September 2012

The Islamic Society on Campus (ISOC) distanced itself from violence-marred protests against an Islamophobic video earlier this week, signing a statement that was released by an umbrella body of Islamic associations in Australia in response to the protests.

A violent clash between police and Muslim protestors occurred in Sydney on the 15th of September, and a severe backlash forced Islamic groups to quell anger by condemning the actions of the protestors.

The Federal Government is being pushed to increase the rate of Newstart allowance following warnings that it is falling significantly behind the adequate minimum amount needed for the unemployed and low income earners to survive day to day.

The report prepared by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling for church welfare agencies has suggested that the Government has ignored advice since 2009 of the growing inequalities between Newstart and other government allowances and the recommendation that allowances be raised.

Senior members of the chancellery team met student leaders last Friday, discussing issues affecting the student populace, including concerns over retail developments, the gym and course cuts.

Whilst Vice-Chancellor Fred Hilmer was in South America, students met with other officials including Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Richard Henry, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) Wai Fong Chua, members of University Council and Academic Board.

LifeChoice USYD – the controversial anti-abortion society – held their first event on campus on August 9, a seminar on the value of life and the evils of euthanasia.

While the lecture hall was well attended and the speaker, Dr. John Obeid, talked for an hour, it quickly became clear that rather than facilitating debate, the society was focused on presenting one side of the issue, that being the superiority of palliative care and the abject immorality of euthanasia.

The Rice Barn Is Now Empty by Macquarie University student Kavita Bedford is the winner of the Editors’ Choice prize in the Tharunka Non-Fiction Writing Competition 2012.

The taxi driver laughed again, showing all his teeth. “Yes. Just one month ago I helped my friend Janedi* kidnap his wife”. “Sorry, what do you mean kidnap?” I stammered, not sure whether this word had been confused in English. I was on the island of Lombok, Indonesia, catching a taxi from Bandara International Airport to the coastal town of Senggigi.