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FREE Edition 8 | February - March 2016 Your Student Mag

InsIde ThIs edITIon Addicted Horrorscopes Learning The Hard Way Confessions From The Bottle-O My Tattoo Is For Me, Not For You Another way to procrastinate.

Exclusive online content, articles, reviews, galleries & flick through past issues! Edition 8 2016


Edition 8 | February - March 2016 Head Editor Emmylou Macdonald Editor Jordan Leović Communications Editor Adrienne Goode Graphic Designer Nicole Scriva Contributors Belinda Zanello, Paul Torcello, Caitlin Tait, Angela Skujins, Jackson Fenby, Rebecca Langman, Jasmine Billie Woods, S. Z. Telford, Tanner Muller, Beth Evans, Jessica Harrison, Pippin Ellis, Naomi Murrell, Carey Moore, Jue Wang, Tammy Lee, Mark Meegan, Valérie Baya, Izik Nehow, Nick Li, Lisa Bennetts, Christopher Ghan, Kayla Dickeson, Kemal Brkic, Luke Rogers Cover Jackson Fenby Printer Newstyle Design & Production Consultants Tom Wilson, Georgie Smith The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily representative of the views of USASA or the editors. @versemag_adl

Verse Magazine is brought to you by

Original Cover Image ▶ Jackson Fenby

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Editor’s Letter Head Editor | Emmylou Macdonald

Provocative and opinionated, Verse Magazine’s first edition for 2016 is unapologetically in-your-face. Our team this year collectively believes words should go unfiltered, images of the human body should run wild and people’s ability to be bizarre should be encouraged. March to the beat of your own drum – we certainly do. Jordan, the scruffy-haired backyard musician, is our editor. Adrienne, the effervescent mademoiselle, is our highly resourceful communications editor. Nicole, the offbeat virtuoso, is our intoxicating graphic designer. And I’m Emmylou, the over-ambitious go-getter, the head editor. The following pages traverse colourful issues using equally vibrant language. Covering a debilitating addition to pornography and its aftermath, the overbearing negativity from others after getting inked, and the daily struggle of deep-rooted alcoholism, the sincerity in this edition is sobering. Balanced by the dismal antics of an interstate trip to Falls Festival and the minor inconveniences predicted in our Horrorscopes, this edition is studded with enough wisecrack wit to keep you on the up. Have a read, take it all in and let us know what you think.


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Contents Edition 8 | February - March 2016

02 Editor’s Letter

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05 Untitled 06 The U-Bahn 10 Meet Your Student Reps 18 Addicted 20 My Tattoo Is For Me, Not For You 22 Learning The Hard Way 26 Confessions From The Bottle-O 30 In[ter]view: Naomi Murrell

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37 The Boat 38 Cycles 40 ADL -> MEL 46 Imag[in]e: Jackson Fenby 52 Vox: Student Voice 56 Valerie Flay: An Excerpt 59 Red House 60 Horrorscopes

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Untitled Words â–ś Paul Torcello | Images â–ś Beth Evans Love's not easy on the Internet Words alone can be misunderstood Love needs eyes and lips and hands to let The hurt rest easy, when the joy feels good Lovers can't reach through the opaque screen To underscore a message with their arms To say with touch exactly what they mean Or give that light caress that anger calms Instead, they must rely on faith and trust Loving patiently a fleshless soul Taking words for kisses 'cause they must With full communion their elusive goal Be patient gorgeous, and someday soon you'll see My body tell you what you mean to me

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Words & Images ▶ Angela Skujins The train announces Orianenplatz and a worn-out Oma stirs her head. Between the shoulder pads of her winter coat she watches Berlin’s barren forest splinter behind the glass, and a young couple flirt over a pair of bikes. As the train crescendos into the last station she departs the RB22 carriage onto the pristinely paved station. The train continues to the departure point of Sauchsenhousen: Berlin’s largest concentration camp. Past the graffiti-licked walls of Kotbossur Tor a young group of Middle Eastern men collect by the bannister. Down the rain and cigarette soaked stairwells, they violently begin to shout and pull out their phones. In the centre of the crowd a young Turkish man clutches at his thigh and sits in a pool of raspberry-coloured blood. Sirens begin to wail as unassuming passengers pour down the opposite steps. A traveller picks up a sticky bun from the underground bakery before her journey. The Berlin U-Bahn has many faces and a varied history. The U-Bahn is the capital city’s holy underground railway – but it’s also a world where addicts and enforcers frighten the everyday passenger into only skirting the law, and not completely disregarding it. The trains and their manic inhabitants flirt with cultural taboos and can teach a travelling tourist the laws which bind them. Firstly, Berlin’s train systems carry over 500 million passengers each year. The first station, Stammstrecke, was built at the end of the nineteenth century and the current system has expanded into 170 stops from the affluent West to the jittering East.

For those unknowing to the social climate of Berlin, the fall of the wall in 1989 reopened the East of the city from 30 years of Soviet exclusion and the wreckage of World War II. A huge party of national reunification – featuring a tinsel-covered David Hassellhoff – fuelled the pent-up spirit of Eastern-Berlin and the city exploded. The trains began to dutifully connect the city again. With Germany’s growing liberal legislations after the harshness of the Soviet and Third Reich rule, the U-Bahn became tantamount to the typical “Berlin experience.”

“Yeah I’m going to take you to a proper Berlin party, and it’ll be a late one so I’m guessing eight AM… Of course there will be techno.” -Berlin experience defined by a local. The nonstop Friday to Sunday trains are dotted with these expired partiers, but you aren’t exempt from seeing them during the working week. The U-Bahn connects the ritzy bar area of Rosenthaler Platz to the abandoned warehouses of Jannowitzbrücke, where establishments like the infamous Berghain and About Blank reside.

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carriage, caution is evoked and eyes are lowered. Organised crime and drug smuggling gained significance in the U-Bahn through the 80’s, but today it’s a crucible for the illicit Eastern European market and Berlin’s 200,000 high-risk drug users. This drug traffic is audible from the hooded dealers muttering “Marijuana? Ecstasy? Cocaine?”and the travelling sweat-slicked heroin addicts, inoffensive marijuana smokers and unassuming passengers are on the receiving end of these questions.

These clubs don’t enforce the harshest of club policies and are legally permitted to stay open well into the next day. The state’s lax liberalism is Eden’s garden of freedoms, and a zoo. This relaxed dogma also infiltrates the utopian underground, as a positive social see-saw is demonstrated by commuters disregarding the legal restrictions of food, alcohol and animals within stations and trains. Dogs without legislated muzzles trot through the U-Bahn and their owners willingly allow pats from strangers, while numerous blue-collared workers sit with a beer planted between their feet, and swig from it when they deem fit. As we hit Kotbussor Tor, hoards of coated-up kids ready themselves for a night of clubbing before taking one last drag of their cigarette and exhaling into the carriage. No one bats an eye. As these groups become dangerously rambunctious, rowdy and rattier, the see-saw wanes. As gangs of KAPPA track-panted junkies step into the


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But the German government places a lot of trust in its passengers. Like the buses and trams, the U-Bahn runs on an honour system and there are no barriers prohibiting a person without a ticket. These passes can be purchased from a beaten-looking machine from two euros fifty, but if you shirk the system you run the risk of being nabbed by a plain clothed, and highly impatient, Kontrolleur. Kontrolleur, German for controller, are the outsourced employees of Berlin’s major transport company – the profane BVG – who can issue crippling fines up to 60 Euros for illegally riding the trains. These underground enforcers had humbled my Berlin experience and demonstrated the social see-saw of what’s acceptable and what’s not. For a period my boyfriend and I belonged to the 4 per cent that annually travelled without tickets, but this was before we heard a projected and pronounced “tickets please” on the train one day. Commuters began rifling through their pockets and we looked at each other in immediate defeat. A stout Kontroller neared our side of the train, and fully aware

of our immediate apprehension, we attempted to cajole him: “Sorry we’re tourists, we don’t know what we’re doing and um and uh and um and uh uh.” He saw through it. “Get off the train!” He replied. However, the 30-year-old Turkish man whom we hadn’t noticed caught our attention and without a word of English he told us stay seated. “Don’t worry,” his hands beckoned. Confused and caught out we hesitated, but the Kontroller could see us stuttering at our seats and verbally yanked us off the train: “STAND UP NOW.” We were then fined and berated while my boyfriend sneakily took sips of his beer beneath his jacket. It’s crucial to the social see-saw that the Kontrollers are this intimidating. In a place that offers complete freedoms, a strong enforcer keeps its travellers from completely abusing the system and not crossing the culturally established line. The Kontrollers that will bust you for not having a ticket are part of the same system that can turn a blind eye when you drink on the platform. Paws, bikes, and brutes travel down the U-Bahn steps everyday. Enforcers like the Kontrollers man the exits while junkies shoot up to speeding trains. Hooded figures run from the tunnels while women scream Anti-Muslim sentiment at carriage screens. Berlin’s lax liberalism does reign free, but it’s ultimately up to the traveller to discern where the appropriate line is and if they have the guts to cross it.

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Meet Your Student Reps The Reps are the eyes, ears and voice of the student body of UniSA. They are elected by you to represent your interests on campus. Their aim is to inspire and empower students to speak up and to get their voices heard.

Aside from playing an important role on campus, they’re current students just like you - binge watching TV and frantically finishing off assignments. We encourage you to get in contact with your representative and share your views, concerns and interests. This enables them to represent you better and pass your feedback on to the relevant university committees and decision makers. To contact your USASA Campus Representative directly with any queries, suggestions or issues visit


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Carey Moore, President Contact:

Jue Wang, City West Representative Contact:

What are you studying? International Relations

What are you studying? Master of Management (Tourism and Event Management)

What made you want to become a Student Representative? Megalomania? I have been going to this university for several years now and have been involved with many projects at the university and I wanted to be a part of the process of decision-making to make the experience better for students and leave the university in great shape. What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? I hope to help create a more inclusive culture and empower students, as well as help make being at UniSA the best experience it can be. What’s your best piece of advice for your fellow students? You’re not alone in this. There is always somebody who can help you and it’s never too late. Talk to USASA and talk to Campus Central – they will guide you in the direction you need.

What made you want to become a Student Representative? To help students understand how to study better and live better at UniSA. If they encounter any problems, there needs to be someone to give them a hand. What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? Provide 100+ internship positions and job opportunities for students. What’s your best piece of advice for your fellow students? Learn more, study hard, communicate more with other students and staff. Don’t be afraid of taking opportunities on by yourself. Where’s your favourite secret location on campus? Level 6 JS building in City West

What’s your favourite thing about Adelaide?

If you were a cake, what kind of cake would you be?

It’s hip, cultural and progressive without being pretentious about it.

Birthday cake because everyone likes it.

Taco or burrito?

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I love playing computer games when I have any rest time.

Burrito. Something that accommodates my vegetarianism and lactose intolerance without being weird.

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Tammy Lee, Mount Gambier Representative Contact:

Mark Meegan, City West Representative Contact:

What are you studying? Bachelor of Social Work

What are you studying? Double Degree of Management and Law

What made you want to become a Student Representative? I wanted to make the most of out my university experience and I thought by becoming a student representative for the Mount Gambier campus, it would enhance my learning journey. I feel that I have a lot of experience and knowledge which will assist me in fulfilling my role in 2016. What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? Initially I would like to explore the views of Mount Gambier students and simply ask questions such as what they would like to see happen on campus and what they feel the Mount Gambier campus needs. I would also like to work towards implementing more activities on campus, whether it be providing a breakfast bar or free BBQs for all UniSA students.   What's your best piece of advice for your fellow students? My advice would be to never underestimate your abilities.  Study hard, but also make sure to look after yourself.   Eat healthily, exercise and most importantly enjoy life! Where's your favourite place to get a bite in Adelaide? In Mount Gambier, Wild Ginger. In Adelaide, it would have to be Vego & Love'n it.


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What made you want to become a Student Representative? Being my last year at UniSA, I wanted to give something back to my fellow students. I accepted the role to bring some of my knowledge, skills and experience to ultimately reshape and reform the university. In addition, I will endeavour to be a strong advocate on student rights and improve the student facilities offered at the University. To bring reform to the University and make students walk tall and proud. What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? Increase student participation at all levels within the university from clubs to attendance in lecturers, improve the overall ranking of the University and its reputation, engage the student voice and advocate on issues facing students, improve cultural awareness and events to engage students leading to a more vibrant and modern university meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow. What's your best piece of advice for your fellow students? Always strive to improve yourself. When you receive unsatisfactory grades that does not mean that you cannot improve them. You learn more from your losses than from your wins. Humility, hard work, persistence and selfdetermination are admired qualities and that will set you apart from other students.

Valérie Baya, International Student Representative Contact:

Izik Nehow, Mawson Lakes Representative Contact:

What are you studying? Master of Interior Architecture

What are you studying? I’m studying Aviation

What made you want to become a Student Representative?

What made you want to become a Student Representative?

I have always been for positive changes. I knew that I was the right person as I have leadership skills, ambition and creativity. I will work hard for the changes to be brought and I also want to see a greater multicultural and international presence across all campuses.

I’m a bit of a nerd when it come to politics. That paired with a dozen things that need to be changed at UniSA got me involved.

What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? Create cheaper accommodation, more internship placement and expand scholarships. I would like to create a sub-committee for international students to voice their issues. I will organise many multi-cultural events and interactive activities for ethically diverse communities on campus, for the students to learn from each culture and make new friends. What’s your best piece of advice for your fellow students? Bring changes YOURSELF instead of waiting for someone else to do it; time can’t wait. What have you been watching or listening to over summer?

What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? To bring more services, more clubs, and more fun (corny I know). What's your best piece of advice for your fellow students? Don’t be afraid to meet new people and make new friends. Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I can down a Long Island Ice Tea in approximately 0.548 seconds. Where’s your favourite secret location on campus? Well it’s not really secret, but during Summer nights, I love studying outside Jeffrey Smart.

I’ve been watching French reality TV shows and listening to Afrobeat music 2015.

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Nick (Ka Leung) Li, Postgraduate Representative Contact:

Lisa Bennetts, Mawson Lakes Representative Contact:

What are you studying?

What are you studying? Bachelor of Aviation

I will be in my 3rd year of PhD, doing research in leukaemia and looking for alternative treatment options for patients.

What made you want to become a Student Representative?

What made you want to become a Student Representative? I felt frustrated that some of the university's policies were confusing, and I found it difficult to find fellow postgraduate students for assistance as we do not have a strong community. I wish to make a change to this by becoming a student representative. What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? I am going to act as facilitator between different established postgraduate student groups/clubs, organise more social activities to bring postgraduate students together, build a stronger community among us, and gather opinions through both physical and electronic media. What's your best piece of advice for your fellow students? Don’t be afraid to speak out, that includes speaking with strangers, asking for guidance or assistance, or telling your loved one you love them. No one really knows what you think or want until you speak your mind. Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I can dislocate the joint on my thumbs and put it back in place. Creepy, right?


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During 2015 I saw some of the changes the USASA Board implemented and I really wanted to get involved to continue improving our university experience. I like the idea of helping to connect students with the university and in the process meeting people from all walks of life and studying in different fields. What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? Student engagement will be a big focus this year so we’ll aim to make things more exciting on campus! I’ll endeavour to be involved in developments across all campuses, especially improving inclusivity and strengthening student support in areas such as mental heath and general wellbeing. What’s your best piece of advice for your fellow students? Use a diary! I went a semester without one and even though my work load was the same I stressed like there was no tomorrow. Free USASA diaries anyone? Where’s your favourite secret location on campus? I don’t know about its secrecy but the planetarium is serene! Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I used to be a Gymnast and Trampolinist at State level. But then a social life became all too tempting.

Christopher Ghan, Magill Representative Contact:

Kayla Dickeson, Magill Representative Contact:

What are you studying? A Bachelor of Psychology Honours, with this year being my last.

What are you studying? Double Degree of Journalism and International Relations

What made you want to become a Student Representative?

What made you want to become a Student Representative?

A desire to build a legacy from university besides a student debt and regrets.

I care about student welfare, ensuring students have a strong voice in the interests they’re passionate about, and autonomy in the decisions made about their education. I want students to become more engaged in avenues where they can be heard, both with USASA and through the National Union of Students.

What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? Better affordability, student engagement and increasing employability of students are my main focuses. I’d also like to see more initiatives promoting student wellbeing e.g. nap rooms. What’s your best piece of advice for your fellow students? Explore the opportunities the university offers you. There are leadership programs, jobs and volunteer positions available that will go a long way to improve your employability and that most students aren’t even aware of. If you were a cake, what kind of cake would you be? Coffee cake. Coffee keeps you awake, and cake heals all wounds – what could be better? What’s your favourite thing about Adelaide? Bumping into people you know at random places. I like that sense of community which gets lost in bigger cities.

What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016? Working as UniSA’s Magill Representative and NUS’ South Australian Women’s Officer, I’d like to establish a Women’s Department at UniSA, to include an autonomous Women’s Officer, Women’s Collective and spaces for women. I hope we can work together to tackle issues like women’s transition into the workforce, and domestic violence. What’s your best piece of advice for your fellow students? Put yourself out there, especially in situations where you’re out of your comfort zone, because that’s where you’ll grow and challenge yourself the most. Have a critical mind about the world, be prepared to question, and stay curious about everything. Speak up about what you’re passionate about.

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Kemal Brkic, Whyalla Representative Contact:

Luke Rogers, City East Representative Contact:

What are you studying? Bachelor of Education

What are you studying? Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning 

What made you want to become a Student Representative? I was encouraged by my peers to represent the students of Whyalla knowing that University is a very important but very short period in our lives which will go by very quickly. It is important to ensure our University creates a fun, inclusive learning environment where students are treated fairly with access to the best tools to achieve their goals.

What made you want to become a Student Representative? I wanted to become a student rep to make the university experience more fun and to create more of a campus culture at city east. Also to ensure that UniSA students are getting the best opportunities they can and are always treated fairly by the university.

What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016?

What do you aim to achieve for UniSA students in 2016?

I’ve set aside January for planning however each of the following months in 2016 will have an event to promote health, wellbeing, fun and engagement.

Healthier and happier students through better access to exercise and good food. Also a healthier Adelaide by making the university more green.

What’s your best piece of advice for your fellow students?

What's your best piece of advice for your fellow students?

Keep the end goal in mind, keep working hard and remember to celebrate your achievements. Human beings are wired to connect and I encourage everyone to interact and engage in activities with their fellow students.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, know what support is out there and use it. Get involved - the more you immerse yourself in uni the more fun it'll be!

What’s your favourite thing about Whyalla?

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

Free and easy lifestyle, no traffic.

I was in a band with 3 Nintendo DSs as the only instruments. Surprisingly, we never got big.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

Where’s your favourite place to get a bite in Adelaide?

Happy to belt out a song when the mood presents.

There are many but Gin Long in North Adelaide is genius for share food and groups. Or anywhere that does a good bahn mi, crispy pork of course!


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Words ▶ Rebecca Langman | Images ▶ Jasmine Billie Woods I didn’t tell anyone about my addiction to pornography for over ten years. And then I told 184,000 people at once.

Years of hiding this addiction cracked my tough exterior and I knew that something had to change.

It started when I saw a movie called Trapped starring Dakota Fanning. I couldn’t tell you a single thing about the movie looking back, but I’ll never forget the feeling it gave me. To see a young girl, like myself, vulnerable and in danger struck me in a way that I have never been able to understand.

Triple J did a call out for young people wanting to talk on national television and radio about porn in their lives. I immediately said yes. I was going to take back control of my life by telling the world about what I’d hidden for ten years.

This arousal was the beginning of a dark journey into exploring the depths of pornography on the internet. I was excited, aroused but more than anything, I was ashamed. Partly because I was watching something that felt dangerous and taboo but mostly because I was a girl. And girls don’t watch porn. Girls didn’t explore their sexuality, we didn’t talk about it with each other and we definitely didn’t talk about it with the boys we kissed. Being sexual was touching one another at the back of cinemas and kissing behind the bike shed. Education was a slideshow of STD-infested genitals in health class. As I fell further into my addiction, I started to withdraw from life. I lost days to masturbating in bed, attempting to fight off my depression and isolation. I decided to take my power back. I went out every night, meeting strangers and trying to recreate the scenes I saw in porn. I felt empowered by the danger. It all came crashing down when this downward spiral led me to being sexually assaulted by an abusive man.


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A video and article was plastered on front pages about my porn addiction for hundreds of thousands to see. I saw my face all over the Internet on click bait articles at The Guardian, The Lad Bible – I even made it to Russian news websites. I still get emails from Russian dudes wanting to be my friend to this day. Girls from my high school emerged from the depths of irrelevancy to tell me I was disgusting, perverted and shouldn’t talk about this. Despite that, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Men and women reached out to me and said they too had been in the grips of a porn addiction throughout their youth. The crippling feelings of isolation I’d held onto for ten years melted away. I wasn’t alone; we were all experiencing the effects of pornography on ourselves in one way or another. I told my story because I didn’t want another young person to ever feel the way I did. Growing up carrying the heavy weight of guilt and shame is no way to be a child. We are the first generation to be raised on accessible, free porn and my story is one of many showing the effects.

Words ▶ Adrienne Goode Just over four months ago I got my first tattoo: a small lotus flower dotted on my rib cage underneath my right arm. I had wanted a tattoo for quite some time. I knew what I wanted and where I wanted it, but I suppose I was waiting for some sort of inspiration to strike. Then, one day, over a cup of coffee and brunch, my best friend and I decided that we would get our respective tattoos together, which soon went from being amorphous possibilities to artwork that we will have for the rest of our lives.


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I’m still not entirely used to my little lotus tattoo, and for most of my days it is tucked away for no one to see and, subsequently, no one to know about. But my beloved tattoo means more to me than anyone realises, and every morning when I get dressed I can’t help but smile and admire its reflection in the mirror. However, not everyone’s reaction is as positive as I feel every morning. Although it is pretty clear that it is some type of flower, only a few people have recognised what it is supposed to be, as if my tattoo’s validation is measured

by their understanding of it. I often get told that it is “nice” but its main appeal is that it can be covered, which is an absurd contradiction and not at all a compliment. Contrastingly, some ask why I bothered to get it in such a hidden spot, assuming that the artwork on my body is purely for the appreciation of others. I’m sorry; I forgot that my tattoo is for your enjoyment, not my own. Oh, and a quick shout out to the guy who said it looks like a prickle bush. Of course, the first question asked is, “what does it mean?” Now this is a fair question, I suppose, but in some cases the delivery resembles an interrogation and implies that the reasoning for the patch of ink on my skin better be good enough for whomever is asking. Moreover, another popular query is, “but what will it look like when you’re 80?”, which suggests that I’m being young and foolish about my decisions. Immediately after getting inked, I revealed my tattoo to someone quite near and dear to me. “Well come on then, let me see it,” she demanded after rolling her eyes and literally face palming herself. “What is that?” she asked, and after I explained, I received the standard and interrogating, “so what does it mean?” It is no surprise to me that some people dislike and even hate tattoos. Everyone has his or her own opinion and I’m okay with that. I consider myself to be a pretty realistic person, and I have always known that not everyone will appreciate my tattoo as much as I do. What has surprised me, though, is the vast difference in reactions that my best friend and I have received. After shooting my tattoo and I down in flames, this particular person learned of my best friend’s tattoo: two beautiful roses, which are in memory of loved ones. Suddenly her seemingly strong opinion changed to, “aw that is so lovely”. This double standard is something I have noticed more and more as the months pass by. Why is it that tattoos seem to be immensely more

accepted and understood if they have a deep, delicate, or emotional meaning behind them? Why is it that I’m constantly expected to justify my tattoo and my reason for getting it? Many people get tattoos to honour important people in their lives, to represent qualities they aspire to, or to mark their survival of a traumatic experience. All of these reasons are wonderful and inspiring. They may have to fight back tears when they talk about it, and that is absolutely beautiful! As for myself, I have always had an appreciation for lotus flowers. I find their natural daily cycle beautiful and their prominent meaning in Egyptian mythology fascinating. But mostly, the lotus is my favourite flower and if we quit beating around the bush (prickle or otherwise), I simply just like the lotus.

“Oh, and a quick shout out to the guy who said it looks like a prickle bush.” There is no doubt that tattoos are extremely personal. For many people, they represent ideals, illustrate memories, and honour loved ones. That said, sometimes body art is just that: art. Just because it doesn’t have a story or commemorate another person doesn’t mean that my tattoo doesn’t hold any meaning to me. In fact, it means a lot. My tattoo means that as an extremely indecisive person I was able to make a permanent, life-long decision. It means that I finally mustered up the courage to do something I had wanted to do for ages. It means that I had the liberty to make a decision about my own body. It means that I now have artwork on my body that makes me smile whenever I see it, which quite frankly is nobody’s business but mine.

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Words ▶ Emmylou Macdonald | Images ▶ Jackson Fenby


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On New Year’s Eve 2015, I found myself trekking to North Byron with seven mates and not much of a plan. It was completely out of character but it was happening - we were pulling off the most monumental feat this undeniably flawed eight-piece had ever attempted. We were heading to Falls Festival.

As a whole, we struggle to function. Planning a gettogether that goes beyond slick, greasy fast food and scorching, coffee-chain brew is traumatic at best, so this was a fucking miracle. “It’ll be fine, don’t worry,” came out of my mouth so many times while reassuring my innately pessimistic buddy that I started to believe it. Of course, belonging to a group of tragically inept 20-somethings, I shouldn’t have. Everything that could’ve gone wrong, did go wrong and in the end, I learned a lot more than I bargained for. How to overcome adversity The planning stage of this trip was erratic, and at times, volatile. Friendly banter contorted into unexpectedly

heated arguments and people quickly had enough. One day we’re anticipating a right-of-passage road trip, the next we’re down to one driver, without accommodation and have a forfeited ticket we need to sell two weeks from D-day. Needless to say, I’m unsure how we survived. Making new friends isn’t that hard Living in a densely populated community makes it pretty easy to meet new people, especially if your neighbours are into sharing. Separated by thin tent walls and nothing else, they made the decision we were all best buds. As they rode around starkers in wheelbarrows, shared unsolicited pill-popping tips and told stories involving highly questionable morals, we weren’t sure whether to be disgusted or amused.

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It doesn’t matter what people think of you A fresh face, unkempt hair and a blindly thrown together outfit, with the occasional thong/sock combo, made daily appearances, often all at once. While it was out of necessity rather than choice, the monstrous shower lines and regurgitating toilet bowls were positives, in retrospect. Take the time to appreciate things The hike from our campsite to the main stage almost had me wheezing. After a long stretch of monotonously flat ground came a mammoth-sized hill that made me want to weep. Adding to this tremendous task were the thousands of others attempting the climb to catch NYE’s finest acts. Navigating tumbling drunks and infuriatingly slow walkers, I reached the top and took


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it all in. A lush green valley cradled countless free-spirited festival-goers, emanating stunningly good vibes and nothing less. While I stopped to admire the view, my petite 5-foot-nothing friend powered on, getting tackled to the ground by a solid, boozed-up oaf. Going it alone can be fun Leaving my phone at the campsite on NYE was the best mistake I’ve ever made. Having lost all seven of my friends and being far too short to accurately decipher faces in the crowd, I weaselled my way into the mosh alone with two hours until countdown. Dancing by myself, embedded in a vibrant sell-out crowd and without a care in the world was one of my absolute highlights, minus the sly grabs and suffocation.

Things will go wrong and that’s okay Nothing is completely in your control and if you think otherwise, you’re in for a rude shock just like I was when I woke up on the first morning. One of my closest friends had regressed to a toddler overnight, having peed the bed – or in this case, the inflatable mattress, sleeping bag and practically everything else in the tent – in his sleep. Taking it upon himself to clean the mess in an earlymorning daze, the hazardous clean-up mistakenly made its way into the food reserves, mercilessly destroying any remnant of hope we had left. Breakfast was his shout.

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Confessions from the Bottle-O Words ▶ Jordan Leović Working in a bottle shop can be a lot of fun. You get a sweet discount on booze, you get to refuse service to underage suckers with fake IDs and you get to pretend you’re a wine expert when thirsty soccer mums come in and ask you what the difference is between two brands of chardonnay. Most of the time I say, “This one has less carbs.” Does wine even have carbs? I don’t know. But beneath its glamorous surface lies a bleaker side of working in a bottle shop that only fellow employees know. The other morning, an elderly woman with a walking frame came in to the store to buy her usual $4 bottle of sauvignon blanc. We call her $4 Sauv Blanc Lady. Less than an hour later she returned, evidently having finished the bottle of wine, and in a slurred fashion said she was having trouble using her phone to call her husband. “I just can’t seem to… find my ear,” she said, as another staff member helped her locate it and make the call. Then there’s the old guy with a walking stick who comes in every day to buy his bottle of Grants Whiskey, affectionately known as ‘Grants Man’. Every day, without fail. He’ll often mention his health problems in which the source isn’t hard to pinpoint; he consumes an immense 30 standard drinks per day. However, the store favourite is a mumbling, chuckling punter in his early seventies who we call ‘Clive’. Like $4 Sauv Blanc Lady, Clive has a walking frame and is very hard to understand. Clive has a number of entertaining stories from his heyday which normally involve getting really wasted and punching cops in the head. His goodnatured demeanour and goofy grin disguise his stories as something to laugh at but in some way, they’re actually quite poignant. I can imagine the strapping young Clive in


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his twenties, partying on and having the time of his life. Girls would have loved him, blokes would have envied him. Now he’s a decrepit old man who spends his days wandering around a bottle-o, telling elaborate stories to unconvinced employees. A workmate once told me that one becomes desensitised to a lot of the sad circumstances of bottle-o regulars. Personally, I disagree. My experiences in the shop have, if anything, increased my sympathy for them. Truth be told, alcohol was never a big part of my family life. My dad doesn’t drink, my mum enjoys a glass of wine and despite my tendency to enjoy a few bevvies here and there, I don’t consider myself a big drinker. So maybe that’s why seeing firsthand the effects of alcohol abuse particularly struck me and my delicate, naïve brain. What’s strangest about this is that I’m not sure whether the lives of these regular customers would be better or worse without alcohol. Sure, you could assume that if they stopped drinking, they would be healthier and perhaps they wouldn’t worry their families as much. But the idea that their problems would magically go away if they stopped drinking seems way too simple. For reasons I imagine are complicated, booze has become such an integral part of their lives that it’s hard to believe they could function without it. Any job has its downsides. I’m lucky that the only downside of my job is serving a few lonely alcoholics and being sad about it. But if you can, it would be great if you didn’t add to this problem by becoming one yourself. I never meant for this article to adopt the tone of your mother, suggesting you should drink responsibly, but the message still stands. As much as I appreciate the Clives of this world, I wouldn’t want anyone to turn out that way.


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Shot from a tin paint can with a strategically drilled hole, Belinda Zanello created a collection of pinhole photography by standing still for two minutes while the images burned into photo paper. A gust of wind shook the makeshift camera during the process, creating this unusually disjointed effect. Zanello hopes that capturing the Jeffrey Smart Building during development acts as a metaphor for our time at university - under construction.

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In[ter]view Verse Mag’s Regular Graduate Interview

Naomi Murrell cherishes fine design. Since graduating with a degree in Visual Communications, she’s cemented her place in the fashion world, having featured her impressive treasury in Frankie, Yen and Marie Claire. Words ▶ Emmylou Macdonald Tell us about your early days as a designer. My first full time position as a designer was with Tiff Manuell at her Happy House brand. It was an incredibly nurturing experience which taught me so much about creativity and commerce. My five-year stint there allowed me to develop skills in textile print design, product design, illustration and general branding. The young design team I belonged to had many opportunities to travel and visit suppliers in places such as Hong Kong, China and South Korea, which was very inspiring. We worked hard and it was through the work we did that I began to love the design process and experience the satisfaction of bringing an idea to life.

2) Tidy the studio or workspace so everything feels calm, then get all the materials out and make a huge mess! 3) Travel. Even a ride through a new neighbourhood fills my head with new observations and plants the seed for new ideas. 4) Ginger and lemongrass tea. 5) Listen to a great podcast. I often listen to This American Life as I’m working. It helps distract the critical part of my brain so the rest of it is left to wander off and play without fear of being self-censored. 6) Carry a sketchbook and felt tip pen wherever you go.

What are your top tips for getting creative?

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

1) Find new music, make a playlist and crank it up loud. I find new ideas come easier when I’m listening to fresh tunes.

Good things take time. Go slow. Trust your instincts. And be yourself.


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Who would you ideally like to see wear your designs and why?

What is your best piece of advice to someone wanting to pursue their passion?

I’m genuinely over the moon whenever I meet another friendly human wearing my designs. Funnily enough the type of people who wear our work are often super interesting talented people. We design with five inspiring muses in mind: the thinker, the traveller, the dancer, the artist and the photographer so it’s lovely when we hit the mark and find girls with these characteristics getting into our work.

Go for it! Be prepared to embrace failure and learn from it. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Try to stay humble, be kind and generous with people. Ask yourself what else you value in life besides work and your passion. Expect to have to make sacrifices. Be yourself. Put your voice out there.

If we’re talking famous people, it would be strange but good (I think) to see one of my heroes wearing a piece. Sofia Coppola, Feist or Sophie Lowe would all look pretty awesome in some NM gear. What is the most challenging thing about running your own business? And what is the most rewarding? The most challenging thing about being the creative director of my own business is having to take full responsibility when ensuring everything is running smoothly. This is especially hard for me as I’m always trying to access a childlike state of mind in order to be creative. The price for creative freedom is high but for me there’s no other way. The most rewarding thing is being able to explore new ideas and connect with people through their enjoyment of the design work we produce. Nothing beats seeing someone smile! Contributing to a joyful moment in someone’s day is so valuable and worth all the hard stuff it takes to get there.


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Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully being an established independent designer working with a talented close-knit team. I would love to explore new product areas, keep being involved in the creative community and continue to bring a smile to your style! To see more of Naomi’s designs, drop into her flagship store in Ebenezer Place or visit her website

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Words â–ś Pippin Ellis The demon had been awoken. I could feel it in my submerged wooden hull before I could see it. I knew the ocean like an old friend. How its beautiful water ebbs, flows, torments and breaks. But what happened was not beautiful. I turned my motor off well before the shore came into view but they still did not turn back. The people were persistent, they wanted a new home so badly, even when my hull begun to leak, they pushed on. I remember the cheer as the shore came into view. I knew those screams would not end in smiles, but in tears. My old friend had an ugly demon that would possess his rolling waves and turn them into crashing walls of death. I knew the signs, how the wind would change and the sky turn dark. My poor friend had been battling it for the past week. Yet these people were persistent in traveling these waters. I could not help them, I can only tell our story. I heard the whispering of mothers to their children, telling them not to cry, telling the young that they would be safe soon. But as the water licked over my deck and filled my hull, the children were not the only ones crying. The ocean was too strong, too powerful for my little wooden body. I could not help these people further.

I went with the ocean in peace. Men assumed positions of prayer and I, too, prayed with them. My ending was not gentle but neither was my life. As my weak body was picked up in the thrashing swell, I felt lighter as people jumped to the depths. Then came the pain. The numbing pain of being smashed into the rocky cliffs. My injuries were fatal and parts of me thrashed among the waves. Children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, families, clung to my floating body. As they looked around, their faces of fear turned to ghostly dread as they saw other ruined bodies float with mine. Again and again the demonic waves picked me up and buried me against the rocks. I remember seeing local people at the edge of the cliff face trying to help us. But it was too late for me, too late for us. I had been torn apart and families had been torn apart. We looked death in the eye. There was no going back for me. I slipped under the chaotic surface and reached a place of calm. This is my home now in my old friend’s gentle arms.

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Cycles Words ▶ Caitlin Tait | Images ▶ Jessica Harrison I am like a bike, Like the moon, like the ocean – We all have cycles. Our wheels spin each month, While this body prepares me To give life one day. Do not look in fear. I create generations. I am a riptide. You cover your ears As though this isn’t natural. It is. Period.


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We went to a student media conference in Melbourne, listened to professionals speak, met fellow editors and got a taste of the city. Words ▶ Emmylou Macdonald Looking up at the stage from a sea of unworldly 20-somethings, I was struggling to understand how we were supposed to become them – the inspirational, cutting-edge guests at the forefront of Australian media. ‘I’m going to be unemployed for the rest of my life’, ran on repeat in my head as I relentlessly compared my own achievements to theirs, spiralling into the depths of despair by the first session. I needed to soothe my soul, so I got some pizza. I cemented my post-carb self in a chair closer to the front, desperate to absorb the professionalism, experience and talent emanating from the real-life adults who seemed to know what they were doing. One reported on the inner workings of parliament, one wrote for VICE, one ran their own magazine and there I was trying to mentally preserve each nugget of wisdom because I brought paper but no pen. A couple of on-stage pros were fresh out of uni. They were established in their field and deemed important enough to talk to a room full of people about what they do. They all had pens. I took note. Meticulously comparing myself to everyone on stage made me realise that I shouldn’t. Purging the negativity after the conference did me a world of good. I traded the fear of dismal failure for beaming confidence and now I feel like I can tackle anything. Reality may prove otherwise. I guess I’ll find out.

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Words ▶ Adrienne Goode The conference’s official name is the National Editors Workshop and Skillshare. I know, a mouthful of words that probably mean nothing to you, right? Don’t worry, I admit I had to hit up our best mate, Google, to remember what the conference was officially called because I, as the newly appointed Communications Editor, found myself summarising the trip into #EMNEWS16 in an amateur attempt at live tweeting and keeping you guys up to date with our escapades. Possibly the most stressful experience I‘ve had this year, it proved to be both insightful and demanding, while the majority of the tweets included gems like: “Don’t mess up other people’s work because they’ll hate you forever.” “Don’t hang people out to dry.” “Don’t add legs to a snake,” in a well-if-it-ain’t-broke approach to editing 101. These wise words of Voiceworks’ Elizabeth Flux were passed down to us as captivating dry humour. But beyond her sarcasm and much appreciated honesty existed two notions that I couldn’t shake off. Firstly, editing is a privilege and secondly, student media is indispensable. There is a common misconception surrounding student media and university publications, whereby students deem them ‘exclusive’ and limited to merely the aspiring journos. This is certainly not the case – we’re not a snobby sorority club. Instead, Verse Magazine and other student publications are essential in voicing your thoughts, experiences, issues, and opinions. No you, no Verse. Refreshing references to the IT Crowd were welcomed throughout #EMNEWS16 and the occasional stab at student politicians made their appearance. Instruction to stay in the good books of student politicians and advice


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on how to deal with student politicians making you feel sick inside were addressed, which ultimately prompted the question, “hands up, who hates student politicians?” In response, the majority of student editors quickly and confidently raised their hands, and I, guilty as charged, was with the majority. However, I now understand that student media and student politicians are not so different after all. Contrary to popular belief, student politicians are more than just those odd balls who hang around the USASA offices or chase you across campus in an effort to feed you information you don’t want. Like the members of student media, they perform an important function in the creation of university culture and community, believe it or not. Our short, sharp, and shiny trip to Melbourne provided many perks for us as individuals, editors, aspiring journalists, and university students. Beyond these obvious pleasures for us, however, the advice and ideas expressed throughout the conference extends to our contributors, to our readers, and to you. Of course, Verse Magazine welcomes journalism, writing, and communication students to add to our pages and their portfolios. Moreover, Verse is a voice for the students of UniSA and essentially a creative outlet for people in all degrees. Engineering, science, education – you’re all part of it too!

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Words ▶ Jordan Leović There are three things I took away from Melbourne last month and I’m not talking about the stash of free muesli bars which were generously provided by the editors’ conference. Although, they were delicious. Here’s a vignette of my experiences in our hostel, the suburb of Fitzroy and inner city Melbourne. The Nunnery is a hip little hostel in Fitzroy. It’s a threestory, Georgian-style building with friendly staff and clean bathrooms (basically all you want in a hostel). The Nunnery has a cool story behind it too. It was originally used as a convent for the Daughters of Charity in the 19th Century, hence the name. Sadly, the staff do not dress up as nuns, crushing our hopes on arrival. In fact, today, you will find no nuns at all. What you will find are glassy-eyed European backpackers, cheerfully drinking goon out of coffee mugs and chatting in the common room. The spirit of the nuns lives on. This place is a five minute tram ride from the heart of the city and a two minute walk to the Melbourne Museum. If, like me, you feel the need to indulge the artsy side of yourself, you can walk through the Museum Gardens whilst reflecting on deep, philosophical stuff. After all, you’re staying in Fitzroy where people are supposed to act deep and philosophical. As much as I like to bag the artsy-fartsiness of Fitzroy, it is a suburb filled with character. Brunswick Street is the main street and it’s packed with funky cafes and covered in groovy street art. Walking along Brunswick, there’s a feeling of freshness and warmth. It has a buzzing energy about it and there’s a lot to keep you occupied. Step 1: Look at some groovy street art. Step 2: Drink coffee in a funky café. Step 3: Feel young again. The city earned my instant adoration. In some ways, Melbourne feels very old. You can buy French crepes from a crepe stand, made by some Frenchmen who only speak


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French. You can buy newspapers from a newspaper stand, run by a woman who only sells newspapers. You can’t get that same vintage vibe here in Adelaide. Where’s the aesthetic in buying a paper from a shitty old newsagent or a crepe from the Pancake Kitchen? On the other hand, Melbourne is remarkably modern. There’s a tongue-incheek pizza bar that sells a meat lover’s pizza called the ‘Sausage Fest’. Isn’t there something so appealing about a city which has the best of both worlds?


What the heck is there to do around here? These things. 7th: Verse #9 Submission Deadline

Join A Club! Have you ever wanted to join a club or volunteer but were overwhelmed by the huge amount of choice? Well here’s your chance to meet members, ask questions & sign up! There will be a massive range of social, academic, cultural and sporting clubs as well as stacks of volunteering opportunities! March 9, 11 - 3pm West Campus, bus tranfers from metro campuses.

9th: Volunteering and Clubsfest

11th - 14th: WOMADelaide 14th: Adelaide Cup - Public Holiday

17th: St Patrick’s Day

The Uni Turns 25! The University of South Australia are throwing birthday celebrations on every Campus with plenty of cake and good company. 12 - 2pm each event. • Mawson Lakes campus: Monday 21 March • Magill campus: Tuesday 22 March • Mt Gambier campus: Wednesday 23 March • City East campus: Wednesday 23 March • City West campus: Thursday 24 March • Whyalla campus: Thursday 24 March

21st: SP1 Exams start 21st - 24th: UniSA’s 25th Birthday Parties 25th: Good Friday - Public Holiday 27th: Easter Saturday - Public Holiday 28th: Easter Monday - Public Holiday

31st: SP2 Census Date If you’d like to organise an event, join or start a club! Visit

The photography of Jackson Fenby

Imag[in]e Verse Mag’s Regular Art & Design feature

Jackson Fenby has a talent for turning people’s most off-guard moments into candid snaps. Since completing a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (Honours) in 2013, he’s embedded his work in local publications with no intentions of stopping there. Words ▶ Emmylou Macdonald


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What’s the story behind your first camera and how you got into photography? It’s only recent that I’ve been into photography; say the past two years. I started with my iphone, snapping away at anything I thought looked interesting. Well, to be honest it was mostly pictures of my bike in front of a cool backdrop. Slowly, I got more curious, to the point where I’d spend my spare time exploring just for a photo. I’d be looking around like a tourist in my own city, wandering through streets and inside buildings, being in places I probably shouldn’t. I’d sit on Instagram for hours looking at photos and scrolling through Tumblr. I’ve always been interested in visual expression, cinematography, paintings, and anything similar. Eventually I just wanted to up my game and give it a go. I enjoyed it. Why not? There’s this producer/artist called Ta-ku. Big fan. I wanted to be him. He openly uses an Olympus OMD camera. So I went and bought one.

Where’s your favourite place around Adelaide to take pictures? I have many, for many reasons. It depends on the mood I want to capture. In terms of my personal stuff, anywhere where there are people present. Candid – that’s my thing. Markets, coffee shops, art galleries, public events, gardens. I love the busyness of these places. But if I were to get Adelaide specific, it would be Port Adelaide. It has this rustic, worn down vibe to it. Even the industrial side has an aesthetic appeal and it’s not too busy, so fashion shoots tend to go a bit smoother. You just released your own zine featuring a pretty indepth look at your work. Tell us about the idea behind it. So my zine’s a publication of my personal photography. It’s a series of candid photos that I’ve been taking over the past four or so months. At first it was just going to be street photography but it’s turned into something more expressive. Contemplativeness. Wistfulness. I was

out to capture people’s moods. I then realised I was also capturing mine. I’m quite a social and open being, but I’m also quite tight-knit. It sounds contradictory but it makes sense, trust me. I found a gateway that I could express myself personally and I’ve embraced it. I want to move my photography into something a bit more expressive and personal, so this is my first step into it and it’s quite a big deal for me. I released it on the 28th of January at a zine swap at Ancient World. If it proves to be well received I’ll make it available elsewhere. What is the biggest extent you’ve gone to in order to get a photo? You meet some interesting people while trying to get into the photography industry. I met this guy who had similar interests and curiosities. We both liked the idea of climbing buildings and there was this construction site that had always interested me. It’s roughly 13-15 stories high and I knew of a way in. We climbed the boundary

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fence, went up a ladder onto the first level of scaffolding and walked around the perimeter. There were glass doors in each unit but they were all open. We entered and walked up the emergency stairs all the way to the last floor which was only steel frames and hanging wires. We manoeuvred around the floor walking past future living rooms and bathrooms. Once we got to the edge we climbed more scaffolding, which led to the roof. Looking over the edge we could see all of Adelaide. There’s something very rewarding about seeing something familiar from another perspective. We snapped away. Not for anything in particular, we just thought it would be a good spot to take photos. We wanted the adventure. Who/what would you most like to photograph? There’s nobody in particular but I do want to capture humans – I have this particular attraction to them. There’s just so much detail to us that doesn’t get expressed and represented. Everybody has a story.


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There’s this photographer named Mike Brodie. He packed up all his things and spent five years train-hopping illegally around North America, taking photos of the numerous youth and homeless that do the same thing. The photos are incredible and the best part of it is that it brings light to a world that few people know of. That’s what I want to photograph. Where do you see yourself in five years? Tough. Looking back and seeing how I’ve progressed, my goals and ambitions are always evolving. Five years ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d be pursing photography. As I expressed before, I’d love to get into photojournalism. I’d also want to start my own publication/magazine which cultivates some form of creative culture. I also want to pursue my degree and build bike-friendly and sustainable streets. For now I’ll follow my feet and you can ask me where I am in five years time.

Check out more of Jackson’s work on his Instagram account @fenj_ or his website

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V O X: Student Voice The perks of contributing and why you should get on board according to last year’s team and contributors. Words ▶ Adrienne Goode

Jacinta Mazzarolo As last year’s Head Editor, you’re a pretty strong example of what contributing to Verse can lead to. What is another top reason to contribute? It definitely made me a better writer. Actually, the first time I submitted an article it didn’t make it in the mag. That really made me go back and think about my writing and who I am as a journalist. I am so much better for it too. Also, seeing your work in physical print is pretty cool. What is your favourite thing about Verse? I do love a great, juicy feature article you can get lost in. But I also love the fact that Verse proves UniSA has incredible talent among its students – it’s such a great platform to learn, express and share your opinions and experiences.

Caitlin Tait Why do you think it’s important to submit your work to Verse Mag? I think submitting your work to Verse is great because of the feedback. Regardless of whether you get published in that issue or not, those running Verse will always give you words of encouragement and some advice. It was such a buzz to get not only a ‘success’ email with my first article for Verse, but also a ‘we really liked your piece’ with it. Being surrounded and supported by other uni students daily is fantastic, and getting to have your content published among some of those talented and inspiring people on top of that is so spine-tinglingly cool. What is the best thing about seeing your work in print? The feeling of having a tangible copy of your work with your name on it is something that can’t be explained. It’s amazing. It’s a reminder that I (and you) can do anything, and that my art is worthwhile. A lot of my writing is inspired by people, so getting to mark a significant other or moment in time with a finished product is amazing. Getting to support and be a part of such a great local publication is a complete blessing. I’d encourage everyone, whether studying podiatry, film, literature or PR, to submit something – it’s very rewarding. And good for the soul (and ego).


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Kaitlin Kavanagh As last year’s Communications Editor, you’re a pretty strong example of what contributing to Verse can lead to. What is another top reason to contribute? Contributing to Verse didn’t just give me a leg-up when it came to being a member of the editorial team; it was also my main motivation to keep writing throughout the year. Regularly contributing to Verse kept me inspired, not just by writing myself but by reading articles written by other students as well. It also gave me a pretty solid portfolio of published work, which doesn’t hurt! What is the best thing about seeing your work in print? It’s extremely gratifying. The first time I saw my work printed in Verse was the moment I thought ‘wow, I’m a real writer.’ It was something I could not have imagined achieving at all when I first started studying - let alone before I had even graduated! It confirmed for me that writing was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Holly Byrne As last year’s Editor, you’re a pretty strong example of what contributing to Verse can lead to. What is another top reason to contribute? Apart from the satisfaction of seeing your name in print? I think it’s having something to put on your resume proof that you’ve actually contributed to extra-curricular activities while studying is big tick when it comes to applying for jobs. What is your favourite thing about Verse? My favourite thing about Verse is that it’s the voice of the student body – and it’s independent from the University itself so there is a whole lot of freedom. It opens up a channel of communication between students about literally ANYTHING – from body shaming, travel, to activism or politics. You name it.

Caleb Sweeting What is your favourite thing about Verse Mag? It’s a magazine, that you can touch, smell, lick and read. Give us your top reason to contribute. There is nothing like seeing your name in print, definitely makes contributing more rewarding.

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Nicole Chia Why do you think it’s important to submit your work to Verse Mag? It’s an amazing opportunity to build your portfolio so that you can show your future employers (and everyone, really) how much you were actually slaying in Uni.  What is your favourite thing about Verse? I love the feeling of seeing my writing alongside other very passionate students discussing the issues that matter the most to them. Verse is a magazine run by students, just for students and constantly delivers top-notch content that all of us students can easily relate to.

Daniel Zander Why do you think it’s important to submit your work to Verse Mag? As a previous contributor I think it’s important to submit work to Verse Mag because it not only gives you experience as a writer or aspiring journalist, but it also adds to the culture and identity of the university. What is the best thing about seeing your work in print? My favourite thing about seeing my work in print is the satisfaction of knowing that someone may think that what I have to say or how I’ve written something is good.  I also like being able to use what I’m learning at university in a constructive and positive way.  

Heather McGinn Why do you think it’s important to submit your work to Verse Mag? I think it’s important to submit my work to Verse Mag for two reasons. Firstly, to share my story of rape/DV survival in order to empower other survivors and educate young people about the culture of misogyny. Secondly, to have a portfolio of my work in print. What is the best thing about seeing your work in print? My favourite thing about seeing my work in print is the sense of achievement and the suspicion that I am helping others.


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Brittany Evins Give us your top reason to contribute. There are so many great reasons to contribute to Verse Magazine, but the best would have to be learning about and speaking to people that you wouldn’t normally stop and say g’day to. You learn so much about different walks of life. What is the best thing about seeing your work in print? My favourite thing is receiving the recognition that my work is worthy of a two page spread. It means the hard work is finally paying off. Flipping through Verse Magazine to find your story is the greatest feeling. You almost have to do a double take before realising, yes, that is my name.

Claire Hammat Why do you think it’s important to submit your work to Verse Mag? I think it is important to submit work to Verse Magazine because it is an opportunity to showcase your skills and knowledge. As well as having something else to add to your resume post graduation. What the best thing about seeing your work in print? I enjoy knowing others can see my work, and hopefully it will reach other people who think or feel the same way I do.

Lealie Hayek Why do you think it’s important to submit your work to Verse Mag? I like to share my work with others, and submitting to the university magazine is a great way to contribute and have fun at the same time. What is your favourite thing about Verse? My favourite thing about Verse is how it allows anyone to submit whatever they like without following a specific guideline.

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Valerie Flay: An Excerpt Words ▶ Tanner Muller | Images ▶ Nicole Scriva I imagine your wet naked body in a bath filled with creamy liquid and surrounded by pink cherry blossoms. Your erect nipples are exposed amid your soft brunette curls. You lightly stroke and twist them while you wink at me with your beaming hazel eyes, tantalising my senses. It feels as though you are piercing through my soul, and I am under your command. You ask me to rid myself of my clothes. I do not resist and remove each article slowly, carefully, enticingly, treating you to my bare skin. However, the moment I begin to step into the tub, I lose sight of my illusive daydream. I gaze into your apartment window to see you, Valerie Flay, as you sit at the edge of your bed, with the MacBook resting on top of your lap. You seem calm as you search the web under your trance of Internet browsing. You suddenly drop onto the mattress in frustration and panic upon discovering the latest status your friend Hannah posted to Facebook: Life sucks. It’s complete shit. Like for an inbox Poor, unfortunate, lonely, egotistical Hannah - some would feel sorry for the woman, but I could not spare a single moment of sympathy or kindness in this entire universe.


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The mere thought of her makes my blood boil to the brim and my heart feel blacker than the soles of a leather boot or more rotten than a maggot infested corpse. I know you try to look out for her, Val, but she takes advantage of you. Not one of her thousands of counterfeit friends on that shallow form of social media are remotely interested in her mischievous cries for attention. She does it all for you. On the contrary, you are nothing like that, Val. Though she has become reliant on you and that is where the problem lies. I know deep down you want to forget it all and focus your attention on what is important to you; to reach your potential and be something in this world. But I know you will not, for you it is mentally impossible. You feel as though you are trapped in some kind of web and have forced yourself to feel better knowing that you have adjusted someone’s issues before you consider reconstructing your own. You need to escape from all this exhausting fuckery and I can help you achieve that. You have tricked yourself into believing this is the life you want to lead for the sake of a ‘friend,’ but I will show you complete independence. I continue to watch as I see you briskly remove your flannelette pyjamas (a marvellous sight to see, while it

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lasted) and into the very same party dress you wore a few nights ago in your attempt at discovering the perfect man in one of Melbourne’s finest nightclubs – which is renowned for its array of illegal drug dealers, sticky floors and long strands of the same techno beat. Much like the rhythmic monotony of the techno music, it is the same cycle with you and Hannah that occurs over and over again. All she wants is for some acquaintance (or personal slave) to be there when she has trouble deciding a dress to wear for the party she did not invite you to, or a shoulder to cry on after having another horrendous fight with her mother. She tosses the fishing rod out to sea as she tantalises you with the bait. Then, once receiving the bite, reels you in as the catch of the day - hook, line and sinker, again and again. You do not want to admit it, and that is fine. The day will come when you finally put your own intentions before anyone else’s. To appreciate the person you are and not have to find gratitude and acceptance by helping others. At least there is comfort knowing you will never turn into that kind of person, Valerie. I am confident that as long as you roam this Earth, you will never, in a million years, stoop down to Hannah’s level of self-absorption.


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Although it makes me repulsed to acknowledge that you could be offered the entire world and you would rather assist your friend with her troubles beforehand. I see that you are panicking now, pacing around your apartment in search of your house key. Once you discover leaving them in the kitchen cupboard, for some odd and annoying reason, you swing your handbag over your left shoulder (always the left shoulder, never the right), close the blinds to the window and presumably rush down the stairs, because I know how impatient you are to wait for the elevator, and dial the number to the taxi company on your iPhone. I have figured you out, Valerie Flay. You do not even know my name, but I know you better than anyone else.

Red House Words ▶ S. Z. Telford Sebastian ran his tongue along the edge of the white paper. It tasted like glue but smelt like glory. He looked at his friend with a pity in his eyes whilst he tried to roll a joint, made harder by the many bumps in the road. “There is no way a million people are going to show up man, that’s bullshit. Five hundred thousand, maybe, eight hundred thousand, possibly, but a million, no way man, no way.” Pulling a lighter out from his denim jacket he flicked the lid off and lit the joint with a scrape of his thumb. The end sizzled like a miniature star as he drew deep and blew thick billowing clouds from his nostrils. Mary leant over and gave Seb a kiss on his lips whilst slowly prying the joint from his fingers. The year was 1969. The crooning voice and sweet guitar melodies of Jimi Hendrix pounded through dusty speakers inside a beat up old wagon heading down a long road. “Woodstock baby!” Jonas yelled with ecstasy as he stuck his head and its long brown curls out the window. The smell of roses which had been glued all over the wagon in a drunken fervor danced with the wind whipping through his hair. Jonas along with Mary, Andy and Sebastian thought of the idea the night before as they sat around a fire-bin, drinking American whiskey and excitedly pondering what awaited them. They were going to the biggest festival of their generation, more than a festival, a movement, a way of life. They were going to Woodstock. “Man I’m telling you, there’s going to be like a million people there,” Andy said as Jonas pulled himself back inside. A laugh echoed from the backseat and Andy took his eyes off the road to glare at the passengers in the back. “Shut up Seb,” he said, “that’s what the biker dude told me back in town.”

“I think it will be more than a million,” Mary leaned in with a tone of hope and awe in her voice. Mary and Seb had been dating for several months now and whilst she still seemed resolute in her relationship, Andy could already see the signs of Seb’s restlessness when it came to women. It had always been easy for Seb, he was tall and broad shouldered with handsome features and the blonde shoulder length hair that all the girls seemed to lust for. It didn’t hurt that he could play guitar and was a decent enough singer, too. Andy turned his attention back to driving and let his mind drift back to the music filling the wagon. Trees flew by and the road opened up before them as the group left their town behind and ventured into new territory. “Think Hendrix will actually come?” Jonas asked to no one in particular. His fingers were simulating the picking of strings and complicated riffs as the song blaring through the air pushed into a crescendo of screeching guitar. Jonas had already downed several beers and wasn’t looking to slow down anytime soon. “He’ll be there, he has to be,” said Mary who passed the smoking joint to him. “I think I’ll cry if he plays Purple Haze. My friend Debbie said she saw him play it live when she was over in England and she said it changed her life. Like he touched her soul man, Jimi opened her heart and her mind. Well it was either him or the acid!” They all laughed together as the sun beat down on their flower dressed car to Woodstock.

Stargazing â–ś Nicole Scriva







March 21 - April 20

April 21 - May 21

May 22 - June 21

You will get no Facebook notifications today.

You are having a bad day, go get yourself a nice sandwich. The mayo will taste off.

A bird will shit on you, then your crush will see you. Sorry.

Lucky song: Hampton the Hampster The Hampsterdance Song

Lucky song: Crazy Town - Butterfly

Lucky song: Sister2Sister - Sister







September 24 - October 23

October 24 - November 22

November 23 - December 22

Buy yourself a new hat. Fedoras will bring you good juju.

Tomorrow your internet is going to keep dropping out.

Your favourite pen will go missing for a week. It might turn up.

Lucky song: Axel F - Crazy Frog

Lucky song: Shaggy - Angel

Lucky song: Bardot - Poison


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June 22 - July 23

July 24 - August 23

August 24 - September 23

You will have to run to catch the bus everyday this week. Wear good shoes.

You will find 10 cents on the ground today! Congrats.

You will get to pat a good cat tonight.

Lucky song: Smash Mouth - All Star

Lucky song: Will Smith - Men In Black

Lucky song: Lou Bega - Mambo No. 5







December 23 - January 20

January 21 - February 19

February 20 - March 20

Tomorrow you will realise you have no clean underpants.

Every supermarket you visit in the next two weeks will be sold out of mi goreng.

Go see a movie; you deserve it. The person in front of you will talk the entire time.

Lucky song: Cher - Believe

Lucky song: Ali G. & Shaggy - Me Julie

Lucky song: Shannon Noll - Drive

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Edition 8 2016

Verse Magazine Edition #8 | February / March 2016  

Inside this edition: Addicted, Horrorscopes, Learning the Hard Way, Confessions From The Bottle-O, My Tattoo Is For Me, Not For You, and mor...

Verse Magazine Edition #8 | February / March 2016  

Inside this edition: Addicted, Horrorscopes, Learning the Hard Way, Confessions From The Bottle-O, My Tattoo Is For Me, Not For You, and mor...