Building a fighting student movement

Welcome to Sydney Uni! My name is David Pink and I’m your SRC President for 2013.

The Students’ Representative Council is the peak representative body for undergraduate students at the University of Sydney. The SRC exists to defend and advance the interests of USyd students.

We are YOUR student association and we have a long history of fighting for student power. We stand for a free, fair and funded education, universal student unionism and a society free of discrimination and oppression.
We work with the National Union of Students who represent students at a university and government level. Our collectives are the hub of student activism on campus.

Our staff provide vital services, such as SRC HELP (academic, Centrelink and tenancy advice), a secondhand bookshop and a FREE legal service. We also publish Honi Soit, the only weekly student newspaper in the country.
My job is to make sure that your voice is listened to at every level of the university. I sit on the most important university committees (including Academic Board and the Senior Executive Group – Education Committee) and meet with university officials including the Vice-Chancellor on a regular basis.

You are coming to university during a time of tremendous changes. Federally, the Government has not done enough to reverse the Howard’s cutbacks and rationalisation of education. Fortunately after Howard, the student movement has seen some successes: the repeal of domestic undergraduate full fees was our biggest success of the past the five years, and the introduction of the Student Service and Amenities Fees to replace Voluntary Student Unionism was a step forward.

Sadly, Abbott’s education policy includes such wonderful things as fee deregulation and the abolition of post-study work visas for international students. Scary.

On a local level, management has been waging a year-long war to complete the logic of economic rationalism that has already conquered every other academic institution in the country. Last year, they tried to cut over 350 academic and general staff. The staff union (the NTEU) and the SRC managed to put that to a stop, but round two begins in March with a proposed teachers’ strike on the first day of semester.

The SRC stand in solidarity with our teachers’ efforts to fight attempts to strip back their conditions in the next Enterprise Bargaining agreement.

This is what the SRC would like our education system to look like:

Free Education: No HECS! No fees!

Fair Youth Allowance: Where ALL students live above the poverty line and 18 as the fixed age of independence.

Funded Education: An increase of 20% in base funding by the federal government in higher Education.

Real Student Representation: Students representing students at all levels of the university, including the SEG and more student representation on Senate.

Affordable Student Housing: No rents over $200p/w for accommodation owned and managed by the university plus an increase in the number of university owned beds.

An End to Overcrowding: A cap on tutorial sizes of 15 students per class.
An End to Voluntary Student Unionism: The SSAF is a start, however universal membership would guarantee our continued success fighting for your rights!

Fair Treatment of International Students: Full transport concessions, as well as a accessible post-study work visa

A University Free from Discrimination: No racism. No sexism, ableism, and equal opportunity for students from all backgrounds,particularly indigenous students.

I actually believe in a ‘user pays’ funding system. When we graduate businesses and governments use our skills – they should pay.

David Pink
2013 SRC President

New visa arrangement: no more points test and at least 2 years of unrestricted work visa!

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has currently announced new Post-Study Work Arrangements – this will be incorporated into the existing Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.

You might be eligible for this visa if you meet all of the following:

  • Be under 50 years of age
  • Apply for this visa in Australia
  • Score minimum of 6 in each of the four components of IELTS or can demonstrate competent English level
  • Completed at least a Bachelor degree level or above in Australia
  • Held a qualifying student visa including subclass 572, 573 or 574
  • previously applied for your first student visa after 5 November 2011

The biggest benefit of this new arrangement is that you no longer need to nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) or satisfy any points test in order to qualify! This will allow some students to complete their professional year or obtain the required work experience to apply for a further visa later.

If you wish to read more about this new visa arrangement, you can either visit the DIAC website, or contact Ms Annie Zeng, a registered migration agent from SRC Legal Service. We can discuss your particular circumstances to see whether you are eligible for this new arrangement, completely free of cost! Call the SRC on 02 9660 5222 and we are happy to help you with all immigration or visa related questions.