Posts Tagged ‘Students’

If you were in the city on August 16th you may have heard the chants “Bailliue Bailliue, he’s going to fail you,”  you may have seen the flood of teachers and students streaming down towards Parliament and you may have asked yourself, what’s all this fuss about?

Students and teachers march through the city.

In the latest state budget the Baillieu government cut a brutal $300 million from the TAFE sector. Now hundreds of teachers and TAFE staff have lost their jobs. Many campuses are  facing closure, courses have been shut down and fees have been massively increased for thousands of students. And to further rub salt into the wound, the government is considering cutting another $230 million.

I asked some TAFE students and staff why they were so passionate about this issue.

Neil, Latrobe Valley




“Because some of my friends have already lost their job, but I’m more worried about where the students are going to go.”





Matthew, Box Hill



“Because not many places have a quality and recognised music course like Box Hill Institute, if it shuts down it will have a substantial effect on the Melbourne contemporary music scene.”





Angus, Swinburne




“Because Swinburne is already under funded, one of my teachers leaves an hour early to get to another class.”





A lot of protesters had travelled from the country to make their voice heard as rural and remote towns will most likely suffer worst from these cuts. If their TAFE’s are closed, students and teachers will have to commute miles and miles to work and study. Julia Gillard even hit out at Mr Bailliue claiming it will be a heavy blow for towns such as Warrnambool, Morwell and Mildura, calling TAFE part of their ‘social Fabric’.

A major concern for protesters was where will the kids who have tried and failed at normal school go?  The kids who just don’t fit in?  And the others who have unimaginable home lives and struggle to cope with school as well?

Chloe Williams is one of those students, completing a child care diploma at GoTAFE in Seymour, country Victoria. “I dropped out of school because of bullying, if TAFE didn’t take me I would be doing nothing” Chloe said. She fears her and the other people on her class have no future without TAFE.

And what about the students who use TAFE as a pathway to university? Many students HAVE to go to TAFE in order to get into their desired course.

A student stands up for Swinburne as it faces closure. Swinburne offers many university pathway courses.

Angus Cameron, a student of Engineering at Swinburne TAFE says he won’t be able to complete his university degree if his TAFE shuts down. “I’m not sure if I’ll still be able to go to uni” Angus said.

Baillieu has hit back claiming “enrolments exploded in courses that were cheap to deliver, profitable for providers but did not deliver on jobs.” This is his attempt to shift the blame to the previous Labour government, whose funding regime allowed private providers to flourish. These registered training offices don’t have the same overheads and are running diplomas in days when the skills take months to acquire and TAFE’s just can’t compete.

Despite the previous governments errors, Baillieu has still made the decision to cut TAFE’s funding in a time when they need all they could get. He however refers to it as a ‘reform’ and claims it was “designed to save the system from collapse”.

But this reform has already shut down RMIT’s Professional Writing Diploma through lack of numbers, while cuts have also led to the closure of the Engineering department at Bendigo TAFE’s Castlemaine campus.

The future is uncertain for TAFE students and teachers but one thing is for sure, they’re not going to take it any more.

If you missed the protest join the constant virtual rally on twiiter at

With only three weeks left until the Melbourne Marathon Festival, the international training group seems to be dwindling.

     “Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive.”
     -Robert H. Schuller
Although, we started out as a motivated, willing and ready bunch, there have been a number of reasons that have caused the group numbers to taper away. For example, one of the runners has encountered bronchitis and another runner is overwhelmed by her every day life and is still on the fence about participating.
When all the internationals arrived in Melbourne in June, it was about a month into life here in Australia, when we all decided to train for the Melbourne Marathon. Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t seem too keen anymore. A couple runners have been injured and some others have just dropped out.
There is a rival among this year’s race who is indebted a fifty-dollar note depending on who comes through the finish line first. Those who are unable to participate in this year’s race will certainly be at the finish line cheering the rest of the group on.
It’s been a long and treacherous sixteen weeks of training for those who have followed the training regimen. Those who have cheated will certainly pay the price come mile-marker 17 (28K). There’s something called “Hitting the Wall,” that runners experience right around this mileage/kilometers during the race. It’s basically a loss of energy. A depletion of glycogen in the muscles, results in sudden fatigue and a loss in stamina. Sometimes a runner can recover with brief rest and the consumption of food or drinks containing carbohydrates. There are also a wide variety of sports energy gels available to take during the marathon. These gels are supplements containing loads of energy that are to be taken in increments during the race to alleviate “Hitting the Wall.”
With only three weeks left until race day, it’ll be interesting who has the dedication, determination, and perseverance to conquer through and classify as a ‘Melbourne Marathon Finisher!’
In running, it doesn’t matter whether we come in first, in the middle of the pack, or even last…We can say, “We’ve FINISHED!!” With that lies an ABUNDANCE of SATISFACTION!!!

The Melbourne Marathon training group created on Facebook to keep everyone motivated and informed on training sessions.

Above: sixteen-week training chart.

By Magnus Nygren Syversen
(Photos courtesy of Victor Ivanin and Stine Busch) 

About twenty young Europeans and Australians currently studying or working in Melbourne gathered at Bella Union on the corner of Lygon Street and Victoria Street this Sunday, joining a buzzing crowd to take part of the phenomenon that is Eurovision.

The yearly song competition began as far back as in 1956 and still gathers millions of Europeans in front of the television screens every year. This year the competition was held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Monash Exchange co-founder and organiser of the Eurovision event at Bella Union, Victor Ivanin.

Victor Ivanin, born and raised in Siberian Russia and currently residing in Bentleigh East, is a former post-graduate student at Monash University. Seeing an unfulfilled need at Monash for a student organisation that helped foreign students get in touch with young men and women in the same situation as themselves, Ivanin co-founded Monash Exchange (MEX), an unofficial organisation for foreign students at Monash University. However, through the use of social media such as Facebook the organisation stretches beyond just Monash students.

Having previously hosted several events in the previous year, it was through MEX Ivanin invited everyone to join him at Bella Union for a Eurovision extravaganza. Using Facebook as a medium to reach the masses, the event soon gained popularity, and while some appologetically declined around 20 students from countries such as Russia, France, Norway and Australian, amongst others, gathered at Bella Union to watch the Eurovision final. At the bar they were met by a larger crowd than perhaps expected.

“There must be over a hundred people here,” said Ida Waeraas, a Norwegian Deakin University graduate currently working in the CBD. Stine Busch, another Norwegian who graduated from Deakin University last year, argued that there must have been at least twice that amount, and Ivanin estimated the number of people was even more than that, suggesting a crowd of over 300. Whereas the exact number of people attending the event was difficult to determine, one thing is certain: Free seats were few and far between.

Ivanin was very happy with the turnout, and applauded the venue for its presentation of the song contest. “The night turned out surprisingly good, and the venue was absoutely jumping,” he said.

The two Norwegian girls also praised the athmosphere at Bella Union on Sunday night, poiting out that everyone in the audience seemed to have a great time and looked very engaged with the competition.

When it comes to the results Ivanin had a bit more to cheer for than Busch and Waeraas, with the Russian contribution “Party For Everybody” by Buranovskive Babushki, a group of old babushka-wearing grannies, coming in second place. Having handed out score sheets beforehand he could keep track of the points Russia gathered from its fellow European nations.

The audience watches as Norway’s contestant Tooji is voted last.

Unfortunately for the Norwegian girls this was not Norway’s night, with the nation’s hoepful artist Tooji finishing dead last with his song “Stay”. To add to the disappointment for the Norwegians, their arch-rival and neighbour Sweden took home the gold in this year’s competition. Swedish sweetheart Loreen was a favourite coming into the competition, and let nobody down with her “Euphoria”. Charming audiences across Europe the 28 year old took a comfortable win 113 points clear of Russia in second place.

Putting results aside Ivanin, Waeraas and Busch, as well as the rest of the MEX group, agreed this was a night they would all look back on with fondness.

 By Magnus Nygren Syversen 

Quick and technical Etihad KSA proved unstoppable Thursday, beating their opponents, Hammers, 6-1 in the final as the Deakin YMCA indoor soccer season came to an end.

Indoor soccer, or futsal, is a growing sport in Melbourne. Hosting one competetition for each trimester of the school year, Deakin YMCA saw enough teams sign up this trimester to form three divisions – grade A, B and C.

Last Wednesday saw the league stage of the competition come to an end with the tough and physical team Hammers clinching the top spot, beating their smaller, more agile rivals Etihad KSA on goal difference. Both teams finished on 20 points, both having won five games, lost one and drawn two.

After seeing away their semi-final opposition, with Hammers beating Sunny Boy and Etihad beating Power Rangers respetively, the two top teams faced each other in the final Thursday. What looked like a close game on paper proved to be nothing but, as speed trumped power and Etihad proved simply too much for Hammers to handle.

Over 20 supporters cheered Etihad on from the sideline, singing, chanting and waving Saudi Arabian flags. The players, a group of young Arab students spread out at several univeristies in Melbourne clearly benefitted from the support, and were quick to address the crowd with each ball that founds its way to the back of the net.

With a 3-0 lead at half-time Etihad looked comfortable going in to the second half. A quick goal by Hasan Aljubran increasing the lead to 4-0 only a minute into the half helped their confidence grow even further.

Hammers never gave up, even after letting in a fifth and sixth goal, and kept fighting to the final whistle. They managed to get a consolation goal late in the half, but from first whistle to last there was never any real doubt as to who the winners were going to be.

Etihad players celebrate with their fans after becoming Deakin YMCA Grade A Indor Soccer champions.

As the final whistle went the Arabian cheer squad stormed the pitch and celebrated with the players, throwing them up in the air. Etihad had claimed a convincing 6-1 victory, and could lift the trophy as the new Deakin YMCA Grade A Indoor Soccer Champions.

Runners-up Hammers finished first in the league, but admitted they were beaten by a better team in the final.

Hammers deserve praise for their fighting spirit, and will get a chance to their revenge on Etihad when a new competition starts in Trimester 2.

by Michael Sones

The recent attack on two Chinese students highlights the racial and cultural difficulties Chinese immigrants face in Australia.

Kristy Zhou, a twenty-seven year-old student from Hubei province in China, has faced many instances of both subtle and overt racism that have left her feeling frustrated and alienated. Despite living in Australia for three years she says, “I realise I’m not seen as Australian here.” 

A 2011 report by Monash University found that fourteen per cent of Australians have experienced racism, a sharp increase from ten percent in 2010.

Racism has also caused Kristy to leave two separate positions of employment, one working at a charity and another as a barista. ”It was the first time I dealt with Australians other than family,” she said, “and I didn’t know how to deal with that. It wasn’t something I expected.”

Before coming to Australia Kristy knew very little about the nation beyond the Gold Coast, and said there’s not much said about the Australian national identity where she’s from.

Kristy mentioned that students are forming groups and unions in an attempt to lessen incidents against them. She went on to say that they shouldn’t have to and hopefully won’t have to in the future. She believes cultural difficulties are the stem of most issues, and education is needed to prevent attacks and misunderstandings.

Despite feeling more wary of others she hasn’t stopped wanting to associate with Australians and is still excited to live in Australia.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has recently held public consultation around Australia in an attempt to establish a national strategy for tackling racism. It is expected to launch its strategy during July 2012.

Click to listen to some of the Interview.


How do students deal with the stress of student life?

Students or workers by Catherine Shelley

Posted: October 17, 2011 by Ethical Martini in Deakin University, Education
Tags: , ,

Is student life really ‘the easy life’ that older generations think? Stories based around a little Italian restaurant that show the trends in university lifestyle are changing.

Tim Simpson looks at staff and students who are unhappy with Deakin’s parking for 2012 and the state of parking currently. No free car parking, no red permit zones and an increase in overall parking fees. No way.