Growing Strong Wom*n’s Handbook, published by the Students’ Representative Council, University of Sydney
What is the Wom*n’s Department?
The SRC Wom*n’s Department runs and provides resources for the Wom*n’s Collective and the Wom*n of Colour Collective. The Wom*n’s Collective (also known as ‘WoCo’) is funded by the SRC and aims to represent and advocate for wom*n on campus. This year, for the first time, the Wom*n of Colour Collective (coined ‘WOCC’) has excitingly gained an official office-bearer position in the SRC. This means that, in addition to WoCo, 2016 will see WOCC granted access to official funding to run more events, build a greater presence on campus and represent the voices of more wom*n of colour at USyd. The two office bearers, Vanessa Song (WOCC) and Anna Hush (WoCo), represent the collectives to the SRC, manage their budgets and facilitate meetings and campaigns. Apart from this role, the collectives are non-hierarchical and our organising is collaborative and consultative.
These collectives will have regular meetings and discussions throughout the year, and will coordinate campaigns and projects relating to the experiences of wom*n on campus and in the broader community. We are passionate advocates for intersectional feminism, and aim to centre the experiences of wom*n of diverse sexualities, races, ethnicities, abilities and classes in our activism by collaborating with other autonomous collectives. WOCC is an autonomous space for people identifying as wom*n of colour; WoCo is autonomous to those who do not identify as cis males.
What do we do?
WoCo and WOCC organise a range of campaigns around current feminist issues. In 2015, WoCo campaigned against gendered violence, holding workshops, panels and film screenings on the topic, and raised $1000 for ‘Hey Sis!’, an Indigenous women’s shelter facing closure due to lack of funding. We developed ‘fEMPOWER’, a series of feminist workshops for teenagers, and launched them in a number of Sydney public schools. We are continuing to expand the Wom*n’s Library, a collection of books and resources that lives in the Wom*n’s Room and can be borrowed by anyone. We also publish Growing Strong, the annual Wom*n’s Handbook, and we take over from the editors of Honi Soit for a week to create Wom*n’s Honi, a wonderful showcase of the voices of wom*n on campus. All of our projects and campaigns are driven by the creativity and hard work of the collective, so if you like the sound of these projects or have ideas for new and radical directions in the future, don’t hesitate to get involved!
How do I get involved?
WoCo has weekly meetings in the Wom*n’s Room, on Level 1 of Manning House. This is an autonomous space open to all non cis-males, and is open during working hours. We have comfy couches, a kettle and a microwave – drop in any time for a cup of tea and some study (or a nap)!
Join our Facebook group to find out more about meeting times and get involved in the online space (it’s a secret group, so you will need to add Vanessa Song or Anna Hush to be added). WOCC also has a Facebook group which Vanessa can add you to.