–by Sarah Ammon
Students and staff gathered at UWA on Wednesday to protest against the Labor government’s $3 billion funding cuts to tertiary education.
The rally highlighted the possible fallouts of the cuts, like larger class sizes as well as the cutting of courses.
“Education should be a right and not a debt sentence,” Anita Creasey, State President for the National Union of Students said.
See what happened at the rally here:
“When the government announces a 2% efficiency dividend, that is actually corporate speech for indiscriminate cuts totaling 900 million dollars.
“When the government says it is converting start up scholarships into loans, that this is an attack on the most disadvantaged students, by increasing their HECS debt by up to 37%.”
“Services can potentially disappear” UWA Guild President Cameron Barnes said in his speech.
“We’re already finding that between student services and the guild, there’s a lot of pressure on really important services like the medical center and in mental health.
“Staff to student ratios are already unacceptable. I have students coming to me on a daily basis saying they’re in over sized tutorials in classes where there aren’t even enough seats.”
The rally consisted mostly of staff, who like president of the UWA branch of the NTEU (National Tertiary Education Union) Jamie O’Shea were contending that the cuts were going to hit staff the hardest.
“This is a staff (at UWA) who over the last five years has dealt with a doubling (almost) in the number of students,” Mr O’Shea said.
“The staff cannot afford in time or money to continue working at this pace.
“This cutting into higher education funding is a big deal”
“If you’re not prepared to stand up and fight for this, then the university system as we know it will demise”…
–by Phoebe Phillips
When you first meet Dave, or Benjamin Safari as he is also called, you know there is something different about him, something out of the ordinary, something even ‘not right.’
Maybe it is in his loping gait as he wanders relaxed through the pumping music and crowded chaos of the pub he works at. Maybe it’s the incessant twinkle in his eye or the relaxed country drawl as he pauses from the pan he’s scraping to crack a joke. Or, maybe it’s in the uncanny strength of his lean frame as he scrubs the bottom of pots and mops floors in the kitchen that makes you think, “What is his story?”
His story, as I later found out, turned from a personal challenge to walk from the East Coast of Sydney to the Queensland border into a trek across the entire coastline from Sydney to Perth.
Carrying his camping gear and food provisions Dave began a walk which would span the next four years of his life.
As Dave describes;
“I started in 2008. I thought it was only going to take a year and it has taken a lot longer than I originally thought. It’s been …