The 2016 Welfare Officers would like to welcome you to the University of Sydney. Transitioning to university is sometimes a difficult change, but the SRC has your back! Whether it be applying for Centrelink or finding affordable housing our first point of advice would be to make use of everything the SRC has to offer.
Being a student is difficult, which is why student welfare is one of the highest priorities of the SRC. We all want to see an improvement in student wellbeing both on and off campus, and it is extremely important to have a dedicated organisation like the SRC working for you. All of your concerns like Centrelink payments, stress, and safely are our concerns as well. Our aim is to find out where students need a better go in their everyday lives and fight for it.
Unfortunately, it is an ongoing struggle for young people to keep their head above water, with welfare provisions worsening year after year. Recent attacks on the basic rights that all students deserve by the Liberal State and Federal Governments are heavily opposed by the Welfare Department. This year you can expect us to be campaigning for:
- A fairer student welfare system and a raise to Youth Allowance for the first time in 22 years to bring student support in line with real costs of living.
- No increase to the GST. The Turnbull government is seeking to increase the regressive GST to 15%, adding thousands of dollars a year to your basic budget.
- Australia’s universal and accessible health care system. Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to diagnostic services like pap smears, blood tests and x-rays are all going to increase the costs of basic services, placing further pressure on students already struggling.
- Our weekend and public holiday penalty rates. The proposed cuts by big business and the Liberals will mean a huge pay cut for students working to make ends meet.
- Harm-minimisation drug strategies. Recent stories of young people taking drugs at music festivals, only to die due to a bad pill or police presence, are demonstrations of prohibition’s failure. We will provide pill testing kits and unbiased drug information to students on campus throughout the year, because the deaths caused by prohibition need to end.
A campaign against the healthcare cuts is already in swing: on February 20th students from the University of Sydney participated in a rally at Town Hall to protest the Turnbull government cuts. The Welfare Department and the rest of the SRC will be throwing its full support behind this campaign as it progresses throughout the year.
We exist to help improve the ordinary lives of students. If that’s a mission that you share, we want you to join us! We’d love to see you involved to fight for a fair go for students!
Get involved by liking our Facebook page “USYD Welfare Department” and joining the Welfare Action Group. You can also get into contact with us through our email, firstname.lastname@example.org.