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Swapnik Sanagavarapu, Himath Siriniwasa and Ellie Wilson
The massacre that took place in Christchurch a few weeks ago was a despicable instance of Islamophobic violence. The Autonomous Collective Against Racism stands with Muslim communities both on campus and worldwide. We held a vigil on Monday 18 March to pay respects, and hosted a campus speakout alongside Unite Against the Far Right on Tuesday 19 March to speak out against ongoing Islamophobia and rising white supremacy. ACAR convenors Swapnik Sanagavarapu and Himath Siriniwasa, along with Sexual Harassment Officer and Wom*n’s Collective convenor Layla Mkh and Mature Age Student Officer Vinil Kumar, gave speeches at the speakout.
ACAR has sent contingents to a number of rallies in the last few weeks, and held working bees to make banners and signs for events. Some of the events that we’ve attended in the last two weeks have been the Protest Israeli Apartheid on Palestinian Land Day rally and WoCo’s counter-protest against the Day of the Unborn Child, the latter of which Ethnocultural Officer and ACAR convenor Ellie Wilson spoke at. We’ve organised a contingent and a working bee for Palm Sunday, which is Sunday 14 April, and intend to promote the rally by working with the Campus Refugee Action Collective.
Planning for our autonomous edition of Honi Soit is underway. We’ve established an editorial collective and are currently processing expressions of interest, of which we had a significant number. We hope to get content creation underway over the next week.
PoC Revue is this week from 11-13 April! Tickets are being sold online and in person. A number of ACAR members are involved in the show this year, and ACAR intends to attend the show together.
ACAR has now had four collective meetings, and the number of people engaged in the collective is growing. We intend to have weekly meetings moving forward, which we’ll organise online, so like our Facebook page (Sydney Uni Autonomous Collective Against Racism) and join our Facebook group (ACAR: Autonomous Collective Against Racism) if you’re a PoC to get involved! We’re excited to see how much more active the collective will become over the next year.
Vice President Consultation
The Vice President consultation drop-in times are every Thursday 11am to 1pm in the SRC offices. Come and have a chat! For satellite campuses, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health Days for Mallet Street and Cumberland
Next Tuesday, we are holding our inaugural Health Day at Mallet Street from 11am to 2pm. In week 8, we will be holding a second Health Day at Cumberland on Tuesday 30 April from 11am to 2pm. If you’re in our satellite campuses, come and learn from SRC and SUPRA caseworkers at the SRC, University student support services, NGOs and local organisations.
Welfare Week for Camperdown/Darlington
Welfare Week will be happening on week 3 of semester 2. It will engage students with events on Eastern Avenue, with students from all campuses welcome to attend. The purpose of this would be to showcase all the services provided by the University, SRC, USU and local community organisations whether it be financial, personal health, student housing etc as well as services not provided for by the University.
Special consideration and simple extensions
Requesting a simple extension is an informal process between you and your UOS coordinator. A UOS Coordinator can grant a 2 working day extension for a non-examination task. You should email them with as much notice as possible and explain
your circumstances. For longer illnesses (including the exacerbation of a disability) or misadventure that isshort term and outside of your control, you can request for special consideration within 3 working days of an assessment on the University’s online portal. You will need documentation to support your claim.
For example, if you are sick you will need a Professional Practitioner’s Certificate (PPC)completed by your treating doctor or counsellor. Download a PPC from the special consideration website. Your PPC needs be on or before the day of your assessment. If you are not able to see a doctor on or before the day, you can call a home doctor service to come to you. If you have a long term illness (4+ weeks) you should seek accommodations from the Disability Services Unit.
We are aware that there are providers of fake medical certificates available through social media (eg Facebook, WeChat). If you have not gone to a doctor’s surgery and spoken to a doctor in-person, your certificate is likely to be fake. If you are caught using one of these, you can face misconduct proceedings that may lead to suspension.
If you need any help, seek advice from a SRC caseworker. They are welcoming, free and can provide confidential advice.
Keep Kinley in Australia
Receiving permanent residency in Australia is an extremely strenuous process that involves submitting many documents and completing various language tests to finally receive an opportunity to just line up for a permanent residency status.
Imagine being the person who finally waits for the day when they are informed they may have a chance to stay in Australia, but is then informed that they will be unable to receive permanent residency due to a hearing disability and deported from Australia. To put forward disability as a reason to not grant someone their permanency residency is an extremely discriminative behaviour that we should oppose.
Kinley Wangchuck was a victim of such discrimination. I would like to think Australia is a fair country where everyone can be treated equally, and therefore we need to protect the weak by raising a voice.
SRC will be joining NUS Disabiility Officer in their initiative on Thursday 11th of April at 12pm outside the Department of Immigration office in Sydney to keep Kinley in Australia, as disability should beyond all doubt NOT be a cause for deportation. I encourage everyone to support the initiative and take a stance to help Kinley and his family.
SRC stands with Christchurch
Almost three weeks have passed ever since the Christchurch massacre happened on the 15th of March 2019, but the trauma and the pain from the tragedy have never faded away. As the SRC, we condemn the fascist behaviours and we send our most sincere condolence to the victims of the tragedy and their families, and we extend this condolence to the wider Muslim community who has played an extremely important role in Australia’s multiculturalism. This week, I will compose a letter to both the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre expressing the condolences and solidarity of the SRC on behalf of the student body at Sydney University. We strongly oppose islamophobia and stand against any forms of racism, bigotry and oppression.
Gabi Stricker-Phelps and Crystal Xu
FREE Sanitary Items
We have purchased our first batch of sanitary items! We intend to refill stock each month. If you need sanitary items, please do not hesitate to come and get what you need from the SRC office under the Wentworth Building free of charge.
Women’s Health Week and Mental Health
We are proposing a Women’s Health Week from the 6-9th of September 2019. This would involve health focused talks, information sessions and workshops. The focus topics include:
- Contraception and Sex
- Self-defence classes
- Zumba or aerobics
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Understanding abortion and accessing pregnancy services
- Reliable and affordable health care services for students
If you have an idea or topic you would like to raise during this week (or before) please visit or contact us.
We are liaising with the Health Education Officer, Miriam Deshayes. Miriam also wants the University Health Service to collaborate with SUPRA and the SRC for University Mental Health Day on the 7th of May.
We had a follow up meeting with Sophia Zeritis and the senior manager of diversity, leadership and inclusion department, Sarah Abbott, to discuss potential collaboration between the SRC and the university on promoting career development and female leadership panels. We submitted a student survey result about university career services and pointed out several problem areas that the career centre could focus on to improve student experience and the provision of services. We also intend to run a panel discussion forum in Semester 2 with female alumni to foster mentoring relationships.
Female Journalism: ENID
We are working on promoting and setting up the ENID platform, an online hub of USYD women’s opinions, work, thoughts and issues. If you have an interest in writing, illustrating, photography, playing a musical instrument, performing, giving advice or have anything else you want to share contact us as per details below. All students are welcome and encouraged to get involved.
Hayden Moon and Wilson Huang
Hello and a warm welcome from the Disabilities officers.
Support the mental health of students
During Welcome Week, we communicated with the NUS Disabilities Officer William Edwards about his No Mind Left Behind campaign. A disproportionate number of students experience psychological distress, and we are dismayed by campus counselling services. The University of Sydney gives students up to 6 counselling sessions per year. For many students needing long term support, this is not enough. We encourage everyone to sign a petition calling for reform in campus counselling services at www.megaphone.org.au/p/nmlb.
Accessibility at Redfern station
In October 2018, the USyd Disabilities Collective along with People with Disabilities Australia (PWDA) held a rally outside Redfern calling for more accessible public transport. We are pleased to announce that according to news from The Sydney Morning Herald, new lifts will be built increasing accessibility to Redfern Station. We continue to advocate for accessibility in public transport for all disabled people.
Disabilities space on campus
We would like a space on campus for students and staff with disability. Students with disability can be incredibly isolated especially when they don’t know others like them. We believe that having a disabilities space would be beneficial for the social inclusion, mental health and wellbeing of disabled students on campus. We have contacted the USU about finding a space and plan to follow up on it.
During the beginning of the year, two of our collective members, Robin Eames (Disabilities officer 2018) and Hayden Moon (Disabilities officer 2019), presented at The Better Together Conference held by The Equality Project.
As members of SQuAD (Sydney Queer and Disability community group), Hayden and Robin did a great job of discussing the difficulties that come with being disabled and queer in 2019 and how far we still need to go in terms of equality. The Panel was called “Queer & Disabled: Intersections, inclusion, solidarity, community.”
Joining the Disabilities collective
As always we welcome new members into our collective who have disabilities including mental, chronic, or terminal illnesses; people who are neurodivergent; and people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing, even if they don’t identify as disabled or as having a disability. Sign up at https://www.facebook.com/groups/USydDisabilities2018/.
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Latest Officer Bearer Reports
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- Your Council at Work Report – Wednesday 3 April 2019 April 17, 2019
- SRC Women’s Officers – Week 8, Sem 1, 2019 April 17, 2019
- Interfaith Officers Report – Week 8, Sem 1, 2019 April 17, 2019