General Secretary’s Report – Week 11, Sem 2, 2016

Georgia Mantle

As an Indigenous student I am constantly being told that it is extraordinary that I am at University let alone at the University of Sydney. I am told that I am an exception to the norm. Myself and my cohort of Indigenous students are often viewed as the lucky ones who surpassed the expectations society puts on us to succeed. I am so proud of what I have achieved to be at this University and to have been able to hold a position of leadership however I reject the idea that I am an exception. I am surrounded by Indigenous people who excel, who continue to work hard and who achieve.

Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people of colour at this University are continuity othered. Throughout this year as a student rep I have continually seen this Unviersity remain inactive over racism at this campus. It is this University’s responsibility to do more. This University needs to act, it needs to explicitly stand against racism but more than that it needs to do more to create a safer environment to stop racist acts before they occur.

This may seem like a lot to ask for the University to stop racism but what I am asking is simple, I am asking for this University to listen to its students. I am asking this University to take down the paintings of golliwog’s in its education building and I am asking this University to take employment of people of colour seriously and seek out the talent of non-white academics in a way that is not simply tokenistic.

I am proud to be one of the leaders of an organisation that openly and proudly supports Indigenous people and people of colour. I am proud that we fund a collective that seeks to end racism and I am proud to be able to write this report that will be published in a fantastic paper put together completely by people of colour.