Are you living on Mi Goreng as basic sustenance because you had to divert your funds towards Uni textbooks and supplies instead? Are you dependent on the pathetic morsels of assistance barely available to you from our eroding welfare system? Are you feeling perpetual dread and isolation as you become stuck in the bowels of bureaucratic labyrinths? As the SRC Welfare team, we’re here to help ease these struggles.
Some of the many services we can assist you with are:
- Accessing emergency (short term) and long term, affordable housing
- Seeking mental health treatment
- Applying for emergency financial loans and bursaries
- Locating health care that is friendly, accessible, and safe
- Accessing the SRC legal service and caseworkers
- Providing education materials, such as lab coats for science students
As welfare officers, we also coordinate campaigns and act on behalf of students to preserve and expand the support networks necessary for a quality education. We are pissed off by successive federal and state government policies that neglect the growing student population and minimise the support available to each student. We are enraged that despite this trend, the university pays a very large salary to the Vice Chancellor, while simultaneously implementing austerity measures and attempting to cut the working conditions of staff and the learning conditions of students. Engaging in activist campaigns around these issues is a great form of anger management, but more importantly, it is an effective way to make sure that the student voice guides the priorities of the university.
Currently, the university provides only a limited amount of free sessions with a university counsellor. However, little data is available to provide student feedback on the quality of these services. Further, long-term mental health services are not available through the university, severely limiting the service’s effectiveness. We will endeavour to improve both the availability and transparency of mental health services for students.
Student Housing and Financial Support
Student housing is increasingly treated as a source of income for the university, with steep rates being charged and increases in privately owned housing, leading to a price barrier that inevitably excludes many poor students. We will fight for an increase in subsidised student housing, and fight against the lack of investment in university-owned housing. Furthermore, we will seek to help students access financial support, and intend to build campaigns against unpaid internships, in order to defend students’ rights at work.
We are opposed to drug criminalisation and will provide online resources on how to safely and properly use drugs. The recreational use of drugs is inevitable. A society that stigmatises and punishes those who use drugs is one where human suffering is increased. We will generate and provide materials as to the legality of searches by police and similar issues.
We are passionate about a wide range of other issues and are always interested in hearing the thoughts and concerns of the students we’re here for. Should you ever have any questions or comments, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just drop into the SRC dungeon (below the Wentworth Building) and make your voice heard.
Yours in solidarity,
Chiara, Philippa, Brendan and Oliver