Lot's Wife Edition 7 2015

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Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong><br />


ISSUE SEVEN - <strong>2015</strong>

What’s more<br />

brilliant then a<br />

Monash degree?<br />

Writing for Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>!<br />

We’ll publish anyone.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> is a student-run<br />

publication, written by people<br />

just like you.<br />

If you’re a writer, artist, cartoonist,<br />

illustrator, or just a plain-old narcissist,<br />

we want to publish you! (First timers welcome)<br />

Drop by the Lot’s Office on the 1st<br />

floor of Campus Center, or send an<br />

email to: msa-lotswife@monash.edu

Infinite Parking<br />

Cover Artwork by<br />

Miss Terry & Guy Incognito<br />

Parking at Monash has been a major issue since before the<br />

fall of the Berlin Wall. The University has always struggled<br />

with balancing the need for space (because 6 residential<br />

halls apparently isn’t enough) with the need for parking<br />

spaces (because heaven forbid public transport be useful).<br />

This striking photo of the N1 carpark (taken by Miss Terry)<br />

was inspired by the news that it was going to be expanded<br />

by an additional 4 floors by the end of this year. As the total<br />

land area on Clayton campus is reduced, while demand to<br />

for parking rises, it’s a logical conclusion that parking will<br />

become more and more vertical.<br />

The rainbow stained-glass effect (done by Guy Incognito)<br />

was inspired by mucking about in Photoshop. He’s not that<br />


Editors<br />

Bill Molloy<br />

Claire Rowe<br />

Jarrod Verity<br />

Design<br />

Danielle Natividad<br />

Timothy Newport<br />

Politics<br />

Bree Guthrie<br />

Hareesh Makam<br />

Kirsti Weisz<br />

Tom Clelland<br />

Student Affairs<br />

Julia Pillai<br />

Kristin Robertson<br />

Rosie Boyle<br />

Science & Engineering<br />

Alisoun Townsend<br />

Kathy Zhang<br />

Arts & Culture<br />

Emily Neilsen<br />

Kelly Pigram<br />

Lisa Healy<br />

Photography<br />

Carina Florea<br />

© Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> <strong>2015</strong>, Monash University Clayton, Victoria<br />

As you read this paper you are on Aboriginal land.<br />

We at Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> recognise the Wurundjeri and Boon<br />

Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nations as the historical<br />

and rightful owners and custodians of the lands and<br />

waters on which this newspaper is produced. The land<br />

was stolen and sovereignty was never ceded.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> condemns and will not publish any material<br />

that is racist, sexist, queerphobic, ableist, or discriminatory<br />

in any nature. The views expressed herein are<br />

those of the attributed writers and do not necessarily<br />

reflect the views of the editors or the MSA. All writing<br />

and artwork remains the property of the producers and<br />

must not be reproduced without their written consent.<br />

Contents<br />

3<br />

Editorial<br />

4<br />

OB Reports<br />

Politics<br />

8<br />

Amnesty<br />

10<br />

Two Simple Words<br />

11<br />

Trial by Twitter<br />

12<br />

500 Word Challenge<br />

13<br />

Playing the Trump Card<br />

14<br />

How sexism saved lesbians<br />

16<br />

Playing the Trump Card<br />

Student Affairs<br />

18<br />

An Aussie Bloke in<br />

Bergen<br />

20<br />

Constitutional<br />

Recognition of<br />

Indigenous Australians<br />

22<br />

WinterFest Reviews<br />

23<br />

Parking on Campus<br />

25<br />

Wholefoods Demolition<br />

26<br />

How to Survive Student<br />

Elections<br />

Science & Engineering<br />

28<br />

Conservation Conversation<br />

29<br />

What’s Up Doc?<br />

30<br />

New target prompts new<br />

challenges<br />

31<br />

Puzzles<br />

32<br />

World Record Stargazing<br />

33<br />

Internships<br />

34<br />

Personality Traits<br />

36<br />

Event Schedule<br />

Arts & Culture<br />

38<br />

Etymology of Emoji<br />

40<br />

Where does your food come<br />

from?<br />

41<br />

When you go to Asia<br />

42<br />

Step inside The Ministry<br />

43<br />

The Ashley Madison Hack is<br />

no one’s victory<br />

44<br />

Gig Guide<br />

46<br />

TV Junkies and Junk TV<br />

47<br />

Art Showcase


Editorial<br />

University life is rarely unpredictable; semesters begin<br />

calmly with refreshed ambitions for academic excellence<br />

and typically end in a bit of stress and anticipation for<br />

holidays. Here is a detailing of what you can expect from the<br />

coming weeks.<br />


By this point, class sizes have significantly dropped down<br />

to 15 percent with the other 85 percent not to be seen for<br />

another month or so. Those savvy enough to have dropped<br />

out of the more mundane units before the census date are<br />

now the envy of the entire faculty. Perhaps now is a safe time<br />

to sit in on first year Television Studies (ATS1304) or Extreme<br />

Earth! Natural hazards and human vulnerability (ATS1310),<br />

or some other unit you actually wanted to take but was too<br />

embarrassed for it to pop up on your transcript.<br />

It’ll probably be during this week that the oral presentation<br />

you were assigned in week one hits you. Back at the start of<br />

the semester when everyone was being allocated their weeks<br />

for presentation, week eight felt like ages ("two months,<br />

easy I’ll work it out by then"), but somehow that time slipped<br />

by so quickly and now you’re feeling a bit silly in front of a<br />

powerpoint staring at 15 or so vacant looking students.<br />


That annoying week when all those mini Bill Shortens and<br />

Sarah Hanson-Youngs litter campus centre talking to you<br />

about the 601 bus or ‘how it’s time for a change’. Your mum’s<br />

sandwiches may be average but FOR GOD’S SAKE, take them<br />

because the 10 dollar focaccia at Coffee Wise is not an option<br />

this week. If you’re one of those few students still attending<br />

lectures at this point in the semester, cease your good<br />

habits; your lectures will all be ‘bashed’ by some aspiring<br />

candidate that will most definitely piss off your lecturer.<br />

Week nine also marks the beginning of major assessment<br />

time. This is when those exorbitantly weighted assignments<br />

are expected and you find yourself going back to the<br />

referencing guide you downloaded in first year to remember<br />

the difference between Harvard and Chicago style<br />

bibliographies.<br />


The long-overdue mid-semester break finally arrives three<br />

quarters into the semester. This presents the perfect<br />

opportunity to listen to all the lectures you’ve been skipping,<br />

get started on that major assignment that was due in week<br />

six, and most importantly - binge watch season two of True<br />

Detective on Netflix. By the end of this week you’ll feel about<br />

the same as you did after you finished year 12: a little too<br />

good about life and completely unprepared for the future.<br />

The only difference is unlike when you were 18 and had a few<br />

months or living in your alternative reality, the future will<br />

smack you hard in the face by the following week.<br />

You might make a time somewhere during this week to<br />

visit your parents where, over a nice cup of tea and a tim tam,<br />

you tell them about all of the amazing, groundbreaking, work<br />

you’ve done so far in the semester. They’ll heap praise on<br />

you and how you’ve done such great work since high school.<br />

You’ll sit, take a bite of your 6th tim tam and silently nod in<br />

agreement.<br />

WEEK TEN<br />

When people begin to stand around the outside of Matheson<br />

and talk about "how much work I have to do" or "how I’m<br />

so stressed right now". The irony is that despite being<br />

supposedly busy, these people rarely make it past the steps<br />

into the actual library and generally go to the Den instead<br />

and continue to feel stressed.<br />

For those of you still unphased by the impending exam<br />

period, week ten is also the time for you to catch up with the<br />

one person in your tute whose name you have learned and<br />

make awkward small talk about what you did over the break.<br />

Of course, it’s during these four weeks that Issue 7 of Lot’s<br />

<strong>Wife</strong> will be on the stands. This issue, Elspeth Kernebone<br />

presents the pitfalls in the parking plan, Emma Simpkin<br />

examines the etymology of emoji, and Henry Kerstens details<br />

the dizzying debacle that is Donald Trump. So find an empty<br />

lecture theatre and settle in so you can read Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> in peace.

4<br />


OB Reports<br />

President<br />

Sinead Colee<br />

Report not submitted<br />

Secretary<br />

Daniel King<br />

Report not submitted<br />

Treasurer<br />

Abby Stapleton<br />

Over the past month I attended education conference, run<br />

by the national union of students. This year the conference<br />

was in Sydney hosted by the University of New South Wales.<br />

During the week I attended an array of workshops beneficial<br />

to my role as treasurer. Much of the conference was spent<br />

planning for the upcoming national day of action on August<br />

19th. The conference involved a lot of skill sharing and<br />

provided a great opportunity to meet other activists from<br />

different states and universities. There were a number<br />

of notable speakers who presented to NUS; I particularly<br />

enjoyed Luke Hilakari’s presentation on how to run an<br />

effective campaign.<br />

Education (Academic Affairs)<br />

Amelia Veronese<br />

Hey all!<br />

I hope Semester 2 is treating you well. As it’s getting to<br />

that stage where assignments are piling up and exams<br />

are approaching, it’s important that if you have any<br />

concerns, you want a contest a mark, are unhappy with<br />

your tutor/lecturer or not coping well that you please<br />

make an appointment with MSA Student Rights at msastudentrights@monash.edu,<br />

they will help you out!<br />

Recently, I have begun an online campaign, ‘We need<br />

Feedback about your Feedback!’ This campaign aims to get<br />

student responses assessing the quality of feedback that<br />

they receive in their assignments. The MSA Student Rights<br />

Service and myself have become aware of many issues about<br />

students receiving very little feedback, no feedback at all or<br />

waiting too long to receive feedback. With these responses<br />

and analysing the Monash University Feedback policy, I will<br />

be presenting this information to the University so they and<br />

faculties can improve their policy on this.<br />

I have also been working on preparing the MSA Teaching<br />

Awards Night. Nominations for Semester 2 have just closed<br />

so thank you to everyone who nominated excellent teaching<br />

staff. We will be releasing the recipients who have won each<br />

of the awards soon, so stay tuned!<br />

Education (Public Affairs)<br />

Sarah Spivak & Mali Rea<br />

The National Day of Action on August 19th was a great<br />

success, with over 60 Monash students taking the bus<br />

with us to the State Library where we heard from NUS and<br />

the NTEU then went on a march and had a good yell! Our<br />

Bluestockings Week panel was also a success with 50<br />

students attending and the speakers all commenting that it<br />

was a great discussion. We also had a full house at the trivia<br />

night and a good time was had by all.<br />

For the rest of the semester we’ll be keeping an eye on<br />

Chris Pyne and his failing efforts to lobby cross benchers,<br />

helping out other MSA departments with their activism and<br />

doing some research into how the changes to undergraduate<br />

degrees in 2016 will affect current and future Monash<br />

students.<br />

As always, get in touch with us by liking our Facebook page<br />

‘MSA Education’ or emailing us at msa-education@monash.edu.<br />

Environment & Social Justice Officers<br />

Lauren Goldsmith & Rhyss Wyllie<br />

It’s a really exciting time to be engaged in environmental<br />

and social justice movements, with big wins happening all<br />

the time, such as the University of Warwick’s commitment<br />

to divest from the Fossil Fuel industry (Monash’s partner<br />

University), and the recent successes of the campaign to<br />

save the Great Barrier Reef from dredging.<br />

The Environment and Social Justice officers have been<br />

busy in planning on campus projects such as the Fossil Free<br />

Monash Trivia Night (September 3rd); a fun way to build<br />

momentum and celebrate the campaign generally. After<br />

engaging with the University administration, we want to<br />

show our strength in student support by a petition delivery<br />

set for week 11! Divestment workshops were also given by ESJ,<br />

in collaboration with the AYCC at the Torque conference (a<br />

global health education program).<br />

Planning is also underway for Environment and Social<br />

Justice week in Week 11, with workshops forums and other<br />

events in the works, covering topics including the ‘new/<br />

sharing economy’.<br />

Keen to get involved? As always, feel free to like ‘MSA<br />

Environment and Social Justice Collective’, and ‘Fossil Free<br />

Monash University’ on facebook for updates, or shoot us an<br />


OB REPORTS 5<br />

Queer Officers<br />

Viv Stewart & Jarvis Sparks<br />

Report not submitted<br />

Women’s Officers<br />

Ellen Flach & Sophie Vassallo<br />

Bluestockings week was a smashing success! Together<br />

with the MSA Education Public Affairs department and<br />

Monash branch of the NTEU we put on an excellent forum<br />

and trivia night. Thanks to Jeannie Rea, Celeste Liddle, Swati<br />

Parashar and Rae Frances for speaking at the forum, it was<br />

a great discussion about the representation of Women in<br />

tertiary curriculum and university more broadly. Two giant<br />

tampons also came to Monash to raise awareness and<br />

support for removing the GST on pads and tampons. We<br />

hope to see the tax being removed soon! Planning is now in<br />

full swing for Women’s Week (week 10) so keep a look out<br />

for those events coming soon. As always we have our weekly<br />

events: Discussion Group on Wednesdays 1:30-3:30 in the<br />

Women’s Lounge and the Women of Colour only Discussion<br />

Group on Tuesdays 1:00-3:00 in the Women’s Lounge. You can<br />

get in touch via msa-womens@monash.edu or swing by the<br />

office on Level 1 of the Campus Centre.<br />

Disabilities and Carers Officer<br />

Andrew Day & Adrienne Bicknell<br />

August already? That certainly came around all too quickly.<br />

Hopefully you’ve been around to one of our weekly morning<br />

teas on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays (we like to mix<br />

things up here). We’ve been so happy to meet new people and<br />

fulfil our mission of feeding some hungry students.<br />

We’ve commenced a working group with university<br />

administration on our Equal Access proposal and are<br />

now exploring ways that the university can better ensure<br />

essential content makes it to students who are vulnerable to<br />

missing classes for disability or carer related issues – more<br />

to come soon hopefully!<br />

And finally we’ve had our "How to be a better Ally"<br />

pamphlets come in – they’re a great little resource for people<br />

to use to get their head around the basics of how to be a good<br />

ally to carers or people with disability so check them out!<br />

Welfare Officers<br />

Rebecca Adams & Jesse Cameron<br />

Welfare has been extreeemely busy these past few weeks!<br />

We ran a successful welfare week and many people joined<br />

in our free fitness classes, free cooking and growing food<br />

workshops, free food, a housing co-op info session, and the<br />

much anticipated Misfits Ball! It was so heart-warming for<br />

your welfare obs to see you guys getting involved!<br />

Come along to any of our normal activities,,, Free Food<br />

Mondays, free weekly yoga classes, our Survival Centre, and<br />

come chat to us if you need any help with anything or advice.<br />

Activities Officers<br />

Tahnee Burgess & Jake Krelle<br />

Hey guys!<br />

Buckle up for the rest of semester with Activities! Comedy,<br />

Oktoberfest and on-campus activities heading your way<br />

we’ve got you covered for a lot of fun with a lot of fun people.<br />

The cold weather hasn’t slowed down hump day and we’ll<br />

continue to be feeding hungry students every Wednesday at<br />

12 so don’t forget to come down and enjoy a snag, hash brown<br />

or veggie patty on us! Shout out to the Welfare department<br />

for the success of Misfits ball in week 5 very impressed with<br />

the atmosphere of the event and look forward to the events<br />

other MSA departments will be running for the remainder of<br />

the year!

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Monash Student Association<br />

Student Rights<br />

When things go wrong...<br />

Level 1, Campus Centre<br />

(Next to MSA Reception)<br />

21 Chancellors Walk<br />

msa.monash.edu/studentrights<br />

• Unit Failure (Exclusion)<br />

• Discipline<br />

• Grievance<br />

• Special Consideration<br />

...and you need to understand your options.

7 7<br />


Politics<br />


Articles by<br />

Julia Pillai<br />

Tom Clelland<br />

Kirsti Weisz<br />

Matthew Edwards<br />

Luke James<br />

Cassie Spry<br />

Henry Kerstens

8<br />



Discussing Sex Work<br />

Amnesty International has passed a motion to push for full<br />

decriminalisation of sex work. As explained by Catherine<br />

Murphy, policy advisor of Amnesty International:<br />

"Amnesty International has a responsibility to assess<br />

how best to prevent human rights violations. As such,<br />

it is right and fitting that we should look at one of the<br />

most disadvantaged groups of people in the world, often<br />

forced to live outside the law and denied their most basic<br />

human rights: sex workers.<br />

We have chosen to advocate for the decriminalization<br />

of all aspects of consensual adult sex - sex work that<br />

does not involve coercion, exploitation or abuse. This<br />

is based on evidence and the real-life experience of sex<br />

workers themselves that criminalization makes them<br />

less safe."<br />

This has been controversial step, as celebrities such as<br />

Lena Dunham, Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep have spoken<br />

out against this new policy from Amnesty; signing and<br />

endorsing a Change.org petition from Coalition Against<br />

Trafficking in Women International (CATW) titled "Vote NO to<br />

Decriminalizing Pimps, Brothel Owners, and Buyers of Sex".<br />

In this petition declares that CATW "...firmly believes and agrees<br />

with Amnesty that human beings bought and sold in the sex trade,<br />

who are mostly women, must not be criminalized in any jurisdiction<br />

by law enforcement or governments. However, what Amnesty’s "Draft<br />

Policy on Sex Work" proposes is in violation of long established<br />

human rights principles, and women’s rights in particular, including<br />

the right to live a life free of violence and with dignity."<br />

Currently in Victoria street sex work is illegal and heavily<br />

policed. Private escorts need to be registered by the Business<br />

Licencing Authority, escort agencies and brothels are legal,<br />

and are are defined as any venue that facilitates sex works.<br />

Agencies and brothels must also be registered with the BLA.<br />

There is little regulation on webcam based sex work.<br />

I spoke to social work masters student Annette Pritchard<br />

and sex worker Mikki* about their thoughts on Amnesty<br />

International’s new policy.<br />

"There are many<br />

misconceptions about sex<br />

work; it’s a much broader<br />

industry than the stereotype."<br />

Amnesty international has passed a policy that calls<br />

for decriminalisation of sex work. Is this a step in the<br />

right direction? Are there areas of this policy that are<br />

problematic, or are based on misconceptions about sex<br />

work?<br />

Annette Pritchard: This is a great step. There are many<br />

misconceptions about sex work; it’s a much broader industry<br />

than the stereotype. Trafficked women are victims and<br />

should not be charged with their captors crimes.<br />

Mikki: Decriminalisation is the only legal system<br />

that protects and supports sex workers. The Amnesty<br />

International policy is a huge step forward in acknowledging<br />

that criminal laws are ineffective and dangerous in governing<br />

sex work. Self regulation within the industry creates far less<br />

exclusive systems and allow legal systems to protect all sex<br />

workers. That said, the policy continues to encourage police<br />

intervention for underage workers, which remains dangerous<br />

and fails to provide safe alternatives but instead focuses<br />

on punishing young sex workers, even if that punishment is<br />

indirect.<br />

Celebrities have spoken out against this policy. Are their<br />

arguments misguided? If so, how?<br />

AP: Yes they are misguided and they don’t take into<br />

account societal structural reasons why sex work is entered<br />

into or why its services are sort.<br />

M: Celebrities’ responses to the Amnesty International are<br />

entirely misguided. Sex workers are the most effective group<br />

in fighting against sex trafficking; providing legal protections<br />

and the ability to unionise will do more to protect trafficking<br />

victims than criminalisation ever could. The needs of sex<br />

workers and trafficking victims are not opposites- neither<br />

group want those we work alongside and those who support<br />

us criminalised. Criminalisation of clients only lends itself to<br />

statist violence and increased violence within the industry by<br />

forcing it underground.<br />

What are some of the more prevalent misconceptions<br />

people have about sex workers? How do social workers cut<br />

through these misconceptions?<br />

AP: I think people don’t see that there are a lot of complex<br />

issues that affect the situation of sex workers. For instance,<br />

how much choice, if any, that they may or may not have in

POLITICS 9<br />

"There is a dogma around the sex industry that forces<br />

workers further underground, thereby creating a system<br />

within which we become acceptable targets for violence.<br />

Many view my participation in sex work as either about<br />

empowerment or victimhood; the reality is that it is a<br />

survival mechanism."<br />

entering, performing, or leaving sex work as individuals.<br />

There are some situations where sex workers have no choice<br />

such as trafficked workers, but other sex workers may have<br />

a great deal of choice in their decision to enter the industry.<br />

There are a lot of financial barriers women in particular face<br />

that mean sex work can often be the only option to get by,<br />

even if its not their ideal choice. Flexible part-time work that<br />

fits around child rearing mothers who predominantly parent<br />

in our society, that actually pay enough to cover the cost of<br />

living are rare; Centre-link doesn’t always cut it either, so in<br />

this situation sex work may be the most viable option.<br />

M: There is a dogma around the sex industry that forces<br />

workers further underground, thereby creating a system<br />

within which we become acceptable targets for violence.<br />

Many view my participation in sex work as either about<br />

empowerment or victimhood; the reality is that it is a<br />

survival mechanism. Neither rescue from or education about<br />

the industry can substitute my income, and continuing to<br />

refuse to take sex workers seriously only makes it harder to<br />

organise against employers that do exploit us.<br />

What do you want to see change in policies around sex<br />

work? How will these changes help sex workers?<br />

AP: Let’s start talking about the customers and having<br />

policy that regulates safety and working conditions for<br />

workers.<br />

M: All criminal laws governing sex work need to be<br />

removed. Licensing systems that out sex workers and<br />

place them at risk do not regulate the industry, but merely<br />

stigmatise and criminalise it.<br />

sex workers in order to ‘catch’ johns. It contributes to the<br />

stigma around our work, and removes clients who do intend<br />

to respect the law, which leaves only clients that are more<br />

dangerous. It does not provide alternative work opportunities,<br />

and criminalises workers who choose to work together<br />

for safety. The Nordic Model poses nothing but danger to<br />

sex workers, and does nothing to decrease trafficking. All<br />

legal models criminalise coercion and trafficking- but<br />

decriminalisation is the only model that provides recourse<br />

for all victims of it.<br />

Final thoughts?<br />

AP: Not all women need to be rescued from sex work. Many<br />

people have had a sex industry chapter in their lives. We<br />

need to break the stigma and focus on societal structures<br />

that put women at a financial disadvantage and quit<br />

punishing them for it. We also need to make it easier for<br />

those who do need help to get out of the industry by making<br />

it realistic for women who are being enslaved, mistreated<br />

by managers or raped by clients to speak out and get help.<br />

We need to be looking at how society can offer viable and<br />

realistic financial alternatives to entering the industry in the<br />

first place.<br />

M: Decriminalisation is the best legal model to support sex<br />

workers, but it only defines the law. Under decriminalisation,<br />

sex workers will have the ability to organise and work on destigmatisation<br />

of the industry. It is important to remember,<br />

though, that the journey does not end with the law.<br />

Many sex workers are against the Nordic Model; a model<br />

that decriminalises selling sex work, but criminalises<br />

clients. What are your thoughts on the Nordic Model?<br />

AP: I think it is definitely worth talking about. In every other<br />

industry we have consumer laws to protect both customers<br />

and vendors. We don’t have that when it comes to sex work<br />

in Australia. There are many reasons customers seek sex<br />

work services. Not all are the stereotype of cheating, raping,<br />

misogynistic dicks, but it’s too easy to be that currently.<br />

M: The Nordic Model continues to treat our work as<br />

criminal activity. It allows police, the biggest perpetrators<br />

of violence against us, to continue to harass and stalk<br />

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

10<br />



Two simple words<br />

A couple of years ago I was watching a press conference<br />

of then Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison. There I was,<br />

slumped in a deep malaise of disinterest, when the man said<br />

something that grabbed my attention. Even as I type these<br />

words, I am surprised at myself; I would generally be the<br />

last person to accuse Mr. Morrison of being even remotely<br />

interesting. However, his response to having been asked a<br />

relatively direct and clear question about boat turn-backs<br />

made me sit up and take notice. And yea, he spoke thusly:<br />

"That goes to operational matters that, whether they affect<br />

current or future operational activity, you will not be getting<br />

commentary from this podium or that podium either way on<br />

those matters." The passage of this remark through the room<br />

left many, including the offending journalist, nonplussed. I<br />

sat watching the exchange, incredulous. Surely that’s against<br />

the rules! You can’t just say that you’re no longer going<br />

to answer questions about a key election promise! That’s<br />

cheating! But say it he did, and, more amazingly, he got<br />

away without answering the question. Though I didn’t know<br />

it at the time, I had just experienced my first taste of the<br />

‘operational matters’ era of the Abbott government.<br />

There are many factors that constrain and govern the<br />

behaviour of those we elect to power; laws governing<br />

corruption, ideological positions, and individual morality<br />

among them. One of the subtlest of these factors, however, is<br />

adherence to political norms that exist within our society. For<br />

instance, it would traditionally be considered to be a breach<br />

of a political norm to renege on an election promise, with the<br />

result that the party in breach of the norm would ideally be<br />

held accountable to the electorate (i.e. voted out of office). We<br />

all either consciously or intuitively understand the concept<br />

of norms, and political parties and officials generally refrain<br />

from violating them, which brings us to our present situation.<br />

I would argue that it would generally be considered a political<br />

norm to, as an elected official, respond to relevant questions<br />

from the media at an event such as a press conference.<br />

Nothing particularly revolutionary there, right? Well, imagine<br />

a situation where you, as an elected official, are about to be<br />

asked some sticky questions at a press conference about<br />

some dirty laundry that you do not particularly want aired. It<br />

would seem that you have two choices; answer the questions<br />

honestly, with all that entails, or lie, right? Well, it seems<br />

that the Abbott government has decided that there is a third<br />

option.<br />

You can almost imagine the meeting that spawned the<br />

‘operational matters’ moniker; the idea would have been<br />

scorned at first, until someone decided that it might just<br />

"The ‘operational matters’<br />

saga has significance in a<br />

wider sense; it shows that it<br />

is in fact possible to change<br />

the rules of the game."<br />

be a harebrained-enough scheme to work. The new policy<br />

underwent its first real trial by fire in early 2014, when a<br />

somewhat clumsy naval vessel caused an international<br />

incident by allegedly straying into Indonesian waters. Once<br />

it became clear that the incident had, in fact, occurred, both<br />

Angus Campbell (military commander of Operation Sovereign<br />

Borders) and Scott Morrison flat out refused to discuss the<br />

details. I know what you’re thinking; surely this is where the<br />

supremely ridiculous policy crumbles to dust in the face of<br />

titanic media pressure. Well, somehow the ‘I’m not going to<br />

answer that because that is about an area that I don’t want<br />

to talk about’ approach survived the herculean test. In fact,<br />

the ‘operational matters’ era continues unabated. In June<br />

this year, Tony Abbott once again used the phrase to avoid<br />

answering questions on radio network 3AW about allegations<br />

that Australian border officials had bribed people smugglers.<br />

Despite the increasing media furor, the line once again<br />

carried the day.<br />

Whatever your opinion on the policy, there is undoubtedly<br />

something to learn here about the mechanics and nature<br />

of our political system. The ‘operational matters’ saga has<br />

significance in a wider sense; it shows that it is in fact<br />

possible to change the rules of the game. It is demonstrably<br />

possible to alter the political norms of expected behaviour<br />

in a way that renders previously unthinkable conduct<br />

somewhat acceptable. The longer this narrative continues,<br />

the harder it will be to displace it; we are at risk of developing<br />

a new universal norm that allows those that we elect to<br />

office to simply refuse to answer questions that are inimical<br />

to their interests. Whatever your political alignment, there<br />

seems to be something profoundly undemocratic in allowing<br />

political parties and officials to operate in a way that is not<br />

accountable to the media, and by extension the electorate.<br />

I am willing to admit, however, that my concerns may be<br />

old-fashioned, and, given a few years, it will perhaps be<br />

acceptable behaviour on the part of politicians to simply<br />

send a sticky-note saying ‘no comment’ to press conferences.

POLITICS 11<br />

Trial by<br />

Twitter:<br />

How online vigilantes<br />

can shatter lives<br />


Think of social media – particularly Twitter – as a courtroom.<br />

The jury is us, the average citizen, but we are also the lawyers<br />

and the judge. We raise our argument and not only decide<br />

who is guilty or innocent, but we can influence the sentence.<br />

In this courtroom, however, the formalities are stripped away,<br />

not just the formal dress-code and the legal jargon but the<br />

rules and procedures that have been developed to keep the<br />

process as balanced as possible.<br />

This is where Jonah Lehrer, a science writer and journalist,<br />

was punished and "drenched in shame and regret." Lehrer<br />

was shamed in 2012 when a freelance journalist accused him<br />

of making up and misattributing quotes about Bob Dylan in<br />

his best-selling book Imagine: How Creativity Works. When he<br />

admitted to falsifying quotes and apologised live, a screen<br />

played Twitter posts behind him that were degrading and<br />

scolding.<br />

Journalist and author Jon Ronson recently published a new<br />

book titled So you’ve been publicly shamed where he describes<br />

how Lehrer’s apology played out like a courtroom drama.<br />

Ronson says the people chose their roles and opted for "the<br />

hanging judge."<br />

Lehrer is just one of the many victims of public shaming<br />

Ronson interviewed for his book, which details the rise of<br />

culture shaming and the virtual mob. Originally, Ronson<br />

admired the power of social media and its ability to<br />

"democratise justice" but he now takes a different view.<br />

"Social media gave a voice to the voiceless people, so I think<br />

it’s a sad irony that a way to survive social media now is to go<br />

back to being voiceless," he says.<br />

The issue lies in proportionality. Shaming is not necessarily<br />

wrong but the lack of rules and an ‘off switch’ makes it lethal.<br />

It also comes in many forms, from fat shaming and skinny<br />

shaming to being shamed based on your beliefs or political<br />

opinions. One of the latest victims of body shaming was Iggy<br />

Azalea, a 24 year old singer who returned from a vacation<br />

and found nasty comments about her body. This led her to<br />

quit social media but the repercussions were arguably more<br />

trivial compared to other victims who may have made an<br />

innocent mistake or a badly worded joke which derailed their<br />

careers and lives. A frightening reality is that four people this<br />

year have taken their lives due to public shaming, according<br />

to Ronson.<br />

Ronson’s book aims to attack disproportionate<br />

punishments where minor transgressions, or in Lehrer’s<br />

case, rather serious ones, are punished out of proportion.<br />

Public humiliation as a punishment isn’t a recent<br />

phenomenon and has been a cultural practice for centuries.<br />

Stoning, branding, public hangings and witch trials prove<br />

this. Ronson says in his book that public punishment was<br />

phased out because it was viewed as far too brutal and<br />

appalling. Online shaming is the revival of this form of<br />

punishment and while it doesn’t necessarily lead to physical<br />

violence, it has a wider audience and a permanent effect<br />

that’s almost just as damaging.<br />

Threats of rape, death, physical violence and<br />

unemployment canvass some of the more serious cases that<br />

have taken place. It is not often discussed, but the attacks<br />

and their effect can be interpreted as violating human rights<br />

such as the right to dignity and right against cruel, inhuman<br />

or degrading punishment.<br />

Writer and media strategist Cole Stryker says that<br />

"considered through a historical lens, public shaming begins<br />

to look like a tool designed not to humanely punish the perp<br />

but rather to satisfy the crowd."<br />

There’s a sad irony in that the people doing the shaming<br />

often feel they are doing the right thing and serving social<br />

justice but in reality amateur law enforcers and vigilantes are<br />

dangerous. The degree of anonymity provided by social media<br />

makes this policing unaccountable and unrestricted in the<br />

damage it can cause.<br />

At the same time, there are benefits to using shaming as<br />

a punishment. Walter Palmer, the US dentist who shot and<br />

killed Cecil the lion, and Mark Latham highlight how social<br />

media can be a reasonable platform for some kind of moral<br />

punishment.<br />

Social media can be a tool for justice, it can cause inner<br />

reflection and illustrate the behaviour society enshrines<br />

but it can also be a weapon. A weapon that can rip apart<br />

someone’s life, marginalise them from society and leave<br />

them beyond repair.<br />

We may root for the vigilantes on TV shows or in movies<br />

but the vilification and harassment taking place on social<br />

media destroys the lives of people to unfair proportions. This<br />

courtroom set up by social media supersedes the realms of<br />

justice and fairness it ironically claims to pursue. As Ronson<br />

said in a recent talk in Melbourne, "can you think of anything<br />

less judicial than this?"<br />

Illustration by Amirul Nasir @kingrool

12<br />


500 Word Challenge<br />


For<br />

Australians smoke weed more than they take any other illicit<br />

drug. The 2004 National Drug Strategy Household Survey<br />

report found one in 3 Australians aged 14 years and over<br />

had used marijuana at least once, with more than half a<br />

million indicating use in the last 12 months. Sixty thousand<br />

Australians are arrested every year for possessing or using<br />

cannabis, accounting for around 60 per cent of all drugrelated<br />

arrests.<br />

But marijuana is illegal, isn’t it? Yes and no. It’s against<br />

the law to use, own, cultivate, or sell cannabis in Australia,<br />

but the penalties for cannabis offences are different for each<br />

state and territory. Because what sensible system based on<br />

scientific fact and harm minimisation wouldn’t have seven<br />

different sets of consequences for the same offence?<br />

Some jurisdictions have already decriminalised minor<br />

cannabis offences, like South Australia, the Australian<br />

Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory. These minor<br />

offences include possession of small amounts for personal<br />

use, and can be dealt with as a civil penalty, similar to<br />

speeding.<br />

Like most countries, Australia started banning illicit<br />

drugs more than half a century ago. In 1971, US President<br />

Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs", increasing the size<br />

and scope of federal drug control agencies, and pushing<br />

mandatory sentencing. The laws have changed over the<br />

years, but some politicians are still obsessed with ‘fighting<br />

the good fight’ against drugs ever since; our own Tony Abbott<br />

has claimed Australia is caught in an "ice epidemic", and has<br />

created a campaign of fear around the substance.<br />

There is no good estimate for the cost of arresting 60,000<br />

people, processing these arrests, and punishing the offender,<br />

every year. But I’m sure it would not be cheap. It’s not a<br />

stretch to imagine how much time and money it would<br />

save law enforcement, and by extension, the taxpayers, if<br />

marijuana was decriminalised.<br />

Furthermore, legal marijuana might actually make money.<br />

Not only would the government save on law enforcement,<br />

but with safe and proper regulation of marijuana supply and<br />

sale, we could see the introduction of marijuana stores like<br />

Legalise it<br />

"It’s not a stretch to imagine<br />

how much time and money it<br />

would save law enforcement,<br />

and by extension, the<br />

taxpayers, if marijuana was<br />

decriminalised."<br />

those in Colorado, one of the US states that recently legalised<br />

the drug. The money made from taxing marijuana alone<br />

could resolve Australia’s federal budget. Dank kush could<br />

make some dank cash.<br />

The fundamental problem with the "war on drugs",<br />

especially in regards to marijuana, is that it focuses not<br />

enough on regulation, and too much on the drug itself. The<br />

government prohibits and creates fear surrounding the drug<br />

– the fear that "we" will become like "them": the drug addicts.<br />

We’ll destroy our families, we’ll destroy our community. This<br />

is wrong.<br />

Marijuana is often described as a gateway drug, meaning<br />

it could potentially lead to more harmful substances. The<br />

fact is, marijuana is one of the least harmful drugs available<br />

– alcohol is a far more dangerous drug in the short-term and<br />

long-term, and is still legal.<br />

It’s time to get rid of the stigma around marijuana and<br />

just, like, chill out, man.

POLITICS 13<br />

This month’s issue:<br />

Legalising Marijuana<br />

Against<br />

Free Ganja<br />

BY luke james<br />

Marijuana plays second fiddle to only alcohol and tobacco<br />

when it comes to what people think of when the phrase<br />

"recreational drug" is mentioned in conversation. Let’s be<br />

honest, most of you reading this have either tried it, or plan<br />

on trying it at some point. But what if you didn’t need to get<br />

it off your mate who has a friend who knows a guy? What if,<br />

just like buying your first six pack, you could just get it over<br />

the counter? What if it was legalised?<br />

To explore this hypothetical why don’t we take the example<br />

of the first state in America where it actually was legalised<br />

– Colorado. In January 2014, Colorado became the first state<br />

to allow the sale of cannabis for recreational use to anyone<br />

aged 21 or older, and more than a year on, the effects of this<br />

move have begun to show. At least 14 Colorado children, aged<br />

three to seven, were sent to hospitals in the first half of 2014<br />

for accidentally ingesting marijuana products – as opposed<br />

to 4 in the last three years. Whilst this figure may seem a<br />

minute problem, it highlights a bigger issue surrounding<br />

legalisation, the way marijuana is perceived will change.<br />

Legalisation brings marijuana into the same realm as<br />

alcohol and tobacco, and hence the stigma surrounding it<br />

currently will vanish. Underage drinking and smoking runs<br />

rampant in our schools and universities, adding marijuana<br />

to that mix doesn’t sound like a genius idea to even the most<br />

liberal of policy makers. Marijuana is also, like tobacco and<br />

alcohol, a gateway drug to worse things – like cocaine and<br />

synthetic party drugs, which are, without question, very, very<br />

bad things. Legitimising marijuana, as anyone can intuitively<br />

perceive, simply widens the gateway to this next level of<br />

recreational drug use.<br />

But let’s forget that for a second, why don’t we look at<br />

this from a purely economic perspective? Arguments about<br />

legalizing marijuana tend to contain a lot of dollar signs.<br />

Proponents point to higher tax revenues, "pot tourism," and<br />

lower law enforcement costs. Fair enough, if it wasn’t illegal,<br />

there wouldn’t be any need to arrest someone for smoking a<br />

joint, and I know Amsterdam is a popular tourist destination,<br />

and that’s only partly due to the stunning architecture. As<br />

an economics student I am inclined to say - go ahead and<br />

"Legitimising marijuana,<br />

as anyone can intuitively<br />

perceive, simply widens the<br />

gateway to this next level of<br />

recreational drug use."<br />

legalize marijuana as long as the expected net benefit of<br />

doing so is positive, but before you go off thinking "yay!<br />

Economics says yes!" consider the flipside. Opponents’<br />

arguments against legalisation are just as strong, two of<br />

the major ones being that medical costs will go up, and<br />

workplace productivity will go down. This too, makes intuitive<br />

sense, as high people are clumsy people, just like like drunk<br />

people, and if Bradley Cooper had been smoking weed in<br />

"Limitless", that movie probably wouldn’t have been called<br />

that – for obvious reasons.<br />

So to legalise or not to legalise? I put the question to you,<br />

the reader, but before you answer let me leave you with a<br />

quote from the current governor of Colorado, a year on after<br />

his state voted in favour of legalisation – "If I could’ve waved<br />

a wand the day after the election, I would’ve reversed the<br />

election and said, this was a bad idea."

14<br />


BY cassie spry<br />

How Sexism Saved Lesbians<br />

From Boston marriages to Nazi Germany, throughout history,<br />

there have been instances where prejudice against women<br />

has helped lesbians and bisexual women.<br />

With a recent study showing reduced explicit and implicit<br />

bias against gays and lesbians in the last few years (despite<br />

the Australian marriage equality campaign hitting a road<br />

block) it’s interesting to look back on how far we have come.<br />

And one intriguing facet of this evaluation is how women who<br />

love women were often saved from some of the homophobia<br />

that gay men faced.<br />

The reason? Sexism. Who would have thought that it could<br />

have had its uses?<br />

Most people have heard the story of Queen Victoria<br />

refusing to ban lesbianism in 1885 because she did not think<br />

it existed. Many people believe that it is a myth, with some<br />

suggesting that Parliament did not want to draw women’s<br />

attention to the existence of lesbianism. Either way, it meant<br />

that lesbians were not persecuted in the same way that<br />

homosexual men were.<br />

Those 1885 amendments were so famous in their<br />

persecution of homosexual men that it became known as<br />

‘The Blackmailer’s Charter’ and was used to send Oscar Wilde<br />

to prison in 1895 with hundreds of other gay men following.<br />

However before this Charter, anal sex had been punishable by<br />

death since 1533.<br />

At the same time, it was common thought that women had<br />

no libido or sexual desire, but were simply passive players<br />

who had to dutifully endure sex solely for the creation of<br />

children.<br />

The idea of purity was obviously a harmful concept to<br />

women with the idea of virginity and slut-shaming still<br />

impacting women today. Hymen reconstruction surgery<br />

is currently in high demand, particularly in third world<br />

countries where virginity is still often a requirement for<br />

marriage.<br />

The unexpected upside to this damaging idea that only<br />

a man’s penis could affect the worth of a woman and that<br />

women never initiated (or enjoyed) sexual encounters<br />

themselves, was that two women could live together with<br />

people believing they were only close friends.<br />

This became known as a Boston Marriage. Two women<br />

could live together, even sleep in the same bed, and it<br />

was assumed that they were straight and would never do<br />

anything sexual with each other.<br />

Unfortunately, this was only an option for wealthy women<br />

– mainly those who had inherited money or those few who<br />

managed to have a career.<br />

These women often also faced some taunts and<br />

discrimination for being spinsters, but for some, it was worth<br />

it.<br />

Conservatives in pre-World War II Germany also believed<br />

in the passive role of women, considering them to be both<br />

inferior to and dependent on men.<br />

And, as lesbians could still fulfil their ‘duty’ of producing<br />

more Aryan children, they were still able to be as beneficial as<br />

a woman could be to Germany.<br />

During the Second World War, lesbians were persecuted by<br />

Nazis to a lesser extent than gay men. When they were sent<br />

to concentration camps, they generally were not imprisoned<br />

simply for their sexuality, but for being part of another<br />

targeted group also. They did not have to wear the pink<br />

triangle either, which was reserved for homosexual men.<br />

Legally, sexual acts between women were not against the<br />

law before or during the war, but the Nazi Party spend a lot<br />

of effort shutting down safe spaces for lesbians and lesbian<br />

media; such as the journal die Freundin (Girlfriend).<br />

Many lesbians married men in order to protect their safety<br />

or because Nazi restrictions of women’s careers meant they<br />

could not financially support themselves.<br />

Sexism – in this instance, the belief that women were less<br />

valuable than men – protected lesbians, as they were not<br />

hunted and killed to the same extent as homosexual men.<br />

In the Middle East where homosexuality is still punishable by<br />

death in many countries, there are still ways in which the law<br />

favours lesbians.<br />

In Iran, for example, male homosexuals face execution<br />

after only one conviction; whereas, lesbian sex is punishable<br />

by 100 lashes with the death penalty being imposed only after<br />

the fourth sentence.<br />

While the law is based on mainstream views, it also helps<br />

to maintain the status quo. It is much harder for queer people<br />

to gain acceptance when laws that are meant to protect you<br />

are used to persecute you.<br />

It was not until 1997 that homosexuality was<br />

decriminalised in the last Australian state. This meant that<br />

the law discriminated against queer people, which meant<br />

that people felt more justified in their own discriminatory<br />

beliefs and behaviours.<br />

While changing discriminatory laws won’t change a<br />

nation’s view overnight, it will help to alter popular mindset.<br />

In the West, there are many homophobes who hate gay men,<br />

but are fine with lesbians because they get turned on by girl<br />

on girl porn.<br />

While this may seem like a victory for lesbians who may

POLITICS 15<br />

"Sexism – in this instance, the belief that women were<br />

less valuable than men – protected lesbians, as they were<br />

not hunted and killed to the same extent as homosexual<br />

men.<br />

In the Middle East where homosexuality is still punishable<br />

by death in many countries, there are still ways in which<br />

the law favours lesbians."<br />

not have to face quite as many homophobic rants or slurs,<br />

the discrimination that queer women face is insidious.<br />

Female couples are yelled at to kiss and leered at if they<br />

display any sign of public affection. The importance of their<br />

relationships is often downplayed by people who assume<br />

that it is less significant because no men are involved.<br />

The fetishisation of queer women’s relationships is a huge<br />

issue in our society with lesbian porn being a huge industry.<br />

This spreads the sexist idea that has been around for<br />

centuries that women are passive in sexual relationships<br />

with everything being done for the man’s pleasure.<br />

In 2014, "lesbian" was the second most searched for term<br />

on Pornhub. While queer women also use this site and<br />

contributed to the statistics, it is a male-dominated website<br />

and thus it is predominantly males who make up lesbian<br />

porn watchers.<br />

We should not necessarily condemn anyone who enjoys<br />

girl/girl porn, but it is important to analyse the effect this has<br />

on queer women.<br />

In the past, queer women weren’t thought to exist or to<br />

matter because a man wasn’t present in the relationship;<br />

now, when two women kiss, it’s thought that they are trying<br />

to interest a man.<br />

And some straight women also buy into this idea. They<br />

believe that they should kiss a girl they are not attracted to in<br />

order to impress or turn on their boyfriend.<br />

While this is not the worst thing (experimenting with your<br />

sexuality definitely helps many people better understand<br />

themselves and their attractions), it does cheapen women’s<br />

relationships by encouraging the idea that women are meant<br />

to please men, even in relationships that do not involve them.<br />

Queer women experience sexism in a different way to straight<br />

women and experiences of homophobia are different for<br />

queer women and men. Sexism plays into the queerphobic<br />

discrimination faced by queer women and both forms<br />

of prejudice feed each other, strengthening the hatred,<br />

ignorance, and negative actions.<br />

In Australia, lesbian couples are much more likely to have<br />

children living with them (22%) than gay men (3%) with the<br />

children being from either previous relationships, adoption,<br />

IVF or other situations.<br />

However, it is still hard for same-sex couples to adopt, even<br />

in Australia (in Victoria, only heterosexual couples and single<br />

parents can adopt).<br />

Many gay parents look at international adoption, but sadly,<br />

they are often disqualified as being substandard parents.<br />

While these nations strongly believe women are innately<br />

nurturing mothers, they value the family structure more.<br />

So although sexism has had its benefits in helping lesbians<br />

in the past, it is not the way of the future.<br />

These sexist views hurt gay men by meaning they have<br />

often received the more violent forms of discrimination,<br />

and they hurt lesbians by popularising the belief that their<br />

relationships are not worth as much without any men.<br />

Hopefully with the recent study showing explicit bias against<br />

homosexuals falling 26% from 2006 to 2013, we can look<br />

forward to more acceptance for all queer people and an end<br />

to misogynistic ideas about lesbians.

16<br />


BY henry kerstens<br />

Playing the Trump Card<br />

If Netflix’s House of Cards taught me anything, it has taught<br />

me that American politics can be bought. Flexible campaignfunding<br />

regulations, an abundance of pliable candidates and<br />

an intoxicating cash-rules-everything attitude makes for<br />

the perfect breeding ground for money and power. Since the<br />

landmark case of Citizens United v FEC, corporate donations<br />

are now considered a legitimate expression of ‘free speech’<br />

under the First Amendment. It’s leveraged on both sides of<br />

the political playhouse (Obama’s presidential campaign cost<br />

just shy of $750 million), and promises to become only more<br />

endemic as the public and private sectors further align.<br />

In every way, Donald Trump’s recent presidential bid<br />

is this process taken to its logical conclusion. When the<br />

system allows for multinationals and their billionaire CEO’s<br />

to purchase political access, it is inevitable that someone<br />

would eventually stop paying the candidate and actually<br />

become one. It’s business after all, and the middlemen<br />

only add extra costs and increase margin for error. Now,<br />

this would be funny if it wasn’t scary. In a competitive<br />

Republican field this year containing five Governors, three<br />

Senators and a Neurosurgeon, ‘The Donald’ currently has<br />

overwhelming support from 24% of registered Republican<br />

voters. That’s more than second placed Jeb Bush (13%)<br />

and third placed Ben Carson (8%) combined, and equates<br />

to roughly 12 million American voters. By any political<br />

sensitivity, that’s a distressing amount of people backing<br />

the sometimes-businessman, mostly reality TV star and<br />

never-before politician into assuming leadership of the Free<br />

World. His ‘policies’ make it scarier. On tackling the divisive<br />

Mexican immigration issue, Trump proposes building a "big,<br />

beautiful, powerful wall" and deporting children born on U.S<br />

soil to undocumented parents back across it. On reviving<br />

the tattered economy, the man most well known for saying<br />

‘you’re fired!’ pledges to be - without further specification -<br />

"the greatest jobs president that God has ever created". And,<br />

on foreign affairs, Trump warned China - U.S’s second largest<br />

trading partner - that if he got in "the poor Chinese" would<br />

"be in trouble" because of how "they’re ripping [America] off".<br />

It’s a political campaign that Frank Underwood couldn’t even<br />

persuade you to get behind. Yet, even when it’s gift-wrapped<br />

in Trump’s shameless self-aggrandisement and dripping<br />

with corporate agendas, he’s somehow convinced one<br />

quarter of the Republican demographic that it’s the right way<br />

forward.<br />

Admittedly, our representatives aren’t always exemplars<br />

of the high-quality leadership expected from the democratic<br />

process and, in fact, are probably more often that not<br />

reminders of the Abbott-solute opposite. But, while our<br />

parliament does shelter the bombastic political ideologies<br />

of personalities like Palmer and Lambie, they’re generally<br />

relegated to the political fringe and rarely placed in the<br />

meaningful political spotlight. Their straight talk on hotbutton<br />

issues is similar to Trump in substance and delivery,<br />

but thankfully, distinct in terms of widespread public<br />

support and credibility. Although public disillusionment with<br />

our politicians feels as alive as ever, surely ‘Prime Minister’<br />

and ‘Palmer’ are two words that could only be used in the<br />

same sentence comically, and never politically straightfaced.<br />

It seems then that while our ‘worst’ says something about<br />

the reckless political periphery of our system, America’s<br />

implore that there is something deficient at the heart.<br />

Trump’s status as frontrunner exemplifies that when a<br />

system is jacked by unmitigated corporate congestion, name<br />

recognition and shock value can go so far in winning the<br />

race. What’s left behind are the politics. More than anything,<br />

this theme has plagued the presidential debates so far, with<br />

Obama even critical of it’s proceedings as not "conducive<br />

to good politics or good policy". Trump’s propensity for fear<br />

mongering, his reliance on ideological rhetoric and displays<br />

of tacky showmanship hollows the quality of political<br />

dialogue for the nation. When the playing field is injected<br />

with such venom, opponents are forced to consider, rebut<br />

and thus potentially validate positions that should have no<br />

place in the modern political landscape.<br />

That being said, most pundits will tell you that despite a<br />

convincing lead in the polls, Donald is just blowing his own<br />

Trumpet when he speaks of imminent presidential glory.<br />

Surely, for a man so susceptible to media gaffes the lengthy<br />

presidential battle presents too many opportunities for<br />

misadventure for him to survive.<br />

But, at least for now, Trump’s ascent demands the need<br />

for discussion: discussion of not just what is misguiding<br />

the priorities of American voters, but of how such priorities<br />

could devalue the political process so important in setting<br />

the standards for public debate in democratic countries.<br />

Trump, in every way you wouldn’t want to, indulges the House<br />

of Cards devotee in all of us. He reminds us not just of the<br />

depravity underpinning politics, but of Underwood’s own<br />

grave philosophy that although "power’s more important<br />

than money; when it comes to elections money gives power,<br />

well, a run for its money".<br />

Image courtesy of<br />


17<br />

Student Affairs<br />


Articles by<br />

David Jeffery<br />

MSA Indigenous Department<br />

Carina Florea, Jessie Crossman,<br />

Timothy Newport & Rosie Boyle<br />

Elspeth Kernebone<br />

Melodee Ried<br />

Student Affairs Editors

18<br />


By David Jeffery<br />

An Aussie Bloke in Bergen<br />

In the penultimate year of my Arts degree at Monash (while I was<br />

still eligible for funding and a very attractive OS HELP Loan) I<br />

applied for a semester of study aboard at the University of Bergen<br />

in Norway. These are the accounts of my seamless integration into<br />

Nordic life i.e. finding a job, room to rent and hiking.<br />

Broke ass bitch<br />

I have recently arrived in Bergen after haggling my way<br />

onto the train from Oslo to Bergen; the conductor was nicer<br />

than I anticipated. "If anyone asks you to move it’s because<br />

you’re sitting in their seat, we’re fully booked". To stay-put in<br />

someone else’s seat I pretended to be asleep for the 7-hour<br />

journey, which was a shame because this route is noted as<br />

one of the most scenic in Europe.<br />

Three weeks interning in London and a month glampacking<br />

through Western Europe had left me with just over a<br />

thousand Australian dollars (which in Norway will buy you a<br />

couple of beers, dinner and a week at the YMCA). It was time<br />

to find a job.<br />

I was optimistic about my chances of finding a job<br />

speaking English. A friend had told me "Everyone speaks<br />

English in Norway". I wore my best ‘go-getter’ outfit and<br />

canvassed the city with my CV. On my fifth day in Bergen<br />

I had a trial shift at a bar called Hem, which translates<br />

to Home in English. It was perfect. Hem used to be Café<br />

Hollywood, a magnet for Mods and political activists in the<br />

80’s. Today it is a lounge bar with a retro interior that serves<br />

craft beers, cocktails and the best Lapskaus you will ever<br />

eat. It is located smack bang in the middle of the theatre<br />

district. I was exotic, Norwegians love Australians, which is<br />

something I am still trying to understand. A weekend of work<br />

left me with enough tips to maintain my glamorous lifestyle.<br />

Within no time I was going out for breakfast and had my<br />

bottom on a seat watching the new Woody Allen film.


Better homes and ghettos<br />

Opting out for student housing I had no option but to book<br />

myself into the tragically decorated hostel the ‘Piano Hostel’.<br />

If you ever find yourself in Bergen, don’t do it to yourself (see<br />

image above).<br />

In my month of house hunting I had checked-in to every<br />

hostel in Bergen. I got used to sleeping in a room with 16+<br />

people. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sleep alone from hereon<br />

in. The rental market over here is interesting. Rooms for<br />

rent range from creatively converted (some with bed sheets<br />

for dividing walls) lounge rooms to 11 person wooden share<br />

houses. Private landlords exist with one purpose; to totally<br />

exploit international students. At one inspection the landlord<br />

sat me down man-to-man, and said "Good news is, its<br />

available now... Bad news is, it could be bigger". I examined<br />

the room and tried to think of how I would fit a single<br />

mattress in this hallway come bedroom. I saw the walls and<br />

asked, "Is that asbestos?" he replied, "What is that word? I<br />

have never heard it in my life, all the walls are like this in<br />

Norway..." I decided not to sign the 3-year lease written only in<br />

Norwegian.<br />

I posted on the university’s version of Gumtree and found<br />

a room that ticked all the boxes. I am living on Nygårdsgaten<br />

(which is like the Footscray of Bergen, but 150 meters from<br />

the university) with three flat mates, a Swede that works<br />

for IKEA, an Indian IT Technician for the university and a<br />

Norwegian extreme sports athlete; it’s fantastic.<br />

Faffing about in the Fjords<br />

This semester I’m taking Social Anthropology and Geography<br />

units centered on climate change and international<br />

development. To avoid any uncomfortable conversations on<br />

the carbon tax, Australian foreign aid or current immigration<br />

policies I will revisit ATS1091: Introductory German and take up<br />

an alter ego for the seminars.<br />

Before commencing my studies I’ve been riding the<br />

Fløibanen up to Mt Fløyen and pretending to hike alongside<br />

hundreds of American tourists. Seven fjords surround the<br />

city so hiking is naturally a common pastime. My first hike<br />

was prompted by a friend who asked me whether I would like<br />

to go for a walk. I expected it would be a round-trip to the 7<br />

Eleven. I was totally unprepared and returned seven hours<br />

later exhausted with sore feet.<br />

All pessimism aside, this has been the most phenomenal<br />

experience and I would encourage anyone to apply for<br />

student exchange in Bergen.

20<br />


By MSA Indigenous Department<br />

Constitutional Recognition of<br />

Indigenous Australians<br />

Constitutional Recognition – The campaign to "Recognise"<br />

Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution. It’s what sounds<br />

like the feel good simple solution for that one problem we can’t<br />

really be bothered to talk about unless they’re playing sport...<br />

Indigenous people.<br />

This semester our MSA Indigenous department aims to<br />

enlighten you on the yes, no and ‘meh’ cases where our<br />

current Indigenous rights discussion sits. If you’ve been<br />

paying attention to the news, AFL, Facebook suggested<br />

pages or Corporate Partnership Advertising, you will notice<br />

the campaign for Constitutional recognition is everywhere.<br />

If you don’t subscribe to the said mentioned channels or<br />

just mentally blocked them out because you’re fed up with<br />

the world of symbolic internet activism, you may have some<br />

questions. In that case, good! We are here to help.<br />

So what is Recognise? It is the federally funded campaign<br />

to acknowledge Indigenous people in our constitution as well<br />

as remove racist outdated sections of the document and<br />

potentially ban racial discrimination at a constitutional level.<br />

The movement, with its glowing ‘R’ graphic logo, has travelled<br />

along the backburner throughout the Howard, Rudd, Gillard,<br />

Rudd and now Abbott governments, waiting for its politically<br />

opportune moment to be called to a referendum.<br />

So first off, a few FAQs and myths about the campaign<br />

need to be dispelled before we have any rational discussion<br />

and debate on the topic. Remember this year when our<br />

national Indigenous Reconciliation and NAIDOC weeks were<br />

dominated by media coverage of people booing a guy with an<br />

imaginary spear? In that very same week, do you remember<br />

when reports of sky rocketing indigenous incarceration rates<br />

came out and received only a blip of mainstream media<br />

coverage? In light of this, imagine how hard it would be to<br />

have a genuine discussion about Indigenous sovereignty<br />

and rights. Something you may have also noticed in the<br />

Indigenous rights debate is that the conversation on the<br />

whole has lost it’s shape in the last decade; the Indigenous<br />

voice on the whole has been defunded, dismantled, silenced<br />

and generally confused with no real platform for intelligent<br />

discussion or leadership.<br />

So lets start that discussion.<br />

1— There’s no final wording, yet: With only a tentativeless<br />

than likely-2017 date for a referendum, currently<br />

constitutional recognition is just graphically designed logos,<br />

stickers and notions of positive things. The final proposed<br />

words to go into the constitution are yet to be announced<br />

and with good reason; this is an incredibly contentious legal<br />

argument that this country has avoided for over 200 years,<br />

so we are in a the grace period right now where our political<br />

leaders can look good by politely supporting this feel good<br />

notion before their respective parties get to reveal any real<br />

positions.<br />

2— It’s nothing new: The idea for constitutional recognition<br />

has travelled along since the 1967 referendum on the<br />

discriminatory elements of the constitution; so don’t<br />

automatically write it off because of the current woeful<br />

downward spiral of unscripted government slip ups. Keep in<br />

mind that this is the only Indigenous rights item currently<br />

being discussed, as all of our best efforts to close the gap<br />

continue to fail due to both sides of successive government<br />

policy.<br />

3— Is this a Government administered symbolic political<br />

band aid on our country’s history? Well, yes and no. The<br />

campaign has been crafted by some of country’s most<br />

respected senior Indigenous leaders with the full intent to<br />

reshape our national identity by slowly walking away from<br />

our racist past towards a respectful future. However the<br />

campaign is touted as holding the potential to open new<br />

doors and hold new conversations towards a better future<br />

and is a stepping stone to greater achievements. Regardless<br />

of how you word the symbolic synonym stairway to change<br />

the campaign is no different to any other band aid applied on<br />

our nation’s history. It’s the cultural equivalent of addressing<br />

climate change by planting some trees.<br />

4— It is the right thing to do? In theory, the right thing<br />

would be to sign a treaty with our traditional owners before<br />

we even create a constitution. However 200 years later we are<br />

stuck in this grey area where Indigenous people never ceded<br />

sovereignty and regardless of this, the country of Australia<br />

was established by ignoring them, therefore, anything we<br />

do from here will not exactly be the ‘right thing’ and any<br />

next step will always have to acknowledge this fact when<br />

determining what is right and what is fair.<br />

5— Recognise’s billion-dollar campaign. Amidst the outrage<br />

of federal cuts to Indigenous health and legal aide, Recognise


"The movement, has travelled along the backburner<br />

throughout the Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Rudd and<br />

now Abbott governments, waiting for its politically<br />

opportune moment to be called to a referendum."<br />

has copped flack for receiving funding to promote their<br />

campaign. Under the Abbott government, the campaign has<br />

hit a real downturn of support with the prime minster himself<br />

professing his commitment to the cause whilst at the same<br />

time continuously requesting that Indigenous Australians<br />

drop their "unsettled" "lifestyle choices" to assimilate. The<br />

campaign itself has only been given 10-15 million dollars<br />

since 2013 to get the ball rolling in the promotion of raising<br />

awareness, which does sound like a lot. So where does that<br />

money go? Consider that Harvey Norman spends an upwards<br />

of 50 million dollars each year in marketing to inform you<br />

on retail products, and a 30 second beer commercial at the<br />

super bowl costs 4 million dollars. In comparison to these<br />

figures, a 10-15 million dollar campaign with a handful of<br />

staff tasked with educating an entire country on some pretty<br />

complex constitutional issues doesn’t seem like very much<br />

at all.<br />

6— And what about the bigger picture of a treaty between<br />

Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians? Well this<br />

proposal definitely isn’t a treaty, well not the kind that<br />

Mandawuy Yunupingu sung about. Additionally, it doesn’t<br />

negate any future rights to treaty. The process towards<br />

recognition is not necessarily the course of action you would<br />

take towards signing a treaty. If we were to establish a<br />

binding agreement, it would be more logical for you to hold a<br />

discussion for a treaty. The fact that recognition is the only<br />

discussion being had right now in the mainstream political<br />

sphere does give the impression that this may well be just<br />

a step towards assimilation as opposed to negotiation<br />

with substantial change being made for Indigenous people,<br />

however we can only speculate and be active in the campaign<br />

to ensure this does not occur.<br />

following day we will be holding a "BBQ referendum" on the<br />

matter for everyone to have their say.<br />

The Constitutional Recognition Forum will be held<br />

in building 15 Ancora Way, in room L3 on the 14th of<br />

September from 12pm -1:30pm, with speakers from<br />

Monash University, and advocacy groups: ANTAR and<br />

Reconciliation Victoria.<br />

The MSA Indigenous department BBQ referendum will be<br />

held on the 15th of September from 12pm-1 out front the<br />

Indigenous Centre (bus loop) and the BBQ will be available<br />

from 12pm-2pm on the Menzies lawn. Come by for a free<br />

sausage sizzle and cast your vote.<br />

So how do you make an informed vote of either ‘Yes’ or<br />

‘No’? You may even be wondering whether you should<br />

even be making an informed vote on issues that belong to<br />

Indigenous people. Come to the MSA Indigenous department<br />

Constitutional Recognition Forum in Week 8 and any of these<br />

kinds of questions will be discussed and answered. The

22<br />


Winter Festival<br />

We students of Monash University are accustomed to random<br />

buildings popping up over night, however it came as much of a shock<br />

when what seemed to be a wooden winter wonderland emerged at<br />

the foot of the campus centre out of no where.<br />

It was this sudden construction that marked the beginning<br />

of the very first Winterfestival. The festival, attracting a crowd<br />

of 15,000 and involving the help of 100 student volunteers,<br />

entailed snow fights, film screenings, fire twirling and<br />

performances by the renowned musicians and comedians.<br />

Following the tradition of the late Short Courses Centre,<br />

which tragically disappeared at some point during 2014, the<br />

Chalet also ceased to be after the festival’s end. Rumours has<br />

since emerged that Clive Palmer has purchased it and it is<br />

now being used as a cubby house for his children.<br />

Snow Party<br />

By Jessie Crossman<br />

This year’s Winterfest could not have taken place at a<br />

more appropriate time. On the night of the Snow Party,<br />

temperatures in the Lemon-Scented Lawn hovered just<br />

above freezing and far below comfortable. You could imagine<br />

the mixture of fear and awe felt by attendees when they<br />

encountered the few people that had decided to go to the<br />

Snow Party wearing only a tutu and leggings, and sometimes<br />

– if they were feeling slightly chilly – a leotard.<br />

The Chalet, the largest and loudest, was filled comfortably<br />

with dancers, the occasional phone-checker, and<br />

conversationalists battling the music to be heard. Organizers<br />

also set up an inflatable igloo filled with manufactured snow.<br />

The igloo also housed a large-scale snow fight that involved<br />

missiles of compacted ice being shot around at participants.<br />

The people who stayed in the snow fight were playing for<br />

keeps, which was felt by this writer and her friend when a<br />

snowball rebounded so hard off the back of the friend’s head<br />

it caught the writer full in the face. It was awesome, but stung<br />

for a few minutes afterwards.<br />

Snow Party <strong>2015</strong> was a fantastic night out, and hopefully it<br />

returns again for next year’s Winterfest.<br />

Winter Blues<br />

By Carina Florea<br />

The first night of Winterfest opened with a wide selection<br />

of food trucks and music on display as Monash lit up with<br />

fairy lights and the warm, inviting glow of The Chalet. This<br />

set the scene for the night’s fantastic line up of blues and<br />

jazz artists featuring Movement 9, Clare Bowditch and The<br />

Black Sorrows. Reworking the music of Amy Winehouse in<br />

their own twisted way, Movement 9 recreated popular songs<br />

such as ‘Valerie’, ‘In my bed’ and ‘What is it about men’<br />

giving us a taste of their new EP ‘May we never meet again:<br />

The music of Amy Winehouse’. The night continued with<br />

a lively performance by ARIA award winner and Offspring<br />

star, Clare Bowditch. Stripped down from her usual 12 piece<br />

band, Bowditch was joined on stage by long-time friend and<br />

collaborator, Monique Donatina on piano. To finish the night,<br />

The Black Sorrows took to the stage to deliver an energy<br />

packed set that got people up and dancing in the Chalet.


Friday Night Freeze<br />

By Carina Florea<br />

Comedy Night<br />

By Timothy Newport<br />

After spending the week showcasing talented musicians,<br />

artists and comedians while also throwing the occasional<br />

snowball here and there, Monash’s inaugural WinterFest<br />

celebrations came to an end with Friday night fireworks and<br />

fire twirlers.<br />

The appropriately named ‘Friday Night Freeze’ celebrations<br />

got people moving and jumping with a dodge ball style<br />

snowball competition, toboggan slope and bubble soccer.<br />

Meanwhile, the braver souls among us took the ice slide<br />

challenge to help raise funds for motor neuron disease (MND).<br />

It was a packed Chalet for Thursday’s comedy night, and<br />

if we were cold outside, the stellar talent warmed us up<br />

quickly. Our MC was Nova’s Tommy Little, who was lost for<br />

words when the two audience members he asked the majors<br />

of answered "genetic engineering" and "neurotechnology."<br />

Following him was local talent Naomi Higgins, whom Tommy<br />

Little introduced as being "So good, I’m embarrassed to<br />

be stealing the spotlight from her." With rapid-fire jabs at<br />

sexist internet idiots, she slayed with a verbatim reading<br />

of the "Nice Guys" Facebook group. Following her was fellow<br />

student David Rose, who didn’t let anyone get a breath in<br />

with his commentary on the tokenism of "Sorry Day." Finally,<br />

the headliner Nazeem Hussain destroyed us with his tales of<br />

being treated to dinner... by ASIO.<br />

MidWinter Carnival<br />

By Timothy Newport<br />

A merry night of hot food, snowmen, and movies about<br />

snowmen. The MidWinter Carnival was a roaring success,<br />

with hundreds of people showing up to try some of the<br />

amazing food from the wide variety of speciality stalls. The<br />

main event was, of course, the 6pm screening of Frozen,<br />

bringing children and slightly drunk students alike to the<br />

amazing Chalet cinema. Anna and Elsa also showed up for<br />

photos, while throughout the night there was also some ice<br />

sculpting and a snowball fight in the inflatable igloo next<br />

door. The night wrapped up with a 9pm screening of the Coen<br />

classic Fargo, drawing the older and colder crowd.<br />

Monash Academy Orchestra<br />

By Rosie Boyle<br />

Recently I spent a couple of Sunday hours at Monash,<br />

watching opera. As someone who isn’t very into theatre, likes<br />

classical music, but never felt drawn to opera, I didn’t know<br />

what to expect. In fact, I knew very little about the production<br />

until just before.<br />

Prior to the main event, we had a treat in the form of<br />

excerpts from the Hary Janos Suite – short and glorious<br />

samples of music by Zoltan Kodaly. Then we had Thomas<br />

Reiner’s Lacan: Ein Lehrstuck, an ‘educational’ piece on<br />

the works of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. The<br />

stunningly powerful soprano Jessica Aszodi took us through<br />

Lacan’s ideas about our world: The Symbolic, the Imaginary,<br />

and the Real, accompanied by pieces I recognized, and some<br />

that were new.<br />

Famous names were there on stage: Deborah Humble, in<br />

the role of Judith, and Warwick Fyfe in the devilish, Gothic<br />

Duke Bluebeard. They both enthralled me with their presence,<br />

and it felt like stealing to bask in such talent for free.<br />

If you’re new to opera or classical music, the concerts,<br />

plays or performance art put on by Monash Academy of<br />

Performing Arts are a great introduction. You don’t have to<br />

be a theatre buff to go along and have a great experience.<br />

There’s no pressure to dress up, the sessions are a great<br />

length, and several of them – including special rarities such<br />

as Bluebeard’s Castle – are FREE!

24<br />



Parking on Campus<br />

Photographs of the Menzies building under construction in<br />

1964 show it surrounded by scrubby grass, with VW Beetles,<br />

Ford Falcons and the like, drawn right up to the edge of the<br />

scaffolding. An almost unaltered Campus Centre is the only<br />

building nearby. Despite the cars and machinery, in no photo<br />

is any person in sight. To a student used to the jumble of<br />

smaller buildings backgrounding Menzies, it feels stark<br />

and bare. With over 25,000 students currently enrolled on<br />

Clayton campus, drawing your classic tinny Beetle up to<br />

H6 is obviously no longer practical. Aptly, however, Monash<br />

was, in the words of historian Graeme Davison, Australia’s<br />

first, "drive-in university." Founded in 1961, it was planned<br />

and built in the boom time of Melbourne’s car based Eastern<br />

suburbs. However in <strong>2015</strong>, we no longer live in the glory days<br />

of consumption and consumerism. We face global warming,<br />

high petrol prices and an obesity crisis; that many of us live<br />

in suburbs where the infrastructure is designed for cars is<br />

no longer a sign of our nation’s economic prosperity, it’s a<br />

burden.<br />

Monash was designed to be accessed by car. That’s not to<br />

say we shouldn’t use sustainable transport options where<br />

we can; where possible, it is of course ideal to use buses,<br />

trains, bikes or to walk. I am lucky enough to live a ten<br />

minute walk from a bus that takes me directly to Clayton<br />

campus, however many friends of mine, even those living in<br />

the same suburb, are not so lucky. Melbourne’s bus coverage<br />

is patchy, routes are limited, services often run infrequently<br />

and connections are unreliable. So, while Monash does<br />

boast an impressive number of buses stopping on campus,<br />

they are just not a practical option for many students.<br />

Nor are trains; while the 601 bus frequently connects with<br />

Huntingdale station, the Cranbourne Pakenham line only<br />

covers the Southern suburbs. Walking and cycling have clear<br />

geographic limitations. By anyone’s estimations, Monash<br />

is hard to get to. Thus, while car parking is one of the most<br />

boring issues imaginable, like filing a tax return, it matters<br />

for many Monash students.<br />

Parking at Monash is indisputably expensive. Full year Blue<br />

Permits for Clayton campus cost $389 this year. Over the two,<br />

twelve week semesters, for a student who comes to campus<br />

five days a week, that’s $3.20 per day; four days a week, $4.10<br />

per day; three days, $5.40 per day; two days, $8.10 per day;<br />

after which point it becomes cheaper to pay the $8.50 per day<br />

for parking in the N1 and SE3 parking areas.<br />

A $389 parking permit would, you hope, guarantee the<br />

holder a parking spot. However, at the end of Semester 1,<br />

in the name of improvements to infrastructure and the<br />

construction of the Monash College learning village, all<br />

blue permit parking was removed from the South West 2<br />

car park. The upper level of the South East 4 multi-level was<br />

converted from carpool parking to blue permit parking. The<br />

parking above the synchrotron, on the corner of Wellington<br />

and Blackburn roads is now blue permit and carpool parking.<br />

Previously, carpooling was moved from the centre of campus<br />

to make way for the construction of new halls of residence.<br />

Monash’s assurance, in one of its innumerable emails, that<br />

more than 1000 new parking spaces will be provided during<br />

2016, is presumably little comfort to those who have been<br />

unable to find a park on campus this semester.<br />

The carpark above the synchrotron, housing some blue<br />

parking spaces and carpooling, is 1.2 kilometres from the<br />

Menzies building. This is a healthy fifteen minutes’ walk to<br />

campus for most Arts, Education, Law and Music students.<br />

For anyone whose classes are in the Science and Engineering<br />

area of campus, it is 1.7 kilometres from the synchrotron to<br />

the Hargrave Andrew Library, that’s a twenty-two minute<br />

walk. This means that a student who, at the start of <strong>2015</strong> paid<br />

$389 for their blue parking permit, could be forced to park<br />

as much as a twenty-five minutes’ walk from their eventual<br />

destination.<br />

If Monash could demonstrate that its parking prices were<br />

high to encourage students to use sustainable forms of<br />

transport, honestly, I would support that. Carpooling solves<br />

many of the problems students face getting to uni and<br />

Monash should be encouraging it. Monash’s marginalisation<br />

of carpooling, however, and its failure to provide parking<br />

spaces even for those who have a permit suggests that the<br />

university’s main interest lies in maximising its revenue, not<br />

in encouraging sustainable transport.


University administrators to<br />

demolish Wholefoods stairs<br />

On behalf of the Wholefoods Collective<br />

By Melodee Ried<br />

As you are hopefully aware, Monash Wholefoods is a<br />

collective and student-run food cooperative on level one<br />

of the campus centre. It’s been around since 1977, serving<br />

students cheap and healthy food, as well as being a<br />

supportive and inclusive community.<br />

Earlier this semester the Wholefoods Collective found<br />

out that the Monash administrators were planning on<br />

demolishing our balcony stairs without consulting us. Once<br />

these plans were confirmed by anonymous sources, we<br />

began emailing Monash’s admin to air our concerns.<br />

These balcony stairs are our main exit in case of<br />

emergency. Our only other feasible exit directs students<br />

back into the campus centre; a situation which would create<br />

a massive bottleneck, in the event of an emergency and<br />

even just during busy lunch periods. Wholefoods gets really<br />

crowded around lunch time, and as such the collective is<br />

worried that without these stairs Wholefoods-goers will be<br />

denied adequate safety measures because of the university’s<br />

decisions.<br />

The stairs are also a main factor in the accessibility and<br />

visibility of Wholefoods. As the restaurant is on the top level<br />

of the campus centre and buried away at one end, it can be<br />

hard for newcomers to find us. These stairs help to point<br />

us out and massively contribute to Wholefoods being a<br />

convenient eatery and place to hang out on campus.<br />

Despite the significant merits of the stairs, university<br />

admin has thus far rejected our concerns and suggestions<br />

to consider alternative development plans. Members of the<br />

Wholefoods Collective recently met with relevant members<br />

of the Monash admin to ‘negotiate’ this development plan.<br />

They accused us of ‘holding up’ the architect who would<br />

refurbish our balcony in exchange for demolishing our stairs.<br />

We were not comfortable discussing the refurbishment as<br />

doing so would be submitting to the demolition without<br />

them acknowledging the adverse impacts Wholefoods would<br />

face as a result. The collective was frustrated by this meeting<br />

as the Monash admin flat out refused to acknowledge<br />

that the removal of the stairs would be any form of loss for<br />

Wholefoods. They suggested we make use of hidden-away<br />

stairs that connect to the balcony from behind our couches<br />

and go through to the basement. This was presented as a way<br />

of making ‘finding Wholefoods’ into some sort of a game!<br />

We did not receive this well, as we feel that convenience is a<br />

significant and legitimate factor for students and hiddenaway<br />

stairs would only make Wholefoods inaccessible.<br />

We asked the admin if they’d considered any alternative<br />

development plans that did not involve removing our<br />

stairs and were literally answered with a Tony Abbott-esque<br />

pause followed by a suspicious "I don’t know". This was<br />

disappointing, as was the research referenced by those at<br />

the meeting who claim their development would ease foot<br />

traffic congestion underneath Wholefoods. When a collective<br />

member suggested that the true interest for the development<br />

is to make profit from rent, the admin dismissed it and<br />

pressed that they were refraining from making this a<br />

‘political issue’ and were holding back likewise political<br />

comments about how we are a collective and student-run.<br />

The admin’s plans involve demolishing our stairs,<br />

expanding the northern ground level portion of the<br />

campus centre and constructing a 7m wide glass canopy<br />

to accommodate retail spaces. As a general rule, the<br />

collective is not opposed to developments that may benefit<br />

students. That said, we do not accept that reducing the<br />

safety and accessibility of a student space is worth the<br />

gains from extravagantly increasing retail space on campus.<br />

Additionally, we do not think that it is necessary to remove<br />

our stairs in order to provide more food choices for students.<br />

We admit that the stairs are quite large, but we believe that if<br />

it was in the admin’s interests they could find another design<br />

that would have accommodated existing student groups on<br />

campus.<br />

The Wholefoods Collective is still trying to negotiate with<br />

university admin before they attain a building permit.<br />

The Collective has a petition to show that students are<br />

supportive of Wholefoods’ opposition to the proposal.<br />

To sign online head to https://<br />

www.change.org/p/monashuniversity-administration-consideralternative-development-plansprovide-us-with-relevant-safetydocuments-and-meaningfullyinclude-us-in-any-decisions-thatwill-impact-on-our-community<br />

or<br />

sign the hard copy in Wholefoods.<br />

Melodee Ried is a member of the Wholefoods Collective

26<br />


By the Student Affairs editors<br />

A guide:<br />

How to survive<br />

student elections<br />

Throughout the ninth week of semester<br />

two of the academic year, every aspiring<br />

political leader of tomorrow ventures out<br />

into campus centre to make their case<br />

for potential election into their desired<br />

position. During this week, your lectures<br />

will be filled by people in coloured t-shirts,<br />

your favourite coffee spot occupied by<br />

the discussion of union corruption and<br />

revolutions and your attempts to exit<br />

campus will be disabled due to the sheer<br />

amount of political ‘prop’ littering the<br />

campus. This is a guide of how to survive<br />

student elections. We wish all of you<br />

the highest amount of safety and peace<br />

throughout the week.<br />

1— Pack your lunch (avoid campus centre and it’s<br />

surroundings at all cost). Bring your deep fryers, as this will<br />

mean making your own peri-peri chips.<br />

2— Take your ‘I have voted’ sticker to a tattoo parlour and<br />

have it tattooed onto your forehead. This will help you out for<br />

many elections to come...<br />

3— Become a Monash staff member, a postgraduate student<br />

or apply to graduate before week 9. If this is not possible, at<br />

least try to acquire a fake Monash staff ID card to produce if<br />

asked or come up with a ‘thesis topic’ so you can discuss it at<br />

length in the instance of interrogation.<br />

4— Say you are a member of the Liberal party and that you are<br />

a second cousin of Christopher Pyne. This will make the vast<br />

majority of campaigners run a mile.<br />

5— Remain in ‘MSA spaces’ such as Sir John’s for the entirety<br />

of the week (no campaigning is permitted in these areas). You<br />

probably already spend all of your time in Sir John’s anyway.<br />

6— Obtain as much unimelb and University of Melbourne<br />

student union merch, and wear it all at once for the entire week.<br />

This will undoubtedly mean that you will be the laughing stock<br />

of Stalkerspace and a general pariah, but hey, no one will want<br />

to be anywhere near you and you certainly will look ineligible to<br />

vote.<br />

7— Use this edition of Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> as invisibility properties.<br />

Use this to cover your face as you briskly approach the<br />

campus centre. Do be warned that this could lead to walking<br />

straight into concrete walls. Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> and the MSA do not take<br />

responsibility for any misuse of this illustrious publication.<br />

8— Just don’t go to uni this week. Election week is is what<br />

MULO is made for.<br />

9— Quit whining and appreciate democracy. Go vote, get a sticker.

27 27<br />


Science & Engineering<br />


Articles by<br />

Alisoun Townsend<br />

Kate Mani<br />

Ben Neve<br />

Emma Simpkin<br />

Eleanor Albury

28<br />


By Alisoun Townsend<br />

The Conservation Conversation<br />

I should probably put a disclaimer in here (or many disclaimers?). I am a<br />

conservation ecology major. Conservation is very close to my heart, borne<br />

from living with how dynamic and amazing the Earth is. I was raised in a<br />

small farming community by proudly greenie parents. So yes, Nanny, the<br />

family does approve of my ‘leftist dealings’.<br />

The concept of conservation as a stagnant science is well<br />

founded. In the past, conservation efforts have been intensely<br />

focused on maintaining whatever species remain and<br />

reversing the environmental changes after human influence.<br />

And human influence is acknowledged to be terrible.<br />

In the Sixth Great Extinction, all sorts of species will become<br />

extinct. This is due to a range of factors, and human based<br />

climate change is a significant factor in this. Human<br />

influence on changing the environment is also a massive<br />

factor in extinctions.<br />

But how would do we judge where to return the Earth to?<br />

Should we aim for its original quality when agriculture was<br />

first introduced into human society? Before the industrial<br />

revolution? 50 years ago when our population was smaller?<br />

This is a difficult question to answer. Also, it must be noted<br />

that calling for a reduction or halt in population growth<br />

definitely comes across as xenophobic. Westernised people<br />

often fear the unknown, and the large population growth in<br />

periphery countries of the world is an unknown. The entire<br />

human population is not at fault here. What is at fault is<br />

the small part of the population that encourages economic<br />

growth over the health of the planet. Our present society is<br />

definitely a by-product of this.<br />

The effort exerted by many scientists and conservationists<br />

to return the Earth to what it once was, either before humans<br />

or before human influence reached its worst, is well meaning<br />

but ultimately a falsely placed energy. Conservationists can<br />

sometimes come across as preservationists. The Earth is a<br />

dynamic planet where change is inevitable. Change will occur<br />

regardless of human influence and returning the Earth to a<br />

state before change has occurred is missing the point.<br />

Human influence is what we have to work with now. We<br />

as young scientists, conservationists and humans must<br />

be looking towards the future. Trying to reverse what<br />

humans have done since we began disrupting the natural<br />

progressions of the Earth would be like trying to stop a sand<br />

dune from shifting. Instead, we must looks for ways in which<br />

we can tread lighter on our only home.<br />

The wider public must be encouraged to understand that<br />

exerting less pressure on the world is an important factor<br />

in our survival. Governments must put in place policies that<br />

favour environmental sustainability over economy for the<br />

good of current and future populations.<br />

Food production and agriculture are perhaps the most<br />

important factors for human survival, but intensive farming<br />

and intensive agriculture are extremely harmful to the planet.<br />

Monoculture farms are common, but this does not have to<br />

be the way for all food producing practises. Most farmers<br />

understand that sometimes their farming practises can be<br />

harmful to their land, but the economy must be favoured<br />

above all else. Because how else will they be able to feed their<br />

families?<br />

A society where intensive farming is not used and food<br />

production is local would be ideal but until farmers are<br />

allowed to choose their crops and style of production free<br />

from economic pressures this cannot happen. Sustainable<br />

agriculture at a more local level should be a priority for<br />

governments, but instead the current Federal government<br />

favours export of raw product above sustainability. This<br />

ultimately means more importing food for Australians.<br />

Transporting and refrigerating this food all over the world is a<br />

blatant and rude waste of fossil fuels.<br />

Some of the most arable land within Australia is being<br />

lost to the suburban sprawl and to coal mines, such as the<br />

newly approved Liverpool Plains coal mine. Sustainable<br />

housing and farming are interconnected. Our population<br />

needs to reconnect with what our country is able to produce<br />

as food and fuel. People are too distanced from the reality<br />

of agriculture by packaged meats and perfect fruit. There<br />

needs to be a large scale revitalization of our society and<br />

communities with how we are associated with land, food and<br />

our changing environment. The government needs to assist<br />

in this matter. The broad issue feels so much bigger than<br />

what an individual person, household or business believes<br />

they can do to help, but it is not. We need to accept human<br />

influenced climate change and work with the significant<br />

consequences of our actions. Although the damage we’ve<br />

done cannot be reversed and the challenges we face feel<br />

insurmountable, we must start to change as an entire<br />

population and become more connected with the land.


What’s Up Doc?<br />

Anna Scovelle’s fascination with sleep has inspired her to research the link<br />

between sleep and attention, and how this changes with age, at a PhD level. She<br />

completed a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours at Monash University and has<br />

given lectures and worked as a tutor for third-year Monash psychology students.<br />

She is currently Chair of the Psychology Graduate Research Student Executive<br />

Committee, has presented at interstate conferences and talks regularly about<br />

her research to older adults through local community organisations.<br />

by Kate Mani<br />

Kate Mani: What are you specifically researching in your<br />

PhD?<br />

Anna Scovelle: My research is predominantly focused on<br />

sleep. I’m interested specifically in the role that changes in<br />

sleep have on attention as people get older. We know that as<br />

people age, many experience a degree of cognitive decline.<br />

One of the areas where we see this quite markedly is in<br />

attention, and attention forms the basis for many cognitive<br />

functions. I’m having a look at whether we can pinpoint the<br />

aspects of sleep that are involved in the changes we see in<br />

attention. Hopefully if we can identify those aspects then<br />

we’ll be able to develop some targeted sleep intervention to<br />

improve attention in older adults.<br />

KM: Are these inventions the goal of your research?<br />

AS: My research is really hoping to develop the foundations<br />

for those targeted sleep interventions. I’m not trialling<br />

an intervention because I’m still trying to establish<br />

the connections in order to inform those interventions.<br />

Ultimately I would like to think that my research would go on<br />

to aid in the development of those interventions.<br />

KM: As uni students we’re often told we’ll concentrate<br />

better in lectures after a good night’s sleep! Does your<br />

research confirm this for us?<br />

AS: Absolutely! In a way my research relates perfectly to that,<br />

showing sleep is so important for our ability to sustain our<br />

attention, when you’re in lectures and when you’re reading<br />

articles. Also, sleep is really important if you’re preparing for<br />

exams, cramming your mind full of things during the day.<br />

Having a good night’s sleep to consolidate all of that learning<br />

is definitely going to be beneficial. It serves two purposes,<br />

your daytime function and your consolidation of memory<br />

overnight.<br />

KM: How has your research been going since you started<br />

the PhD?<br />

AS: It’s been going well. PhDs are, as I’m always learning, full<br />

of ups and downs, and research never goes completely to<br />

plan. There have been small changes along the way but I’ve<br />

been fortunate to be part of a big lab with lots going on where<br />

I’ve been able to get involved in lots of different things. I’ve<br />

had a lot of support to help me create a project that I’m really<br />

interested in, with the resources for me to complete that<br />

research.<br />

KM: What advice do you have for future PhD students for<br />

coping with those ups and downs?<br />

AS: If you love what you do and you’re really passionate<br />

about it you can ride the waves. It’s not an easy journey,<br />

but I know that nothing else would make me as happy as<br />

doing my research and my PhD and that’s enough to give<br />

me the determination and motivation to keep going. I think<br />

if you really follow your passion you can endure whatever<br />

comes your way. I also think you should make sure you’re<br />

surrounded by other people doing similar research or<br />

other post-graduate students who can support you, offer<br />

their advice and make you feel you’re not alone. Having<br />

that support from other students is really important in the<br />

journey.<br />

KM: Are there ways students can prepare themselves<br />

before they enter the PhD stage so they have the necessary<br />

study skills and focus?<br />

AS: I think in general working hard in your undergraduate<br />

studies is going to set you up well for your PhD. You’re not<br />

expected to be the perfect student or the perfect studier or<br />

the perfect writer. In your PhD you’re still learning to do all of<br />

those things. But you want to set the foundations early on,<br />

you want to work hard in your undergraduate degree and do<br />

the very best you can. I think it’s also about exposing yourself<br />

to research environments, seeing if you can volunteer in<br />

different laboratories to get an idea of what research is all<br />

about. I think the biggest transition from undergraduate<br />

to PhD is what research on a daily basis really looks like.<br />

Exposing yourself to those things early on is probably the<br />

best thing.<br />

KM: You mentioned that you give talks at local community<br />

organisations. Do you think that giving back to the<br />

community and sharing what you’ve been studying is<br />

important?<br />

AS: Yes, absolutely. I think it helps to keep you real. It keeps<br />

you grounded in the fact that you’re not just doing research<br />

for the sake of research, you’re doing research so that it can<br />

be translated to people, to the community. Going back into<br />

the community, talking to people about their sleep and how<br />

they’re feeling about their attention or memory keeps that<br />

passion alive for what you’re doing.

30<br />


By Ben Neve<br />

New Target Prompts New Challenges<br />

No matter how one views the issue, a proposed cut of 26-<br />

28% on 2005 levels represents a significant reduction in<br />

our overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When it was<br />

announced by the Australian government, the responses<br />

were polarised: business groups generally accepted the<br />

target, while those more environmentally concerned<br />

stakeholders criticised it as lacklustre. Either way, a<br />

reduction in the order of 26% is a considerable challenge to<br />

overcome, especially for an economy as carbon-dependent as<br />

ours (more on this later). In November Julie Bishop will travel<br />

to Paris to attend climate talks with other world leaders, to<br />

try and agree on legally binding emissions reductions. The<br />

ultimate goal is to avoid a situation in which global average<br />

temperatures rise more than two degrees Celsius (the socalled<br />

450ppm scenario). While we can only speculate at<br />

this moment on the outcome of the Paris talks, it is easier<br />

to predict that an increased emissions target will have a<br />

considerable impact on the STEM sector. After all, it will be<br />

engineers and scientists who develop many of the methods<br />

to reduce emissions in the future.<br />

The federal government’s current policy to reduce<br />

emissions is the so called Direct-Action scheme. By most<br />

estimates, we will achieve our Kyoto target of 5%, in part<br />

due to the reductions led by the program and also due to a<br />

national fall in demand for electricity. But in the future, with<br />

a target of 26% we will no longer be able to rely on these two<br />

drivers, because the nature of reductions in the order of<br />

5% differs vastly from 26%. The Emissions Reduction Fund<br />

(ERF) – the funding source behind Direct Action scheme –<br />

is designed to purchase the lowest cost per tonne of GHG<br />

reductions. It makes no attempt to target certain sectors<br />

because it is essentially a reverse auction. As a result, the<br />

kind of reductions achieved under the Direct Action scheme<br />

are naturally the easiest ones. Over the coming years we will<br />

need to deviate from this path to find the ‘hard’ reductions,<br />

and cut emissions embedded in our economy rather than<br />

addressing efficiency.<br />

Over the mid-year break I visited Tongji University in<br />

Shanghai, during which we toured the China headquarters<br />

of Disney Imagineering – the research branch of the Disney<br />

Company. Whilst there I learnt that when it came time<br />

for the business to retrofit their communist-era concrete<br />

office block, they arranged for all the heating and cooling<br />

systems to be provided under a lease agreement with the<br />

energy provider. Rather than purchasing an expensive<br />

air conditioner, the company only pays for the use of the<br />

machine for a certain period of time. Should the need arise<br />

"The kind of reductions<br />

achieved under the Direct<br />

Action scheme are naturally<br />

the easiest ones."<br />

to replace or remove the unit, it is returned to the energy<br />

provider who can recycle or reinstall the unit somewhere else.<br />

Each of these units carries with it an amount of embedded<br />

energy, which is the sum of the emissions created directly<br />

and indirectly during its service life. A service-based<br />

approach reduces the carbon footprint of Disney’s business<br />

operation because the embedded energy – and therefore<br />

emissions – in the heating/cooling system is neither lost<br />

nor gained, it is simply passed on to a different user. The key<br />

difference is that the Disney Company leases the services<br />

which the heating unit provides – functionality and flexibility<br />

– without taking ownership of the product. Service based<br />

approaches still recognise that emissions are produced, but<br />

by closing the loop on the product cycle there is a greater<br />

potential to reclaim the emissions down the track.<br />

The STEM sector will be positioned at the nexus of<br />

decarbonisation as it develops the solutions to the future<br />

emissions reductions. The scale and complexity of the task<br />

means that technology must continue to advance in tandem<br />

with behaviour. In 2013 the number of installed small-scale<br />

solar power systems in Australia had risen to 1.25 million.<br />

New advances in battery technology mean that energy<br />

captured from the sun during the day can now be stored in<br />

molten-salt or rechargeable batteries, so that households<br />

can draw on the excess electricity generated during the day<br />

in times of high demand.<br />

It is this kind of approach, combined with societal change<br />

that will accelerate the decarbonisation process. To put this<br />

into perspective, even things like the beloved Monash coffee<br />

culture carries with it different kinds of embedded energy;<br />

among others, it is in the paper cups and the resources<br />

consumed to transport the coffee beans and milk. That is<br />

not to say we shouldn’t enjoy a coffee in the morning, but<br />

that we must regard an emissions cut of 26% as the impetus<br />

to decarbonise every sector of the economy. We must break<br />

the link between traditional buy-and-sell approaches, and<br />

move towards service based industries which will reduce<br />

the amount of hard waste and preserve virgin materials. All<br />

the while the STEM sector should be allowed to develop and<br />

flourish, because a strong technological base will ensure we<br />

can apply emerging technologies to the ever increasingly<br />

difficult challenge of cutting emissions.


Puzzles<br />

Puzzle<br />

1<br />

Puzzle<br />

3<br />

Secret Symbol<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Answer<br />

<br />

Starting with 17 and ascending through the odd<br />

<br />

numbers, connect all the valid numbers with a<br />

<br />

line (you can cross multiple squares at once).<br />

<br />

The <br />

answer is the name of this maths symbol!<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Maths Maze<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Puzzle<br />

2<br />

Puzzle<br />

4<br />

Protons, Neutrons,<br />

Electrons<br />

<br />

The protons are red, neutrons are blue, and<br />

electrons are yellow. The question is, is it possible<br />

to connect each numbered electron to its<br />

matching proton with a line that doesn’t cross any<br />

other lines or touch any subatomic particles?<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

5<br />

1<br />

3<br />

2<br />

1<br />

3<br />

<br />

<br />

Triangles and Triangles<br />

<br />

How<br />

<br />

many triangles can be made by connecting<br />

<br />

different combinations of the dots below?<br />

(Triangles are still <br />

valid if they encapsulate<br />

another dot within their boundaries)<br />

5<br />

4<br />

2<br />

4<br />

Answer<br />

Honour Roll<br />

<br />

Find the shortest path through the maze, from<br />

the <br />

bold ‘3’ to the ‘?’. The numbers along this<br />

path<br />

<br />

follow a certain pattern. The answer is the<br />

<br />

next number in the sequence, located at ‘?’!<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Success, fame and glamour can all be yours! Simply submit the answers to msa-lotswife@monash.edu<br />

and you’ll get your name published on this page in the next issue!<br />

Issue 3 Issue 4<br />

Max Zadnik<br />

Christopher E Orrell<br />

William Molloy<br />

Sarah Spencer<br />

Christopher E Orrell<br />

Max Zadnik<br />

Lucas Azzola<br />

Issue 5<br />

Christopher E Orrell<br />

Max Zadnik<br />

Issue 6<br />

Neil Kedar<br />

Max Zadnik

32<br />


By Emma Simpkin<br />

World Record<br />

Stargazing<br />

"We always classify each other as what we do<br />

you’re an artist, you’re a chemist, you’re a designer.<br />

But what I love about astronomy is we’re all just<br />

humans staring at the sky."<br />

August 21st saw thousands gather across Australia in a<br />

nation wide attempt to set the new Guinness World Record<br />

for Most People Stargazing at Multiple Sites in a Country. Led<br />

by Australian National University’s Mt. Stromolo observatory,<br />

professional stargazers, budding astronomers and the<br />

telescope inept alike came together at over 40 sites to enjoy<br />

an evening under the night sky.<br />

The Monash event was hosted by the School of Physics<br />

and Astronomy and took place at Clayton campus. Highlights<br />

included guided observations with staff and students,<br />

children’s face painting, an "Ask an astronomer" Q&A, food<br />

trucks, a raffle draw, and talks featuring topics from the sky<br />

culture of the Boorong clan and the importance of the sky in<br />

indigenous artwork, to the Mission to Mars and Australia’s<br />

Mars One candidate Josh Richards.<br />

Regardless of whether you’d come to ask if supernovas can<br />

be seen with the naked eye, to show off an antique or hightech<br />

telescope, or simply to enjoy the romance of a night<br />

under the stars, everyone considered the night a wonderful<br />

success. Unofficial figures on the night saw the previous<br />

record of 3,007 simultaneous stargazers broken, with official<br />

figures to be released in the coming weeks. Meanwhile,<br />

Australia National University’s city campus managed to set<br />

a second world record for Most People Stargazing as a Single<br />

Site with 1,869 participants.<br />

Monash’s own event had a 700 register to attend, with over<br />

1,100 present on the night. Monash managed to sell out of<br />

commemorative telescopes (similar in size to those Gaileo<br />

used) before the record attempt even took place. Jasmina<br />

Lazendic Galloway, organiser of the Monash event, was<br />

delighted with the results and hopes to host more Astrofest<br />

events in future.<br />

"We always classify each other as what we do - you’re an<br />

artist, you’re a chemist, you’re a designer. But what I love<br />

about astronomy is we’re all just humans staring at the sky."<br />

With the current World Record tally climbing past 8,000<br />

participants, it seems the rest of Australia would agree.<br />

Photograph by Benjamin Peng @benpeng_


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Illustrations by Amirul Nasir @kingrool

34<br />


By Eleanor Albury<br />

The Cult of Personality<br />

You may have heard of the Myer-Briggs personality test, a<br />

short survey that claims to condense your personality into<br />

one of sixteen different personality paradigms. It has little<br />

to no scientific basis, superseded by considerably more<br />

comprehensive, but also more time intensive and financially<br />

consuming tests. And yet, it remains amongst an almost cult<br />

status across varying social groups. In multiple instances,<br />

people have asked me for my personality type in an effort to<br />

try, at least ostensibly, to understand me more. At one point<br />

a friend and I spent the duration of a beer trying to gauge<br />

my personality type on a piece of paper, discussing reasons<br />

why I would be one personality type more than another. While<br />

discussion arising from this test ignited intense examination<br />

of our own distinct personalities, it seems that its use also<br />

constrains and dismisses the multidimensional nature of<br />

human personality.<br />

If you aren’t already aware, the personality types are<br />

defined by a combination of four different letters, each of<br />

which refers to one of two options regarding a particular<br />

personality trait. E for Extroversion or I for Introversion, S<br />

for Sensing or N for Intuition, T for thinking or F for Feeling<br />

and J for Judging or P for Perceiving. Your answers to the<br />

test determine your assignment to one of the sixteen<br />

combinations and a complete write up of your not so unique<br />

personality type, as well as your strengths and weakness<br />

according to answers that you provided during the test. After<br />

receiving their results some people even get them tattooed to<br />

their bodies, the four letters used as a personal insignia that<br />

proudly proclaims their alliance to a particular personality<br />

type. It seems strange that people’s need to belong within<br />

a stratified group is strong enough to compel them to write<br />

arguably meaningless letters on their bodies. Is there an<br />

inherent human need to understand human beings by<br />

simplifying one another?<br />

On a long car trip with friends, we spent a considerable<br />

amount of the car trip discussing the test and its debatable<br />

accuracy as well as the differences we all had in our<br />

personality types. While my analysis said I am an extroverted<br />

decision maker (ESTJ), a friend of mine (somewhat<br />

coincidentally) received the exact opposite of me, her<br />

analysis conveying that she is introverted and preferring to<br />

go with the flow (INFP). There were several sections of the test<br />

that I found accurate for each of our different personalities,<br />

and we became increasingly enthused by the notion that<br />

our personalities belonged within a particular type. The<br />

conversations prompted by the test enabled me to further<br />

understand that no personality is alike, and that people see<br />

the world very differently to the way I see it; a fact that is<br />

easy to miss in our increasingly narcissistic society where<br />

the most important person is the self. While I may see the<br />

world in black and white, others see the world in a cascade<br />

of colours. Realising this has motivated me to reconsider the<br />

tact I use when dealing with others, especially in situations of<br />

conflict. The test also enables people to become more aware<br />

of their strengths and weaknesses that are often associated<br />

with certain personality traits. This is a positive aspect of<br />

the test, as it is beneficial to some extent to be aware of<br />

our own personal weaknesses. Knowing them can aid us in<br />

assimilating into the expected norms of society, and as a<br />

result increase our own enjoyment of life through improving<br />

our interactions with others.<br />

I was sharing the test with people I knew, blissfully<br />

unaware of its lack of scientific reliability until I urged my<br />

friend studying psychology to take it. She told me that the<br />

tests have no credence within the scientific arena, and<br />

the ensuing research (i.e. quick Google) that I conducted<br />

suggested that her contention was valid. Only 50% of people<br />

that retake the same test have the same scores, and as a<br />

result the internal validity of the tests is very low. The Myer-<br />

Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was produced in 1943, motivated<br />

by the desire of two women (who were not psychologically<br />

qualified) to extrapolate the work of psychiatrist Carl Jung<br />

regarding personality. Despite the information before me<br />

indicating that Myer-Briggs might not be as reliable as I<br />

thought, I simply couldn’t accept the realisation that the test<br />

it had no basis on fact. I wanted to believe that I conformed<br />

to the personality type I was assigned. I felt that it suited me<br />

and it made me feel happy that I was considered a decision<br />

maker, someone with power and who doesn’t wane under<br />

pressure. And therein lies the allure; people love to hear good<br />

things about themselves regardless of its validity. Their<br />

conformance to a particular personality profile is the nod<br />

that they fit in within society, and therefore are accepted and<br />

belong. Hence the MBTI’s cult-like status, as belonging is allimportant<br />

in a world of seven billion people. Unfortunately,<br />

personality is complex and it cannot be simplified by a test<br />

conducted on the Internet. While taking the tests has the<br />

benefit of being able to understand the notion that not all


"The conversations prompted by the test enabled me to<br />

further understand that no personality is alike, and that<br />

people see the world very differently to the way I see it<br />

a fact that is easy to miss in our increasingly narcissistic<br />

society where the most important person is the self."<br />

personalities or worldviews are the same, taking the test with<br />

a grain (or bucket) of salt is recommended.<br />

You shouldn’t judge somebody by his or her proposed<br />

personality types, and yet to some extent it is hard to avoid.<br />

I have a new feeling of futility with some of my friendships<br />

that have starkly different personality types to mine.<br />

Thoughts such as "I don’t understand that personality<br />

type at all" and "their personality type is so different from<br />

mine, we will never understand each other" reverberated<br />

around my head. The test provides a mode of justifying<br />

relationships but also their presumed incompatibility. As a<br />

result, I had to make a conscious effort to dismiss that way<br />

of thinking to avoid dismissing my relationships as based<br />

on an evidently fallacious, but nonetheless pervasive test.<br />

The Myer-Briggs personality test not only motivated me to<br />

consider my relationships with others, but also to analyse<br />

my own personal weaknesses as defined by it. I had this<br />

desire to alter my personality, to be perfect by minimising<br />

my weaknesses. But how much of a person’s personality is<br />

mutable?<br />

Many self-help books champion self-improvement<br />

techniques to remedy various "weak" tendencies. However,<br />

when it comes to fundamentals of an individual’s<br />

personality, research indicates we don’t have as much free<br />

will over that arena as we would like. As mentioned at the<br />

beginning of this article, more comprehensive tests than<br />

the MBTI exist that can accurately and reliably identify<br />

aspects of personality. The most notable form of analysis is<br />

known as the Big Five personality traits, where personality is<br />

devised into five different domains: openness, conscientious,<br />

extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. While you can<br />

change your behaviour relatively easily, innate traits such as<br />

the Big Five are considerably more ingrained. It is true that<br />

environmental factors do influence personality, however,<br />

research conducted by the Colby Personality Lab at Colby<br />

College in Waterville, Maine, indicates that approximately<br />

50% of personality traits are caused by genetics, and 50%<br />

are caused by environmental factors. Although this number<br />

may be argued against, longitudinal studies of twins also<br />

strongly suggest that genetics have a definite influence on<br />

personality. Being aware of your weaknesses allows you to<br />

understand yourself on a deeper level, but the extent that an<br />

individual can truly change aspects of their personality is<br />

disputable. Thus, just as strengths are an inherited aspect<br />

of personalities, with that we must also accept our own<br />

weaknesses as an innate part of our personality also. The<br />

true lesson the test and its associated ponderings have<br />

taught me is acceptance and understanding of my self and<br />

of others.<br />

Although the tests may not be valid in the scientific area<br />

there is, as noted, intrinsic value in the test. It provoked<br />

conversation within my friendships groups that I otherwise<br />

wouldn’t have had and I am more aware of my own apparent<br />

strengths and weaknesses. However, it is overly simplistic<br />

to believe that human personality can be understood in a<br />

matter of ten minutes over the Internet, and in only sixteen<br />

distinct personality types. To believe this is to relegate the<br />

entire world’s population into an impossibly simplistic<br />


36<br />

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Mon 21st Weekly Talk and Discussion MPS 13:00 TBD Weekly Event<br />

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MIAS - Monash International Affairs Society<br />

MMSS - Monash Marketing Students' Society<br />

MPS - Monash Philosophical Society<br />

MUST - Monash Uni Student Theatre<br />

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37 37<br />


Arts & Culture<br />


Articles by<br />

Emma Simpkin<br />

Kristin Robertson<br />

Anna Zhang<br />

Carina Florea<br />

Julia Pillai<br />

Brodie Everist<br />

Josh Zuzek

38<br />



Etymology of Emoji<br />

Hilary Clinton’s social media team recently asked the<br />

presidential candidate’s followers to tweet how their student<br />

debt made them feel in three emoji or less.<br />

The tweet was intended to start conversation about the<br />

candidate’s new college affordability scheme and doubled<br />

as yet another example of why politicians should steer<br />

clear of social media. Yet by asking twitter to respond to a<br />

complex topic in emoji, Clinton unwittingly rekindled public<br />

debate about the place of the evolving symbols in current<br />

communication.<br />

To those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of being<br />

acquainted with linguistics, the scientific study of language,<br />

serious analysis of emoji sounds laughable. For many emoji<br />

linguistics carries the same amount of academic weight<br />

as dank memetics but when looking at what qualifies a<br />

language versus communication, it becomes apparent we<br />

shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the value of emoji.<br />

The earliest predecessor of emoji was born in 1982 with<br />

a clear-cut meaning and defined purpose. Brainchild of<br />

computer scientist Scott Fahlman, the humble :-) was<br />

created as a joke marker, one that today’s generation<br />

may recognise as the outdated smiley frequently used<br />

by older relatives on Facebook. :-) was the first of many<br />

band-aid solutions to a problem just appearing in digital<br />

communication. How do you avoid misunderstanding and<br />

multiple interpretations when you can’t rely on tone or nonverbal<br />

cues?<br />

The smiley gained popularity in Japan in the 90s and<br />

spawned development of large-scale punctuation based sets<br />

of emoticons in the Japanese mobile market. Emoticons<br />

at this stage substituted for ideas rather than words and<br />

were heavily influenced by anime as well as kanji, a form of<br />

Japanese writing. Japanese emoticons or kaomoji continued<br />

to be successful in Japan before becoming part of Unicode in<br />

2010, a global computing standard for displaying fonts and<br />

text in multiple languages. A year later in Apple introduced<br />

its first emoji keyboard and Android followed suit in 2013,<br />

bringing emoji to the world stage.<br />

The world has seen some fascinating, innovative and<br />

occasionally plain bizarre happenings with emoji. Earlier in<br />

<strong>2015</strong> a Norwegian airline was the first company to publish<br />

an all-emoji URL (www.<br />

.ws) and last year a New<br />

York couple texted solely in emoji for a month to prove it was<br />

possible. Instagram confirmed roughly 40% of text on the app<br />

involves emoji (possibly less now they have banned the<br />

emoji for its sexual connotations) and for $200 USD you<br />

can own a hardback translation of Moby Dick written entirely<br />

in emoji.<br />

Emoji are credited in the media as the world’s newest<br />

and fastest growing language with potential to provide a<br />

universal communication system. Banks are researching the<br />

potential for emoji pin codes and some Dominos ask regular<br />

users to tweet for their order to be delivered. In the digital<br />

age emoji act as an enrichment and supplement to written<br />

text, not only filling the void left by lack of pitch, prosody<br />

and intonation but also giving clues to how the user feels or<br />

wants a statement to be interpreted.<br />

Emoji does envy - and in some cases arguably surpasses<br />

- the ability of written language in conveying emotion,<br />

descriptions and reactions. Find one word in English that<br />

specifies the oh-thank-god-that-could-have-been-worserelief<br />

of the or the exaggerated but likely trivial heartbreak<br />

of the .<br />

What the media miss when they claim emoji is a language<br />

is that a communication system needs more than just the<br />

ability to convey information to be a language. Languages<br />

are incredibly varied in the way they combine words to create<br />

messages but the ability to create larger structures is what<br />

" What the media miss when they<br />

claim emoji is a language is that a<br />

communication system needs more than<br />

just the ability to convey information to be<br />

a language."<br />

separates English from the babbling sounds toddlers make<br />

and a fully fledged sign language like Auslan from the series<br />

of hand gestures you might try and use to communicate with<br />

someone in a noisy bar or club.<br />

Unlike words in any human language, emoji can’t be strung<br />

together to form larger units in a meaningful way. There are<br />

rules for how words combine to make meaningful sentences<br />

and speakers know these rules when dealing with a language<br />

they’re fluent in. However when you read a string of emoji,<br />

there’s a noticeable lack of patterns as emoji don’t appear to<br />

organize by rules. Common small strings like<br />

can be easily understood as I love pandas but when it<br />

comes to reading a string of ten emoji even the author of<br />

the Moby Dick translation would struggle as the order and<br />

meaning breaks down. This isn’t just an issue with large<br />

combinations of emoji, even two-emoji combinations<br />

like can be unclear and ambiguous. The example here<br />

could be interpreted as horses make me happy, I smile at<br />

horses or even happy horses. Meaning is entirely dependent

ARTS & CULTURE 39<br />

"Emoji does envy - and in some cases arguably surpasses -<br />

the ability of written language in conveying emotion,<br />

descriptions and reactions.<br />

Find one word in English that specifies the<br />

oh-thank-god-that-could-have-been-worse-relief of the<br />

or the exaggerated but likely trivial heartbreak of the ."<br />

on the speaker’s interpretation of not only what each of the<br />

individual emoji mean but what the function of each emoji<br />

(e.g. as a noun, adjective, verb) is in the sentence, and really<br />

there’s no right answer.<br />

To complicate matters further we don’t all agree on<br />

exactly what each emoji means and how to use them. For<br />

example, a common translation for is lets go out drinking<br />

but it has also been known to be used by workmates to say<br />

thanks for covering a shift. Even something as apparently<br />

straightforward as can be interpreted as cringing,<br />

nervously smiling, awkwardly smiling or in one bizarre<br />

interpretation, getting ready for a tooth canal. Likewise there<br />

has been debate whether the emoji depicts someone<br />

praying or a high-five. So who decides what the meaning of<br />

an emoji is and how to use it?<br />

Given that we can’t even agree to the single and plural<br />

forms for emoji (emoji, emojis, emojus, emojipodes?) trying<br />

to force standard meanings onto users seems a futile<br />

endeavour. If we liken emoji to a natural language such as<br />

English, then users would decide the preferred meanings of<br />

each emoji and document these in dictionaries. Unlike words<br />

emoji are designed, edited and released onto our keyboards<br />

at their creator’s discretion. Theoretically this grants emoji<br />

creators more say than the average user about intended<br />

meaning and usage but much like the man who coined the<br />

word gif with an initial j sound, people ignore the authorities<br />

in favour of their own communicative needs of the user.<br />

Interestingly how you interpret and use emoji varies along<br />

similar lines to general language. It has been shown that<br />

emoji use differs with age, a study using data from twitter<br />

found that people with older more conservative interests<br />

were more likely to include a nose in their smileys :-) while<br />

those with younger interests (e.g mentioned Miley Cyrus<br />

etc) preferred to exclude the nose. Similarly we tend to<br />

perceive emoji differently depending on the gender of the<br />

speaker. Facebook recently released data about the way<br />

people laugh online with results suggesting women prefer to<br />

signal laughter via emoji while men employ a haha or hehe<br />

response. Likewise numerous articles have been published<br />

in the likes of The New York Times, The Age, GQ, Men’s Health<br />

and Cosmopolitan discussing male versus female emoji<br />

usage with a prevailingly negative attitude towards emoji use<br />

by adult males.<br />

Variation in emoji may not only appear along the lines of<br />

age and gender usage. SwiftKey, a third party emoji app for<br />

smartphones, released data earlier this year showing the<br />

most used emoji in different countries and cultural groups.<br />

According to SwiftKey, the French use four times as many<br />

love heart emoji as any other group, Canadians surprisingly<br />

score highest for use of violent emoji and Australians use<br />

double the global average for alcohol-themed emoji .<br />

The SwiftKey findings aren’t substantiated by any means<br />

but suggest that the ways groups differentiate themselves<br />

through language may be similar to the way they are<br />

distinguishing themselves through emoji. An example of this<br />

is the different meaning of the emoji for African American<br />

Vernacular English (AAVE) speakers.<br />

AAVE speakers use the emoji to reference a fixed<br />

cultural phrase keeping it 100 meaning to keep something<br />

real, honest or truthful. Outside of AAVE, use often<br />

translates to mean 100% or good job.<br />

Regardless of whether or not emoji do reveal and<br />

demonstrate cultural values, the perceived link between<br />

emoji and ideology was enough to prompt Russia to ban<br />

"gay" emoji for denying traditional family values in August.<br />

Likewise Hilary Clinton’s campaign was taken as an insult<br />

by many millenials who saw the request to reply in emoji as<br />

a statement on their generation’s ability to communicate<br />

effectively.<br />

If emoji are understood and used differently depending on<br />

social, regional, age and possibly even gender of the users<br />

then hopes it can serve as global language or lingua franca<br />

are likely unfounded. Emoji as a communication system is<br />

rapidly evolving. In the past ten years inclusion of a smiley<br />

face in professional emails has gone from a faux-pas to<br />

mostly accepted. If emoji continue to evolve and expand at<br />

current rates then perhaps it will eventually reach language<br />

status. For the moment, emoji are best treated as an<br />

expressive resource, one that while certainly isn’t universal<br />

has interesting potential for the future.<br />

Emma Simpkin is president of Linguistics Society<br />

(LingSoc) at Monash University. If you are interested in<br />

being involved contact her at lingsoc@monashclubs.org<br />

to find out more.

40<br />


By Kristin Robertson<br />

Where does your food come from?<br />

They say you are what you eat, but how well do you know<br />

what you’re eating? Do you know where your food comes from<br />

and how it is treated? Trade. Health. Environmental impacts.<br />

It can be a mine field. Here is a guide to help you eat more<br />

thoughtfully.<br />

Meats<br />

Key Imports<br />

Australians love their beef and the majority of the beef<br />

we buy in the supermarket is lucky enough to come from<br />

Australian cattle. Minor imports also come from New Zealand<br />

or Vanuatu; the only other two countries approved by Food<br />

Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). The Standards are<br />

strict, so much so that even imported canned meats – that<br />

predominately come out of the U.S. – must originally source<br />

the meat from FSANZ approved countries in order to be sold<br />

here.<br />

The Humanity Factor<br />

While inhumane issues do arise within Australia, the<br />

majority of cases involving mistreatment of Australian cattle<br />

happen abroad. At home the process of slaughter involves<br />

stunning the animal until they are insensible and can’t feel<br />

their major blood vessels being severed and drained. The<br />

RSPCA endorses this as a humane method of slaughter<br />

saying that the procedures are designed to be ‘low stress.’<br />

The biggest issue involved in Australian methods involves<br />

instances where the cattle are not properly stunned before<br />

they are killed. Due to supply and demand, cases like that<br />

happen more frequently than they should. Likewise supply<br />

and demand also sees that young cattle are slaughtered<br />

before they typically should be.<br />

It should also be noted that regardless of the cattle’s living<br />

conditions - whether factory farmed or organic – all meat<br />

that’s sold in the supermarket is killed in only a handful of<br />

registered abattoirs.<br />

Vegetables<br />

Key Imports<br />

While vegetable importing remains relatively small, there<br />

has been a steady increase over the years to cope with sales.<br />

In Australia most imports come from New Zealand and Italy<br />

(who mainly offer processed vegetables.) However, specific<br />

vegetables are frequently imported from particular regions,<br />

for instance imported onions are typically from the U.S.,<br />

asparagus from Mexico or Peru or garlic from China.<br />

Unfortunately, the growing number of vegetable imports<br />

poses a real danger for local farmers and their produce.<br />

Despite being more environmentally friendly and beneficially<br />

for local economies the low price of importing can make it<br />

difficult to compete.<br />

The Pesticide Factor<br />

Unless you are a backyard farmer, pesticide on our veggies<br />

is something we’ll all have come into contact with. It might<br />

be assumed that imported food contains more of these<br />

harmful pesticides however that isn’t necessarily the case<br />

with research from consumer advocates CHOICE showing<br />

that Australia is just as bad. CHOICE even claims that<br />

Australia is a bit behind in their pesticide precautions as<br />

compared to other countries.<br />

Organic eaters can be reassured by a study out of<br />

Washington University that found those who eat organic<br />

vegetables have half the amount of pesticide in their urine as<br />

non-organic eaters.<br />

Fish<br />

Key Imports<br />

Surprisingly, about 66% of the fish consumed in Australia<br />

is imported. This is because, despite having the 3rd largest<br />

fishing zone in the world, our seas yield lower harvests than<br />

other zones. Additionally, our seafood imports – mainly from<br />

China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and New Zealand – are<br />

relatively cheap.<br />

Aqua Culture versus Wild Caught<br />

There is quite a bit of debate surrounding whether<br />

aquaculture or wild caught seafood is better for the<br />

environment and for our own health.<br />

Health fanatics tend to argue that fish caught in natural<br />

environments provide more health benefits due to their<br />

‘natural’ diets and freer environments. Over half of the fish<br />

caught in Australia is wild caught; however, this can pose<br />

environmental issues since overfishing is more easily done.<br />

On the other hand, research shows that farmed fish is<br />

lower in mercury levels and that some fish maintain higher<br />

omega 3 fatty acid levels in farm environments. The major<br />

issue with farming seems to be the pollution of surrounding<br />

waters which threaten the nearby habitats.<br />

It’s a tough choice to make and so many recommend<br />

researching the fish you like to eat and making your choice<br />

accordingly.<br />

Eggs<br />

"Free Range"<br />

With no real restrictions on the labelling on egg cartons<br />

the difference between one carton labelled ‘Free Range’ may<br />

vary immensely from another. This means that while you<br />

may buy free range eggs for the sake of the hen, that hen<br />

might potentially be beakless and just as cooped up as you’d<br />

imagine caged or barn-laying chickens to be.<br />

The demand for eggs in Australia already reduces the<br />

amount of people able to buy free range eggs in the first<br />

place. Furthermore this demand sees "free-range" farmers<br />

using the lack of legal literature to release their chooks from<br />

spatially-challenged barns to spatially-challenged fields<br />

that only allows each chicken about half a square metres of<br />

space– if they are released at all. That doesn’t sound so ‘free<br />

range’ to me.<br />

How can we know the difference? If you want to ensure<br />

that the eggs you are buying are really free range look out for<br />

Australian Certified Organic, Humane Choice or Free Range<br />

Farmers Association logos on your egg cartons. Be wary<br />

of Egg Corp Assured logos; despite claiming that it seeks<br />

welfare for its flocks it has been reported that some suppliers<br />

that use the logo don’t truly give the chickens free range and<br />

still practice beak trimming.

ARTS & CULTURE 41<br />

When you go to Asia…<br />

"Feel empowered, feel gratitude, feel wonder.<br />

Come back and view the world through different lenses."<br />

BY Anna Zhang<br />

This summer, many of you will find yourselves visiting exotic<br />

destinations all over the world. More often than not, you will<br />

find yourselves in inexpensive South East Asia, where your<br />

Australian dollar will get the most bang for its buck.<br />

Whether you’re lounging on a beach in Bali, or exploring<br />

the ancient monuments of Angkor, you will most certainly<br />

confront poverty. At first, you may feel a lump in the back<br />

of your throat, as you struggle to come to terms with the<br />

injustices of the world. You may clutch your DSLR a little<br />

tighter, whilst simultaneously wondering what you can do<br />

to alleviate the guilt. The feeling that you may somewhat<br />

be responsible for the dire circumstances that many find<br />

themselves in. After all, you are part of an economic system<br />

that punishes those born with brute luck.<br />

But dammit, you’re here for a holiday. You’re angry that<br />

you are feeling guilty for something that you have not<br />

directly caused. You push the feeling of guilt away, and say to<br />

yourself, next time, I’ll come back to volunteer, or when I go<br />

home I’ll start donating to a charity. These promises ease the<br />

guilt, although, you know that once you get home, you have<br />

no intention of sacrificing your latte or flat white in order to<br />

change something you no longer see.<br />

The next time you go, your wallet is a little heavier. You’re<br />

ready to give 50 cents here and 50 cents there to every<br />

person that you see on the street. You might even pop<br />

into an orphanage, pull out your iPhone, take a few selfies<br />

with the children and teach them a song or two. As you’re<br />

heading back to your hotel, you quickly upload the photos to<br />

Instagram with the hashtag #makingadifference. You might<br />

even feel generous enough to link the photo to an Australian<br />

charity that your followers can donate to.<br />

Little do you know that in taking the photo, you have<br />

reduced those children to mere objects for your selfgratification.<br />

You have breached child protection policies,<br />

and may have placed those children at risk of danger by<br />

identifying their location, and perhaps, even their name. Your<br />

photo will portray these children as forever being stuck in the<br />

dire circumstances that you have captured them in – never<br />

changing. Only changing when someone like you comes to<br />

‘save’ them. You do not realise the damage that you have<br />

done.<br />

So next time you’re in Asia, here’s what to do:<br />

1— Take photos of beautiful buildings, trees, images of<br />

empowerment. Don’t take photos of people who haven’t<br />

asked for the photo to be taken (you’re not in a zoo). In<br />

particular, don’t take photos of children and upload them to<br />

your social media feeds. Children have a right to privacy.<br />

2— When visiting or volunteering with a charity, be<br />

conscious of the impact that you’re having. Children are<br />

not tourist attractions. There are many ways that you can<br />

make an impact, through campaigns and organisations<br />

such as, ‘Think Child Safe’ http://www.thinkchildsafe.org/<br />

thinkbeforevisiting/<br />

3— If you would like to have a prolonged impact on making<br />

a difference in the world, without sacrificing the luxuries<br />

that you have, consider reading "Effective Altruism" by Peter<br />

Singer (available at Monash Library), or donating to an<br />

effective charity that has been assessed by a meta-charity<br />

such as GiveWell (http://www.givewell.org/) or The Life You<br />

Can Save (http://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/Where-to-<br />

Donate). Meta-charities assess charities in order to ensure<br />

that your hard earned donations go to making the most<br />

impact.<br />

But most importantly, cherish the culture, cherish the<br />

experience and learn about how lives are lived differently all<br />

over the world. Feel empowered, feel gratitude, feel wonder.<br />

Come back and view the world through different lenses. Take<br />

that energy and commit to never living life the same way again.<br />

Photograph courtesy of<br />


42<br />


By Carina Florea<br />

Step inside The Ministry<br />

Monash Uni Student Theatre (MUST) in conjunction with<br />

Kin Collaborative Inc. presents, The Ministry; an immersive<br />

multi-disciplinary experience set to change the way you<br />

experience your surroundings.<br />

Back in 1949, when Orwell penned his classic dystopian novel,<br />

Nineteen Eighty-Four, the cautionary tale of a totalitarian<br />

future captured its readers and left one final warning, "don’t<br />

let it happen. It depends on you". Yet, despite his warning,<br />

countless parallels between Orwell’s imagined world and<br />

today’s society detail the pervasive influence technology has<br />

on our lives. None more real or immersive than the upcoming<br />

promenade production, The Ministry, which seeks to<br />

reimagine the world of Oceania right in the heart of Monash<br />

University.<br />

In anticipation for the opening of this production, we spoke<br />

to creator/Director Anna Nalpantidis about the inspiration<br />

behind the making of The Ministry and what exactly the<br />

audience can expect from the experience.<br />

While The Ministry draws a lot of inspiration from Orwell’s<br />

Nineteen Eighty-Four, it goes far beyond the boundaries<br />

of pages and screens into the realm of immersive theatre<br />

production inspired by the likes of UK based theatre<br />

company PunchDrunk. As Nalpantidis explains, "we are not<br />

so much striving to adapt ‘1984’ – rather we are inviting the<br />

audience on a journey where they will collect fragments of<br />

information and navigate connections between Orwell’s<br />

world and ours." Alongside Orwell’s influence, The Ministry<br />

draws upon influences such as the the NSA files and a variety<br />

of other dystopian novels, literature and films.<br />

As for the audience experience, you will be relieved to hear<br />

that it’s not a direct adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four.<br />

When asked about the possible inclusion of live rats in the<br />

show, Nalpantidis replied that the idea "got shut down pretty<br />

quickly".<br />

Blending dance, music, film and installation art, The<br />

Ministry strives to challenge audience members to step<br />

outside the role of being an observer and embark on their<br />

own journeys with the help of the talented MUST cast.<br />

Nalpantidis describes the experience as sensory, "you<br />

might smell things, you might taste things, you can touch<br />

things" and also that it’s about "finding that barrier between<br />

what’s real and what’s being performed." In regards to<br />

what exactly goes on in The Ministry, it’s all up to you to<br />

distinguish between spectator and actor and who’s watching<br />

or being watched.<br />

The Ministry is part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and<br />

runs from September 17-26, located at the MUST space<br />

at Monash Clayton. Tickets are available through www.<br />

melbournefringe.com.au or call (03) 9660 9666. For more<br />

information, visit www.theministry.org.au

ARTS & CULTURE 43<br />

The Ashley Madison hack is no-one’s victory<br />

If you have stayed up watching late night TV, you may have<br />

seen a mildly amusing advertisement of a zombie couple<br />

living their monotonous life under the shadow of monogamy<br />

and matrimony. Then suddenly our heroine goes online - to<br />

ashleymadison.com. She closes her laptop screen, no longer<br />

undead, and suggestively places one finger on her lips. Life<br />

is short, have an affair. Websites such as Ashley Madison are<br />

controversial, to say the very least, as ultimately it aims to<br />

facilitate activities that many of us see as outright immoral;<br />

cheating on one’s spouse. With this in mind, the initial lack<br />

of sympathy to the victims of Impact Team’s hack into Ashley<br />

Madison and Established Men, was hardly unsurprising.<br />

The Impact Team issued a threat to Ashley Madison’s<br />

parent company, Avid Life Media, to shut down these two<br />

websites, or else the personal details of all users - names,<br />

email addresses, bank card numbers, home addresses and<br />

sexual interests - would be leaked. After failing to comply<br />

with Impact Team’s requests, they released a statement on<br />

Reddit, stating that they had leaked user information. What<br />

followed was frenzy.<br />

It’s hard to not feel at least the slightest bit of<br />

shadenfreude at the hack. Especially with the news that<br />

Josh Duggar, the former 19 and counting star and previous<br />

executive director of conservative lobbying group Family<br />

Research Council, which aims "to champion marriage and<br />

family as the foundation of civilization" had a paid account.<br />

This is not the only controversy unearthed about Duggar; in<br />

May this year, In Touch Weekly revealed that in 2006 Duggar<br />

had confessed to molesting five underage girls, including<br />

four of his own sisters.<br />

However things began to go sour even before the full leak.<br />

When the news came out that Impact Team had hacked into<br />

ALM’s sites, a Saudi-Arabian Reddit user going by the name<br />

ICouldBeStoned2Death posted a plea.<br />

"I am from Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality carries the<br />

death penalty," he writes. "I studied in [redacted] the last<br />

several years and used Ashley Madison during that time ... I<br />

am single; I used it because I am gay. Gay sex is punishable<br />

by death in my home country, so I wanted to keep my<br />

hookups extremely discreet. (AM promised that they had<br />

systems in place to ensure confidentiality.)"<br />

This brought up a couple of new perspectives on this hack.<br />

Despite the downright seediness of the website, not all AM<br />

users are similar to Duggar, and the hack could leave them<br />

in legal and mortal danger. We must also note that adultery<br />

laws are generally far harsher on women than men, as per<br />

this 2012 statement from the UN:<br />

"Adultery laws have usually been drafted and almost<br />

always implemented in a manner prejudicial to women,<br />

Provisions in penal codes often do not treat women and men<br />

equally and establish harsher sanctions for women, and in<br />

some countries, rules of evidence value women’s testimony<br />

as half that of a man’s."<br />

Homosexuality is illegal in 79 countries, and punishable<br />

by death in ten countries. As Ashley Madison has previously<br />

been perceived to be safer than LGBT specific dating sites,<br />

this could be concerning for users living in those companies.<br />

For similar reasons, committed or married couples in open<br />

relationships may have also used Ashley Madison in a<br />

manner where both spouses were aware of the other using<br />

the site. While of course there may be differing views on<br />

open relationships or polyamory, surely this is a personal<br />

matter for such couples that should not be discussed on<br />

such a scale, and this could unfortunately lead to unwanted<br />

attention, or a poor reputation for some people, even if they<br />

did not actually deceive their partners.<br />

Did Impact Team think about the spouses who would<br />

discover that their partner might have been unfaithful, in<br />

such a public manner? Sure, they have a right to know, but<br />

how humiliating must that be? Did they think about how<br />

domestic violence could come into play in these situations;<br />

and before you say ‘well they shouldn’t have been cheating in<br />

the first place’ do you really think anyone ‘deserves’ violent<br />

treatment? What about the mental health not only on people<br />

who wear using the site, but their family and spouses?<br />

Already there have been two suicides with links to the leak,<br />

and this could certainly become more of an issue as this leak<br />

continues to play out.<br />

The worst part of this incident is what it says about us.<br />

As a global society we have a streak of a morbid, mediaeval,<br />

fascination around shaming people and the Internet<br />

certainly shields us from our own un-empathetic actions.<br />

We do see mob like attacks on individuals on line, usually<br />

to discredit them and ruin their reputations. Sure, this is<br />

often when they do something awful, but how is this not<br />

the modern equivalent of the stocks and pillory? The Ashley<br />

Madison hack is a case where yes, very few people were doing<br />

the right thing, of course you can’t be fully sympathetic to<br />

sleazy cheating partners, but as mentioned earlier the ripple<br />

effect goes so much further than that. We cannot entirely<br />

blame the Impact Team for this, because we have given them<br />

the perfect audience.<br />


44<br />



Gig Guide<br />

16<br />

Sept<br />

Live Jazz with The Rookies.<br />

The Rooks Return. 201 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy<br />

Free – 8:30pm every Wednesday<br />

23<br />

Sept<br />

Live Jazz with The Rookies.<br />

The Rooks Return. 201 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy<br />

Free – 8:30pm every Wednesday<br />

17<br />

Sept<br />

18<br />

Sept<br />

19<br />

Sept<br />

22<br />

Sept<br />

Louise Love/Je Wheeler/Little Adventures<br />

Bar Open. 317 Brunswick St, Fitzroy.<br />

9pm. $5 entry<br />

Little Adventures is a Melbourne-based duo that features<br />

the stunning vocals of Mel O’Neill encapsulated by<br />

the soundscapes and grooves of Luke Singleton. With<br />

support from accomplished songwriters Louise Love and<br />

Jillian Wheeler.<br />

The Melbourne Improvisers Collective September<br />

Series<br />

Uptown Jazz Cafe. 1/177 Brunswick St, Fitzroy.<br />

8:30pm.<br />

The Melbourne Improvisers Collective (MIC) is an<br />

organisation that presents regular performances<br />

throughout Melbourne displaying local, interstate and<br />

international creative musicians. This week features the<br />

Wayfinders and the Nick McCusker Quartet.<br />

Movement 9 – Funk, Jazz and Latin<br />

Vamos. 1st Floor 37 Little Bourke St, Melbourne.<br />

8:30pm.<br />

Movement 9 present a heady cocktail of jazz, funk and<br />

latin music, featuring the original compositions of Joe<br />

McEvilly. After launching their debut album WINGS in<br />

2013, they are bringing a combination of classic and new<br />

work to Vamos.<br />

Fistful of Soul W/ Fulton Street<br />

Ding Dong Lounge. 18 Market Lane, Chinatown,<br />

Melbourne.<br />

9pm. $10 entry<br />

Seven-piece soul outfit Fulton Street open for Ding Dong’s<br />

Fistful of Soul – featuring a heady mix of rhythm & blues,<br />

Motown & stomping Northern tracks brought to you by<br />

resident DJs, led by PBS Radio presenter, Vince Peach.<br />

The Senegambian Jazz Band with STAV.<br />

The Toff in Town. 2/252 Swanston St.<br />

7:30pm. $10+bf / $15 on door.<br />

Pulsing with polyrhythm, vocalist and virtuosic kora<br />

player Amadou Suso brings together a collective of<br />

musicians who merge traditional African percussion and<br />

song with improvisation. Vibrant smiles and passionate<br />

melodies, the culture is deep and the music is fresh.<br />

Opening the night is Melbourne’s soulful, moving and<br />

groovy: STAV.<br />

24<br />

Sept<br />

25<br />

Sept<br />

26<br />

Sept<br />

27<br />

Sept<br />

30<br />

Sept<br />

The Melbourne Improvisers Collective September<br />

Series<br />

Uptown Jazz Cafe. 1/177 Brunswick St, Fitzroy.<br />

8:30pm.<br />

The Melbourne Improvisers Collective (MIC) is an<br />

organisation that presents regular performances<br />

throughout Melbourne displaying local, interstate and<br />

international creative musicians. This week features the<br />

Antipodes Sextet and the Gareth Voigt Quartet.<br />

Vintage Roots – Pop Music with a Jazz Edge<br />

Paris Cat Jazz Club $25 9:30pm<br />

Vintage Roots re-interpret classic pop songs by artists<br />

such as Cold Chisel, John Farnham, Maroon 5, Justice<br />

Crew, Justin Bieber, Madonna, The Cure and lots more.<br />

Exploring a plethora of genres from the jazz idiom this is<br />

pop music like you’ve never heard before.<br />

Papa G and The Starcats W/ The Jungle Crooks and<br />

Scrimshaw Four<br />

Ding Dong Lounge. 18 Market Lane, Chinatown,<br />

Melbourne.<br />

The Starcats return to the Ding Dong Lounge for a superb<br />

night of their heavy grooves and catchy funk anthems.<br />

Monash Philharmonic Society Spring Concert <strong>2015</strong> –<br />

Americana<br />

The Patricia Turner Centre for Creative Arts, Firbank<br />

Grammar, 51 Outer Crescent, Brighton.<br />

7pm. $15/12/8<br />

Monash University Philharmonic Society proudly<br />

presents the Monash Philharmonic Orchestra, the<br />

Monash Symphonic Winds and the Monash Jazz<br />

Orchestra in the second major concert for <strong>2015</strong>,<br />

"Americana".<br />

Monash Academy Orchestra – Beethoven 9<br />

Robert Blackwood Hall. Monash University, Clayton.<br />

The MAO continues their <strong>2015</strong> season with a world<br />

premiere of New Work by Mary Finsterer, Liszt’s Piano<br />

Concerto No. 1 in Eb Major and Beethoven’s Symphony<br />

No.9 in D minor.<br />

Live Jazz with The Rookies.<br />

The Rooks Return. 201 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy<br />

Free – 8:30pm every Wednesday

ARTS & CULTURE 45<br />

2<br />

Oct<br />

3<br />

Oct<br />

Pilot<br />

Paris Cat Jazz Club. 6 Goldie Place Melbourne.<br />

8:30pm. $20 entry – tickets available.<br />

PILOT is a five-piece instrumental jazz/fusion band<br />

from Melbourne. Formed in 2014, their self-titled,<br />

independently released debut EP ranges from their<br />

trademark rock-infused jazz style through to forays<br />

into piano-based hip hop and beyond.<br />

Movement 9: Presents the music of Amy Winehouse<br />

Paris Cat Jazz Club. 6 Goldie Place Melbourne.<br />

6:30pm. Tickets $25.<br />

In collaboration with Elly Poletti, winner of two<br />

prestigious Bruce Awards for Music Theatre, Movement<br />

9 present a fresh and fascinating perspective on<br />

the music of Amy Winehouse. Reimagined and<br />

reinterpreted, they transport Amy Winehouse’s songs<br />

from the radio to the smoky clubs where her idols<br />

Mingus, Miles and Monk used to play.<br />

4<br />

Oct<br />

16<br />

Oct<br />

17<br />

Oct<br />

Little Adventures/Je Wheeler/Tommy Staples<br />

Whole Lotta Love. 524 Lygon St, East Brunswick.<br />

World-class DJ Tommy Staples takes over Whole Lotta<br />

Love with support from professional songwriter Je<br />

Wheeler and ambient duo Little Adventures.<br />

Elissa Rodger Band - Poetry In Motion<br />

Melbourne Recital Centre. 31 Sturt St, Southbank,<br />

Melbourne.<br />

7pm. Tickets $30/25.<br />

Upcoming jazz vocalist Elissa Rodger presents a<br />

collection of pieces celebrating the spoken word<br />

– featuring the works of E.E. Cummings, Theodore<br />

Roethke and fantastic lyricists alike.<br />

Clancye Milne Presents the Music of Gershwin<br />

Paris Cat Jazz Club. 6 Goldie Place Melbourne.<br />

6:30pm. Tickets $25.<br />

With a shared love of the Great American Songbook,<br />

vocalist Clancye Milne and composer James Mustafa<br />

present an evening of music, featuring the iconic<br />

compositions of George and Ira Gershwin.<br />

Want to have your gig advertised in<br />

the next gig guide? Send the details to<br />

bceve1@student.monash.edu<br />

Please include date, time, entry fee,<br />

address and a 1-2 sentence description<br />

of the band/music.

46 arts & culture<br />

By Josh Zuzek<br />

TV Junkies and Junk TV<br />

Are you a TV junkie? Or are you one of those socially<br />

backward people who still only watch their TV simply for<br />

enjoyment?<br />

Television has transcended mere entertainment.<br />

In 2011, Netflix was still a DVD rental service limited to<br />

America and Canada. No Australians were bombarded<br />

with commercials for Stan or Presto. Channel 10 wasn’t a<br />

complete joke. The world was a simpler place.<br />

Then came the boom.<br />

The inevitable competition to offer the best TV viewing<br />

experience has lead to an explosion in new shows, all for<br />

consumption and immediate social media critiquing.<br />

With it, good television has suddenly become the needle in<br />

the haystack that is the rapidly evolving world of network, pay<br />

TV and streaming services.<br />

As much as viewers have been treated to some fantastic<br />

new series over the past few years, there has also a great<br />

increase in shows that have failed to captivate their target<br />

audience.<br />

Unfortunately, there are a limited number of good actors,<br />

showrunners and – most importantly – original ideas for new<br />

TV series, and that talent can only be spread so far.<br />

Pessimists may argue that any good idea for a TV series<br />

has already been thought of; as Mindy Kaling humorously<br />

pointed out in The New Yorker last month, TV addicts have<br />

no trouble detecting obvious similarities amongst every new<br />

wave of shows that hit their screens.<br />

Compounding the problem, any new TV series not only has<br />

to compete against shows on other channels, but now also<br />

the alarming amount of content available from streaming<br />

services like Netflix, Stan and Presto. These services offer<br />

anything from the freshest of new release titles to old<br />

classics and children’s shows.<br />

With the greater accessibility to older shows thanks to<br />

streaming services, new series are swamped – making the<br />

decision to commit to an original series even tougher.<br />

Why would I commit to watching thirteen hours of a new<br />

"Immature, pathetic 30-something year old man is suddenly thrust<br />

into a position of great responsibility and must grow up fast" series<br />

when I have ‘Breaking Bad’ there in its entirety, especially<br />

with the constant (and slightly annoying) reminder from<br />

everyone I know that ‘Breaking Bad’ is the single greatest TV<br />

show ever created?<br />

Keeping up to date on the latest buzz show has become<br />

something of a social badge of honour for people too. With<br />

the aid of social media, TV viewing has become more than<br />

something done in your spare time – it’s become an event.<br />

Initially kick started by reality TV shows and sporting<br />

events, social media coverage of scripted dramas has taken<br />

off recently, to the point of ridiculousness – especially those<br />

not in on the fun.<br />

Devoted fans need to be in a certain frame of mind to<br />

watch their beloved ‘True Detective’, ‘Game of Thrones’ or<br />

‘Dragonball Z’ (admit it, you’d still binge watch Goku at the<br />

drop of a hat). No small detail can be missed, and every plot<br />

twist must feel like the rollercoaster ride they’re created to<br />

be.<br />

Instant reactions must be tweeted, and if you are so brave<br />

as to not watch an episode the moment its available, you<br />

must avoid social media like the plague until you’ve caught<br />

up again.<br />

Heavily dramatic shows can also leave the viewer feeling<br />

depressed – say following the death of a favourite character<br />

– angry, and always desperate for more - such is their<br />

intention. However, not everyone can handle going off to bed<br />

immediately following the ice-cold betrayal of their beloved,<br />

beautiful man in black... Did someone say spoiler?<br />

This highlights how there will always be a place for shows<br />

you don’t have to be totally invested in, sitcom reruns you<br />

happily allow to simply wash over you while you sit on the<br />

couch, paying just as much attention to your phone as you<br />

do to the TV.<br />

This is the space where reality TV resides, alongside<br />

lightweight dramas and good old-fashioned soap operas.<br />

It must also be noted that the proliferation of choice for<br />

viewers has undoubtedly brought some positives too.<br />

The race between programmers to beef up their content<br />

libraries has lead networks and streaming services to<br />

broaden their horizons, pulling away from the safety of<br />

repetition to search for new and interesting ideas.<br />

Indeed, series such as ‘Empire’ and ‘Orange is the New<br />

Black’ have proven to be unique examples – and immensely<br />

popular in their original American markets - in recent years,<br />

simply for featuring predominantly African-American and<br />

female casts respectively. While being embarrassingly long<br />

overdue, shows such as these – particularly ‘OITNB’ – may not<br />

have ever seen the light of day before the content explosion<br />

in recent years.<br />

Speaking to The New York Times in August, ‘Girlfriends’<br />

Guide to Divorce’ showrunner Marti Noxon commented on<br />

how the increase in programming over the past five years<br />

has lead to greater opportunities for shows featuring women<br />

and minorities, and even just shows with a more niche<br />

subject matter.<br />

"There was not enough opportunity for voices that speak<br />

to a smaller audience," Ms. Noxon said. "Now many of these<br />

places are looking to reach some people — not all the people."<br />

"That’s opened up a tremendous opportunity for women<br />

and other people that have been left out of the conversation."<br />

While some popular shows are watched primarily to<br />

stay up to date on current conversations, television is still<br />

ultimately a medium to entertain. After a hard days studying,<br />

working, or binge watching ‘Breaking Bad’, a viewer will<br />

always find something to fit the bill.


47<br />

Sophie Hinz<br />

Sophie Hinz is a Melbourne based Visual Artist<br />

who recently graduated from Bachelor of Visual<br />

Arts at Monash University.<br />

You can find more of her work at<br />

cargocollective.com/sophiehinz<br />

Above:<br />

Glass, Concrete and mixed media on unstretched<br />

canvas, dimensions variable

48<br />



Misfortunes of the mind, Mix Media on Canvas, 2014



Top left:<br />

‘Untitled’, Glass, 2014<br />

Above:<br />

Eric Cross, Sophie Hinz collaboration<br />

‘Mountain’, Glass and concrete, 2014

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