Woroni Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
ANU Hires Wilson Security, Subcontractor in Nauru and Manus Detention Centres
“Doing” Dreamtime: On Indigenous Beliefs and Postcolonial Realities
Issue 10, Vol. 66
ANUSA STUPOL SPECIAL
PSYCHEDELICS: DEATH AND REBIRTH
MIGUEL GALSIM & LORANE GABORIT
Issue 10, Vol. 66
ANU Hires Wilson Security, Subcontractor in Nauru and Manus Detention Centres Miguel Galsim
Delayed Elections, and The Great ANUSA Presidential Debate KANIKA KIRPALANI
Pride Week 2016 Madeleine Birdsey
International Chinese debating teams battle it out at the ANU
A conversation with Lyn Goldsworthy
MY PLASTIC FREE JULY
Respect my AUTHOR-ITY
THE ANU ORGANIC GARDEN
Brianna Gray & Nancy Jin
FUCKING BAZZ or, perhaps, FUCKING BAIRD*!!! KATE STEWART
“Doing” Dreamtime: On Indigenous Beliefs and Postcolonial Realities
HO-ME-PHOBE— A Message to the ‘Str8 Acting’ Silent Majority
ANU PhD Candidate Goes Viral with Chinese Nationalistic Video
ARTS & REVIEWS 43
Pokémon Go: sad reality or inventive technology? ROBIN MONRO
LIVE MUSIC, AND WHAT we owe it today RUBEN SEATON
Online Juris Doctor elicits student concern LIBERATING NORTH KOREA
REVIEWS & WORONI RADIO
LIFE & STYLE
The ANU’s 70th Anniversary: Reflections from the Roots
VOLUNTEER POWERED VEGIE POTS
What’s on the Inside
NUS RE-accreditation on the table again
THREE CONTINENTS, THREE BREATHTAKING CITIES Fifty50 begins mentoring NAHED ELRAYES seesions for first years ALEXANDER JOSKE
STUPOL SPECIAL Comment
Perpetuating Difference: A Response to Multiculturalism & Democracy JAMES KITCHIN
INTERVIEW WITH NICK WYCHE PHOEBE HAMRA
BIG NEW TOYS FOR ARMY BOYS
In Defence of a Universal Basic Income
WHEN “NO” MEANS “YES”
IS IT MY CHOICE?
I FORGOT... AGAIN
THe best in canberra
How Power Ballads Can Make You a Better Public Speaker
THE SOUTH CHINA SEA: A FAIR ARBITRATION?
NOT ONE OF “THOSE” VEGANS
A Tap on the Shoulder
A Discussion with Alicia Xykaris
I Throw Like a Girl
THE FOOD Co-op
The elephant in the room ELLEN MAKARYAN
THE MYTH OF THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY ROB MORRIS
GREAT EXPECTATIONS. SQuandered potential.
SCIENCE & SPort 58
The WAR ON DRUGS LULU CATHRO
PSYCHEDELICS: DEATH AND REBIRTH ANDREW MARTIN
JUNO CHECKS UP ON HER HUSBAND JONAH HANSEN
Looking into inward bound
INNOVATION AS PERFORMANCE
RIO 2016—A SNAPSHOT CASLEY ROWAN
Acknowledgement of Country
Woroni is published on the land of the Ngunnawal people. ‘Woroni’ translates to ‘mouthpiece’ in the Ngunnawal language.
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Editor In Chief - Ria Pflaum Deputy Editor in Chief - Daniel McKay Managing Editor - Liam Osawa News Editor - Miguel Galsim Communications Editor - Finn Pedersen Content Editor - Bronte McHenry Radio Director - Caitlin Magee Creative Editor - Joanne Leong
Admin Assistant - Gowrie Varma Financial Controller - Brendan Greenwood
News - Kanika Kirpalani, Alexander Joske, Lorane Gaborit & Mark Han Managing Assistant - Sam Taylor Marketing - Lorna Zhang Communications Sub-Eds: Photography - Bremer Sharp & Pubudu Dissanayake Instagram - Tony Gu Comment - Nishanth Pathy Features - Vera McCarthy Arts & Reviews - Gabriele Naktinyte & Grace Shalders International - Nahed Elrayes Life & Style - Alexandra Green Science - Jennifer Tinston Environment - Morgan Alexander Sport - Madhuri Kibria Satire - Zoe Saunders Radio Technical Officer Jamie Palamountain Radio Presenter Liaison - Oscar Jolly Radio Media Liaison Brittany Wallis Radio Music/DJ - Brendan Keller-Tuberg Radio Events: Paul Dickson Radio Digital Content: Loretta Lackner Design - Eva Krepsova Social Media - Michael Turvey & Annabelle Nshuti
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
ANU Hires Wilson Security, Subcontractor in Nauru and Manus Detention Centres Miguel Galsim
Woroni has learned from leaked meeting minutes that Wilson Security, a subcontractor used by the Australian Government for detention centre security on Nauru and Manus Island, has “commenced the provision of guarding services” at the ANU on January 31, this year. The minutes were leaked by an anonymous source close to the UniSafe Committee, who expressed concern that ANU is contracting a security provider alleged to have committed and covered up abuses in Australia’s offshore detention centres. Reservations about ANU’s contracting of Wilson come amidst a recent Guardian leak of documents pertaining to the Nauru detention centre. They are currently accused of downgrading serious crimes perpetrated against asylum seekers in their reporting system, and withholding evidence of further abuses from Parliament. The minutes, dated 15 March 2016, read: “The end result of the national
tender for Security Guarding Services resulted in Wilson Security being awarded the contract for this service. On the 31 Jan 2016 SNP Security [ANU Security’s former contractors] completed their last shift at 0700; Wilson Security commenced the provision of guarding services from this point.” “The transition was an accelerated process over a period of approximately 2 weeks, this lead to an accelerated learning curve for Wilson Security. The Wilson staff recruitment process resulted in around 30% of existing guards transitioning across to Wilson.” Earlier in the minutes, it also noted that “many of the new staff are new to the security industry.” Evidence of Wilson’s management of ANU Security can also be viewed publicly on the “Current Contracts” page in ANU’s official website. The end of their contract with the ANU is listed as June 30, 2019.
Associate Professor John Minns at the School of Politics and International Relations, who is heavily involved with Canberra’s Refugee Action Committee, expressed disappointment with the ANU for contracting Wilson.
When Woroni reached out to the Chancelry for a response to student and staff concerns, a spokesperson replied “the safety and security of staff, students and visitors to campus is the number one priority for the University.”
He told Woroni, “the ANU has taken a strong stance against harassment and abuse on campus. But this is a company which is closely involved with a system of off-shore detention which has now been shown by international and domestic human rights bodies to be one of intense sexual and physical abuse of asylum seekers and refugees.”
“ANU engaged the services of Wilson Security in late 2015 following a competitive tender process that required Wilson Security to meet the University’s stringent security standards and safety requirements. Wilson Security was engaged following appropriate due diligence checks.”
His statement continued, “The ANU should consider its ethical position in relation to this company. It is likely that most students and staff at the ANU would reject a connection with a company which makes profits from an internationally reviled system of off-shore incarceration of people who have done nothing worse than ask for our help.”
Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt was not available to comment given his absence overseas, and the ANU spokesperson directed Woroni to Wilson Security for any comment regarding its activities on Nauru and Manus Island. Wilson was not able to provide comment in time for publication.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Delayed Elections, and The Great ANUSA Presidential Debate Kanika Kirpalani
This year’s ANUSA Presidential Race, happening on the afternoon of Friday 12 August, has distinguished itself from others by being significantly coloured with joke tickets, leaving the race largely down to the Connect and Amplify tickets for 2017. Current ANUSA President, Ben Gill, announced - only a few days before the elections were to start - that the ANUSA election will be postponed due to contractual issued between ANU and Membership Solutions Limited (MSL), the company which will be used for the online voting. Gill noted that as ANU is enacted under Commonwealth law, it acts as a governmental agency and negotiations of this kind are often difficult. However, regarding the data security needed to conduct a campus-wide election, the data security of students is of the highest priority and that which the ANU is seeking to protect. Four tickets were in attendance of the debate; the competent ‘Amplify’ led by James Connelly, the reaching ‘Connect’ fronted by Karan Dhamija, ‘Make ANU Great Again’ represented by gen rep Lewis Pope and ‘John Cena for ANUSA’ with a student in a John Cena mask. The four candidates displayed a sharp bipartisan divide between hilarity and significance, and with Gill’s fateful words of “don’t be a dick is basically a ground rule”, the debate commenced. Gill and Ria Pflaum, Editor-In-Chief of Woroni, moderated the debate, kicking off by asking the candidates how they will work with a team to achieve their goals. Pope noted his great leadership and called for a wall off the bat. Dhamija noted his external experience, helping to run a ‘national NGO’ with a budget similar to that of ANUSA. The ‘Connect’ Presidential hopeful also accredited his time at university, watching ANUSA for four years to as providing him with an indication of what has and hasn’t worked. The masked candidate declared, “John Cena can lead the ANU”. Connolly, current Education Officer of ANUSA, indicated his experience as working as part of a team and how he had built his ticket through an “open gen rep process encouraging people to bring new ideas”. Connolly
also stated that the ability to achieve goals depended largely on open communication about challenges within the team. Considering the mentally and physically taxing role of ANUSA President, the candidates were asked about their approaches to self-care. Connolly acknowledged self-care as his “biggest weakness”, indicating that he had already discussed this with his team. The Amplify candidate stated that dealing with pressure required “delegation, letting go, being up front with students”. Pope volunteered that he was the smartest person in the debate and suggested that he would deal with pressure well. Dhamija conveyed that he would deal with stress by delegating to trustworthy and competent people, this would be achieved he said by, “trying to work out how you always have the most open channels of communication”. Cena attributed self-care to remaining in “peak physical fitness at all times”. Questions concerning the Grants and Affiliations Committee (GAC) steered the debate towards the more administrative fine points of ANUSA Presidency. Here Connect and Amplify distinguished themselves with wildly different policies regarding GAC reform. Dhamija called for “professional parttime staff” and the need to shift the GAC portfolio from the Social Officer to the Treasurer. He suggested that this shift would be most sensible, freeing up the Social Officer to engage in new projects apart from Bush and O-week. When questioned as to what the Social Officer would actually do, since GAC responsibilities make up most of the portfolio outside of the orientation weeks, Dhamija suggested that N-week (the week before O-week) could be explored. However, N-week is designed for the leadership committees of residential colleges to prepare for O-week and for the ANU to run programs for international students. Dhamija’s reforms may require the Social Officer to overwork themselves running a week of activities prior to the busiest week
of the university calendar. Connolly took a more traditional approach. He stated that his ticket was putting forth a Social Officer with experience on GAC and that this was vital for making the affiliation of clubs and societies more efficient whilst avoiding the “ballooning of costs around GAC”. Connolly also stated that the treasurer has other administrative duties. Dhamija tried to defend his policy with the suggestion that GAC should shift to the Treasurer as the role calls for someone who can understand finances. Both Connect and Amplify called acknowledged the need for consultation in GAC reform. Connolly suggested the regularization of consultation forums as necessary to instill confidence within the student body and Dhamija noted that ANUSA has to be more proactive. Regarding the redevelopment of Union Court, Connolly voiced concern over losing the office ‘shopfronts’ and stated that the process of moving to a ‘pop-up village’ required the building of relations between staff to encourage student engagement. Dhamija too suggested that the transition would provide opportunities to create a “much more productive working environment”. Dhamija also brought up the need to preserve or improve the health and counseling services, calling for “active consultation” with students regarding the possible privitisation of these services. Connolly stated, “we need better services on campus to support students’ mental health”, calling for student consultation to better counseling support. With so much focus on ‘student consultation’ as the buzzword of the debate, Pope declared it was important for people to be heard and 2nd amendment rights to be preserved. Connolly and Dhamija also tackled issues surrounding NUS. Both candidates acknowledged the institutional problems within NUS, such as the ‘Bachelor-esque’ bullying and backstabbing that has affected delegates in the past. The Presidential hopefuls both stated they would attend the conference as observers to determine whether procedures ensuring the well-being and security of delegates
were in place, before they even considered re-affiliating with the organisation. Concerning payment and funding to departments, Connolly stated that funding needed to be protected within the constitution. Connolly suggested that the autonomy of departments needed to come first and foremost, whether or not department officers are employee of the association., Dhamija also spoke about the importance of departmental autonomy and “consultation.” The promotion of gender equality within the association and the student body was the next topic of discussion, with both Connolly and Dhamija apologising for being male-identifying men. Both candidates acknowledged they could not speak on behalf of women as Pope asserted that “I myself have broken the glass ceiling for them”. In shock Cena questioned why there was no ‘Divas division’. Connolly cited the fifty-fifty gender split on the Amplify ticket, indicating the need to give female-identifying people platforms. Dhamija, once again apologized for his gender and said it was ‘sad’ that there was no female identifying candidate. Dhamija repeated the suggestion to give women platforms. Besides the comedic value of a Trump-inspired ticket and the tiredness of Cena, the debate gave an overwhelming picture of the competence of Connolly and Dhamija. However, the ultimate quality of the debate has been called into question, as there were no major divergences in policy, with much agreement on certain issues and accusations of repeated buzzwords. Students who Woroni interacted with after the debate noted the departure from more lively Presidential debates in previous years.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Pride Week 2016 Madeleine Birdsey
Pride Week, run by the ANUSA Queer* Department, ran from the 8th to the 12th of August, with a focus on education and celebration for both LGTBQIA+ students and nonQueer students. Pride Weeks similar to ANU’s run around the globe, and offer Queer people to examine issues within and outside of the community, as well to celebrate their identity, their community, and their love. ANSUA Queer* officer Fred Hanlin, speaking to Woroni, said that Pride Week was for ‘reminding everyone that we are still here, and it’s still not OK to treat us as less than what we are … and even a bit of fun” One of the main themes throughout the week was the importance of community, with events aiming to forge connection that were stronger, more equitable, and safer. This included an emphasis on intersectionality between race, sex, gender and age, as well as ‘Autonomous’ events, which
offered Queer only spaces for discussion and fun. Queer week began on Monday with a Writers Story Share and a talk on Racism in the Queer Community. The Share offered everyone an opportunity to share their stories, featuring local writer Jemimah Cooper. A number of students participated, offering their personal experiences in the forms of poetry and prose. The second event, Racism in the Queer* Community was run by Deputy Queer* Officer Fernando Goh, and examined how racism within the community impacts LGTBQIA+ people. In particular, he spoke of the need for those with privilege “to redress [the] balance” in order to improve diversity and representation for People of Colour, as well as addressing wider issues of online discrimination and cultural appropriation. Tuesdays events focused on building
community, including a circuit class at the ANU Gym, and the ‘Firepit Queery’, which offered Queer and questioning students the opportunity to discuss issues of identity and treatment within the community, and how those impact with presentation and perceptions of Queer* people. On Wednesday Pride Week was visited by a number of ladies from the Canberra Lesbian community, who came to share their experiences and wisdom with the next generation. Panellists included Maureen Howard, Josephine Roach, Katrina Fanning and Carol Kee. They discussed the difficulties they had being out in the 60s and 70s, and their involvement in the second wave feminism movement. A number of participants at the event, both students and elders, commented about the similarities in the issues both groups faced, despite the time difference, in areas such as com-
ing out, discrimination, and responsibilities to “represent the community with [their] actions”. Finally, on Thursday, Pride Week hosted a the ‘Pride Carnival’ in Union Court, an event which focused on celebrating the diversity and vibrancy of the ANU community, with the theme of ‘getting rainbow’. A number of stalls offered face and nail painting, glitter, and food, and the event was highly popular with students. Overall, the week was highly successful, with a number of students commenting to Woroni on their increased confidence and bonds in the community. Pride Week offered opportunities for education and growth, as well as a vibrant source of fun for both Queer* and non-Queer* students.
International Chinese debating teams battle it out at the ANU Liam Milligan Last week, ANU hosted 16 debating teams from universities across Asia and Australia for a three-day debating competition conducted in Mandarin Chinese. The competition was held in a ‘presidential’ one-on-one format with participants debating mostly philosophical or topical social issues. Topics ranged from the merits of China’s online Baidu service, to whether the saying “silence is golden” still holds any standing in modern society. The ANU Chinese Debating Club worked with the participating universities and ANUSA to organize the competition, a huge logistical effort to arrange accommodation for the competing teams and venues for the debates.
“Chinese debating is a great medium to access Chinese culture and connect it to modern life; it also raises awareness of Mandarin speaking”, said Tong Su, the host of the competition and Chinese Debating Club member. The club, with around 250 members, has represented ANU internationally at competitions in Singapore, China and Malaysia. To many in the audience, the passion and flair of the debaters was very entertaining. The opening of the event was covered by the Canberra Times with reporter Ian Warden likening the spectacle of the Chinese debates to watching a European opera; enthralling but incomprehensible to the English speaking monoglot.
The set topic for the final debate was ‘善者不辯，辯者不善’, meaning those who speak persuasively do not mean well, while those who do not seek to persuade bear no ill will. This saying is ascribed to Lao Zi, a Chinese philosopher who lived around 500BC. The winner of the final was Malaysia’s New Era University College taking home a prize of $600 and Hong Kong City University taking out runner up position with $400 prize money. The overseas universities in the competition included teams from Renmin and Nanjing Universities in mainland China and City University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University from Hong Kong. National University of Malaysia and New Era University College also attended from Malaysia.
Almost every major Australian university was represented including Sydney, Melbourne, Deakin, Monash, UNSW, QUT, UQ and Adelaide. The debates began on Friday and were underway through to the final on the Sunday. The competition was sponsored by H&T Realty and the proceeds from the sale of tickets at the final, held at the National Gallery, were donated to Red Cross China.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
ANU PhD Candidate Goes Viral with Chinese Nationalistic Video Alexander Joske While little known in Australia, PhD Candidate Lei Xiying has left no small mark in China, this time going viral in China with a brazenly nationalistic video. Since arriving at ANU in 2011 to pursue studies in international relations, Lei has published widely in both Australian and Chinese media, yet only recently has his output attracted the attention of the west. The first instance was a July 25 article in Foreign Policy which examined a widely circulated piece by Lei on Chinese nationalism. In it, Lei alleged that many of the actions of so-called Chinese nationalists have actually been part of a conspiracy to undermine the credibility and respectability of Chinese nationalism. As an example, Lei cited a bombastic photo in which a shirtless middle-aged man holds a beautifully hand-written banner that reads, ‘Those offending against China, however distant must be punished’, with the character for ‘punishment’ having a nuanced meaning that can refer to capital punishment. Yet on the side of the poster, the scribe had written, ‘Addressed to American President Putin’. Surely, Lei argued, this case and others demonstrate a movement to discredit patriotism in China. In China, however, Lei appears to have first garnered widespread atten-
tee member of the All-China Youth Federation, which is a collection of Chinese youth organisations centred around the Chinese Communist Youth League. Responding to Lei’s activities, ANU stated that it is a ‘strong supporter of the right to free speech. That right extends to academics and students.’
tion with his campaign to encourage Chinese patriots to post photos of themselves with the Chinese flag online. Lei, for his part, posted numerous photos all over Canberra, including the above photo with the now Vice Chancellor of ANU Brian Schmidt. Ironically, Lei is wearing a Spanish national football team tracksuit in the photo. Just last week, Lei received significant attention from Australian media, including an article and interview by Fairfax China Correspondent Philip Wen, after the Dujia media company, which he claims to be vice-president of, published an extremely nationalistic video which received extensive attention on Chinese social media.
The video draws on fears of a disruptive revolution within China, showing and images videos from the current refugee crisis, and blaming US forces for covertly instigating such events. Set to rousing orchestral music and clips of military parades, the video accuses ‘die-hard’ Chinese human rights lawyers of being American agents, and ends with the message, ‘Protect China, watch for colour revolutions!’ Lei was invited to the Australian Prime Minister’s official dinner in honour of Presidents Xi Jinping’s 2014 visit to Canberra, and in 2014 founded the Australian Association of Chinese PhD Students and Young Scholars. He is currently a commit-
However, Lei’s profile on the ANU Bell School website has been removed in recent months, and his former office is now occupied by other academics. Furthermore, Lei himself has expressed his disdain for Australia on a Chinese social media account. ‘Once I graduate I’m going to immediately leave this dumb c**t unsophisticated Australia, America’s servant; doesn’t even have one bit of capability for independent thought’. His doctoral supervisor could not be reached for comment on this matter; however, friends of Lei said that he is still pursuing a PhD at ANU. As to Lei’s motivations, many believe Lei to be a true believer in the Chinese Communist Party’s ideology. An acquaintance of Lei, however, tersely responded to a question about Lei’s motivations by saying, ‘He’s gained lots of publicity from it.’
Online Juris Doctor elicits student concern Kanika Kirpalani The ANU College of Law has recently established a Juris Doctor degree online (JDO), with ANU students expressing concern about its implementation. A JD is essentially a post-graduate qualification of an LLB, ANU being one of the few universities in Australia that offers both undergrad and postgrad law degrees. The JDO has garnered some controversy regarding the quality of teaching and the concerns of current JD students on campus. The JDO will provide online teaching and assessment, resulting in the same JD qualifications as on-campus students. Currrent on-campus JD students have questioned the Law School’s ability to
maintain the quality of teaching. As the JDO will result in the same qualification, for a wildly different teaching program, many have questioned whether the introduction of the JDO will dilute the standing of the ANU JD. The JDO will explore a completely different teaching method from those currently used for on-campus teaching. The JDO classes will be taught as ‘webinars’, in groups smaller than on-campus tutorials. The program also excludes lectures. Classes commence with a ‘trigger question’ to be used in discussion and research, involving the students in collaborative learning.
Olivia Sparrow, Juris Doctor (Education) Officer on the ANU Law Students’ Society, questions whether “on-campus students could be disadvantaged with their larger class sizes and conservative teaching delivery”. On-campus students may also be disadvantaged when it comes to the style of online delivery. Using a ‘tri-cluster’ program, all courses will be founded in concepts from the subjects of Foundations of Australian Law, Legal Theory and Lawyers, Justice and Ethics. Moreover, certain subjects such as torts, litigation, equity, and corporations, will be amalgamated to provide a more practical understanding of legal practice.
It has often been acknowledged that the ANU law school provides a more theoretical teaching of law, with little focus on practical methods and skills necessary for the occupation. Sparrow says, “it’s problematic that the faculty insists that online students are getting the same degree while studying completely different subjects, whether or not the students ultimately achieve the same outcomes”.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
The ANU’s 70th Anniversary: Reflections from the Roots In the week of the ANU’s 70th Anniversary, Woroni approached students from all over the university to reflect on what ANU is to them, their current difficulties, and their hopes for the future.
Anthony Cotter, 4th/Final-year BMus Student “The circumstances surrounding the ANU School of Music over the past few years have been less than ideal. With severe austerity measures instigated by VC Young in 2012, followed by a massive restructure involving a 50% reduction in teaching staff, this move has now seen the resignation of two heads of school (Adrian Walters in 2012 and Peter Tregear in 2015), and student enrolment has dropped from over 250 in 2012 to about 65 now. Although there has been improvement in the composition faculty this year (largely to assuage significant negative feedback from students), this has been at the expense of the Jazz department, which continues to be slowly poisoned to death.
However, since the appointment of VC Schmidt this year, he has assured students and staff at the school that he has a strong commitment to rebuilding the school’s image, instigating a highly involved, lengthy consultation process, and he has promised more funding for staff and programs at the school starting next year. The future image for the school looks to be quite different from both the school’s current image and that of its pre-2013 reputation. But will the impending restructure assuage the concerns of the student body and the greater music community? Only time will tell.”
Naijing Liu, PhD Candidate at CHL “I am currently a first year PhD student in CHL. I did my MA in ANU under the supervision of Dr Mark Donohue, who then became a chair in my PhD panel. Unfortunately, I was told several months ago that the new CHL would not see a role for him, which rendered my PhD candidature problematic from the third month. Although the CHL had tried to mitigate the consequences and to make the supervision sustainable, Dr Mark Donohue will no longer affiliate with ANU. Many of my fellow colleagues experienced low morale then, because not only Dr Donohue but a lot of professors and research staff were left with no choice but to leave the CHL. It seemed to me that linguistics as an integral part of CHL is indispensable for ANU. So far I have no idea about the status of CHL as I am not around, except that Dr Donohue continues to provide very encouraging and supportive supervision for my project in Kathmandu. My fingers are crossed for a dynamic, restructured CHL when I go back in September. Happy birthday ANU! I love this university and the people here. I sincerely hope that, after the rebuilding of
the CHL, ANU could still be the best place for linguistics students to learn the nature of things. I hope I can still hold my head up when I graduate and tell academia that I graduated from ANU.”
Supriya Benjamin, IR/PPE “ANU is an institution that I am extremely humbled to be a part of and on its 70th birthday, I cannot help but reflect my time at the university. The university continues to offer excellent opportunities to students academically and socially and I often find myself unconsciously praising ANU to friends and family. Personally, I have had the opportunity to get involved with various Clubs and Societies on campus as well as within ANUSA. These experiences have taught me that the university strives to ensure students can pursue interests (even the very niche – where else can you find a Wine Society?!) and continually support such services financially. However, what I admire the most is the spirit and enthusiasm of the students and staff here at ANU who continue to make the university experience dynamic and different. ANU is already in the midst of discussing ways to ‘flipping the classroom’ by engaging students through online modes of teaching. In addition to that, ANU is looking at enrolling new students without solely looking at ATAR and the introduction of such new and innovative ideas continue to make me feel humbled to be part of this institution. At times of financial and administrative distress within CHL and the School of Music, it amazes me how driven and united the student and staff become in mobilising and advocating to maintain the unique culture of ANU. This university has truly gotten better with age – inside and out.
Fred Hanlin, current Queer Officer “ANU was founded 70 years ago (and some parts of it are even older) with the intent of making a National University, with students all across the nation coming together to learn and research advances in all fields. I am personally very glad to be in an institution that has continued this diversity in subject matter, and can hope it continues to work toward positive inclusivity of all peoples to this university that we can all benefit from the broad and diverse experiences amongst our student body, as well as the diverse range of intellectual pursuits that drove us to come to this now 70 year old institution.” Raine Chiam Pei Yi, Psychology “University isn’t only about learning the stuff that we signed up for, preparing for assessments, or meeting given deadlines. University is about learning that the courses we thought would be dry or uninteresting can be brought to life by lecturers who— ironically— don’t lecture, but teach. University is about preparing the stone which paves part of our journey into the future; even if some of us have not the slightest idea of the path that lies ahead. University is about meeting our expectations for ourselves, not someone else’s. “Education is not the filling a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” — William Butler Yeats May ANU continue to kindle flames that are transmissible and can never be quenched.”
Issue 10, Vol. 66
NUS Re-Accreditation on the Table Again Alexander Joske In March this year, the ANUSA Student Representative Council (SRC) was divided as it discussed a motion to re-accredit with the National Union of Students (NUS), with a total of twenty students speaking at length on the topic. Finally, the SRC decided by secret ballot to reject the motion, thereby halting ANUSA’s accreditation with NUS. In light of the upcoming ANUSA election, NUS seems to have once more taken centre stage as a major policy issue for candidates. In fact, a ticket called We Choose NUS has been created with NUS re-accreditation as their main platform. NUS describes itself as the peak representative body for Australian undergraduate students. Jillian Molloy, NUS ACT Branch President and We Choose NUS nominee, credits it with playing a central role in the largely successful movement against the deregulation of university fees, and in consolidating the voice of students. Similarly, Amplify presidential nominee James Connolly spoke strongly on the importance of re-accreditation with NUS at the March meeting, arguing that its campaigns accord with ANUSA’s, and that it can play an important role in affecting change. Nonetheless, there seems to be no disagreement that NUS is in need of
serious reform. In 2015, a handful of ANU students travelled to the NUS national conference (NatCon) as delegates and observers, submitting damning reports on NatCon to the SRC. Complaints raised included crippling factionalism, an inhibiting lack of information concerning the structure of NatCon, and concern about the physical and mental well-being of delegates. In particular, delegate Jed Buchanan’s report stated that ‘factionalisation is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, barrier to change and effective governance for NUS,’ a complaint echoed by many other delegates. The conference is typically controlled by Labor party factions and Socialist Alternative. Attendees have complained that the degree of factionalism at the conference is so high that it is difficult to create policy change outside of this factional structure. Delegate Laura Campbell’s report also noted that she observed ‘a number of both physical and verbal altercations at Natcon 2015 this year on conference floor’. Molloy said that much has been done to address these complaints, such as the creation of a grievance officer position to better address future concerns. ‘People always focus on the
problems with NatCon, when a lot of great work happens outside of that, like at EdCon [education conference] and with campaigns like their opposition to the pink tax.’ In this year’s election, 15 people are vying for five NUS delegate positions. However, whether those elected will be invited to NatCon as delegates depends on whether ANUSA moves to re-accredit with NUS. Currently, both Connect and Amplify advocate sending NUS delegates to the next NatCon as observers to determine whether safety issues and factionalism have been addressed. Both tickets also expressed optimism about NUS’s potential to improve, with Amplify writing that ‘NUS has been able to successfully lobby for some good policies’, and Connect writing, ‘We believe that NUS can be an effective representative body if the changes in its structure especially the way Nat Con is run can be brought about’. Tom Kesina, currently ANUSA disabilities officer, is the only independent running for the position of NUS delegate. At the March SRC meeting in which the re-accreditation motion was rejected, Kesina voted against re-accreditation, citing safety concerns about NatCon, NUS’s lack of success in addressing complaints,
and the meager benefits the ANUSA disabilities department had received from NUS. In Kesina’s recent policy statement on the NUS, he concurred that ANUSA needs to send observers to NatCon, and stressed the importance of having independent and impartial observers, who ‘ought not to be aligned with a political faction’. Connect, Amplify, We Choose NUS, and Kesina all stated their support for holding a vote in an SRC meeting on re-accrediting with NUS, after discussing reports from delegates and consulting with students. Make ANU Great Again also had a statement about the NUS. ‘We need to stop sending so much of our money offshore to other universities. We need to put ANU first. We have so many problems that Crazy Karan and Crooked Connolly don’t care about solving.’ It is unclear how much re-accreditation with NUS would cost, but in past years the figure has been $5000.
Fifty50 begins mentoring sessions for first years Kanika Kirpalani Fifty50 is an ANU society promoting gender equality in the field of CECS. What sets the group apart is its inclusive nature, addressing gender inequality by steering away from gender specific events. Co-President Francesca Maclean, indicated the importance of not alienating men but rather including and utilising them as agents of change in the field. Due to the high attrition rate of women out of fields such as Engineering, Fifty50 runs mentoring programs such as fortnightly study
sessions for first years. Maclean indicated that following a passion can become hard for individuals when they are feeling isolated in tutorials. Maclean stressed that gender inequality is not just a female problem but rather something that affects all. She stated that women needed to be encouraged to enter currently male dominated fields, such as CECS and STEM, from the top down. Fifty50 hopes to engage in active outreach, partnering with larger companies in
the field. Maclean cited that such companies have gender quota for not only their workforce but also their graduate programs. Maclean believes bridging the gender gap starts with the partners of these companies, giving more women opportunities to excel in these fields, working towards more female leadership at the top. The organisation is currently partnered in the ‘Innovation Challenge’, engaging students in collaborative ac-
tion and drawing industry speakers to speak of their experiences in the field. Fifty50 is developing into what Maclean calls a “case of best practice amongst Australian universities… engaging the majority to make a difference”.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
The General Secretaries: On Online Voting, Standing Order Reform, and Student Engagement Lorane Gaborit
DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately Connect ANUSA’s General Secretary candidate, Bec Jellie, was unable to meet with Woroni for an interview on her policies and ideas for the role this week. Information about Connect ANUSA can be found on their Facebook page.
The ANUSA General Secretary is responsible for the internal administration of ANUSA, running and organising the meetings of ANUSA’s representative councils (SRC, CRC, AGM, OGM), as well as looking after and interpreting the Constitution and other ANUSA documents. Woroni sat down with Amplify General Secretary candidate Kat Reed to discuss policy in the lead up to the election. Reed, who also ran for General Secretary last year on the Open ticket, explained that they decided to run again this year as they believe that the position provides an opportunity to be the main communicator for the organisation and therefore facilitate the atmosphere of ANUSA. They described this atmosphere from
their own experiences with ANUSA to be quite “passive aggressive,” and something that they felt determined to address. Additionally, Reed mentioned their desire to help people have more of a say within the SRC as a motivating factor, especially those from minority groups. Online Voting On the topic of online voting, Reed stated that they thought the change was “a good decision”, as they believed the new system would increase accessibility for voters and decrease pressure on campaigners. For instance, Reed described the potential for online voting to increase the chances of candidates without huge networks by elevating the importance of social media use. Reed also suggested a policy of incentivising online voting in order to increase turnout. Citing the University of Queensland’s success with providing $10 lunch vouchers to students who voted in their student elections, Reed proposed a similar incentive at ANU, in the form of $5 coffee vouchers for voters.
Standing Order Reform In regards to standing order reform, Reed stressed the importance of its implementation in order to “level the playing the field,” stating that if elected it would be their first priority. These reforms, which have already been looked at by current General Secretary Sam Duncan, include the introduction of a “point of clarification” to query meeting procedure. According to Reed, this would allow people to ask questions about meeting procedures without being out of order. Secondly, Reed suggested creating different sets of standing orders for different meetings as an avenue for standing order reform. Reed claimed that tailoring standing orders to the different meetings run by ANUSA would better address the aims and outcomes of these groups. Lastly Reed mentioned the need to look at practical ways to teach people how to use the standing orders and why this knowledge is important. They explained that one of the key issues with standing orders is that
people who are confused by the procedures or lack practice in using them are disadvantaged in meetings. Student Engagement Woroni also questioned Reed on their policies towards student engagement with ANUSA. In response, Reed discussed their policy of introducing page summaries of agendas and minutes if elected. These summaries would by distributed before and after meetings to describe key points to be discussed, as well how these topics are relevant to students. To conclude, Reed discussed their desire to use the General Secretary position to ensure that the departments and executive have a “really solid relationship” as a differentiating factor between herself and other candidates. Citing past difficulties between the two to be the result of misunderstandings of autonomy, Reed emphasised their past experience with departments as useful for them to help “create more trust” and “more support” for the departments within the General Secretary role. .
Issue 10, Vol. 66
The Treasurers: On GAC, Sponsorship, and Investment Miguel Galsim
The ANUSA Treasurer is responsible for all of the Association’s finances, and monitors spending in accordance with the Association’s goals and what has been approved by its members. They have to ensure funds are spent appropriately, and must organise professional auditing for ANUSA’s finances. Woroni sat down with Amplify Treasurer candidate Zhengxiang (Harry) Feng and Connect Treasurer candidate Ned Dale to discuss policy in the run-up to the election. Feng told Woroni that he decided to run as Treasurer because of his experience as an accounting student, and was confident that he would do the job well. He also stressed that if he were successful, he would be the first international student to play the role, and would have institutional knowledge from his current position as International Students Officer. Dale, who is also a CBE student, outlined his experiences as head of the Trading and Investment Collective and employee of the Canberra Business Chamber. He felt compelled to run after experiencing first-hand the difficulties in working with GAC from a Clubs and Societies perspective, and felt that being Treasurer he could help shape reform. Woroni asked both candidates what they thought of the decision to remove the course prerequisites for the Treasurer position. Both agreed, with Dale calling it a “good idea, because there are a lot of competent students I know... who have the skills necessary but haven’t done the prerequisite courses, which were quite limited. Feng said that instead the prerequisites could be recommendations, but recognised that it ultimately barred people from the position who had sufficient experience from outside university, particularly international students.
Transparency and GAC
On transparency, Feng cited his experiences as an executive of a student club and noted a “disconnect between ANUSA, GAC, and student clubs.” He wanted to inform more students about ANUSA’s finances and do so proactively. Feng also asserted that he would like to be more approachable, especially for international students, in regards to financial transparency and information sharing.
Regarding ANUSA’s search for external sponsorship, Woroni asked if students would be able to have a say in which sponsors were chosen, particularly if the sponsor was deemed ethically-questionable. Feng said that he would not make any decision before consulting members of ANUSA regarding who would sponsor the Association, and stated that in the end, all sponsors would bring benefits to the student body. He referred to QPAY and Murray’s Bus services as examples.
Dale concurred that transparent operation was critical for an organisation of ANUSA’s size, especially when “85% of funding comes from SSAF.” Adding on to Feng’s idea of continuous dialogue with clubs, the Connect candidate proposed providing financial training to C&S treasurers and making budgets for major events (O-Week, Bush Week, etc) public. Dale also mentioned the Connect (and Amplify) policy to hire a professional staffer to run GAC processing, but also highlighted Connect’s shift of GAC to the Treasurer portfolio. He rationalised this by saying the reforms would allow the Social portfolio to focus more on event management. Moving GAC to the Treasurer was a “logical step” given that GAC is fundamentally about “the dispersal of funds.” In response, Feng recognised room for improvement in GAC. However, he felt that GAC should still remain with the Social Officer, especially given the networking challenges of connecting C&S (Clubs and Societies), especially those internationally-geared. He also referred to personal troubles with GAC, “not because [it’s] not a good system, but because the information processes are not good.” Both candidates agreed that students should be heavily involved in GAC, but that professional staff should take the burden of bureaucratic and financial work.
Dale stated that he looked to the University of Sydney Union for inspiration in trying to “diversify [ANUSA’s] income stream so we’re less reliant on SSAF and have other ways of getting long-term financial stability.” External to university, he also emphasised his experiences in sponsorship negotiation, and wanted to develop “a better two-way relationship” between sponsor and student, as inspired by his discussions with current Treasurer Sean Macdonald. Investment and Diversification Woroni also questioned Dale’s policy goal of increasing ANUSA’s financial security, which he said could be achieved by diversification. Wanting to continue investigations by the current Treasurer, Dale stated that he would look into investing into managed funds, property, and local businesses. “This will allow us to reinvest our surplus into these revenue streams... to create larger sums of money in the future,” he continued. The Connect candidate believed this would give a larger pool of emergency resources and could help reduce SSAF reliance to 70% in “coming few years.” When asked on his stance on investment, Feng stated that he would “invest in projects that benefit students, like potential mental health provid-
ers.” He highlighted that since SSAF is such a large contributor to ANUSA’s funding, it would be hard to find a complete replacement for it. Dale told Woroni that the first policy he would implement would be to pave the way for a professional GAC staffer, alongside preparing for the 2017 SSAF bid. Feng also planned to work on the SSAF bid from the onset, and would use the remainder of the year to inform C&S of changes in the coming year and would consult them for an effective beginning of term in 2017. To conclude, Woroni asked what made each of them different from past Treasurer candidates, and both of them highlighted their C&S experience. Dale offered his skills in professional organisations and already-developed networks in the Canberra business community. Feng stressed that he would be the first international student to hold the position – if successful – and felt that his diverse background and personal experience would benefit ANUSA.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Amplify and Connect Discuss Higher Ed Miguel Galsim
The ANUSA Education Officer plays the role of dealing with higher education policy and organising campaigns on tertiary education. They also engage with the Government on its policies that affect tertiary students. Woroni sat down with Connect Presidential candidate Karan Dhamija and Amplify Education Officer candidate Jessy Wu to discuss their policies. Wu told Woroni that she decided to run because of the opportunities education opened for people, particular her parents who were able to use education to access a better future in New Zealand after struggling during China’s Cultural Revolution. She also hopes to oppose Government policies that threaten these opportunities, and highlighted her experiences in policy, particularly working for the Department of Education. Dhamija told Woroni that they didn’t run an Education Officer as Connect didn’t want to fill the position just for the sake of it – they would rather have an empty position rather than a candidate who was only partially competent and committed. Dhamija also noted that his personal experiences were similar to Wu’s, and referenced his experience in education policy, working to oppose fee deregulation through ANUSA. Higher Education In regards to ensuring that their advocacy has impact, Wu stated that their campaigns would “associate these abstract, technical policies with a human cost.” She used the proposed $152 million cut to the HEPPP program as an example, wanting to underline the vast number of low SES students that would be adversely affected. She also said that discussions with people working low-end jobs trying to repay HECS-HELP debts would be useful in opposing the lowering to the repayment threshold. Dhamija expanded on this, asserting that the final form of these proposed policies were yet to be seen, given that they are still proposals from a Government options paper. He also
noted that the lowering of the HECSHELP repayment threshold was still impacted by other factors, mentioning increased repayment rates for higher earners.
able to undergraduates. However, she stressed that given this position of privilege, ANUSA should still contribute to advocacy through the union.
Wu then added that Amplify wanted to provide feasible alternatives to Government policy, the absence of which was “a weakness of student activism in the past.” In light of this, she would be open to tweaking the currently frozen 8% repayment rate for better-off students earning over $101,900 while ensuring that low SES students were safeguarded.
“We believe in student unionism, but we feel that the NUS as it exists now is not a place we’re happy to send ANU students until changes have been made, and we will scrutinise that,” she said.
In response, the Connect presidential candidate argued that ultimately, education campaigns would have to be focused and not attempting to tackle too many issues at once. The National Union of Students (NUS) Woroni then asked the candidates if ANUSA was to re-affiliate with the NUS, and if this would benefit the Association. Dhamija’s stance was to continuously review the situation at the NUS and its national conference, emphasising that it was “quite horrible” when he went in 2013, and has seen little improvement up to now. According to his ticket’s position, the five delegates to be elected would go as observers, and liaise with NUS officials to ensure that ANUSA delegates are respected and safe. He also stated that “NUS isn’t nearly as effective as it can be because of the way it’s run,” and wanted ANUSA delegates looked after, especially in an environment of political conflict. Wu spoke on using a similar tone; Amplify is not certain that they can ensure the wellbeing of the NUS delegates, and consequently will only send Wu and Amplify Presidential candidate James Connolly should they succeed. She said that Amplify wanted to protect its delegates from all forms of assault, and would therefore avoid sending young or inexperienced students. Wu also recognised that ANU does not benefit hugely from the NUS, given how active ANUSA is and the multiple advocacy options avail-
“For NUS, we want to achieve the best for [our delegates]... it purely comes from a functional and wellbeing point of view,” Dhamija stated. Consulting Low SES Students? Woroni also asked both tickets if they had consulted low SES students in their policymaking, given that experiences of financial hardship are not unitary nor do they elicit uniform responses. Wu responded by saying that core policies were formulated with the participation of six ticket members who identified as low SES. However, she emphasised Amplify’s desire to empower these low SES students to bring their experiences into projects they wanted to champion. She gave the example of CAP representatives wanting to increase accessibility and reform payment models for CAP overseas programs. Dhamija also said that members of Connect identified as low SES and were also consulted in policy formation, coming to the conclusion that the “biggest barrier to studying at ANU was accommodation costs.” Accordingly, Connect is proposing to pressure the ANU to improve equity scholarships, rather than merit-based awards that, while they do benefit some low SES students, “inherently, structurally benefit someone from a more fortunate background.” Nevertheless, Wu claimed that the University Council deemed expanding equity-based scholarships to be unfeasible because of their cost. Dhamija defended his ticket’s policies, arguing that potential funding for equity scholarships could be taken from merit-based ones.
However, the discussion turned into debate on the constitutionality of Connect policies, with Wu stressing that only the Education Officer is constitutionally allowed to lobby the government on higher education policy. She also attacked Connect’s plan to lobby the ACT Government for increased lighting, saying that the Braddon Forum and the Heritage Foundation were already doing so. In response, the Connect president said that there was nothing wrong with overlaps in lobbying, and that there was nothing wrong in expanding the lobbying work of the Association especially given the narrower focus of the Education Officer. “This is rewriting the constitution,” the Amplify candidate charged, and could result in “redirecting” ANUSA. She also questioned whether Connect was ready to make these changes, because of their inexperience with ANUSA and failure to understand the costs of redirecting the Association. Countering, Dhamija said that his lobbying expansion would alter the constitution as much as Amplify’s policy to split the VP role, and their changes would not significantly alter the roles of the executive. Expanding advocacy should be the focus, according to Dhamija; constitutional changes should not be a stigma. Additionally, he defended his ticket’s experiences, asserting that they brought a wealth of experience from outside ANUSA and had been in talks with previous ANUSA executives. Ultimately, Wu remained concerned that Connect’s relative inexperience in running ANUSA would bar them from making effective changes to the strategies and priorities of ANUSA. Given that Connect lacks an Education candidate, Dhamija felt that “most likely, Jessy will be the Education Officer, and if I’m successful I look forward to working with her.”
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Amplify and Connect Discuss Social and GAC Policy Miguel Galsim
ANUSA’s Social Officer is responsible for organising ANUSA’s major social functions and is the point of contact for Clubs and Societies (C&S) and the Grants and Affiliations Committee (GAC) that distributes funds to C&S. Woroni sat down with Amplify Social candidate Cameron Allan, and Connect Presidential candidate Karan Dhamija to discuss social policy.
to separate powers and maintain accountability.
Allan decided to run as Social Officer because of his extensive experience in event management and a desire to reform GAC, particularly as someone who is engaged in the current Reform Working Group for GAC. He also commented on the “relatively uncontested” nature of the office, noting the very specific requirements for the role.
Dhamija also supported this particular recommendation by the Working Group, again referring to its efficiency and adding that it would make GAC more responsive to student inquiries. It would also quicken re-affiliations at the beginning of the year, prior to O-Week.
While he respected Dhamija’s decision to not run a Social Officer, he was disappointed that there would not be a robust conversation on GAC reform during the elections. Dhamija stated that Connect would not run a Social Officer candidate just to fill the position, similar to the Education portfolio. He noted that Connect approached two possible candidates, but both had to withdraw, with one receiving a job offer that would have interfered with Social Officer duties. GAC Policy and Reform Woroni asked both candidates how they would overcome the challenge of the Social Officer’s dual responsibilities of event and bureaucratic management. Allan said that his experiences would allow him to comfortably switch between roles. The Social role is fundamentally about “collaboration” and “connecting people” Amplify also sees the restructuring of Social Officer role towards being more “social,” as “inevitable.” Trusting the Reform Working Group’s arguments, Allan envisioned GAC being replaced by a C&S Council populated by C&S executives, although it wouldn’t be chaired by the Social Officer in order
Allan would also support the Working Group’s recommendation to employ a paid staffer to process GAC requests, taking the bureaucratic burden off GAC members and increasing efficiency. Defending the costs, Allan asserted that in his discussions with the current ANUSA executive, it was reasoned that money for another staffer “was not an unreasonable ask in the SSAF bid.”
Departing significantly from the Amplify position, Dhamija also proposed that one option would be to move GAC into the Treasurer portfolio. According to the Connect candidate, most of the payment processing would be financial in nature, and a committee lead by the Treasurer would be ideal for managing and auditing these payments. Additionally, Connect also plans on using the Campus Life Officer to provide training to C&S executives, alongside this proposed restructuring. Amplify would not support shifting GAC to the Treasurer, as they would “not be elected on the mandate to guide C&S policy.” Allan stated that the Working Group sees GAC as moving towards an emphasis on governance, rather than financial processing. He acknowledged that while there were financial aspects to GAC, it would be “bizarre” to place it under the Treasurer when the chair of a future C&S Council is envisioned as a strategic director focused on engaging student clubs. Regarding any auditing or oversight, Allan said that the Amplify model would have this come from within the executive of the C&S Council. Dhamija responded by stating that another one of their options was to have the Campus Life Officer chair
the C&S Council. He also defended the Treasurer as being suitable for C&S governance because of the skills needed for the portfolio. The chair should not be overestimated either, according to Dhamija, and under his model other executives could pick up the role of training and C&S engagement. He stated that taking GAC away from the Social Officer would allow them to put more energy in improving social events. Responding, Allan maintained Amplify’s commitment to the conclusions of the Working Group, and questioned if Connect had involved itself thoroughly with GAC reform discussions therein. He also added that Amplify didn’t want the Campus Life Officer creating the training resources, but to use the Council members to collaborate in order to create these resources. Dhamija then highlighted that whatever structural changes might occur, they could be set in stone before their terms even begin – a draft for a new constitution is due next week. He also clarified his vision of the Campus Life Officer as “more of a co-ordinator” to assist the efforts of oft-busy club executives. Social Policy Regarding engaging all C&S within the Council, Allan asserted that there needed to be incentives to encourage participation, possibly taking the form of making affiliation or funding contingent on Council participation. He also considered using C&S Council executive roles to target the needs of specific groups on campus. The Connect candidate also added that attempting to organise nearly 200 clubs would be a logistical challenge in itself. On the topic of social events policies, Dhamija wanted a “remapping of how ANUSA’s social calendar works” as he did not see it as performing to its fullest potential. He also wanted to revamp N-Week, which precedes O-Week, as it would greatly benefit students who come to ANU and
move immediately off-campus. The objective was to give non-residential students the opportunity to socially network. In response, Allan agreed that a reform of the social calendar was needed, and that the Social Officer should eventually be considered a “Clubs and Societies” Officer. Mainly, the Amplify candidate felt that clubs and societies needed to be at the forefront of the event calendar. To ensure this, Amplify would provide C&S with training and information over the summer (via Social Officer or the C&S Council) and intensifying networking as a part of the role. He proposed holding a Presidents’ Camp for C&S to facilitate collaboration, and classifying clubs as they affiliate. Intersectional and diverse events would thus follow by shifting leadership more towards C&S, although Allan also wanted to focus on hosting events centred on issues affecting young people, such as eating disorders. Moreover, he suggested using the Social Committee within the portfolio for event management. He also found the idea of revamping N-Week interesting, but was concerned about the resources and time necessary to do so. Improving Bush Week was a greater priority for Amplify. Dhamija, reflecting on Amplify’s social policies, stated that there was much agreement between the two tickets. However, “the more important thing is to have the capacity is there to provide the resources,” to ultimately increase the potential of the Social portfolio. Allan added that the multiple, contrasting aspects of the Social Officer role was what made it less effective and not the Social Officer themselves. When the Amplify candidate raised the issue of possible confrontation on the ANUSA executive, if both Allan and Dhamija succeeded, Dhamija signalled his willingness to find compromise. Ultimately, he felt that there was nothing wrong with having different tickets represented in the final executive team.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Woroni talks with VP Candidates on Mental Health, International Students, and Education Miguel Galsim
The ANUSA Vice Presidential position can be considered relatively hidden, but its impact on the functioning of the Association remains significant. In the run up to this year’s elections, Woroni sat down with Amplify Vice Presidential candidate Eleanor Kay and Connect vicepresidential candidate Grace Shalders to discuss what they would bring to the role. ANUSA’s Vice President is responsible for handling student appeals and advocating for student interests within the ANU. They also focus on educational and faculty policy, while also serving as the first point-of-contact for college representatives. Kay, who believes ANUSA is a key advocacy and representative body, chose to run because she wanted to see improvements in and the continuance of current ANUSA initiatives, its mental health policies being the focus. She highlighted her personal experiences with mental health, and current capacity as general representative. Shalders, who has not held a previous ANUSA position, comes to the platform with a “non-residential, low SES” focus, based on her own experiences. She aims to expand ANUSA’s services to offer more to the large number of students living off-campus and to greater represent student in the Union Court redevelopment process. Mental Health Regarding mental health policy, Shalders said that Connect would like campus mental health services to greater engage international, low socioeconomic, and off-campus students. Improving actual accessibility, and not just informing people of their
existence, is essential. Kay then asked how Shalders would see this enacted. Shalders responded by noting colleges “moving away” from ANUSA, and stating that there was much for ANUSA to learn from the pastoral system of residential colleges. She also hoped to see a buddy system implemented, where students would help newcomers settle into Canberra. Outlining her policy, Kay said that she would oversee the implementation of a Health and Wellbeing coordinator for 2017, continuing efforts made by current President Ben Gill and his Let’s ticket from 2015. Her ticket feels that the Wellbeing coordinator would be able to collate the multitude of mental health programs on campus in a unified direction. Furthermore, while the coordinator would be employed by the ANU on a three year contract, they would still be directed by ANUSA. Kay also wanted to see the Wellbeing coordinator interact effectively with international students as a short-term goal. In overcoming not only language, but legal and cultural barriers, Amplify would use 2017 to properly research and consult with relevant student bodies to do so. The Connect VP concurred, and added that she would want an advocacy-based approach with preventative, rather than reactive engagement with international students. Shalders also raised concern with the possibility of ANU Counselling being tendered for private operation during the Union Court redevelopment, and wanted to ensure student consultation with the new provider was prioritised. Kay agreed, although both candidates acknowledged the uncertainty of who would eventually take over the Counselling service. On whether or not the tickets would engage third-party mental health or-
ganisations to ease the load on ANU Counselling, Shalders said that while she hadn’t extensively considered it, she did admire Batyr’s networking efforts. However, she did stress the importance of increasing ANUSA’s preventative programs to recognise early signs of mental illness, but felt that relying on third-parties was not the solution. Kay also added that information services would assist students during the long wait for ANU Counselling services, and hoped to bring social workers into ANUSA to triage students on mental health concerns. International Students and Education When asked by Woroni how the tickets would overcome challenges in engaging the large and diverse international community at ANU, Shalders wanted to use academic societies and services to draw international students into the wider student body. Citing her experiences in Griffin Hall, Shalders noted that many international students prioritise academic pursuits, and hopes to use these channels to engage them with ANUSA. Kay, drawing from her experiences at UniLodge, acknowledged that barriers to engagement did exist but that they could be remedied by using international student clubs and societies, as well residential colleges to help network international students, especially in creating a welcoming discourse surrounding mental health. On the topic of education advocacy, Kay signalled her willingness to work with college representatives to better handle student concerns. Yet, Amplify’s major policy is to split the VP into two roles, one for Welfare and the other for Education. “At the moment, the VP takes on a lot of educational
advocacy to the point that they are unable to carry out other projects... so we are keen to see two roles created,” she said. Shalders said that she agreed with most of Kay’s policies, and acknowledged that, as VP, she may have to fill in for Connect’s lack of an Education Officer. She built on Kay’s intensions to coordinate with college representatives, and highlighted Connect’s policy of connecting course and college representatives to better service students. Shalders also spoke of Connect’s intention to begin lobbying the ACT government, particularly for lighting and transport support in areas with high student populations. Nevertheless, she also acknowledged the possible overlap between a possible Connect VP and the Education Officer, given the external nature of this lobbying initiative. Finally, Woroni asked the candidates what made them different from past contenders. Shalders underlined her low SES and non-collegiate background as possible benefits to the Association. She felt that coming into ANUSA without prior experience within the Association would allow her to “bring a brand new perspective, learning where things are at the moment, but bringing a really fresh approach.” Kay said that there were similarities between her and current VP Clodagh O’Doherty, and had “similarly aligned” passions. Referring to the high turnover rates in ANUSA, Kay felt that continuing many of O’Doherty’s policies would be ideal for students, and ultimately felt that communication during handover is necessary to keep ANUSA’s momentum.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Unite! for PARSA promises empowerment and advocacy Miguel Galsim Unite! for PARSA, a ticket formed for the PARSA elections on August 15, is beginning its campaign on a platform of advocacy and enfranchisement for marginalised students. Headed by first and current Women’s Officer Alyssa Shaw running as president, the ticket is running candidates in each executive position, each college (except Physical & Mathematical Sciences), and five general representatives. Woroni was given the opportunity to sit down with a number of ticket members for an interview. Shaw told Woroni that her experiences as PARSA’s first Women’s Officer enlightened her to what she perceived as a gap in PARSA’s ability to advocate for marginalised students. “PARSA can be a more effective advocacy body for students, wherever they come from... Women, Indigenous, international. We’re taking the next step up,” she said, referring to her ticket’s overall objective.
Kim-Marie Spence, the vice-presidential candidate and current VP, outlined issues their ticket wanted to explore, such as ANU under a new Vice Chancellor and the restructuring of the Schools of Music and Culture, History, and Language. She also acknowledged the diversity of the postgraduate body, not only in nationality but in “life stages,” with some postgraduate students having to balance family and childcare commitments with their studies. Spence also tried to dispel the allegation that PARSA “only [does] social events” and noted that “isolation is a big issue” in the postgraduate community and wanted to connect members of the student body to resolve this. Jingting Gao, College of Business and Economics Representative, also wished to see greater integration of international CBE students, particularly from her native China, into PARSA activities and services. When asked what their first
changes to PARSA would be, should their ticket succeed, Shaw flagged mental health as a priority after discussions with ANUSA and Dr Richard Baker, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Student Experience). Unite intends to increase the number of mental health counsellors at the ANU, and would use SSAF funding to expedite this, underlining that postgraduates were more likely to suffer from mental health issues. She also hopes to make ANU’s body of counsellors more culturally and linguistically diverse and establish a culturally-sensitive resource database for international students with different perceptions of mental health. College of Law Representative James Shin echoed these ambitions as necessary for the College of Law. He stated that given the difficulty of the degree, many Law postgraduates suffered from mental health issues, and described Unite’s policies as partly “welfare-oriented.”
At PARSA’s previous AGM, Shaw also opposed the Chancelry’s plan to separate the roles of ANU Council Member and PARSA President into two distinct positions, instead of the combined role that they are currently. The ticket members agreed that discourse during the election would centre on advocacy and mental health issues, and efforts to make PARSA more relevant for postgraduates, whether they are Masters or PhD students. Spence believed “big issues” like the CHL crisis would take the spotlight, and also identified student housing as another example. She explained one of her past experiences in PARSA having to put some postgraduates in hostels around Canberra as a temporary accommodation solution. Shaw concluded, “At the end of the day it’s about student rights and student welfare. That’s what we’re here for.”
OurANU aspires for a more inclusive PARSA Miguel Galsim OurANU is one of two major tickets formed for the PARSA elections on August 15. It has launched its campaign on a platform of creating a PARSA “that will represent the biggest number of students of any organisation in 2017,” according to presidential candidate, and current Social Officer, Isobel Smith. The ticket is running a full executive, representatives in each college except for Physical & Mathematical Sciences, and three general representatives. Outlining the ticket, Smith mentioned that her teammates have leadership experience from residential colleges, clubs and societies, and professional experience from private and public sectors around the globe. Woroni corresponded with Smith via email to talk about the ticket’s policies. Smith told Woroni that her institutional and community experiences as PARSA Social Officer encouraged her to step up to a larger role within
the organisation. She also emphasised her desire for advocacy developed in the Law School and as Environment and Charity Secretary at her residential college in University of Sydney. One of OurANU’s focuses is on the postgraduate community’s diversity. “We represent the diversity of that ANU postgraduate community in terms of gender, nationality, program structure, residential/non-residential students and of course the University’s various colleges,” Smith said. Regarding policy, she stated that a main goal – and their first policy to implement if they were successful – would be to update ANU’s Reconciliation Action Plan “to best-practice standard.” “OurANU believes we are obligated to be on the forefront of Reconciliation, and committed to becoming a model student organisation for best-practice reconciliation standards,” she said.
Additionally, OurANU pledges to “oppose all cuts to research schools” and promises to provide greater consultation mechanisms to affected postgraduate students, particularly by creating a new HDR (Higher-Degree Research) Officer position to increase engagement with research students. This comes at a critical time of dissatisfaction surrounding the restructuring of the School of Culture, History, and Language, angering many research students. PARSA’s Education committee would also be reformed “to foster leadership pathways for PARSA students,” and a representative corresponding to each ANUSA Department would be appointed. She told Woroni that her ticket would begin the procedures to implement these changes from “[their] first day in office.” Furthermore, Smith promised to “advocate for ANU to divest all its fossil fuel investments, and for all future development to be carbon-neutral, including the planned new residen-
tial accommodation and the Union Court development.” She also stated her ticket would work towards lowering “the currently unacceptable waiting periods” at ANU’s medical and counseling services, and improving them in general. Ultimately, Smith felt that the greatest challenge to the postgraduate community was handling its diversity. For many postgraduates, university commitments can clash with the need to support families and find paid work to support themselves, especially if they are from overseas and have relocated on limited resources. Smith concluded, “Our team is committed to making representation, conversation and community available to any and all postgraduate students who want it, and with our diverse and enthusiastic team we are prepared to overcome the full range of obstacles between postgraduates and the engagement they want.”
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Not One of “Those” Vegans ANONYMOUS
If you had asked me a year ago about my thoughts on vegans, I would have had a long list of comments to make, most of them very impassioned - in the angry sense of the word. A year later, I myself am a vegan (albeit a fairly recent convert), but by and large, my criticisms of veganism still stand, despite – and also because – I’ve now joined the club. There are a great many good reasons to go vegan, and they are often based on moral principles – animal rights probably being the most wellknown - with environmental reasons being another common example. But for a cause which consistently claims to be underpinned by compassion and respect, vegans are often highly unforgiving in discourse. The personal commitment which vegans make to living according to their moral principles is laudable, and I would presume that few people seriously object to principles such as animal rights or environmental sustainability per se. Rather, many people object to the moralism and self-righteousness
which so often pervades vegan discourse. I am a member of a vegan Facebook community, and too often am dismayed and angered by the manner in which the group is used more or less for a) self-praise and b) condescension and judgement of non-vegans (usually also served with a side of self-praise). Whether or not it’s intended, much vegan discourse is little more than thinly veiled commentary on the supposed moral depravity of nonvegans; and sometimes, it isn’t veiled at all. This isn’t merely annoying, but is inconsistent with the values which vegans profess to uphold – it demonstrates a failure to extend the compassion and respect that the vegan community has for animals and the planet, to interpersonal discussions. I do not mean to argue that vegans are not entitled to believe and declare that the farming and slaughter of animals and harvesting of animal products is unethical and/ or unsustainable, but rather, that passing judgement and professing moral authority over non-vegans is, I
believe, patronising and arrogant. As vegans, we cannot expect discussion to occur exclusively on our terms, and we cannot expect people to both listen and be open to our views and practices if we only judge and condemn theirs. Furthermore, given that many vegans driven by the environment and animal rights are committed not only to practising veganism themselves, but also to encouraging other people to get aboard the vegan bandwagon, this antagonistic us-and-them discourse seems counterproductive to recruitment. Perhaps some people are converted to veganism through shock tactics, judgement or guilt, but I certainly wasn’t one of them. If I were hoping to get somebody to consider going vegan, I fail to see how telling them that they’re a bad person is the best way to start the conversation. In a broader sense, I also fail to see how telling livestock farmers that they are callous murderers is going to inspire them to stop farming animals and change their entire way of life.
I certainly don’t enjoying witnessing all the vegan-hate on social media and in daily conversations - the derisive comments about ‘hippies’ and ‘bleeding hearts’. Caring about the environment or the welfare of animals should not be cause for mockery and insult. The criticisms of vegans as being selfrighteous, judgemental, snobbish, and so forth – whilst certainly not representative of all vegans – are not totally unjustified either. Moreover, these negative connotations do no favours to the reputation of what is otherwise a commendable cause that is worthy of praise. Ultimately, however, unless we, as vegans, move away from the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude in favour of a more considerate, respectful discourse, I don’t see the groans of ‘not one of “those” vegans!’ subsiding any time soon. Sculpture by Nikola Emma Rysava
Issue 10, Vol. 66
In Defence of a Universal Basic Income Matthew Rogers
The British (or more accurately, the English and the Welsh) decided this year, against the economic wisdom of experts everywhere, to leave the European Union. In Australia, Pauline Hanson successfully convinced enough Australians that the source of their plight was immigration from Muslim countries. Donald Trump did the same in the US, despite the prevalence of economic wisdom that suggests immigration can actually be an economic benefit to a country, especially one with an aging population. My point is not that economic wisdom is wrong, but that people don’t care, because it isn’t helping them to live better lives. The McClure Review of the welfare system, handed down in 2015, says that “without reform, the fiscal, economic and social sustainability of the system will be compromised”. The Australian Social Services Minister, Christian Porter, recently announced a plan to overhaul the system, and to reduce the amount of people on welfare with targeted interventions into their lives. The Australian system is already fairly surgical, relative to the rest of the world, in terms of explicitly targeting and means-testing welfare. Maybe, therefore, it is time to start thinking about the opposite approach - rather than reducing the number of people on welfare, we should put everybody on it. This is the idea of Universal Basic Income, which has for a long time been advocated by certain pockets of economists across the political spectrum.
The idea is that all people, no matter where they fit in the spectrum of poverty, will receive a basic wage.
The most recent high profile example of this was the rejected referendum for a monthly payment of the equivalent of $2,756USD to all citizens in Switzerland. More success, however, has been had elsewhere, with Finland to become the first country to introduce a variant of the system at the start of next year.
Bloomberg writers have for some time advocated for a tax on wealth rather than on revenues. This, they claim, would result in money flowing to those people using it for productive ends, and away from people that aren’t. The losers would be those with inherited wealth and the winners would be entrepreneurs.
The main criticism of a Universal Basic Income is that it will violate that basic principle of economic thinking: the profit motive. Critics argue that without having to work to support their lifestyles, no one will. While this is intuitive, perhaps, the studies that have been done on Universal Basic Income have found that there is, at most, a modest reduction in work hours of between 1-2%, in exchange for a vastly happier life.
Now, a wealth tax, on its own, does nothing to address inequality, in fact it only allows it to continue, albeit in a more meritocratic form. But what if you combined a wealth tax with Universal Basic Income?
The post-employment era is not a utopian dream, rather, it is a sad reality. Roy Morgan Research estimated in April this year that almost 20 percent of Australians are underemployed (working fewer hours than they would like). Slovenian Marxist, Slavoj Zizek, predicts the rise of a new class, which he calls the ‘educated unemployed’. These young university graduates will find that there is no work available for their education level, and become increasingly radical in their agitating for change. This is not science fiction - the role of youth in the Arab Spring is well documented, as well as the potential for conflict within nations hosting a young, unemployed population with little opportunity to earn a living. Universal Basic Income, thus, helps us address another pertinent: what will people do when their jobs are taken over by computers and robots? Another criticism of basic wage comes from the fact that it appears to make little sense to give money to the wealthy for no reason. To this, there are two interesting responses. The first is that it is a price worth paying on account of the savings made by eliminating the machinery needed for more specifically targeted welfare payments, which are a clunky and often inefficient use of government resources. The second defence, is perhaps more controversial…
Well, the money that pays for everyone to have a basic wage would come from the most unproductive members of society, and the money paid to the already wealthy (i.e. the Elon Musks of the world) would be being channelled towards productive ends. The Trump family would have the chance to live a normal life without the risk of running their inherited wealth into the ground. If they do not use it well, it gets taken off them. A little unfair? Maybe. Unjust? Not really. Let’s, for a second, ignore the potential meritocratic advances. As there have been no large scale studies performed, this becomes a bit more speculative, but nonetheless, let’s begin with the fact that job security has
a big effect on the electoral cycle. It would be amazing to hear of a leader of a democratic society being elected in recent times without some explicit mention of ‘jobs’. Malcolm Turnbull is a prime (ministerial) example. Think too of the crossbench in the Senate: are the constituents of Xenophon and One Nation not similarly afraid of the threats to their livelihoods - the former from liberalised trade and the latter from immigration? Job security is important, because it is the only way people can live securely. No one in their right mind would choose to abandon their ability to provide for themselves or their families for novel, difficult, and necessary political reforms, such as in the environment and in education. A basic wage, however, would soften the blow on people’s livelihoods. Universal Basic Income will not be talked about in Australia. Turnbull is in a tough position within his own party, let alone the parliament as a whole (although at least ‘universal basic income’ works as a three-word slogan, if a bit of a mouthful). This is a shame. Universal Basic Income is not a radical proposal - this is not the post-capitalism of Zizek or the plethora of other neo-Marxist and radical economic thinkers that have been appearing over the past several decades. In fact, it might be capitalism’s last chance. To provide universal suffrage once seemed absurd, just as it now it would be absurd not to have basic political rights. A Universal Basic Income is the natural progression to ensure some level of economic justice in a changing world.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
A Tap on the Shoulder Matthew Bowes
Everyone knows how the Stupol conversation normally goes. It’s the one that often starts with a pained looked in response to the fact that it’s being discussed at all, followed by some general grumblings of discontent at how dire the state of affairs is, and culminating in the inevitable question, which is more often than not awkwardly phrased, “You’re not running are you?” For me, the answer has always been a curt “No”, which, a couple of moments later, is usually followed up by a tentative response of “Why not?” Up until now, I have never had a particularly good answer to that particular question, beyond the true, but incomplete, response that I’d never really been offered a spot on a ticket. The fact that the question is asked in the first place is, I think, revealing in itself. Amongst a student population that many claim is broadly un-
informed of, and disinterested in, the goings on of ANUSA, any mention of campus politics or the elections themselves is taken as a sign that you are, to put it simply, ‘one of them’. There is a real and present disconnect between those who spend their time and energy campaigning for a position in our student association and the rest of the student community at large. The disjunct is so great in fact that for years now, the entire process by which interested students could become involved, was itself dependent upon such students being recognised as ‘interested’ by those senior enough to be forming their own tickets. The whole game relied on being close enough to the inner circle to be eligible for a shoulder tap to begin with. There is, of course, nothing inherently wrong with picking people you know to join you on a ticket that you are forming. Like most endeavours, student politics is more about who you know than what you know. But in terms of shaping the attitudes of the student population towards ANUSA, the recent state of affairs has had a hugely damaging effect on the credibility of elections and the association. The very act of being chosen to run on a major ticket is, in this current climate of hostility, seen as a sign of being ‘one of them’. Rather than being seen, as it should be, as a
representative student body, you are considered by many as an “elite”. No matter how hard they work, those within ANUSA are fighting an uphill battle – a battle fought largely over the reputation of ANUSA within the wider student population. In such a context, the recent move - first by ANUSA itself, then by the Amplify ticket - to cast a broader net in the search for candidates, would at first seem like welcome news. Undoubtedly, it is positive that there has been any effort to break down the barriers between motivated students and the tickets which are the gateway to student politics. Nonetheless, there are reasons to be cynical. Not only has there been no real indication that the ANUSA expressions of interest initiative has achieved its goal of diversifying tickets beyond their currently limited range of “inner circle” students, but many sources have indicated, to myself and others, that alongside the open application process, many students were approached by members of the Amplify team to run as Gen-Rep candidates anyway, seemingly on the basis that any application by these students would be highly likely to succeed. They were, in other words, shoulder tapped. This is not to say that any one ticket is better or worse in this regard. Given the broader lack of action on this issue, the very fact that Amplify has
tried something different deserves credit in and of itself. It does indicate, however, that the issues which plague our student politics are not merely baked into the culture of the election season, but also inherent in the very nature of the ANUSA elections. With so little engagement by many students with the political process, and thus a distinct lack of knowledge on the issues that motivate differences of opinion amongst the candidates, finding or reaching out to a broader coalition of like-minded students is nigh on impossible. If tickets themselves are meant to join together those of similar values, despite the fact the voting population has no sense of stupol values in terms with which they can empathise, then maybe a ‘tap on the shoulder’ selection process is the best way forward. It’s hard for myself, someone who has no experience of the inner workings of ANUSA, to propose possible solutions here. Nevertheless, it seems to me that the issues themselves are clear. Until tickets can relate to the students that they will go on to represent, and until students can trust that their favoured ticket is, broadly speaking, made up of students similar to themselves, the distinctly despairing tone that pervades conversations of student politics is unlikely to go away any time soon.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
I Forgot… Again Anonymous Last week I went to the shops to buy some groceries. I came back with a few boxes of packing styrofoam, a fern and some coloured plastic I had found on the side of the road… but no groceries. I didn’t realise that I’d forgotten to actually go shopping until a few hours later, when I was telling a friend about an artwork I wanted to make out of plastic cups and a sofa, which triggered some obscure connection to supermarkets in my brain and subsequently reminded me of the empty fridge at home. The next day, I accidently made plans with three different people to have coffee at the same time and spent the morning re-planning and apologising. I got locked out of my house four times in one day and I missed almost all my classes because I started two new paintings and decided to learn piano. By the end of the week I wasn’t only frustrated, exhausted and overwhelmed – I was distraught. The week had been a test – a trial to see if after almost a year I could take a full week off my ADHD medication and manage to get by. I figured that if I had made it through my teenage years without medication, surely I could get through one week at university. Maybe I’d even be able to be one of those seemingly perfect ADHD spokespeople who talk with conviction about how, through sheer willpower and motivation, they were able to control their inattentive brains and use their medication only for the most pressing of tasks! The problem is, it’s the willpower and motivation part that I have a problem with. That and the impulse control, lack of focus, forgetfulness, inability to finish a task… the list goes on. This is why I found myself in the fire brigade office on Friday afternoon, convinced that since I’d never be able to finish any of the three degrees I’d started, or succeed in a 9-5 job even if I did, that I might as well use my ADHD to some advantage in a job where I could do well - I was going to throw away nearly two years at university and become a firewoman. When asked why I thought I’d be suitable for the job I started to list some of my better traits; I’m good in a crisis, I don’t panic, I’m a creative and quick thinker, I’m resilient, I’m compassionate, I’m good at problem solving, and when I’m under pressure I’m incredibly single minded and determined.
because I know I can - I just have to work a little harder than most people. Most importantly, I won’t let my ADHD be an excuse for me not to succeed. I can look in the mirror and tell myself I love me for me, because I do. I wouldn’t change myself, even at the worst points. Despite all that, there are still moments when it is all just too much, when I feel like I am drowning in my own head, when I’m exhausted and frustrated, when I can’t stop crying because I just can’t seem to make myself do anything right, and when ADHD starts ruining relationships with the people in my life.
All thanks to my ADHD. For all of its negative implications on my life, I can’t help but think that given the choice I wouldn’t swap a normal brain for my ADHD one. It’s something that takes a lot of hard work to convince myself of sometimes, but it is nevertheless true when I remember that without ADHD I’d be a very different person. In light of that, the medication I use to manage my symptoms just seems all the more damaging to my life. Yes, it helps me function better, and yes, it has improved things in so many ways, but it is no cure – it’s somewhat like giving a band aid and a stick of morphine to a person with a gunshot wound. It’s helpful in the immediate moment, but not all that useful in the long run. What’s more, and for the effects of what is virtually a numbing agent, ADHD medication comes with a steep price tag. For starters there are the side effects - the nausea for an hour or two after my first dose, the shakes, the headaches, the inability to eat, and the crashes which make my day feel like I’m riding a rollercoaster blindfolded. They almost rule my life. I can deal with that though. I’ve learnt to schedule my day around when I know I will feel good between my second and third dose, and to avoid problem times like early morning and mid afternoon. I’ve learnt to take time away from people, and not feel pressured to perform the same way they do. I’ve learnt to let things go and cut myself slack when I need to, but to not use ADHD as an excuse for all my behaviour.
I’ve learnt that post-it notes are worth their weight in gold. What I still can’t quite get my head around, and what I still can’t be completely ok with though, is the way the medication makes me feel about myself. I can’t seem to get away from the feeling that the person on medication is not really me. People often say they feel their personalities are dulled, that they feel slower and less creative, that they aren’t really all there. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up with ADHD as a central part of my identity, but for me, it’s like being two different people - there is me, and then there is medicated me. The two are often worlds apart. Take away my high energy enthusiasm for everything new and exciting around me, take away all the unrestrained creative ideas and interest in the world, remove the bubbly and social aspects, and you’ve cut out a pretty big chunk of my personality. I’m quieter and calmer. I don’t bounce ideas around constantly. I’m not jumping out of my seat to tell you about some interesting thing I saw or did. I can sit through a lecture though, and write an essay or finish a reading. I can remember orders at work and I won’t forget to call you back if I say I will. That’s what counts as successful in this world, right? So I’ll keep taking my medication – because then I’ll fit in with that cardboard cut out of the 21st century girl. I’ll stay at uni and tick the box
It is not because I don’t love them enough. It is because I’m hard wired to lose interest quickly, not just with tasks, but with the people I care about most as well. That’s hard, and it hurts – me as much as them. I can’t help but feel at those moments that maybe I am just inherently flawed inadequate - because why else can’t I just do what everyone else does with such ease? At times like that, all I can do is step back and remind myself that I can’t, because I’m not like everyone else. I am a little different. There is nothing wrong with me, but there is something wrong with the world for making me feel like there is. What is in my head is not a disorder, it’s just an alternative way of thinking – a way of thinking that doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to be synonymous with ‘bad’. That is an uphill battle though. A battle I am reminded of everytime I’m criticised at work for mixing up tables, everytime that I’m criticised for asking the same question too many times, or when I am criticised for littering the living room with the remnants of 15 different projects. I suppose there isn’t really a solution to that, except to keep talking about it. If I keep the conversation open, hopefully people will eventually see ADHD the way I do, as strange and confusing, but ultimately just a part of a much bigger personality that isn’t defined by 4 letters.
Artwork by Rachel Powell
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Big New Toys for Army Boys Cameron McArthur
Another election season has come and gone, and Australia’s future has never looked more secure. Both parties made it clear that the budget would be a tight one this year - as Labour struggled to balance its budget, our triumphant Liberal-National Government was forced to make $2 billion dollars-worth of savings from Higher Education and $1.2 billion from aged care. Thank God that in this frugal period, both sides of parliament agreed to not even suggest making cuts to our beloved military. In fact, continuing the trend from the previous four years, the Liberals have once again, wise-
ly increased military spending, with promises to continue to grow the defence budget for a further three years. Of course we can’t give them all the credit. It is refreshing to see in this increasingly divisive parliament, such strong bilateral party support for good policy. Back in 2014, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott pledged to buy 58 F-35 fighters, Bill Shorten declared to Radio National that “it was Labour who believed that the Joint Strike Fighter was an appropriate addition to our air power”. And what an appropriate addition it was! With current costs looking like a measly $17 billion, the planes should be up and
running by 2020. And as long as they are not made obsolete over the following 25 years by unmanned drones or other more advanced weaponry, which is rapidly being developed, they can only be described as a smart investment. That is of course, only if we use them in some war, but that surely won’t be too difficult. Of course, the fighter jets can only be considered cheap when compared with Turnbull’s $50 billion Adelaide based project to build 12 submarines by 2030. But then again, nothing does stop a boat full of refugees like 4765 tonnes worth of submersible weaponry.
Of course, to guarantee that not a single boat slips past, Turnbull has sensibly pledged a further $40 billion to build up to 21 naval patrol vessels. It just makes good economic sense to spend $90 billion securing one’s borders, when one considers the cost of settling all those refugees. And of course once Australia has added 33 vessels to our navy, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing we’re safe from ISIL and Chinese expansion.
Perpetuating Difference: A Response to Multiculturalism & Democracy James Kitchin
First, let us establish that multiculturalism refers not to cultural diversity within a country, but to the policies aimed at managing that experience. Now, at the risk of inciting the fury of the regressive Left, the placid indignation of the Right, or even worse, the triumphalism of the far-Right, I proceed by saying that the two are becoming incompatible. In the context of an ever-globalized world, the nuances of people’s identities are become ever more complex. One need only look around to see that nationalism, ethnicity, faith, sexuality, gender etc. are becoming much more complex than ever before as they interact with one another. In many cases, this is entirely and absolutely a good thing. The problem is that multiculturalism demands public affirmation of these identities and corrals all into neat little boxes,
thereby ignoring their subtle nuances. In effect, multiculturalism requires that cultural diversity be stratified in the public sphere and thus, structurally reinforces difference.
thinks Australia is a Christian nation. They simply say to themselves “Separation of Church and State” and dust their hands. But this is not the whole truth.
And so, when the far-Right see difference, they see more of it, and they fear that the mechanisms of democracy will give the ‘other’ power. This is what invokes their ingrained perception of what the state should look like, precisely because of multiculturalism’s internal logic.
Australia still permits interaction of the State with the Church - provided that the State does not interfere in Church affairs, or vice versa, and that it does not favour any one religion over another. This is a multicultural approach to secularism, but it also shows the gaps in multiculturalism. By allowing this interaction (e.g. the funding of religious schools) the State actually allows people like Hanson to associate Australia with Christianity and therefore, to ludicrously suggest we are under threat of invasion. By allowing this interaction, the State, whether knowingly or not, is reinforcing differences within the public sphere.
Pauline Hanson, for instance, claims that Australia is a Christian nation to justify her demonization of Islam. The typical ‘progressive’ response is to simply insult this as unintelligent, laugh it off as crazy Hanson, and then continue life eating halal snack packs. This is problematic because they haven’t asked themselves why Hanson
While this is only one way that multiculturalism is stagnating, it is arguably the most relevant. Overall, in order to protect itself and the citizenry, the State must stop its practice of boxing people up and stratifying difference in the public sphere. Secularism, not multiculturalism, should be the order of the day.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Shamim Mazari is a PhD student at ANU. His research focuses on the anthropology of religion, and the intersection of religion, politics and law in the Muslim world. He holds a Masters in International Law and Politics from Canterbury University, and has worked in human rights and community development.
“Doing” Dreamtime: On Indigenous Beliefs and Postcolonial Realities Shamim Mazari
The word “fetish” originally referred to a charm or an amulet - an object with magical powers or maybe possessed by a spirit. This is rather different from what we mean by the word today, when we say, for example, “My girlfriend has a toe fetish.” In reality, however, even this example hints at the original meaning - it implies an obsessive devotion to an otherwise ordinary object. In this article, I’m interested in another type of fetish: the cultural fetishism that often occurs in postcolonial societies around all things indigenous. As citizens in a postcolonial society, how exactly is it that we fetishise indigenous beliefs and practices, or do we at all? When we visit a sacred place like Uluru, or go to a marae in New Zealand, do we sometimes feign belief that we don’t really feel? Is this feigned reverence somehow superficial or inauthentic? Or is it really the opposite – even if we are new migrants, can we adopt indigenous beliefs as part of our own cultural inheritance? Let me explain this question with a story. A couple years ago, I was on a fishing trip in the sunny and beautiful seaside town of Tauranga, New Zealand. I had been invited by my cousin, who was born and grew up in California, but raised by a New Zealand mother. He had grown up hearing stories about New Zealand and was fascinated by Maori mythology. This was one of the few chances he had to visit. As we sailed out of Tauranga harbour, we passed by a bronze statue which stood on a raised platform of stones in the middle of the water. It depicted an athletic man, crouching low and holding a taiaha – a traditional Maori weapon - in his right hand. My cous-
in took a small fish out of a bucket and threw it into the water. “Why are you throwing away the bait?” I asked. “I’m making an offering to Tangaroa.” “An offering to who?” “Tangaroa,” he gave me a sharp look, “the god of the sea. If you don’t make an offering you won’t catch any fish.” Later, I wandered onto Google to find out more about this curious statue of Tangaroa, the god of the sea. It was sculpted by Frank Szirmay, a Hungarian artist who arrived to New Zealand in 1957 as a refugee. The statue was erected as a challenge, and a welcome, to ships sailing into Tauranga harbour. My dilemma is clear: neither the statue’s sculptor, nor my cousin who threw it an offering, were Maori. Neither of the two grew up believing that Maori gods intervened in the human world, caused natural disasters, or fought cosmic battles over land and sea. Yet both were involved in preserving a Maori tradition, a sacred practice, and – in its original sense – a fetish. Let’s pause for a moment and ask if the word “fetish” is really as pejorative as we tend to think. If you’ve ever been given a flower by someone you love, and tried to preserve it between the pages of a book, then you’ve had a fetish. Perhaps you never take off a ring that belonged to your mother, or refuse to let go of your grandfather’s war medals. This type of fetish is very human, and very natural. But racial and cultural fetishism has a different quality. It’s a love-hate relationship, and usually involves stereotyping and prejudice.
When I was a community worker in Sydney, I remember one particular morning when my manager stormed into the office. She often showed up unexpectedly with peculiar ideas on how to turn our office into a “creative environment.” This morning was no different. “We’re going to do some team-building exercises,” she said. “I always found that Aboriginal concept of ‘Dreamtime’ to be very therapeutic. So for the first team-building exercise, we’ll be doing Dreamtime.” I was bewildered. I knew that “Dreamtime” referred to aspects of Aboriginal cosmology, but I didn’t really understand it. I certainly had no idea what it meant to “do” Dreamtime, but apparently this was it. She threw a stack of blank paper and coloured pens on the table, and instructed us to “tap into” our “creative minds.” Fifteen minutes later we came back together as a group, stood in a circle and shared what we had learned. Then we made a pretty, colourful collage. Let’s return for a moment to my cousin’s sacred offering to Tangaroa. Does this qualify as fetishising indigenous culture? Probably. But it’s a fetishism which, I think, is almost bound to occur. People attach sacred meaning to objects and places, and throwing that fish into the water was my cousin’s way of connecting with his mother’s side of the family. It was his way of writing himself into the stories he had grown up listening to, and the history and myths he had read about. In this way, accounts of pre-colonial history and mythology can help us ground our own unique identities. In some ways, perhaps, it is a form of escapism from the ordinary, predictable and unimaginative rhythm of modern life. I found my manager’s appropriation of Dreamtime to be more offensive.
What made it so, I think, is that she knew nothing substantial about the concept, and couldn’t explain it beyond the fact that it was “therapeutic” and “creative.” She seemed to be riding a wave of popular culture, which had appropriated Dreamtime and taken it far beyond its original meaning. But something else made this sacrilegious act unforgivable. She used something sacred to spice up the most despised, degrading event in any office bureaucracy: the team-building exercise. What, then, should we do to avoid turning another culture’s sacred belief into a commodity? How can we transform a superficial fetish into real appreciation? The key, I think, lies in empathy and effort. It’s not about reviving the indigenous beliefs of a pre-colonial past, but appreciating how they continue to evolve and persevere in indigenous societies today. It’s about respecting their beauty while being honest about their flaws. It is to learn indigenous languages, not just a few token words to sound culturally sensitive. I cringed when my cousin threw the fish into the water as an offering to Tangaroa, because I felt his belief was disingenuous. Now I’m thankful that he did. It encouraged me to research who Tangaroa was, how the statue was built, and reflect on the strange and unexpected ways in which sacred practices continue to change. The next time I sail through Tauranga harbour, you might catch me making an offering to Tangaroa too. Can I do this with integrity, while not really believing that Tangaroa has power over the waves? About this, I’m not so sure.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
(Inter)National Nitpickery Curious about world news, events or the occasional Australian political blunder? Every edition, we’ll be deconstructing politics and topical events from the outside world, poking the shitty bits with a nice long stick and commenting on its tangy smell. Perhaps we’ll find a nugget of golden wisdom lurking within?
#CensusFail Adrian Hindes
kept for four years rather than 18 months - data which now includes names and addresses. Now your average citizen may not worry too much about this information being provided to a government authority, but with terrorist concerns amplifying, and with religious and gendered minorities becoming quickly identifiable on the census data, and people mostly being distrustful of the government and their surveillance policies after WikiLeaks... Well, yeah, it is a bit of a problem. Regarding these concerns, ABS officials have responded quite vaguely via social media, reassuring the public about their “brilliant” security system. This isn’t to imply that Muslims and homosexuals shouldn’t be worried though - all it takes is one hate-fanatic to breach this security system and bam: neo-Nazis know where you live. In the modern age, all it takes to break into government data servers is one neckbeard with enough doritos and mountain dew. Jokes aside, the prospect of this information ending up in the hands of fringe groups and extremists is extremely problematic. A data breach may be unlikely, but it’s certainly not impossible. I suppose we could always just count ourselves lucky that there’s a strong anti-correlation between people’s extremism and their overall level of intelligence. We shouldn’t be too hasty to ring the panic bell. Surely the data isn’t stored that insecurely. Quantum computing is supposed to be a thing, right? It can protect us from all the hackers. Well, not quite,
but at least ABS doesn’t store all this stuff as plaintext; there are hashes and complicated security keys which detach your raw info from the stats, and keep number theorists employed. Essentially, they don’t need your name or address to store your data – they can anonymise you and encrypt your data so that it’s hard to access. But wait! They’re storing the names and addresses anyway. Supposedly for “deeper, richer data linking” Let’s also remember that this is the same security system that has been breached 14 times since 2013. That is once every two months… and now they are planning to keep our details for twice as long as before? Cool. So our data isn’t really that secure. No wonder the ABS hasn’t had any good comebacks for the savage social media condemnation as of late. It is worth asking just how bad it really is to have our names and addresses on file. Just think about this for a moment - has there been a time in history when having your name, address, religion and/ or sexual preference all “safely” in the hands of the government ended not-so-well? Census data, historically, has been used many times by states to persecute ethnic groups. Americans with the Japanese, UK with the Catholics in Northern Ireland, Yugoslavians with the Bosnians and Croats, and, of course, Nazis with the Jews. Now, while a course of action equating to severity is unlikely any time soon, let’s keep in mind that Trump may soon be the President of the US, and we
have four One Nation senators lined up for the government rodeo at home. I’d bet Pauline Hanson would just love to know where every Australian Muslim lives… Great! You should now be either paranoid and have thrown out your census letter, or are glossing your eyes over the latest sensationalist article. If you’re reading this prior to having completed the census or mailing your responses, you’re probably wondering what can you do? Well, you didn’t hear it from me, but I heard that if you ‘accidentally’ misspell your name, or write a nickname instead, ABS can’t do shit. Plausible deniability man, it’s a wonderful thing. If, rather unfortunately, you’ve already sent the government your deepest darkest secret super-sensitive census data, you better cross your fingers and hope the fanatic neckbeards stay away from mountain dew for the next four years. Editor’s Note: On 10/08/2016 the ABS publically disclosed that on Tuesday the 9th the website was shut down as a precautionary measure after four attempts were made to hack into the system and sabotage the national survey.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Bored? Stressed? At a loss for intellectual stimulation? Well, looks like you need to take a look at a book, my friend. Whether you’re a literary prodigy or a novice at novels, stop by my column to see what to read and what to skip over. Keep on squirming, bookworms!
Respect my Author-ity Alexandra Elgue Orlando by Emile Zola
Different Classes by Johanna Harris
It takes one hell of a writer to take one look at the constructs that make up the modern world and say “You know what… I’m just going to ignore all of these.” This is exactly that Virginia Woolf manages to accomplish in her magnum opus ‘Orlando’, which tells the story of an individual unbound by the natural laws of gender, class, race and time. Subtly hilarious, and scathing of conventional society, the book manages to tackle more issues than you would think possible while staying just ridiculous enough to keep readers on their toes.
Penned by the same hand that created the masterpiece ‘Chocolat’ (which you may remember from the Johnny Depp blockbuster rather than the enchanting novel), I was eager to unveil ‘Different Classes’. The reviews promised a gripping thriller, and I was more than ready to be sucked into what looked to be one hell of a page turner.
I won’t dance around the subject - it’s an odd book. The term ‘suspending disbelief’ isn’t quite extensive enough to cover the distance you have to put between yourself and reality in order to stop yourself from hurling the novel across the room in exasperation. Yet, I also found that this book was disquieting for another reason - it reveals the performances that each of us play in everyday life. What’s that you say? You are an entirely authentic human being, devoid of performativity? Pick up this book and be proven wrong. There are few books I would recommend as strongly as this one. It is hilarious, ridiculous and somehow encapsulates all the strangeness of being a human being. If you want to be transported into the crazy realm that is… well.. reality, then this is the book for you.
Sadly, as prepared as they were to be knocked off, my toasty Canberrean-winter socks stayed cosily on my feet. The story itself was decent, if slightly overwritten. The author’s use of a verbose Latin professor as a protagonist can only be described as a thinly veiled excuse to whip out her thesaurus, and the result is fairly irritating at times. Shifts in perspective, narrators and medium attempt to keep the story interesting, and according to the reviews some readers certainly felt this effect. The novel, however, left me with the feeling of anticlimax you get when you meet someone very attractive in a lecture, only to discover that they have marginally less personality than a block of wood. The twists were there, certainly, but they did not deliver the blows I was promised. Perhaps the fault lies with me - I have likely been taught to expect too much of thrillers from the likes of ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl on the Train’. I am hesitant to advise against this book, if only because its success means that quite a few people must have genuinely enjoyed it. I will, however, say this - keep your expectations low. The book may not be a show-stopper, but let’s not be too harsh, it’s no train wreck either.
Follow Fash ‘n’ Treasure at www.instagram.com /fash.n.treasure
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
FUCKING BAZZ or, perhaps, FUCKING BAIRD*!!! Kate Stewart
I’m cranky. Not necessarily a new state for the grumpy old woman most of you see when you look at me, but I am the kind of cranky which is all capitals and all expletives - I think anyone who has ever used Twitter would understand that that means I’m REALLY cranky. So, to overshare a little, during term time I live in Queanbeyan. I am not unhappy about this situation. Queanbeyan is, reputedly, .9 degrees warmer than Canberra on average each year, Queanbeyan is considerably cheaper to live in than Canberra and, most importantly, Queanbeyan is in a real State. That is to say that while the New South Wales Government is inherently more conservative than basically anyone else on the planet (certainly, we a fairly lengthy history as being the single most conservative jurisdiction in Australia), we are safe knowing that the Commonwealth can’t overturn our laws. To overshare again, I have been invited to a dinner in Sydney on Friday. I thought to myself, fabulous, I’ll order myself a stupid Opal Card, because I would rather like the NSW Government to know exactly where I am all the time.
tion) qualify… the Australian National University does not. So, like any self-respecting, self-interested person, I seethed a little and sent a couple of emails. I sent an email to ANUSA asking whether they knew anything about it, but no, they didn’t. I called John Barilaro (local member for Monaro) who said it is apparently because ANUSA didn’t pay dues. I called ANUSA… wtf? I contacted Mick Veitch (MLC) and David Harris (MLA) who said it was in no way ANUSA’s responsibility... this is all a bit odd. So I called the minister’s office. Minister Andrew Constance, to be specific, who is known in his electorate as the person not to talk to if you actually want something done about your issues… clearly an excellent appointment to the Transport portfolio.
‘… well, it’s your university’s fault.’ ‘How is it my university’s fault?’ ‘… clearly they didn’t support your application.’
I had actually looked into getting one about six months ago, but ultimately decided against it as I didn’t know whether I would actually need to use it and saw it as a waste of time. At this point, institutions like CIT, UC and the ANU were considered to be eligible institutions to qualify as a Concession.
‘My university wasn’t on the list for my application. How exactly could they have supported an application when I couldn’t lodge one due to the Transport Portfolio thinking it knows better than a Federal Act of Parliament establishing the bloody institution, at which I find myself attending?’
Today? No. While the University of Canberra, the Canberra Institute of Technology, the Whitehouse Institute of Design (famed for giving one of Abbott’s daughters a $60K scholarship), the University of Tasmania (famous for being in, well, Tasmania) and JobQuest (which sounds rather more like a Job Network member than a registered training organisa-
‘… well, obviously the university hasn’t done something?’ ‘Exactly what were they supposed to do?’ ‘… the university will have to follow this up with 131 500 - they run the policy on this.’
‘You’re saying that the agency [it’s not even a department they’re referring me to] runs the policy?… NOT the Minister?’ ‘…’ ‘Excuse me?’ ‘… I must say I don’t appreciate your tone or you swearing at me.’ ‘Well, there’s a surprise. So, we’re saying Big Bazz lied when he said that the Liberal Government was going to reduce red tape for the punters.’ ‘… I don’t know to whom you are referring.’ ‘#argh!!!’
I admit, that might have been a paraphrase. She did complain about me swearing MUCH earlier in the discussion. Next up, Jodi McKay, Shadow Minister for Transport! A lovely bloke in her office did let me rant for a little while (obviously the person in Minister Constance’s office should get some tips from this kid). Apparently, questions will be asked next week. But I still can’t get an Opal Card. The NSW system isn’t like the Canberran system where every card looks the same and you just report changes in circumstance to the transport authority. So, if I were to get an Opal Card now, when the ANU was finally acknowledged as being an institution by the NSW Bureaucracy, then I would have to get a new one - and from what I have heard they don’t automatically transfer over balances, so I would also be out of pocket. Canberra is very much over bureaucratised… but at no point would a Federal or Territory Minister (or their offices) ever suggest that their department ran the policy on an issue, or made policy decisions regarding an
issue. I know they wouldn’t do this, because they’d be considered useless and be fired pretty quickly if they did. So, where does that leave me and my dinner? Well, I like dinner, I’ve always liked dinner… but for this particular dinner who knows. There is no point in getting the alternative Opal Card – I simply don’t have the cash to be out of pocket twice. Worse, there’s no chance I’ll be able to get a Concession Opal Card in time. Then there’s driving in to town. Well, I’ve been there and done that many a time, and only when I was younger did I include driving in Sydney during peak hour on the list of enjoyable things to do. But never on a Friday night during peak hour… and these days, even without that degree of pressure, I prefer not driving anywhere near town at all if I can help it. ‘Park at Picton and catch the train in’ is my mantra. So, it would seem, I am likely to have to miss dinner. Thanks Big Bazz and thanks Mr Baird. The positive impact you have on my daily life is just remarkable. I am so thrilled, and I am just even more thrilled that you were re-elected in spite of pulling crap like this! *Well, it may have been a policy shift between Premier Barry O’Farrell and Premier Mike Baird, so it may very well be that ‘Fucking Baird’ is a better title for this article, but, just quietly, the Minister’s office doesn’t bloody know, so why shouldn’t we blame both!
Issue 10, Vol. 66
HO-ME-PHOBE— A Message to the ‘Str8 Acting’ Silent Majority Nic Bills
Content Warning: homophobic language, References to Homophobia,
acting’ or straight - have in common. This leads me to the conclusion that these traits are not ‘gay’ or ‘straight’, but rather, just traits in general as opposed to something we should assign to a sexuality.
What is the word people use right before your name to describe you?
The inherent paradox of being ‘str8 acting’ is that you could potentially never ‘come out’. If you don’t conform to the ‘femme’ stereotype, and society has trouble identifying that you are gay, there is a perception that you would actually be creating more stress for yourself by choosing to come out.
Are you “footy John” or “tall Harriet”? Now bear with me a moment, but I honestly could not think of a more offensive way to describe me than as ‘gay Nic’. Call me a homophobe, sure, I’ve been called it plenty of times before, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.
I could always catch a look of slight surprise in strangers’ faces when I referenced my boyfriend, or noted that when in public most people would assume we were best friends or brothers. This suited me fine - not because of internalised homophobia, but because my sexuality isn’t my identity and, therefore, should not be completely overt and constantly on display.
I too am gay. I identify, however, as part of the silent majority who do not feel the need to continually flaunt their sexuality and instead, I see it as just another part of my identity. This, therefore, is why I would be so offended if the word people used to differentiate me from others, was ‘gay’.
Now, I definitely don’t have anything against ‘femmes’. I understand that I am in a very privileged position. Due to the fact that my sexuality is not overly obvious, I have rarel y experienced public homophobia, and I know ‘femmes’ experience a lot more stigma than I myself have.
I have had the upbringing that would make some gays shiver, and the rest of the silent majority smile. I boarded at an elite all-boys private school in Melbourne and had such a fantastic time. I was highly involved in the school, held a leadership position, played sport three times a week, had a great group of male friends and, still enjoyed the occasional fringe benefits that came from living in the boarding house. I may not have been ‘out’, I rarely experienced any homophobia. Now I’m definitely not suggesting that homophobia did not exist at my school, “faggot”, infact, was the number one insult going around. In my whole time at school, however, even though I lived in a highly conservative and, at times, backwards boarding house, I was only called a faggot once, which I quickly received an apology for. So why was I not targeted for my sexuality more often I hear you ask? The reason is simple enough to explain - I was close enough to the ‘str8 acting’ spectrum that it actually took people
quite a while to work out I was gay. Everyone seems to be quite familiar with ‘femme’ (although they may not use the word). This is a widely accepted stereotype - think ‘yas queens’, lisps and loose wrists - rendering these males overt and easy to pick as gay. In comparison, gay world has come up with the label ‘str8 acting’, which exemplifies more masculine traits and strongly contrasts with being ‘femme’. ‘Str8 acting’, by definition, implies that you can’t be gay without being feminine, as the ‘acting’ implies
some sort of veneer - both of which I strongly disagree with. There is a much needed reformation in the use of the word ‘str8 acting’. There seems to be this misconception that being gay and being masculine are somehow mutually exclusive concepts, and this is where the silent majority or ‘str8 acting’ gays come into it. I love playing sport, I love cars and I love hanging out with the boys - I always have - and from my experience as a member of the silent majority, these ‘str8’ traits are something me and all my friends - ‘str8
The stereotype, however, that all gay males are Meryl Streep-loving sass queens with loose wrists and lisps, actively discourages the silent majority of gay males, who don’t share these characteristics, from coming out, simply because they do not want to be grouped into this perceivably pejorative stereotype. So, to all my ‘str8 acting’ pals out there, do your fellow silent majority a favour and come out, challenge the stereotypes, and know that the one word used right before your name to describe you will never be ‘GAY’.
Artwork by Joanne Leong
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
The Armchair Expert by guy Exton As an Arts and IR student from Melbourne, my column offers a broad perspective on current International affairs. I’m in my first year, draw political cartoons and major in history. Living on campus and keen on politics, my column Armchair Expert hopes to keep you informed for when politics come up in conversation.
Liberating North Korea
Now is the time to decrease aid and increase aggression against the regime. The year is now 102… in North Korea. The DPRK’s calendar starts on the birthday of Kim-IlSung, the grandfather of KimJong-Un and the father of North Korea. While Soviet Russia at least pretended to be democratic, elections in North Korea literally have one candidate. The North is a country that considers the Hollywood film ‘The Interview’ to be “an act of war” and reports that when Kim-Jong-Il was born on the top of a mountain, a double rainbow appeared, a new star was created, and the seasons changed from winter to spring. However amusing this may be for us Westerners, the North Korean people aren’t laughing. Life for the 25 million people living under the regime is unacceptable by any standard. The country’s command
and control economy is woefully inefficient, with all resources being allocated by the state, including incoming foreign aid. The result is a fat army and a skinny population. As much as 25% of the North’s GDP is spent on the military, and around 70% of the population, or 18 million people, are considered food insecure. On top of a suppressive domestic policy that includes zero political freedom and 7 years of compulsory military service, North Korea’s international saber-rattling is reason enough to spark an aggressive international response. Put simply, the U.S. should reply to the blackmail of nuclear threats, and the starving of the North’s population, by toppling the regime. The DPRK has recently embarked on a charm offensive in diplomacy. On January 10, Pyongyang offered to halt its nuclear
testing if Washington cancelled its upcoming military drills with the South. Along with state visits to Moscow, and representation at the UN for the first time in 15 years, the DPRK is trying to start a new chapter. These unprecedented moves are a sign of desperation, not strength. It is likely that the North has begun to realise that its military and political brinkmanship - attempting to intimidate the US with nuclear threats while alarming the South with missile launches - is counterproductive. This squeeze is amplified from the East by the neglect of North Korea’s only ally – China. Beijing no longer treats Pyongyang as a special ally, nor its communist equal. Chinese advances in trade and diplomacy years ago have left the North at the starting blocks, and at times, China has even denied shipments of fuel and food to the starving communist bunker. This recent
abandonment has prompted the North’s attempt to diversifying its allies. We ought to adopt a Reaganesque approach to dealing with this old communist enemy, and seize upon the fact that the North is clearly currently weak. Just as President Reagan replaced 40 years of ‘containment’ with a far more aggressive policy that undoubtedly accelerated the fall of the USSR, we too ought to combat the DPRK with similar objectives. Today’s ‘Evil Empire’ is not Soviet Russia but North Korea.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Wandering Women Kate Matthews
Isabella Bird, Sophia Danenberg, Ida Pfeiffer, Amelia Earhart.
bit risky?” Then comes my all-time favourite question, “Aren’t you scared?”
What do these women have in common? Two things: a badass attitude to life, and solo female travel.
Scared of what?
Bird and Pfeiffer both travelled the world alone in the 1800’s, ticking off destinations like Persia, Kurdistan, Turkey and Morocco, and completely smashing perceptions of women at the time. Danenberg was the first black woman to summit Mount Everest in 2006, and Earhart the first to fly solo across the Atlantic – almost the entire globe - before her disappearance in 1937. These women not only dared to do what no woman had done before, but they also challenged stereotypes and prejudices which all too often crush the dreams and hopes of young girls. Thanks to their courage, solo female travel has slowly become less taboo, less dangerous and less risky in the eyes of the world. Nowadays, thousands upon thousands of women do it every year. And you know what? They have a bloody good time. Yet even today, when I find myself solo in a foreign place, introducing myself to a fellow hostel mate, I am met with surprise. “You’re alone?!” They ask. “And how old are you? What do your parents think? Isn’t it a
Scared of going out and discovering the world through my own eyes, learning new things every day, and becoming a better person for it? Scared of having the independence to do whatever I feel like doing every day, without compromise? Of course what these people are really asking is, “Aren’t you scared for your safety?”, and while this is a legitimate concern, I firmly believe that in the majority of overseas destinations, you are no more in danger than you would be in your home country. If you follow your gut, take the usual precautions, and exercise common sense above all, then everything will be okay. Those pickpockets in Barcelona don’t care what gender you are, and whether you travel alone or on a 40-person Contiki tour. A wallet is a wallet in their books! If I couldn’t encourage anything more than solo travel - whatever your gender. For many Australians, by the time the end of Year 12 rolls around, the idea of diving into another 5 years of books, classes and assignments creates a heavy knot in the stomach. So instead, many dive into the deep end of life by travelling on a gap year. I
myself flew to India, and then to Europe, with no plans of coming back any time soon. I was 18, alone, nervous, and with no idea what the fuck I was doing. Stepping off that plane in New Delhi and into a thick fog of humidity, dust, and a lingering countrywide smell I’ll never be able to accurately describe, my mind was drenched in doubt. My grandma, meanwhile, had all but prepared my funeral. Was I crazy, naïve or too innocent to understand how big bad and scary the world really is? As each day went by those questions were answered. I gained confidence in my stride. A month in India flew by, and I suddenly found myself in Brussels, waffle in hand, a smile slapped on my face - a smile that did not fade for the next 8 months as I traversed 24 different countries, all alone, all female. In the end, the only reason solo female travel is seen as a risky activity is a lack of understanding, and a perception set in the past. Women like Bird, Danenberg, Pfeiffer and Earhart serve as a reminder to us that we have been doing this for years, and it is only fear that holds us back. Every day, women all over the world
step off that plane. They find that monsters don’t jump out from the shadows. As most realise that their dream destination was actually a thousand times better than they expected, they might ask themselves why they didn’t go sooner. You will never know if you don’t try and will only regret the places you don’t go to. This may have sounded preachy, and maybe I still am naïve, but if I can instill even a fraction of confidence in women to pack their bags and go, then I have been successful. That feeling when you return home with fresh eyes to view the world with, and a spring in your step, knowing you just did a Very Cool Thing, is worth more than the comfort of home. Your friends will surround you, you will share all your incredible stories, and then invariably, one will ask, “Weren’t you scared?” You can then answer that yes, you were, and God, was it worth it!
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Ethics of Global Fashion Emma is a Law & International Relations student, and aspiring diplomat with a passion for journalism. This Semester she will be challenging the everyday choices we make, and the origins of the very clothes on our backs, as she explores a range of ethical concerns relating to global fashion.
What’s on the Inside Emma Wiggins
I was seven and heading to my grandma’s birthday lunch. I had picked out my clothes: a longsleeve top – grubby, cotton, purple, and stained with breakfast and mud – cargo pants that were the colour of moss, and runners. My mum came in and told me that I had to change. I did not take well. I was comfortable, and that grubby, plain, faded purple, long-sleeve top was my favorite. Why? I have no idea. And yes, “I did not take well to that” is code for the fact that I had a mini-tantrum. At its height, I remember turning to my mum and saying, “Why? Why does it matter what I wear?! IT’S WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE THAT COUNTS, NOT WHAT’S ON THE OUTSIDE!” It’s funny really. That is what society teaches you as a kid, that “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”. Oh how this message changes. Currently, the whole world is talking about the Olympics, so I want to break down and an-
alyze part of the conversation. According to an analysis by The Rep Project, Olympic sports commentators comment on the physical appearance of female athletes twice as often as they do about men. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Gabby Douglas, a Gold medal gymnast, was internationally criticized for the way she had ‘done her hair’ (a simple ponytail) for the competition. Sexism followed a few days later when the then-Mayor of London called female volleyball players “semi-naked women… glistening like wet otters”. In last year’s Australian Open, tennis star Eugenie Boulchard (ranked 7th in the world) was in a post-win interview where, instead of focusing on her brilliant 57-minute lightning defeat of her opponent, she was instead asked to show off her outfit and “twirl” for the crowd. In short, women are asked to perform both visually, and through skill and determination. I like fashion. A lot of women do, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But by no means is it the most important thing to me. It’s not even close. Yet the media makes out that a woman’s primary focus should be ensuring that she puts on a visually pleasing performance. Society, therefore, is suggesting that the hard work and success of women is less important than their physical appearance. This stance is degrading, undermining, and it lowers a woman’s sense of self-worth. Discrimination against women starts at an early age.
A couple of weeks ago, The Gap released a new line of children’s clothing. The boys’ T-shirts had a picture of Albert Einstein on them, marketed as “the little scholar – your future starts here”. The girls’ equivalent, however, encouraged girls to be “social butterflies” and “the talk of the playground”. Academia, it seems, was not to play a role in their lives. This kind of sexism targeted at children is not new. In 2013, Disney released a new line of children’s Avengers merchandise. There were two types of T-shirts: on the boys’ shirt was a picture of Iron Man and the words “BE A HERO”, while the girls’ shirt read “I NEED A HERO”. The year before, Disney released Mickey Mouse and Mini Mouse T-shirts – while one read “THE BOSS, MISCHIEVOUS, ADVENTUROUS, GENUINE, LEADER”, the other read “HOT, CUTE, SWEET, PRETTY”. These labels teach children that boys should be “leaders” and girls should be “hot”. My case and point is that in 2013, a New York University campus store was found selling baby jumpsuits - the blue one for boys reading “I’M SUPER” and the purple one for girls reading “I HATE MY THIGHS”. So, not only are we teaching boys that they are more “super’, but we are encouraging girls to hate their bodies. These types of clothes are not sold at obscure, unheard-of stores. They are found in major chain stores across the world, like Target and Big W. In feeding young girls this message, we undermine their feelings of self-worth, their belief that they can make an impact on
humanity, and the fact that they deserve to be treated as equals to men. This then translates into adulthood, through sport and the arts. Australia is always so keen to watch the “WAGs” at the Brownlow, where women are interviewed about their dresses, their make-up and their husband’s profession. The world is always so keen to watch The Oscars, and observe the stars parade up and down the red carpet. Always excited to watch the cameras scan the women’s bodies from the top to bottom, and to learn about the designers of the dresses. We’re always so keen… or are we? Are we keen or does society tell us that we should be keen? Wouldn’t it actually be good to also hear about how the stars (and sports stars) got to where they are? About the adversaries they faced and how they overcame them? Wouldn’t it be good to hear about their professions, why they love what they do, why what they do is special, and how they feel they can contribute to the world, both through their profession, and as individuals? #askhermore is a campaign currently being run on social media, pressuring reporters to ask women of all professions at major world events about more than just their appearance. We have created a society, so we can therefore change it. As Hillary Clinton said, in breaking down gender inequality we “clear the way for everyone”. I hope that they are listening in Rio. I demand we #askhermore. Will you?
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Three continents, three breathtaking cities Nahed Elrayes
If I were to look back at every city my first-worldmiddle-class privilege has allowed me to visit, and was then asked to describe them, I would probably say “leave me alone”. If you pressed me, and asked for three in particular, after a while I would reply “Who are you? I’ve never seen your face here before.” But if you really pressed me, asking for each to be a its own continent, I would reply “Did someone ask you to do this? What is with all the fucking questions? Are you with the feds?” And then I might run off to one of the below cities.
Laurentinian Forest to Antarctica, all of which is neatly located under the Biodome. Not a fan of ecosystems? Go to Toronto you plebe. Must try: there is this great thing where restaurants put cheese curds and gravy on fries. I think it’s called putaine, so ask for that.
Penang Do you remember the last time you heard a tourism agency describe a city as “where East meets West”, leaving you in awe of their refreshing originality? Penang is more “where West East meets East meets East meets West”. In other words, it is a Malaysian city where the best of India meets the best of China meets the best of a British colonial demographic fuck-up.
The tagline that wooed me was “the food capital of Asia”.
A quick guide to Canada: Ottawa = Canberra, Toronto = Sydney, and any Melbournian feeling homesick should brush up on their high school French, because Montreal is Melbourne’s Platonic Form.
Be sure to explore hip Georgetown, taking in the graffiti, the Chinese plays and the Malay music as you wander from one food cart to more deep-fried food carts. Across the island, the ethereal beauty of Buddhist and Hindu temples, alongside interestingly Andalusian mosques, are a feast for the soul. The vibrant fish-
Your day plan should go like this: wake up in a small hostel, have a croissant and coffee in the city, then wander the streets. If you happen to have a 40 centimetre-deep pocket, that should allow you to carry enough coins to give one to every talented busker you pass by. Stop by the boutiques and marvel at how the old colonial buildings meld seamlessly with the modern architecture. Take advantage of Montreal’s ethnic diversity, with its first-rate restaurants, and then at night, check out one of its 90-a-year festivals or get schwifty in one of its booming nightclubs. Pass out, wake up, and it’s museum time. Stop by the Musée d’Art Contemporain. Not a fan of new art? Then examine the incredible historic treasures of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Not a fan of art? Walk from the
ing villages feel as if they go into the water for miles. And in terms of nature, Penang is no slouch. Spend the morning trekking through the tropical forest, and have a lazy afternoon by the sun-kissed shores of this Asian paradise. Must try: everything. But if I only get to name one or two dishes, just try char kway teow, briyani, roti canai, seafood popiah, laksa lemak, assam laksa, fried oyster, mee goreng, and lor bak. I am strongly unhappy about limiting the list this way, but we should move on.
Cairo Cairo is gritty, polluted and riddled with pushy salesmen, whose children will negotiate you into buying a 100-pound shoelace. It cannot claim to have the beach tourist chic of Sharm el-Sheikh, nor does it have the Mediterranean charm of Alexandria. An Egyptian who sees this city on my list will instantly sigh and roll their eyes – as they should, given the vast swathes of beauty this ancient nation conceals in its periphery. Yet as the dust and smog o f the Cai-
ro traffic clears, its makes way for a kaleidoscope of sights, stories and flavours. Old friends jostle with each other’s backgammon skills over tea and shisha. Families will welcome you for dinner whether you are a foreigner or a stray cat. At night, the Nile lights up with thousands of boats, each filled with couples believing that they are at the centre of the planet. The city is the resting place of Tutankhamun and the birthplace of countless poets, musicians, movie stars, intellectuals and revolutionaries. Quoting Martin Luther King, Obama said of the 2011 revolution, “there is something in the soul that cries out for freedom… those were the cries that came from Tahrir Square, and the entire world has taken note.” Cairo is synonymous with spirit, history and adventure. Just don’t try to drive anywhere. Must try: Om Ali, the sweeter the better.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
INTERNATIONAL & FEATURES
The South China Sea: a fair arbitration? Petal Wang The South China Sea arbitration has become one of the most heated cases in not only Australia, but in the world. I would like to express my firm disagreement with the Australian government’s position. As soon as the arbitration result came out last month, Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, warned that if China proceeds in its “serious international transgression” it will suffer a “strong reputational cost”. Ironically, this threat is weakened by the false reputation China already suffers, both here and abroad. The Australian view tends to inaccurately describe China as a huge, savage and absurd country of extreme nationalism and obsessive ambitions. China’s political structure may be seem unique to the Western world, but it is far from an irrational nation that neglects justice and basic human rights. While the widely-read magazine, The Economist, may have predicted the withering decline of China’s economy and government for decades, but both continue to survive
today, and are developing more rapidly than ever before. There are sound reasons for the lack of a Chinese breakdown - the state is not harmful to anyone, either inside or outside, and it runs most effectively under it’s own special rules. Yet, many Australians continue to allow bias and stereotypes, influencing their views of the country’s actions. In regards to the South China Sea arbitration case, attitudes are smeared by an increasing fear of growing Chinese power, and an irrational prejudice toward China’s authoritarian structure. In the same way that we embrace the LGBT community and tolerate diverse sexual preferences, we must tolerate diversity in the political structures that states arrange for themselves. China’s complicated governance does place it in the minority of countries, but this cannot be a reason for prejudice and fear to prevail. Perhaps more importantly is that the Arbitral Tribunal is far from an objective international court with binding force. Rather, it is a misleading
agent controlled by US-led alliances, whose politicians manipulate public emotion and opinion to satisfy their own interests. The arbitration of the dispute initiated by the Philippines is conducted by judges with suspicious motivations – ones that do not appear neutral. Furthermore, territorial issues are not subject to UNCLOS, nor maritime delimitation disputes.
China. From an economics standpoint, when China and Japan ceased economic cooperation in this period of strained relations, the U.S. economy remained stable, which helped America begin to climb out of their debt crisis.
If this unfair arbitration eventually came into effect, America would be the country that would benefit the most as it would facilitate a continued interference in the affairs of other countries. This story is not an original one. In 2012 America instigated the entire Diaoyudao Conflict between Japan and China with economic motives. Although the US claimed to have a neutral position, it is stated in the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, that the islands in question belong to the Japanese, therefore giving the United States the right to interfere. Later in 2014, President Barack Obama even publically declared that the US would “defend Japan” in its dispute with
All in all, territorial and sea disputes are always complicated, and it is difficult for outsiders to make judgements. The best solution would be to leave the Chinese and Filipinos to sort out the issue for themselves. No matter what mechanism or means are chosen for settling quarrels between countries, the consent of states concerned should be acknowledged by external actors and the will of sovereign states should never be violated. Only when an agreement is reached by the parties concerned, through negotiation on an equal footing, can a dispute be settled once and for all. And only this will ensure a full and effective implementation of the agreement.
What a similar story to the one we see in the South China Sea today!
When are you truly yourself? Clare Green I have a running joke with my close friends that I am in a mutually exclusive relationship with my cello, and to some extent, it is definitely true. I spend more time alone with my cello than I spend with all other people combined. My cello has seen the best and the worst of me, and unlike most people, who I have to change to fit in with, my cello does not judge me when I scream for ten minutes at a piece of music because I’m struggling with a bar. It has seen my tears, it has seen my anger, it has seen my joy... It sees me. While I may not be able to be myself around people, when I am with my cello, I am me.
Anonymous I am not really sure when I am tru-
ly myself. It could be when I am with other people, and am overly outgoing when trying to make new friends. Perhaps it is when I am on my own, and find I become introverted and antisocial. Am I really me when I am out on a Thursday and have enough drinks to turn a good night into me wanting to break down in tears for no good reason? I could be me when I am walking between classes at university, with nothing to do, feeling relaxed and hopeful. None of these are any more, or any less ‘me’. Wanting Chen I am really myself when I am alone. I do not have to worry about finding a good topics to keep conversations flowing. I can tolerate my personality without any guilt or fear that I am boring those around me. I can focus
on the stuff that I like. I am really myself when I take off all my makeup. In all honestly, wearing make-up is something I do to please others - to beg for good impressions - and I am only myself when I don’t worry about other people’ judging me. In saying this, I feel I am really myself when I can fully trust someone, and have an honest conversation with them. This is quite hard, because no-one can be transparent enough for a person like me, who is quite afraid of being hurt. So far, the only person I have found that I can really talk to, without any of the walls that protect and keep me separate from other people, is my mom. Daniel Kang Not to say that gaiety is my façade, but in the moments where I smile or
laugh or rejoice, I do think that I am not completely true to myself. Rather, who I am unfiltered, unhidden, real and raw comes through when I talk of unhappy things from the past. This is me stripped of inhibitions and breaking out of my veneer. I lay myself bare, not to elicit pity or to rob happiness away, but just so I can be real. I have come to realize that the happy and wonderful things have polished my life, while the past that I have built myself on, and have been moulded so deeply by, has been beset by indelible hurts. I’ve learnt to not just walk away from this pain, but to baptize myself in its fire. I swallow my tongue often when pressed to talk about these things, and so, I hope it is you who listens when I finally crush my apprehension to speak.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Slip of the Lip Hailing from the glorious city of Queanbeyan, I spent my first year of uni dabbling in Physics, Maths, English and Music. By some drastic turn of events, I am now majoring in German and Linguistics. A Slip of the Lip is a linguistics student’s attempt to provide interesting and (reasonably) well-researched language titbits.
How Power Ballads Can Make You a Better Public Speaker Caroline Hendy “I came in like a WRE-CKING BAall, I never hit so HARD in LOove…” Power ballads: they’re hard-hitting, empowering and heartstring-pulling. They can bring you to tears (“Hallelujah… hallelujah…”), pump you up (“It’s the FIN-AL COUNT-DOWWNN”) and help you work out some angst (“Shot through the HEART and YOU’RE to-oo BLAME”). Good power ballads are nothing if not convincing, so how can some of that Total ECLIPSE of the HEARRRTT magic be channelled into your next speech or soul-destroying group presentation? Let’s start with the warm up. Think Sharpay and Ryan from High School Musical doing their “brrr, brrr, MAH, MAH” exercises. You need to warm your voice up if you’re going to sing a power ballad, and the same goes if you’re about to give a powerful speech that wows your tutor and/ or spikes the interest of that hottie in the third row. You can’t give a convincing speech if it’s 9am and “Good morning everyone” is the first thing your poor cold voice has to crackle out for the day. Now onto tempo. Unlike your regular doof doof or dance music, power ballads have the freedom to speed up and s l o w d o w n depending on the mood. This change in tempo can be harnessed for your speech: speeding up when you want the audience to get all excited, before slowing right back down to add gravitas or make a Particularly. Passionate. Point. If you race along at the same speed then you might get to talk more, but do you really say more? Likewise, contrasts in volume can make all the difference.
The more contrasts you have in your speech, the less likely it is that the whole class will be in a coma by the time you finish. That being said, a little repetition can be of help. Are you super proud of the epigram you thought up, but think the audience might not fully appreciate it, or perhaps sleep through it if you only say it once? Take a page out of the Power Ballad Book and say it again! Power ballads are the masters of repetition. Can’t remember what the song’s about or what it’s called? No worries, you’ll hear the chorus again in 20 seconds. As long as you work in some of those dynamic and tempo contrasts and don’t become a broken record, repetition can make you a winner. Lastly, all good power ballads need actions. Even the sombre ones where the singer stands behind the microphone involve passionate reaching, grabbing and dramatic head turns. While you don’t need to get all Australian Idol on it (although that would be highly amusing), gestures and movement can make your speech a whole lot more interesting. Not only that, but being aware of what your hands are doing will stop you from unconsciously adjusting your nether-regions while you’re talking. It happens more often than you’d think. So next time you’re faced with a speech or group presentation, make sure you procrastinate to the sound of Sara Bareilles’ Brave or John Farnham’s You’re the Voice. With any luck, it’ll have you singing We Are The Champions when your marks come out.
I Throw Like a Girl Stephanie Lum
“You’re actually pretty good! You could even play on the guys’ team!” At last, I have reached the pinnacle of sporting achievement! As a woman playing sport, these are the words I have yearned to hear after years of training and hard work. Maybe now, after all this time, I might be good enough to be on the same level as (some of) the guys. After years of playing different sports at the ANU, from lunchtime futsal competitions, to different residential inter-hall sports, to running Inward Bound three times and coaching it twice, I’ve heard a lot of comments about women in sport. “What?! An all-women’s IB team? Ha, no chance!” I know - it’s silly for us to try! I forgot, women can’t run or read maps! “Oh you can kick the ball in the air!” Yep, it took me 10+ years playing soccer but I got there in the end! “So when you play badminton we don’t have to take it in turns to return the shuttlecock.” Thanks for the reminder, I’ve played casually for a few years and you started ten minutes ago, but I suppose you can never go over the basics too many times! These choice remarks aside, most comments are very positive and well intended... On one level, this is really great. I 100% support encouraging more women to participate in sport and helping to create a more inclusive culture where everyone feels like they can be involved. What I can’t help but notice, however, is that underlying these messages of encouragement is the constant surprise that women can actually be any good at sport. Success in the sporting field is so often gender stereotyped that when individual women are acknowledged, they are very much seen as the exception, rather than as a representative of women generally. This is why too often there is that element of surprise alongside the compliments given to women about their sporting
abilities. They were never expected to do well in the first place. Even when we see national women’s sports teams do amazingly well, our perceptions of women in sport don’t seem to change at all. Women are still often seen as inherently not very competent at physical activities, and certainly not as good as the men. It doesn’t seem to make a difference if you have trained for years and play against men who’ve hardly done any exercise. The assumption remains that they’re better than you, and you have to “prove yourself” to be accepted to play amongst them. I’m not saying we should therefore not compliment people (particularly women) when they do well in a sport, lest they take offence that you’re insinuating that you expected them to be terrible. What I am saying is that it’s worth thinking about some of the assumptions we hold when commenting on people’s sporting abilities, and work on complimenting people without comparing them to men - which happens surprisingly often. Here’s a pretty extreme thought – perhaps individual people can be good at different sports because they exercise and train in those areas. This may seem far-fetched, but if you think about the people you know who are good at sport and those who aren’t so good, there is a strong correlation between those who train and those who succeed. Maybe people aren’t naturally good or bad at sport because they’re of a particular sex, and maybe women who are good at sport don’t aspire to be “on the guys’ team” as a measure of their achievements. No, no, I’ve gone too far.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Is it my choice? Resa Le
It is a common sentiment that ‘women should be able to wear whatever, and however, much makeup they want’. I argue, however, that for many women, makeup is actually not a choice. It is fascinating to think about the ‘choices’ that we make within a system which directly influences what we feel and desire - a system that dictates whether or not our choices are a true “fuck you” to society. Throughout my teenage years, I pos-
sessed a lot of internalised misogyny and so I solidly rejected femininity. Girls were vapid, shallow, superficial, catty and skanky. I wore baggy shirts, cargo shorts and sneakers. I abhorred dresses and makeup.
not like how “extreme” my monolid eyes looked in winged eyeliner. Makeup was a liberating and empowering thing for me, and I started wearing thick winged eyeliner, lip product, concealer and BB cream every day.
In hindsight I now see that I was performing for society, and in a way, for myself. ‘I am better than normal girls’ I would think to myself, while inside, I was deeply envious of how pretty other girls were, and of the attention they would get. It was very easy to blame my envy and insecurities on them.
I was showcasing my femininity loud and clear. I was rejecting the men who had tried to control me. “I am a girl and I am powerful - I choose to be powerful,” I would think to myself.
I started wearing makeup for two main reasons. The first was that I had discovered third wave feminism, preaching the celebration of femininity as being powerful - because girls are powerful. The second was that I was regaining control over my appearance from a heavily conservative, possessive and controlling boyfriend. He did not approve of clothing he deemed “too revealing”, he liked a “natural look”, and he did
But what is powerful about worrying how dark and tired my under-eyes look? Worrying whether my outfit is cute enough to impress friends and potential partners? It may be a different sort of performance, but it was the same societal audience dictating how I Iooked. After I ended that relationship, the break up and post-abuse depression led me back to wearing slacks and going out tired and barefaced - but I found people were still attracted to me. I’m still feminine, even though I don’t wear makeup every day any-
more. I still have people pursue me and tell me how beautiful I am. My past insecurities about my appearance and likability have largely subsided, but I think it’s easier being comfortable in your own skin when you are conventionally attractive. After all of this time, the basis for my decisions still boils down to a societal expectation that I should desire, want and value physical beauty. I used to be a defiant and misogynist cargo wearing teenager, then I became a conforming makeup wearing feminist, and now I gain self-confidence because of the random combination of genes and DNA my parents made me with. At the time I thought I was making my own choices, but which one was my choice? When do we stop performing?
Issue 10, Vol. 66
The Elephant in the Room Ellen Makaryan Zoos, aquariums and circuses have attracted us since childhood. With the promise of cotton candy and stuffed toy souvenirs, plus the exotic animals on display for us to gawk at, it’s hard to oppose the allure of such a captivating attraction. behind this façade of colour and joy, however, is a harsh reality. Covered up by a million-dollar industry is the suffering and exploitation of intelligent, sentient beings. It is seemingly unimaginable that these businesses would engage in cruel practices, especially when the words ‘rescue’ and ‘conservation’ are thrown around so often. Zoos are often reassuring us that their animals are kept for conservation purposes, and circuses prefer to idealise the conditions under which their animals are kept – both industries undoubtedly choose to cover up the heartbreakingly cruel truth. Animals have been used for entertainment for thousands of years – from bullfighting in Spain, to Greyhound racing here in Australia. In both of these situations, many animals participate in activities that are dangerous and unnatural to them - against their will - all for the sake of entertainment. Restraining an an-
imal and forcing it to perform is not artistic or cultural – it is slavery. Zoos might seem like a milder form, with animals often having their own state of the art enclosures, fit with flora and fauna to mimic their natural habitats. Let’s not, however, be fooled by this superlative artificial environment - a polar bear relocated across the world to sit in a glass enclosure in 30 degree heat could not be happy. Taking any animal out of its natural habitat, and then forcing it to adapt to a smaller, and less diverse environment, will undoubtedly place mental and physical stress on it, as its natural behaviours become thwarted. There is nothing ‘educational’ about watching a miserable gorilla hopelessly attempt to interact within its artificial enclosure – we can learn about animals without having to confine them to bleak conditions. Harambe may now only resonate in people’s minds as an Internet meme, but the murder of this critically endangered, and highly intelligent creature, says a lot about the way many zoos and animal enclosures treat their animals. Gorillas and other primates are patient and calm creatures, capable of making tools and communicating with each other using sign
language, similar to us humans. Why is it acceptable to deprive them of their freedom and confine them to tiny enclosures? ‘Zoochosis’ is a term used to describe the unnatural behaviour of animals in captivity. Often characterised by loneliness, endless pacing back and forth, laziness, and repetitive behaviour, zoos sometimes administer antidepressants and antipsychotics to treat these symptoms. Marine animals at SeaWorld have been observed swimming in circles in their small tanks, while bears, gorillas and other mammals tend to pace back and forth due to a lack of mental and physical stimulation. By visiting and supporting these attractions we are normalising the idea that animals were put on this Earth to be entertainment and implying that their lives hold no inherent value. Zoos do not show us the beautiful way in which animals interact with each other, how they sacrifice their lives to protect their young, or in what different ways they tactfully hunt their prey. Instead, they present to us weak and miserable animals who have the sole purpose of remaining in confinement and occupy our interest for a few moments.
Circuses are especially guilty of this. The price that circus animals pay is much higher, as they are constantly being transported, whipped, tranquilized and forced to perform. It is no doubt easy to see the appeal of circuses: exotics tigers jumping through hoops and incredibly large animals, such as elephants, performing tricks on two legs. An hour of such bland entertainment, however, is not worth the lifelong confinement of any animal. The only thing that keeps these cruel industries in business is us – as long as there is a demand for zoos and circuses, there will always be a supply. Books, documentaries and stepping out into nature are all much better ways of learning about your favourite animals. Watching animals inside a small enclosure does not teach us about the reality of their fascinating behaviours, and instead reinforces the idea that animals are simply a commodity. The solution? Refuse to give a dime to any business that puts animals on display for human entertainment.
The Myth of the Australian Economy Rob Morris Last Tuesday, the RBA decided to cut interest rates to the historic low of 1.5% - a level that is unprecedented in Australian history. And yet, the enormity of this action goes largely unnoticed by the general public. While monetary policy has never been particularly sexy, this act does point to a large problem within the Australian economy. The RBA has it’s hands tied, trying to cushion the fall from the end of the mining boom, as well as controlling ever rising property prices in metropolitan areas. All economies go through booms and busts. These relative ups and downs are known as ‘business cycles’. What causes these business cycles to occur, and how to mitigate them, is one of the most contentious issues in eco-
nomics and far ,far beyond the scope of this article. However, a general consensus has formed suggesting that adjusting interest rates can ‘smooth’ the business cycle, leading to less ‘booms and busts’ and more certainty. A fact that is instrumental to understanding this rate cut is the regional nature of the Australian economy. Australia consists of a fairly industrial/service-based south-eastern economy with mining/agriculture dominating the rest of the country. The ‘two-speed economy’ makes assessing the economic health of Australia difficult. For example, according to Trading Economics, the annual growth rate of GDP in Australia as a whole was 1.1% for the year. Not great, but consistent with other similar economies. However, this figure is misleading. According to Andrew
Charlton, the former economics advisor to Kevin Rudd, there is ‘strong growth’ of 3.9% in NSW and 3.2% in VIC, with recession-level growth of -1.8% in QLD. But the most alarming of these is WA, with a growth rate of -4.2% - a level consistent with a ‘deep recession’. Quite a different story from the Australia wide figure. And so we return to the RBA and their historic rate cut. For the RBA, these regional differences pose a huge problem. They can only implement one interest rate to try and match the economic conditions of the 8 different states and territories. This is a monumental, and somewhat contradictory task. Having an interest rate suited for WA could lead to further inflating the property bubble in NSW, however, having an interest rate suited for NSW would prolong
the suffering of the end of the mining boom in WA. Seemingly, the RBA’s best bet is to split the difference and have an interest rate of 1.5%. Much like a margherita pizza, this policy appeals to all and satisfies none. This regional nature of the Australian economy is a complex problem with many different factors. What is required is an approach that serves all states, not just the abstract concept of ‘Australia’. Given the ‘twospeed’ Australian economy stands to be with us for a little while longer, and it’s time that both state and federal governments develop an aligned policy on this issue of structural importance. Rob Morris is the Secretary of the ANU Society For Economic Science
RSPCA ACT Cupcake Day 9am - 5pm RSPCA ACT, 12 Kirkpatrick St, Weston Creek Canberra Raiders v. Melbourne Storm 7pm, $15, GIO Stadium
ANU/The Canberra Times meet the author event with Peter Stefanovic *FREE, 6.30–7.30pm, Manning Clark Centre, Theatre 2
21 Canberra Raiders v. Eels $20.39 - $30.58, 2pm, GIO Stadium
Soweto Gospel Choir 7.30pm, $89, Canberra Theatre Centre
Acoustic Soup at the Food Co-op 7pm
Opening Night Johns Play 2016: DROP DEAD! $25 Adults $15 Students 18 - 20 August
Taste of Two Regions 2016 0am - 4pm, $35 per person, Pialligo Estate Canberra 18 Kallaroo Rd, Canberra
Crooked Colours Mr Wolf 10pm
Big Boys Toys Expo 10am - 4pm (two days), $15.00, Exhibition Park DUSTIN TEBBUTT: FIRST LIGHT TOUR 8pm
Fearless Comedy Gala 7:30-10pm, $65 Canberra Theatre Centre 24
Artists in Conversation: The Importance of Art in Activism 11:30 AM - 1 PM (https://www. facebook.com/ events/177643315 2568799/)
ANU LSS Ball @ QT Canberra 6.30 – 10.30pm
25 7pm Lo//Cutter: Analogue Attic Recording, Lobrow Gallery & Bar 7.30pm, $89, Canberra Theatre Centre
26 Canberra Writers Festival Begins King George Terrace Parkes (tickets available through ticketek)
27 ANU Open Day 9am - 4pm Bowie Unzipped 8pm, Show Only: $28.19, Canberra Southern Cross Club Woden
Interhall Ball “All That Glitters” 8pm, Hellenic Club in the City 30
ANU/Canberra times meet the author event with Justin Cronin 6–7pm, *FREE, Manning Clark Centre, Theatre 2
September 1 THE INFILTRATOR opens at Dendy BLOOD FATHER opens at Dendy
Canberra Psychic Expo 2016 Exhibition Park In Canberra, Coorong Pavilion
Volunteer Induction Co-Op 10:30 AM
Cube’s 11th Birthday Mexican Fiesta 10 PM, Cube, *FREE 4 Canberra Times Fun Run Presented by Westpac 7.15 am: $ 50 entry Run 4 Refugees Canberra 8am, King George Ter, Parkes
ANU/The Canberra Times meet the author event with Goenawan Mohamad 6–7pm, *FREE, Australian Centre on China and the World, Auditorium
8 THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS opens at Dendy SULLY opens at Dendy LOUIS THEROUX: MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE opens at Dendy
Sundays at Westside Village - Noahs Ark Petting Zoo *FREE 12 PM - 3 PM
9 Canberra’s Longest Lunch 12:30 PM - 4 PM, $100, Glebe Park L-FRESH THE LION W. OMAR MUSA & SUKHJIT 8PM, Transit Bar
TEDxCanberra 2016 8am - 6pm, $80, Canberra Theatre Centre 10 THE LULU RAES $15, 8pm, Transit Bar Canberra Moon Festival, Lennox Gardens *Free Entry
Feminartsy presents: Canberra’s funny women with the Fearless Initiative *FREE 12 PM - 3 PM 11
13 Richard Tognetti and Polina Leschenko in Recital 8pm, $47, Llewellyn Hall, William Herbert Place
12 North East Party House @ ANU bar 8.00pm $ 30 BRIDGET JONES’S BABY opens at Dendy THE CONFIRMATION opens at Dendy
13 Confluence Festival of India - Nrityagram Dance Ensemble 6.30pm, $15, James O Fairfax Theatre - National Gallery of Australia
17 GAMMA.CON $30, 9am, AIS Arena, Leverrier Street, Bruce
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Great Expectations. Squandered Potential. Mathias Richter Finding that the month of August was fast approaching and the weeks of preparation I had squandered were long behind me, I was once again housing a dreaded sense of apprehension in the pit of my stomach. It was at this time each year that I, without fail, would suffer a shocking realization regarding the presently impending status of the annual concerto competition, and once again, I was ill prepared. It was not that I lacked the skill to perform my set composition satisfactorily, but rather, that at this point in my musical education I lacked any real ambition to improve. This, however, had not always been the case. Not dissimilar to many other Australians, I was encouraged to pursue music at a young age. The expectation that I would excel in the study of music and in the art of performance was in my case, however, the result of my personal circumstances. My father, being a German-born violinist, had held principal positions in both the Melbourne Symphony and the Sydney Symphony, later assuming a prominent teaching position at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. On the other hand, my mother, an Australian-born pianist, had both performed and taught across central Europe and Australia, undertaking a similar position at the Sydney Conservatorium. It was because of my place in a lineage of prominent musicians that I was gifted a half-sized violin on my fourth birthday - a luxury and privilege that my father as-
sured me that other children would be grateful to have. When recalling my earliest years, much of the time I spent with my parents was whilst surrounded by the greatest musical institutions in my city. I would wander the foyers of the sandstone Conservatorium, suffering lengthy conversations and introductions with Sydney’s most admired musicians, all of whose names I would instantaneously forget. My father would escort me through security procedures at the Opera house, where I would spend my time drawing and contemplating why it was called ‘the green-room’. It was in these places that my mother would watch on joyfully as I learnt from my father the basic rudimental skills of holding a bow. Following several years of study and practice, however, I had become disillusioned with the instrument my parents had chosen for me. I was performing at an adequate level for my age, but at the time I dreamt of being exceptional, and also of something much ‘cooler’. During the days of my vagabonding about the Conservatorium I had befriended a colleague of my parent’s, largely due to the intricacy of the contraption he kept in his room. In the fourth grade I requested to learn the bassoon, and it was following this that I would be accepted into a prestigious private all-boys school on a scholarship for musical distinction.
How I then developed from the young, eager to learn adolescent, into a stubborn teenager that was reluctant to rehearse I am unsure. It is possible that the weight of the additional co-curricular pressure in an already congested schedule led to my discouragement. It is also possible that the level of expectation I was held to by my peers and teachers was too substantial, and as such I made no effort to live up to it. After all, my parents were famous musicians, and so of course, I must be a virtuosic genius. Perhaps I, however, like many of my classmates, simply grew tired of co-curricular involvement, preferring the alternative of girls, sport and video games. Regardless of what impetus had led to my dissuasion from pursuing musical excellence, by the time I had reached my final years of testing, I had lost the aspirations I once held as a child. And so, despite the surroundings of my youth, and a lengthy history of instrumental study and performance, I undertook a humanities degree, signalling the abandonment of any desires to become a musician. My experience is not particularly remarkable, or that distinct from most others with the opportunities of a musical education. A zealous pressure on young children to excel is a parenting style all too common within circles of musical education, and is one that my parents, particularly as educators, are greatly aware of, and largely abhor. All too frequently children are un-
able to dissuade family members from holding unrealistic expectations of their abilities, and it leads to disillusionment on one side and a desire to escape on the other. For many, it is not merely the expectations that can be disheartening, but also the fanatical encouragement to continue an activity so alienated from any current desires or aspirations. I hope it is clear that I am not rejecting decisions made by my parents, and that I do not disapprove of musical education at a young age. I am grateful for the opportunities that I was given and, in a sense, feel apologetic for having squandered them. I do fundamentally believe that the experiences that resulted from my musical involvement ultimately led to my well-rounded development as a person. An appreciation for all performing arts and my eclectic music taste is, in my opinion, a result of my early education. Regardless, the limits of youthful potential and the possible detriment of overt forcefulness must be understood. It is because of my parent’s understanding of these ideas that I am, in hindsight, appreciative for my chances to perform.
Photograph from Chicago, Interhall Production, 2012
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Innovation as Performance Akshath Kale
Innovation, we have been told and reassured, is the future of our country’s economic success as Australia moves away from the crusted drip feed of the mining boom. The history of our country’s macroeconomic management suggests, that the realms of economic reform and performance should be tangible, and not vaguely assertive, of some unseen future. This was patently understood by the Hawke, Keating and Howard governments, when they instituted measures which ensured that Australia stepped out onto the world economic stage. For example, the float of the dollar in 1984 was accompanied by the Hawke government’s introduction of Medicare, Keating’s culture wars were accompanied by the introduction of comprehensive superannuation and, of course, Howard ‘got rid of the guns’ and gave us the GST. What does innovation hold in store for us? Apart from reinstituting the funding to CSIRO and providing a slew of money to other major educational programmes, the Coalition’s vision for an innovative Australia can, a times, seem almost underwhelming. It was said, in the pre-dot com crash era of Silicon Valley, that the United States was a society built on innovation, but one which did not understand innovation. We want performance outcomes, both economic and social, as well as the luxuries which innovation afford. Innovation itself, is an economic means to an ends, often confused for the end itself. Take
for example, the notion that solely STEM based investments will lead to an ideas boom. While certainly the facilitation of tech start-ups will require a healthy dose of STEM improvements, it is certainly not the whole story. Ed Husic, Labor’s innovation spokesperson, has suggested that particular-
cades of government investment and research (usually defence focused), which effectively made the Valley what it is today. When profit has the final say risks are rarely taken. Take the pharmaceutical industry, where most businesses simply produce variants or slight tweaks to existing pharmaceutical compounds. Novelties (innovative ones), are usually backed
the constituency it will be targeting. Secondly, an innovation plan requires a removal of the contentions of politics and a movement squarely into the realm of policy. This is not as fanciful as it sounds, since the innovation debate is hardly a debate at all - the electorate is more concerned with negative gearing and the RBA’s rate cuts as against the ‘fluffiness’ of innovation. Therefore, Turnbull’s underwhelming sales pitches might actually allow a definitive plan to take stock across a given government’s lifetime. The snowy mountain river scheme, the floating of the Australian dollar, the GST, and even the carbon tax were all accepted as given programmes by both sides of the spectrum. In fact, most of these programmes continued despite a change in government (exempting the carbon tax).
ly disaffected members of society (the casualties of deregulation and the Hawke-Keating recession) view innovation as a job killer, or even worse, as an excuse for the upper strata to accumulate more wealth. However, even Husic, who has been enthusiastic about kickstarting an innovations agenda for Labor, has fallen into the crisp and well tuned speak of the innovation ideal. Husic has been loath to find that members of his party are still concerned with ‘traditional’ policy areas like health, infrastructure and education. This is precisely where our leaders go wrong on big reform ideas like innovation and continuing performance. The economic rationalists among us will suggest, as Turnbull’s government will, that governments can never pick winners. Both the United States and Finland (the tangibles upon which an innovation utopia are based), facilitated their respective industries by channelling resources to the most promising candidates of innovation. Silicon Valley was not a random springing of ideas brought to fruition by a few. Instead, it was de-
by government based research labs, or at the very least, are funded partially from the tax payer’s pockets. To see government and business at loggerheads is to throw the future performance of our economy to the whims of ideology, not rationality. What can be done? Firstly, the deficit does need to be reined in. The Rudd-Gillard government staved off recession through a deficit inducing stimulus package during the 2008 financial crisis. This was possible because Howard and Costello had left a surplus. Given the uncertainty of the global economy, it would bode well to stock up for the next bust cycle. However, such measures should not compromise the basic grants that Australians have come to see as a right. Abbott learned this the hard way with his attempted revamping of Medicare and Pyne’s beloved prognostications on HECS deregulation. Conversely, Morrison’s budget move to cap concessions on superannuation is a measured response, and certainly surprising given
Thirdly, the form of this innovation boom needs to be tangible. It requires links to bold social programmes which ensure that most, if not all Australians, at least have a shot at reaping the benefits. The institutional supports for HECS, for example, should not be assaulted but fostered - the scale of STEM investment needs to be complemented by the humanities and social sciences, and the essential character of our universities should be that of independence and free thinking. Additionally, innovation should not mean that certain industries should simply fall by the wayside. Cognitive lock should not be on tech start-ups solely, but should be used to foster other industries in agriculture, tourism and maybe even the research and facilitation of eco-friendly manufacturing and infrastructure. These represent modest moves which would aid the performance of our economy. As members of a generation who will have to live with the consequences of the innovation economy, it is in our interests to see to it that the innovation agenda is more than simply an ethereal vision. Photography from The Physicists, Bruce hall Production, 2014
Issue 10, Vol. 66
CREATIVE WRITING Turmoils of unsuspecting adulthood: a mere performance for the world A Little Fuji Apple A structured smile in the sun, A silhouette out on the run, Around and around I spun, My dance will progress into rerun. Not an instance of pause Not a slight hint of fatigue, Not a moment uncollected, My world seems to intrigue. I walk consumed within the shadows, You tell me I’m mysterious, I blend my tears into the rain, You tell me there’s nothing serious. My feet drag across the floor, You frown slightly at the sound, My throat clenches in unhappy soreness, Your frown in sounds resound. Curtains fall and I undress, The heavy layers dissipate, Nothing hinders the sight of insides, Void, empty states. I’m surrounded by ‘encore’, Hidden safely backstage Until the next morning, When in the same show I’ll engage.
Performance of a lifetime A Little Fuji Apple A structured smile in the sun, A silhouette out on the run, Around and around I spun, My dance will progress into rerun. Not an instance of pause Not a slight hint of fatigue, Not a moment uncollected, My world seems to intrigue. I walk consumed within the shadows, You tell me I’m mysterious, I blend my tears into the rain, You tell me there’s nothing serious. My feet drag across the floor, You frown slightly at the sound, My throat clenches in unhappy soreness, Your frown in sounds resound. Curtains fall and I undress, The heavy layers dissipate, Nothing hinders the sight of insides, Void, empty states. I’m surrounded by ‘encore’, Hidden safely backstage Until the next morning, When in the same show I’ll engage.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Home (rap) Jeevan Haikerwal They say you only know what you’ve had once it’s gone But as I stare across a flickering landscape of buildings shouting their existence in neon I know that my heart had belonged in and away from this place I called home Because though its absence which makes the heart grow fond And a grounded starscape that studs the horizon is a token its familiarity beckons as the lights flash off on, off on The truth that struck as my sweat leaden body sat down was that maybe I was never found In a place I called home because it was where I’m from Of course I loved it all as all I knew but can we call a ladder tall if it only has one rung? Home was home true, but Afar so quickly grew the same too that something must have slipped through, It wasn’t that my idyllic upbringing, the seaside beach tide play times, The milk bar walks that seemed so far but not a droplet had let drop by the time we were back in the backyard, ice cream eaten with full heart and stomach, The ball games and called names, the drama class and class act drama, the loves that were never the same, ranging from the inane to those which made sun when it rained That all this and more remained unsure, no, they just left me wanting more, so just as you don’t know what you had until it’s gone, you don’t know what you don’t have until you leave And the sleepy familiarity of a life left behind, the one that the off on flickers embed to my mind Put short, it binds, and though not unkind, if I could not leave I could not forge forward or receive the life I always wanted to lead I belonged where the waves lap quietly rhythmically singing But the rocks that make the foreground to the man made monuments which can’t stand the tests of temporal truth And time breaks those rocks too, Permanent slumber or permanent fire destroy or make nothing of a person, a lover The flickering lights which scream not to be hit don’t do so in a fit of self preservation It’s the language they speak, as they reach for the heavens where rats of the air bite I want to be hit and I had to be hit to leave My fellow skyscraping fellows, ambition keeping their vision mellow They are left dreaming of the sky, and when I return and ask them: how are you, what are you doing, who are you seeing, where are you going The question unbidden that forms on my lips is why, why settle for less than you could be By staying in the sleepily similar, the world of off on lights that shine by night These lights that in all my days I’d never stopped to appraise And that now as I leave in a daze, I am unfazed, unchanged.
Stray Anna Miley Like a dog I stray: Wander away and sniff new smells. But night after night you’re almost here, A wraith that whets my appetite for the dark hot sheets and tangled shapes we made upon your bed. No soft angles here. Instead I howl for your warmth, your ticking throat I want it all and always I want you. I lick other hands but like a dog I love you best.
Blackout poetry Lily Lervasi I started creating blackout poems in 2012 when I saw some by Austin Kleon online. Over the years, Iâ€™ve created hundreds of works from a dozen different sources. The point of this poetry is to re-imagine what is already written. It is taking a text - be it a second-hand book, or an ephemeral text such as a newspaper or magazine article, one that would likely never be read again - and turning it into something that can be read in a new light. It is an exercise about learning to work within parameters, as there is only a limited amount of words to choose from. Books are not made to last forever - they are made to be read in a moment. It is the words and sentiments that we carry with us. My blackout poetry can seem at times surreal and removed from reality, yet I try to base a lot of them on things I have personally felt and experienced. They are as much about the words they leave behind as the blocked out spaces around them, which stand to prove that there is importance not only in what is said, but in what is unsaid.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
The ANU Environmental Collective presents: Growth Week 2016
The Environment Collective is excited to announce Growth Week - a week of events from the 22nd-26th of August. Growth Week will explore the guiding theme of ‘growth’, examine the global transition to embracing sustainability, and ask how university students and active members of society can assist in this shift. Events will focus on generating environmental awareness specifically across the ANU campus. The Environment Collective has curated an eclectic collection of interactive and educational events to encourage dialogue about the current environmental issues taking place in our local, and global society, and to engage the broader university community to join this conversation. Keep informed about the upcoming events via the Environment Collective’s Facebook page. Monday Forum: Artists in Conversation— The importance of art in activism What: What is the role of art in generating awareness? Are artistic mediums powerful in mobilising social change? This forum will focus upon the growing importance of utilising art, and of blending aesthetics with activism to bring environmentalism and other political issues to the forefront of cultural conversations and activism. Where: TBC When: 11:30-1 pm
Documentary Screening at the Food Co-op What: Join us for a documentary screening focusing on the intersection between Indigenous affairs and environmental issues. Film TBC. Check out the Facebook page for more details! Where: Food Co-op When: 5:30 pm Tuesday Alternative Menstrual Products What: Alternative Menstrual Products, or AMPs, such as menstrual cups and reusable pads, are usually sold online and can be daunting to purchase without really knowing what you’re getting. Sure, there are plenty of info booklets, but do real students actually use these products? Or know how? Are they inconvenient? Are they archaic? Or are they a bit too alternative? These are the questions that ANU students who are regular AMPs users will help us to answer! PLUS, there will be plenty of products present during the workshop for you to look at and touch! This is an inclusive event. All gender identities are welcome. Remember, not all women menstruate and not all those who menstruate are women! Where: ANUSA Boardroom When: 1 pm Documentary Screening: ‘Do it Ourselves Culture’ What: Do It Ourselves Culture is a film that documents the birth of par-
ty protest fusion in Australia during the 1990 and its political ties, while discussing how we can create our own culture rather than purchasing the culture that is sold to us. A light supper will be provided and the film will be followed by a discussion of how the themes in the documentary affected us when watching, and how they relate, or could relate, to our personal actions and decisions. Where: Housing Co-op When: 7-9 pm Wednesday Forum: What aspects or ideas in society need to grow? What: The Environment Collective will host three speakers in conversation to consider the ways in which our society should grow to ensure we achieve the best possible future. Guests from the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Fenner School of Environment and Society and the Frank Fenner Foundation will provide different perspectives on the question ‘What aspects or ideas in society need to grow?’ Following the panel discussion, we will invite the audience to join into a larger group discussion on the topic. Where: Science Teaching Learning Building Seminar Room When: 6.30-8 pm Thursday Universal Lunch Hour What: Join the Environmental Collective for a range of vegetarian treats in Union Court, among a range of
other events. A Reusable Coffee Cup Launch will be giving away free coffee vouchers to the first 25 people to bring their own reusable coffee cups. Various stalls will provide information on the societies and organisations at ANU that focus on environmental causes. A clothing swap has also been organised in partnership with the Global Clothes Swap Movement, and everyone is invited to bring and exchange second-hand clothing. The clothing accumulated will initiate similar clothing swaps in Nepal and the Philippines. Find more information on the event’s Facebook page. Where: Union Court When: 12-2 pm Friday Casual Coffee: Feminism and Environmental Activism What: Casual Coffee is a regular event hosted by the Environmental Collective. It is an open and inclusive space to discuss and develop our ideas, where all points of view are respected. At this installment, we will consider the intersection between feminism and environmental activism. Come along to have a conversation with open ears and minds on what feminism and activism mean, and how they can and do interact. Where: National Sound & Film Archive When: 1 pm
Issue 10, Vol. 66
A conversation with Lyn Goldsworthy Morgan Alexander
In conversation, Lyn Goldsworthy is Homeric. Her stories are rich with the people she has met and the lessons she has learnt through her lifelong career in environmental advocacy. Goldsworthy is considered an international expert on conservation in Antarctica, and has been awarded both the New Zealand Antarctic Conservation Trophy, and an Order of Australia. Currently, Lyn is the executive officer at the Frank Fenner Foundation (FFF) - an environmental and social enterprise, hosted by the Fenner School for Environment and Society right here on the ANU campus. I volunteer with Lyn at FFF and sat down to hear her own personal masterclass in environmentalism, activism and life - a class she most enthusiastically conducts. As a person, she is effortlessly humble and easily endearing. “I’ve been very privileged in my life to be paid for doing things that I really love,” she says, “which is, if you like, working to save the world.” This work has taken Lyn around the world as a lobbyist, environmentalist and activist. Her earliest moment of inspiration, however, was as a 12-year-old at school in New Zealand when she won her school’s science and geography prize. The reward was two books of choice, yet when Lyn’s hands landed on a book about the Manhattan Project (the development of the nuclear bomb), her teacher regarded the choice as absurd. “The teacher in the room,” Goldsworthy recalls, “said ‘Oh, you wouldn’t be very interested in that; it’s a boy book.’ And I said, ‘No, no; I want to read this!’” The incident, though small, ignited an interest in activism that stayed with Lyn. At Auckland University, Lyn experienced another moment of realisation when studying a new Environmental Studies course in her final year. Goldsworthy explains that her interest in science is only half of the story; she is equally passionate about community-building and social change. For Lyn, environmental studies was an opportunity to unite the science and the social. After university, Lyn picked up assignments in environmental impact assessment around Australia. Eventually, a friend asked her if she would
an enlightening or inspirational moment for her awareness of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Goldsworthy admitted that it did inspire her to pursue activism, but her own views of equality have been a product of her entire life, rather than a reflection of this one moment.
assist with an assessment of Antarctica as a volunteer. “When I picked myself up off the floor from laughing, I went ‘Okay, fine.’ And you know, the only thing I knew about Antarctica was that they didn’t have polar bears. And it was South.” Lyn was laughing at the enormity of the task: Antarctica was a mysterious 13 billion square kilometres, the size of the entire United States and half of Australia. She was asked to assess the environmental impact of Australia’s three Antarctic stations specifically. Initially, the work was not exactly glamorous. Lyn was especially unenthusiastic when reflecting on the sickening 4-week-long boat ride from Tasmania, yet her work on analysing waste management systems, while mundane, was essential to maintaining Antarctica’s waste-free policy: everything that arrives in the continent must be taken away again. After the assessment, Lyn took a job with the Antarctica and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), an international group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working “to help fight for Antarctica to be a nature reserve dedicated to peace and science.” As an ASOC employee, Lyn began working in deep-sea and Antarctic conservation. She worked on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which con-
trolled the exploitation of Antarctic fishery zones and marine life. Even more incredible is Lyn’s contribution to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which banned mineral and gas exploration and mining across the continent. For her work, Goldsworthy was awarded the New Zealand Antarctic Conservation Trophy in 1990 and the Order of Australia (Member) in 1991. ASOC introduced Lyn to a career and life of lobbying and work in NGOs, both within Australia and internationally. Goldsworthy’s background in chemistry didn’t prepare her for the wide range of issues she has pursued as a lobbyist, but she doesn’t believe one’s choice of study should influence their ability to be an activist. “If people want to get involved in conservation, or in any area that’s around changing the world, focus on getting the skills that will allow you to campaign or be an activist.” These are skills like strategy development, teamwork, influence strategy and networking, which Lyn believes are more essential than specificity in studies. Throughout her work in conservation campaigning, Lyn has maintained her passion for community building, developing a particular interest in the role of women. Bringing Lyn back to her teacher’s reaction to her choice of science prize, I asked her if this was
One of Lyn’s current missions is mentoring and sharing her skills and knowledge with the women she works with. Her hope is for women to be empowered to make change, and for their contributions in STEM, and other areas, to be recognised. From her long career, Goldsworthy has generated an inspiringly broad network of women activists from around the world - individuals she has either worked alongside or mentored in some capacity. Like Lyn, many of these women are involved in environmental conservation, yet while she is a prominent figure in international environmental activism, Goldsworthy is equally concerned with gender equality. In fact, she considers the two to be interdependent: “You can’t be a conservationist unless you accept community - community collaboration - as part of the mix. And you can’t believe strongly in community unless you accept equality.” Lyn is baffled that the conversation on equality -of gender, of race, of whatever - is still an issue. She remarks that for a time it seemed such inequalities would be resolved within the 20th Century. Here and now, Goldsworthy condemns the cavalier attitude toward sexism: “Those things are not jokes, those things reflect a culture that is essentially misogynist. So, if you want my passion, it’s about equality… equality across the board.” Lyn’s many passions - the environment or gender equality, community-building or activism - have all been served by her dynamic career. She cautions that activism is a tough life, yet listening to Lyn’s experience, it seems it is equally rewarding. “The reason why I’m still optimistic and carrying on, which is quite tough when you work in activism for your entire life, is that I’ve had some big wins… I was part of a team that led to the banning of mining on an entire continent; that’s amazing!”
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
My Plastic Free July Naomi Eburn
Plastic Free July concluded last month with some amazing results it is estimated that 60,000 people in 129 countries participated! Plastic Free July is a challenge aimed at raising awareness about the unsustainable amount of single-use plastic produced, used and discarded around the world, and the issues that arise from this plastic. The simple premise of the challenge is for participants to refuse as many single-use plastic items - plastic shopping bags, disposable cups and water bottles, straws, plastic packaging - as possible, over a time period of their choosing. Participants are also asked to save any plastic items that were unavoidable or impulsive, and to share them as evidence of success at the end of the challenge. I’ve been considering and cutting down my plastic consumption for 9 months now. After watching Ian Connacher’s 2008 documentary “Addicted to Plastic”, I was inspired to cut down how much plastic I used and threw away. When a housemate questioned how much impact I could make as a single university student, I was angry that someone could just pass of the environment as a lost cause and suggest that anything I did would not help.
I started actively changing my habits and encouraging my friends and family to do the same. July was still a challenge. My goal was to go the entire month and consume less than 20 pieces of plastic, and it really made me start to notice how much plastic there was around. At the start of the month I was travelling in Greece and spent a lot of time collecting rubbish on the beaches plastic straws, especially, were all over the place. I experienced a ew frustrating moments, like on a night out in Sydney when a bartender threw our straws on the ground after I asked for the drinks without straws - it felt like such an avoidable waste. It was also interesting to keep my rubbish and look back on what would normally be an impulsive decision I’d forget about, like eating a chocolate bar for example, and be reminded that although the item has been consumed and long forgotten, the packaging remains in the world long after you discard it. It took a long time to learn new habits and discover enough convenient plastic alternatives to be able to consume less than 20 pieces of plastic in July. Some habits are more difficult to establish than others, but
once you start, it becomes an easy transition. Saying no to avoidable plastics is one step that is both easy and essential. Once you start, you become more aware of all the plastic that is used and could be avoided. Disposable coffee cups present a big opportunity, and I always bring a reusable cup like KeepCup - with me. While some reusable cups are still made of plastic, reusing something you already own is more sustainable than a single-use disposable coffee cup - and some cafés will go as far as giving you a discount for a BYO cup! Straws, plastic cutlery, cling wrap and plastic bags are other easy items to say no to. Avoid straws by bringing a bamboo or metal one, or simply asking for no straw. I often bring a set of metal cutlery from home with me to places where plastic cutlery might be the only option. Try storing foods in beeswax wraps or reusable containers instead of using cling wrap. I also carry a tote bag with me wherever I go, that way if I buy anything, whether it’s a piece of clothing, food, or anything else, I don’t need a plastic bag. I’ve even started bringing my own cup to ANU bar as they only provide plastic ones!
It is important to remember not quite everything can be avoided. Medications and first-aid materials are examples of necessities without easy, plastic-free alternatives. I didn’t, and don’t, feel bad about consuming these things. The point is to bring your plastic consumption down to a sustainable level, not to cut it out entirely. Everyone will have different preferences for alternatives and limits for what they’re willing to compromise on. Sometimes a bit of extra money may also be involved, but it’s often an investment into plastic free alternatives that will last years. While it can feel daunting if you’re only just starting to cut back, I find the best way to reduce your waste consumption is to: address an item that creates waste, find an eco-friendly alternative, and then consider if you are happy to make the swap. When you break it down to these three simple steps, cutting out plastic becomes less of a daunting lifestyle change, and more a simple decision of whether to consume a piece of plastic or not.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
The ANU Organic Garden Brianna Gray and Nancy Jin
Climate change is a global issue and 2015 was the hottest year on record. For many, confronted with facts such as these, acting ‘to save the environment’ may seem like a difficult and futile project; yet there are ways of addressing the environment at a local level that are engaging and personally rewarding. The ANU Organic Garden hopes to reinforce the importance of environmental issues locally, and empower the community to connect with our role in tackling climate change.
who hoped to bring the benefits of community gardening to ANU. The garden, however, faces an uphill battle. Lack of committed volunteers is the Garden’s primary obstacle. Volunteers are integral to the ongoing maintenance and survival of the Garden, and there have even been calls to reduce to size of the garden due to the lack of student participation. In discussions with ANUgreen, it is clear to ANU Organic Garden coordinators that there are those in the university administration who do not see this space as an important part of the Acton campus. The Garden is located at what is now one of the main entrances to campus. It is our understanding that some have considered it to be unsightly, detracting from the sense of aestheticism and prestige that would befit a highly ranked university like ANU.
Throughout the twentieth century, community gardens have taken several different shapes depending on the respective issues facing Australian society at different times. During the World Wars, for instance, ‘victory gardens’ were planted in private residences and public parks to help increase production and deal with food rationing. Through the propagation of ‘Dig for Victory’ campaigns, these gardens reduced pressure on the public food supply and constituted a civil morale booster; amateur gardeners felt empowered by their contribution and were rewarded by the produce they grew. While the popularity of community gardens decreased in the post-war era, the growing urbanisation of the Australian population over the last few decades has resulted in a renewed movement to institute community gardens within urban spaces. Meanwhile, a growing public interest in healthy and sustainable foods demonstrates a genuine amenability to learning about, and helping produce, food that is grown locally, and which brings about positive changes to individual and community health. Local councils, schools, community groups, and universities like ANU are among the organisations at the forefront of this movement, and have succeeded in turning under-utilised spaces into thriving veggie patches. While there are many scientifically documented health benefits of gardening, the social aspects of community gardens in particular are uniquely beneficial. These initiatives have targeted and created an inclusive space for disadvantaged youths, the elderly, refugees and others, and have been shown to provide an important sense of belonging and investment in the community. It has also been shown that those who garden have a better understanding of nutrition, and consume more serves of fruit and
In the past there was also more interest in undertaking research at the garden, with a long-term terra preta soil project being conducted, and others investigating composting. Recently, however, lacking a strong connection with the Fenner School of Environment and Society and with other relevant researchers within ANU, engagement in the garden has declined. Given the high quality environmental and agricultural research which ANU participates in, and the various social and health benefits of community gardening, there is greater scope for research with of the ANU Garden. vegetables per day than those who do not. Horticultural therapy is a popular new method of treating patients with dementia, depression, and anxiety. In response to the links established between community gardens, increasing self-esteem and reducing stress, and their critical role in connecting the community to the environment, universities around the world have begun to introduce gardens on their campus grounds. An especially successful example is the Gatton Community Garden at the University of Queensland. The Gatton garden is almost one hectare in size, and is used as a ‘living laboratory’ by agricultural and veterinary students. It also provides plots to staff and students to grow their own produce. Compared to the University of
Queensland Gatton Campus, ANU has less of a focus on agricultural or veterinary science. It is perhaps reasonable, therefore, that the ANU Organic Garden is not at present an integral part of ANU’s continued efforts in maintaining a sustainable campus. Even taking this into account, the ANU Community Garden does not seem to be achieving the goals of community engagement and education that its student-founders hoped for in 2006, and is threatened by a lack of engagement with university students and staff. The ANU Organic Garden, located near the Crawford School at Lennox Crossing, has expanded since 2006 to now included a small orchard, several veggie plots, herb gardens, an Australian natives bed, a greenhouse and a wood-fired pizza oven. The garden was founded by students and staff
Ultimately, integration with environmental groups at ANU and volunteers is necessary to ensure the on-going viability of the garden. So come along, whenever you can, and reap the rewards of gardening.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
ARTS & REVIEWS
Pokémon Go: sad reality or inventive technology? Robin Monro Pokémon Go is the most recent mobile sensation to take the world by storm. In less than a fortnight, the game had infiltrated ANU Stalkerspace, overtaken Twitter for daily users, and increased Nintendo’s market value by more than $10 billion. It’s a phenomenon. If you somehow missed out on this new virtual reality game and are not sure what the hype is about, let me give you some background. In 1996, Nintendo released their first two games in the Pokémon series to their Japanese audience. Their unexpected success lead to another seven installations, a nineteen-season-long cartoon series, a collection of movies, and a generational pop culture which has been dominating now for two decades and counting. Recently, Nintendo partnered up with Niantic - a gaming developer whose 2013 Ingress game requires real-world interactivity - to release Pokémon Go, thus combining the popular franchise with Ingress’s uniquely interactive game style. Unlike a typical video game, Pokémon Go requires you to go outside to play. Locations in the games
are based on real world places, with public spaces featuring as places to catch Pokémon. Libraries, shops and cafes began inviting players in. Nature trails, walks and picnics became an avenue for playing, just as playing became an avenue for engaging with nature. As players discovered more of how the game worked, they went further afield to see, catch and hatch different Pokémon, visiting places not typically ventured for the sole purpose of playing Pokémon Go. Is it a “sad reality” that we live in a world where people need a video game and internet connection to want to go outside? Has a game composed of ones and zeros and pixels come to incentivise the simple act of leaving the house? In a world where Facebook updates, five second vines, tags in cat videos and a Fear Of Missing Out rule our waking hours, it is no surprise our free time disappears into online media. These items add no real substance or value to our day, yet, like a gambling addict on a Pokér machine, we pull out our phones and refresh our Facebook feed to see what is on the cards
for today. When we live in such a reality, something that can keep us occupied in a productive manner should be treasured, no matter what medium it comes to us in. As Pokémon Go gained traction, stories emerged of players interacting in the real world, working together to take on in-game challenges as a team, and sharing tips and tricks of the Pokémon trade. A suggestion taken up by local and international news alike, is that Pokémon Go helps people tackle social anxiety and depression. By introducing a shared interest, meeting new people becomes easier, meanwhile, the physical exercise and simple act of going outside may support a better mental state. All in all, the broad effects of Pokémon Go may be fantastically positive. Personally, I appreciate both sides of the argument. I like how Pokémon Go has encouraged people to go out and enjoy nature, but I also feel the game could, and should, do more. As players’ knowledge of the game and the local area grows, they become
increasingly sedentary, going to one optimal spot and staying there. Initial consumer hopes for the game, and Pokémon Go marketing, suggested a diversity of habitats to explore. One might hope secluded areas like mountains, parks or forests would all feature in gameplay. Unfortunately, the opposite is true: the more secluded an area the less of a chance of finding anything at all. I hope future developments will reward those who go out of their way to go to National Parks, or other such isolated areas, thus rewarding those who interact with nature further. The proof is in our hands: technology can be a driving force for good in our lives. It can be an aid to help us with day to day tasks, as well as an incentive to get out and enjoy our world. The only question now, is will more developers try to get on board with these possibly life-changing opportunities? Or are we doomed to a focus on sedentary clicks and ad revenue?
Live Music, And What We Owe It Today Ruben Seaton “Thank you, thank you, thank you, you’re far too kind,” Jay Z chuckles in the opening lines of his track ‘Encore’, “but this is your song, not mine.” In this, the mogul actually encapsulates quite nicely the relation between an artist and their audience. A concert, the musician’s performance, is the ultimate way to experience music. But what role does live music play in 2016? A glass-half-full person may look at the music scene and be pleased: headline stars are continuing on their merry way around the globe, concert halls are packed, and promoters still have their pockets full of cash.
Sceptics, however, do have reason to be concerned. The vibrant pub culture of the late 20th century is long gone, and even bars and clubs that stepped in to fill those large shoes often struggle to prosper. In addition, the Australian festival circuit is slowly becoming a graveyard thanks to the collapse of large scale festivals: such as Big Day Out, Future Music, Soundwave, and more. If it weren’t for our friend The Internet and the immediate exposure it provides, it would probably be harder than ever for amateur musicians to make it onto stage. Hence, our support for touring artists can make a huge difference to the
future of our favourite bands, particularly the less famous ones. In the murky music mega-industry where wealth is often not distributed justly, ticket purchases (where an average of 85% goes to the artist) become a defining factor. The streaming boom of the last five years has chucked another spanner in the works - specifically referring to the almost laughable pay ratio between traditional purchases and online streams. The Guardian recently reported that an artist can expect US$0.0003 per view on YouTube. That means in order for an artist to get the same amount of money from streams as from the sale of 100 CDs,
they would need (wait for it) over four million YouTube hits. It hardly needs to be said that concerts can be visually stunning experiences, but mentally they can be so much more. Seeing an idol for the first time can be unforgettable, whether it be The Wiggles or Shannon Noll. There’s something special about a packed room of sweaty devoted fans, and it’s special-good, not special-creepy. It’s a melting pot of anticipation and emotion that’s unrivalled in any other entertainment medium.
ARTS & REVIEWS
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Synthia— The Jezabels Jarod Esposito Synthia is the third studio album from the Australian indie rock band The Jezabels. This is easily the band’s best album with songs containing underlying feminist themes, catchy electronic melodies and well-built harmonies. One of the best aspects of the band is their unique sound, in which each instrument plays a fundamental role. The band has recently gone through trauma, with their keyboardist, Heather Shannon, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, however she is making a recovery. Perhaps in reaction to this experience, the entire album reflects powerful messages of respect, love and the importance of life. The lyrics reach out to all of us in our daily lives as the music is brought to us on a personal and intimate level. Synthia is very easy to listen to, with a strong mix of indie rock and electronic pop from the synthesiser. The tracks Come Alive, Pleasure Drive and If Ya Want Me are all highlights, and I am looking forward to hearing them live at their upcoming gig at ANU Bar on October 21.
Emily’s D+ Evolution— Esperanza Spalding Tahlia Makunde Spalding has consistently demonstrated a comfortable familiarity with
irregular time signatures and unexpected harmonic material, however, much of the genius of her preceding albums lies in her subtlety of presentation and the easy accessibility of the finished product. In remarkable contrast to her previous albums, Emily’s D+ Evolution is a much more audacious affair: flaunting challenging, angular melodic lines paired with complex rhythmic constructions presented in a bold, prog-rock style. While notably different to Spalding’s earlier vibe, this one is incredibly fitting of the narrative. Lyrically, the album is a poetic exploration of self-image, love, sex, ambition and acceptance; concluding with a confident declaration of emancipation from any imposed conventions. A bold artistic statement. and “Nomad”. Idle Moments is best enjoyed with sangria and a Cuban coastline. Ideally. Probably still enjoyable with cheap wine and the CBR glow.
Teens of Denial— Car Seat Headrest Brendan Keller-Tuberg The follow-up to their Matador Records debut Teens of Style (2015), Car Seat, Headrest’s new record, is a neurotic, ambitious and cathartic 70-minute journey into frontman Will Toledo’s head and his ongoing battle with depression. While an intimidating number of tracks sprawl past conventional lengths for the genre, the ambitious song structures are justified by the band’s creative instrumentation and dynamic performances, coupled with Toledo’s effective and insightful explorations into the mind of a disillusioned and aimless teenager. It’s a must hear for all fans of lo-fi indie rock or The Catcher in the Rye, and has quickly become one of my favourite albums of 2016.
Wildflower— The Avalanches Brendan Keller-Tuberg
Puberty 2— Mitski Lawrence Rogers
As the long-awaited ninth LP of one of the most influential alternative rock bands of the modern era, to say fans had lofty expectations for its first 4am listen (its release time in Australia) was an understatement. Having been 5 years since Radiohead’s last record The King of Limbs, many hoped the album would present a new direction for the band akin 2000’s Kid A or 2007’s In Rainbows and, to our disbelief, it did. A Moon Shaped Pool sees a return to the desolate experimental rock of albums like Amnesiac, augmented through the heavy use of orchestras and choirs (perhaps Jonny Greenwood’s contribution, drawing on experience composing film scores such as There Will Be Blood). The result is a cinematic yet introverted, dreary but accessible, collection of songs that continues to solidify Radiohead’s place as one of the best bands of the 21st century.
In her latest album Puberty 2, Mitski expands her unique sound as a mixture of dream-pop and indie rock. It features profound lyrical depictions of themes of depression, anxiety and everyday mediocrity, highlighting the artist’s personal struggles. The opening track, Happy, explores the fleeting nature of happiness through the melancholic metaphor of a short-lived love interest, accompanied by choppy instrumentals and a rebellious melody. A throwback to the indie rock sound of her previous album, Bury Me at Makeout Creek, can be heard in the track Your Best American Girl. The archetypal distorted guitar featured in much indie rock is used in this song, coupled with an attractive, catchy melody. Upon closer listening, the complexity of Mitski’s music shines through, illustrating both the lyrical and musical talents hidden in her beautifully layered ballads. Puberty 2 is an amazing example of an artist building upon the established indie rock canon, to create something much more interesting and emotive than a mere formulaic regurgitation of the genre. This album is definitely worth a listen, and will undoubtedly be among my favourites for the year.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
WEINER reviewed by Andrew He
having been involved in a series of sexting relationships outside his marriage. The documentary, WEINER, shadows him and his team as he attempts to make people forget about his past, and vote for him as Mayor of New York in 2013. In regards to the film, that really, is all you need to know. That plus the fact that politicians are not really who they pretend to be in front of the cameras - is that truly shocking?
DENDY FILM REVIEWS staff, come across as a performance, when they should appear authentic. I personally have a real problem with the representation of Huma - a respected intellectual on the Middle East in real life - who, in the documentary, is shafted to the role of the vacant, even vaguely dopey servant of her husband’s political game. All in all, it is a very average depiction of American, domestic politics. .
Anyone who knows of Anthony Weiner will know that his last name is both appropriate and unfortunate. Weiner was exposed by hackers as
Though the documentary moves along at a good pace, some of the interactions between Weiner, his long-suffering wife Huma and his
Johnson have undeniable chemistry on screen, as their natural comedic timing and ability to feed off of each other truly makes this film watchable. Their playful and supportive performances lift this film from a cringe-worthy almost-2-hours, to a comedic slip-up with a heart-warming anti-bullying message. Nonetheless, however funny the two leads may be, their natural talents can’t save a bad script. With a plot line that largely rests on technological know-how and the attempted hacking of C.I.A. secrets, it does little to explain the process. As such, the audience is left not understanding the reason why people run in pursuit of one another, as explanation is sacrificed for highaction sequences. This, when paired
with simplistic and one-dimensional characterisation, leaves the film fundamentally pointless. The single highlight was at the very end of the blooper-reel in the last sequence, when Kevin Hart called out Johnson’s “stupid” stage name. The ability to laugh at oneself is what propelled the film, and without it, it would have been just another comedy, quick to be forgotten.
in shambles, the editing was truly awful, and the musical choices were the equivalent of a Mambo shirt in a General Pants store - out of place. However, in a comic-book-turnedfilm involving characters entirely opposite to the usual superhero tropes fighting for justice and honour, and who are about as psychologically stable as Trump’s PR Manager, the more awkward aspects of the movie are actually bizarrely appropriate whether intentional or not.
as CAPTAIN BOOMERANG, remaining one of the few stereotyped Aussie characters in the U.S media that hasn’t resulted in a kangaroo cringe. These positives, however, are derailed by the other addled and ungainly elements that wreak mayhem.
Although it had a sweet message, Central Intelligence left much to be gained, as it too often stooped to unentertaining, slap-stick comedy. Kevin Hart and Dwayne (The Rock)
Suicide Squad reviewed by Alex Johnston
DC fans cover your eyes… partially. Suicide Squad is exactly what you would expect - not that this is entirely a bad thing. To be sure, all the stuff you’ve probably read is true - the plot was
SING STREET reviewed by Mary-Grace Brunker
Director John Carney (Once, Begin Again) is certainly no stranger to films about, and featuring, original music. Sing Street is no exception, though this foray into the ‘futurist’ genre of the mid 80s is so well disguised as a cheerfully ironic Irish comedy, it is only much later that you realise you’ve sat through a musical. From the get-go, Sing Street drew me in with its colourful, idiosyncratic characters, like the unwaveringly ambitious Conor and his musically encyclopaedic brother Brendan. The film
Case in point, this line that was actually used: “We threw him in a hole and then threw away the hole.” – Hyperbole (1813-2016)
There are some purely good elements there, including, and sort-of-limited to; Will Smith, who brought some good and edgy humour to the freak-show along with some pretty visual moments; and Jai Courtney treads the line between a buddy-band comedy and a sweet romance set against a harsh backdrop. Ample screen time is given to the two mains - Conor, and the object of his infatuation, Raphina - with a couple of very memorable band scenes. In terms of balance, I would have liked to have seen more of a dynamic between the band members - particularly the drummer, keyboard and bassist - who were afforded very little screen time after the initial formation, but were a font of comedic potential. The magic of this film, however, lies in its writers’ and director’s clear obsession with the musical period. The best sequences looked into the boys’ inspiration from existing legends like Duran Duran or The Cure, as they changed their look, their music and sometimes their personalities to imitate them. Upon seeing the high quality production value and beautiful women of the Duran Duran music videos, the
band make their own low-budget version in a Dublin back street to an absolutely spot-on original song called ‘The Riddle of The Model’. So even though the film can slip from the comedic realism of Billy Elliot into some more unbelievable fairytale sequences, with some very underdeveloped characters and an ending that will divide audiences, the undeniable genius of the original songs, and the excellent performances from a young cast of Irish unknowns, makes Sing Street a film that will put a ridiculous grin on your face, even if you are a musical skeptic.
ARTS & REVIEWS
Issue 10, Vol. 66
REVIEW: OUR LAND PEOPLE STORIES BANGARRA DELIVERS A CAPTIVATING EXPERIENCE Jennifer McRae Bangarra Dance Theatre is world renowned for vibrant and powerful performances that impress audiences from beginning to end, and their latest tour is no exception. The company is comprised of 17 professionally trained dancers from across Australia who proudly identify with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage. Under the direction of Stephen Page, Bangarra uses art and dance to bring Indigenous stories to life. Our Land People Stories delivers a stirring program of three pieces, two
of which are choreographed by company dancers. The word that can best describe the work is powerful. When watching the combination of contemporary dance fused with traditional Indigenous movement, you really feel as though you are involved in an unfolding story. The dancers execute the technical choreography perfectly, engrossing audiences even further with their grace and skill. Jasmin Sheppard’s ‘Macq’ is reborn in this production and delivers a strong narrative. ‘Macq’ tells the story of the
1816 Appin massacres that occurred under the control of Governor Macquaire. Sheppard describes her piece as the black account of “the history we never get taught in schools – the side of the story that is swept under the carpet.”
enous communities,” Sheppard remarks. “It is a wonderful opportunity to share stories, and give non-Indigenous audiences a chance to feel that they can connect with the Indigenous culture in a way that may not be able to happen in everyday life.”
The talent and success of Bangarra has been well noted for its benefit to the Indigenous community. It has also, however, been a great educational tool for non-Indigenous Australians. “Bangarra bridges the gap between Indigenous and non-Indig-
A New Chapter for the Drill Hall Gallery Clare Fealy After receiving more than two million dollars for a much needed refurbishment, the Drill Hall Gallery is now a museum-grade facility. Once a training facility for soldiers during the Second World War, it is now fit to exhibit the ‘Old Masters’ - with its new state-of-the-art climate control system designed by Benmax and its sophisticated system of programmable LED lights designed by Simm Steel of Steensen Varming. The lights are the products of the generous benefaction of artists, well-wishers and friends that were collected through a series of events such as an auction and a dinner raising more than $140,000 for the Drill Hall. This benefaction, as well as the funds injected for the refurbishment by the ANU, affirms the importance of the Gallery in the ANU and wider Canberra community. A few weeks have passed since its reopening on 14 July 2016, and the success of its first show Streets of Papunya (15 July – 14 August) has paved the way for the further successes of the variety of exhibitions to be shown through the remainder of this year. The current exhibition is curated by the prominent historian of Western Desert painting, Professor Vivien Johnson, and presents the works of
displayed, the Drill Hall prides itself on the different types of artwork it is able to showcase. Hosting a variety of temporary exhibitions, with a short turnaround period roughly extending to six weeks per exhibition, the Drill Hall programming permits a degree of flexibility that is not shared by some of the larger cultural and art institutions in Canberra. This enables the exploration of different mediums, genres, themes and generations of artists, and the creation of an ever-changing environment for visitors to enjoy. Consequently, a diverse audience is attracted, with the Gallery always aspiring to draw in new people - particularly those from surrounding residences like UniLodge. the new generation of painters from Papunya: a renowned hub of Indigenous creativity. The works in the exhibition have been sourced both directly from Papunya Tjupi Arts, and also from large public institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia and the National Museum of Australia. Some works have also been drawn from the ANU’s School of Archaeology and Anthropology and the College of Asa and the Pacific, both of which boast considerable and remarkable collections of works.
from some of Canberra’s finest cultural institutions, but also those that have been obtained by the University itself. Drill Hall is far more than a place for art students - it is accessible to all students and teachers across campus who are interested in learning in a way that differs from a standard lecture format. In reopening the Drill Hall the University is further enriching the experience of education by offering a mix of theoretical and visual aids inside and outside of the classroom.
Students and visitors to the University alike can see not only the works
In addition to the diverse learning opportunities provided by the works
The recent renovations and acquisitions like the Erskine Gift, along with a program of upcoming exhibitions, events, and a lecture series, establish the Drill Hall as a new cultural hub. Watch this space. Streets of Papunya closes on 14 August 2016 and is followed by Brian Blanchflower-Canopies which is on from 19 August until 25 September 2016.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
ARTS & REVIEWS
Response And Responsibility: Visual art and experimental music collide Hayden Fritzlaff When asking the question, ‘Who is Canberra’s hardest working musical act?’, you’d expect a range of answers. Some would refer to breakthrough electro-behemoths Safia and Peking Duk. Others would point to ubiquitous indie heroes like Capes and Slow Turismo, or even Byron who plays Bon Iver songs on the corner of London Circuit late into the night. Few, I daresay, would pick the collective of music students with homemade synthesisers, kid’s toys and rocks, who played as many gigs in 2015 as any act in town - but this exactly what ANU’s Experimental Music Studio (EMS) did. From free improvisation sets in abandoned buildings and backyards, to high-brow concerts involving a circle of musicians playing sticks, the EMS have been leading Canberra’s experimental music scene for the past two years. Their work continues in 2016 with Collected Resonances, a monthly evening of music and art at Ainslie Arts Centre, where Canberra’s boldest musicians explore the boundaries and intersections of sound-based art and other media. For the uninitiated, this en-
vironment (which regularly encourages spontaneous cross-media improvisation and rarely features tonal music) can seem anything from foreign to outright confrontational, but what this environment does, is make you consider how the concepts performance and collaboration function. You see, when a dancer is asked to perform with an electronic musician they just met, or a sculptor is given 20 minutes to make a piece in response to someone’s dissonant looping piano musings, each party carries the burden of responsibility. It’s that element
of danger, and the ability of performers to navigate it together, that makes the collaborations at Collected Resonances so inspiring. A particularly memorable concert saw VJ, Jean-Phillipe Demarais, using the audio feed from free jazz trio, A Town Called Panic, as the basis for real-time responsive projections. Using a Microsoft Kinect sensor, the music was translated from sound into visuals. ‘Having the improvisation element to it was important’ said Demarais, ‘I created
the “perfect” visuals in that instance based on the performers, the audience, and the sound being generated’. This idea of wanting to communicate a personal response to music is universal (particularly among music journalists). As Demarais stated, ‘It’s something which was unique and cannot be replicated. It was a visual translation of the emotion felt while listening to the performance.’ Maybe that’s the most intriguing aspect of Collected Resonances – the collaborations are fleeting and usually impossible to replicate. In a live music scene dominated by performers whose most dangerous task is to hit that drum pad at the exact right time to trigger that exact right clap sample, the EMS and Canberra’s wider experimental community remind us that innovation requires the possibility of failure. Collected Resonances is a concert series at Ainslie Arts Centre curated by members of the ANU Experimental Music Studio. It happens at 8pm on the third Wednesday of each month.
arts@ woroni. com.au
ARTS & REVIEWS
Issue 10, Vol. 66
THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING: IN CONVERSATION Kat Carrington Basil Jones (Thomas) and Despina Panagiotopoulos (Stage Manager) discuss the upcoming Burgmann Residents’ Association production of Richard Tulloch’s “The Book of Everything”
KC: I find the beauty of college productions is that they tend to involve people who have never been in theatre before. Have you guys been involved in theatre much previously?
KC: Although The Book of Everything is award winning, I personally know little about it - can you give me a brief synopsis?
DP: So I’ve been involved in a lot, but mostly backstage stuff, never really as much responsibility as what I’ve taken on now. I know one of the cast members hasn’t really acted before, and it’s great that she gets a chance.
DP: It’s pretty hard to sum up without giving away the whole plot. Essentially, it’s about a young boy who is quite imaginative and creative, growing up in a religiously conservative household. It is about him, and the people around him, discovering the world outside these religious confines.
BJ: I’ve done a bit of acting, but mostly musicals, so it has been interesting to bring my experience from where everything is over-the-top into something more subtle. KC: Here’s an easy one - what is your favourite moment of the play?
BJ: There are a lot of elements to it. Jumping between domestic violence, the innocence of youth, all these sort of things - it’s very hard to encapsulate in a few words.
DP: Something comes to mind but it’s not a very happy scene. BJ: She means the carving knife - it is the tipping point of the play in the second act. You can see the family come together and pull away again. Everything has been leading up to this point, and it’s easy to forget your acting in that scene.
KC: Would a lot of the themes relate to university audiences? BJ: A lot of them are viewed through the eyes of this young boy, a different lens to how we typically perceive it. DP: There’s a bit of everything. There’s a bit of romance, a bit of growing up, which of course, we’re still doing as university students. KC: So it’s a Dutch book that has been translated by an Australian Playwright (Richard Tulloch)? DP: It was originally a Children’s book that has been translated. BJ: There’s still some Dutch language in there. It’s still very context heavy. KC: Cool. Basil, who do you play? BJ: I play Thomas, the young boy in the play. The play is as much a progression of Thomas, as it is his family. He is a very optimistic, bright young boy who views the world very differently to most people. How that manifests is that he talks to people who aren’t there. He sees things that don’t exist. He’s very kind, very imaginative. A lot of the play is him juggling his relationships with people around him and learning as he goes along. He’s pretty special. DP: The imagination is something that is very endearing in the play, it adds a bit of magic to it.
KC: How do you think your production conveys this imagination through the set design and props and so on? DP: We’ve find this quite challenging. Our main method is through magic - we have chimey magical music for moments that are in Thomas’ imagination. The set is also a big part of it. There will be a massive book that will represent the one that Thomas himself is writing, it will have his sketches in it, so a lot of the magic will come through the book as it shows how he imagines the world to be. BJ: A lot of the beauty of the play is in its simplicity. The audience will play along, there are a lot of imaginative scenes, but it’s not overdoing anything. KC: Despina, the Stage Manager is one of the most versatile roles within the Production Team, and it tends to vary a lot - how would you define your role?
DP: I reckon I have one of the best roles - you get to dip your toes into everything. It includes coming to rehearsals and getting to stage the actual show, but it also allows you to be very creative by getting props together, designing the set, and working with actors one-on-one with character development. It is very versatile and so much fun! Basically, it is bringing to life the whole production. KC: Basil, what was your process of working with the Director to develop your character? BJ: It’s an interesting dynamic having the Director (Eden Lim) and Stage Manager as your best friends at college. The Director helped me mold the character off people I already knew. Taking it back to my own siblings and embodying the characteristics of the child I wanted to be. Putting myself into the frame of mind of this kid and then figuring out his relations with those around him. I find it quite easy to bounce off the other characters in the play.
DP: That’s why it’s such a joy to watch. There is such good chemistry between the family members as they stand up against domestic violence and religious conservatism. The build up to that scene is incredible to watch. Every time we do it, I get goose bumps. BJ: I’d go with that one or any scene with Jesus. Not sure if they are real or introspective moments, just some light-hearted banter with Jesus. KC: Any final thoughts? BJ: At the heart of this piece is children’s theatre. The message is optimistic - it’s viewed through a kid’s eyes. An important part of what we’re doing is telling the story to an audience that is a bit more mature than those who would usually watch it. DP: It’s great to have a creative outlet, and to have a vision and bring it to life. It’s just so much fun. The Book of Everything, written by Richard Tulloch, opens on the 24th August at the ANU Drama Lab.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
ARTS & REVIEWS
The Healing Power of Improv Jack Shanahan With the Interhall Theatresports Competition on the horizon, I find that now is one of the better times to look back on my background of improvisation (or improv) and reminisce. I have been in Australia longer than I have been anywhere else in the world, so obviously much of who I am today has been shaped while in this country. When I think specifically of what has made me who I am, improvisation is always one of the first things that springs to mind, because I feel I would be a lesser person if I had never chosen to pursue improv. I would even go so far as to say that I may have been a totally different person – it has coloured that much of my personality.
of me. I would take every personal criticism extremely seriously, regardless of how minor or light-hearted it was. In those early days, my brilliant master plan was to effectively rewrite my entire personality to better please those I had somehow upset. So when I entered senior school, I went in with a ridiculous mission statement: I wanted nobody to have a single negative opinion about me.
I had always been passionate about drama, so I was quick to sign up, but from that moment on, it would hold a newfound significance in my life. Improv, by nature, encourages people to take risks. Playing it too safely can produce tedious performances, and it is often the bold, daring and brave decisions that stick in people’s minds the most. Improv was initially an extremely intimidating prospect to
In fact, I was encouraged and praised for trying to think creatively and for coming up with less conventional solutions. This was extraordinarily reviving and liberating, and I was awakened to the limitless potential of improv and the endless stream of invention that it could lead to. I met people who inspired me with the vibrancy of their personalities, while the kindness of my mentors gave me the courage to go to places I had never dreamed I would venture into.
In 2008 I moved to Australia. As a result of my dad’s military background I had lived in a number of countries previously, and while Australia promised to be a more permanent arrangement, the process of settling was still very unnerving.
I like to think it was around Year 10 that I really began to come into my own. By this point, I was a decent drama student, and the confidence that I had steadily forged allowed me to bring much more of myself to my performances, which also allowed my own long-hidden quirks to shine through in their own way. It was by this point that I was no longer intimidated to perform in front of my peers. In fact, it was something I began to really enjoy.
It was during my first year in Australia, in Year 6, that my entire cohort was given a lecture on public speaking. I can’t remember much of what was discussed, but I do remember that the lecturer asked for any willing students to come to the stage and speak on any topic of their choosing. Effectively, she was asking us to improvise a speech. I found this a terribly exciting idea, so I immediately put my hand up. Once I was standing in front of the entire year group, however, I choked. I could not think of anything to say, so I ended up asking the audience a silly rhetorical question before shuffling off the stage. Whilst I have been able to laugh about this in hindsight (the best retelling of the story featured a standing ovation and a spontaneous appearance from John Howard who gave me the key to the city), this experience was utterly devastating for me at the time. For the remainder of the year, and for some time after, I was regularly teased about my slip-up. Considering that this was my first year in a new country, where I was still desperately trying to find my feet, this had a profoundly negative effect on my confidence. Suddenly, I became a very shy and introverted person, constantly concerned about other people’s opinions
where I could express myself without restraint. It was a release that I had in no other area of my life. The most important thing was that it provided a safe environment in which I was free from the judgment of the usual sceptical eye. I was not condemned for trying to do something bold and risky, regardless of how bizarre and outlandish it may have been. Even when I made mistakes, I found none of the scathing criticisms I had programmed myself to expect.
This was, of course, a silly plan - it’s impossible to please everybody, but I refused to accept this. The result was unsurprising; I became so concerned with what others thought of me that I never exhibited much of my own personality. I was so frightened of making any mistakes that I likely came across as a nice, likely forgettable character. I hardly spoke to anyone, and the prospect of approaching someone who wasn’t an immediate friend of mine was terrifying. It is at this point that improv came in.
me - not only would I have to operate without a script, leaving me with little more than my wits and instincts, but I was also expected to be genuinely entertaining to people. Since my last experience on stage in front of my peers had resulted in me shying away, I initially struggled, afraid that I’d be ridiculed again. Try making someone laugh when you’re vulnerable and introverted - it was a tough gig. Gradually, however, with each passing year, I found myself growing in confidence. Improv classes effectively became a sanctuary for me - one
My journey reached a new high when I was invited to join an improv ensemble that played three shows at the Sydney Comedy Festival in 2014. It was here that I performed alongside talents who I would have never dreamed of working with in previous years, and for the first time I became consciously aware that, just by being myself on stage, people were laughing with me and not at me. That was such an extraordinary realisation. For me, improv has been more than just an outlet to rebuild confidence, or a hobby, it has been a journey of renewal, and perhaps most importantly, rediscovery.
Artwork by Joanne Leong
ARTS & REVIEWS
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Drop Dead—Discussed Bronte McHenry
auditions are dauntingly early in the year. The combination of old-hands and newcomers just worked from day one, without the need for me to do anything. Within a week we were playing board games together. I actually can’t get them to shut up, I wish they didn’t like each other that much.
Mary-Grace Bunker (Director), Gia Damp (Producer) and Joseph Murphy (Victor Le Pewe) discuss the John XXIII Dramatic Society’s upcoming production of Drop Dead.
How did you develop your character and come to be able to take on Victor’s personality? Do you ever have trouble turning your character ‘on and off’? JM: Victor Le Pewe is a character with one purpose, to perform. He has obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to directing broadway productions, and as such it gives him a number of unique quirks, in some ways, Victor resembles the quirks of my own personality. The nail biting, the anxious hand movements, and especially the obsessive and addictive nature we share. To develop him, I looked at my own mannerisms and trivialities, embellishing them until they bordered near psychotic levels. I love playing Victor because he really gets my endorphins going no matter my mood. So yeah, I do sometimes struggle to turn him off. Not because ‘I’ve become Victor Le Pewe’, but because his passion and conviction is exciting to be a part of.
Why do you think that theatre is important? MGB: There’s nothing else like it. It’s the most ancient form of storytelling we have, and in my opinion the most powerful. I think it’s the fact that every element of theatre must work together, in perfect harmony, in real time, in front of an audience. It’s the difference between reading Hamlet in an English class and seeing it come to life. It’s being in an audience next to complete strangers, and sharing the same series of emotions and thoughts in the dark. Seeing a fantastic movie is memorable, but seeing a very good play can stay with you for a lifetime. I understand that you are looking to market the production beyond just the Johns XXIII community this year, what prompted this endeavor and why do you think it is important? GD: When I took on the role of producer I said to MG, “I want this to be bigger than Johns.” Every year the Colleges put on amazing productions and a lot of the time, only their own residents attend. We really want to encourage everyone to ‘get around the play’ by offering $10 student tickets for our Thursday performance. We have been liaising with other colleges to see if they are interested in coming to our performance, and having us at theirs. But there are challenges – it is difficult to know who to get in contact with as there are no clear channels of communication. To be honest, I just try everything I can, because I
really believe that it is important for everyone to start ‘getting around’ all the fantastic productions on offer. Without giving too much away, can you tell me a little about the plot? GD: It is about a group of washed up actors trying to revive their careers, and a megalomaniac “wonder child” director (Victor Le Pewe) who is trying to prove he’s still got it. Essentially, it is a play about a play. And more specifically, it is a murder mystery, about a murder mystery. Given the amount of murder in the play, can we expect anything gruesome at all? GD: Of course! In any good murder mystery there should be some blood and guts. The audience won’t be getting their money’s worth without it. Only kidding, no gruesomeness – all the blood spilled will be for comedic purposes.
I gather that the set is fairly minimalistic, does this place any extra pressure on the actors themselves? MGB: The best thing about the set this year is that it is almost a character in itself. (The other best thing is that it’s truly ‘budget’!) So many gimmicks revolve around the construction of the set in the play itself, which gives the actors hilarious little opportunities to interact with it in different ways. So I suppose rather than adding pressure, it actually offers the actors cool moments of comedy. As a Director, how did you go about uniting the cast, some of whom likely did not know each other that well before rehearsals began? MGB: My biggest fear was that the cast wouldn’t gel as well as it had done in previous years. We have three first years in the cast of ten, which is far better than I’d hoped, considering
What reaction would you like to get out of the audience? JM: I’m not too sure what I expect Le Pewe to do to the audience. I don’t want him to shock them, or scare them, but I think his purpose in the play is to make the audience pay attention to the struggle of working with a company of actors with A.D.D. Don’t get me wrong, his purpose isn’t one of metaphoric symbolism, as he consistently manages to provide comic relief in the form of self-indulgence and a stereotypically theatrical fervor. Nonetheless, Le Pewe is one of the most wacky yet wonderful characters on stage… keep your eyes peeled. As members of the audience, will we be left guessing up until the final moments? MGB: I hope so! We’ve tried to make everyone a suspect. That’s all I’ll say. fun.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Woroni Radio Playlists: Performance Brendan Keller-Tuberg, Annelise Corey and Mark Wilson Witnessing a truly special live performance from your favourite band can be a life-changing experience. Our first playlist is made up entirely of famous live recordings, capturing everything from blistering technical displays (Snarky Puppy) to intimate outpourings of emotion (Wilco, Matt Corby, Radiohead). Our second playlist is all about music videos. Music videos provide songwriters and performers the opportunity to add more to a song, helping them express an idea that cannot be portrayed just through words. Songs from this playlist accompany videos that must’ve required a large amount of personal effort, like Matt and Kim’s “It’s Alright”, and consequently shows how the visuals of a live show can really add to our experience of music. 1. Losing You – Solange 2. It’s Alright - Matt and Kim 3. Kids – MGMT 4. Here It Goes Again - OK GO 5. Carried Away - Passion Pit 6. Dance Apocalyptic - Janelle Monáe 7. Man Down - Rihanna 8. Queen’s Speech 4 - Lady Leshurr 9. My Name Is - Eminem 10. Formation - Beyonce 11. The New International Sound Pt 1 GENER8ION and M.I.A. 12. Cookie Thumper - Die Antwoord 13. Life in Technicolour II – Coldplay 14. Take on Me - A Ha 15. Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd 16. Voodoo in my Blood - Massive Attack 17. Da Funk - Daft Punk 18. Beethoven (I love to listen to) – Eurythmics 19. Back Together - Jill Scott 20. Black Crow - Angus and Julia Stone
1. Get Innocuous! – LCD Soundsystem 2. On and On – Erykah Badu 3. Resolution – Matt Corby 4. Ballad of a Thin Man (The Royal Albert Hall Concert) – Bob Dylan 5. With You – Flight Facilities with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra 6. Jesus, etc. - Wilco 7. Enders Toi – Tame Impala 8. Lingus – Snarky Puppy 9. No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley 10. Come As You Are – Nirvana 11. Hunger of the Pine – Alt-J 12. True Love Waits – Radiohead 13. Night Train – James Brown 14. Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash 15. Good Morning – Robert Glasper Trio 16. If You’re Feeling Sinister – Belle and Sebastian 17. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads 18. Still Together – Mac Demarco 19. Georgia On My Mind – Eric Clapton 20. The Summer – Josh Pike with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Woroni Radio: Three Fingers—Discussed Nicholas Ryan Three fingers. The name (sort of) made sense at the time, as there were three of us back then. I’m still not sure why Pip decided on the word “fingers” to follow the number three, the ball was in her court for the name. So if anyone doesn’t like it, go to her, not me. As for how we started, it all revolved around a bar tab at Aviary, Bush Week 2015. I knew Gabe from school, Pip knew Gabe from her youth. I saw him standing in the drinks queue, I walked over and said something along the lines of, “‘Dude, I want to do radio this semester, wanna do it with me?” He turned around instantly and replied, “Dude, Yea, meet Pip, we’ve decided to do the same.” Maybe it was fate, maybe coincidence - whatever you want to call it, it all worked out perfectly. Things started slow on air though,
and it took us a little while to get the hang of things, but the Editors and Sub-Editors have made the learning curve easy to conquer. Before we knew it, we were pushing that “mute/ unmute” button on the microphone like pros. What was a lot harder was trying to find our sound, or really, deciding what type of energy we should bring to the listeners (or maybe it was just hard for us to stop bickering.) To a certain extent, the show was our attempt to just catch up with each other on a weekly basis. On the one hand, we had Gabe and I, who wanted to play the occasional banger, Yeezy and then maybe some house, and then there was Pip - who disagreed with us every time. When she wasn’t advocating for playing PsyTrance in between Kanye tracks - which anyone would be pretty sceptical about - it turned out she actually had some decent contributions to points to make
about our music selection. Things then went from being average, to a bit above average, and after that, maybe even pretty good. Sadly, Gabe left us after our first semester on air - a true rom com worthy story - it was a tale of young and likable lovers who, although meant for each other, were kept apart by complicating circumstances. You can blame college admissions for that – they didn’t exactly let us all live under the same roof, and the maybe the whole Gabe moving cities thing. Normally the end of a rom com consists of a wedding or something similar - we are still waiting on that part - Gabe needs to return from USYD once he realises his mistake. Now, a whole year later, we still really have no idea what we are doing, or where we are going. We are just giving it a go. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes the
music’s amazing, and other times, not so much. Sometimes Pip turns up and sometimes she forgets. What we do is stick to one band or artist for the entirety of the show. It’s pretty incredible actually - you hear songs that are either hot, going to be hot, or that were hot 20 years ago. Maybe we don’t have a real genre or a specific sound, but whether it’s a forgotten artist from the 80’s or a random Japanese composer, things will always be different and pretty unique. Our goal for the future is to be the longest running show on Woroni Radio. We are aiming for 5 years and we’re hoping to set some records. Listen in to Three Fingers, Monday’s from 5.00pm on Woroni Radio.
LIFE & STYLE
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Unlike the temperamental nature of Canberra weather, Australian politics, or your feelings about being at work or Uni on any given day, the Food Co-op Shop & Café continues to be a consistent source of good music, good people, delicious food and a supportive community. This recipe series aims to give you an insight into the incredible meals prepared by volunteers for the rush and bustle of rugged up Uni students, office workers, and miscellaneous hungry individuals. All of the meals at ‘The Co-op’ are vegan, organic, cheap, healthy and hearty, based around seasonal fresh, local produce, spices and whole foods (all stocked in the shop). If your taste buds are firing just reading this column then come in and join us for lunch 12-2pm weekdays, or volunteer in the mornings with the inviting and friendly kitchen gang to learn some skills and earn a 10% discount when you buy your own ingredients for cooking your $5 meal at home!
Volunteer Powered Vegie Pots The Food Co-op
When I escaped a cold, wet Canberra winters day, into the warmth of the co-op kitchen and the smell of sautéing onions and spices, I knew the volunteer chefs were off to a cracking start in the lunchtime preparations. It’s incredible the power of fresh spices to jazz up even the most basic of meals. Spices are considerably healthier and cheaper than many pre-made sauces that often have copious amounts of added sugar and salt. Ginger and garlic in particular, have been used for centuries as natural preservatives because of their antibacterial properties and their ability to help fight off winter lurgies (which is perfect for this time of year). The number of spices in this recipe may appear a little daunting, but they are great basics to stock up your cupboard with. The following recipe makes 4 large or 6 small generous serves, depending on the appetite of the people you are feeding. It’s also a great meal to make in bulk to be frozen for future meals. If you purchase your ingredients for this recipe at ‘The Co-op’ it will cost you ~$20.00 in total for the amounts listed here. That is approx. $5 per serve for 4 people. (Please note that prices for individual ingredients are subject to change due to seasonality and suppliers.) After personally taste testing this volunteer powered vegie pot last week, I believe the added paprika, pickled chili and crusty bread completely enhanced the wholesome and comforting feeling of this warming meal. Ingredients Equal amounts of the following spices (You will need 2 tablespoons in total but you may want to make bulk of the mix) - Whole Green Cardamom Pods, Clove, Fennel Seed, Mustard Seed, Powdered Chilli, Fenugreek Seed, Ginger Powder, Garlic, Turmeric Powder, Galangal Powder
starting to soften (approx. 15-20mins) turn the stove top onto medium and heat 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the chopped onion and spice mix, stirring occasionally to avoid burning Once the pumpkin and potatoes are soft and browned add them to the pot on your stove-top, along with lentils. Mix these ingredients before adding 4 cups water Let this simmer on medium heat while you start cooking your rice. Add 4 cups water to your rice cooker or pot and switch on to the cook setting or onto a medium heat Add half a cube (or 1 tsp of powdered veg. stock) into the rice and veggie pots Leave both to cook and simmer for about 15 – 20 mins checking and stirring occasionally Chop cabbage and sage and add this to your stew pot after about 10 mins simmering Take a taste test and once the lentils and rice are cooked – serve and enjoy!
6 TBsp Oil 2 cups Brown Rice 2 medium Potatoes, skin on ¼ Pumpkin ½ Sweet Potato, peeled ¼ Cabbage 8 Dates 1 Red Onion 1 cup Red/Yellow Lentils 1 Powdered Veg Stock Cube (or two tsp powdered) 8 cups Water Small handful sage leaves Paprika and pickled Chilli’s to serve (optional) Utensils & Appliances List
Pot Wooden spoon or alternative stirrer Chopping board Sharp knife
Baking tray Oven Stove top Rice-cooker (optional) Method Pre-heat oven to 180C Roughly chop the pumpkin, sweet potatoes and white potatoes Throw the pumpkin and potatoes onto a baking tray (or two, depending on the size of your tray) with a drizzle of oil and shove in the oven Mix spices in a bowl or jar (a jar is handy if you want to make bulk of the spice mix and save for future use) Chop the dates and add them, the rice, 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon of spice mix to a pot or rice cooker to prepare. Don’t begin cooking quite yet. Once the pumpkin and potato are
The nutrient analysis* below is for a small serve: Calories: 649kcal Protein: 20.3g Fat: 15.6g Saturated Fat: 2.4g Carbohydrate: 100g Sodium: 49.mg *Please note that the analysis is only an estimate and does not represent a full list of the vitamins and minerals contained in this meal
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
LIFE & STYLE
A Discussion with Alicia Xykaris Alexandra Green
As I sit at my desk, writing this piece, I am wearing a pair of pink, high waisted, rib-knitted culottes – yep, they’re fabulous and I love wearing them, but as I have got to go class in 3 hours I will probably change into my skinny denim jeans, because my favourite modern-day-geisha pants are just “not very Canberra”. I sat down with Alicia Xykaris, the owner of Rebel Muse, and spoke to her about the difficulties in buying for the season 6-months before it hits the racks. She reminisced on the first season she bought into for her boutique, and the subtle differences she noticed in buying for the “Canberra woman” while still living in Sydney. Alicia commented on the fact that people in Canberra don’t enjoy wearing “low backs” or “bearing their shoulders” as regularly. She suggested that Canberra’s regional background resulted in “a larger pull to dress more conservatively than in the major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne”. “I guess it just has to do with less diversity and people conforming more. It also has to do with the type of work and the lifestyle… The majority of Canberrans work in the public service or corporate fields, which has quite a conservative dress code. We spend so much time at work, so the
way we are required to dress for work tends to depict most of our wardrobe.” Despite never working a day of my life in the public service, I still find myself conforming to a certain uniform: some woollen jumper, black or denim jeans, and a similarly monochrome pair of runners or boots. Maybe Canberrans are just the epitome of normcore? Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the case, rather, I think we’re just a bit boring. But no fear, help is on the way. Boutiques such as Alicia’s Rebel Muse are on the rise and bring with them more opportunities for locals to experiment with unique designers and trends. Rebel Muse stores some of Australia’s favourite designers, such as Asilio and Nobody Denim, designed and manufactured in Melbourne. It has also become home to Canberra locals such as IDA Faux Fur - a unique Canberra brand that was recently shot for Grazia alongside none other, than a pair of Jimmy Choos. The development of the boutique scene in Canberra gives a breath of fresh air to a town otherwise controlled by mass marketed chains such as Zara. And the demand is there!
Just ask Alicia who is getting ready to open her second store on Lonsdale St, which will exclusively cater to shoes and accessories. As the art and music scene in Canberra is developing, so too is our city’s personal style. And what an exciting time for this to be the case, when “trends” are no longer conforming to a seasonal structure. Alicia mentioned an interaction she recently had with one of her customers, which I think sums this up perfectly. A customer asked if the current flare trend meant that she had to “throw out her skinny jeans” - “no” Alicia proclaimed, “you can wear both, now you just have more choice”. Trends are now co-existing meaning, there’s nothing you can wear and nothing you can’t. It’s an exciting time to get creative and flare your personal style (excuse the pun). As stores such as Alicia’s develop alongside the budding music and arts scene, there is hope that I will feel confident in sporting my pink culottes to a 9am tute, because as Alicia perfectly puts it “who doesn’t like to dress up and express themselves when heading out to a swanky new bar, edgy restaurant, cool art gallery or gig?”
With influences from her Grandmother who “always acted with so much style and grace”, and Leandra Medine – the powerhouse behind Man Repeller – fashion, to Alicia is an important mechanism for self-expression. Alicia said, in response to one of Leandra’s podcasts, “although we have very different styles, I love that she stands for smart women and fashion being a way of expressing yourself beyond the flippant disregard it’s normally given”. To me, this is what it’s all about, and hopefully as Canberra grows, its residents, men and women alike, can feel comfortable to express themselves in any design they desire, without the seriousness of our nation’s capital looming over them” As Leandra said, “It always comes back to the clothes because the clothes aren’t about the clothes they’re about the identity you’re putting on – they’re about the choices that you’re making about the way the world is going to see you.”
LIFE & STYLE
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Life and Style seeks the Best Yoga Studios in Canberra Kingston Bikram Yoga Loretta Lackner Bikram yoga is hard and it doesn’t fix everything - as Bikram himself would have you think - but it helps. I started Bikram at Bikram Yoga Kingston in 2014 and completely absorbed myself in the yoga lifestyle. I joined all the Facebook groups, read all the blogs on how Bikram was the “ultimate healer” and yes, I drank lots of coconut water. Simply put, Bikram is a set yoga routine, practiced in a 40-degree room, for approximately 90 minutes. At the Kingston studio the rooms are large enough that the heat doesn’t feel suffocating and dark enough that you don’t feel the pressure of being in a class with 20 or so people. When I practice it’s a very personal experience. Sometimes I come out feeling angry and sometimes I cry. Most of the time though, I feel like I’ve accomplished something that was wholly about me for the day. Some days, the teachers will push me and others they’ll see I’m struggling and let me meditate – yep that’s right, it’s OK to simply lie there and take deep breaths. Bikram in Kingston isn’t about the fad, it about having a true dialogue with your body, and has much less ego attached to it. The
studio is located in the heart of the Kingston shops on Air Street and is accessible by both car and bus. With 2 – 4 classes everyday, it’s easy to find a time to go, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to push the boundaries mentally and physically. SOULution Yoga Alexandra Green Yoga can sometimes seem like a bit of a club, one exclusively for Matcha drinkers. This is, however, not the case at SOULution Yoga Studio on Lonsdale Street, Braddon. SOULution offers Pilates, stretch classes, and a reputable physiotherapy clinic. I haven’t taken all the classes on offer (and trust me, there are many), but I would highly recommend the SOUL Flow. SOUL Flow is a Vinyasa practice and goes for one hour. It’s a faced past class, but not in a way that requires you to know all the classic yoga poses off by heart. It is paced, however, in a way that does push you. You leave feeling relaxed but can also give yourself a pat on the back for doing some exercise. The class stretches and strengthens your muscles in ways I didn’t know was possible, and leaves you with a feeling of fluidity that is like second nature. Don’t worry, at those hard moments there’s relaxing
background music to focus on and forget you’re actually exercising. If you’re fit but don’t consider yourself that flexible or “mindful” then this is the class for you. Last tip, the room is 30 – 34 degrees not as hot at Bikram, and though it’s definitely bearable, you need to bring a towel, otherwise it’ll get slippery. Yoga by Donation Hannah Wright Yoga by donation is taught by the lovely Ed at the ANU Food Co Op (# Kingsley St, Canberra 2601) at 6:30am every Tuesday morning. Not only does the Food Co Op bring up the amazing $6 lunches, but they also hold hour long yoga classes which will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated! As the name suggests, you pay with a donation that is collected at the end of the class. The donations is a “pay what you think” style system, and the funds are given to a range of local charities around Canberra - even more the reason to go. I would recommend bringing your own mat, though there are a some available there. The class is suited to all abilities - so don’t be turned off if you’re a beginner. If you can’t commit to an intense and more spenny yoga program, and just want to have a more relaxed expe-
rience, this is definitely the deal for you! Especially considering the price, it’s the perfect option for university students, and a great mental escape as the semester builds up. BikramYoga Courtney Foster My only previous experience with yoga had been an app that I had downloaded in a spur of the moment attempt to get my life together. When my friends and I set out to try as many new sports as possible for the least amount of money, however, yoga was a gem we discovered. Hidden within the industrial side of Mitchell is BikramYoga - a studio providing all day sessions of hot-yoga. Bikram Yoga is definitely something I’d suggest everyone try at least once, and with BikramYoga offering a month of unlimited sessions for $40 it can’t hurt to give it a go. Having completed my first month there and signing up to go for more I have been warmly welcomed by all class-goers and instructors. I never thought that one day I’d be excited for 90 minutes of sweat and stretching but the atmosphere and experience that BikramYoga provides I can already see - and feel - the results, and I definitely won’t be giving it up any time soon.!
Best trails around Canberra Phillipa Beale So it’s mid morning on a Sunday and you are thinking to yourself that the weekend is just about over - Monday looms. You are lamenting your Saturday night. Is there really enough of the day left to achieve anything? Well my friend, if you’ve got wheels, and you’ve got legs, then you’ve got yourself an option. A 45 minute jaunt in your car takes you to Smokers Gap on Corin Road, the start of Square Rock hike in Namadgi National Park. If you have done like all good hikers do and Googled the start of this hike, then prepare to be confused. There have been some recent renovations to the area and the old start to the trail looks like some kind of log parade. The new start departs directly from the right side of the optimistically large car park. Take a moderately sized breath for a moderate but consistent incline. In total it’s an 8.7km return trip through beautiful native shrubs and trees, guarded by shy swamp wallabies. After gaining 270m in elevation, you find yourself at the hikes namesake – an enormous and somewhat angular outcrop of granite
boulders. The boulders themselves are staggeringly big, but what really makes this hike is the view. Climbing up to the top of the outcrop brings you staring down the Orroral valley. And it is an astoundingly good view for a relatively quick hike. This section of the valley is still forested giving you those really primal excited wilderness feels. In really crappy weather, it’s even better. You’ll want to yell something about nature’s’ fury into the gusts of wind that threaten to dislodge you. Personally, it is this feeling, that makes me want to get outdoors, and quite often stay there. When your diaphragm is all tight because you’re are full up with excitement, for no reason other than how good the world is, and how small we are, and how there is so much left to see. Plus, there is a certain sense of personal achievement at having unglued yourself from the couch - even more so if you manage to convince some tag-alongs. So perhaps Square Rock is your gateway hike and now you are hooked but looking for something that will push the pistons a little
more? Something the gym goers can’t turn their nose up at, after 200 squats or leg presses or whatever people do on an elliptical. Well folks, you are in for a treat, because Bungonia Gorge is an absolute jungle gym of fun times. A bit more of a drive away, through the town of Goulburn (turns out there is more to that place than a giant merino and a Subway), it will not disappoint. The gorge hike is marked on the map as “Red Track 3.8 km, 5 hr return, hard, Danger falling rocks”. Foreboding, yes, but don’t be put off, you’ve driven 140kms to get there after all. Things start with a series of switch-backs through some interesting grass trees, and after descending steeply like this you arrive at the start of the fun. The gorge itself is a strip of granite boulders tossed together along the course of a stream. Either side of you are towering rock walls. You would never predict they would be that tall, and behind the walls are a series of caves you would never predict to be so deep. But today you are here for the canyon. Focus buddy. This part of the hike, is less walking, and more scrambling, swinging, climbing, hopping, stem-
ming, jumping, and generally throwing yourself around between the boulders to get from one end of the canyon to the other. It is outrageous fun. This rocky playground is why I think the gorge hike is a gem. Getting your whole body involved. The legs though, perhaps they are feeling neglected? Used to being the main players on a hike? . Well fear not, you still need to ascend, steeply, and consistently, back up out of the gorge. They won’t be complaining after that. Well they will - be, but not from neglect. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, but I’m a serious walk enthusiast now. I’m after distance.” I hear some of you say. Well if this is the case lace up those boots, offer to refuel your pals car, and head to the Budawangs. There a plenty of longer options there, taking you across especially impressive transitions in vegetation and geology. But I think I’ll leave you to figure that one out. Planning is part of the fun. I will add one hot tip though, don’t just plug that one into Google maps. No really. Don’t do it!
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
LIFE & STYLE
The Mountain that is Kozzie Alex Booth and Mark McAlary It was 6am on a Saturday when we pulled out onto the highway in an old blue Forester. The four of us had decided to spend a couple days hiking around Mt Kosciuszko. If you were to tell people that we were planning on sleeping that night, on the highest peak on the continent, they would have been seriously alarmed at our sheer lack of planning. We had a borrowed 6-man tent that we’d never set up, one torch and maps we’d printed off the night before. We had no serious cold weather gear - no thermals. But this was Kozzie, how hard could it be? Climbing the mountain was almost a rite of passage. Sure, we’d left it late in the year, but driving through Perisher the ski slopes were a reassuring shade of brown, rather than white. As the car climbed up the road the air became a little clearer and a little colder. As it turns out we had cut it fine, it started snowing properly the next weekend – we’d just snuck in.
Our lack of adequate planning couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm. We blasted Young Thug as we drove through Cooma and hoped that Triple J would read out our text on air. When we arrived at the foot of the trail, some essential hiking business was sorted, and then we finally assembled the packs in some semblance of manageable and started around the Summit Trail toward Blue Lake. Feeling elevated, we set a solid pace on the paved track and climbed toward Currathers Peak. We reached Blue Lake around lunchtime, and settled on a little escarpment with a glorious view of the lake to have a bite. Famished, we dug into our staple for the trip: fried rice. With capitalist fervour and Ford-like efficiency we had cooked about 2 or 3 kilos of the stuff - plenty left to reheat at Hancock later in the week. We sampled the glassy, fresh water of the Blue Lake, took a few Snapchats at Headly Tate, shouldered our packs
and continued the climb towards Kozzie. We almost came unstuck that afternoon. Our instructions weren’t as clear as they had once seemed, and as we searched for a turn off that would lead us to a plateau sheltered from the wind, the fog set in. Visibility dropped to about 5 metres and the sun was quickly setting. We knew we were close to the plateau, but couldn’t decide which crag it was sitting behind – they were all buffeted by the wind. We decided to cut our losses and set up the tent behind a mountain of rocks – the wind picked up and we weighed the tent down with scavenged stones as our fingers went numb. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t get the best sleep. The wind howled all night, and we collectively awoke at 3am to the sound of ripping – the tent poles snapped in half from the wind and the roof collapsed in on us. We had a curious sense of hysteria,
combined with sleepy apathy – we grouped our sleeping bags together and laughed at the wind ripping through our shelter until the morning. Despite knowing next to nothing about hiking or mountain climbing, as we leisurely strolled to the top of the mountain the following day, we felt like veterans. We had conquered a night on the mountain. We swaggered past those who had arrived that morning as they took photos on the peak, still feeling buzzed and a little proud we’d actually made it this far. The last challenge came when we returned home. It wasn’t our tent that the mountain had destroyed – we’d borrowed it from a mate. In the end, we traded the tent for 8 cases of beer, a deal both parties were happy with. Of course the beer was Kosciusko Pale Ale.
LIFE & STYLE
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Deeply Divisive My best friend once told me that I was a shit guy, but good for humanity - I have a big enough ego and a good enough dirty look that I had to agree with her. So, consider this column a space where I can air my grievances, confront cultural cringes and try to tackle issues - all at once. I want to instigate discussion and tear friendships apart. Well, maybe not… but you get the idea. Thanks for joining me.
Backlash Liam Fitzpatrick
Content Warning: Sexual Assault, Sexism I read the article on my phone, in between Hancock and that funny looking science building on my walk to Gods. Is it just me, or do certain, otherwise insignificant moments in history, become ingrained in our memories when we learn about certain events? In our university’s history, reading Alexandra Lewis’ article is one of those moments. With the plain title, ‘Sexism in Residential Colleges’, the ANU’s gaze was focused squarely on the disrespect, harassment and assaults of women on campus. Like a maggot eating away at an apple core, too many men have been able to hide behind too many regressive college regimes – regimes valuing their reputations over their women. This isn’t an article about sexism in colleges. I am a man, and as such, have little to add bar the things I’ve seen and been told the things I’ve been appalled by. This article, therefore, is about the responses to Alex’s story that I have witnessed. We have colleges to be proud of, for sure, but I think that at some residences at the ANU, our mindsets are twisted, as if we live in some sort of US college frat house. For every person I have spoken to who genuinely related to Alex and her cause, I have also spoken to another who has accused her of “overreacting”, “complaining”, “lying” and “being a bitch.”
I was told by one man that if he had his “mooeys” photographed, he would have felt flattered, not “unsafe” or “powerless” as Alex said she did. Another man asked me why, if Alex had felt unsafe, she didn’t leave the college instead of “ratting on the boys”. I even had one man tell me, that I was being “hysterical” for suggesting that this was a case of sexual harassment. It was not just men with these reactions either - I had a woman tell me that this was a case of “feminists complaining”. This was the one that really felt like a kick in the guts - do we have a culture so toxic, and so perverse, that these men have actually been excused? Shockingly, nearly every negative response I heard about the article was directed at Alex, and not at the issue itself. The parochial mainstream do this all the time to women who speak out. Jill Meagher, for example, had her rape and murder attributed to her wearing a revealing skirt. Julia Gillard too, was ‘complaining’ and ‘overreacting’ when she cried foul. Revealing dresses, overreactions, just a complaint... It sounds similar to Alex’s treatment, doesn’t it? This is not an isolated case, because this is not an isolated issue.
What about the woman who came to me and revealed that she has to continue to watch the perpetrator of her sexual assault strut around her college, remain as present and as popular as ever before, because her principal, despite being informed, had done nothing? What should we say of the principal who excused a sexual assault, blamed the survivor, and then defended the perpetrator with the comment that, ‘If she wore expensive jewellery, she should expect to be robbed’. But it is not all bad. I overheard one conversation in which a guy from Johns said that “he’d felt suppressed by those guys”, that “they dominated, had support and were respected because they were popular.” He’d felt “pissed off” for being “under their thumb.”
A female resident also told me that the event - Alex’s stand - had started a conversation - a movement where women could, finally, speak out at Johns. I hope this is the case. I also hope that I am an outlier. That I was the only one who was overwhelmed by foul reactions. But I know from my own conversation with Alex, that this is a false hope. Alex has told me that it was about the next woman - that #changeiscoming. And maybe it is… I think we’ve trained ourselves to hold our tongues, to never agitate for change, to suck it up. We isolate these women, we vilify them, and we challenge their stories. We delegitimise their experiences, and call them hysterical. We are so much better than that. Aren’t we?
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
SONDER Sonder is defined as the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness. In a series of interviews, Arts student, Georgia Leak, aims to explore the lives of the colourful characters that call the ANU home.
Interview with Nick Wyche Georgia Leak
laughed. Although, as anyone with siblings can tell you, and Nick’s next statement revealed, low-key family favouritism is never imagined. “I think for sheer beauty it’s hard to match my Optima (pictured above), which hails from East Germany. It’s a mint green colour that takes on this breathtaking lustre in direct sunlight.”
If I asked you to make a list of the hobbies of students here at the ANU, how long would it take for you to say collecting, refurbishing and selling vintage typewriters? I’m sure it wouldn’t spring to mind as quickly as playing a team sports, or making music in a band, however, as uncommon as it may seem, second year Arts/Law student, Nick Wyche, has found himself restoring vestiges from the bygone worlds of The Great Gatsby, and Cold War espionage, into shiny, new typewriters ready to write in a new life. My first experience with Nick’s pastime-turn-business-venture was actually many months ago on my eighteenth birthday. In some kind of stars-aligning, serendipitous conversation, a group of my friends heard about Nick’s eccentric endeavours as a typewriter rehomer and orchestrated what was, perhaps, the most incredible birthday surprise ever. It was beautifully presented in a timeless leather case with a hand-typed instruction manual tucked into it Nick makes sure he gives each and every one of his customers a full insight into the colourful history of their newest vintage piece. “I love all my typewriters and the stories behind them,” Nick explained. “A lot of people who emigrated here from Europe after the Second World War brought their typewriters with them, so I have some pieces with fascinating histories.” Asking if he had a favourite find, however, proved to be a difficult question. “That’s like asking a parent to pick their favourite child!” He
What began as a childhood fascination with a historical artefact in his Grandma’s flat, has now seen Nick hone his entrepreneurial skills and open up his own online Etsy store, PicaElite. On the horizon, he also sees an opportunity to “[start his] own e-commerce platform to sell typewriters and accessories like ink ribbons.” He’s also beginning to develop “some ideas to do with creating an online space where collectors and enthusiasts can have an easy-to-use and independent platform to sell items from their collections.” According to Nick, Canberra is home to a fantastic network that supports young entrepreneurs in gaining skills, mentorship and much needed funding. “Last year I was fortunate enough to take part in the Innovation ACT competition. It’s a free-to-enter program that helps you develop the skills and networks to transform your ideas into viable business models. At the end, if your model is solid enough, you’ll have the opportunity to pitch to a judging panel for a chance at part of a $50,000 seed grant!” Registration is now open at innovationact.org and with no cost to enter you’ve got nothing to lose — so check it out! In a fast-paced technology-driven world, it’s nice to see that some of us are still able to find a place where old and new can intertwine to create something unique. If you fancy yourself a blast from the past, a statement decor piece, the perfect gift for that special someone, or just a little piece of history to call your own, chuck Nick a Facebook message or go and give his Etsy store, PicaElite, some love.
LIFE & STYLE
When “no” means “yes” Phoebe Hamra
Phoebe is a first year PPE / Art History and Curatorship student. They say ‘write what you know’, so as an Explorer and Adventurer of all things pertaining to sexuality and a control freak looking to take risks, she’s decided to write this column. She will be discussing Sex from a different angle in each Edition. CW: Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault, Verbal and Physical Abuse Very early one morning after a lot of drinks, Sophie* confessed to me that she was really into very aggressive verging on non-consensual sex; that she had rape fantasies. Sophie and her partner James* were generous enough to explain to me what that entails, physically and emotionally. P: I’m interested to know how you discovered you shared this kind of fantasy. S: Well we’ve always been very much on the same page in terms of sex. Our first time together was pretty kinky and really established these dom [and] sub roles we’ve become accustomed to. J: By the time we admitted it we had a safe word and we trusted each other enough that when you were saying ‘no’ I knew you didn’t mean it like that and it was just super hot. P: And what’s your safe word? J: After some research we settled on a traffic light system. ‘Green’ is good, ‘yellow’ you’re heading towards the limit and ‘red’ just stop. Not that we really use ‘green’. S: Yea ‘green’ is implied in other ways (laughter). Not that we really use any of them too often. P: I would’ve thought that when you’re pushing boundaries that far you’d need them pretty frequently? S: You’d think so, but like I said, we’re lucky that we’re both into the same things, so it’s pretty rare we get to ‘red’. J: At the same time just having them there gives me a lot more confidence pushing your limits. I don’t
want to kill the mood by asking you if you’re okay all the time and I don’t want to feel like you’re just accepting everything. I like it when you smile because sometimes do I get a little worried. P: How do you feel about it in a broader social context in terms of the prevalence of sexual violence, particularly towards women? J: For me, knowing my partner’s enjoying it ensures I don’t feel guilty. I’d say the fact that you’re willing to accept what you like sexually, and have the confidence to engage in it despite what other people might think, would make me respect you more as a person. S: I have pretty strong feminist beliefs and find the prevalence of sexual violence towards women and the frequent portrayal of women as these sex objects abhorrent. So there are times when I feel incredibly guilty about consciously engaging in sex that is so degrading and in which I am powerless. I’m not sure whether the privacy of the bedroom is enough to excuse something that appears to disrespect rape victims, but I can’t help that this is what I want. This is where I’m at sexually at the moment and I have the opportunity to explore it in a safe way where I do not feel victimised. I guess it’s an internal conflict that I haven’t entirely resolved yet. P: What advice would you give to people wanting to experiment with consent like this? J: When you have really intense sex it’s really important that you take you some downtime to recover from it. Being able to discuss what happened is important in developing the relationship and experimenting safely. S: From a submissive perspective, you need a lot of self-confidence to be able to walk away from the verbal and physical abuse without it damaging you. Also, it’s not something you should just leap into. It requires a lot of trust and mutual respect for it to work. There shouldn’t be any doubt that underneath what’s happening it’s 100% consensual. *names have been changed
Issue 10, Vol. 66
The War on Drugs: 5 Illegal Drugs to look out for in Rio Lulu Cathro
The Olympics are an exciting event where a lifetime of hard work comes down to one moment. This year, however, some athletes will be putting a little more into it than blood sweat and tears. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is literally out for blood at Rio, determined to salvage the future of sport from the inevitable clutches of performance enhancing drugs.
this drug include endurance athletes, marathon runners and long distance swimmers. For asthmatic athletes, Beta 2 Agonists are allowed in competition with approval by the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) under the ‘Therapeutic Use Exemption’.
forming surgery. In the sporting arena, it has been used by competitors in golf, archery and snooker. Archers for example, are able to fire an arrow between heartbeats to maximise accuracy.
The following list is just a few of what you can expect to see making the headlines.
Within the illegal doping realm, narcotics are defined as those drugs derived from the opium poppy - common forms of these narcotics are painkillers such as morphine and pethidine. Unlike the previously mentioned performance enhancing drugs, narcotics don’t actually enhance performance, rather, they mask the pain associated with participating whilst injured. The greatest risk to athletes taking narcotics during competition is a false sense of invincibility from injury. Whilst narcotics mask pain, they don’t prevent injury. If anything, they actually increase the risk of injury, as the athlete can’t feel the usual warning signs indicating an injury may be about to occur.
1. Anabolic Steroids Steroids are the classic performance-enhancing drug. Whilst their use is most often aligned with bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, they is also used in other power events - including weightlifting and sprinting. These drugs resemble male hormones, such as testosterone, but mostly emphasize the ‘anabolic’ effect, which refers to the buildup of muscle cells. These steroids work by stimulating the muscle cells, activating genes that produce proteins. Anabolic steroids are believed to increase muscle bulk and strength, speed up muscle recovery and reduce muscle catabolism - the breaking down of muscle. The side effects of this drug are quite common and significant, including, but not limited to: increased aggression, baldness and cholesterol, and decreased sperm production and sex drive. Steroid use even increases the possibility of developing tumours. 2. Beta 2 Agonists Medically prescribed to reduce the symptoms of asthma, Beta 2 Agonists are a type of bronchodilator. Essentially, they make breathing easier by helping the lungs inhale and exhale. By relaxing the surrounding muscles (a literal lifesaver for asthmatics), they enhance athletic performance by improving aerobic exercise capacity. They also stimulate fat reduction and increases muscle growth. Athletes who would benefit most from
fatigue). Unsurprisingly, this makes it ideal for endurance events such as the Tour de France. There are, however, deadly side affects to this illegal sports drug. EPO thickens the blood, which leads to an increased risk of several deadly diseases - namely heart disease and autoimmune diseases.
3. Beta Blockers Most cardio related drugs work to increase the efficiency with which the blood delivers oxygen to muscles. Contrastingly, Beta Blockers work to achieve the opposite. This drug blocks the effect of adrenaline (a hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands when we are stressed or excited), slowing downing the heart rate and minimising muscle tremors. This makes it ideal for precision tasks where physical stillness and control is critical - for example, to aid a surgeon by reduce hand tremors when per-
4. EPO (Erythropoietin) EPO is one of the many drugs that Lance Armstrong confessed to using to secure his 7 Tour de France titles. Produced naturally by the human body, Erythropoietin is a peptide hormone released by the kidneys, and stimulates blood cell production by acting on bone marrow. This allows more oxygen to be carried to the body’s muscles to enhance performance, and also helps to breakdown lactic acid faster (lactic acid is responsible for muscle cramping and
Artwork by Lulu Cathro
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
Psychedelics: Death and Rebirth Andrew Martin
a. Placebo, b. Psilocybin Editor’s Note: Woroni does not endorse the consumption of psychedelics, or any other drug, and encourages anyone considering such action to visit headspace. com.org or seek more information from a professional at the ANU Medical Centre on campus. Based on the results of MRI brain scans, a group of scientists recently produced this quite beautiful visualization in order to help us better understand the effects that psychedelics have on the brain - in this case psilocybin found in magic mushrooms. To be simplistic, image (a) illustrates that communication within the brain
is usually confined to particular systems/networks, such as the visual or auditory systems, represented in the visualization by different colors. Under the effects of psilocybin, a region of the brain called the default mode network (DMN) becomes less active, and brain activity becomes more fluid/flexible. As illustrated in image (b), the brain becomes desegregated, and there is a large increase in the degree of connection between the brain’s different systems/networks. This model helps to explain many of the common effects of psychedelics such as unconstrained thinking, vividness of imagination, and “hearing colours”/”tasting sounds”. It is very hard, if not impossible, to communicate how incredibly
profound the experience of psychedelics can seem without sounding like a crazy person. The most characteristic experience of psychedelics, in sufficiently high doses, is one of death and rebirth. Not physical death, although that is often how it feels, but rather, the death or dissolution of one’s ego, of one’s sense of “I”, of one’s self conception (the default mode network is thought to be the most likely candidate responsible for ego). During the experience, you become utterly convinced that you are dead/dying/ceasing to be. You may fight the experience with all your might until you realize your best efforts are to no avail, so you surrender to your inevitable death and say your goodbyes. By this stage you may have forgotten your name, that you have a body, that you are on earth, and that you have taken a drug. As the effects of the drug start to wear off and you slowly regain awareness of yourself and your environment, an immense sense of surprise and relief is felt - perhaps similar to recovering from nearly dying of cancer, this experience inevitably changes your perspective on life. Studies have demonstrated psychedelic use can lead to long term personality change - though in adults this is extremely rare as the personality is thought to be essentially fixed by 30. In particular, psychedelic use
has been shown to increase the personality trait of openness, which encompasses aesthetic appreciation, imagination and tolerance of others’ viewpoints. While the effects are fascinating, I would never encourage uncontrolled psychedelic use, as it poses real physical and psychological risks, and the acute and long term effects are highly unpredictable. Another reservation of mine has to do with psychedelics often encouraging what I would describe as “magical thinking”. Under the effects of psychedelics, it is common to experience what at the time feels like infallible insights into the nature of the universe (eg. the existence of spirits/”energies”). While I believe psychedelics have a huge amount to offer in helping us understand the nature of the mind, I do not believe the subjective experience of psychedelics has much, if anything, to offer our understanding of the nature of the universe. I also do not believe that the psychedelic state is a state of “higher consciousness”. In fact, the desegregation of brain systems shown in image (b) suggests it seems to be a regressive state, similar to that of an infant… but perhaps sometimes a bit of regressing helps us to then move on and mature.
Juno Checks up on her Husband Jonah Hansen Space. It’s strange how one word can invoke such a profound feeling of curiosity and intrigue in a person. Since the most ancient of days, humans have looked up at the night sky and wondered what mysteries lie beyond this blue ball we call home. Are there ice worlds made of ice and dust? Bodies covered in volcanoes and magma? It should be no surprise then, considering our fascination with space, that we would want to explore it. We’ve plotted the movement of stars across the night sky, we’ve sent satellites into orbit around our planet, and, on July 20th 1969, we even managed to put a man on the moon. It wasn’t until the 1970s, however, that we sent probes to examine the gigantic bodies beyond our orbit. Pioneer 10 and 11, as well as the Voyager spacecraft, flew past the planets of the outer solar system, taking many photos that we still use today. Last year, New Horizons gave us a captivating glance at Pluto for the first time, showing us that it really does have a heart, and now, the latest chapter in space exploration is beginning to unfold.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft is set to explore the king of the solar system, Jupiter. For those who don’t know their Roman mythology, Jupiter was the King of the gods, and was prone to having many lovers - whom the moons of Jupiter are named after whilst being married to his wife, Juno. Furthermore, it is believed that Juno was able to peer through the clouds that Jupiter used to conceal himself, allowing her to check on whatever mischief he was up to, and making it a very fitting name for our spacecraft. While space exploration is fantastic and exciting, it’s the mission of the satellite that really thrills scientists. Most current theories about how the solar system formed involve a giant cloud of gas and dust forming around the early sun. What isn’t known, however, is how the outer planets were created after this, and in particular, how much oxygen they hold and if they even have metallic cores at their centres. Jupiter is a special of our solar system because it has maintained the same composition since it’s formation. For this reason, Juno will analyse the
atmospheric concentration of water and ammonia in great detail. This should provide us with never before seen evidence into the mysteries of solar system formation. Essentially, Jupiter is a giant history book and Juno is the historian, reading its pages for the first time. To help with this, Juno will also map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravitational fields, revealing the secrets of its internal structure and core. It will also sample, for the very first time, the charged particles formed from Jupiter’s intense radiation and magnetic fields, as well as viewing the bright, energetic auroras at Jupiter’s poles. The potential discoveries that Juno could make is incredibly exciting. Juno is a marvel of human engineering. Equipped with instruments designed to withstand the radiation equivalent to 100 million dental x-rays, it is designed to uncover the mysteries of origin, and by extension, the solar system. It is the first spacecraft to be sent into the outer solar system without a nuclear generator, instead using the largest set of solar panels in any exploratory spacecraft
to date, and making the furthest trip using only solar power - a staggering 588 million kilometres. On July 4th, Juno entered into Jupiter’s orbit and is expected to hover within 5000km of the planet’s atmosphere. To put this into perspective, if Jupiter were the size of a basketball, the Juno would be less than a centimetre from his surface! Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and in a few years, the probe will make a dive towards the planet and fall into its depths, never to be seen again. But while Juno’s mission will only last a few years, our curiosity with space will not be sated. Whether it be sending probes to distant moons in the hope of finding extraterrestrial life, or the highly anticipated manned mission to Mars, we still have many exciting new missions to explore the great beyond just over the horizon. So get out your telescope, blanket and hot chocolate, and spend some time just staring up at the night sky – it’s out of this world!
Issue 10, Vol. 66
Looking into Inward Bound
pack. We had our first winter mock drop in week two, where we spent over an hour running through snow! We’re still working to engage the social aspect of IB and build a strong team mentality by doing things like cooking dinner for the team after big runs.
After the difficulties of last year, the Johns team is looking forward to a Bursill run event and all that it holds. The team is looking exceptionally fit! We have had extra time this year to prepare, and a record number of turnouts - if the past few years is anything to go by, the Johns girls and guys are a force to be reckoned with.
We do have strong team at Fenner this year, with a big cohort of enthusiastic first years as well as some IB veterans. However, while any victories are welcome, IB isn’t about winning at Fenner, because we believe just being involved in IB is a big win in itself. Predicted victories: no comment Chance of overall win: < 0%
With Inward Bound on the calendar for Term 4, Woroni fills you in on how each of the teams are looking so that you can have some input when the IB chatter really begins.
Whilst missing a couple of strong navs from last year, a number of new faces should help the team to secure at least 3 victories out of the 7 divisions, as has been the tradition in the past. Predicted victories: 3/7 Chance of overall win: 70%
Burgmann The year started with a huge shock to the system, with IB being rescheduled to Term 4. Having to directly compete with popular sports like footy and AFL, generating interest and numbers for our team was always going to be challenging. Thankfully, with our strong backbone of experienced runners supplemented by a host of incoming athletes, Burgmann looks set to be highly competitive. Since training began in Bush Week, our progress in improving both running and technical skills has been relentless. Despite the challenges posed by the weather, the commitment shown by all participants has demonstrated a real hunger for back-to-back victories. Predicted victories: 3/7 Chance of overall win: 50% Ursula Ursula Hall’s IB preparation is well underway with this year’s team shaping up to be one of our strongest yet. We may be the underdogs in most sports, but IB is definitely not one of them, with Ursies looking to improve upon our 4th place of 2015. We’ve had strong turnouts, been training hard, and been having heaps of fun! Even the postgraduates in Laurus Wing have been running up the mountains around Canberra and exploring all that our capital has to offer. Our team is looking forward to the Rogaine where we can show off our natural navigating prowess to the other colleges. Watch out, Ursula
Hall is coming - ‘Vanquish the weak, Hurdle the dead, Arrive triumphant’! Predicted victories: 4/7 Chance of overall win: 30% Bruce The Bruce IB team for 2016 has started off strong, and are only looking to continue to build on our early training base. Spearheaded by the dynamically eccentric duo of Mary Parker and Nathan Farrell, what they might lack in top end experience they certainly make up for in first year enthusiasm and team synergy. The question on everyone’s lips, however, is whether elite Tough Mudder runner Brad Carron-Arthur will return as an ex-ressie. While Div 1 is always an unknown, look for them to really push for victories in the Div 4-6 range with a healthy bulk of athletes at that level. Predicted victories: 2/7 Chance of overall win: 20%. BnG With the Redbacks’ training already ramping up and many of the B&G
Nav squad fresh from the World Rogaining Championships, B&G’s IB team is set to put the other colleges through their paces. Led by head coach Brad Valette, the team this year will present a fierce competition. Successes and lessons learned from the past few years have accumulated to produce what is arguably the most talented squad the college has seen in years. With a secret stash of ex-ressies to bolster their teams, fresh talent in Sasha Lee and Alice Patterson-Robert, and team of pocket rocket returners, this well-rounded team will be fighting hard for victory. Predicted victories: 3/7 Chances of overall win: 49% (much like our Daley Road address) Fenner Fenner’s team started off mainly with mainly social running in Semester One, with one mock drop towards the end. This semester we’re picking up the pace a bit and getting serious about the non-running aspects of IB, with more emphasis on navigating and getting used to running with a
Griffin began preliminary IB training way back in week 1, semester 1. The big build up has been really good for our first years and new runners, meaning we now have a full squad plus reserves already lined up. To add to this depth, Griffin also has some top tier runners, such as ex-ressie and international standard trail runner Tom Brazier, head coach Jiaying Goh, and the experienced Keira Doherty. The squad is also about one third women, so we’ll have no trouble meeting the new gender requirements. Griffin are looking to improve a lot on last year’s lacklustre performance, and right now it looks like they will. We predict the final standings to look a little something like this: BnG, Bruce, Johns, Griffin, Burgmann, Fenner, UniLodge and Ursies. Predicted victories: no comment Chance of overall win: 15% Lodge Our IB team has been hard at work in preparation for this year’s race. The return of 2015 coach, Sarah Lefevre, at the helm with support from co-coach Mark McAlary, and co-ordinators Emma Murdoch and Nick Wynne, has seen the IB team really coming into its own. A solid core of returning runners are hungry from their taste of last years glory, and a sizable contingent of first-year/firsttime runners are providing new energy and fresh legs to the team. We will be racing with pinpoint navigation and ceaseless determination, to get all teams comfortably into endpoint and sustain the UL IB glory. Predicted victories: Less than or equal to 1/7 Chance of overall win: 20%
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
RIO 2016—A SNAPSHOT Casley Rowan
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – a city instantly recognisable by the glowing statue of Christ the Redeemer which towers over it. At the top of Corcovado Mountain, this statue observes a vibrant city that, along with the capital of Brasilia, provides the heartbeat of this diverse country. This year, it will take more this statue of Christ to watch over the city, as more than 10,000 athletes and hundreds of thousands of fans and spectators make the pilgrimage to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Brazil is undeniably a violent country. There are an estimated 52,000 murders a year, with approximately 3 murders occurring daily in Rio itself. The constant threat of terrorism at major events around the world has meant that more than 85,000 security forces have been deployed in the city. This number is more than double the approximate 40,000 utilised at the London games of 2012. With the recent outbreak of the Zika virus and the continuation of turmoil and political upheaval that is consuming Brazil’s government and economy, there is no wonder that people are sceptical about the event’s success.
Games is undoubtedly a decision to undertake one of the costliest and financially risky mega-projects in existence, and Brazilians now see this as a burden that they really could afford to take on. In June, a state of financial emergency was declared and support was requested just to keep basic services running around the city. Many argue that a 12 billion USD boost to the public services, healthcare systems and social security in Brazil would have been a far better investment than a multitude of stadiums, Olympic housing facilities, and the security costs - all for an event that will be over and done within 2 weeks, but that will leave a debt for possibly decades to come.
Has Rio made an economically intelligent choice by investing in the games, or is it a decision that will grind their already struggling economy into the dust? When announced as the first South American host city back in 2009, the country’s economy was soaring and Brazilians were proud of the surge of recognition for their rising international reputation. Today, however, according to the Datafolha Research Institute of Sao Paulo, more than half of the Brazilians who were surveyed oppose hosting the Olympics, considering the country has sunk to its lowest economical and political point in a century. And who can blame them? At this stage, the sport-related costs alone are estimated at 4.6 billion USD. This is approximately 51 percent over the original budget. On a whole, the event is estimated to cost around 12 billion USD, a quarter of which is owed by the state. To decide to stage the Olympic
Financially Brazil is struggling, however, it experienced economic and social progress between 2003 to 2014 that lifted over 29 million citizens out of poverty. This fact makes its host city status reasonable, considering the decision to host the Games was locked in 7 years ago. While the rate of poverty and inequality reduction has been stagnating since 2015, it is only this year that the political upheaval has reached its peak tension. Beginning in April 2016, Brazil has been engulfed in large political scandals, based on allegations of political corruption that saw President Dilma Rouseff temporarily suspended from office for 180 days. This year, according to UCLA researcher, Perry Anderson, more demonstrators have hit Brazilian streets than the rest of the world combined. The political unrest, however, has received minimal media coverage due to the importance of Rio in 2016.
While this event has not come at the best time for the country, they had all the right intentions. Rousseff positioned the event as an opportunity for Brazil to promote travel to the country and, considering tourism makes up 4 percent of their GPD, there is certainly room for improvement. It is estimated that over 500,000 foreign travellers will make their way to the event and Tourism Minister Henrique Alves has stated that “we all know tourism is a profitable industry of huge importance to the generation of employment and income, to regional development and the country’s growth.” With such a large influx of people confined to a relatively concentrated area, however, the issue of security comes massively into question. Due to the crime wave in the lead up to the Games, an additional 635 officers - over and beyond the 85,000 forces being employed to secure the Games have been added to areas that commonly experience shootouts, muggings and gang violence, along with 24-hour supervision of Christ the Redeemer and three surveillance blimps around the city. It seems to me that the Olympic Games
has illuminated many of the serious issues faced by Brazil and arguably Latin America as a whole epidemic crime rates, frightening public health, security concerns, a stunted economy and a failing political system. Far from the stable democracy and strong economy that Olympic bidders had aimed to showcase back in 2009, the Games will demonstrate a country dealing with severe political dysfunction, but will hopefully remind the world of the issues faced by a region often ignored. The Summer Games has brought Rio into the eyes of the mainstream media and enlightened the world to the unique problems that are so often overlooked. Let us hope that that famous statue o b - serves some good prospects in this country’s uncertain future.
Issue 10, Vol. 66
The Fuckboy Rainbow Lily DuBois
Fuckboys come in all shapes and sizes, they can be found on online dating sites and in real life. My good friend Tom and I decided to co-author a list to help YOU identify the differences by utilising all the colours of the rainbow!!!!! Level 1 – Violet Limbo “But that doesn’t happen in real life?!?!” What you would call the “at-risk” fuckboys. They are unaware of their privilege but there is still hope! I mean, they’re only unaware because they never had to think about it, with some guidance, these potential fuckboys can be salvaged. They will attempt to listen, but identifying their privilege and accidental sexism may not be second nature to them, yet. Much patience is required. Level 2 – Indigo The Retro Sexist/ Kitchen Joker “Why aren’t you in the kitchen?” *Laughs at own shitty joke*
These fools wouldn’t actually go out of their way to hurt you, however, they would probably be the first to tell you that you’re being too sensitive because you find a sexist joke offensive (e.g. women belong in the kitchen, RAPE JOKES LOL). Funnily enough, they are also the first to lash out when you make a joke about bathing in their male tears. Unlike the Violets, they are not at all interested in understanding your frame of reference. Level 3 – Blue The 9gag “Your a idiot” “I would penetrate the fuck out of your vagina!” These ones are super dense and entitled, but luckily for you, they’re dumb enough to weed themselves out instantly. They’re the trolls you’ll find in all the crevices of 9gag, 4chan, and reddit, and there’s an overabundance of these fuckers on dating sites. A typical 9gagger can’t string a sentence together, and tries a little too hard to bait feminists. Level 4 – Green The Nice Guy TM “But I am a nice guy!”
“FEMINAZIS STOLE MY ICE CREAM!” “I took the red pill”... and other nonsense This is when they start to get sneaky. They trap you in a conversation and then BOOM, they pressure you for a meet up/time alone/sex and make you feel bad for rejecting them because THEY WERE SO NICE. Level 5 – Yellow “Well, actually…” MANSPLAINERS! AMIRITE?!?!?!?! You pay attention to them because you’re relieved you’ve found someone with a wider vocabulary than “I’m gonna fuck ur tits!”. They seemed nice enough, so you try to listen to where they’re coming from - but then you realise their words reek of underlying misogyny as they “authoritatively” explain things to you that they don’t know shit about.
This is when they get really dangerous. They seem like they are well read on feminism and they seem to empathise with what you’re saying. I mean they’ve read The Feminine Mystique cover to cover! They must know EVERYTHING ABOUT FEMINISM! However, what they are really good at invalidating your experiences and emotions, but you don’t realise it, because they’re using the right lingo. Watch out for when they carry on as if they know more about your experiences as a woman than you do. Clearly, they know better. Spoiler: They don’t! In summation, fuckboys differ in extremity and come from all walks of life. Their intelligence and motives are varied, so it is worth distinguishing their differences. There is certainly one thing they all have in common, however, and that is they’re all fucking pathetic.
Level 6 – Red “Let me tell you about your feminism,” quoth, The male feministTM
Mature age student wows lecture with superior understanding of subject Andrew Deakins In what could only be described as an enthralling experience, 38-year-old student, Richard Noodle, wowed his peers with outstanding knowledge of subject. In the 20 minutes of interjections, Richard posited well thought out and “not at all anecdotal” arguments against the content presented by the senior lecturer. It was a breathtaking exchange for the students of the class.
Many of those interviewed attested to Noodle’s clear superiority over the lecturer of 12 years. “It had to be an irrefutable argument to get the lecturer that frustrated. It was sensational, I couldn’t leave my seat even though it cut into my next class,” gushed Steph, a second year student.
Those in proximity to the fount of knowledge were blessed to hear statements cleverly phrased as questions and the clarification of important semantics. The class was delighted whenever the lecture was derailed by another one of Noodle’s brilliant points. “I think it was a good use of each student’s time”, Richard was overheard
claiming when arguing with the lecturer later. Reports indicate that Richard is already planning his next mind-blowing contribution to the class, in which he’ll talk about his time as an entrepreneur in numerous start-ups.
Week 5, Semester 2, 2016
HOW TO WALK THROUGH UNION COURT DURING ELECTION WEEK Caroline Dry There are so many elections going on this year that you may have forgotten about the impending ANUSA one. In all seriousness, you should probably vote. Not only will it give you the ability to screech ‘I ALREADY VOTED’ at the campaigners, but you can also have some say in where your university fees are allocated. That being said, it is undeniable that election week transforms Union Court into a brightly coloured minefield of irritatingly friendly, personal-space invading campaigners, with no respect for the antisocial. Some of them like to approach passers-by and announce that they are going to escort them to the voting booths - because nothing says ‘democracy’ like being marched along and plonked in front of a ballot paper by an aggressively smiley politician. One guy I know once tried to make
it through Union Court while he was on crutches, only to find himself cornered by a campaigner strategically blocking his path, and nearly tripping him up in the process. If you want to avoid situations like these, but are too pressed for time to take the detour behind Chifley, the following list of avoidance strategies might help guide you to safety: The Phalanx The ANUSA elections are held in the wettest, most miserable part of the year. There is one major advantage to this – most of you will be armed with umbrellas. If it is absolutely imperative that you make it from Fellows Creek to Copland in less than two minutes, simply gather up some friends – four or more should do the trick - place your opened umbrellas in front of you, interlocking them, and march. If you want, you can employ
some cyclist friends as your cavalry and have them charge through gaps in the enemy line to scatter them.
in your ruse that you actually end up running next year just to keep it all going.
Camouflage If you are looking for a tactic with a bit more finesse, you can invest in a brightly coloured shirt and try to pass yourself off as one of the campaigners. Think that scene in Shaun of the Dead where they walk through a horde of zombies by mimicking their behaviour. This approach allows for a bit of creativity – come up with your own party name, design your own logo, print out some flyers with a bunch of arbitrary promises on them, and go on your merry way. Wander safely through Union Court with a big, slightly manic smile on your face, and watch as everybody carefully gives you a ten meter berth. You could even invite others to join your fake ticket. Mass produce the shirts. Establish an army of followers. Become so invested
The Discount House of Cards Episode One temporary fix is to approach a campaigner and instigate a good old-fashioned political squabble. To perfect this method, try to adopt the mindset of a fifteen-year-old attending an elite Sydney North Shore private school. Convince them to screenshot those nasty messages that Jessica sent out and show them to everyone because oh my god she so deserves it. Tell Emily that James said that Michael said that her ANU Brodburger proposition was ‘never going to happen’. Watch a screaming match ensue. With some luck, they will all be called to a meeting and reprimanded for an entire afternoon while you get to stroll to Gods in peace.
“Other than your perfect demographics, why do you want to be on our ticket?” Anonymous “So you’re from Fenner?” This is the first question they ask in her interview for GenRep. Simple. Friendly. Asking about home. “Yes, I’ve loved my first semester there. I feel connected to a community for the first time.” “And how do we pronounce your last name?” “Dayson. Day-son. It’s English.” “Ah England! I can tell from your accent. Are you on exchange or an international student?” “I’m an international student.” They whisper across the table to each other before ticking a box marked “International student”. Another member of the executive pulls out a pen, writing “white” next to the box as a qualifier. This is the story Gemma reported to Woroni after her near-Stupol experience. She had first interacted with the ticket through the online-forum ‘ANUStalkerspace’ asking for “new ideas” from members of the student body. Dayson had simply appreciated the creative photography of the ad-
vertisement and kept scrolling. “It wasn’t until my new friend, Angus, asked me, that I thought of running.” “I didn’t realise international students were allowed in ANUSA.” “Angus looked at me and said, ‘I think you’d be the perfect candidate for a General Representative of the ANU Students Association. Will you apply through the online form if I give you the link?’ His smile made him seem very approachable,” Dayson recalled. Her application took two and a half hours, as Dayson answered three questions – two of which were about an organisation she’d only heard of at ANUSA O-Week’s flagship concert HYPERNOVA. The response she received from the ticket was positive, inviting Dayson to an interview to “see what she could offer the ticket.” “They looked through my application, well... part of it.” “The one on the left let out a low whistle, looked to the others and shaking their head in disbelief.” The interviewer then asked Dayson a question:
“Other than your perfect demographics, why do you want to be on our ticket?” Gemma recounts her confusion - the discussion questions she had poured her heart into were sitting, unread, on the table. As she began to recite her answer, she was interrupted by the other interviewer who reportedly quizzed her further on her background. They asked Dayson for; her wealth status; her sexual orientation; her gender identity; her school, and whether she was from a regional, rural, regional centre, metropolitan, general or selective entry public or, (“God forbid”, were the words verbatim of the interviewers) a private school; whether she was religious, and if so, to what extent she practised; and finally, her history with political factions – including, with the most emphasis, ties to the Socialist Alternative. Dayson was told she would be perfect for the ticket - moderate to high income, not enough to cast eyes but enough to fully fund a campaign sea-
son with no time for casual employment; straight, but ambiguous about it; a cis-female, which wasn’t so much a plus but at least she was a woman; metropolitan general public; religious, but a non-practising Jew; and a Labour left supporter, but not a signed on member. The collective jaws of her interviewers fell to the floor. As the interview came to the conclusion, one of the interviewers turned to the other and said “and she’s at least an 8/10, so people will actually stop to listen to her talk.” When the interviewers asked if she has any questions for them, Dayson asked, “what do you believe in?” They reportedly responded, “absolutely nothing” and began laughing maniacally.” Senior members of the ticket have refused to comment on Dayson’s case.
PHOTOGRAPHY & SATIRE
Issue 10, Vol. 66
The photography page Your shots could be here! Submit your photographs by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description (less than 200 words)!
Photography by Pubudu Dissanayake Woroni Photography Sub-editor