The scenes of Joe Hockey’s face on television as he announced the 2014 Budget back in May now seem like a distant nightmare… but the scary reality is that they’re still haunting us to this day. As these reforms get debated in Parliament, now – more than ever – must we fight to ensure they don’t become a reality.
It has been heartening to see the fierce backlash to the Budget is still continuing in full force, evidenced by the National Day of Action on August 20 and the March in August last Sunday. It is now essential that we, as university students, put pressure on politicians in opposition to the deregulation of higher education and cuts to welfare services for students and the wider community.
Since our last report, your Welfare Department has been active in this fight, both on and off campus.
We’ve been involved with Students for Wom*n-Only Services (SWOS), a group working to fight the devastating reductions in funding by the State Government to wom*n-only refuges across New South Wales. SWOS worked with the SOS Women’s Services campaign to collect signatures for a petition calling for State Parliament to debate these reforms, and organised a candlelight vigil at Pitt St Mall on July 24 to raise awareness of the issue. Though the petition reached its target of over 10,000 signatures, many refuges still in fact face impending closure. Thus, the fight to save wom*n’s refuges must – and will – continue.
We’ve also supported the continuing action at the Redfern Aboriginal Tent Embassy. For more information, feel free to contact us (at firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Indigenous Officers.
On campus, we were pleased with the overwhelming resistance to deregulation voiced at the Town Hall meeting on August 25. This sends a clear message to both University management and Federal Parliament that staff, students and alumni at the University of Sydney oppose the inequitable and unfair education reforms. We anticipate that these concerns will be echoed in Parliament, in favour of – in the words of the informal motion passed almost unanimously at the meeting – a “government-funded, quality education system for all.”
2014 Welfare Officers