Laura Skates, PSA Media Officer and Editor of UWA PostScript Welcome to PostScript: the Postgraduate Students’ Association’s annual magazine! Our goal for PostScript this year was to give a snapshot of postgraduate experiences in 2018: the challenges, the achievements, and the opportunities! We’ve been lucky to receive a variety of contributions from postgrads this year, including an insightful interview with the 15th Chancellor of UWA: the Honourable Robert French AC, exciting accounts of fieldwork and conference adventures around the world, and an adorable array of postgraduate’s pets! Thank you to everyone who contributed to the magazine this year, I’ve really loved seeing all your articles, stories, photos, recipes, and comics! Special thanks to Brady Johnston for the stunning cover photo and for taking our PSA committee photos, and to Peter Watson for helping me gather content and put the magazine together. Thank you also to the incredible Guild Creative team, particularly Chelsea Hayes and Danielle Browne for keeping us on track, and Xander Sinclair for the beautiful design work. This magazine wouldn’t exist without all your brilliant contributions, so thank you! On a personal note, it’s been a real pleasure for me to be part of the PSA Committee again this year. Last year I served on the committee as your Off-Campus Officer and this year I took on the role of PSA Media Officer. As an off-campus student (based primarily at Kings Park Botanic Gardens, but also doing lots of remote fieldwork, and travelling overseas for my research), I really wanted to re-ignite the online community for postgraduate students this year. We re-booted the PSA Instagram @uwapsa (my thanks to Rahul and Tina for helping with this!) and we created the Friends of the PSA group on Facebook. Whilst I cannot be on the PSA committee next year (it’s about time to finish my PhD!), it’s my hope that these online platforms will grow and evolve over time into spaces where postgrads can celebrate their achievements with each other, discuss important news and events, and organise impromptu coffee catch-ups and writing clubs! If you’re passionate about improving the experience of being a postgraduate student and want to make some new friends along the way, I’d highly recommend joining the PSA Committee or getting involved through the Friends of the PSA! With that, I’d just like to say thank you to the 2018 PSA Committee for all your hard work and support this year. Best of luck to the 2019 Committee and to all postgrads out there! Want to contribute to next year’s PostScript magazine? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial, by Laura Skates
President’s Report, by Peter Watson
Immediate Past President’s Report, by Owen Myles
Your 2018 Postgraduate Students’ Association Committee
Getting to know you: 2018 Postgraduates at UWA
National Postgraduate Advocacy: An update from the council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, by Natasha Abrahams
PostScript Meets the Chancellor, by Alexander Sparrow
Five Quick Conference Tips, by Bronwyn Ayre
Home: Belonging and Displacement, by Limina Journal
A Day with the Monkeys, by Alexandra Miller
The International Association of Craniofacial Identification: Science Supercharged Methods, by Salina Hisham
International Association of Paediatric Dentistry in Santiago, Chile, by Joon Soo Park
Another Year of Terrible Jokes, by Peter Watson
Manta Rays in Seychelles, by Lauren Peel
European Coral Reef Symposium 2017: Ocean Optimism within a Sea of Knowledge, by Joe Turner
Everything Behind the Science – From Antarctica to Massachusetts, by Jessica Kretzmann
PSA Pets, featuring the pets of Peter Watson, Victoria Camilieri-Asch, Clare Metcalfe, Kristin Barry, Erika Roper, Laura Skates, and Humaira Khan
Pawprints in Your Heart, by Victoria Camilieri-Asch
Vaunting Veritably Valuable Volunteering, by Jordan Soresi
Going Zero-Waste, by Dennis Power
Jinn!, by Petra Elias
For the Last Time, I Don’t Speak Indian, by Tina Varghese
Recipe: All Vegetable ‘Lasagna’ & Homemade Ricotta Cheese, by Gavrielle Untracht
Recipe: Mapo Tofu, by HuanTing Ong
Recipe: Fresh Vegetarian Vietnamese Spring Rolls, by Marisa Duong
Comic by Steff Bright
Useful resources for postgraduate students
Cover photo credit: Brady Johnston Magazine Design by: Xander Sinclair
back some of our past staples like our Board Games Night and our fantastic Faculty Representatives have keep their ears to the ground and filled me in with as much of what’s happening at the coal face of work at the University. In building the Postgrad community of UWA I’ve tried to make our events accessible as possible, bringing bus transfer into Stargazing for those students who might not drive or own a car, always providing for a variety of dietary requirements at our events and expanding the scope of Postgrad Café to engage student cultural clubs delivering cuisine from around the world and keeping student funds in the hands of students. The PSA brought back our merchandise with two styles of t-shirts so we could wander around campus and spot other Postgrads with ease. We’ve tried to activate our clubroom with events and swipe access for security, providing a safe haven for Postgrads to relax. The PSA has partnered with groups like the Guild Women’s Department to celebrate Women in Science, UWA Science Union to bring our affiliate members the Honours students into the fold of our activities and advised the University Club on how to best cater to Postgrads.
Midway through 2017 Owen Myles, the then PSA President casually asked me, “Have you thought about what you’re doing next year?”. At the time I was working away in my lab in the Bayliss building, running around behind the scenes of events like Connect fetching pizza and generally trying to get anything done that Owen needed – the Swiss army knife Secretary. After a little consideration and getting the blessing from my supervisor to dissipate into the ether for the next 12 months I took the plunge and nominated for the role of President. My goal from the beginning of my term was to try and build the Postgraduate community around UWA. It can seem like a very abstract idea when you think about who makes up the community as a whole and the incredible diversity of those I’d stood to represent was a challenge. There was no one solution or a single idea that could cater to everyone. I’d previously only ever advocated for chemistry students, then Faculty of Science students and I now found myself fielding questions relating to issues in FABLE and every other corner of the University and hoping to strike a balance that was in everyone’s best interests and, in all honesty, feeling a little imposter syndrome at times and questioning whether I was up to the task. We’ve seen the PSA grow further this year and it has been fantastic. We’d received more applications for PSA Awards than ever before, had consistent growth in a range of our core events like Quiz Night, two sold out Stargazings, Scitech and some big things planned for the end of year Cocktail (I recommend getting on it when tickets go online). But a President is only as good as his team; when the PSA is running multiple events month on month the growing workload has been spectacularly picked up by my committee this year. They’re always ready to lend a hand, some have championed bringing
For me 2018 has been a time of change at UWA. This year the GRS has brought in mandatory viva voce examinations for enrolling PhD students and we’ve ensured that these are being conducted fairly in policy and we are continuing to push for Guidelines to be drawn up for a Chronic illness scholarship extension and mechanisms to reinstate the Completion scholarships under the new University budgeting models. Despite continual declining in funding to tertiary education and research UWA has distributed more RTP Scholarships than in previous years. The University has begun work on its 2030 strategy which will shape the experience of all students for the coming years, the Guild has been updating its own master plan to continue on from the now refurbished Refectory and we are nearing the beginning of a review of the Postgrad Coursework programs that followed on from the introduction of new courses in 2012. The landscape on which the PSA sits is due to shift and I’ve been ferreting away behind the scenes trying to make sure we are in the best position to continue to grow and celebrate our time at UWA. As much as we bemoan the stresses of studying and sometimes (there’s no use sugarcoating it) struggle, there aren’t many opportunities out there to wake up in the morning and pursue something you’re passionate about. If you can spare the time, UWA and the PSA can be such a welcoming community. I’ve learnt something new almost every day of my term this year and am truly thankful to have had the pleasure of leading you in 2018. Peter Watson PSA President 2018
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT’S REPORT Owen Myles
WHAT DOES A CLOCK DO WHEN IT’S HUNGRY? IT GOES BACK FOUR SECONDS! As I was leaving the role of PSA President at the end of last year, the question I was asked most, besides the typical “So, are you going to finish your PhD now?”, was “Is Peter going to keep doing the Terrible Jokes of the Week?”. That seemed to be the most important metric of Peter’s success to those I spoke to, so on that count Peter has certainly passed with flying colours. It is the curse of the PSA President that by the time you’ve got to understand everything and can finally make real change your time in office runs out and you hand over to someone else. Normally, this means the immediate past president plays an important role in helping the new president get up to speed and provides advice and information regularly. In my year, I relied heavily on my predecessor, Peter Derbyshire, to get up to speed. With Peter Watson though, I have been fortunate to be able to keep a very hands off approach (which I’m sure my supervisors appreciate…). He got up to speed faster than any president in my memory and I think that shows in both the achievements of the PSA this year and his expert handling of major controversies that hit UWA in the past months. My favourite event, Connect, has flourished this year, with its new location in the renovated refectory. Connect is the canary in the coal mine for the PSA, and is indicative of the growth across the board. The growing attendance at events isn’t just a reflection of the growing postgrad cohort, but also a reflection of the improving engagement of the postgrad community. This is both a testament to the current and past PSA committees, and to the postgrad students of this university. This engagement doesn’t just mean better events, it will serve the PSA in its advocacy going forward, and make it easier for future presidents to push for a better postgrad experience. If you’re reading this and haven’t been to a PSA event, let me assure you that there is definitely one for you! I have been involved in the PSA for 3 years now, and the wider student movement for longer than I care to admit (still less than Peter Derbyshire though…), and for postgrads in particular things are starting to look up. For the first time in a while postgrads finally have a seat at the table in important national discussions around science and education. How we use that seat though is now up to the next generation of postgrads. The Graduate Research School will be happy to know that I plan to have submitted by the time the next edition of Postscript comes out, so it’s over to the next generation of postgraduate students to set the agenda for the future – make it a good one.
YOUR 2018 POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE EXECUTIVE President: Peter Watson Vice President Coursework: Alexander Tan Vice President Research: Dennis Power, and previously Erika Roper Vice President Social: Humaira Khan Secretary: Ollie Dearsley Treasurer: Alexander Sparrow
OPERATIONAL OFFICE BEARERS Equity Officer: Nike Browning International Students’ Officer: Rahul Media Officer: Laura Skates Off-Campus Officer: Aksh Handa
FACULTY REPRESENTATIVES (RESEARCH) Faculty of Arts, Business, Law & Education Representative: Raisa Akifeva, previously Philip Shields Faculty of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences Representative: Gavrielle Untracht Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences Representative: Wesley Wilson Faculty of Science Representative: Brady Johnston
FACULTY REPRESENTATIVES (COURSEWORK) Faculty of Arts, Business, Law & Education Representative: Cameron Chung Faculty of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences Representative: Mugundan Radhakrishnan Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences: Troy Ridgwell Faculty of Science Representative: Clare Metcalfe
ORDINARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS Michael Kabondo Tina Varghese Nick Dunstan Saish Neppalli
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Owen Myles
200 masters by research 1,711 extended masters
508 graduate diploma
1748 PhD by research
271 graduate certificate
The PSA represented 9,298 postgraduates
39% of UWA students are postgraduates
50% of UWA postgraduate students are female
63% of UWA postgraduate students are Commonwealth supported
All information sourced from the UWA Statistics Office website: www.stats.uwa.edu.au
(MOST RECENT DATA AVAILABLE 2017)
70% of UWA postgraduate students are based in Western Australia
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: POSTGRADUATES AT UWA
5,003 masters by coursework
NATIONAL POSTGRADUATE ADVOCACY AN UPDATE FROM THE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN POSTGRADUATE ASSOCIATIONS Natasha Abrahams, CAPA President those coming from low socioeconomic backgrounds, who are apprehensive about taking on education related debt if they are unsure that it will help them earn more in the future. However, the repayment threshold has recently been amended so that you begin paying back your student loans once you are earning $45,000 per year – which targets university graduates in lowerearning professions or those who are working part-time, often due to caring responsibilities. If you hold a HELP debt, regardless of when you signed up for it, the repayment threshold will be applied to you retroactively. At the same time as lowering the repayment threshold, the Government also implemented a debt cap for HECS-HELP borrowing. The consequence is that many postgraduate students in future years will have to pay large sums towards their tuition upfront – up to tens of thousands of dollars – or seek private loans to cover the costs. The UWA Guild was instrumental in helping CAPA, in partnership with the National Union of Students, conduct research onto the impact of the borrowing cap. We found that, over the coming years,
THE BORROWING CAP WILL IMPACT OVER 30,000 STUDENTS WHO WILL NEED TO MAKE UPFRONT TUITION PAYMENTS OR BE UNABLE TO DO THEIR COURSE. This points to a deeper issue: postgraduate coursework degrees are incredibly expensive. There is a problem with the system when domestic students at public universities can quite easily pay over $100,000 for their education. We are hopeful that our research will start the conversation on soaring tuition fees for postgraduate students.
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is the peak body representing Australia’s postgraduate students on a national level. Postgraduate students make up one quarter of all university students in Australia, and face unique challenges such as colossal tuition costs, limited access to Centrelink study payments (for domestic students), exploitative research conditions, and mental health risks. CAPA actively advocates and campaigns on all these issues, and more. The UWA Student Guild Postgraduate Students’ Association is a member organisation of CAPA, and, like all postgraduate representative associations around the country, is integral to promoting the improvement of conditions for postgraduate students. Unfortunately, this year we have seen legislative changes to student loans which will result in financial hardship for current and future domestic students. Under the previous system, those with student loans were only expected to start paying back their debt once they were earning a decent wage. This aspect of the system is important for
After a disheartening year of university funding cuts and ripping money from students’ pockets, what is next for policy and funding changes in higher education? We recently saw our Federal Government undergo a tumultuous leadership change, which has involved a reshuffling of ministries. The former Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham, has been moved to a new portfolio, and the former Minister for Social Services, Dan Tehan, has taken up the education ministry. Minister Tehan’s statements on tertiary education in the past have been limited, and it remains to be seen how he will leave his mark on the sector – keeping in mind we are due for a federal election next year, so he may only hold his position for a brief time. He has recently indicated his support of regional universities but has not yet made any announcements on what direction he wishes for this to take, or if he wishes to proceed with Senator Birmingham’s prior idea to introduce performancebased funding for universities. Regardless of what unfolds in higher education policy over the coming months, CAPA will continue to be a national voice for postgraduate students and ensure that your issues are heard by the Government and the university sector.
POSTSCRIPT MEETS THE CHANCELLOR
2017 saw the immediate past Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Honourable Robert French AC, appointed as the 15th Chancellor of UWA. In his first Postscript interview, the Chancellor tells us his thoughts on topics ranging from his time studying at UWA to his period on the High Court.
On UWA’s shift to postgraduate law and his own change from science to law “I think whether you do law as a postgraduate degree or as a combined, you have to inform your legal education with a wider view of the world and its cultures.” “It really was a culture change moving from science to law… into what seemed like a quagmire of imprecision and judgement calls. There is one area of commonality of which I’ve become more aware of in later life… the uncertainty of the law and the uncertainty of physics at the quantum level.”
How Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle links physics & law “There is a loose analogy to be drawn between the act of interpreting a statute and the observation of a quantum system. A quantum system might be in one or more superposed states until observed. The act of observation determines which state it is in.” “When a court considers a statute which has not had a final interpretation the court is often faced with constructional choices. There is more than one possible reasonable answer to the interpretive question. The constructional choices are, unobserved, like superposed states in the quantum system. The act of interpretation, like the act of observation determines the outcome. You’re not discovering something you’re actually deciding something.”
Scientific issues before the High Court “Intellectual property cases often raise scientific issues. One of the more important cases in the High Court toward the end of my time as Chief Justice concerned the patentability of isolated nucleic acid sequences isolated for the purpose of breast cancer diagnosis. The court held that sequences of DNA or replicated DNA, were not patentable in themselves. Diagnostic methods and vectors could be patented. In the judgement - D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc, - there is quite an extensive explanation of the process of DNA replication.”
On globalisation and its impact on the legal industry “This is of importance for young lawyers. There are not many areas of the law that don’t have transnational dimensions. If you are studying family law you will need to
“WELL I THINK ANYTHING THAT MAKES THE LAW SIMPLER IS GOOD. THERE IS A RATHER SILLY METAPHOR, WHICH I THINK I HAVE QUOTED IN A JUDGMENT, ABOUT EQUITY AND THE COMMON LAW RUNNING IN TWO STREAMS IN THE SAME CHANNEL WHICH DON’T INTERMINGLE. THAT SEEMS TO BE BAD PHYSICS. IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE TWO FLUIDS RUNNING TOGETHER AND NOT INTERMINGLING.”
know about The Hague Conventions on Child Abduction. If you’re studying criminal law you would need to know that the drug trafficking and possession provisions in the Commonwealth Criminal Code are based, in part, upon an international convention and they involve the application of that convention in Australia. These are just two examples in the plethora of intersections between our domestic law and international and transnational law.”
His involvement with the Guild and Student Societies at UWA “On campus political and other debate and discussion was a feature of our life as students in the 1960s. I was involved in the organisation of lunchtime lectures from interesting people, including visiting politicians. Sometimes they were people with whose views we didn’t agree. That didn’t matter as long as the event was of interest to the students.” “There was one young politician who was the Liberal member for Adelaide. He was the youngest person ever elected to parliament at a federal level. He visited and spoke to students and filled two lecture theatres in the Arts Building. He had made a record in support of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. It was a rather jingoistic, patriotic sort of thing called Shadow Valley and Iron Triangle. These were the names of two locations in Vietnam. During his presentation a student from the University Folk Club played a rather embarrassing record over the PA. It was very amusing. He looked a bit sheepish, but he was a clever young politician and ran a kind of ‘I did it my way’ theme. in his presentation to the students.” “Most of the students wouldn’t have agreed with his views but they wanted to hear what he had to say.”
His suggestions on advocating for changes to law reform and public policy as a student “There are always inquiries going on, including parliamentary committee inquiries, there might be
law reform commission inquiries. They generally invite submissions from the public.” “It’s not a bad idea to keep an eye out for what is happening in this area. Students can, perhaps, make a collective intervention which is informed and helps in public policy development.” “I think a student group that is well organized can make an impact.”
In reference to Australia’s stance on clear lines between equity and common law remedies and the ‘Fusion Fallacy’ “Well I think anything that makes the law simpler is good. There is a rather silly metaphor, which I think I have quoted in a judgment, about equity and the common law running in two streams in the same channel which don’t intermingle. That seems to be bad physics. It is hard to imagine two fluids running together and not intermingling.” “You don’t often get a pure equity case or a pure common law case, there’s usually a statute lurking around in the background somewhere and of course there are a lot of statutory remedies which are injunctive remedies. Their grants may be informed by the kind of criteria which inform the grant of such relief in equity. I think the growth of statutes has its own increasingly dominant role to play in this area.”
On the changes alternative dispute resolution is bringing to the legal industry “Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is really main stream now - mediation in particular. A principal benefit is to create opportunities for earlier resolution of disputes – well before the door of the court is reached.” “ADR offers processes which the parties can own. Resolutions can be reached which offer a more nuanced response to the dispute than can be achieved in a
legal proceeding. Importantly, if parties can reach an agreement which resolve their dispute without a fullblown adversarial process they may be able to maintain mutually beneficial relationships.” “Arbitration offers a process in which the parties choose their judge as it were. They can enjoy the benefits of flexible procedures and of confidentiality which are often seen as important. Arbitration like mediation covers a huge range of classes of dispute. There may be quite small disputes in which arbitration is really a very economical way to go if it can be done at the appropriate level with properly skilled people who aren’t charging the earth.”
Large-scale commercial arbitrations “Of course, arbitration is also used as an alternative to litigation in complex, large scale disputes. It may be domestic commercial arbitration; it may be international commercial arbitration which involves parties/ companies. It is a well-established means of dispute resolution around the world.” “Parties are able to select arbitrators who have skills and knowledge bases, that are relevant to the area of the dispute.” “On the other hand, it’s been said, and I think it’s right, that an efficient and knowledgeable commercial list or commercial court can provide most of the benefits of arbitration save for confidentiality.” “There has been a debate about the extent to which the use of confidential arbitration inhibits the development of the commercial law. A lot of arbitration awards are not published. They may deal with cases which might otherwise have gone to court and been decided in public with published reasons that would have contributed to the development of the commercial law. That is a development of the commercial law not only within domestic jurisdiction but also as a contribution to the international corpus of knowledge, of commercial courts around the world.”
Domestic commercial courts and the Choice of Courts Convention “Lord Justice Thomas, who was the Chief Justice of England and Wales until last year I think, organised a standing forum of commercial courts from right around the world and they met in May last year to look at common approaches which would cause all of them to lift their game, and they’re meeting again later this year.” “A recent development is The Hague Convention on Choice of Courts agreements. In States which are parties to the Convention persons or corporations entering into contractual arrangements can nominate a court of one of the States as the exclusive forum for the resolution of their dispute. When that happens, the courts of the other countries that are party to the Convention will treat the nominated court as the exclusive forum, so there won’t be arguments about where it should be heard. Also the courts of those countries who are parties to the Convention will recognise and enforce the judgement of the selected court. In this way the principle of party autonomy and choice of adjudicative tribunal which is so central to arbitration is appropriated to judicial tribunals through that Convention.”
International Commercial Courts “An important and developing area in transnational commercial dispute resolution is the growth of international commercial courts. These are courts setup in domestic jurisdictions, which offer themselves as adjudicators for international commercial disputes. The Singapore International Commercial Court of which I am a member is one. There are other such courts in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai. Kazakhstan has just set one up. The phenomenon is starting to emerge in Europe as well. We seem to be seeing the emergence of a transnational judicial dispute resolution system which offers an alternative to arbitral processes. This is a space to watch.”
The Postgraduate Students Association would like to thank the Chancellor for his involvement with the interview and continued engagement with the postgraduate community.
PSA AWARDS: FUNDING BY STUDENTS, FOR STUDENTS The PSA offers a number of opportunities for financial support, including Conference Travel Awards, Fieldwork & Data Collection Awards, and Small Grants. We are delighted to provide this support to postgraduate students every year and to hear back from you about your experiences and adventures! Be sure to check the Post and our website for details on how to apply www.uwastudentguild.com/about/departments/psa/
FIVE QUICK CONFERENCE TIPS Bronwyn Ayre Last year, a PSA Postgraduate travel award allowed me to attend EcoTas2017, the joint meeting of the Ecological Society of Australia and the New Zealand Ecological Society. Held in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, it was a fantastic meeting- full of students, researchers and practitioners. Without the support of the PSA, I would have had to make the incredibly difficult decision between self-funding or missing out. Here are five of my tips for making the most of your next conference experience:
1 2 3 4 5
1. WHEN BOOKING TRAVEL THROUGH UWA, IF YOU PICK STA TRAVEL YOU CAN ASK FOR STUDENT DISCOUNTS ON FLIGHTS! 2. FIND THE STUDENTS! PARTICULARLY IF YOU’RE CONFERENCING SOLO, KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR POTENTIAL CONFERENCE FRIENDS. 3. THE (INEVITABLY) LONG LINES FOR COFFEE AND TEA ARE GREAT FOR LOW PRESSURE CONVERSATIONS. 4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE A BREAK- YOU DON’T HAVE TO SIT THROUGH EVERY SESSION, GO TO EVERY EVENT, OR GO OUT EVERY NIGHT NETWORKING. 5. FOLLOW UP ON ANY CONNECTIONS YOU MADE THE WEEK AFTER YOU GET HOME! EVEN IF IT’S JUST A QUICK EMAIL, A THANK-YOU OR A FOLLOW UP QUESTION. THE LONGER YOU LEAVE IT, THE HARDER IT GETS.
PSA SMALL GRANT REPORT HOME: BELONGING AND DISPLACEMENT Limina journal
here do you come from? And where do you call home? Do we define home based on where we live, where our families live, where we work, where we feel that we fit in? How do we engage with our own homes when they may be sites of trauma, banishment, colonisation, homelessness, lovelessness? Can we return to homes we had lost, or can we create a home where once we had none? The thirteenth annual Limina conference (held 26-27th July at Saint Catherine’s College) brought together an international forum for a two-day discussion around the theme of ‘Home: Belonging and Displacement’. In typical Limina interdisciplinary fashion, papers ranged from literature, creative writing, music, and fine arts, to Indigenous studies, linguistics, history, medicine, and law. We were delighted to have Professor Rachel Ong VivorJ (Curtin University) present the keynote address, in which she gave a fascinating overview of the trends in the housing market, and explained why it is that younger generations are finding it increasingly difficult to own their own home. Another highlight of the conference was the public panel on the Thursday night, ‘Belonging and Displacement: Experiences of People Seeking Asylum in Australia’, which was presented with the Institute of Advanced Studies. We thank Sara Shengeb, Bella Ndayikeze, and Salim for generously sharing their experiences and insight into the challenges of finding home and creating community as asylum seekers to Australia; as well as Associate Professor Caroline Fleay (Curtin University) for providing her perspective as a researcher, teacher, and activist of refugees and human rights, and Fadzi Whande, a Global Diversity and Inclusions Strategist (UWA), for facilitating. Limina would also like to thank FABLE and the Postgraduate Student Association for their generous support of the conference. To keep in the loop about our 2019 conference and to stay in touch with Limina journal, go to www.limina.arts.uwa.edu.au, or find us on Facebook and Twitter @Liminajournal
Fadzi Whande, Bella Ndayikeze, Salim, Sara Shengeb, Caroline Fleay
Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ delivering the keynote address
PSA FIELDWORK AWARD REPORT
A DAY WITH THE MONKEYS Alexandra Miller For my PhD project I spent 15 months studying the social organisation of the Ruwenzori colobus monkey supergroups in the jungles of Rwanda. This is the only place where the African black-and-white colobus form huge groups of over 500 individuals. Prior to this research it was not known how these groups were socially organised, and the aim of my PhD project is to determine if they form a complex social system known as a multilevel society, where the larger group or ‘band’ is internally organised into smaller units or groups. In addition, I am interested in the selective pressures which cause such large group formation, an unusual occurrence amongst primates, and the resource requirements of the supergroup. Being a recipient of the PSA Fieldwork/Travel Award was a greatly appreciated contribution towards field costs; contributing to the cost of food supplies for the field work and equipment whilst camping in Nyungwe National Park. For those interested in the daily schedule of a researcher in Nyungwe National Park: 5:30am- Wake up and pull on some dirty (and maybe wet) field clothes 6:00am- Enjoy a cup of Rwandan porridge (a drinkable mixture of soya, maize and sorghum), a few bits of pineapple and some hot coffee 6:10am- Ward off some rogue monkeys trying to steal the pineapple 6:30am- Meet the wonderful colobus trackers and head into the forest 7:45am- Arrive to the colobus supergroup drenched in sweat and with hair tangled with twigs 7:45am-1pm- Observe the colobus monkeys and collect lots of quality data 1pm- Have a break and enjoy some cold rice and beans 1:30pm-3pm- Keep up with the colobus group as they head off on an afternoon travel, scrambling over between 1 and 1 million large mountains (most likely in the direction away from camp) 3-5:00pm- Observe the colobus as they take an afternoon nap followed by feeding and socialising 5:00pm- Time to start the 0.5 hour - 4 hour hike back to camp! This part involves lots of slipping & sliding along trails, slithering under branches, splashing through rivers, shuffling (read: swimming) through tangles of vines and occasionally getting zapped by a stinging plant on the face 5:30-6pm- Arrive back at camp after a hike home and have a hot cup of ginger tea 6:30am- Have a steaming hot bucket shower in the lean-to tarpaulin shower block and put on every piece of clothing available in preparation for a 5°C Uwinka evening 7:30pm- Delicious dinner of beans, rice, fried plantains and avocado whilst watching a bit of David Attenborough 8:30pm- Head to the tent and read a bit before sleep whilst being serenaded by nocturnal wildlife 2:00am- Scare off the 1.4kg Gambian forest rat that is enthusiastically jumping up and down in the washing up bucket with dirty dishes keeping everyone awake 4:00am- Tourist centre security personnel camping nearby decide it is the perfect time to chop wood, cook breakfast and play some funky Rwandan beats...say goodbye to further sleep... ~ Eat. Sleep. Pursue Monkeys. Repeat ~
PSA CONFERENCE TRAVEL THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CRANIOFACIAL IDENTIFICATION: SCIENCE SUPERCHARGED METHODS Salina Hisham, PhD Candidate, Centre for Forensic Anthropology derived from on-going research attempts for my doctoral thesis, which focuses on formulation and validation of Malaysian standards for forensic age estimation based on the analyses of multi-detector computed tomography images. The preliminary ideas of this paper were later refined and extended to contribute towards a publication*. Attending this conference provided an important learning and networking opportunity. This small targeted conference brought together renowned researchers from the USA, Belgium, France, Spain, South Africa, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. I was able to meet established experts (whose publications have been cited in my thesis!) and gained their feedback on my current research project. We also had many discussions on the direction and way forward for my specific area of interest and forensic anthropology in general. One of the benefits of attending this conference is the diversity of the scope of craniofacial identification – it is not limited to only forensics, but also in the field of genetics, medicine, dentistry, history, art and law. This two-day conference included ten scientific sessions with one plenary, eight keynotes, 31 oral and 14 poster presentations. I was especially interested in the talks on quality assurance and biological profiling, the former by John E. Byrd and the latter by Joseph T. Hefner. I could also see the similarities and differences of the area of expertise between various academic research groups in the world, not only amongst those in the universities but also the services provided by the Defense POW/ MIA Accounting Agency and Louisiana State University Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services Laboratory.
With the assistance of the UWA Postgraduate Students’ Association Conference Travel Award, I attended the 17th Meeting and 30th Year Anniversary of the International Association of Craniofacial Identification, with the theme “Science Supercharged Methods”, held in Brisbane on the 17th and 18th of July 2017. My contribution to this conference was a poster presentation on preliminary findings of quantification of age-related skeletal changes that occur to spheno-occipital synchondrosis fusion. It was
It was clear that advanced technologies are in favour nowadays, with the aims to reduce human error and provide objectivity in the research process. Overall, presentations throughout the conference highlighted the need for sound methodologies, statistics, and direct applicability into other related fields. All these scientific discussions have provided me with much motivation and inspiration for future work, especially in providing successful anthropological applications of the computed tomography in forensic sciences. I would like to thank PSA for awarding me this travel grant and congratulate the conference organisers and presenters on an outstanding conference.
* S. Hisham, A. Flavel, N. Abdullah, M.H.M. Noor and D. Franklin. Quantification of spheno-occipital synchondrosis fusion in a contemporary Malaysian population. Forensic Science International 2018; 284:78-84
AWARD REPORTS INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PAEDIATRIC DENTISTRY IN SANTIAGO, CHILE Joon Soo Park, Doctor of Dental Medicine Graduate (Class of 2017) The 26th International Association of Paediatric Dentistry (IAPD) Congress, held this year in Santiago, Chile, occurs on a biannual basis, with more than 1000 paediatric dentists and professionals from around the world gathering to showcase their research to likeminded professionals. Despite the 24 hour trip to Santiago, Chile, my instincts told me that it was going to be an amazing experience. After an exhausting amount of travel, it was time to recuperate with some sightseeing around the Metropolitan Region. After taking myriads of pictures, I came to the conclusion that two days was certainly not going to be enough to take in all the sights. On the first day of the congress, I was reunited with my colleagues and my supervisor from the Paediatric Oral Health Group at the UWA Dental School. That night, the opening ceremony at the conference was incredible. We certainly felt welcomed by the Chilean hospitality. It was an amazing cultural experience. Throughout the congress, there was a variety of keynote lectures held by well-renowned paediatric dentists. During this time, my senior colleagues, as well as my supervisor (Associate Professor Robert Anthonappa), were also showcasing their research which they have been working hard on for the past year. It was good to see one of the studies that I assisted on being showcased on a global scale. I presented my work in front of paediatric specialists and researchers. Anxiety was rushing through me, but I knew that with the support of my supervisor and my senior colleagues that I was ready. After the presentation, it was clear there was a general interest in my work, as some of the members of the audience were asking questions which were both challenging and helpful for my future career. I know I will want to do this again in the near future. The IAPD conference was an unforgettable experience for me to undertake and I feel honoured that this once-ina-lifetime opportunity has been provided to me at such an early stage of my career. By being able to attend this conference, I was able to open my eyes to what other researchers around the world are undertaking and gain inspiration from this. In addition, it also allowed me to showcase my own research and be critically appraised in a highly intense, yet engaging environment. Since I have nearly completed the draft of the paper relating to the research I presented, having this informal peer-review exposure will allow me to further revise my manuscript in order to get it ready for publication. Furthermore, this experience has given me an insight into
what my future career as a research scientist could be. I am excited for the possibilities that lie ahead. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank the Postgraduate Student Association for their generous support. Not only has the scholarship awarded to me eased my financial burden, but it has also given me increased confidence to present my research on an international scale.
ANOTHER YEAR OF TERRIBLE JOKES Peter Watson
Q. What do you call a fake noodle? A. An impasta.
Q. What does garlic do when it gets hot? A. Take its cloves off.
Q. Why does Santa hate going down chimneys?
Q. What cheat code do you use to get into the army?
A. He’s Claus-trophobic.
A. Left, left, left, right, left
Q. How do you make a jacket last? A. Make the trousers first
Q. What do you do if you are attacked by a group of clowns? A. Go for the juggler.
Q. What is Forrest Gump’s password?
Q. What is Pac-Man’s favourite cooking utensil?
A. A wok a wok a wok a wok a wok a wok
Q. What does an angry chilli do? A. It gets jalapeño face!
Q. What do pigs use when they get hurt? A. Oink-ment.
Q. What is Whitney Houston’s favourite kind of coordination?
Q. Why did Barty Crouch Jr. quit drinking his polyjuice potion?
A. Hand eyeeeeeeeeeeeee!
A. Because it was making him moody.
Q. Why is the military so strict about their uniforms? A. To minimise casual tees.
Q. Why can’t you trust an artist? A. Because they’re sketchy, shady and they’ll frame you.
Q. What is the hardest food to stop eating?
Q. Why do koi always swim in groups of four?
A. Cold turkey.
A. So that while the A koi, B koi and C koi escape, the predator will always focus on the D koi.
Q. When does a joke become a dad joke? A. When the punchline becomes apparent.
Q. Why was the T-Rex angry? A. Because he was happy and he knew it
Q. What happens when a cheese factory explodes?
Q. Why do I have a lion and a witch in my wardrobe?
A. De-brie goes everywhere.
A. It’s Narnia business.
Q. Why is Nearly Headless Nick so few people’s favourite Harry Potter character? A. He was just so poorly executed.
Q. Why do you see the pride colours in the sky after it rains? A. Because the sun just came out
Q. What do you call two oranges being rubbed together? A. Pulp Friction
My socially anxious friend just got his PhD in palindromes. He now goes by the title ‘Dr. Awkward’.
Q. What happens when you rearrange the letters of postmen?
I was feeling lonely so I bought some shares...
A. An angry postman. Q. What do you call someone who only believes in 12.5% of the Bible? A. An eighth theist. Q. What do you call a snake that is interested in poetry? A. An articulated python.
Q. Why were dinosaurs so big? A. Because Jurassic times call for Jurassic measures.
Q. Why are paediatricians always so angry? A. Because they have very little patients. Q. Why did the stingray have a chat with the scuba diver? A. Because he wanted to have a manta-man talk. Q. How many ants does it take to fill an apartment? A. 10 ants.
Q. Will transparent coffins be a success? A. Remains to be seen.
Q. How does the Rock pee? A. He Dwaynes his Johnson
It was nice to have a little bit of company
AND NOW FOR THE LONGEST JOKE IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE POST… Far away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming around in the sea. One was called Justin and the other was called Christian. Life was good, except that the prawns were constantly being chased and threatened by sharks. Finally one day, Justin said to Christian, “I’m tired of being a prawn. I wish I was a shark, then I wouldn’t have to worry about being eaten.” Just then a mysterious cod appeared and said, “Your wish is granted,” and lo and behold, Justin turned into a shark. Horrified, Christian swam off, afraid of being eaten up by his old friend. Time went by and Justin found himself bored and lonely as a shark. All his old pals were afraid of him and swam away whenever he came near. Then one day he was out swimming and saw the mysterious cod. “I want to be a prawn again,” said Justin. “Please change me back!” And lo and behold, the cod changed him back to a prawn. With tears of joy in his little eyes, Justin swam to Christian’s house and knocked on the door. “It’s me, Justin, your old friend! Come out and see me!” he shouted. “No,” said Christian. “I’ll not be tricked. You’re a shark and you will eat me!” Justin cried back, “No, I’m not! That was the old me. I’ve changed. I’ve found Cod, I’m a prawn again, Christian!”
PSA FIELDWORK AWARD REPORT MANTA RAYS IN SEYCHELLES Lauren Peel, PhD Candidate | Marine Biology School of Biological Sciences, University of Western Australia
The Seychelles, located in the western Indian Ocean, is an archipelago of 115 tropical islands that span across an area of ~1,400,000 km2 and are home to a diverse array of marine life, including manta rays. Reef manta rays (Mobula alfredi) are known to aggregate at a number of islands throughout this region, however little is known about their movement patterns, distribution, and overall population size. In my position as Project Leader for the Save Our Seas Foundation and Manta Trust’s Seychelles Manta Ray Project, I have been studying the population dynamics and movement patterns of these charismatic animals at D’Arros Island - one of 20 small coralline islands of the Amirantes Island Group – for the past two and a half years. With thanks to a PSA Fieldwork Award that I received in 2017, I was able to expand my research to a second location in Seychelles for the first time. Working with the incredible team at the Island Conservation Society and with the support of the Alphonse Island Lodge, our primary goal was to identify as many mantas rays as we could around Alphonse Island and St Francois Atoll using the unique pattern of markings present on the belly of each individual. Each day, we would take our boat around the atoll system looking for manta rays, and jump in the water whenever they were seen to photograph them. We managed to almost double the number of identified manta rays at Alphonse in just 6 days! By the end of the exciting, week-long fieldtrip, we had recorded over 40 manta sightings, deployed the first satellite tag on a reef manta ray in the Alphonse Island Group, collected tissue samples to use for genetic analyses, and established a citizen science program for the region. My trip to Alphonse Island was truly a life changing experience, made possible by a PSA Award that was used to cover the cost of fuel for our research vessel. Not only was I able to meet and work with an amazing team of people, but the data that we were able to collect has made a significant impact on our understanding of the population size and movement patterns of reef manta rays in Seychelles. I am truly grateful to have received this award and thank the PSA for their support of the Seychelles Manta Ray Project.
PSA CONFERENCE TRAVEL AWARD REPORT EUROPEAN CORAL REEF SYMPOSIUM 2017 OCEAN OPTIMISM WITHIN A SEA OF KNOWLEDGE Joe Turner The journey to the 2017 European Coral Reef Symposium has been a long one. Literally, in the case that I am travelling there from Perth, Western Australia, but also, that the planning stretches back to May, when I and my coorganisers (Dominic Andradi-Brown, Gal Eyal, and Andrea Gori) started to plan the mesophotic coral ecosystem (MCE) session and workshop. MCEs are essentially deep coral reefs where light levels in particular start to decline, resulting in different biological communities that are specialised to these environmental conditions. As MCEs occur beyond recreational diving depths we know very little about these ecosystems, however, with advances in technology in recent years they are now more accessible to research. The conference was opened by Heather Koldeway (Zoological Society of London) revolving around #OceanOptimism. As marine scientists we are often a gloomy bunch, given we see what seems like constant significant damage to the marine environment be it from climate (e.g. coral bleaching) or anthropogenic (e.g. overfishing) sources. The conference organisers did a great job at maintaining this optimism throughout. The conference bags contained reusable coffee cups, vegan eco toothbrushes, no single-use plastic bottles, and all of the conference food was vegetarian. All acts to encourage sustainable behaviour enforcing everyone to practice what they preach, which is unfortunately not always the case.
certain talks due to a clash, rather than lack of interest/ relevance. Take a look at my twitter @Joseph_A_Turner for some of my additional highlights. Finally, I would like to thank the Postgraduate Student Association for providing me with one of the travel awards, allowing me to attend what was a fantastic event. I hope all of the attendees left with optimism, a spring in their step, and focus on the differences we CAN make as well as the fantastic science that is being completed around the world.
List of presenters and talk in the mesophotic session
Our MCE session was on day 1 (it’s always good when the scheduling gods are in your favour!). We had a diverse range of talks covering physiology, management and policy, and biodiversity. The opening plenary by Pim Bongaerts highlighted the mesophotic.org website, aiming to collate all things mesophotic and I would encourage all MCE researchers to take a look. The mesophotic workshop itself was what I most anticipated. We took inspiration from previous studies* to identify the most important issues to address management and conservation issues in MCEs. We laid the foundations prior to the conference, sending out a call to MCE researchers to suggest, and subsequently rank, questions they feel should be prioritised to address major gaps in mesophotic knowledge. Questions were grouped into 8 broad themes and rankings would be used to facilitate discussions to refine the question list in the workshop. I took on the “Threats” theme and had a fantastic, insightful, and productive discussion with my group. We got a list of 19 down to our target of 4 (plus a couple of extras) and I’m excited to get the summaries from the other groups’ talks. Anyway, watch this space for the final product, coming to a journal near you in 2018! I just want to thank the organising committee again, the amount of work to make the conference run as smoothly as it did must have been huge. The diverse range of themes on offer means the only issue is having to miss
Me presenting my work, thanks to @TheMikeAquatic for the tweet!
Team mesophotic (L-R) Dom Andradi-Brown, Joe Turner, Gal Eyal, Andrea Gori
EVERYTHING BEHIND THE SCIENCE - FROM ANTARCTICA TO MASSACHUSETTS Jessica Kretzmann learned a common pastime of students is to sit in an inflatable tube and float down a serene river, surrounded by farmland and nature reserves.
When I was approached to write a piece for Postscript, I was, in all honesty, stumped. What did I have to share, what stories or ‘insightful wisdoms’ did I have to publicise? In entering the ninth month of the year, I realised that I had only been home for three, and that I would not be home again until April 2019. This year has been the most difficult yet interesting venture so far, and so this is what I have decided to share; my fourth and (hopefully) final year of PhD. In sharing my story and internal reflections, I hope to encourage my readers to take the riskier paths, and to not shy from opportunity. 2018 for me began in Antarctica. I had been fortunate enough to be selected for Homeward Bound, a leadership program for women in science. Eighty women worldwide are selected to undergo a virtual leadership program for one year, each bringing her own insights and experiences of working in science in what was one of the best and most exciting collaborations of my career so far. The program concluded in Antarctica, where we came together for three weeks on a ship. We were in complete isolation as we continued our intense leadership program. Fastforward a few months, and I am in the United States on a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship, which will keep me here for 8 months. I am working in a large and productive laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As I write this, I have been in the US for just under two months, just starting to properly settle into my new life for the near future (helped by deep-fried chocolate, and a cheesy everything). I have learnt a lot this year, a lot about myself in addition to climate and Antarctic science, leadership, collaboration, and a whole range of new techniques now in the lab at UMass. But in all my time away, I have had time to self-reflect. I have been lucky in the sense that even in isolation, I had been part of programs with huge support networks. There is also nothing quite like sitting down to reflect quietly, watching glaciers pass by in absolute calm, or penguins dive and feed in the clear, freezing waters of Antarctica. Or even here in Massachusetts, where I have
When I was on the ship, the leadership team told us not to worry if what you learn on the ship does not click immediately. For some people, the change in their life seemed to be immediate, and being the competitive person I am, it was hard not to feel discouraged when it took me a little longer. I have realised now that I am competitive, oppositional, and perfectionistic. I have been attributing these qualities, which arguably are quite negative, to my success, helped along with a bit of good ol’ imposter syndrome in an ‘I’m-not-naturally-smart-I’mjust-competitive-so-I-have-to-work-really-hard’ type deal. What was interesting, compared to other people who also had high competitive and perfectionistic tendencies, is that I am not doing these things for approval. One of the leadership team asked me then, who is it that I am competing against, and why? It took me a long time to realise I compete against myself because I never believe that I can truly do it. The ironic thing is when you compete, someone must lose - and when you compete against yourself, even when you win you still lose. It becomes a never-ending cycle of pushing yourself too hard because you do not believe you can do it, and if you do it once, do you really think you can do it again? It has been a difficult realisation, and a difficult train of thought to put to a halt. One thing I have really taken away from the program is how effective it is to write in a journal, and I really encourage everyone to do it. Not necessarily every day – whatever suits, just write down everything in a constant stream of thought. This not only enables effective self-reflection and understanding, but in doing so I find it offers release of issues and pressure building up. As if once it is on paper, it does not need to be bottled in the mind. I cannot say if ever I really struggled with the PhD and academia blues, and although I have had my fair share of ups and downs, I have been lucky. I am glad to be going through this personal journey, and I believe it has come at a crucial time for me as I start to make arrangements for my future career, as I will complete my PhD in under a year. If I had been at home in Perth, I would have continued at full speed in the lab, and nothing would change. I would probably have finished burnt-out and pretty unpleasant to work with, clouded with competition, self-doubt, and perfectionism. I guess overall, it serves as a reminder to go out and do things that help you grow as a person. I have found myself this year in a state of happy confusion, where I feel I have just started to realise who I am and what sort of a leader I want to be in my life and in my career, but unsure how this will last coming back home.
PSA PETS SHOUT OUT TO ALL OF THE FURRY FRIENDS WHO SUPPORT US AS WE STUDY AND WRITE OUR THESES!
George - Peter Watson. Credit - Chris Soares
Charli - Clare Metcalfe
Starbuck - Kristin Barry
Left to right: Coconut from Cat Haven, Shadow from Save Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE), and Pixel from VetWest/ Pet Rescue - Victoria Camilieri-Asch
Pat - Kristin Barry
Balance & Peace - Coconut & Shadow - Victoria Camilieri-Asch
Laptops are warm - Coconut - Victoria Camilieri-Asch
PAWPRINTS IN YOUR HEART
Helping to write your thesis - Pixel - Victoria Camilieri-Asch
Being an international student without friends from back home nor family around, can be hard some days… and some days not! We started fostering long term for a PhD friend who went overseas for a postdoc position after completing, and we now have three lady cats which were adopted from different rescue groups in Perth. Having furry friends in your life is helping you in ways you may not realise, particularly in tough times such as our postgrad years, which are quite challenging to say the least! It is then good to take a moment to acknowledge their help and be grateful for them. Your pets will be your sentinels, comfort you when needed, guard your laptop, help with your writing, have your back so you can keep working, warm your painful neck when you study, keep you warm in cold winter nights, assist you in practicing your most important talks, help you mentally when house-keeping, watch over you, and remind you that life is cute! Most importantly, they will likely make you laugh hard sometimes, let you start the day with a positive smile, and help you to relax and de-stress. And for those pets that might not be so affectionate physically, well… you will know in a long stare and a slow eye blink how much you mean to them and how much you are loved. We are lucky humans to have you around – it would not feel like home without you. Thank you friends x
Stripey-Face and Baci - Erika Roper
Biscuit - Humaira Khan Biscuit - Humaira Khan
Saffron - Laura Skates
“I can’t! I don’t have enough time.” It will always be easier to shirk any thought of volunteering, and focus on oneself. For postgraduate students like us, this probably means focusing on study and work. Admittedly, studying can be difficult. When it comes down to it, though, sitting on one’s backside is relatively easier than going out and getting your hands dirty. I’m far from the most engaged person in the world and indeed during my first year of postgraduate studies I was the backside-sitter. I’ve heard those words come out of my mouth many a time. But, after abstaining from volunteering for a year, I yearned to get back out into the community and do something. I was motivated by several factors and there are so many more reasons why we should all be volunteering. In my mind, volunteering is all about getting out into the community. It isn’t just good for your physical health, but also for your mental health (at least according to the ‘Act Belong Commit’ ads that grace the TV screen so often). The truth is that humans aren’t meant to be seated at their chairs and curled over their desks 24/7. It’s good – nay, necessary – to take breaks. In high school, my teachers were adamant that participating in extracurricular activities would actually help me do better academically, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, I am wont to agree with them. What I can say for sure is that volunteering forces you to balance your life and manage your time. It puts you in a good mood, making you feel happier and healthier. What’s more, by sharing with others and giving your time and energy, you are able to strengthen social networks, anchor yourself in the community and, in so doing, develop a strong sense of belonging. I’ve been lucky to be a part of a number of volunteering initiatives recently, including mentoring prospective law students and leading in a Young Vinnies children’s camp. Through Guild Volunteering, I participated in The City I Belong To, which was a wonderful opportunity to work with ASeTTs (Services For Refugee Survivors of Torture and Trauma) and spend a day with former refugee children. The children with whom I spoke had endured incredible hardship, including being forced to flee their home towns in Syria in search of safety and stability. Simply spending time and playing games with them, touring UWA and inspiring them to want to one day come here too, was personally very rewarding. It was thoroughly enjoyable from both ends and broadened my worldview. In this way, it is a great instance of how volunteering can also be a cultural exchange.
VAUNTING VERITABLY VALUABLE VOLUNTEERING
There are so many options when it comes to volunteering, which makes it easier to find something you like that also fits into your timetable. Merely doing a quick Google search will uncover a plethora of opportunities. More convenient still is seeking out Guild Volunteering and either sifting through or asking them about the many exciting events in which to get involved. Doing so will inject variety into days filled with study, improve your outlook, wellbeing and ultimately, benefit society, too.
https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/ news/2017/05/03/7-surprising-benefits-ofvolunteering-.html 1
GOING ZERO-WASTE. Dennis Power Waste. It’s been a hot topic lately! From the Face Your Waste campaign, to the Plastic Bag Ban, and the Coles backlash… Going zero-waste is something I’d been tossing up for several months, but I finally decided it was time to dive headfirst into a plastic-free ocean. I raised the idea with my partner, Katelin, and together we committed to doing Zero-Waste July. I’d like to share our ZW experience with you. As a scientist I naturally began this journey with some research. I had a few questions, mainly, ‘what is zerowaste?’, ‘why go zero-waste?’ and ‘how on earth am I going to pull this off?’
Going zero-waste is about producing no landfill waste (even recycling to an extent because the WA system is terrible). It’s not about being an eco-warrior; it’s about making better choices. It really just boils down to that classic slogan – refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle.
To answer this question you need only to pull your head out of the sand - and notice it’s filled with plastic pollution. In fact this was the catalyst for me committing to ZW July; I was walking along a 50 m stretch of a Perth beach collecting rubbish with Katelin and we managed to fill two bags. Two! Our planet is choking on the stuff and when I’m old I want to be able to say that I did my best to minimise that.
I’ve since discovered there’s actually a large community of zero-wasters here in Perth. There are brilliant websites with a wealth of local knowledge, e.g. where to shop, what not to buy, recipes, and tips and tricks. Zero-waste + plastic-free living Perth, WA is the Facebook group where thousands of like-minded eco-conscious citizens can discuss ZW ideas, ask for advice and proudly show-off their achievements. Not to mention blogs and podcasts… There is plenty of support to start living ZeroWaste!
There were of course challenges to living ZW but surprisingly not as many as we thought there would be. Here are a few of the places we slipped up: Remembering to buy all the correct ingredients (my memory is poor but I’ve got a good list system going now), remembering to soak the legumes overnight (you want hummus you gotta think ahead!), baking without paper (flour all the things), no margarine or coconut cream (still need a solution to this one… got any ideas for us?), and the big one, online purchases! Almost all of the waste I generated over July came from a single purchase! So what does my waste-jar contain? Mostly bubble wrap and plastic wrapping from that one bike lock buy, apple stickers, a few bandaids because I’m clumsy with a food processer blade, and floss. Not a bad effort I reckon!
Sure, ZW has its challenges but there are so many benefits to living this lifestyle! You get to be part of a wider community of like-minded individuals and you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re contributing far less to global problems. We live in a fast paced world but we can choose not to get pulled along by the current. Have you heard of the slow food movement? Yup, it’s the opposite of fast food in that it encourages us to eat healthy, buy fresh local produce, and take the time to enjoy the cooking process. I’ve found that ZW cooking fits nicely into this movement. It’s a highly rewarding way to spend time with my family and friends… everyone loves a good home-cooked meal especially when you make it from scratch! So it slows us down but with that comes the benefit of learning how to really cook. ZW is a process; life style changes can be difficult and easier to stick to when gradual. Thankfully I’m lucky enough to date someone just as passionate about protecting the environment as I am so we’re in this together. It’s a great way to bond; sharing ideas, shopping, cooking, and crafting together. Katelin and I enjoyed the process of living ZW so much that it seemed absurd to go back to buying packaged goods. We’ve progressed from ZW July to ZW living! I’d absolute recommend giving Zero-Waste living a shot, even if only for a month! It’s fun to try and may even turn into something bigger. Are you up for the challenge?
Petra Elias is a PhD student at the University of Western Australia, Perth where she is completing a cul-tural study about cross cultural marriages between Australians and Javanese inspired by her 19-year marriage to, and adventures with a Javanese man. She enjoys writing narrative accounts of her relation-ship with Indonesia.
JINN! My husband, Misbah, is occupying himself with watching videos of people being possessed by evil spirits. Seemingly ordinary Indonesians participate in reality television programs which provide an en-vironment - usually in the darkest corners of the night - where a medium confirms the presence of spirits, a Holy Man is on hand to exorcise the spirits and the television show’s host and production crew are also in attendance. Indonesians have successfully married their ancient animistic beliefs with their more modern religious beliefs (Brown, 2017; Beatty, 1999; Geertz, 1960). On this occasion, I join Misbah, mainly because it means we can spend some precious time together, though I am highly skeptical about the entire phenomenon of malevolent jinn (spirits).
A young woman is led into shot by a production assistant. She joins the host, who looks suave with his bald head and all black clothing, designer jeans and long sleeved tee shirt. The medium is a slim, beautiful woman dressed like a rock star. The young woman is wearing an eye mask and a black helmet fitted with a camera over her scarf. She looks very tentative. The host and crew leave the dark, dirty warehouse, and utter some last minute instructions then the lights are extinguished. It’s very black and ironically the fixed infra-red cameras capture the young woman’s image as a ghostly, slightly green coloured figure grasping in the dark. She has a single candle to illuminate the space. Initially, she timidly and politely expresses the Islamic greeting ‘Assalamu’alaikum’ and the Indonesian ‘Excuse me’’ (‘Permisi’). She goes on to explain that she is not there to upset the spirits, just to test her own strength. She shuffles around, shifting her weight between her legs and gradually her voice sounds more and more wobbly, as she provides a running commentary. It does not take long for the tension to be broken and she seems suddenly aroused and reports she can hear an old man laughing. Before long, she sees and hears a tiger growling behind some old tyres. A blood-curdling scream emits from her mouth in terror and she reports she sees a beautiful, but faceless woman in a white dress with blood streaming down her body. Despite my scepticism, I am riveted and have chills up my spine. It does not require much from me to empathise with the sheer terror she is experiencing. She screams that the jinn are getting closer and she runs out of shot. We can hear her crying hysterically and pleading with the producers to stop. The camera finds her squatting on the floor with her head bowed and looking thoroughly defeated. My heart goes out to her and I contemplate whether there would be such a thing as a psychologist available for debriefing. Then, suddenly, dramatically, she prostrates herself lying flat on the floor,
jerkily writhing around, emitting a low, guttural growling sound. Her eyes are large and her arms fly around her as if lashing out.
A crew member and some paramedics appear with a stretcher and attempt to bundle her off camera. The show continues with a new candidate, this time a timid, young man who looks like a university student. He is well dressed, clean shaven and wears his tentative expression openly. A similar scenario to the young woman’s ensues and my palms remain sweaty. Once more, I am riveted, enthralled. I cannot move. A million questions emerge, half formed, in my mind about what I am witnessing and how it all fits with the Islamic faith, but I feel too exhausted to contemplate it further. After a while, the show reveals that the young woman remains possessed, the Holy Man continuing to exorcise the evil spirits from her mind. Then a surprise: The crew member who helped her is also now writhing around on the floor. ‘Ahhh, possessed’, Misbah states resignedly. I am stunned. ‘What on earth happened to him?’ I exclaim flabbergasted and I feel my blood pressure rising again.
Geertz, C. (1960). The Religion of Java. University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
After identifying her, the host asks her what happened and she advises that she was viciously raped and murdered in this place by Dutch soldiers. Suddenly, the realness of this reality show casts a pall on me. I shudder at this revelation of what seems in that moment like something soberingly plausible and brings to the program more reality than I care to process right now. As the woman screams uncontrollably and angrily rolls around on the floor, the serene and seemingly unflappable Holy Man emerges right of camera. He gently places his hands on her neck and upper back and recites an Islamic prayer. Within moments, the woman is calmer, though still appears to be possessed. I too begin to calm down.
Brown, J. (2017). ‘The Banyuwangi murders’. Inside Indonesia, March 2017. Downloaded 27/03/2017.
‘Why are you so angry?’ he asks the tiger. ‘Because you are disturbing me’, he shrills, ‘Why can’t you just leave us alone.’ ‘What about the other ghosts?’ I yell at the screen. As if he heard, the tiger says: ‘I call the other spirits every Thursday for a meeting. Now we just want to be left alone.’ ‘But you’re upsetting the local villagers’ says the host. ‘I was here before all of them. You must go, you do not belong here’ the tiger roars impatiently, the woman still writhing around uncontrollably. I park the obvious question in my brain about the specificity of Thursday meetings as I’m completely absorbed in this moment. The tiger seems to be getting angrier, hissing and spitting now. Then, suddenly, without warning, the tiger is gone and a woman is inhabiting the participant’s body, speaking in a hysterical, high pitched squeal.
Beatty, A. (1999). Varieties of Javanese religion: An anthropological account. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
‘Possessed’, Misbah states, matter-of-factly, and I am stunned. My brain is screaming; ‘It’s a con, she’s an actress, it’s all a set up,’ but nevertheless my central nervous system is in full flight mode. I am perspiring, my eyes are wide, my breathing shallow and I want to scream, as if to halt the night-mare. The host turns on the light and enters the shot. I am expecting the spirits to disappear, however am further surprised that the host then calmly interviews the possessed woman, further escalating my skepticism. Why isn’t everyone in a state of panic, as I am? The host asks her why she has come to this place. The woman is not answering as herself, rather as the tiger, explaining he is king of this land. Her voice is shrill, angry, aggressive, and I am concerned now for the host’s safety. His calmness only makes me more skeptical and suspicious. I am struggling to understand why anyone would put them-selves through this experience, but I am also cognizant that I can’t think straight right now.
FOR THE LAST TIME, I DON’T SPEAK INDIAN. Tina Varghese
When I moved to Perth around 2 years ago, I was nervous and excited at the same time. Coming from an environment that was too comfortable for my own good, I wanted to explore the cultural dynamics of a country that celebrated diversity. While my experience learning about other cultures has been enlightening to say the least, I was often faced with puzzling questions related to archaic and exaggerated notions about the Indian culture. In the interest of clearing up some pre-historic fallacies and crushing up a whole bunch of stereotypes, here’s a list of 5 common misconceptions that people have about Indians:
1) We don’t eat spicy curries all day Yes we love our curry, and heck we can whip up a mean butter chicken when need be, but we love our bacon and eggs just as much! Because a good curry is no joke and monumentally time-consuming, we’re mostly relying on the good ol’ bread & Nutella to get through the day. But considering that a big pot of curry can last for about 6 meals, feed a whole family, and is probably one of the best options for weekly meal prep on a budget, we have no regrets owning this stereotype. 2) Our films aren’t just Bollywood Yes, Bollywood is one of the largest film industries in the world, and we’re immensely proud of all the glory it has achieved, but Bollywood doesn’t collectively refer to ‘Indian’ films, rather just films that are produced in the Hindi language. Along with Bollywood, India has over 15 such industries with films made in over 20 languages, which contribute to some of the best movies of Indian cinema. P.S we don’t break into song and dance randomly unless you get us really drunk. 3) We celebrate a lot of religions A very common perception is that someone with brown skin is a Hindu or a Muslim. Yes, a significant proportion of Indians do practice Hinduism and Islam, but just like other countries, it is very normal for an Indian to practice Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, or not have a religion at all! 5) We aren’t all engineers and doctors If you’ve ever watched Master of None on Netflix (highly recommend it btw), you’ll realize the Indians are constantly being pigeonholed into specific stereotypes such as engineers, doctors, the official voice of customer care, or Deadpool’s cabbie. However, we do have other interests aside from being your local neurosurgeon, you know…like playing a scientist on a sitcom maybe? 5) We don’t have a ‘native’ language India is a melting pot of cultures, with 29 states, and over 800 (YES 800) spoken languages. However, a huge misconception the world has about Indians is that English isn’t our native language. Because of the diverse culture, the Indian constitution doesn’t actually recognize a ‘national’ language but has two ‘official’ languages – English and Hindi, along with 22 recognized unofficial languages. English is very much one of the most common languages spoken in India today from schools to restaurants to malls. The only reason why you may have come across Indians who aren’t fluent in English is because they weren’t as exposed to it growing up. Just for the record, Indian isn’t a language, and Apu from the Simpsons is a gross misrepresentation of how Indians speak. So please don’t ask me why I don’t have an ‘Indian accent,’ because there’s no such thing. Period.
RECIPES ALL-VEGETABLE ‘LASAGNA’ Gavrielle Untracht Ingredients: 2 Zucchinis 1 Eggplant 1 Jar tomato or pesto Sauce Ricotta cheese
Tips: Make it your own! This recipe is very versatile – you can make it your own by adding a variety of ingredients including fresh herbs, garlic, and other types of cheese or sauce. I like to use some pesto and some tomato sauce.
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Make your own pesto – you can save money by using walnuts or pecans instead of pine nuts.
Make your own ricotta cheese! It’s really easy and delicious - recipe nelow.
Basil Parmesan Cheese Bread crumbs Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees 2. Slice the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into thin slices, about 0.5 cm 3. Season eggplant with salt and let rest for about 10 minutes until it starts to sweat, then wipe it dry with a paper towel. 4. Put 1-2 tablespoons of sauce in the bottom of a 22x33 cm baking dish and spread so that it makes a thin layer 5. Arrange zucchini slices in a single layer on the bottom of the pan 6. Top with around 1/4 of the remaining sauce, spread into a thin layer 7. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and chopped basil 8. Scatter several spoonsful of ricotta around the pan. Don’t spread the ricotta – it works best if it’s in clumps 9. Repeat steps 5 through 8 alternating between layers of eggplant and zucchini until all the ingredients have been used, finishing with a bit of sauce 10. Top with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese if using 11. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling 12. Enjoy!
HOMEMADE RICOTTA CHEESE Ingredients: 4 litres of milk ¼ cup lemon juice or apple cider vinegar Food thermometer Cheesecloth, or other piece of cloth – an old pillowcase or tee-shirt works well Instructions: 1. Heat the milk on the stove over direct heat until just before boiling – around 95 degrees 2. Turn off the heat. Add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Stir gently until you see the curds separate from the whey. If this doesn’t happen, heat the milk a bit more until it does. 3. Cover the pot and let stand for 10 minutes. 4. Line a colander with a piece of cheesecloth or other cloth 5. Scoop the contents of the pot into the piece of cloth. Tie into a bundle and let drain for approximately 30 minutes. 6. Fresh ricotta will keep in the fridge for approximately 1 week.
MAPO TOFU HuanTing Ong Ingredients: 2 packets of “Yu Quan” preserved vegetable with black fungus (80g)
1 tablespoon “Lee Kum Kee” Chili Bean Sauce
1. Heat cooking oil in a large frying pan, add shallot and onion to cook until fragrant before adding garlic and mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
2. Add minced pork and cook until brown
1 red shallot, diced
3. Add preserved vegetable and fry
1 yellow onion, diced
4. Add chili bean sauce and oyster sauce
6 shiitake mushrooms, diced 300g minced pork 1 block of silken tofu, cubed (1cm x 1cm)
5. Add chicken stock and water, allow to boil 6. Once boiled, add the cubed tofu and stir gently
2 stalks spring onions, diced
7. Simmer for 5 more minutes
Oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon
8. Add corn starch mixture while stirring
Chicken stock, 1 cup
9. Allow to boil – texture of dish should be thicker
Water, 1 cup 2 teaspoons of corn starch + 4 table spoon cold water Extra chili or chili oil (optional)
10. Sprinkle spring onions and add sesame oil on top 11. Serve with rice
Cooking oil, 1 tablespoon Sesame oil, 1 teaspoon
Tips: For a vegetarian option, replace pork with eggplant (cubed). Use vegetarian oyster sauce and vegetable stock Chili bean sauce can be used for many Asian dishes like stir fry beef or fried rice – only costs ~$4 a bottle Trick to most Asian cooking, fry your garlic, shallots and onions until soften first before anything else! Corn starch must be mixed with cold water first before adding
FRESH VEGETARIAN VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS Marisa Duong Ingredients:
A package of “Rice paper”
1. Wash all the vegetables
“Bún tuoi” noodles
2. Julienne the cucumber
Chives Lettuce Mint leaves Cucumber Firm Tofu “Hoi Sin” sauce Tomato sauce (Optional) Peanuts
Tips: You can buy all of these ingredients in Asian shops such as NP Carousel Supermarket (Cannington) or MCQ at Coventry Market (Morley)
3. Boil the “bún tuoi” noodles until soft (similar to cooking pasta). Rinse cooked noodles with cold water so the strands of noodles do not stick together later on. Let the noodles dry in a strainer. 4. Fry firm tofu till the outside is crispy golden brown. Then cut into thin pieces. 5. Wet 1 sheet of Rice paper with water, then place it flat on a cutting board/a plate/flat surface. 6. Put ingredients onto the rice paper and roll them up (like sushi). Making sauce: mix roughly 2 parts of Hoi Sin sauce with 1 part of Tomato sauce in a china bowl. Heat in microwave for 30-60 seconds. (Optional) add some crushed peanuts for enhanced taste and texture. Mix all ingredients up with a spoon or fork. The sauce is now ready to be served with the spring rolls.
Credit: Steff Bright
BEING A POSTGRAD CAN BE TOUGH! LUCKILY, THERE ARE LOTS OF RESOURCES OUT THERE TO HELP! GET INVOLVED Meet your fellow postgrads at one of the many PSA Events held throughout the year! Like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/uwapsa/), follow us on Instagram (@uwapsa), or check your inbox for The Post to keep up to date with all our events! Give back to the community through the UWA Student Guild Volunteering Department: www.volunteering.guild.uwa.edu.au/programs Join one of UWAâ€™s many clubs and societies: study.uwa.edu.au/student-life/clubs-and-societies Keep active with UWAâ€™s Recreate short courses: www.sport.uwa.edu.au/recreate-courses/find-your-course
GET VALUE The UWA Student Guild offers several benefits and services (including discounts!) to its members: www.uwastudentguild.com/memberships/ The PSA offers awards for conference travel, data collection & fieldwork, and community building: www.uwastudentguild.com/about/departments/psa/ The Convocation of UWA Graduates awards prizes and scholarships to UWA students: www.convocation.uwa.edu.au/prizes-and-scholarship
GET SUPPORT The UWA Student Guild Assist offers academic, financial, and welfare support to UWA students: www.uwastudentguild.com/assist/ UWA offers many support services for your health and wellbeing: www.student.uwa.edu.au/experience/health UWA provides a wide range of training and professional development opportunities, through the Graduate Research School, UWA Libraries, Student Services, Research Services and the Careers Centre: www.postgraduate.uwa.edu.au/students/resources
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