weeks. No Facebook or Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr. Completely social media free. Cut off from the world. May as well cut my throat you say?

Emily Steele hears from her Yakkers what it’s like to ditch social media magnates.

Katrina Reeves “The number of selfies I’ve taken in my life is probably closer to a million than zero.” I’m a huge fan of VHS tapes, film cameras and dial-up Internet connections, but like every other uni student this side of the 21st century, I would be lost without the plethora of apps and social media sites through which I share my life. I struggle to go an hour without checking my phone, I have no qualms about dropping a ‘lol’ or ‘tbh’ in spoken conversation and the number of selfies I’ve taken in my life is probably closer to a million than zero.

Imagine you have spent all day at uni. You are exhausted. You have one last meeting at 5pm to endure until you will know the bliss of your couch, pajamas and some type of cheap and nasty wine. Then you are bombarded with the aforementioned challenge? Drawn out of a hat, four unlucky Yaks were chosen to participate in the study which would prove to be an extremely challenging task. To see if, in this day and age, it could be done. Let’s just say, I wasn’t the most popular person in the world. So on the first day of this challenge, it was with great reluctance that I deleted Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr from my phone. It sounds ridiculous, but it was a struggle - a concept somewhat lost on my technologically removed parents. “But you’re still allowed to text,” they confirmed. “Then what’s the point?” I spent some of my time offline pondering how much of my life I waste absent-mindedly scrolling through feeds and how disturbingly dependent I am on Facebook, but mostly I just imagined all the creatively composed and cleverly captioned Snapchats I was missing. I found myself thinking of brilliant statuses, but with nowhere to upload them

and boredom looming close, I became philosophical: If I make a sandwich and no one is around to Instagram it, does it still taste good? #generationwhy. Needless to say, I only lasted a week without my beloved social media. Pitiful - I know – but it was the longest time I’d spent without checking Facebook and I couldn’t wait to log back on and check all 46 of my notifications. 12 minutes and a particularly amusing 335-second-long Snapchat later, I was bored again and wishing I’d lived in ignorant bliss a little longer.

Yak Magazine - September 2014

Madeline Link “I can feel the vomit rising in my throat. My right eye twitches in time with the obese businessman’s watch” 35,000 feet and climbing. The seat belt sign flashes red above me. My hands have a firm, white-knuckled grip on seat 2A as beads of sweat form on my forehead. My phone has been in airplane mode for the past 30 minutes but it feels like an eternity. “Ma’am we’re going to need you to remain seated while the plane is ascending,” a distant voice asserts from somewhere behind me. The overweight businessman beside me loosens his tie and swallows. 40,000 ft. I’m breathing heavily into a paper bag, one of my hands fervently tries to text the air but my phone is stowed under the plane. The three sleeping pills I took are yet to kick in. “Ma’am I insist you buckle your seatbelt,” the voice urges. It’s been three hours now since I checked my friend and I in at Sydney International Airport. The like rep on my obligatory departure gate selfie on Instagram grows unsupervised. I can feel the vomit rising in my throat. My right eye twitches in time with the obese businessman’s watch. I can feel the online friendships I spent years cultivating drifting from my fingertips. I bet my latest photo hasn’t even made it to 11 likes. My cheeks redden with embarrassment. “Ma’am I’m going to need you to calm down.” I fall asleep. Day one: nailed it. *We can confirm that this was the last time that Madeline Link was found to be uncontactable and not abusing Instagram with European highlights.

Owen Harvey “I missed the therapeutic aspect of sharing my random comments, opinions and feelings with a wide group of people” I am the kind of person who spends the vast majority of my waking hours in front of a laptop screen, constantly refreshing Facebook, posting excessive Tweets or trawling Reddit. Going without it for a month was kind of a big deal. But I play to win. Here’s a chronicle of my first day without social media: 6:15am - Woke up early from a weird dream and felt like telling my followers. This may be more difficult than expected. 8:46am - Learnt Community was coming back and couldn’t immediately discuss the news with friends. 9:50am - Wanted to tell my followers how bored I was with the challenge already but realised I couldn’t. 3:36pm - Without other distractions or anyone living with me, I realise I really do have a lot of free time outside work and university. 7:03pm – Started second season of The Sopranos. 8:45pm – Developed the habit of checking my email every 10 minutes, just in case. Most of my friends were away during break and organising things with others was made much more difficult without a free service at my fingertips. It’s frustrating to know there’s a database of ‘friends’ living their lives and subsequently documenting it online, whom I couldn’t interact with or even observe. I missed the therapeutic aspect of sharing my random comments, opinions and feelings with a wide group of people,


plus that small thrill you receive every time you get a ‘like’. However, not using social media also meant I didn’t have to see any unfunny memes, offensive videos, bad-quality pictures of nights out or numerous photos of people’s lunch. I take pride in the fact that I was the only one able to complete the ‘no social media challenge’ but it was honestly not a particularly enjoyable or fulfilling experience. I went in wanting to be cleansed of something that is a gratuitous waste of time, thinking I’d be the next Christopher McCandless from Into the Wild. But instead of finding myself, I took the slacker path and spent most of my free time watching TV shows and playing mahjong. At least I know I have the determination to achieve something if I put my mind to it.

Lauren Gross “Having literally nothing else to do expect lie in bed and look super attractive with ice packs strapped to the side of my swollen face and gauze hanging out of my mouth did not help”. I have never won anything in my life. However, when a member of the Yak Magazine team suggested that four of us participate in a social media strike for three weeks, of course my name was the first one out of the hat. Winner. I am not cut out for this challenge because I will readily admit that I am addicted to social media. As soon as I wake up I grab my phone and scroll through my Facebook feed as if something amazing must have happened overnight. I then flick through Instagram and navigate Twitter, before I finally haul my ass out of bed, only to watch a Youtube video while eating breakfast.

Social media: 3, Yak: 1. As if I’m already not an addict, I got my wisdom teeth removed the night before the challenge started. I will find time to use social media even when I’m busy, having literally nothing else to do expect lie in bed and look super attractive with ice packs strapped to the side of my swollen face and gauze hanging out of my mouth did not help. I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you; day one was hard. Real hard. Lying in bed all day and not being able to monitor my birthday event on Facebook or see my friend’s European selfies on Insta was actually killing me. Since I couldn’t have a life of my own I desperately wanted to vicariously live through others. I got to the point where I was refreshing my email every 10 minutes and looking through old photos on my phone. I was particularly nostalgic for the days where it looked like I had a chin. I cracked before the end of the day and had a sneaky Facebook check. It was around this point where I realised that I’m kind of pathetic. I made it three days before re-downloading Facebook. I keep telling myself that if I hadn’t just had my teeth out and I had my normal distractions like work and uni, I would have done a lot better, but that’s probably a lie.

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22 Yak Magazine - September 2014

Looking for a festival to replace Fat as Butter? Lauren Gross has some alternatives. For the first time in seven years, Fat as Butter won’t be returning to the Newcastle Foreshore - I guess that Flo Rida failing to turn up and get low in 2011 sent them broke. When the news of the festival’s cancellation was announced the screams of 15 year-olds on Facebook were deafening (in a digital sense). Don’t pack away your tie-dye outfits and combat boots just yet though, because I’m here to wipe away your tears. Here are four upcoming Newcastle festivals where you can still get down (not low though, blame Flo for that loss).





Saturday 27 September, Centennial Park Sydney //

27 September to 6 October, the Foreshore //

2 - 5 October //

16 and 17 October, Newcastle City Hall //

If you need something to fill the music festival-shaped hole in your heart that Fat as Butter has left behind, try Listen Out festival. It’s a dance music festival and sells itself as a ‘carefully handcrafted party’ with ‘a philosophy of best, not biggest’. According to the promoters, this approach enables you to avoid all of crappy things about music festivals such as timetable clashes (like the heartbreaking choice between Childish Gambino and OutKast at Splendour this year), long treks to far away stages and being crammed in with several thousand other people.

A Newcastle classic, the Mattara festival will be returning for its 53rd year in 2014. If you’re looking for somewhere to take your niece or nephew or even a cute date, the Mattara festival is a fun spring day out. Each day has a different theme (I’m particularly excited for Mad Hatter Monday on the 29th) to spice it up a bit. Attractions vary according to the particular day, but there will be things

Don’t be fooled by the name, the This is Not Art Festival is a contemporary and experimental art festival. It’s a nationally recognised festival that has been happening in Newcastle since 1998. Over 400 local, national and international writers, performers, thinkers, independent and industry musicians, dancers, visual artists, thespians, arts workers, media makers, creative researchers,

I’m sure the majority of you have heard of the famous, enviable, extremely cool festival held in Texas that is South by Southwest (SXSW), a three-week celebration of music, film and interactive technologies. SXSW has grown in size and popularity every year and now contributes over $100 million dollars to the Texan economy annually.

This year’s line-up boasts big names like Flume (his only show for 2014), Chet Faker, Zhu and Schoolboy Q. Sweet. At the time of publishing tickets were still available from au, but if they’ve sold out try your luck on Gumtree or post a Facebook status begging for a ticket, you know the drill.

“ If you need something to fill the music festival shaped hole in your heart Fat as Butter has left behind, try Listen Out festival. ” like baby animal farms, amusement rides, art and photography exhibitions, stage entertainment and market and food sites. The festival is free to enter, and tickets and wristbands are available for the rides. Visit for a detailed schedule.

electronic artists, physical performers, dilettantes, and DIY culture makers will converge in the one place over the October long weekend. This provides a fantastic opportunity for aspiring young artists to network, showcase their work, collaborate, share ideas and gain new skills. This year, TINA will present programs from Crack Theatre Festival, National Young Writers’ Festival, Critical Animals and a one day showcase by Electrofringe. If you’re an aspiring Picasso, grab your paintbrush and get involved.

DiG is modelled on the interactive technology aspect of this festival and will be happening right here in Newcastle. DiG will have a strong emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and ethical business and will feature a series of keynote presentations, panels, performances and workshops lead by international, national and local industry leaders with the aim of creating a Newcastle festival that becomes recognised on a national level and inspires and excites technology lovers. A two day festival ticket is available from www. for $199.

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Yak Magazine - September 2014


Is Celebrity Culture worth all the fuss? Mikaela Booth

Anti-Celebrity Culture I believe most people have a love/hate relationship with celebrity culture. I say this because I’m firmly against the structures and impacts of celebrity culture, despite the fact that I do voluntarily engage myself in it. I don’t hesitate to look through ‘trashy’ magazines at cafés and I’m often inspired by the fashions worn by certain celebrities, while at the same time reading about their ‘highs and lows’.

“Our entertainment, our laughter, our ridicule and our judgements are often made at the cost of a celebrity, who is really just another person with feelings, like you and me.” I Instagram lurk famous people on the odd occasion and admittedly find it mindlessly entertaining. ‘Mindlessly’ is the key word here, because when I actually start to think about it, I’m left feeling uncomfortable. I do dabble in celebrity culture, yet morally, I’m against it. I’m against its bombarding nature. It’s everywhere. It’s not impossible to escape, but its constant presence is persistent. Trivial (and often untrue) information is blown out of proportion in bold, colourful, block letters, as if it has some significant impact on everyone’s lives. Truth be told, it’s no one’s business (nor should we genuinely care, really). Celebrities themselves now use social media to reach out to the world. They provide an open invitation into their lives, resulting in thousands of likes, retweets, and opinionated comments which often turn into passionate/aggressive/ hilarious arguments. Whether their intention is to show the millions of onlookers the ‘real them’, or whether they’re merely using these forms of media to increase their exposure and status, it lends support to the ridiculous notion that ‘you’re only as good as the attention you receive’. In light of that, I’m mainly against celebrity culture because of its often dehumanising nature. Many in the entertainment industry are thick-skinned, but some also lose themselves in the celebrity world, identifying with the fame and attention. Many are ‘eaten up and spat out’. Undeniably, celebrity culture uses people. Our entertainment, our laughter, our ridicule, and our judgements are often made at the cost of a celebrity, who is really just another person with feelings like you and me. So why do we continue to engage? Perhaps the majority of the Western world is addicted to the constant scrutiny and polarised opinions of ‘famous’ people, sold to us as a mindless form of entertainment, because ultimately it’s a distraction from our own lives.

Alex Toscano

Pro-Celebrity Culture The most recent Royal Wedding, and by royal wedding I mean the marriage of the ever-so-famous Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, made tabloid headlines around the world. Why? Because even though some people despise Kimye, they still have some form of interest in their lives. The Kardashians, the Beckhams or even Ashton, Mila and her ever-growing baby bump, they all have something in common; popularity in every form of our pop culture lives.

“It is OK to admit you like or are curious about the Kardashian family; there is no judgment here”. If you asked my friends and family who the biggest offender of fanning over celebs is, I am sure my name will pop up more than a few times. I was specifically sourced to write this article so I have a reputation. Why, you may ask? I question this also. Looking into the lives of celebrities through reality shows or flipping through a trashy magazine creates some form of escapism; escaping my day-to-day life to have a peek into what these individuals do during their day. Yes, I am out and proud to say that I am a Kardashian lover, but I know there are individuals who truly despise that family. Yet we continue to report on them because we have an interest in how the rich and famous live or the lavish parties for their one-yearold babies (referring to North West’s recent ‘Kidchella’ first birthday party). Yes, Kim Kardashian is constantly hounded for being famous due to a sex tape, and yes, this is probably the truth. However, she is now a multi-million dollar business woman with her fingers in just about every avenue possible; clothing, makeup, hair, accessories, baby clothes, shoes, the list goes on. I don’t know about you, but why would you call the Kardashian family stupid? In actual fact, they are extremely capable business people who have created an empire, which has made them the millionaires they are today. Hardly anything to laugh at is it? People hate celebrities, but do you watch their movies or shows, or buy their products? If you do, then there is a little part of you that does like celebrity culture and are therefore contributing to it. Hating the Kardashian family is totally fine, but each time you talk about them, the bigger their name gets! It is OK to admit you like or are curious about the Kardashian family; there is no judgment here.

Thursday, 23 October Bar on the Hill Doors open 7.30PM

Tix on sale now!

U Member: $27 • UoN student: $29.50 • General admission: $32.50 Tix on sale at Bar on the Hill, Godfrey Tanner Bar &

18+. Proof of age required. Conditions of entry apply. For more info visit

Yak Magazine - September 2014


Emily Steele reminds us to pack our manners when heading overseas. As Australians, we are predisposed to sometimes pack up our things and scatter across the world. Whether you are gone for two weeks or two years, Australians can be found anywhere and everywhere. With this in mind, it is important for all our countrymen and women to remember their manners when visiting a new nation. To date, Australians have a pretty good reputation across the world. We aren’t too loud, too quiet, too pushy or too drunk to have caused collective and countrywide dislike. But we want to keep it that way, so here are some helpful things to remember on your trip of a lifetime.

Despite the plane ride to France being torturously long, you are never going to be able to learn their entire language on the way over there and no one expects you to. But, in saying that, it is important to make an effort with locals and it is always handy to learn key phrases for your stay, such as hello, goodbye, please, thankyou, where is the toilet and how much for a beer? You will get a lot more help and hospitality if you at least try, no matter how poor your effort may be.

To avoid awkward stares, inappropriate comments and occasionally loud, scary shouting, it is always a good idea to read up on your country’s special customs and social etiquettes. There are many things you may do in your own country that you would never consider to be inappropriate or even illegal but can get you in strife somewhere else in the world. Always dress appropriately and alter your behaviour in public to adhere to local customs. For example, when I was in Nepal it was considered horribly rude to shake, touch or practically do anything with your left hand as that hand is strictly designated for bathroom-related purposes.

Not only will you not annoy everyone and anyone you are travelling with, you will be able to better yourself and experiences by trying different things on offer. Whether it be a festival, film or food, if a local recommends it, there is a good chance it is going to be good. If it is terrible, at least you can cross it off the list and tell a good story when you get home.

If you are fresh out of a semester of reports and essays, you may find it hard not to compare and analyse everything you come across. However, you are in a different country, with different people who lead different lifestyles. There is no point and no use comparing things to what they are like at home because you are, in fact, not at home. It is not better or worse, it is simply different and you don’t want to offend nearby locals. Like Dorothy famously said, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.”

“It is important to know your place as a traveller and not overstep the mark.” It is important to know your place as a traveller and not overstep the mark. Some festivals are strictly for locals or a temple might not be open for tourists. Always ask before entering and don’t try and share your own knowledge of the area with the locals too much. The Internet can tell you lots of interesting things but will never give you a full understanding. It is OK to ask questions and engage with locals, but make sure you aren’t lecturing them.

We all want to share our adventures across our various social media platforms with the perfect picture of the ChampsÉlysées, Abbey Road, local buildings or a cute cat. Something we tend to forget in our haze of photographic brilliance is that these places are used by real people on their way to work or dropping the kids off school. Don’t just wander out onto the road to get a better angle and don’t stop in the middle of the walkway to capture something in the right light. It’s annoying here, it’s annoying everywhere.

Behave like you would want anyone else to in your own country. Don’t litter, be polite, don’t be too loud, no swearing or nudity in public. All those things that your Mum always tells you about – do those when you are travelling and Australia is bound to keep its reputation for having desirable tourists.

Designed by Katrina Reeves

Yak Magazine - September 2014

“Get ready for a broken fucking arm! Face up.” Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke certainly wasn’t holding back when he let Englishman James Anderson know what to expect during the Ashes last summer. It was the declaration heard across the world. It was plain and simple; Australia is ready and willing to dish out whatever it takes to win. We’re a competitive bunch. We love to win and we’re willing to fight for it. It’s a determination found in Australian sportspeople that inspires a nation. A drive that calls upon them to leap, to grind and to push that little bit harder than their opponents in order to achieve victory. Rarely do you see an Australian give in (discounting Sally Robbins). Any Australian written off by the pundits will only strive harder to bring home the trophy. It’s not the act of victory that we mere mortals fall in love with; it’s the struggle, the agony, the strain that is needed for our heroes to reach the pinnacle in any sport.

Regardless of the opposition or the weight of expectations, Australian sporting culture is driven by an underdog status. It’s what other countries fear when taking on the green and gold. Coming from an English background, Chris Fisher knows what being a sports fan is like on both sides of an Australian crowd and revels in Australia’s “battling spirit”. “I love that about us. We’re the little guy that dares to take on the champions and once we get to the top of the pole we put the foot on the throat and dominate for as long as we can... Even when we fall, we fight.” And so it was in November of last year when Clarke put the English to the sword. After several series lagging behind the poms, Australia found themselves on the brink of reclaiming


the Ashes. And there was no letting up. So it will be too as the major winter codes take to the field in the finals fever. The underdogs will fight tooth and nail to gain an advantage, while the favourites will push back just as hard. This doesn’t mean we’re a bloodthirsty mob watching gladiators do battle for the sheer pleasure of the contest, though here is an element of that. Australians’ motivation to become involved with sport is one that is much more promising and much more encouraging. Many Australian sports fans derive their initial love of sport from the mateship and comradery that comes from playing in a team, building a family with those you meet on the sporting field on cold, rainy Saturday mornings. At the end of the day, kids play sport for fun, not because of some age-old colonial rivalry. If it weren’t for the love and passion developed from a young age, Australian sport may wither and fade into the background of people’s lives. Instead, the cradle-to-grave ideals of Australian sporting culture remain stronger than ever. When football onesies are made in baby sizes, you know there is a lifetime of sporting dreams, accomplishments and emotions being inherited by the next generation. There will always be an elite group that break from the ‘fun’ side of sport. While their mates continue playing in the park til they’re in their 40s, the more talented amongst us will prevail and fight for this great sporting nation. There’ll be the Michael Clarkes leading us to victory over the English, along with the drunken fans on the hill chanting and baying for blood and the children watching and emulating their favourite hero in the backyard. There may even be a Steven Bradbury, hoping to just get a shot at the big time – that one chance to take on the best in the world for a glimpse at a gold medal. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, when you’re a part of Australia’s sporting culture you know there’s no giving in. Because when everyone else falls over, there will be an Aussie sliding through to win gold.

Designed by Katrina Reeves and Hannah Sunderland

28 Yak Magazine - September 2014

Gillian Adamson Kurt Sengul discusses art, flowers and the 60s with Gillian Adamson. The nature of university means that you meet a lot of interesting people wanting to do a lot of interesting things. But 21-year-old art enthusiast and UoN alumni Gillian Adamson definitely takes the cake for interesting career aspirations. “I’d love to be an art therapist,” she said. An art therapist, for those of you who don’t know (which, until recently, included myself) is someone who helps people address emotional and psychological issues through creative activities such as drawing, painting, sculpting and collage. Gillian’s extensive creative experience positions her well on her way to achieving this goal. The Visual Communication Design graduate has served as the gallery assistant at Watt Space this year and is involved in the planning, organising and promotion of exhibitions for 2014.

Watt Space September Exhibitions 11 - 28 September 25 Watt, The University of Newcastle Students’ Gallery 25th Anniversary Exhibition. Curated by Penny Finnigan

Featuring artists: Penelope Benton, Deidre Brollo, Ian Burns, Stephen Garrett, Lindsey Gosper, Lucas Grogan, Susan Jacobs, Chris Langlois, Ken O’Regan, Izabella Pluta, Niomi Sands, Alexia Sinclair, Braddon Snape, Peter Speight (1965-2012), Julie Squires, Jennifer and Catherine Strutt, Shan Turner-Carroll, Ahn Wells, Ashley Whamond and designer: Warren Taylor.

Opening Night

A key part of her role is to curate the Annual Student Art Prize. The exhibition gives any student currently studying at the university the chance to submit a piece of their work and to be exhibited at Watt Space, with the winning entrant receiving a $2500 travel voucher, courtesy of UoN Services. As curator, Gillian has the role of choosing the theme of the exhibition, which is Bloom: Exploring Life, Death and the Ephemeral. “I also selected esteemed artists James Drinkwater and Angela Tarlinton to serve as judges of the competition,” she said. The university graduate, gallery assistant and art prize curator tempers her frantic schedule with bouts of creativity and “a fondness of sleep.” This refreshingly balanced approach to life may be inspired by Gillian’s love of all things 60s. Rather fittingly, she is described as a “60s love-child” by her friends and harbours a love for all things floral. “I spent the first semester of this year doing floristry at TAFE in Sydney, which I loved. It’s hard to feel anything but happy when you’re surrounded by flowers,” she said. One must suspect that hay fever sufferers would disagree but the sentiment isn’t lost on me. When asked about her inspirations, Gillian gives primacy to objects, people and places that reflect her classic style. Chief among them is her father. “Dad’s an ideas man, and everything he creates has such classic style, which is what I lean towards in my own work,” she said.

6.30pm, Thursday 11 September

You can witness Gillian’s hard work as well as the winning student art prize at Watt Space until 7 September and is well worth a look.

Email: Website: Phone: (02) 4921 8733 | Office: (02) 4921 5188 Facebook: Watt Space Gallery, University House, Auckland St Newcastle. Open 11am -5 pm. Watt Space, the University of Newcastle’s student art gallery, is brought to you by the U.






with Kim Saberton

Black Swan


Screening: Sept. 15th – 7.30pm – 10pm RATED:

Set within the high stakes and competitive world of the New York ballet scene, director Darren Aronofsky brings us a psychological drama inspired by Tchaikovsky’s nineteenth century classic Swan Lake. Starring Natalie Portman (alongside Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder and Vincent Cassel), we are transported into the brutal reality of every little girl’s fantasy career – including all the perfectionist standards, sexual harassment, bulimia and shudder-worthy, self-mutilation of pointe shoes.

Nina and Lily’s friendship descends into a state of wild paranoia and psychosis, as Nina attempts to embrace the recklessness of the Black Swan, losing herself and her grip on reality in the process.


Nina (Portman) is the rising star of the New York Ballet Company dedicated, self-critical and ambitious, living and breathing her art. When she receives the starring role in the company’s production of Swan Lake, Nina’s ambition takes her into dangerous zones of the competitive uncertainty.


She represents the perfect casting of the White Swan – dedicated, innocent, doe-eyed and pure – but struggles to transform her dance into the seductive guile and wild freedom of the Black Swan, a part which new-to-the-scene ballerina, Lily (Kunis), arouses effortlessly.


LEAKS We often head to Unearthed looking for the new up and comers, bands and artists who are kicking off in the here and now, so it’s pretty easy to forget that good music, just like any good art, takes time. With this in mind I’ve headed a bit further back than usual into the archives to find an artist who is quietly chipping away at what has the potential to be a stellar career in electronic production. I give you Leaks – the alter ego of Tom Guida, a Melbourne based post-dubstep, electronic wonder, who leapt into building his music repertoire as part of 2012’s Triple J Unearthed High.

“It’s sometimes pretty easy to forget that good music, just like any good art, takes time.“ While only three tracks are available on Leaks’ profile, each is startlingly amazing. His debut track to Unearthed, ‘The Only Place for You and Me,’ is tranquil, moody and calm. Guida perfectly blends stripped bare percussive beats with spliced distant and muffled vocals, to masterfully create a stunning soundscape where it is not difficult to imagine layers of audio travelling through water toward you. ‘Often It’s You’ breathes an unexpected cinematic charm that instantly elicits an emotive reaction. Soft vocals and disappearing harmonies create a bittersweet and near-melancholic calm, while


Aronofsky’s film perfectly melds the two-faced roles of black and white swan and the relationships surrounding Nina, into layered explorations of the dichotomies and tropes of transforming femininity; child and woman, innocence and guilt, pure and impure, frigid and sexual, docile and hysterical, sane and insane. The bizarre and creepily obsessive relationship that exists between Nina and her ex-ballerina mother, takes the soccer mum philosophy of living through your child to a whole new level. The unsettling relationships of Nina’s life are heightened through the masterful explorations of the grotesque and surreal throughout the film. Physical deformation, unconscious sexual desire and the constant uncertainty between reality and Nina’s nervous perceptions are slowly built throughout the film – and not with the predictable transparency many films have when dealing with blurred lines of reality. The rendering of the real and surreal within Black Swan makes it all the more exhilarating, and the production team deserves much credit for constructing the visual language and amazing costuming that heightens this classic drama.

Unearthed with Kim Saberton

the masterful layering of piano chords build with synth and climatic beats into smooth and contemplative instrumental, before we’re cut back to raw and poetic lyrics. Guida makes it an impossible task trying to choose a favourite track, but it is hard to go past the immense soul that seeps from ‘I’m Glad You’re Still Here’. The strength of its giant, soulful vocals will hit you right in the chest, alongside the trickling, rippling synth. Leaks is smooth and fluid and knows what layer to bring forward and how to do it seamlessly. He doesn’t just speak technical competency, but draws his listeners in to breathe an experience, a feeling and an unknown history. There is soul poured into this work and if you like James Blake or The XX give Leaks a listen. Leaks is currently working on his EP with Melbourne label Zero Through Nine which should be released later this year.

30 Yak Magazine - September 2014





Find out more at








Cultural Awakenings Festival

Cultural Awakenings Festival

Cultural Awakenings Festival

Cultural Awakenings Festival

Cultural Awakenings Festival

Parade of Nations & Official Opening Starting 11:15am at the Great Hall. Followed by live performances & free food in the Auchmuty Courtyard

A Taste of Asia 12pm, Auchmuty Courtyard

Indigenous Art Appreciation Workshop (Speaking in Colour) 12pm - 1pm, The Clubhouse

International Office Japanese Picnic 12pm, International Office

International Food Fair 11:30am - 2pm, Carpark 14 (behind Bar on the Hill)

Monday Movies by Moonlight 6.30pm, Moonrise Kingdom (PG)

ACYA Activities 12pm, Auchmuty Courtyard (ft. chopstick lessons, competitions and Chinese tea) Live Entertainment Charlie McMahon 12pm, Bar on the Hill Foods of the World Trivia 1pm, Bar on the Hill Tanner Tuesday Cultural Awakenings Guest Speaker, Conner Ashleigh 6pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

Live Entertainment Bobby Singh & Damain Wright 12pm, Derkenne Courtyard Social Soccer Match 3:30pm, Oval 4

Live Entertainment 12pm, Bar on the Hill Live Entertainment 12pm, Derkenne Courtyard Games with Godfrey 3pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

Student Sessions @ Bar on the Hill ft. Around the World Party 7pm, Bar on the Hill

Exchange Student Network Trivia Night 6:30pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

7 The Rise of Brotality 7pm, Cambridge Hotel Newcastle City Farmers Markets 8am - 1.30pm, Newcastle Showground

Geography Trivia 1pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar Friday Arvos 3pm, Bar on the Hill





Trivia 1pm, Bar on the Hill

Pool Comp 3pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

U Advice: Free Legal Advice 11am - 1:30pm, Central Coast Campus

Trivia 1pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

Games with Godfrey 3pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar


Birabahn Cultural Trail Art Display 9am - 5pm, Birabahn Cultural Trail

Monday Movies by Moonlight 6.30pm, A Clockwork Orange (R 18+)

Student Sessions @ Bar on the Hill 7pm, Bar on the Hill


Live Entertainment Raduga 12pm, Carpark 14


Tanner Tuesday UoN Clubs Panel Discussion 6pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar



14 Lake Macquarie Farmers Markets 8am - 1.30pm, Speers Pt Park

Friday Arvos 3pm, Bar on the Hill Goonion Prom Bar on the Hill

Watt Space 25th Anniversary Show Opening 6.30pm, Watt Space Gallery

BREAATHHE Health Habitat Fundraiser 11am - 3pm, Carpark 14 Goonion Prom 7pm, Bar on the Hill








Monday Movies by Moonlight 6.30pm, Black Swan (MA 15+)

Trivia 1pm, Bar on the Hill

Pool Comp 3pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

Games with Godfrey 3pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

Trivia 1pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

ZLan 2014 Newcastle University Anime Club Brennan Room

ZLan 2014 Newcastle University Anime Club Brennan Room

Tanner Tuesday Do the Math (Film Screening and Q&A) 6pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

Friday Arvos 3pm, Bar on the Hill

Communication Society Trivia Night 6pm, Godfrey Tanner Bar

ZLan 2014 Newcastle University Anime Club Brennan Room

Student Sessions @ Bar on the Hill ft. Bondi Hipsters DJ Set 7pm, Bar on the Hill



Semester 2 Recess Begins

Newcastle City Farmers Markets 8am - 1.30pm, Newcastle Showground






Student Sessions @ Bar on the Hill 7pm, Bar on the Hill

Ball Park Music Bar on the Hill Doors open 7:30pm Tix on sale now!

Friday Arvos 3pm, Bar on the Hill

The Big Beach Challenge 9am, Merewether Beach

China Festival Beaumont St, Hamilton








Mattara Festival of Newcastle 9am, Wharf Road

Mattara Festival of Newcastle 9am, Wharf Road

Student Sessions @ Bar on the Hill 7pm, Bar on the Hill

Semester 2 Recess Ends Friday Arvos 3pm, Bar on the Hill

Yak Magazine - September 2014

REGULAR activities MONDAYS Monday Movies by Moonlight at U Cinema

Laze on the lawn under the stars and catch a flick for free! 6.30pm, Mondays Derkenne Courtyard


Test out your trivia skills each week at Bar on the Hill or Godfrey Tanner Bar! Bar on the Hill: 1pm - 2pm, Tuesdays

Tanner Tuesday

Sample something a little bit different each week, from open mic to debates, Q&As and more! 6pm, Tuesdays Godfrey Tanner Bar


Pool sharks of Callaghan unite! Free to enter and there are prizes for the winner! 3pm - 5.30pm, Wednesdays Godfrey Tanner Bar

Student Sessions @ Bar on the Hill

Your student night starts here with $4 drinks, DJs, free pool and buses into town!

THURSDAYS Games with Godfrey

Settle down in the bar and roll the dice for a social board game or two! From 3pm, Thursdays Godfrey Tanner Bar


Test out your trivia skills each week at Bar on the Hill or Godfrey Tanner Bar! Godfrey Tanner Bar: 1pm - 2pm, Fridays

Friday Arvos

Chill out and enjoy $9 jugs, $6.50 Schnitzel + chips and free lawn games! From 3pm, Fridays Bar on the Hill

REGIONAL CAMPUSES Free Legal Advice at Ourimbah

The U in working with The University of Newcastle’s Legal Centre is pleased to offer students free legal advice. Law by the Quad allows you to drop in with any law related questions you might have. If you have something a little more serious you would like to chat to our resident lawyer about in a more private setting then feel free to make an appointment. Thursday, 11 September 11am - 1:30pm, Central Coast Campus Drop in or make an appointment online at

CLUBS & SOCIETIES Exchange Student Network Trivia Night 6:30pm, 4 September, Godfrey Tanner Bar

BREAATHHE Health Habitat Fundraiser 11am - 3pm, 12 September, Carpark 14

ALL WEEK Happy Hour

Sign up to be a U Member and enjoy delicious cheap drinks - priced especially for U Members! Godfrey Tanner Bar: 4pm - 5pm, each weekday of semester Bar on the Hill: 5pm - 6pm, each weekday of semester

From 7pm, Wednesdays Bar on the Hill


7.30pm, Thursday, 25 September, Bar on the Hill Australia’s favourite indie juggernauts Ball Park Music are hitting the road again this September to treat fans to even more unforgettable live shows. The Trippin’ The Light Fantastic Tour is named after the band’s latest single of the same title, and will see the band perform more songs off their chart-topping album Puddinghead alongside their well-loved hits. Ball Park Music will be joined at Bar on the Hill by fellow label mates Millions and Pluto Jonze. Get your tickets from Bar on the Hill, Godfrey Tanner Bar or online via Big Tix. U Member: $36.50 UoN Student: $39.00 General Admission: $42.50


Goonion Prom

7pm, 12 September, Bar on the Hill

Communication Society Trivia Night 6pm, 17 September, Godfrey Tanner Bar

ZLan 2014 Newcastle University Anime Club

6pm Friday, 19 to 12pm Sunday, 21 September Brennan Room, Shortland Building

Yak Magazine September 2014  
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