Tag Archives: Australia

joining the national protest against university funding cuts

No ifs, no buts, no education cuts.

After Julia Gillard announced the intention of the Labor Government to cut over $2 billion of funding from Australian universities, who already struggle enough on their limited funding, to redirect it towards primary and secondary schools, there was a major uproar. Protests sprung up all over the country, and students were terrified that their already exorbitantly priced education would become even more unattainable. So they set a date for a national protest – May 14th.

The idea was to go on strike and not attend classes, and then to gather for a series of protests in the city to get the message across. I wasn’t particularly set on attending the protest in the city, and used the strike as more an excuse to skip class than as an actual protest, but even I cannot deny that their cause is valid. The government has put out publications and acknowledged other studies which have found that improvements are needed in this area, and yet they give us cuts.

So what does this mean for individual universities? Well, for starters the business model they already work on will have to focus even more on the bottom line – which affects staffing selections and thus the variety and number of courses and subjects available to students. Additionally, the funding cut takes away the up-front discounts in the HECs payment system and also converts the Student Start Up Scholarship to a mere loan – which essentially, just increases the debt a university student will face once they graduate and hit the workforce. Not really a great way to boost an economy in a climate where recession has been narrowly avoided and other countries are still battling (especially since the way out of/to avoid recession is generally through increased spending from consumers).

So thanks for that new budget, Julia Gillard. You’re really making life swell.

Here’s a small video I got off the NTEU website which was filmed at my university – and it clearly outlines how a single university will be affected by this new budget.

So while I hovered around the edges of the rally for a few minutes and observed some of the protesters in action during the miserable weather that Melbourne brought them, I still see this as an issue we all face. I’m just reserved about the effectiveness of national protesting, since it feels kind of feeble and pointless. Plus, asking students to skip class with only a few weeks to exams is kind of a big deal.

However, I hope the issue doesn’t just fade off after this.

(Most of my information comes from the STEU website.)

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cackling over lessons with luis

Last night I caught up with an old friend who has hooked me up to some great comedy in the past, and continued the tradition with the youtube channel of lessonswithluis.

Keeping in mind this comes from someone with the comedic taste in line with The Mighty Boosh and animals wearing hats, this comedy is not for those who enjoy snappy one liners. It’s more simple laughing at odd mannerisms and parodying things (like the news).

I was hooked from the moment I watched my first video, a New News one entitled ‘New Snowland’. I suppose, this is a pretty easy one to love – as an Australian I love anything that pokes fun at New Zealanders, thanks to our friendly rivalry. It certainly does seem to be one of his better videos.

One of my favourite recurring people in his videos is his dad, who kind of reminds me a little bit of Kel from Kath and Kim, but without the bogan reference. He’s just a little odd, and very serious.

And also, a bit obsessed with his cat, ‘Catty’.

His humour is very light hearted, though it does have some deeper issues at heart, such as global politics and sensitive news topics. So, it’s as any good comedy should be, pertinent and still enjoyable.

Not that you’d think it from someone who has a video about their cat doing everyday cat things as one of the more popular episodes.

jazzed about having a reason to primp and preen

Tonight is my friend’s cocktail party in celebration of her birthday.

my plans for the night ahead

I’ve been looking forward to it all week, and finally, it has arrived. All that’s left to do is pretty up, put on my social face and shimmy out the door.

I don’t really drink that much, especially when compared to my peers. I don’t fit the stereotypical uni student who drinks and parties every night (but then, I don’t know that many people who do). I go out maybe twice a month, at most. I used to be more social, but over the last year I realised that it was becoming more trouble than it was worth. I’d put all this effort into making myself feel attractive, and then still feel incredibly insecure when I walked into a club or party. And then I’d drink a bit to increase the fun feeling, but not realise when was a reasonable stopping point. And become the girl who hides in the toilets from people.

So, nowadays I go out rarely, and drink only half that time. Part of this, I must admit, was an imposed ban on drinking by my doctor. But upon being cleared to drink again, I haven’t made that much use of it. Nor do I really have big urges to.

It makes me wonder where they used to come from. Australia is a country renowned for it’s drinking culture – beers and barbecues are a standard affair, and there are many tourist cards adorned with the ‘Aussie bloke’ slouching with a beer stubby in hand. Part of this stems from the link between sport and booze, and Australians are also very heavily into sporting events.

This means that many children have been continuously surrounded by beer for most of their lives, and thus it is easy to acquire. Not to mention the typical teenage rebellion of underage drinking.

For me, though, even as an underager I didn’t consume a lot of alcohol. I typically would have one or two drinks at a party, enough to enjoy myself and ‘fit in’, but not enough that my mother would be grounding me for breaking the law. I never got truly drunk until after my 18th birthday.

Even still, I can probably still use my hands to count the number of occasions I have truly been past the point of tipsy. Everyone needs to test their limits at some point, and for me that was the first couple of years of uni. But no more.  It just doesn’t work out well for me.

But tonight, I will be drinking, though I may not hit my furthest points of intoxication. It is a cocktail night, and it may involve Butterbeer, which I am so keen to try, and after all, I am young. I have plenty of time to be responsible, so for now I’ll just blow off steam with a sample of way-too-sugary drinks (I do like them sweet) and a pleasant giddiness.

disappointed in Melbourne’s weather

The weather in this city is a constant source of frustration for those who reside here. One minute it’s beautifully sunny, the next it’s a thunderstorm. It’s pretty common knowledge that you can get all four seasons in one day.

Today started off lovely and sunny when I strolled to uni to catch up with a friend I haven’t really heard from in a couple of months. We had a lovely catch up (inside, because of course it got cloudy by that point), mostly discussing a mutual love and excitement over Animal Crossing.

Of course, after he left I had an hour to relax and peruse the remainder of my Frankie, since yesterday was a little hectic, between work and meetings. And during that time, the whoop whoop of the fire alarm had to sound. Upon fleeing outside, I discovered light smatterings of rain. Naturally. Luckily, I was able to find shelter in a nearby building and procure myself a hot cup of coffee to fix my ailing spirit.

But this wasn’t even the main reason for my disappointment today. The rain stopped, I went to class and it was cloudy but pleasant when I walked home again. The more exciting event for the day was to be mini-golfing with my crew at work. But because of the unpredictable grey skies of Melbourne, this was cancelled.

I’m not even a huge fan of mini-golf, in fact, I kind of hate it. But I was looking forward to this. For the last few days we had been building up the hype for this night, and it was going to be fun regardless of the activity. At my work, we almost never do fun activities. Previous crew outings have always been bowling, which is good once, but not again and again and again. So the change was going to be refreshing, as well as the fact that the people who I work with are people I genuinely like. Maybe it’s the seniority I now possess, but I feel much more fond of those that I work with than I ever used to.

But now it has been postponed, indefinitely. So who knows when it will happen.

At least I have something to look forward to tomorrow, which weather cannot interfere with – my good friend’s cocktail party. I’m not the most flexible with my plans, and dislike last minute changes. So (fingers crossed) nothing should stand in the way of tomorrow night!