Lot's Wife Edition 2 2017

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Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong><br />

edition two


Relationships, be they partners, friends or family, can be a great<br />

part of life, but sometimes behaviours that we can brush off as<br />

someone 'just showing how much they care' can actaully be<br />

harmful or dangerous. Relationships should be about equality,<br />

respect and open communication. These are some red flags you<br />

should look for before or during any relationship.<br />

MONASH<br />


T: +61 3 9905 1599<br />

E: safercommunity@monash.edu<br />

monash.edu<br />

Try asking yourself:<br />

• Do they show extreme moodswings, saying that they'll love you<br />

forever then getting angry and saying they hate you?<br />

• Are they expecting you to make big, unreasonable committments to<br />

them very early in the relationship?<br />

• Are they possissive, jealous or manipulative? Do they try to stop you<br />

from seeing your family and friends or spread lies about you to them?<br />

• Are they controlling of your behaviour, such as dictating where<br />

you go, what you can wear or even what you can eat?<br />

Never date someone out of pity and trust your instincts. If these<br />

behaviours sound familiar, the Safer Community Unit can help.<br />

For information, advice and support in a safe environment, please contact the Monash University Safer Community Unit on 9905<br />

1599 or just dial 51599 from a Monash phone.The Safer Community Unit website also lists resources and links to external agencies<br />

http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/safercommunity/<br />

Adapted from Surviving Stalking (2002) by Michele Pathé

contents<br />

02/<br />

editorial<br />

04/<br />

msa calendar<br />

06/<br />

office bearer reports<br />

08/<br />

wot’s news?<br />

jessie lu & joanne fong<br />

11/<br />

doing everything we can<br />

keyur doolabh & julia chetwood<br />

12/<br />

dreaming of ivy league<br />

sophia mcnamara & linda widjaja<br />

14/<br />

how to be a super broke uni<br />

student and survive<br />

chulani jithma kaluarachchi<br />

16/<br />

international volunteering:<br />

selfless or selfish?<br />

devika pandit & julia thouas<br />

17/<br />

in crisis: the greens must strive<br />

for electoral success<br />

jordan mosley & hugh brooks<br />

18/<br />

a love letter to a lost america<br />

ben caddaye & lucy zammit<br />

20/<br />

let’s talk about youth<br />

homelessness<br />

sachetha bamunusinghe & mohan lei<br />

22/<br />

artwork: dinosaurs<br />

keely simpson-bull<br />

24/<br />

what major should you choose?<br />

science & engineering sub-editor team &<br />

lin rahman<br />

25/<br />

what’s the matter with<br />

anti-matter?<br />

isaac reichman & john henry<br />

26/<br />

apathy and urgency<br />

lachlan liesfield & carly paterson<br />

27/<br />

do patterns of social media use<br />

reflect personality traits?<br />

ambrose moore<br />

28/<br />

science news<br />

science & engineering sub-editor team<br />

30/<br />

student theatre: the MUST have<br />

dylan marshall<br />

32/<br />

oscar bait: why the oscars are<br />

overrated<br />

nick jarrett & rachelle lee<br />

34/<br />

the political is personal: an<br />

interview with judith buckrich<br />

evangeline yong<br />

36/<br />

lucian and ‘the true history’<br />

john henry & stephie dim<br />

38/<br />

the beginner’s guide to<br />

melbourne’s art galleries<br />

jessica lehmann<br />

40/<br />

the wacky and wonderful: jude<br />

perl<br />

manon boutin charles & sa pasa<br />

42/<br />

why videogames are a great<br />

medium for storytelling<br />

rachael welling & angharad neal-williams<br />

44/<br />

why reality tv is a blight on<br />

humanity<br />

marlo sullivan & audrey chmielewski<br />

46/<br />

political acts: pioneers of<br />

performance art in<br />

southeast asia<br />

linh thuy nguyen<br />

48/<br />

the human implications of<br />

scorsese’s taxi driver<br />

nick bugeja<br />

50/<br />

cabin 85<br />

lachlan liesfield & john henry<br />

52/<br />

the greenhouse<br />

joanne fong & anna tsuda<br />

54/<br />

crazed anti capitalist<br />

nick bugeja<br />

54/<br />

apprivoiser<br />

manon boutin charles<br />

55/<br />

come back<br />

isaac reichman<br />

56/<br />

wot’s life? with uncle trump<br />

donald trump<br />

57/<br />

poetry: turn/whisky & gin<br />

shona louis & lucy zammit

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the team<br />

Editors<br />

Emina Besirevic<br />

Nick Bugeja<br />

Sophia McNamara<br />

Rob Staunton<br />

Design<br />

Hana Crowl<br />

Student Affairs<br />

Caitlin McIvor<br />

Dylan Marshall<br />

Sophie Ng<br />

Devika Pandit<br />

Politics & Society<br />

Mollie Ashworth<br />

Ben Caddaye<br />

Jessica Lehmann<br />

Lachlan Liesfield<br />

Arts & Culture<br />

Tim Davies<br />

Nick Jarrett<br />

Clarissa Kwee<br />

Linh Nguyen<br />

Creative & Comedy<br />

Manon Boutin Charles<br />

John Henry<br />

Georgina Lee<br />

Shona Louis<br />

Elizabeth Yu<br />

Campus Reporters<br />

Joanne Fong<br />

Jessie Lu<br />

Science & Engineering<br />

Tracy Chen<br />

Shreeya Luthra<br />

Isaac Reichman<br />

Rachael Welling<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> is entirely run, written, illustrated, edited and designed by students.<br />

If you would like to get involved, we are always looking for new contributors!<br />

Say hi anytime:<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> Office<br />

1st Floor, Campus Centre,<br />

Turn right at the MSA desk<br />

Or email us at msa-lotswife@monash.edu<br />

Advertising enquires:<br />

msa-lotswife@monash.edu<br />

Cover Art by Matilda Parolini<br />

Matilda Parolini is a Masters of Architecture student at Monash University and<br />

an illustrator. She combines several colours, textures and elements of symbolism<br />

in her work. While a keen artist in high school fueled her passion for creativity,<br />

she decided to pursue studies in Architecture. She manages to find herself<br />

turning to digital illustration because of its limitless possibilities, as another<br />

outlet of creativity which is quite different to her current studies.<br />

Instagram: @matildaparolini<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> <strong>Edition</strong> Two<br />

March <strong>2017</strong><br />

Published by Mary Giblin at Printgraphics, Mount Waverley, Victoria.<br />

As you read this magazine you are on Aboriginal land. Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> recognises the<br />

Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nations as the historical and<br />

rightful owners and custodians of the lands which this magazine was produced on.<br />

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

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

or discriminatory of any nature. The views expressed herein are those of the<br />

attributed writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the<br />

Monash Student Association. All writing and artwork remains the property of the<br />

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

© Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> Magazine<br />

Level 1, Campus Centre<br />

Monash University<br />

Clayton, Victoria 3800<br />

Section Art by Julia Chetwood<br />

Julia Chetwood is a 3rd year Communication Design student at Monash<br />

University. She’s really into acrylic paint and mixed media right now, but has a<br />

long list of artistic passions, which include but are not limited to: copic markers,<br />

0.38 fineliners, digital drawings, finger-painting, watercolours and messy collages.<br />

You can find more about her and her #illustrations on instagram;<br />

@juliachetwood or on her very own website; juliachetwood.com

Kia Ora and welcome to the second issue of Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> this year. O-Week was crazy and successful: we<br />

handed out so many copies of <strong>Edition</strong> 1 that we had run out of all of the copies halfway through week 2.<br />

Either we misplaced a whole bunch of boxes or people are actually far keener to read the magazine than<br />

we thought. It has been tough fitting this around class, and our academic work has gotten off to a bit of a<br />

rocky start, but hey, what’s uni without completely overloading yourself and burning out at some point?<br />

#puttingthehotintohotmess. Chances are though, we aren’t alone. Hopefully this magazine helps you to zone<br />

out and escape the impending uni-induced anxiety – even if it is just for a little while. We, along with our<br />

dedicated contributors and graphic designers have poured our heart and soul into it and if you do happen to<br />

find the odd typo or spelling mistake, do the right thing and don’t point it out to us! This is our newborn baby<br />

and she’s just perfect (to us, at least).<br />

Remember we are always looking for new contributors, and so if you think you could write or draw something<br />

that would look pretty sweet in <strong>Edition</strong> 3, drop us a line at msa-lotswife@monash.edu or pop by our office,<br />

located on Level 1 of the Clayton campus centre. At least one of us is in the office most of the time. Feel free<br />

to write us a ‘letter to the editor’, give us a question for our Agony Aunt, or come along to one of our weekly<br />

writers’ meetings whenever you feel like it. The times for writers’ meetings for this semester are Wednesdays at<br />

2pm in odd numbered uni weeks, Mondays at 4pm in even numbered weeks. We can’t make a magazine all on<br />

our own, that’s where our loving community kicks in.<br />

Lot’s of love,<br />

Sophia, Rob, Nick and Emina<br />


edition<br />

edition<br />

two<br />

two<br />

lot’s<br />

lot’s<br />

wife<br />

wife<br />

MSA Calendar<br />




27 28<br />



Mondays at 7.30pm<br />

in Wholefoods<br />

-Free Food!<br />



Sir John’s Bar<br />

29 30 31<br />

THE MSA<br />


Sir John’s Bar<br />

8.30-10am<br />

Week five<br />

03 04<br />



Mondays at 7.30pm<br />

in Wholefoods<br />

-Free Food!<br />



Sir John’s Bar<br />

05<br />

THE MSA<br />


Sir John’s Bar<br />

8.30-10am<br />

06<br />

07<br />

Week six<br />

10<br />



Mondays at 7.30pm<br />

in Wholefoods<br />

-Free Food!<br />

11<br />



Sir John’s Bar<br />

12<br />

THE MSA<br />


Sir John’s Bar<br />

8.30-10am<br />

13 14<br />

Week seven<br />

17 18 19<br />



Mondays at 7.30pm<br />

in Wholefoods<br />

-Free Food!<br />



Sir John’s Bar<br />

THE MSA<br />


Sir John’s Bar<br />

8.30-10am<br />

20 21<br />

Week eiGht<br />

design by sam allen

student affairs<br />

student affairs 4-5

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

OBR<br />

Office Bearer Reports<br />



Happy week 5 everyone! I hope you have well and truly<br />

settled into university life. O-Week saw more students<br />

than ever engage with clubs, societies and the MSA.<br />

Our elected representatives spoke to big crowds of<br />

new students, and our student theatre group MUST<br />

put on brilliant O-Show performances! If students<br />

missed their opportunity to join clubs during O-Week,<br />

they got another chance to do so during our successful<br />

Week 1 Clubs Day. Since then, we have been busy<br />

running Members Week, an event organised to thank<br />

students for joining the MSA. We put on a range of activities<br />

including a petting zoo and puppies, loads of free food events, a photo booth,<br />

face painting, a giant inflatable slide, an outdoor film and much more! We also<br />

promoted and attended the National Day of Action that was held on March<br />

22nd, a protest held in opposition to attacks on education at Monash and all<br />

across the country. The Women’s Department and I have begun to organise the<br />

launch of our sexual assault campaign. This will soon be visible throughout<br />

campus events in an effort to change the culture around sexual assault at<br />

Monash. Remember to check out our Facebook page and website to keep<br />

updated around all of the fantastic things we are doing for you this year!<br />



Phew! The past few weeks have been hectic at the MSA.<br />

With a fantastic (well at least I hope it was) O-Week out<br />

of the way, Semester 1 kicked off with Zest Fest in Week 1.<br />

Member’s Week quickly followed and the MSA brought<br />

you guys puppies, petting zoos, free food and a movie<br />

night. So what’s next on the agenda? SummerFest is<br />

happening in Week 3, so make sure to come along to<br />

the Full Moon Party!!! It’s also Education (Public Affairs)<br />

Week so come get your activist on!<br />



Hello Neighborinos! I hope Semester 1 is treating everyone<br />

well, and that you aren’t already too far behind in your<br />

lectures. It feels like O-week and Members Week have<br />

just flown by! But hopefully you managed to stop by to<br />

join some clubs and the MSA, pat some puppies and<br />

enjoy a free snag. We’ve had some great events, and<br />

it’s been lovely to see everyone’s faces at our events!<br />

We tried out some new events this year for Members<br />

Week, like our Photo Booth and the “Meet your MSA<br />

OB’s” Radio Monash interview – shout out to them for<br />

being super rad, making us all feel super comfortable and<br />

sharing a giggle with us! It’s been great to see the all the support students have<br />

thrown towards the MSA, both through buying memberships and rocking up<br />

to our events. It makes us all the more lucky that we get to give back to such<br />

great students! Get aroused by upcoming events such as the National Days<br />

of Action!!<br />



Hello wonderful students, it’s only early into the semester<br />

but what a fantastic beginning of the semester we have<br />

had. O-week began with a bang! So many members of<br />

our great clubs and societies wearing stickers saying<br />

‘I’m a part of the movement: Make Education Free<br />

Again’. If you didn’t get one of these feel free to drop<br />

by the MSA and we will be sure to get you one. There<br />

are also a few spare copies of the awesome ‘Student<br />

Made Unit Guide’ hanging around which will give you<br />

the insider’s perspective of what you need to know about<br />

your units this year like whether you need the textbook or<br />

who is the best tutor! We also are still taking applications to our very exciting<br />

Activate Monash Leadership Program which will be ran with help of some<br />

of the most impressive progressive leaders of Australia. If you want to get<br />

involved and earn some volunteer points make sure you register at www.<br />

tinyurl.com/ActivateMonash and help change the world!<br />



Hello everyone! Uni is well underway now and we hope that<br />

you’re coasting along and not drowning in assessments!<br />

Since we last spoke, Ed-Ac has been rather busy<br />

continuing our work with the Academic Progress<br />

Committee process! Now that most of the hearings<br />

have come to an end, we’re compiling the issues we<br />

encountered during the hearings so as to provide the<br />

university administration with clear recommendations<br />

on how to improve the APC process. We hope to make<br />

the process more regimented to ensure that students are all<br />

given a fair go when it comes to determining their academic<br />

future. We’re also extremely excited to announce that we’ve begun forming our<br />

entirely student-run Academic Affairs Committee. Students from all faculties<br />

will alert the committee to changes and restructures happening in their<br />

courses, and recommend solutions to ensure students don’t get unnecessarily<br />

screwed over by their faculties. If this is something that interests you, please<br />

don’t hesitate to contact us!<br />



Afternoon all. I hope your first week back at university was<br />

as inspiring and innovative as all the pamphlets said it<br />

would be. It has been a tumultuous two weeks in the<br />

Welfare Department with all the ups and downs of a<br />

scenic railroad. Our primary project during the start of<br />

semester has been our classic ‘Free Food Mondays.’ Our<br />

menu has ranged from Thai green curries to monstrously<br />

cheesy pasta bakes. We’ve had lines extending further<br />

than 150 meters which was quite daunting, yet we<br />

somehow managed to feed everyone. We deemed it a<br />

success. In collaboration with our free food events we have<br />

been focusing our energy towards initiating public campaigns surrounding the<br />

expansion of the Asylum Seeker Scholarship as well as the decriminalisation of<br />

the possession of drugs for personal use. It has become abundantly clear that<br />

the ‘War on Drugs’ is a complete waste of time and that we need to refocus<br />

our energy and resources towards harm minimisation, a strategy which has<br />

been proven to save lives. We look forward to kicking these campaigns off and<br />

hopefully changing a few minds and influencing a few lives.



Our semester is off to a smashing start! After serving over<br />

six thousand sausages to hungry O-week guests as well as<br />

a few thousand drinks in both rain and sunshine, we’re<br />

excited to continue bringing food as well as excellent<br />

events all throughout the coming semester. Following<br />

the success of our sold out Trivia Night, our next<br />

event will be a whimsical karaoke night as another<br />

excellent way for you to make new friends at uni<br />

and have a great time catching up with friends you’ve<br />

already made so far. Keep an eye out on Wednesdays<br />

from 12 until 2 on the Lemon Scented Lawn where we will<br />

be having our weekly BBQ accompanied by an hour of quality live music and<br />

hopefully sunny daizzzz!<br />



Hey everyone, we’d like to start out by saying thank you to<br />

everybody who came to Wominjeka Monash! Wominjeka<br />

marks the first time our university has used this platform<br />

during O-Week to celebrate Indigenous people and<br />

culture. As the MCs, we had a fantastic time hosting<br />

the event. It was great to work in collaboration with<br />

the university in making the event possible. We are<br />

looking forward to having more events that build<br />

on this initiative to further celebrate Aboriginal and<br />

Torres Strait Islander culture. By the same token, while it<br />

is brilliant to work on these efforts to celebrate Indigenous<br />

culture, we must also look at some of the serious issues facing the Indigenous<br />

community. When the Fair Work Commission handed down their decision<br />

regarding the cuts to penalty rates, Bryda was interviewed in studio by NITV<br />

regarding the impact to Indigenous workers. In particular, she talked about the<br />

impact this will have on students and the accessibility for Indigenous students<br />

to higher education. Overall, this month we took advantage of the many<br />

opportunities to showcase our department and the work we do.<br />

WOMEN’S<br />


Hello, again! O-week was an absolute blast, and we’re<br />

thrilled to have met so many wonderful women! Thank<br />

you to everyone who helped make it (and Zest Fest)<br />

so successful. We’re excited about all our upcoming<br />

events this year, and all the ways you can get involved:<br />

like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group<br />

(search MSA Women’s Department for both), send<br />

us an email if you’ve got an idea for a workshop or<br />

discussion group you’d like to see happen, drop in to say<br />

hello to us in our office, or submit writing and/or artwork<br />

for our women’s publication: Dissent! Also, be sure to keep<br />

an eye on the women’s room for an amazing mural designed and painted by<br />

incredible local Melbourne artist Abbey Rich. We’re keen as beans to see the<br />

finished product ourselves! Xoxo, your faithful WOfficers

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

Wot’s News?<br />

Jessie Lu<br />

Monash QS Subject Rankings<br />

THE QS World University Ranking by Subject<br />

have been released, with Monash placing 2nd<br />

in the world behind Harvard in Pharmacy and<br />

Pharmacology. In other notable areas for Monash’s<br />

subjects, Medicine has improved 10 positions to<br />

29, Nursing improved to 12 from 16, Education<br />

remained at 17 from the previous high of 6th in 2014<br />

and Law dropped 4 places to 27th.<br />

Monash has heralded the rankings given in <strong>2017</strong>,<br />

and rightly so – however, in the Oceanic region,<br />

Monash still often ranks behind the University of<br />

Melbourne and the University of Sydney in many<br />

subjects.<br />

Overall, out of the 46 subjected listed, Monash<br />

placed in the top 100 in 40 subjects and top 50<br />

for 23 subjects, improving on 20 subjects in 2016.<br />

Currently, Monash also ranks 65th in the QS World<br />

University rankings and 42nd in the Graduate<br />

Employability rankings.<br />

Monash Vice-Chancellor appointed<br />

Chair of Universities Australia<br />

PROFESSOR Margaret Gardner, President and<br />

Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, has been<br />

appointed as Chair of Universities Australia on<br />

its 10th anniversary. The peak body represents all<br />

39 universities of Australia. The outgoing chair,<br />

Barney Glover has welcomed Gardner as a profound<br />

proponent in driving universities to become major<br />

player in innovation and enterprise. Her focus is on<br />

excellence, diversity and equity in the university<br />

sector as Australian universities have a significant<br />

role to play in research as well as the economy in<br />

the current climate.<br />

The appointment comes following<br />

transformative times for which the roles of<br />

academics and intellectuals have been heavily<br />

challenged and where education has become an<br />

indispensable asset for Australia. In the era of “post<br />

truth” and “alternative facts”, Universities Australia<br />

has warned against the derision of expertise and<br />

highly evidenced research<br />

New Indigenous Strategy<br />

UNIVERSITIES Australia have unveiled their<br />

first ever Indigenous Strategy. This will be a<br />

national agreement to set targets to increase the<br />

growth of Indigenous enrolments by ideally 100%<br />

above the rate of non-Indigenous enrolments but<br />

by the minimum of 50%. After years in the making,<br />

the plan is deliberately ambitious, however only<br />

1.6% of university students are indigenous, despite<br />

making up 2.7% of the working age population.<br />

Thus, the target, seems to be absolutely necessary.<br />

If these targets are met, by 2020, there could be an<br />

extra 6,500 Indigenous students at university.<br />

Monash University has a very low Indigenous<br />

enrolment rate of 0.28%, equating to 199 students<br />

out of 70,000. Retention rates for Indigenous<br />

students, however, are significantly higher than at<br />

most other universities, currently at par with the<br />

non-Indigenous figures. At many points throughout<br />

the past few years they have been even higher than<br />

the overall retention rate with 94.3%for Indigenous<br />

students compared to the 88.8% overall in 2013.<br />

By 2025, Universities Australia are aiming achieve<br />

retention and success rates for Indigenous students<br />

equal to their non-Indigenous counterparts and<br />

equal completion rates by 2028. The extensive plan<br />

has further goals to advance Indigenous research,<br />

provide adequate support to Indigenous university<br />

staff, and build strong relationships with their<br />

communities. They also plan to lead in providing<br />

tertiary education opportunities and pathways for<br />

Indigenous students, and integrate a greater level<br />

of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural<br />

content.<br />

Jason Brailey, the manager of Indigenous<br />

programs at the Monash Yulendj indigenous<br />

engagement unit, he has welcomed the<br />

announcement of the Universities Australia<br />

Indigenous study. Mr Brailey sits on the National<br />

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher<br />

Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) which was<br />

consulted during the process of forming the<br />

strategy. Crediting the fact that the strategy was<br />

developed with great input from the indigenous<br />

higher education community, Brailey believes it<br />

is therefore much more likely to be more effective.<br />

According to Brailey, many of the measures<br />

outlined had already commenced at Monash,<br />

particularly through the Reconciliation Action<br />

Plan which has been seen as a guiding document<br />

for the period of 2016-18.<br />

Brailey didn’t seemed phased by the key targets<br />

of the Indigenous strategy. He explained that<br />

although they may be good to work towards, they<br />

were fairly unrealistic, especially for Monash, where<br />

the growth of the university has been exponential.<br />

He said that to increase indigenous students by the<br />

statistics and numbers set by the strategy would<br />

likely be unachievable given that the support and<br />

admissions standards currently in place already call<br />

for sustainable growth of indigenous enrolments.<br />

Monash had already set a goal of 200 Indigenous<br />

students by 2020, working in raw numbers rather<br />

than statistics. Brailey noted that Monash has also<br />

already seen a 17% increase in Indigenous enrolment<br />

over the past year. This increase may be attributed<br />

to the new Indigenous Entry Scheme, introduced<br />

last year, which allows Indigenous students to gain<br />

admission into specific courses given they meet<br />

certain requirements, including an ATAR of at<br />

least 50. Monash also offers other bridging courses<br />

for these students, prioritising academic support<br />

and preparation so that students are able to cope<br />

with the additional rigors of university once<br />

admitted. Despite the tentatively successful new<br />

program, Brailey expressed reservation towards<br />

some faculties which have their own individual<br />

indigenous units, perhaps questioning the efficacy<br />

of this decentralised structure.<br />

Despite the new goals and strategy, Brailey<br />

mentioned that Indigenous students were<br />

successful in their own right and that the programs<br />

relied on the students’ engagement.<br />

Brailey emphasised that Indigenous programs<br />

at universities can’t be solely judged on statistics,<br />

with completion rates often lower for Indigenous<br />

students as he explained a large portion are<br />

mature age students who may have other heavy<br />

commitments and those who don’t take full time<br />

loads to ensure their success and progression albeit<br />

not within the expected timeframe, persay 3 years<br />

for an Arts degree.<br />

There are many factors at play when examining<br />

enrolment, retention and completion rates for<br />

Indigenous students at a university such as<br />

Monash. Although it is the largest university in<br />

Australia, it has one of the lowest catchment areas<br />

for indigenous students, whilst having arguably<br />

better intervention programs for students that are<br />

underperforming, such as that of the Academic<br />

Progress Committee hearings.<br />

In Australia, there appears to be a two tiered<br />

system in terms of enrolments and retaining<br />

students, which also pertains to Indigenous<br />

students. Universities belonging the the Group<br />

of Eight tend to have better retention rates than<br />

enrolment rates compared to universities outside<br />

of that grouping which potentially have lower<br />

admissions standards and are willing to give<br />

Indigenous students opportunities. However,<br />

the academic support and previous academic<br />

framework to which they are coming into university<br />

with may not be adequate so that they do succeed<br />

in their chosen course.<br />

There has also been a recent overhaul of the<br />

funding given to Indigenous programs with a<br />

funding pool established, the Indigenous Student<br />

Success Programme. This has become a resource<br />

which universities can draw from and allocate<br />

flexible funds towards their social, academic<br />

and financial support for indigenous students,<br />

which has been positively received as different<br />

universities will require different specific resources<br />

to best assist their students.<br />

Opening of Monash Children’s<br />

Hospital and Walk<br />

ON Sunday the 5th of March, members of<br />

Monash University Paediatric Promotion, Interest<br />

& Training Society (MUPPITS) participated in<br />

the <strong>2017</strong> Walk for Monash Children’s Hospital.<br />

The brand new hospital is set to finally open its<br />

doors this April, 4 years after the building process<br />

began. The hospital will have 230 beds and is only<br />

the second tertiary paediatric hospital in Victoria.<br />

This walk and fun run for has so far raised over<br />

$160,000 for the new children’s hospital dedicated<br />

for Monash Children’s.<br />

M-Pass Q & A<br />

MONASH is currently in the process of swapping<br />

students’ old ID to the new M-Pass, indicated by its<br />

disputably unattractive ‘M’ motif, incorrect photo<br />

aspect ratios and some photos printed so dark that<br />

the faces are unrecognisable. Many students still<br />

have yet to receive their M-Pass for a multitude of<br />

reasons despite the fact that Monash Connect has<br />

said that all of the new M-Passes have been printed,<br />

that each batch of cards have been sent out, and<br />

that the aim was for the M-Pass to have fully<br />

replaced the old IDs by April. Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> consulted<br />

with Monash Connect to figure out some FAQ’s<br />

regarding the M-Pass. Here are some answers:<br />

What do I do if I haven’t received the M-Pass?<br />

Ensure you have your correct home address on<br />

WES as the cards are currently being printed off<br />

site at the Card Office (until the 3rd of April when<br />

Monash Connect should receive the machines and<br />

card stock to be able to print them). If the person<br />

at the old address you have on WES is kind enough<br />

to send it back to Monash, the card office will call<br />

you to then get your actual address before sending<br />

it out again. If not, either go in person to Monash

Connect or make a query on the form online to get<br />

your card reprinted and sent out again.<br />

Will everyone have to have both old and new student IDs?<br />

Yes, until security has updated all the card<br />

readers on campus so that the new M-Pass can be<br />

used to access secure buildings as the old card’s<br />

current primary use is to do that but is also being<br />

accepted as ID. New students would have also been<br />

issued the old ID from Monash Connect as they<br />

only had the card printing facilities for the old one.<br />

What is the point of the new M-Pass?<br />

There are advanced security features – we<br />

were told to shine a torch through the old ID and<br />

new M-Pass to compare the two. The increased<br />

functionality of the card was also a driving factor.<br />

Initially it is being used to link to the online library<br />

account to borrow books, print, photocopy and<br />

pay fines but there is a view that the M-Pass may<br />

eventually be more integrated into university life<br />

so that is it will be able to be used to purchase items<br />

on campus if the food and shop vendors jump on<br />

board with this idea as it has the capacity to do so.<br />

If my face is unrecognisable on the M-Pass, do I have to<br />

get a new card?<br />

No, it will still be accepted as ID and will be valid<br />

for exams, however if you would like a new card<br />

with a recognisable photo, visit Monash Connect<br />

or make an enquiry on the specific M-Pass form to<br />

receive a new card without charge. (Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> does<br />

not guarantee that your photo on the replacement<br />

card will be recognisable)<br />

Why has the transition between cards been such a drawn<br />

out process?<br />

The primary reasons given were that it had lots<br />

of moving parts and required great organisation for<br />

it all to occur. Many processes had to be overhauled<br />

for its implementation, such as library systems,<br />

security systems for the advanced technology of<br />

the card to be compatible with, and that only the<br />

card office was printing them and sending them<br />

out.<br />

No more Moodle<br />

A confirmed major change to affect all students<br />

will be that Monash will be moving to the Blackboard<br />

Learning Management System (LMS) sometime<br />

within the next year, likely at the beginning of<br />

2018. The reason for the change away from Moodle<br />

is yet to be determined, however Taran from<br />

Monash Connect said that it may just be due to the<br />

end of the contract that exists between Monash<br />

and Moodle. However, Monash seems to be eager<br />

in updating their user experiences, so far already<br />

with upgraded interfaces for the My.Monash and<br />

eSolutions websites. Universities that currently use<br />

Blackboard include the University of Melbourne,<br />

RMIT and the University of Sydney. We can only<br />

hope that this time, there is a smooth transition<br />

and that the Blackboard LMS will not crash in<br />

SWOTVAC or during peak assignment periods as<br />

Moodle has done in the past.<br />

SSAF Breakdown<br />

WE have had an eventful few weeks recently<br />

on campus, with visiting puppies, the petting zoo<br />

and photobooth in MSA Members Week, and the<br />

inflatable slide and food trucks, twilight cinema<br />

and Full Moon Party at Summerfest.<br />

People may be wondering if their Student<br />

Services and Amenities Fee, the maximum being<br />

$294 for full time students based on campus is<br />

being put to good use.<br />

A history of the SSAF shows that the fee existed<br />

in the form of compulsory student unionism before<br />

2005, by where upon enrolment, all students were<br />

generally required to join their student union<br />

and pay a fee for student services and amenities<br />

distributed mainly towards the union and partly<br />

towards the university. The fee was paid even if<br />

the student decided to opt out of their union. In<br />

2005, the Liberal Howard government legislated<br />

for Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) which<br />

abolished the compulsory up-front fees with<br />

the primary support base of this motion came<br />

from the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation.<br />

They argued for freedom of association and the<br />

financial burden that it might take on students.<br />

The introduction of VSU, however, was very<br />

contentious.<br />

Barnaby Joyce, a National Party senator at<br />

the time, crossed the floor and voted against the<br />

Coalition’s bill in order to protect the culture<br />

that existed on campus, by in large thanks to the<br />

union fees, wanting to save sporting facilities and<br />

the collegial spirit. This forced Howard to obtain<br />

the support of Family First as all other political<br />

parties at the time, including Labor and the Greens,<br />

were in vast opposition. This opposition included<br />

student unions and universities themselves, which<br />

not only preferred the deliverance of services and<br />

student cultural activities to enhance campus life<br />

and experiences from students themselves, but also<br />

saw student unions as legitimate representative<br />

bodies.<br />

During the time where VSU existed, student<br />

unions struggled to provide social, academic, and<br />

political services without guaranteed revenue<br />

streams. In response to this issue in 2011, the<br />

Labor Gillard government introduced the SSAF, in<br />

order to fund amenities such as sporting facilities,<br />

childcare and counselling and services such as<br />

student advocacy and support and health clinics.<br />

This did not ensure that all students were members<br />

of their student union but gave universities a<br />

pool of funding to which they could distribute<br />

themselves, in order to ensure the deliverance of<br />

essential non-academic services for students and<br />

to enhance university life through funding for<br />

student clubs, health and wellbeing, sport and<br />

recreation, and employment and career advice.<br />

In 2016, Monash collected a total of $9,602,756<br />

from the SSAF, dividing it such that 40% went<br />

towards the management of student associations<br />

and 40% towards health and welfare services<br />

including counselling sessions as well as the<br />

provision of student experience programs and<br />

sporting activities. More than 80% of those<br />

university managed SSAF funds were contributed<br />

to works that improved student facilities such as<br />

the clayton running track and Northern Plaza<br />

improvements, in addition to the 20% of overall<br />

SSAF funding already allocated towards capital<br />

and service improvement projects largely going<br />

towards students’ recreational use.<br />

Of the $9.6 million collected by the university<br />

from SSAF, on top of the $3.8 million from this<br />

pool given to student associations, an additional<br />

$2.6 million was provided by the university itself to<br />

meet minimum guaranteed funding levels, giving<br />

a total of $6,447,083 across 7 student associations.<br />

As set out by The Higher Education Legislation<br />

Amendment (Student Services and Amenities)<br />

Act 2011, they are allowed to provide set services<br />

including student representation at all decisionmaking<br />

levels in the university, government and<br />

wider community. It also includes student advocacy<br />

and student welfare programs, sport, debating,<br />

artistic and social activities, the provision of food,<br />

information sessions including academic forums,<br />

and participation in University events such as<br />

Orientation, Open Day and similar events, studentinterest<br />

clubs and societies, as well as a range of<br />

other services such as legal aid, all directly aimed<br />

to benefit students.<br />

The allocation of the SSAF by each university<br />

has strict guidelines as set out by The Student<br />

Services Amenities, Representation and Advocacy<br />

Guidelines to ensure appropriate spending on<br />

specific areas which cannot be for provision of<br />

academic service, to support political parties or to<br />

aid in an election of a person to a governmental<br />

body. The distribution must involve consultation<br />

between the University and various student<br />

representatives. Following the announcement of<br />

the SSAF, in December 2011 the Monash University<br />

Council approved that the distribution of SSAF<br />

funds collected by the University be allocated for<br />

provision of certain services as set out below. This<br />

has remained unchanged.<br />

To account for this, Monash set up the SSAF<br />

Advisory group in 2012. This includes elected<br />

student representatives to consider submissions of<br />

each Campus Service Council for potential facilities<br />

and service improvements to be funded from the<br />

20% of SSAF that is directly beneficial to students.<br />

The SSAF is an additional $294 on top of our<br />

already expensive university fees, however it seems<br />

that there are strict guidelines on how it is spent<br />

to directly benefit students, striking a balance<br />

between fostering an enjoyable campus culture<br />

but not inextricably linked to joining the student<br />

union.<br />

International Women’s Day<br />

INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day was held on<br />

March 8 in commemoration of the movement for<br />

women’s rights. The MSA Women’s Department<br />

marked the occasion with an outdoor movie to<br />

introduce the Women’s Department to anyone<br />

interested. They also had participants in the IWD<br />

rally and march in Melbourne which called for a<br />

wide range of requests, stemming from gender<br />

inequality. Monash celebrated the occasion<br />

through social media posts highlighting Vice-<br />

Chancellor Prof Margaret Gardner and Monash’s<br />

stance to achieve true gender equity, and Monash’s<br />

vision of celebrating a diverse and inclusive culture.<br />

Melbourne International Comedy<br />

Festival<br />

THE Melbourne International Comedy Festival<br />

is on from the 29th of March to the 23rd of April.<br />

Its comprehensive program is set to feature a<br />

diverse and wide range of comedians, many also<br />

hailing from overseas with Urzila Carlson, Ruby<br />

Wax, Judy Long, Richard Gadd, Tom Ballad, Wil<br />

Anderson, Frank Woodley and Mae Martin just a<br />

few highlights of the line-up. Comedic shows with<br />

a revolving line-up of comedians include the Blind<br />

Dating Show Spectacular where they participate in<br />

a Bachelor-esque style competition and Shaggers<br />

where the primary topic is sex feature alongside an<br />

engaging array of events such as The 28th Annual<br />

Great Debate, The Gala and Good Az Friday from<br />

the team at Triple J. Many shows are free, so if<br />

you’re in need of a laugh in the midst of semester,<br />

MICF might be the place to escape to.<br />

Monash has the largest 3D printer in<br />

the world<br />

MONASH has acquired the world’s largest<br />

3D printer from Concept Laser, a German<br />

manufacturer. The $3.5 million Xline 2000R printer<br />

is one of five in the world, the only one outside<br />

of Europe and the U.S. and only one available<br />

for contract manufacturing in the southern<br />

hemisphere. Amaero Engineering, a Monash spinoff<br />

company, is now managing the 3D printing<br />

initiative’s commercial prospects. Amaero will be<br />

showcasing their advanced 3D metal printing at<br />

the upcoming Avalon airshow.<br />

Construction, Transport and<br />

Parking: Wot’s the Plan for Monash?<br />

LOT’S <strong>Wife</strong> Campus Reporters held an interview<br />

with Paul Barton, Director of Business Support,<br />

from the Buildings and Property Division.<br />

We asked Paul to explain the construction<br />

going on outside, when it will cease, and<br />

how the university can justify the >><br />

student affairs 8-9

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

massive inconvenience that this construction is to<br />

students. Paul’s explanation focused mostly on the<br />

Learning and Teaching Building, which is due to<br />

be completed in Semester 1, 2018. He emphasised<br />

that it is going to benefit the whole university,<br />

not just certain departments. While the Faculty of<br />

Education will belong there, there will be lecture<br />

and tutorial rooms for every faculty in the building.<br />

“It will be transformative”, he says. There will also<br />

be informal spaces for studying and socialising<br />

“to keep with with the changing demands from<br />

students”. The lecture theatres will better respond<br />

to modern learning methods, with a far greater<br />

number of power outlets installed in each lecture<br />

theatre for students to use and charge their devices<br />

during class. Older buildings will be taken down<br />

with classes moved to the new building, including<br />

the Rotunda building.<br />

Paul also mentioned that the area around the<br />

Matheson library will be completely levelled out<br />

in order to make the campus more wheelchair<br />

accessible.<br />

We then asked Paul why the new Halls of<br />

Residence buildings, which were built about a<br />

year ago, included no underground carparking. He<br />

said the biggest reason was the cost – the money<br />

allocated to the halls was only enough to build the<br />

halls, and not extra parking. He also mentioned<br />

that it is because Monash is trying to encourage<br />

students to use public transport or bike to campus,<br />

rather than drive. He mentioned there will be a new<br />

bike arrival station at the southern end of campus,<br />

and Monash is encouraging students to use the<br />

bike-share program, which involves “attractive”<br />

red American-made bikes that are available for<br />

students to use around campus.<br />

When asked if there is a chance Monash would<br />

introduce a train station at Clayton campus, Paul<br />

said it would be very unlikely. He mentioned that<br />

having the 601 bus was an alternative to the train<br />

station, and while the queues are still very long,<br />

they are introducing more frequent buses and<br />

hopefully longer, bigger buses. He said that the<br />

articulated buses would hold 120 people instead of<br />

the 70 people capacity that they currently have, and<br />

that in the short term, PTV would allow students<br />

to enter from both doors of the bus, increase the<br />

frequency of the 601 in peak morning times with<br />

multiple buses following each other to transport<br />

students together and install the faster myki<br />

readers on the 601 specific buses to help alleviate<br />

congestion and reduce boarding times. He also<br />

mentioned that building a new train station at<br />

Clayton campus is a government issue, and while<br />

Monash would be receptive of the idea, the power<br />

is out of their hands.He said that the 601 bus has<br />

been having a 20% increase in use year after year,<br />

something completely “unprecedented” that makes<br />

it a “victim of its own success”.<br />

When asked why there was a fee with carpooling,<br />

Paul explained that Monash was the only university<br />

that didn’t have a fee attached to it, and they<br />

felt compelled to add one. He also said that he’s<br />

confident it won’t slow down the use of carpooling,<br />

despite an initial drop. When asked about why<br />

the blue permit prices continued to increase each<br />

year, he said that it has only ever increased from<br />

a consumer price index (CPI) perspective. He said<br />

that driving to university is simply not sustainable<br />

anymore, and that Monash hopes to see a greater<br />

diversity of transport options, more uptake in<br />

the Car-share program, especially for university<br />

residents and more people biking or taking public<br />

transport to campus instead. At the moment<br />

there aren’t a great number of places that students<br />

can lock their bikes, but there will be more when<br />

the construction is finished, a response to the<br />

increasing cyclists.<br />

Paul mentioned that the new bus-loop now<br />

holds 20 buses instead of 13, and Monash hopes<br />

to see a “turn up and go” system take place. This<br />

means students can simply turn up to the bus loop<br />

and get on the bus, and not feel like they have to<br />

check the timetable first.<br />

Campus Report<br />

Joanne Fong<br />

Wot’s New vs Wot’s the Same<br />

Wot’s New<br />

Optus store<br />

Popped up on the ground floor of Campus Centre<br />

for all your cellular and broadband needs.<br />

Bus Loop<br />

In a stunning turn of events, the renovations<br />

of the bus loop have been finished and are looking<br />

top notch (except for the construction side and the<br />

misspelt Caulfield shuttle bus sign)<br />

My.monash page<br />

Changed to eerily resemble a lesser version of<br />

Windows 10<br />

Learning capture<br />

Accessible via Moodle, surprisingly easier to<br />

access than MULO (for now – pending judgement)<br />

Wot’s Old<br />

Construction is everywhere. As usual.<br />

Renovations still ongoing to the Matheson<br />

library and the detours around construction are<br />

continuing to elongate transit times to class<br />

601 Bus<br />

As forecast, in the first few weeks of uni there<br />

were reports of massive lines for 601 bus which<br />

seem to be still ongoing in the mornings<br />

Parking<br />

The inability to find any parking even remotely<br />

close to classes unless arrival was before 0900hrs,<br />

particularly in the first few weeks<br />

Jaffys<br />

Have continued to be just as confused as ever,<br />

slowly finding their bearings as they settle in<br />

Socialists<br />

When you’re minding your own business walking<br />

through campus centre and someone approaches<br />

you, they’ll try make you sign up for protests when<br />

you all you want is to go to class/pee/be left alone.<br />

Fantastic Food and Where to Find It<br />

After the devastating closure of Campus<br />

essentials, Gym Chicken and Asian Grocery last<br />

year, as well as Joe’s Pizzeria this year (the wait<br />

continues for its reopening at Logan), other new<br />

food places have popped up in attempt to fill the<br />

void these have left behind. These include:<br />

Roll’d<br />

Vietnamese, located just outside Campus Centre<br />

near the Lemon Scented Lawns<br />

Subway<br />

Oldie but goldie, on the bottom floor of Campus<br />

Centre<br />

Secret Garden Eatery<br />

Quaint trendy brunch place with a wide variety<br />

of offerings, located at the bottom of Hargrave<br />

Ma Longs Kitchen<br />

Dumplings, noodle soups, steamed buns, rice<br />

dishes, all can be found in Hargrave at the bottom<br />

level<br />

If you’re up for food but not up for cashing<br />

out every time you want a pick me up, be sure to<br />

remember these times and places to find free food<br />

on campus:<br />

Free Food Mondays 7:30pm<br />

Dinner at Wholefoods<br />

Every Tuesday 12pm-2pm<br />

MSA Departments hold a BBQ on Lemon<br />

Scented Lawns<br />

Every Wednesday from 8:45am<br />

Free MSA Breakfast Club, Airport Lounge –<br />

outside of Sir John’s Bar<br />

Every Wednesday 12pm-2pm<br />

Hump Day BBQ on Hump Lawn<br />

Every Thursday night (Nott night)<br />

MSA Food Van at Halls of Residence<br />

You Know How to Cook Wot?<br />

How to survive up to week 12 without permanent<br />

emotional damage.<br />

Dry ingredients:<br />

· 2 cups humour<br />

· 25 tbsp. salt<br />

· ¾ cup of repressed rage<br />

Wet ingredients:<br />

· 3L vodka<br />

· 1ml chaser (soft drink/juice of your choice)<br />

· 1 blanket<br />

· 3 cups of emotional stability<br />

In a large bowl, add the wet ingredients to the<br />

dry and mix well. Add extra salt liberally as this is<br />

a very salty concoction. Fold in all the ingredients<br />

till texture is runny and thin, like the blood of your<br />

enemies. Place in a pan and into oven at 260 °C and<br />

bake till golden brown. Allow to cool then move to<br />

fridge and refrigerate overnight so that it is as cold<br />

as you are on the inside. Cut into bite sized pieces<br />

and enjoy.

doing everything<br />

we can<br />

article by keyur doolabh<br />

illustration by julia chetwood<br />

Ask any medical student why they decided to go into medicine, and at some point you’ll hear<br />

the phrase ‘I want to help people.’ Human motivation is a complex thing, but I don’t doubt<br />

that it’s true – most of us want to give back to the world. And on face value, medicine is a<br />

pretty good career for it; those same medical students will probably be involved in many lifesaving<br />

efforts that have earned the medical profession a reputation for doing good.<br />

But as well as being philanthropists, doctors are also scientists. So how much good will your<br />

average doctor do over their career?<br />

Research by the career-optimising organisation 80,000 hours shows that although doctors are<br />

directly involved in saving lives day-in and day-out, the marginal utility of the average doctor’s<br />

career is only 20 lives. What does that mean? It means that if you hadn’t chosen to do medicine<br />

at uni, someone else with slightly worse grades would have taken your place – that’s a safe<br />

assumption, given how competitive medicine is to get into. That person with slightly worse<br />

grades would probably have been a slightly worse doctor than you, and when you add that<br />

difference up over a whole career, twenty people would have died that you could have saved.<br />

If you chose to open a lemonade stand instead of studying medicine, twenty people would<br />

eventually die who would have lived.<br />

Now that’s nothing to be sneezed at – after all, we’re talking about twenty graduations, twenty<br />

loving partners, twenty contented retirements. But at the end of the day, that’s a lot less good<br />

than most of us like to think we do; over a forty-year career that’s one life every couple of years.<br />

That might make us think twice about all the sacrifices we make in the name of doing good.<br />

So am I saying that you should consider dropping out of medicine and open up that lemonade<br />

stand you’ve always dreamed of? No, thankfully there’s a way to turbocharge the amount of good<br />

you do with your medical career: rather than doing good directly through your work, do good<br />

through charitable giving. The average doctor’s salary is $105,000 ten years after graduating, and<br />

donating even 10% of that could make a huge difference in people’s lives without significantly<br />

decreasing your quality of life (and that’s a research-backed fact).<br />

In consideration of this, how can we grow our altruistic impact as much as possible? One way<br />

would be to give a higher proportion of your salary. That would be admirable, but thankfully<br />

there are other, less painful options. You don’t have to go into the highest-paid, most competitive<br />

specialties for the sake of maximising your salary, either. Perhaps the most effective way to do the<br />

most good is through some good old-fashioned bargain hunting.<br />

Let’s crunch some numbers: you could go into the most highly paid speciality in Australia,<br />

neurosurgery. You might decide to give away 10% of your $600,000 annual income to Guide<br />

Dogs Australia, which can provide a seeing-eye dog to someone for $40,000. Alternatively, you<br />

could decide that the slog to get into neurosurgery is too much, and pursue your childhood<br />

dream of opening a lemonade stand. You might earn $10,000 a year, and again decide to give<br />

away 10%. But rather than going for Guide Dogs Australia, you do some bargain hunting, and<br />

give to the Fred Hollows Foundation, which can restore sight through a $25 cataract operation.<br />

As the neurosurgeon, you’d help 1.5 people work around their blindness each year, but running a<br />

lemonade stand you’d actually cure 40 people of their blindness each year. These figures, based on<br />

Peter Singer’s famous TED talk ‘The Why and How of Effective altruism,’ are fairly back-of-theenvelope,<br />

but they’re only meant to show that with a bit of bargain hunting, you can multiply the<br />

impact of your giving by orders of magnitude.<br />

Now let’s be honest, bargain hunting is hard. It’s not necessarily that we’re lazy (though that<br />

could be a part of it), but maybe we just don’t know what to look for in a charity. Thankfully there<br />

are some fantastic organisations out there that not only find the absolute most effective charities<br />

in the world, but also provide fully transparent reports on how they come to their decisions.<br />

Givewell.org is one of these organisations, or if you think that we shouldn’t be speciesist and also<br />

consider giving to charities for animals, Animal Charity Evaluators is for you.<br />

The idea of marginal utility should make us rethink how we go about pursuing altruism through<br />

medicine. Doing everything we can doesn’t have to mean going the extra mile for all of our<br />

patients. It can be as simple as a small, regular and well-targeted donation.<br />

Previously featured in The Auricle.<br />

student affairs<br />


edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

dreaming of<br />

ivy league<br />

article by sophia mcnamara<br />

illustration by linda widjaja<br />

Have you ever thought about attending Harvard,<br />

Yale or Columbia, but considered it simply<br />

inaccessible? One student, who gained admission<br />

to a handful of the world’s top-tier universities, may<br />

just change your mind about that. His name is Jamie<br />

Beaton: he’s 21 years old but his game-changing<br />

business plan has made him worth approximately<br />

$40 million. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but no,<br />

it’s not because his father gave him a small loan of a<br />

million dollars.<br />

How it began<br />

All throughout his teen years, Jamie had his heart<br />

firmly set on attending an Ivy League university. He<br />

performed in a league of his own academically, while<br />

taking on all the leadership and extra-curricular<br />

opportunities that he could get his hands on. With<br />

stellar high school results, he applied for about<br />

25 different universities in Australia, the United<br />

Kingdom and the United States. Despite his evident<br />

intelligence, these highly competitive university<br />

applications were not easy for him to comprehend<br />

as a teenager from New Zealand. He was faced with<br />

an incredibly complicated application process, full of<br />

various layers and facets to be considered.<br />

“It was near impossible to navigate alone” he says.<br />

Whilst hedging his hopes on going overseas, he felt<br />

increasingly concerned when many of his peers were<br />

unsuccessful with their first course preference, after<br />

following the ‘conventional’ advice they were given<br />

at school. In early 2013 however, one particular set<br />

of emails dramatically changed the following years<br />

of Jamie’s life. 18 year-old Jamie from New Zealand<br />

was accepted into every university he applied for,<br />

including Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford<br />

and Yale. Choosing his original dream of Harvard,<br />

Jamie was soon on a plane to Boston for their mid-<br />

2013 intake. Although Jamie is only 21, he has now<br />

graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts in<br />

Applied Mathematics-Economics, and a Master of<br />

Science in Applied Mathematics, two years ahead of<br />

schedule.<br />

It didn’t happen overnight for him though: Jamie<br />

took a very focused, intensive and strategic approach<br />

to his course work during his schooling. Being told<br />

by teachers across the board that he needed to ‘slow<br />

down’ only inspired him to move faster. Throughout<br />

high school, he took ten A-level exams, which was<br />

more than double what most students in his year sat.<br />

He managed it all through very early preparation,<br />

and by having a lot of inspiring advisors and tutors<br />

helping him master the content quickly. He was<br />

also constantly striving to uncover new realms of<br />

knowledge beyond the classroom, often resorting to<br />

his own self-directed study beyond school hours. “I<br />

believe my ability to self-study was a key factor in my<br />

college applications and my ultimate acceptance into<br />

Harvard”, he explains.<br />

After countless weeks of confusion spent on<br />

mastering applications, and considering every minor<br />

detail, Jamie realised he couldn’t sit still any longer.<br />

He came up with an idea that could really shake<br />

things up for naïve, misled high school students<br />

who were constantly told to aim lower than needed,<br />

especially those in New Zealand and Australia who<br />

saw American universities as nothing but a fantasy.<br />

Jamie identified the need for a service, which could<br />

accelerate the aspirations of high school students<br />

to international universities. He decided to launch<br />

a company that could help other students achieve<br />

their dream: whether it was Ivy League, Medicine at<br />

their local university, or anything in between. He was<br />

sick of seeing talented, well-rounded, driven students<br />

told there was ‘no need’ to apply for a tertiary course<br />

outside their home country.<br />

The business<br />

In 2013, Jamie and his partner Shandre officially<br />

founded education consultancy firm Crimson<br />

Education. “We both put in many awesome, sleepless<br />

days and nights to grow Crimson to where it is today;<br />

operating in 10 cities and with a network of over 2,000<br />

tutors and mentors worldwide” says Jamie. During<br />

the early days of the business, while waiting for the<br />

American university calendar to begin mid-year, he<br />

kept himself very busy. He was working part time at<br />

an investment unit, chairing a government-funded<br />

organisation called YouthFund that made grants<br />

for youth-led initiatives, all the while completing 5<br />

subjects at the University of Auckland in second-year<br />

Maths and Economics. Jamie and Shandre invested<br />

all the money they had at the time, which was only<br />

several hundred dollars, for some initial website<br />

subscriptions and a company registration. Once<br />

Jamie established the Crimson team in New Zealand<br />

and soon after Australia, he divided his focus across<br />

his Harvard studies and in 2016, graduated from a<br />

double degree before gaining admission to further his<br />

study with a Masters of Business Administration at<br />

Stanford. “It has been a crazy, rewarding journey so<br />

far”, he says.<br />

While Ivy League universities have a notorious<br />

reputation for being only accessible to insanely<br />

privileged students, Crimson takes on clients who are<br />

very far from the elite upper-east-side of New York.<br />

They aspire to help students realise their potential<br />

by assessing their candidacy, and then connecting<br />

them with tutors, mentors and consultants who can<br />

set them on a clear path to achieve their academic<br />

and career goals. Jamie says that they “see students<br />

achieve what they never thought was possible, to the<br />

point that the landscape of opportunities they can go<br />

on to achieve in their life is fundamentally reshaped”.<br />

When Crimson gets a student from Camberwell into<br />

the University of Pennsylvania, or from rural New<br />

Zealand to a full scholarship at Duke University, it’s<br />

nothing short of a complete game-changer for the<br />

individual, their family, and their community. Despite<br />

the stereotypes around these prestigious universities,<br />

and the exceptional help Crimson offers them, Jamie<br />

still insists that a lot of the success his clients achieve<br />

is self-driven. “Obviously, circumstances that are<br />

beyond your control can have a large impact on your<br />

life, particularly in self-realisation, motivation and<br />

psychological development” he states. “However, I<br />

truly believe that the ability to self-motivate and<br />

persist through hardships can help you overcome any<br />

number of circumstances and help you succeed.”<br />

Despite what many might think, Crimson<br />

understands that most students can’t afford to pay<br />

the cost of a non-subsidised tertiary degree. But,<br />

many of the universities Crimson’s clients aim for<br />

don’t require students to have a lot of money. In the<br />

case of Harvard, for example, “no American college<br />

is more affordable”. At Harvard, parents earning<br />

less than $65,000 USD annually are expected<br />

to contribute nothing. “Admission is based on<br />

relative performance with consideration of your<br />

environment” says Jamie. The college also specifically<br />

states that “wherever you are from, whatever your<br />

citizenship, applying for financial aid will not<br />

hinder your chances of admission”. Crimson seeks to<br />

overcome these misconceptions about prestigious<br />

universities and bring the focus away from money<br />

and back to nurturing student talent, regardless of<br />

socio-economic background. Crimson also provides<br />

financial aid that any student can apply for. It is<br />

means-tested and merit based, so families can qualify<br />

for subsidies or free tuition. They’ve also launched<br />

free online platforms such as ask.crimsoneducation.<br />

org and hub.crimsoneducation.org, which are a<br />

big part of their focus. They emphasise that it is<br />

merely a widespread misconception that Ivy League<br />

universities are financially inaccessible, as institutions<br />

like Yale and New York University award nearly all of<br />

their students with scholarships. “A reason Harvard<br />

is so competitive is because they have hundreds of<br />

millions available in financial aid, for students who<br />

get in but can’t afford it” Jamie explains.<br />

Jamie’s advice<br />

Crimson is now providing students with the service<br />

Jamie always needed but never received. Accordingly,<br />

he says that the most basic and accurate business<br />

advice is to simply find a problem and solve it.<br />

“You need to find a problem that affects a niche<br />

market, and work out how to meet that demand<br />

by solving the problem” he says. After that, “agility<br />

and responsiveness to change is essential”. He<br />

particularly emphasises that you need to focus on<br />

your differentiated contribution to the world. “Kickstarting<br />

your business will require a lot of time, effort<br />

and sleepless nights, it can be an exhausting journey.”<br />

He says that for a disruptive business to grow and<br />

thrive, you must accept and embrace making ripples<br />

in the industry you are tackling. “If you aren’t creating<br />

ripples, you aren’t innovating hard enough!”

From his own experience, Jamie realised that what you study, how<br />

you study and your intensity of study is incredibly important for<br />

setting you on a rewarding career path. “It can also help you seize<br />

additional personal development and growth opportunities in the<br />

early stages of your life”, he adds. He believes that self-motivation<br />

and hard work simply play the most pivotal role in a students’ ability<br />

to excel at university and maximise their potential. “I understand<br />

that it can be hard to pursue beyond the standard curriculum<br />

as you’re often told you’re taking on too much, or that it’s not<br />

necessary, but choosing to be curious beyond the standard syllabus<br />

can only do you good” he explains. To Jamie, being passionate about<br />

what you’re studying is vital. “Once you realise the area of study that<br />

you are passionate about, it becomes so much easier to excel and<br />

realise your maximum potential.”<br />

If Jamie could say anything to his younger self, it would only be to<br />

have more confidence in his ability, and to trust his own judgment.<br />

“Trusting your ability and your own judgment is vital in growing<br />

as a person and can help you uncover new passions that will fuel<br />

your desire to succeed.” Jamie explains that it’s so easy to become<br />

the victim of the ‘tall poppy syndrome’ that plagues communities<br />

in Australia and New Zealand. “It’s so easy to just coast through<br />

secondary school and university without shaking the status quo<br />

or putting yourself out there by risking failure for the chance of<br />

a big reward” he says. Once he began trusting his own judgment,<br />

his confidence and conviction grew. “The whole process of life and<br />

education is like a marathon: you need to have the right motivation,<br />

the persistence, the endurance and the strategy.”<br />

Through global expansion and careful investment, Crimson is<br />

worth approximately $205 million today. While he has earned an<br />

impressive amount financially, unlike most students, there are<br />

no parties or holidays happening any time soon for Jamie. All his<br />

capital goes straight back into growing his business so Crimson can<br />

continue to unlock the potential of more students each day. Jamie’s<br />

lifestyle can be summarised in three of the words he frequently<br />

gives as advice: work insanely hard. “Taking the path less travelled<br />

is hard work, really hard work – but the end result can make it all<br />

worthwhile”, he summates.<br />

Jamie’s success not only inspires students all around the globe to<br />

aim higher than they’ve ever been told, but it also proves that Ivy<br />

League dreams are for more than just the ‘elite’ members of society.<br />

At the end of the day, Harvard doesn’t need any more student<br />

money. They’re far more interested in your brain, and what change<br />

you can bring to the modern world.<br />

-----<br />

Many thanks to Jamie Beaton and the whole team at Crimson Education for<br />

making this article possible. For more information on Crimson Education,<br />

visit crimsoneducation.org.<br />

Jamie at his graduation<br />

student affairs 12-13

edition two one<br />

lot’s wife<br />

how to be a super broke<br />

uni student and survive<br />

article by chulani jithma kaluarachchi<br />

Food<br />

Even low cost restaurants can get expensive if that’s where you’re<br />

eating most of your meals. The more you eat in, the more you save.<br />

Stocking your room with microwavable foods can provide quick,<br />

inexpensive alternatives. Buy yourself a massive bag of frozen<br />

vegetables. Then get some rice (sometimes it is cheaper than 2<br />

minute noodles). Invest in some soy sauce. Eat the home brand oats<br />

for breakfast each morning. Drink lots of tea. People will ask what<br />

your bikini body diet is and you will just be able to laugh. The ‘Uni<br />

Student’ will be the go-to diet of any runway model soon enough.<br />

And guys… trust me, there will always be free food on campus. There<br />

has not been a week in my university life so far where I haven’t been<br />

able to locate some form of free food. Whether it’s a barbecue for a<br />

club or free food Mondays, there will be free food on campus.<br />

Always remember rent money<br />

Put rent money first in your budget. You may be able to get away<br />

with a few days without going grocery shopping but you won’t be<br />

able to go a few days without paying rent. Your landlord will be less<br />

forgiving then your refrigerator.<br />

Clothing<br />

With some patience, you can buy clothing at thrift stores for no<br />

more than ten cents on the dollar. Buy your clothes when they are<br />

going out of season. Wait until it is the end of the season and get<br />

it at half the price. There are many cheap ways to get clothes. If<br />

nothing works out, there are tonnes of good clothes in the survival<br />

centre (1st floor – Campus centre) that anyone can take home for<br />

free!<br />

Transportation<br />

If you use public transportation, consolidate your trips so you don’t<br />

need to use it so much. Fewer trips will mean fewer fees paid. And<br />

even if you have a car, use the campus shuttle as much as possible.<br />

The more you do, the less gas you’ll need to pay for.<br />

Go to the library<br />

Whether it’s your university library or your town library, go there.<br />

If you can scrimp and not pay for an internet connection for your<br />

apartment/townhouse/shoe box, you will probably save $80. Plus,<br />

libraries aren’t that bad or boring. Free books. Free magazines, good<br />

Wi-Fi, cute people, what’s not to like?<br />

Ditch the credit card<br />

There are two problems with credit cards:<br />

1/ You’re likely to spend more by using them<br />

2/ The bill that comes next month, plus interest!<br />

When we pay with credit cards it doesn’t quite feel like we’re<br />

spending our own money, perhaps because until the bill comes in we<br />

aren’t! In that situation, we’re tempted to give ourselves the benefit<br />

of the doubt when we’re not sure we can afford something, meaning<br />

we’ll buy it now and trust that we’ll be able to afford it later. But<br />

when you’re a university student, later is never better! Pay cash for<br />

what you need, and the credit card balance will begin to drop each<br />

month, freeing up more cash for current expenses.<br />

Find a part time job<br />

Don’t just find a job, but one that will either complement your<br />

course schedule or help you prepare for life after university. If you’re<br />

more ambitious, or have greater need for income, see what kind of<br />

work is available in your field of study. This is also a way of thinking<br />

long term. The earlier you can begin working in your chosen<br />

field, the greater the advantage you’ll have over other students at<br />

the point of graduation. It can be the simplest kind of work, but<br />

sometimes just having the name of a relevant employer on your<br />

resume can be a huge advantage.<br />

Go part time for a semester or snag some financial aid<br />

Sometimes the answer to your money problems is to take a<br />

temporary breather. By cutting your school schedule back to part<br />

time for a semester or two you’ll free up your time to work. In<br />

addition to having more time to earn money, the reduction in your<br />

course load can cut back directly on uni-related costs enabling you<br />

to save even more money. True, it will extend the time you’ll be in<br />

uni overall, but it may also be a pause that refreshes you for the<br />

final push. From a financial standpoint, university is often a matter<br />

of muddling through; of finding ways of doing a lot with very little.<br />

It can seem like an uphill fight, but it may help to realize that the<br />

budgeting skills you’re leaning along the way will be among the<br />

best skills you’ll acquire in university. Get creative and embrace the<br />

effort!<br />

At the end of the day…<br />

You probably won’t be swimming in cash for a while just yet. The<br />

birthday wish lists you send to your parents will consist of better<br />

quality hair products, clean underwear and an order for this week’s<br />

groceries. You will have a life crisis because you can’t afford a<br />

hair dresser to give you a trim so you will consider risking doing<br />

it yourself. Let’s face it, you will bottom out your bank account,<br />

but you will gain mad budgeting skills and a whole lot of “life<br />


politics/society<br />

politics/society 14-15

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

international volunteering:<br />

selfless or selfish?<br />

article by devika pandit<br />

illustration by julia thouas<br />

Australians like to work hard and travel harder.<br />

Combining travel and volunteering is the go-to<br />

solution for young Aussies who wish to kick back<br />

responsibly.<br />

However, this seemingly beneficial practice is<br />

plagued with a few problems. The quest to ‘uplift’<br />

downtrodden communities through development<br />

volunteering programs raises many ethical concerns.<br />

I believe this trend disguises several biases, which<br />

expose the contested nature of international<br />

volunteering.<br />

Volunteering is traditionally a philanthropic activity<br />

that many regard as civic duty, accompanied by terms<br />

like ‘altruism’, ‘egalitarianism’ and ‘giving back to the<br />

community’.<br />

However, in the past few decades, there has emerged<br />

a simultaneous trend of development volunteering,<br />

predominantly of an international character. This<br />

is an activity wherein “civic conscious and morally<br />

upright citizens expend their time and resources<br />

in a foreign country with the aim of creating social<br />

change”, explained my friend, after a volunteer<br />

teaching program in Siem Reap, Cambodia.<br />

I was not satisfied with his explanation. Teenagers,<br />

greenhorns at life, embarking on international<br />

programs promising to ‘make a difference’ and be<br />

‘agents of change’ – could it really be that simple and<br />

straightforward?<br />

Upon more probing, Patrick recommended Student<br />

Volunteer Placements International (SVPI), an<br />

Australian volunteering organization offering<br />

placements in Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia. He’d<br />

enjoyed living in wi-fi serviced dorm accommodation<br />

and teaching English language in local schools. It was<br />

an unforgettable experience, visiting scenic hotspots<br />

and updating his Instagram with generic shots of<br />

locals. Patrick was successful in his application owing<br />

to an important criterion – a passion for ‘having fun,<br />

exploring and experiencing village life’, as mentioned<br />

in the SVPI Handbook.<br />

This account fits in with the definition of<br />

‘voluntourism.’ The combination is geared towards<br />

fulfilment of the donor and donees’ needs – as<br />

ingrained by different media. I think otherwise.<br />

Voluntourism is a convenient guise for economizing<br />

development volunteering. University students,<br />

for example, are subject to heavy application fees<br />

to enroll for programs like the one in Siem Reap.<br />

However, there is much to gain. ‘Cultural exchange’,<br />

an impressive resume and marvellous photos! I<br />

question the ethical nature of this activity.<br />

Firstly, I believe international volunteering programs<br />

do not provide a wholesome local experience<br />

for student volunteers because the latter are far<br />

removed from realities of the host country. Hostel<br />

accommodation, Wi-Fi, bottled water, these<br />

‘necessities’ dictate that students leave behind a<br />

comfortable lifestyle in Australia to engage with<br />

the local community in developing countries in a<br />

comfortable manner.<br />

This process is notoriously described as ‘challenging<br />

and eye-opening’ when in fact all the student has<br />

done, is learn traditional cooking and handicraft work.<br />

I hence view international volunteering as a paradox.<br />

There is no attempt at blending with the locals, which<br />

aggravates the unspoken divide between them and<br />

superiorly placed student ‘visitors’.<br />

Moreover, this draws attention to a critical but<br />

often ignored theme in international volunteering<br />

– cultural imagery. Development-speak employs<br />

a casual tone for phrases like ‘First World donors’<br />

or ‘Third World recipients’ that encourage implicit<br />

cultural imagery – First World (white) citizens as<br />

experts and therefore saviours of helpless Third<br />

World (brown) masses. I think this leads to a heavy<br />

downplaying of local capabilities and overestimation<br />

of volunteers’ skill sets.<br />

I recently came across a friend’s Facebook post<br />

advertising 40K Globe Internship Program, popular<br />

with the Australian university cohort. The pictures<br />

made me wish I’d grabbed the opportunity, but upon<br />

thinking some more, I laughed at my ignorance.<br />

Students from prestigious schools and universities,<br />

with no experience or training whatsoever, traveling<br />

to Indian villages for rural empowerment are often<br />

revered by their hosts as capable of ‘uplifting’ the<br />

impoverished through donations, seminars and street<br />

plays.<br />

This privilege is not granted on the basis of expertise,<br />

a finding generated by Volunteer and Services<br />

Enquiry Southern Africa (VOSESA) about host’s<br />

perspectives of development volunteers in Southern<br />

Africa. Hence, I believe it is unethical to exploit this<br />

privilege by offering to help another without knowing<br />

how to do so. It promotes the idea of university<br />

students as possessing the expertise to embark on<br />

international programs and lauding them as effective<br />

‘agents of change’. Rarely do volunteering programs<br />

insist upon any formal training, which is necessary<br />

when a cross-cultural exchange is expected. Popular<br />

programs like AISEC too, do not include any prior<br />

training in relevant fields.<br />

Hence, it is primarily a matter of power bestowed<br />

upon students from developed nations, perhaps<br />

through the winning combination of a privileged<br />

color in the racial hierarchy, and financial security.<br />

This power is superficial. To assume that a group<br />

of 18-year-old students are well equipped to deliver<br />

lasting change in a Third World country – is<br />

problematic. This not only elevates students to a godlike<br />

position in the host country, but also undermines<br />

local capacity and resources, suggesting progress<br />

as attainable only through international funding/<br />

volunteers, regardless of the latter’s motives, training<br />

or expertise.<br />

I substantiate my views through a relevant example. I<br />

recently encountered an English Teaching Fellowship<br />

Program (ETF) in Colombia, a joint initiative of<br />

the Heart for Change and the Colombian National<br />

Ministry of Education. This program is open to all<br />

students who possess a Bachelor’s degree in any field,<br />

but the only prerequisite for teaching English is to be<br />

‘fluent in English, preferably native speakers’.<br />

This puzzled me for two entirely different reasons.<br />

One, the explicit partiality towards native English<br />

speakers who are automatically elevated to the<br />

level of ‘teaching experts’ owing to origins from<br />

an English speaking country. I strongly believe<br />

that English language or any other for that matter<br />

cannot be taught as a hobby in a casual manner. It<br />

is a responsibility to equip another with a popular<br />

medium of communication. Therefore, I consider<br />

it unethical to trivialize this responsibility by<br />

permitting anybody to be a teacher, that too based on<br />

their colour and race.<br />

Secondly and more importantly, I question the<br />

long-term impact of such programs, as to whether<br />

any successful development has been recorded<br />

through such activities. Having gathered volunteer<br />

program data from several friends, I propose that<br />

such programs attempt to revolutionize a society<br />

and resolve its issues in short spurts and with<br />

minimal effort. Volunteers are often unaware of<br />

these details and many tend to use the opportunity<br />

as ‘voluntourism’ in a self-indulgent manner rather<br />

than intended development volunteering. From this<br />

viewpoint, it seems that programs are ingeniously<br />

designed to benefit First World ‘donors’ while status<br />

quo remains unchanged for Third World ‘recipients’.<br />

The overriding problem continues to flourish –<br />

volunteers sacrifice a privileged lifestyle for a short<br />

while to empower the host nation, more often than<br />

not a developing country. They graciously dissociate<br />

themselves from the prestige and power bestowed<br />

upon them by their ‘developed’ culture. They engage<br />

with the host culture in a manner most lopsided and<br />

imbalanced, and shortly return home, labelling the<br />

experience as one creating social change.<br />

Although this does not conform to what would be<br />

regarded as morally and ethically correct actions, such<br />

considerations are not entertained because ‘as long as<br />

we are gaining, there is nothing to lose’.

in crisis: the greens must<br />

strive for electoral success<br />

article by jordan mosley<br />

illustration by hugh brooks<br />

In December 2016, the Greens unexpectedly tumbled into the media spotlight<br />

as reports surfaced that a radical-leftist splinter group, ‘Left Renewal’, had<br />

materialised in the party’s New South Wales branch. Billing itself as ‘a socialist<br />

tendency comprised of rank-and-file, NSW Greens members’ the faction’s<br />

manifesto openly calls for the end of capitalism. It was labelled as a system of<br />

‘perpetual violence’, and noted that ‘violent apparatuses’ such as the police ‘do not<br />

share an interest with the working class’.<br />

Since its inception, the new faction has caused a great deal of internal havoc in<br />

the NSW Greens, including but not limited to: bringing sourness into internal<br />

preselections, invoking the ire of old party icon Bob Brown, and assaulting police at<br />

one of Sydney’s anti-Australia Day rallies (Left Renewal member Hayden Williams<br />

was charged last January). Lee Rhiannon, Greens senator for NSW, has defended<br />

the presence of Left Renewal, saying that the faction’s aims were consistent with<br />

Greens principles, and presented ‘a legitimate contribution to political debate<br />

in the party’. Current Greens leader Richard Di Natale, on the other hand, has<br />

suggested that the group “find a new political home” and labeled its position on<br />

capitalism a “ridiculous notion.”<br />

Apart from the juicy revelation that yes, like the Libs or Labor, the Greens can<br />

also suffer the plague of ideological and factional turf-war, this internal saga in<br />

many ways signifies a deeper anxiety and confusion over the role and direction<br />

of Australia’s third party. While Left Renewal is not typical or representative<br />

of the Greens nationally, its presence does challenge Senator Di Natale’s bright<br />

proclamation that the Greens are now Australia’s ‘natural home of progressive<br />

mainstream voters’. This was the kind of mantra that attracted me to the party in<br />

early 2014, months after the election of Tony Abbott, before I left two years later<br />

(but that’s another story).<br />

Over the past fifteen years, the Greens have effectively evolved from a single-issue<br />

environmental party into an all-encompassing humanitarian leftism, projecting<br />

its social-activist platform into issues as diverse as climate change, asylum seekers,<br />

LGBT rights, public health care, and social housing. In doing so, the party has gone<br />

from marginal to mainstream, winning the support of middle-class, inner-city<br />

voters who had defected from Labor. The Greens took advantage of the vacuum<br />

left behind by the demise of Australian Democrats, whose vote was quietly and<br />

naturally absorbed. Due to this, the Greens have achieved considerable electoral<br />

victories, currently holding nine seats in the federal Senate, one federal Lower<br />

House seat (Adam Bandt in Melbourne), as well as winning 10 percent of the<br />

national Lower House vote at the last federal election, representing nearly 1.4<br />

million voters. State lower house seats have also been won in Victoria and New<br />

South Wales, with the party currently holding two and three seats respectively in<br />

these States’ Parliaments, mostly clustered in inner city Melbourne and Sydney.<br />

While for many years it has looked as if the Greens were an exponentially<br />

increasing force, capable of infiltrating territories once safely held by Labor and<br />

the Liberals, growth has not been a completely even or successful journey across<br />

the board. This was most visible at the last federal election. The party’s strategy to<br />

win lower house seats and return its senators in Victoria and NSW. In Melbourne,<br />

the Greens did not pick up any new lower house seats, but did come close in the<br />

seat of Batman, where candidate Alex Bhathal achieved a 9.5% swing, narrowly<br />

losing by a 1% margin against Labor’s David Feeney, a massive improvement from<br />

the 10% margin in 2013. Large swings were also recorded in Wills, Melbourne Ports,<br />

and Higgins, with the Greens in some cases jumping ahead of Liberal and Labor<br />

candidates to become the second largest party. By contrast, in NSW, attempts to<br />

seize the seats of Grayndler and Sydney proved dismal, as the Greens’ candidate for<br />

Grayndler, Jim Casey, failed to increase the primary vote above the 22% recorded at<br />

the previous election, leaving high-profile Labor MP Anthony Albanese in relative<br />

safety. Results were similarly discouraging in the Senate, as Senator Lee Rhiannon<br />

took 7.91% of the statewide vote, compared to 10.87% taken by Richard Di Natale in<br />

Victoria. What went wrong?<br />

The answer to NSW failure and Victorian success lies in the differing campaign<br />

approaches, candidate selections and policy promotions that were used in<br />

Melbourne and Sydney. In Melbourne, the party has promoted itself by taking a<br />

moderate and cooperative tone, spruiking the achievements of Melbourne MP<br />

Adam Bandt. On his website and in campaign materials, Bandt has prominently<br />

emphasised his achievements in passing so-called ‘Denticare’ legislation, which<br />

enabled lower and middle-income families to access dental treatment through<br />

Medicare. During this time, Bandt also won concessions from the Labor Party<br />

which established a climate change committee that later imposed a so-called<br />

‘carbon tax’, which was later repealed by the Abbott government. While these<br />

concessions have had varying degrees of success, they do point towards a view of<br />

Green politics that seeks social change through compromise and cooperation with<br />

the two major parties.<br />

Across the border in NSW, the Greens candidate for Grayndler Jim Casey, became<br />

embroiled in a number of ideological gaffes. He claimed that he would prefer<br />

right-wing Tony Abbott as prime minister instead of Labor’s Bill Shorten, as the<br />

former would provoke a more aggressive social justice movement that would<br />

include “an anti-war movement that was disrupting things in the streets… and a<br />

climate change movement that was starting to actually disrupt the production<br />

of coal.” Writing in the Guardian, Casey viewed capitalism as a system that was<br />

likely “to collapse under its own weight”, insisting that the system is built on the<br />

‘“equality and misery of a vast majority of the working people”,a dead giveaway for<br />

Left Renewal sympathies. The point here is not whether Casey is right or wrong.<br />

What is at stake here is the appeal of such sweeping rhetoric to mainstream voters,<br />

which largely alienates many moderate-minded people. A while back, I remember<br />

talking to a multiple-time Greens candidate at a party fundraiser, who showed a<br />

great passion for tackling climate change. “I wouldn’t be in the Greens if I were<br />

in NSW,” he said, in reference to the radical elements present in Sydney. Another<br />

Greens candidate, described ‘Left Renewal’ as “mad.” With such opinions floating<br />

within the Greens, one can only wonder how the party’s far-left could possibly<br />

appeal to the wider voting populace. Election results speak for themselves.<br />

Which brings us to the future of the Greens today. Should they protest and stick to<br />

strict, radical principles, or compromise and go for electoral success? By now, the<br />

answer should be blisteringly obvious. While Mr. Casey and his ilk are entitled to<br />

their views, one must question how blanket statements on the evils of capitalism<br />

and ‘the system’, which call for the tearing down of myriad ‘institutions’, could<br />

possibly be desirable to small business owners, pensioners, or tradespeople; or the<br />

people who scan your groceries; or, for that matter, anybody who falls outside of<br />

Sydney’s hard industrial-left. While Left Renewal may call it ‘protest’, I would call<br />

it ideological purism, an attempt to give the Australian public a revolution no<br />

one even asked for. People open to voting Green are interested in strong public<br />

hospitals, a decent tariff for the solar panels on their roofs, and legal same-sex<br />

marriage, issues I heard raised when I sat at Sunday market stalls. If Left Renewal<br />

wants to pursue any meaningful social change, it should seek the reform of<br />

institutions, the law and society, not its destruction. But to give them some credit,<br />

the faction actually is succeeding in destroying one institution: the NSW Greens,<br />

and by extension, itself.<br />

politics/society 16-17

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

a love letter to a<br />

lost america<br />

article by ben caddaye<br />

illustration by lucy zammit<br />

Dear America, I think it’s time we sat down and had a talk.<br />

I know you’ve been going through a lot lately, what with the slow decline of your<br />

middle class and a veritable maniac as your new democratically elected leader. But<br />

lately I’ve come to realise that we’ve drifted apart and I’m beginning to think that<br />

we’re no longer right for each other.<br />

It’s become clear that you’ve changed. Perhaps I’ve changed the way I look at you.<br />

Once upon a time, I gazed upon your timeworn shores with fondness and found<br />

courage in your moral righteousness. I can still remember the first time I heard the<br />

poetic words of Emma Lazarus inscribed on the Statue of Liberty…<br />

‘Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,<br />

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;<br />

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand<br />

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame<br />

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name,<br />

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand<br />

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command<br />

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.<br />

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she<br />

With silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor,<br />

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,<br />

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.<br />

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,<br />

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’<br />

These words accompanied my ascension in the world. When I was born, I was filled<br />

with an exuberance that can only come courtesy of youth. I looked out into the<br />

world and saw you as my mentor. I looked at your Federation and it inspired mine. I<br />

remember when I was vulnerable, with Japan on my door. It was you who came and<br />

stood steadfast by my side. Since then I’ve followed your lead, and together we’ve<br />

gone into Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. It has cost me deeply,<br />

and the scars of war still play on my memory. But I had always thought that it was<br />

for the betterment of our pursuit of liberty.<br />

You were born out of a struggle for freedom. Your first statement to the world<br />

was bold – a declaration that all are created equal and are endowed with certain<br />

unalienable rights, among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It was<br />

these ideals that inspired my actions and the actions of other nations around the<br />

world. In following your lead, it was for the benefit of our shared ideals and in<br />

furtherance of freedom and democracy; or at least that’s what I thought.<br />

Lately you’ve changed the way you speak, the way you act. You’ve shut yourself off<br />

to those who, in a different time would have found refuge in your open embrace.<br />

Your minorities live in fear, ostracised and paraded as criminals for the God they<br />

find comfort in. When you attempted to bar the entry of peoples based on their<br />

country of origin you lost your moral credibility. What scares me even more is that<br />

the social progress you’ve made is diminishing.<br />

You’re failing to respect the bodily autonomy of women, revoking the fundamental<br />

freedom to decide whether or not to have a child. The passage of Act 45 in<br />

Arkansas sickens me to my core.<br />

The hard-fought civil liberties of your people of colour are being violated. Kids<br />

are growing up today in fear of the police that are supposed to protect them from<br />

violence, not perpetrate it. When the poverty rate for people of colour surpasses 1<br />

in 4, you know something is terribly wrong with your system. You’ve closed your<br />

golden door. Your status as leader of the democratic world is in doubt and I fear<br />

that this is only the beginning of your descent inward and away from what used<br />

to define you.<br />

Your actions lately have made me reflect greatly on the things we’ve been through<br />

together. Now that I’m seeing a different you I realise it’s been there all along – I’ve<br />

just made excuses for it.

Your nation was born in a time of abhorrent slavery where the subjugation of other<br />

human beings was lauded for its economic benefit. Even though you came out of<br />

the civil war determined to end the practice, I don’t feel as if you’ve ever fully come<br />

to terms with your past. The injustices of the practice still lives in your society.<br />

You haven’t made steps to come to terms with the genocides of your founding,<br />

and you’re still abusing your Native population. Native Americans, Alaskans and<br />

Hawaiians figure as large percentages of your prison system even though they are a<br />

small part of your population.<br />

I admit I was naive. I only have to look to Iraq where it’s impossible to overlook the<br />

deaths of 150,000+ innocent civilians. I can’t deny we had a hand in those deaths.<br />

Casting my gaze back further I am again horrified in the role I played in the half a<br />

million civilian deaths in Vietnam. That’s been on my conscience for quite some<br />

time and I don’t think I could be a part of where your new America is going. You’re<br />

still bombing innocent people in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. Those aren’t the actions of<br />

a nation that believes in ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ I can no longer<br />

hold my head with pride and declare that standing with you is for the betterment<br />

of all when all I see when I gaze back is a trail of devastation and loss.<br />

As you focus inward, stepping back from your role as the leader of the international<br />

order I hope I have the courage to do the opposite. I’ve grown up. I can’t ignore<br />

the fact that I’ve developed a vibrant multicultural soul, welcoming people from<br />

all over the world with the declaration that I am the sunburnt land of the fair go.<br />

Threaded in my fabric is the toil of those wanting a better life, and the solemn<br />

belief that what defines me is not origin, complexion, language or culture. What<br />

defines what I am is the celebration of diversity. It’s part of my narrative, and I can’t<br />

partner with a nation that works to reject it. I’m far from perfect., I’ve got a lot of<br />

work to do on myself. I still have to make things right with my traditional owners,<br />

I still torture kids in juvenile prisons like Don Dale and by God I have to close<br />

the fucking detention camps. But I’m hopeful that perhaps I can regain my moral<br />

standing.<br />

I’ve been in love with the idea of you, rather than what you really are. I think for<br />

me to continue to grow we need to take separate paths. You’ll always hold a special<br />

place in my heart, but I must forge my own way forward.<br />

Love your long-time friend,<br />

Australia.<br />

politics/society 18-19

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

let’s talk about<br />

youth homelessness<br />

article by sachetha bamunusinghe<br />

illustration by mohan lei<br />

Melbourne is a great city that we should consider<br />

ourselves lucky to live in. However, the harsh reality<br />

is that Australia isn’t the lucky country for every<br />

young person. Youth homelessness is a serious issue<br />

that affects approximately 26,238 young people<br />

Australia-wide. Sadly, this topic seems to be largely<br />

forgotten in many ways. It is important to be aware<br />

and generate discussion around the issue.<br />

Youth homelessness is caused by many factors<br />

including family breakdown, violence, unemployment,<br />

mental health issues, alcohol and/or drug issues<br />

and poverty. These causes are present in the 2008<br />

documentary film The Oasis, which focused upon the<br />

lives of homeless youths staying in a housing centre<br />

in Sydney. The documentary explored individual<br />

stories of each youth, who due to a difficult past, were<br />

eventually forced to leave home. The loss of social and<br />

emotional connections with family and friends, along<br />

with housing, food, water and basic services, further<br />

exacerbated their descent into homelessness.<br />

This issue is one that stems globally, with youth<br />

homelessness increasing in developing countries.<br />

Even though the causes of homelessness in<br />

developing nations are mostly similar to developed<br />

nations, developing nations generally have graver<br />

influencing factors such as significant periods of<br />

poverty, low standards of living and rural to urban<br />

migration. Moreover, the attitude towards this issue<br />

varies in different nations depending on political,<br />

social, cultural, religious and economic values. In<br />

some developing countries, gathering data relating to<br />

homelessness is non-existent due to the significance<br />

and broad prevalence of the problem.<br />

As the complexities of youth homelessness differ<br />

in various countries, so do the approaches taken.<br />

However there are two main standpoints to consider.<br />

Firstly, a proactive approach to prevent the causes<br />

of youth homelessness. This includes increasing<br />

affordable education, family services as well as health<br />

and rehab facilities and employment opportunities<br />

to better prevent homelessness from occurring.<br />

In particular, education that focuses on academic<br />

aspects, health, family violence, alcohol and drugs,<br />

is key in substantially preventing individuals from<br />

falling into serious issues.<br />

Secondly, a reactive approach can be taken to assist<br />

those already in the cycle of homelessness. This can<br />

include access to affordable housing or government<br />

housing that not only provides individuals<br />

accommodation and safety, but also an actual<br />

address to reference when looking for employment.<br />

Additionally, a co-ordination of social services that<br />

provide important resources and necessities should<br />

be increased. Non-governmental organizations or<br />

non-profit organizations are particularly important<br />

in supporting areas that may not receive enough<br />

government assistance.<br />

As young people, we have the power to instigate<br />

change. The following are a number of admirable<br />

organisations that rely on support to deliver<br />

invaluable services to the community. There are<br />

numerous non-governmental and non-for-profit<br />

organizations in Melbourne looking for volunteers or<br />

even just a simple donation.<br />

Salvation Army Melbourne Project 614: An organization<br />

which provides support by supplying meals, clothing<br />

and counselling, as well as pathways for training,<br />

volunteering and employment. Many volunteer<br />

opportunities are available including the Marketplace<br />

where you can assist in customer service duties in a<br />

supermarket, Hamodava Café where you can order<br />

and serve food and beverages for disadvantaged<br />

communities, and the AMP 614 Youth Bus which<br />

involves preparing food and socializing with other<br />

young people.<br />

Crêpes for Change: A non-for-profit crêpe van created<br />

and run by young people. The crêpe van is present<br />

at numerous markets, festivals and events, where<br />

money made from each crêpe goes towards initiatives<br />

tackling youth homelessness. Volunteers are required<br />

for van procedures such as making crepes and<br />

running the till. As a van volunteer I can confirm it<br />

is also great fun! There is also the new mobile coffee<br />

cart that can cater for any sort of event. Barista and<br />

crêpe training is provided!<br />

Lighthouse Foundation: An organization providing<br />

homes and services to homeless youths suffering from<br />

long-term neglect and abuse. Each Lighthouse home<br />

provides the safety, counseling and guidance for<br />

young people to assist in creating a future pathway<br />

away from chronic homelessness and disadvantage.<br />

Opportunities include the Community Committees,<br />

which involve providing support mentoring, practical<br />

help and fundraising for a Lighthouse home.<br />

Volunteers are also required for assisting with events<br />

and administration.<br />

Sacred Heart Mission: An organization providing<br />

services and support to disadvantaged communities,<br />

including homeless youths. Volunteers are required<br />

for Op Shops where you can develop customer service<br />

skills and help raise funds for services, such as the<br />

Our Meals Program, which involves serving meals at<br />

their main dining hall. Also, volunteers to help with<br />

reception, administration and event fundraising are<br />

needed by the organization.<br />

These are just a few of the volunteering opportunities<br />

available in Melbourne. Spending a few hours of your<br />

week helping out organizations is a great initiative if<br />

you’re interested in discussing and tackling the issue<br />

of youth homelessness. So get out there and give it a<br />

go. Get involved!

politics/society 20-21

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

illustration by keely simpson-bull

science/engineering<br />

science/engineering 22-23

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

what major should<br />

you choose?<br />

words by science & engineering sub-editor team<br />

illustration by lin rahman<br />

Sitting in class stressing<br />

about your major?<br />

Worried about the most<br />

important choice in your<br />

degree that will literally<br />

definethe rest of your life?<br />

Well your friendly Science<br />

& Engineering Sub-Ed<br />

Team have created a<br />

simple flowchart to help<br />

you decide.

what’s the matter<br />

with antimatter?<br />

article by isaac reichman<br />

illustration by john henry<br />

We see symmetry in nature all the time. At our<br />

scale, almost every species on earth has some form<br />

of external body-plan symmetry; notable exceptions<br />

exist, the flounder fish. But the symmetry of objects<br />

extends into natural processes and even fundamental<br />

physics principles. One such symmetry arises with the<br />

property of matter known as charge; a rather abstract<br />

notion that we can understand as a driving principle<br />

behind circuitry and chemistry. But, questions as<br />

to why the most basic components of nature have<br />

the charges they do and what the significance of<br />

charge is are the questions that are on the minds of<br />

physicists. An experiment conducted by The Alpha<br />

Collaboration published in Nature earlier this year<br />

sought to expound on and explore these questions.<br />

First, however, some background.<br />

In 1928, a young physicist, Paul Dirac, developed an<br />

equation that married Einstein’s Special Relativity<br />

– the theory of the very fast, with Schrodinger’s<br />

quantum wave mechanics – a description of the<br />

fundamental nature of matter. His goal was to<br />

produce an equation that accurately describes the<br />

quantum behavior of matter at high speeds. But<br />

Dirac had outdone himself; not only did the equation<br />

seamlessly blend special relativity with quantum<br />

mechanics, but it made unexpected predictions.<br />

In the same way that the square root of 4 is both<br />

positive 2 and negative 2, when solving his own<br />

equation for the electron, Dirac found that there were<br />

two energies for the resulting particle – one positive<br />

and one negative. Instead of discarding the negative<br />

solution, Dirac supposed that it may represent a<br />

different particle, one with characteristics identical<br />

to the electron in every way with the exception of<br />

one – its charge. Thus the solutions to the equation<br />

are a negatively charged antiproton and a positively<br />

charged positron. The notion of antimatter was born.<br />

Following this, Dirac’s idea was treated as being an<br />

artifact of the mathematics. That is, until antimatter<br />

was discovered four years later in 1932.<br />

Since then, the last 85 years have seen an incredible<br />

amount of knowledge and application as a result of<br />

the discovery of antimatter. One such example is<br />

our current understanding of radioactive decay, in<br />

particular beta-radiation, in which either a proton<br />

or neutron transforms into the other, producing an<br />

antimatter particle. This property of the decay is<br />

actually exploited in a modern medical technology<br />

– positron emission tomography, or P.E.T. scanning<br />

for short.<br />

Whilst we’re at it though, an aside. Beta radiation,<br />

when you hear about it, can seem as if its reasoning<br />

is pulled out of thin air. It turns out that its cause, is<br />

actually due to a fundamental physical force known<br />

as the weak interaction. The weak interaction is one<br />

of the four fundamental mechanisms for change in<br />

the universe, and can cause an interchange of matter<br />

with antimatter as well as altering the constitution of<br />

protons and neutrons. There’s some modern physics<br />

for you.<br />

Oh, and in case you’re curious, when normal matter<br />

and antimatter engage with one another, they<br />

undergo a friendly process known as annihilation<br />

and are converted into pure energy in a quantum<br />

explosion. In fact, on the same trail of logic: if matter<br />

and antimatter create pure energy, can the reverse be<br />

said? Astonishingly, the answer is yes! This is actually<br />

the main method of antimatter production; we pump<br />

enough energy into a vacuum or fire it at an object<br />

and the result is a plethora of matter and antimatter<br />

particles. When this happens with an electron and<br />

positron spontaneously in a vacuum, it is known as<br />

pair production.<br />

We’ve already established that the only difference<br />

between particles and their respective antiparticles is<br />

their charges. We also know that atoms are composed<br />

of positive protons and negative electrons (with<br />

most having neutral neutrons for stability), making<br />

them neutral overall. So it stands to reason if we<br />

just flip the charge of every constituent – protons to<br />

anti-protons etc., then the overall properties shouldn’t<br />

change –because the atoms don’t have total charge<br />

anyway. So here are the real questions: is the logic<br />

right, does anything change?<br />

Now we’re equipped to talk about the experiment.<br />

One of the most well-understood systems in all of<br />

physics is that of the hydrogen atom: composed of a<br />

proton and an electron. But a classic way of probing<br />

hydrogen is to give the electron some energy and see<br />

how it responds. The goal of the experiment was to<br />

determine whether or not anti-hydrogen responds<br />

the same as normal hydrogen. Due to the obvious<br />

issues in handling antimatter, the anti-hydrogen<br />

must be created, contained and experimented on<br />

in very creative ways. First, the basic ingredients<br />

must be made in a particle accelerator. Then, the<br />

anti-hydrogen was cooked up by combining its preprepared<br />

ingredients: an antiproton and positron.<br />

It was then trapped and contained in a magnetic field<br />

so that it wouldn’t interact with anything made of<br />

matter. In order to determine its response to light,<br />

the antihydrogen was stimulated with a laser and its<br />

response recorded.<br />

The results were rewarding and found an identical<br />

response to light from anti-hydrogen as they found<br />

from hydrogen. As far as interactions with matter<br />

and antimatter go, the experiment found light<br />

doesn’t seem to care which is which. This is a big step<br />

experimentally into understanding the fundamental<br />

symmetries of the universe.<br />

But here’s the rub: why is there more matter than<br />

antimatter in the universe, and why are we made of<br />

matter? We look out at the cosmos and see galaxies<br />

and stars only composed of one. We know this is<br />

true because otherwise there would be annihilation<br />

constantly and we could see its effects. Perhaps it’s all<br />

antimatter and we’re the only matter. But that raises<br />

more questions of its own and answers less of ours. In<br />

any case, this is a big problem in modern astrophysics<br />

and cosmology. Had the experiment shown a<br />

different response to light from anti-hydrogen we<br />

might have an inkling; but no cigar. Every day we<br />

understand antimatter and its properties better both<br />

experimentally and theoretically. Its origins and<br />

seeming lack of ubiquity on the other hand? Right<br />

now it’s a matter of speculation.<br />

science/engineering 24-25

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

apathy and<br />

urgency<br />

article by lachlan liesfield<br />

illustration by carly patterson<br />

June 5th, 2013, The first reports of the National<br />

Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance<br />

programs were released to the public. You heard<br />

about it, of that I am certain. You were outraged,<br />

disappointed, yet maybe unsurprised. But at that first<br />

moment of confirmation, you were worried. You used<br />

incognito mode every time you browsed, thinking<br />

it might do something, you cleared your cache and<br />

history, and wondered if something you’d looked<br />

up would leave you with some unwanted attention.<br />

More allegations emerged about the US government<br />

spying on its citizens, though they got less and less<br />

coverage. By the time a month had passed, the effect<br />

of the leaks on you had faded. You’d forgotten. Your<br />

interest had waned. Though for some the effects are<br />

far from over. They are not ‘out of sight, out mind’ like<br />

they might be for us.<br />

Residing in Russia after having been granted<br />

temporary asylum there –which has recently been<br />

extended to the year 2020, Edward Snowden, a<br />

champion of U.S intelligence transparency continues<br />

to promote issues of privacy and anonymity.<br />

Still he constantly involves himself in live video<br />

conference talks in every corner of the world,<br />

including in Melbourne where he spoke last May. In<br />

conversation with Julian Morrow of Chaser fame,<br />

Snowden reiterated to the audience that powers of<br />

Australian Intelligence services are now “much more<br />

unrestrained than they are in the United States,<br />

despite how dire the situation is there”. The respected<br />

outsider acted more or less as a light through the fog,<br />

reminding us of what is happening right in front of<br />

our eyes.<br />

Snowden reaffirmed for his audience that there have<br />

been some successes from his actions three years ago.<br />

In the United States, the requirement for the Foreign<br />

Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to approve or<br />

deny surveillance requests was established. The Email<br />

Privacy Act, which would prevent general acquisition<br />

of private emails, was introduced as a bill to the<br />

United States Congress and the specific NSA program<br />

Snowden’s leak exposed has since been shut down.<br />

But there have been failures too. The FISC did not<br />

deny any requests last year; the Email Privacy Act has<br />

stalled in the US Senate. In Australia, public outrage<br />

has not been matched by policy. Under the National<br />

Security Legislation Amendment (2014), increased<br />

penalties for disclosing information about security<br />

operations were introduced –the legislation applies<br />

to both those within and outside of the intelligence<br />

community. This had the effect of making it harder<br />

for whistle-blowers and journalists to bring such<br />

material to light. Where was all the fuss kicked up by<br />

both the media and the public when it was passed?<br />

Why do we look away in the first place? I wonder if<br />

reading it now might change anything.<br />

It is often hard then to feel as if any progress is<br />

being made. But there are small steps. European<br />

responses were more wholehearted, though still<br />

lacking, with a general wave of condemnation from<br />

European governments. Importantly, there was a<br />

German investigation into strategies to prevent the<br />

re-emergence of mass surveillance. But equally they<br />

have dawdled on implementing any actual measures<br />

to do this.<br />

In the final days of his administration, President<br />

Obama commuted the sentences of many prisoners,<br />

including Chelsea Manning who was convicted of<br />

espionage in 2013. During his presidency, however,<br />

the rules for data sharing between the NSA and<br />

other intelligence agencies were loosened. This<br />

meant that all the excessive personal data collected<br />

by surveillance programs will continue to be in the<br />

possession of the Federal Government of the United<br />

States. While Obama’s commutations set some<br />

precedent – though nothing formal, for the treatment<br />

of whistle-blowers, the issues raised by them and the<br />

need to protect whistle-blowers like them seem to<br />

have receded from any real scrutiny.<br />

Australians have largely dismissed the Snowden leaks<br />

as a rather irrelevant, foreign problem. We cannot do<br />

that with the Panama Papers, released in mid-2016.<br />

Major Australian companies such as NAB, ANZ and<br />

BHP Billiton were named in the papers, alongside<br />

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – although he<br />

himself was not implicated of any wrongdoing. Such<br />

allegations are something we must acknowledge and<br />

confront.<br />

These are merely a few of many leaks that continue<br />

to be reported about and subsequently forgotten.<br />

There were ‘The Drone Papers’, published by The<br />

Intercept. These papers detailed how people end up<br />

on US kill lists – though the leaks themselves have<br />

not been without due criticism. Furthermore, there<br />

were many other leaks published by the International<br />

Consortium of Investigative Journalists, concerning<br />

deaths and displacement in Zambia and the<br />

Democratic Republic of Congo by Australian mining<br />

interests.<br />

All these stories have come and gone, already bowing<br />

out of the spotlight, often with limited public impact.<br />

Do you remember seeing it on television? Do you<br />

remember it as trending news? As a top rated post?<br />

Why do we forget so quickly? These sorts of crises<br />

are now a constant. It seems as if every week,<br />

there’s another story breaking. We are forced to<br />

discard them so quickly just to keep up with what’s<br />

happening next. From leaks, to wars, to elections<br />

and administrations, there is so much news we<br />

don’t have the time to understand its gravity or its<br />

consequences.<br />

Even now, we regularly follow leaks of questionable<br />

ministerial spending by the Federal Government,<br />

with new accusations of wrongdoing emerging<br />

almost daily. How about the explosive reports<br />

coming from the United States regarding Russian<br />

interference in their presidential election?<br />

Is it that we toss aside any information doesn’t<br />

immediately affect us? Surely not, because responses<br />

to the actions of government wrongdoing both here<br />

and the US have been vivid and immediate. We do<br />

watch each other’s backs, though not necessarily<br />

for long enough. It is doubtless that governments<br />

and corporations will continue to act illegally and<br />

uncompromisingly to serve their own interests. But<br />

we cannot allow the existing voter apathy to evolve<br />

into ‘corruption apathy’, in essence the normalisation<br />

of these revelations after we’ve spent our collective<br />

outrage. Every morning it seems we can wake up to<br />

another story that would have been unthinkable a<br />

year ago. With an extended public push, not only<br />

just when these issues arise but instead until we see<br />

a resolution, perhaps then we would be able to unite<br />

together in a fight for greater political transparency,<br />

integrity, and legitimacy.

do patterns of social<br />

media use reflect<br />

personality traits?<br />

article by ambrose moore<br />

The number of worldwide social media users is expected to reach 2.5 billion by<br />

2018. Whether an individual’s personality can be accurately reflected in their use<br />

of social media has been examined and discussed by many researchers over this<br />

period. Prior to research being done on this topic, it was widely assumed that an<br />

individual’s personality and their use of social media were not necessarily distinct<br />

from one another, but due to inconsistencies, an individual’s social media use<br />

cannot reliably predict that individual’s whole personality. Through the analysis<br />

of some research studies into whether an individual’s ‘Big Five’ personality traits<br />

(extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism) can be<br />

accurately predicted through examining their use of social media, it is evident that<br />

there are in fact reliable and quantifiable correlations between patterns of social<br />

media use and these Big Five personality traits. The results suggested that, rather<br />

than escaping from or compensating for their offline personality, Online Social<br />

Networking site (OSNs) users appear to extend their offline personalities into the<br />

domains of OSNs.<br />

The article ‘Manifestations of personality in online social networks’ used<br />

two studies; self-reported Facebook-related behaviors and observable profile<br />

information, examining how personality is reflected in OSNs. The study revealed<br />

several connections between the Big Five personality traits and both self-reported<br />

Facebook-related behaviors and observable profile information. Extraversion was<br />

not only positively related to self-reported frequency of Facebook usage (Study 1),<br />

but also engagement in the site, with extraverts (vs. introverts) leaving observable<br />

traces of higher levels of OSN activity. However, the validity of the conclusion may<br />

be questioned, as they have only looked at Facebook-related activity, thus reducing<br />

the ability to generalize across all OSNs.<br />

In contrast ‘A tale of two sites: Twitter vs. Facebook and the personality predictors<br />

of social media usage’ examined how the Big Five personality traits, along with<br />

Sociability and Need-for-Cognition, affect an individual’s informational use of<br />

the two largest OSNs: Facebook and Twitter. Although the methods of each study<br />

differed, the results showed congruence. That is, both studies reported that the<br />

total number of friends a user has correlates significantly highly with extroversion.<br />

However, the results attained by these two studies may not be reliable as they did<br />

not take into account the effect of what may be considered confounding variables,<br />

such as socio-demographics and life satisfaction, gender and age.<br />

The results from a similar study ‘Who interacts on the Web?’ revealed that<br />

while extraversion and openness to experience were positively related to social<br />

media use, emotional stability was a negative predictor. These findings differed<br />

depending on gender and age. While extraverted men and women were both<br />

likely to be more frequent users of social media tools, only the men with greater<br />

degrees of emotional instability were more regular users. The relationship between<br />

extraversion and social media use was particularly important among the young<br />

adult cohort. Conversely, being open to new experiences emerged as an important<br />

personality predictor of social media use for the more mature segment of the<br />

sample.<br />

Another study ‘The relationship between personality traits and social media use’<br />

utilised similar methods, comparing not only how the Big Five personality traits<br />

affect someone’s use of social media, but how income, gender, education and life<br />

satisfaction play a role as well. However, the results show that only two personality<br />

traits (conscientiousness and openness to experience), two demographic attributes<br />

(education and income level) and life satisfaction are significant predictors of<br />

social media use. The relationship with the other factors explored were not<br />

significant.<br />

However, if we consider ‘personality’ as the definition of a person’s ‘full character’, it<br />

encompasses an individual’s age, socio-demographics, gender, level of income and<br />

life satisfaction. This is because the Big Five personality traits within an individual<br />

are influenced by such other factors over their lifetime.<br />

Another study ‘Self-presentation and belonging on Facebook: how personality<br />

influences social media use and motivations’ examined the relationship between<br />

the Big Five and the use of Facebook to fulfill belonging and self-presentational<br />

needs, by allowing participants to complete a survey assessing personality and<br />

Facebook behaviors and motivations. ‘Personality, gender, and age in the language<br />

of social media: the open-vocabulary approach’ looked specifically at how<br />

someone’s personality affects their use of language over social media producing<br />

data that stimulates a comprehensive exploration of language that distinguishes<br />

people.<br />

In the studies ‘Social network use and personality’ and ‘Predicting personality with<br />

social media’ the self-reporting of subjects was replaced by more objective criteria;<br />

measurements of the user-information uploaded on Facebook. In comparing the<br />

publicly available information of a social media user to their Big Five personality<br />

traits, the article ‘Predicting personality with social media’, claimed to have<br />

shown that a user’s Big Five personality traits could be predicted from the public<br />

information they share on Facebook. This was suggested following the results that<br />

key correlations existed between positive emotion words (e.g. love, nice, sweet) and<br />

agreeableness. More friends correlated with more extroverted people (although,<br />

these extroverts tended to have scant friendship networks). These methods provide<br />

a straightforward way to obtain personality profiles of users without the burden of<br />

tests, and this will make it much easier to create personality-oriented interfaces.<br />

Social media has come to dominate today’s methods of communication resulting<br />

in a radical alteration in consumption patterns, as social media allows consumers<br />

to interact readily with other individuals as well as commercial entities. Producers<br />

may seek to investigate what kinds of people shop online for what kinds of<br />

products in order to advertise their products more effectively. In addition to<br />

this, Human Resource Management is always investigating the personalities of<br />

job applicants to ensure that the right people are employed for the right job. A<br />

significant amount of research has sought to answer the same question: ‘can an<br />

individual’s personality be reflected in their social media use?’<br />

science/engineering 26-27

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

Science News<br />

Science/Engineering Sub-Editor Team<br />

Submerged Landmass Zealandia a<br />

Candidate for Continent<br />

ZEALANDIA, a region that is two-thirds<br />

the size of Australia in the southwest Pacific<br />

Ocean, is a step closer to being recognised as<br />

a continent. It covers a nearly 5 million square<br />

kilometre area that centres on New Zealand<br />

and encompasses New Caledonia, Norfolk<br />

Island, the Lord Howe Island group and<br />

Elizabeth and Middleton reefs.<br />

The area is believed to have once been a<br />

part of Gondwana – a supercontinent which<br />

made up the majority of landmasses in the<br />

Southern Hemisphere. However, 94% of the<br />

landmass sunk below sea level between 60 to<br />

80 million years ago.<br />

A paper published in the journal of the<br />

Geological Society of America -reportedly the<br />

first robust, peer-reviewed scientific paper<br />

to define and describe Zealandia, contends<br />

it is distinct enough to constitute a separate<br />

continent.<br />

Source: Geology Society of America Today<br />

What’s the Buzz? Bees Can Learn<br />

New Tricks<br />

BUMBLEBEES have displayed surprising<br />

cognitive flexibility in a recent study<br />

published in Science. This ability to learn<br />

means that, despite their small brains, certain<br />

species of bees could develop completely novel<br />

behaviours in response to environmental<br />

pressures.<br />

The bees were tested in a task that involved<br />

moving a ball to a goal for a reward after<br />

a demonstration. It was found that bees<br />

completed the task quicker if they first<br />

observed a live or model demonstrator.<br />

Bees were also able to solve the task more<br />

efficiently than in the demonstration. Unlike<br />

the demonstrator, when given a number of<br />

balls to choose from, the bees used the ball<br />

closest to the goal. This occurred even when<br />

the demonstrator’s ball colour differed from<br />

the ball chosen.<br />

Source: Science<br />

WHO Top 12 Bacterial Threats to<br />

Human Health<br />

THE World Health Organisation (WHO)<br />

has published a list of antibiotic-resistant<br />

“priority pathogens” that pose the greatest<br />

threat to human health. This catalogue of 12<br />

families of bacteria aims to address growing<br />

global resistance to antimicrobials by<br />

promoting the research and development of<br />

new antibiotics.<br />

The listed bacteria are resistant to multiple<br />

antibiotics, can develop resistances to new<br />

treatments, and pass along genetic material<br />

for other bacteria to become drug-resistant.<br />

The WHO list divides these bacteria into<br />

three categories, according to the need for<br />

new antibiotics: medium, high and critical<br />

priority.<br />

The criteria for compiling the list were:<br />

the deadliness of infections; long hospital<br />

stays required for treatment; frequency of<br />

antibiotic resistance; infectiousness; ease of<br />

prevention; treatment options remaining;<br />

level of research and development of new<br />

antibiotics.<br />

Source: World Health Organisation<br />

Brain Scans Spot Autism Signs in<br />

High-Risk Babies<br />

MRI brain scans can adequately forecast<br />

autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses in<br />

‘high-risk’ babies whose siblings have autism,<br />

according to a US Infant Brain Imaging Study.<br />

In the study, researchers scanned the brains<br />

of 106 ‘high-risk’ infants at age 6, 12 and 24<br />

months. They found that ASD diagnoses and<br />

behavioural signs of autism in ‘high-risk’<br />

babies could be correlated with faster than<br />

average brain growth 8 out of 10 times.<br />

These findings could potentially be used<br />

as an ASD diagnostic tool as neither genetic<br />

nor behaviour diagnosis methods have been<br />

successful. However, this research cannot<br />

yet be applied to a general non-‘high-risk’<br />

population; a larger study replicating the<br />

results needs to be conducted before findings<br />

are conclusive.<br />

Source: Nature<br />

Facts are a Bit Woolly on the Woolly<br />

Mammoth Resurrection<br />

A Harvard genetics team has spliced 45<br />

mammoth-like edits of DNA into the Asian<br />

elephant genome using the gene-editing<br />

tool Crispr. This has been widely reported<br />

alongside headlines saying woolly mammoths<br />

could be ‘de-extinct’ in two years.<br />

These headlines are based off a quote<br />

from Harvard geneticist Prof George Church<br />

during an American Association for the<br />

Advancement of Science annual meeting.<br />

Church said his team was aiming to produce<br />

a hybrid elephant-mammoth embryo, an<br />

elephant embryo with mammoth traits. He<br />

speculated that it could happen in a couple<br />

of years.<br />

The research project at its current stage has<br />

no plans to resurrect a mammoth. The project<br />

has two goals: using mammoth genes to save<br />

the endangered Asian elephant and helping<br />

to fight global warming.<br />

Source: The Guardian, New Scientist, Medium<br />

Earth’s Deepest Ocean Trenches are<br />

Highly Polluted<br />

ACCORDING to a discovery published in<br />

Nature Ecology and Evolution, deep ocean<br />

trenches, six to eleven kilometres below the<br />

surface, are 50 times more polluted with toxic<br />

and industrial chemicals than river systems<br />

in China. The pervasiveness of pollution<br />

suggests better management and monitoring<br />

of these environments are needed.<br />

The study analysed tiny deep-sea<br />

crustaceans and found that even the deep-sea<br />

wilderness is impacted by human degradation.<br />

It also showed a strong correlation between<br />

the level of pollution on the surface and deepsea<br />

waters.<br />

The investigation was conducted by a team<br />

of Scottish researchers on the world’s deepest<br />

marine trenches: the Mariana Trench in the<br />

west Pacific Ocean above Australia, and the<br />

Kermadec Trench near the north-eastern tip<br />

of New Zealand.<br />

Source: ABC<br />

illustration by nicole sizer

arts/culture<br />

arts/culture 28-29

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

student theatre:<br />

the MUST have<br />

article by dylan marshall<br />

In a fractured digital landscape, live theatre seems obsolete. It<br />

does not offer the convenience and on-demand nature of Netflix, it<br />

does not promote a rewatchable or sharable experience and it does<br />

not always provide a particulaly palpable piece of entertainment.<br />

Instead theatre offers something different; a singular moment, an<br />

artistic flair that burns both brightly and swiftly, yet continues to<br />

smoulder within the minds of its respective audience. Theatre can<br />

be a heart wrenching, personal experience, a comic amalgamation of<br />

Shakespeare’s work or a rock musical about mental illness. Theatre<br />

may not be similar to other popular mediums, but that does not<br />

mean it is irrelevant, in fact it could be seen as essential because of<br />

this very reason.<br />

At Monash, the requirement and need for such a medium can not be<br />

underestimated. The Monash University Student Theatre (MUST)<br />

provides an outlet for self expression, whilst also promoting relevant<br />

discourse in regards to issues facing the world today, a fact that the<br />

theatre’s Artistic Director, Yvonne Virsik, believes contributes to the<br />

program’s success.<br />

“[Theatre]'s a form in which we can uniquely investigate what it means<br />

to be human, tell great stories and provoke discussion and awareness of<br />

political issues. At university, it provides a great resource for encouraging<br />

conversation, increasing social awareness and knowledge of other cultures<br />

and lifestyles and for experimentation with new technologies and artistic<br />

forms.”<br />

Such a form of cultural expression involves a lot of student<br />

involvement. Even individuals who choose not to act can still<br />

expand their skill set in other areas of the theatre. The director of<br />

MUST’s forthcoming musical (Next to Normal, which opens in late<br />

May), Stephen Amos, describes this oppurtunity and community<br />

best.<br />

“In first year, student theatre was an amazing way of helping me find my<br />

feet, and do something that I was passionate about, alongside my studies!<br />

Most of all though I think it's the whole community and groups of people you<br />

meet and make connections with that really make it so worthwhile. I think<br />

MUST really has something for everybody too, whether it's seeing a show,<br />

working on one backstage, getting to know a new role in an assistant stage<br />

management position, or being on stage as an actor!”<br />

Besides the roles Amos lists, students can also light stages, direct<br />

performers, plan and build sets, promote shows, photograph theatre<br />

events and even develop sound design. There are so many different<br />

areas for creative minds to truly thrive within MUST and refine<br />

their own abilities, as well as learn new ones. Skills such as these can<br />

not be taught in a lecture hall or in a tutorial, they are talents that<br />

are nurtured and fostered within a practical environment. Justin<br />

Gardam, the director and writer of MUST’s next upcoming piece,<br />

the tentatively titled Late Show (running from the 7th to the 13th of<br />

April), summarised this point, stating:<br />

“Student theatre challenges you. It fosters the sort of mindsets and practical<br />

problem-solving you’ll need to thrive in your industry, whether it be theatre,<br />

commerce, or medicine. It gives you great collaborative skills. It pushes you<br />

out of your comfort zone, and gives you the confidence to take risks, fail, fail<br />

a few more times, and finally succeed.”<br />

Many of MUST’s other directors have reiterared similar thoughts on<br />

how the student theatre was integral to their development as artists,<br />

allowing them to take forward steps in the theatrical landscape<br />

and thereby inject fresh blood into a dying industry. In some ways<br />

MUST provides an art institution that is both ingrained within the<br />

university, but is also part of a far broader branching industry. As<br />

Virsik descibes:<br />

“MUST is a vibrant feeder of the arts sector in Australia. Scratch the surface<br />

of a company and you'll find ex-MUSTers influencing our culture and<br />

heading the surge for exciting, responsive, innovative projects.”<br />

Since the removal of the Bachelor of Performing Arts degree,<br />

Monash has been lacking in hands-on, practical courses for arts<br />

students, however MUST has supplied an avenue for creativity,<br />

whilst also connecting students to possible contacts within the<br />

industry. Such a resource is invaluable to Monash students. The<br />

director and co-writer of MUST’s O-Show <strong>2017</strong> and last year’s Jamie<br />

and the ATAR, Fraser Mitchell, has gone so far as to establish his<br />

own company, T Minus Theatre, by utilising the skills he learnt at the<br />

student theatre.<br />

“MUST provided me with a supportive environment and me the opportunity<br />

to apply my skills. I value that more than anything. My new show, Jamie and<br />

the Asynchronous Temporal Atomic Reverberator, was originally developed<br />

at MUST and we went through a lot of shitty drafts before we found the<br />

show we liked. Those first mistakes were essential to the show's creation and<br />

we wouldn't have been able to make those mistakes without student theatre.”<br />

Mitchell’s musical comedy, aimed at high school students, will be<br />

on at the Metonoia Theatre as part of the Melbourne International<br />

Comedy Festival.<br />

As aforementioned, another inviting element of Monash’s student<br />

theatre is the importance placed on self-expression. For many, one’s<br />

university life represents a transitional period from reliance to<br />

independence and in such a state it can be difficult to unearth one’s<br />

purpose, passions and even identity. It’s easy for these factors to be<br />

shaped by our actions, but the people we surround ourselves with<br />

can also construct them. MUST offers both of these fundamental<br />

building blocks of the self, through the supportive community<br />

and the near unlimited opportunities to flex, often neglected,<br />

creative muscles. The director of the Awakening remount (at<br />

fortfivedownstairs in May), Daniel Lammin, contributed much of his<br />

success in the industry to these factors.<br />


“I started studying theatre at Monash planning on becoming an actor, but<br />

if it hadn’t been for MUST and the encouragement and support of that<br />

community, I wouldn’t have discovered that my love and skill in directing<br />

was even greater. I couldn’t have done it without their support, which is<br />

part of the reason I’ve come back to make work with MUST so often and<br />

to mentor the next generation of theatre makers they’re fostering. I feel I<br />

owe that to them for everything they gave to me. Their importance to me is<br />

part of who I am as a theatre maker, and their importance to the Melbourne<br />

theatre community as a whole is impossible to calculate.”<br />

Lammin went so far as to commend MUST for their guts and<br />

faith in his projects, which hints at the limitless approach adopted<br />

towards self-expression within the community. However, this<br />

attitude is not consistent throughout all areas of the industry, with<br />

companies struggling to pay larger casts outside of the popular,<br />

westernised musicals. This flaw within the wider industry highlights<br />

what could be the most underrated and important parts of student<br />

theatre, the students. These are individuals who bring enthusiasm,<br />

creativity and a unique voice to an industry that is struggling to<br />

keep its foothold within public popularity. It’s this youthful energy,<br />

which results in brilliant, unrefined creations, skyrocketing the next<br />

generation of theatre makers into innovative and original projects.<br />

Helena Dixon has experienced this effect first hand, allowing her to<br />

build confidence and even step up to direct MUST’s stage version<br />

of Frankenstein (running from the 11th to the 20th of May), thereby<br />

helping her to contribute to the culture that she has truly flourished<br />

in.<br />

“MUST provides this fantastic space for a bunch of really weird, wonderful<br />

and talented students to come together and share in a common passion. It's<br />

provided me with a place to learn and grow in ways completely different<br />

to what I've learnt from my degree. Especially as a science kid, it has been<br />

my main creative outlet, which I will always be thankful for. And honestly,<br />

because of the people I've met through student theatre I'm a lot stronger<br />

and more confident in my abilities both inside and outside of the theatrical<br />

sphere.”<br />

The constant difficulties faced when justifying theatre’s relevance<br />

is probably best explicated and directly tied to the texts of<br />

Shakespeare and whether they still have a place within our society.<br />

Niamh Percy, the director of Monash Shakespeare Company’s (MSC)<br />

first semester’s show, The Complete Works of Shakespeare: Abridged,<br />

still thinks there is great value in the bards work.<br />

“To many people Shakespeare is something they have to tolerate at high<br />

school and never deal with again. I think this is such a sad attitude;<br />

Shakespeare can be so exciting and different - as Monash Shakespeare<br />

Company has started to prove! Shakespeare has done so much for our<br />

culture and language, enriching the modern day more than most realise. It's<br />

important to appreciate that I think!”<br />

Her show, running from the 27th of April to May 6th, aims to shift<br />

this attitude by combining all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays into one<br />

90-minute piece of hilarity. The second semester show, directed by<br />

Gina Dickson, takes a different approach by interpreting Taming<br />

of the Shrew, one of the bard’s more controversial comedies, into<br />

an empowering piece for the modern day woman. Both of these<br />

interpretations perfectly encapsulate the importance of student<br />

theatre, as they provide social commentary and entertainment out<br />

of 400-year-old texts.<br />

Without MUST or the MSC theatre would not have it’s same<br />

potency or risk-taking abilities, these performances project the<br />

voices of a generation and breath new life and new interpreatations<br />

into the Australian art sector. Through innovation, creativity,<br />

passion, experiementation, failure and community; student theatre<br />

breaks new ground, questions normality and reignites the flames of<br />

a dying, but undoubtedly necessary cultural medium.<br />

To get involved in the MUST or MSC Season:<br />

- Sign up for the MUST e-bulletin via the web site: msa.monash.edu/must<br />

- Like the MUST and MSC Facebook pages<br />

- Check out the info and audition sign ups in the MUST corridor<br />

- Come see the shows!<br />

- If you are desperate to get involved in a specific crew role, make an<br />

appointment via email with MUST's Artistic Director, Yvonne Virsik:<br />

yvonne.virsik@monash.edu<br />

arts/culture 30-31

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

oscar bait: why the<br />

oscars are overrated<br />

article by nick jarrett<br />

illustration by rachelle lee<br />

Annually, the Academy Awards return to centre stage for film enthusiasts and<br />

fashion diehards across the world. The awards bring all of our favourite celebrities<br />

with them, igniting storms of gossip over seemingly budding relationships,<br />

outrageous fashion designs and the occasional tid-bit of debate over the awards<br />

themselves. Yet despite the glitz and glam that surrounds the ceremony, the Oscars<br />

have consistently failed to select the most deserving nominees and winners of<br />

various categories, favouring popular sentiment over the most dynamic and artistic<br />

films.<br />

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences bears the annual burden of both<br />

nominating and selecting the winner from the pool of films that qualify yearly.<br />

With more than 7,000 members, the voting for the nomination is split into sections<br />

(i.e., actors can only nominate actors and not directors) whereas the voting for the<br />

winner is polled from all members regardless of your occupation. This method,<br />

whilst arguably one of the best for all award shows, is intrinsically flawed.<br />

Take last year’s ‘Academy’s Whitest’ award night, where the show and members<br />

were criticised for not selecting people from different ethnicities. The hashtag<br />

#OscarsSoWhite became a trending Twitter topic and boycotts were staged by<br />

numerous actors and filmmakers. In response, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts &<br />

Sciences culled its previously much larger membership, in an attempt to diversify<br />

nominations. In doing so, they also took the opportunity to change the system of<br />

voting, creating a system to favour a ‘consensus’ best film, rather than a simple<br />

‘most votes’ scheme (only voting for Best Picture has been changed so far).<br />

When the Academy looks to determine the winner of the Best Picture race, they<br />

first check to see if one film has over fifty percent of the number one votes (voting<br />

is from one to six). In the probable likelihood that no film has a majority, they<br />

eliminate the film with the fewest number one votes, even if they were to have<br />

the most cumulative votes overall. They then take the number two votes on those<br />

ballots, and reassign them as number one votes. If one film then has more than<br />

fifty percent of the number one votes, it becomes the winner. If not, the process<br />

continues until one film has over fifty percent of the votes. In this method, the<br />

Academy is potentially forgoing the overall votes in return for what has been<br />

described as an Electoral College-like system (and we know how well that can turn<br />

out). Surely the film with the most accumulated votes should be the winner?<br />

Among other issues plaguing the Oscars, there is also the incredible lack of<br />

consistency with the awards. American Hustle in 2013 was nominated for ten awards,<br />

including all six major categories (Actor, Actress, both Supporting roles, Best<br />

Film and Director). It failed to win even a single award. Yes, maybe that speaks to<br />

individual performances above all else, but how can a film so highly rated in all ten<br />

diverse nominations not win a single award? Whilst, I do not necessarily believe<br />

the film deserved to win Best Picture, or the other categories, the logical flaws are<br />

evident when something is so widely acclaimed and nominated and yet fails to<br />

win over films with fewer nominations.<br />

Take Martin Scorsese’s filmography as another example. Despite his film Taxi<br />

Driver being recognised by the US Library of Congress as ‘culturally, historically<br />

or aesthetically’ significant, it lost the Oscar for Best Picture to Rocky, and failed<br />

to win a single award in its year of contention. How can something so culturally<br />

significant and revered be so overlooked? Scorsese was was not even nominated<br />

for best director. Seemingly, the awards mean little in retrospect, with numerous<br />

award winners being overshadowed by those which failed to win. Similarly,<br />

Scorsese’s Best Picture win came with The Departed in 2006. Whilst, no doubt an<br />

entertaining movie it lacked the artistic qualities of fellow nominated films such as<br />

The Last King of Scotland or Letters to Iwo Jima.<br />

Not only this, but to even be in contention for an Oscar, a film must be globally<br />

marketable. What independent, arthouse film manages to reach the same scope<br />

of audience as one that is backed by a well-known production company and<br />

containing box-office bankable stars? It cannot possibly hope to compete, leaving<br />

the awards cycle full of only those films which contain the same generic formulae:<br />

star power, massive production companies and deep pockets for marketing. Would<br />

a film like The Revenant have been as widely released had Leonardo DiCaprio,<br />

Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson not starred? Probably not. Would it have then<br />

garnered enough attention to win the awards? Definitely not. To win an award, a<br />

film needs this global recognition, which means smaller budget and more artistic<br />

films are often left unrepresented and forgotten in ceremonies like the Academy<br />

Awards.<br />

In light of the recent Oscar ceremony and the low-budget film Moonlight winning<br />

Best Picture, I do acknowledge that there are exceptions to this rule, yet the<br />

dominant narrative still plays out in favour of star-powered films.<br />

Even further, how are we categorising what a ‘Best Picture’ even is? As I have<br />

suggested, the Oscars do not typically select the most artistic films, and don’t<br />

get me started on foreign films, which are largely ignored in the main categories<br />

(with a slight exception for Elle this year). So what is the best film? Should the<br />

‘best’ not be the film that the most people enjoy and flock to see? Star Wars: Rogue<br />

One, or Captain America Civil War, or Finding Dory all topped the box office in 2016.<br />

Yet we ignore the fact that these films have been the most successful by global<br />

attention to focus on slightly more artistic films, and yet only include the bankable,<br />

Hollywood films that fall into the category of semi-arthouse productions. There<br />

is an underlying discrepancy in the way that the award shows – particularly the<br />

Oscars – operate, allowing them to pick various films that in no way meet either<br />

two main categories for success (artistic measure and financial success).<br />

The Oscars are fun, they are bright and they do provide some direction into<br />

popular and entertaining films that contrast with the box-office-powerhouse<br />

superhero genre. Let’s just not hide from what they are: a bright and loud way of<br />

annually showcasing some good films and performances – just not always the<br />

year’s finest.

arts/culture 32-33

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

‘the political is personal’: an<br />

interview with judith buckrich<br />

article by evangeline yong<br />

The second wave of feminism, the civil rights movement, the<br />

election of Gough Whitlam in 1972. These are socio-political<br />

triumphs that seem increasingly distant to us, lost in a labyrinth<br />

of penalty cuts, Donald Trump and political disillusionment. It is<br />

for this reason that Judith Buckrich’s life and memoir, The Political<br />

is Personal resonates so powerfully with our generation.<br />

The Political is Personal is a memoir of a life lived daringly, at the<br />

intersection of turbulent but thrilling periods of history. Judith<br />

Buckrich contextualises her private experience within the<br />

framework of events that forged a resurgent, post-World War<br />

society and shaped her own journey as a writer, historian and<br />

political activist. Vulnerable, wise and witty, Buckrich’s narrative<br />

is a challenge to complacency and cynicism, a reflection of the<br />

author’s own extraordinary personality.<br />

So it is with a sense of trepidation that I walk through the<br />

streets of Prahran, lined with sleek boutiques and snug cafes to<br />

interview the author herself. I worry that she will be impossibly<br />

poised and confident, a formidable presence.<br />

Instead, I find a person whose laugh is great and generous;<br />

someone with warmth, graciousness and humour. Qualities<br />

which reverberate through her relentlessly honest writing. In<br />

simple, eloquent words Buckrich crafts a fascinating image of a<br />

historical era in which baby-boomers believed they could change<br />

the world. “An extraordinarily inspiring time, a good time to<br />

be alive,” she says fondly, lingering on memories of being a law<br />

student at Monash University in the 1960s, at the hub of social<br />

and political change.<br />

The Political is Personal reads with the same striking ease,<br />

openness and buoyancy that the writer displays in person. I ask<br />

her how she gained such authenticity of voice, how she had the<br />

courage to expose her private life. Her answer is immediate,<br />

direct. “I just am like that,” she shrugs. “I could not have done it<br />

any other way.”<br />

It is this fearlessness, this embrace of one’s humanity, that allows<br />

Buckrich to speak and write with such passion and intensity<br />

about her life. Tumultuous and full of lucky ‘chances’, she admits,<br />

one of sheer determination and tackled with an unquenchable<br />

zest.<br />

Her lifelong love of literature, she says, was sparked by “voracious<br />

reading”. “To be able to read and read and read…that was my<br />

world,” she tells me. When I question her about how her interest<br />

in history began, she laughs at the memory of how immeasurably<br />

boring history lessons were – “Gee, they taught it badly!” – and<br />

emphasises how important it is to have “interesting”, “passionate”<br />

people teach it. “That’s the thing,” she muses, “if you’re going to<br />

be involved in history, you have to understand the ideas that are<br />

making a certain time.”<br />

For her, it was the experience of reading Dostoyevsky and other<br />

revolutionary Russian authors that informed her understanding<br />

of these political notions; writers also well-loved and read by her<br />

father, Antal Bukrics, who was a communist.<br />

Both in The Political is Personal and in our interview Buckrich<br />

affectionately recalls her father’s influence, mentioning their<br />

social, political and metaphysical conversations while “looking at<br />

the stars”.<br />

“Growing up with someone who is conscious about what’s<br />

going on in the world…is a pretty important thing,” she ponders,<br />

relating slivers of her father’s intriguing history as a member<br />

of the communist party in the United States and a storyteller<br />

himself, who wrote poems that he destroyed and which she tried<br />

to recover.<br />

It was at Monash University, however, that the political world<br />

really infiltrated Buckrich’s personal life and consciousness. She<br />

describes the atmosphere at Monash in 1969, and what it was<br />

like to be a university student leaning forward, her eyes lighting<br />

up and face animated. “It was,” she says with evocative joy in her<br />

voice, “like someone put wings on your back… Monash was the<br />

absolute centre of student movement, in Australia, not just in<br />

Melbourne.”<br />

Mentally toying with a whole spectrum of memories, Buckrich<br />

grasps at dynamic word-pictures, “vibrant, marvellous, fabulous”,<br />

conveying that vastly complex and novel experience of new<br />

music, theatre, literature, and ways of thinking, speaking and<br />

acting. “The Labor Club newsletter came out every single day,”<br />

she laughs, “and there was actually a serious article in The<br />

Age that said a revolution was going to happen in Melbourne,<br />

starting at Monash!”<br />

In a few moments of happy, soaring nostalgia, she paints an<br />

exuberant picture for me of “long-haired” boys, dishevelled<br />

students arguing at cafes about politics instead of attending<br />

lectures, and of watching the moon landing with her boyfriend,<br />

“madly in love”, while sitting in the lounge of the Student Union.<br />

“I’ve never forgotten what that was like. We were watching the<br />

landing on the moon, and this was a whole new world. It was all<br />

somehow to do with us, and to do with our future.” Her voice,<br />

contemplative, almost dreamy, immerses me in all the emotion<br />

surrounding infinite possibility.<br />

Yet this euphoric stage of her life was far from troublefree.<br />

With characteristic frankness, Buckrich talks about her<br />

frustration with largely male-dominated and male-run political<br />

movements at Monash. “The thing that spurred me on,” she says<br />

emphatically, “was that here we were, supposed to be in this kind<br />

of revolutionary state, and it was all the men who were running<br />

everything!”<br />


She also discusses the difficulty of reconciling her<br />

feminist ideals with the social norms of the time,<br />

especially when charting a different, unprecedented<br />

course in life. “[It was] the struggle to match the<br />

kind of social change that was happening into my<br />

own life,” she explains. “I did not espouse the social<br />

changes of not getting married, I was very free and<br />

had many lovers. But as a first generation of young<br />

women doing that…it was full of danger.”<br />

In spite of these obstacles, Buckrich was and is<br />

irrepressible, fashioning a path for herself completely<br />

unique, entirely her own. In considering the<br />

evolution of her career as an author, she is very much<br />

a believer in the concept of flexibility and flux in<br />

one’s life.<br />

“Who knows how these things happen? Opportunities<br />

came along, and I took them,” she tells me simply.<br />

“It’s a strange thing, life; something stirs in you, and<br />

you follow that.”<br />

It was only in 1991, while she was still working<br />

as a teacher, that one of these “lucky chances”<br />

materialised, in the form of a friend’s casual comment<br />

that she should write a book about St. Kilda Road. In<br />

1996, A History of St. Kilda Road was finally published,<br />

leading to a career during spanning thirty-five years<br />

in which she has published thirteen books.<br />

Judith Buckrich’s book, The Political is Personal: A 20th Century Memoir is published by Lauranton<br />

Books and available from Readings Carlton, Readings St. Kilda, Collected Works (Swanston Street<br />

Melbourne), the Prahran Mechanics Institute and The Avenue Bookstore (Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick).<br />

Her advice for aspiring authors, therefore, is<br />

unsurprising: to be open to every opportunity to<br />

write. Her own experience is illuminating, as she<br />

gives examples of different social, political and<br />

cultural contexts that have opened windows of<br />

potential and moulded her identity and authorship,<br />

such as moving temporarily to the U.S. in 1971 where<br />

she “really became a feminist” and drew inspiration<br />

from the Women’s Liberation Movement and activists<br />

like Angela Davis.<br />

Thus The Political is Personal is significant, a testament<br />

to the past, present, and future, to the power of<br />

possibility. An idea that started as a tribute to the<br />

legacy of Buckrich’s father and which evolved into<br />

a story about her parents, herself, and the historical<br />

and political events that framed and enriched their<br />

private lives.<br />

In view of the present and the future, I ask Buckrich<br />

for her perspective on our generation and what we<br />

can do to make the political personal in our lives;<br />

to engage with a progressively disengaged political<br />

system. As I list refugee rights among the social<br />

and political challenges of this age, I wonder at the<br />

success of young people back then: their rallies,<br />

political progress, their hopefulness – all of which we<br />

seem to be denied.<br />

Buckrich’s response is refreshingly down-to-earth,<br />

and quietly articulate. “Keep explaining to people<br />

that these things matter,” she says. “We can’t close<br />

ourselves off in a little cocoon.” Ultimately, she<br />

brings the historian’s perspective, a touch of needed<br />

wisdom and balance in the midst of our culture of<br />

media frenzy, and a visionary’s optimism, the greatest<br />

gift to our disenchanted generation.<br />

“I suppose the great gift from my father is that of<br />

hopefulness, that life is a struggle, you can’t give<br />

in, you have to keep on going, not giving way to<br />

cynicism, remaining hopeful for the future. As a<br />

historian, you do see how things have always gone.<br />

There have been periods of such darkness in the<br />

world. More than ever, we have to be hopeful.”<br />

arts/culture 34-35

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

lucian and<br />

‘the true history’<br />

article by john henry<br />

illustration by stephie dim<br />

Compared to the classics of Homer and Plato, the ancient satirists<br />

don’t reach a wide readership in Australia. Trawling through<br />

the average bookshop tends to show the current demand in what<br />

people read nowadays. When it comes to the classical canon, this<br />

is restricted to Homer’s epics, some Plato and Aristotle, the cant<br />

of Seneca, the ramblings of Herodotus, and a smattering of Greek<br />

tragedy. It’s not surprising that satirists like Juvenal and Horace<br />

don’t show up, for the simple reason that their lack of relevance have<br />

damned them to relative obscurity, perhaps combined with their<br />

failure to deliver any laughs. On Book Depository, a cheap copy of<br />

Homer or Plato ranks within the top 3,000 bestsellers overall, but the<br />

satirists, naturally, don’t come close to that mark (Juvenal scrapes<br />

in the top 90,000, Horace … 200,000). Although they wrote satires,<br />

to the modern reader Juvenal comes across as more crude and<br />

vicious than funny, whereas reading Horace is a trying experience<br />

that seems more properly reserved for a classroom of miserable<br />

schoolchildren in the Victorian era. But there is one satirist, much<br />

unread, who writes material that is actually entertaining: Lucian.<br />

Lucian of Samosata was a Syrian-Greek author that wrote in the<br />

2nd century C.E., around the time of the Roman emperor Marcus<br />

Aurelius (the one played by Dumbledore in Gladiator). Unlike<br />

his predecessors in the satiric tradition, he had a taste for the<br />

fantastical, going beyond social criticism into some surreal and<br />

evocative writing. He railed against the superstitions of an age of<br />

cults and mysticism, lambasting lies, frauds and folk remedies, and<br />

some of his works bear striking hints of science-fiction fantasy long<br />

before the likes of Cyrano de Bergerac and Jules Verne. In his most<br />

famous story, The True History, Lucian describes a fantastic voyage<br />

that embarks from the Westernmost port of Spain to the moon,<br />

to inside the belly of a giant whale, to an island of cheese in an<br />

ocean of milk, an island brimming with dead heroes and pederastic<br />

philosophers, a skirmish with pirates in hollowed-out pumpkin ships<br />

with pepitas for artillery… all this surrealist imagery is crammed into<br />

a surprisingly short work.<br />

Admittedly, it’s important to put The True History into historical<br />

context – Lucian was mocking the ridiculous tales that earlier<br />

writers like Herodotus uncritically repeated, and was not intent on<br />

setting out a sprawling Tolkien universe; he was just carrying out<br />

the absurdity of these tales to their very extremes. Nonetheless,<br />

here was a man in the age of the Antonines who was writing about<br />

imperial space wars between the sun and the moon, with a cosmic<br />

battle raging between gigantic vultures and winged ants! This tale<br />

is over 1,800 years old, centuries before the Dark Ages, the Middle<br />

Ages, and the Renaissance; it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that<br />

The True History is, on the face of it, one of literature’s greatest<br />

anachronisms; and for that fact alone it deserves a wider reception.<br />

Combined with his no-nonsense approach to the superstitions of<br />

his age and inventive blend of satire and philosophical dialogue,<br />

Lucian’s works probably read as the most modern to our eyes, of the<br />

surviving texts that remain from antiquity. He is distant from the<br />

days of the Athens of Plato or the Roman Republic, but he did not<br />

absorb the later doctrines of the Stoics or the Neoplatonists, that<br />

otherwise would have made him a more familiar figure to a monk<br />

in the Middle Ages. His playful derision towards folk superstitions<br />

and religions (including a particularly unflattering passage on<br />

Christians) is undoubtedly an influence on the birth of modernity in<br />

the 18th century Enlightenment. He was read and enjoyed by writers<br />

like Gibbon and Voltaire.<br />

Despite the considerable gap between his age and ours, the<br />

imagination and eclecticism in a work like Lucian’s True History can<br />

still greatly appeal to a modern reader. Tellingly, when the classicist<br />

Andrew Wilson translated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s<br />

Stone into Ancient Greek, it was Lucian’s work, and not that of his<br />

predecessors, which was used as a stylistic model.

arts/culture 36-37

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the beginner’s guide to<br />

melbourne art galleries<br />

article & photography by jessica lehmann<br />

We live in the best city in the world and it is a pulsating cultural<br />

hub. We have no shortage of cultural activities to immerse ourselves<br />

in. For those new to Melbourne, or those who have been here a long<br />

time but hoping to mesh with the hipster Brunswick crowd, read on<br />

to delve into the art galleries of Melbourne.<br />

1/Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP), 404 George St, Fitzroy<br />

Photography is often said to be the most accessible form of fine<br />

art, and so the CCP is a perfect place to start your cultural journey.<br />

Opened in 1986, this not-for-profit organisation consists of five<br />

spaces in which both current and historically relevant photography<br />

is showcased, including works from both new and established<br />

artists in Australia and beyond. A fantastic feature of the CCP are<br />

the photography courses and lectures it offers at the forefront of<br />

contemporary art practice. This makes it a great place for curious<br />

minds, whether new to photography or veterans.<br />

3/ Gertrude Contemporary, 200 Gertrude St, Fitzroy and 44 Glasshouse<br />

Road, Collingwood<br />

The place for cutting-edge current art is Gertrude Contemporary.<br />

Located in a converted warehouse and fixated on the presentation<br />

and exhibiting of contemporary art as well as its creation. Twenty<br />

exhibitions are presented annually featuring work by Australian<br />

and international artists. Artist studios are located adjacent to<br />

the gallery, fostering a creative environment with strong focus on<br />

cultivating connections and interactions between audience and<br />

artist. They have also recently expanded to two sites, presenting<br />

major exhibitions in Fitzroy and solo projects by Gertrude Studio<br />

Artists at Gertrude Glasshouse, Collingwood. Gertrude is a place<br />

that can be revisited time and time again, offering new insights into<br />

contemporary art practice.<br />

4/ SEVENTH, 155 Gertrude St, Fitzroy<br />

SEVENTH is an experimental artist-run space aimed at<br />

consistently broadening the horizons of artists, curators, writers<br />

and subsequently, the wider public. It is voluntarily operated by a<br />

board of artists and art professionals who champion accessibility<br />

and affordability. There are four gallery spaces of varying sizes<br />

and a night-screen projector where an artistic piece is displayed<br />

each night and can be viewed from the street. Multi-disciplinary<br />

artistic forms are presented with a mixture of curated, group and<br />

independent shows. Each show has an opening night with an<br />

eclectic, upbeat crowd, which is a great opportunity to mix with<br />

local art aficionados.<br />

2/ National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road/Federation Square<br />

Comprised of the NGV International and The Ian Potter Centre<br />

in Federation Square, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is<br />

Australia’s oldest public art gallery and showcases a wide range of<br />

artworks from around the globe. The NGV is enormous in size and<br />

it is easy to spend a whole day wandering around the permanent<br />

collection levels which include painting, sculpture, indigenous art,<br />

fashion, textiles and multimedia. There are also regularly changing<br />

curated exhibitions. Furthermore, a huge upcoming exhibition<br />

from December <strong>2017</strong>-April 2018 called the ‘Triennial’ was recently<br />

announced, featuring the work of 60 artists and designers from 30<br />

countries, surveying the world’s best art and design, across cultures,<br />

scales, geographies and perspectives. Definitely one not to miss.

5/ Monash Gallery of Art (MGA), 860 Ferntree Gully Rd, Wheelers Hill<br />

The MGA is the premier gallery for Australian photography. The<br />

grounds are beautiful and well worth a wander, particularly the<br />

sculpture park. But a pivotal feature of the MGA is its accessibility; a<br />

person who has little knowledge of art could walk in and be greeted<br />

by informative staff, a well-stocked bookshop and exhibitions<br />

often accompanied by detailed explanatory texts. The MGA also<br />

holds regular floor talks and education programs. The William<br />

and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize and the subsequent<br />

exhibition is held annually. The prize is open to any Australian<br />

photographer, whether amateur or professional. All genres of<br />

photography are eligible, provided that the work has been produced<br />

in the last 12 months, with the winner receiving a $25,000 cash<br />

prize. The MGA spotlights the talent of Australian photographers,<br />

both contemporary and historical, and how they express personal,<br />

historical and political ideas.<br />

9/ The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University, Swanston Street,<br />

University of Melbourne Parkville<br />

Another university-affiliated art gallery, the Ian Potter Museum of<br />

Art, is focused keenly on educating visitors, particularly students,<br />

and has a strong relationship with Melbourne University’s academic<br />

departments. Often exhibitions include alternatives to traditional<br />

art forms. For example, the upcoming exhibition Syria: Ancient<br />

History – Modern Conflict from 28 Mar to 27 Aug is informed by<br />

the fieldwork undertaken by University of Melbourne researchers<br />

with a key focus on objects within the context of unrest. The Potter<br />

is worth a visit for those overwhelmed by abstract concepts often<br />

found in contemporary art spaces and enables visitors to engage<br />

with the work through various rigorous public programs.<br />

6/Flinders Lane Gallery (FLG), 137 Flinders Ln Melbourne CBD<br />

Flinders Lane is a commercial gallery representing mid-career,<br />

emerging and indigenous artists run by Gallery Director Claire<br />

Harris. There is no clear aesthetic or trends in this space. Rather,<br />

artists who have developed technical skills and cultural sensitivity<br />

are represented. There are two gallery spaces; a permanent viewing<br />

area and an extensive stock room that can be viewed online.<br />

Exhibitions throughout the year feature gallery artists in both solo<br />

and group shows. FLG also hosts Exploration, an annual survey of<br />

promising, unsigned artists and recent art school graduates. This is a<br />

place where the artworks have a certain level of profundity and the<br />

artist’s great skill and respect for the creative is evident.<br />

7/Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), 111 Sturt St Southbank<br />

One of the most impressive architecturally designed places in<br />

Melbourne, the striking Wood Marsh designed exterior of ACCA<br />

is reason enough to make the trip to the gallery. Focusing on<br />

contemporary and often challenging art, it offers an interesting<br />

space to explore artistic ideas not considered in many other historic<br />

institutions in a fun and exciting way. They also have a well-stocked<br />

bookshop for everybody’s artistic literary needs. ACCA has brilliant<br />

public programs with talks and tours allowing visitors to easily<br />

traverse an art show that is sometimes difficult to navigate.<br />

8/Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Building F, Monash<br />

University, Caulfield campus, 900 Dandenong Rd<br />

Our very own university art gallery is a convenient stepping stone<br />

into the art scene. Have a free hour between tutes? Pop over to<br />

Caulfield campus and explore MUMA, with different exhibitions<br />

throughout the year, and you can undoubtedly find something that<br />

stimulates your mind. Free ArtForum talks on various art topics<br />

are regularly held by the Monash Art Design and Architecture<br />

department, often with high-profile guests, every Thursday at<br />

1.00pm in the Lecture Theatre (G1.04) on Caulfield Campus. There<br />

are also various public programs including the stimulating ‘Boiler<br />

Room’ lectures. See their website for more details.<br />

10/ C3 Contemporary Art Space, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St,<br />

Abbotsford<br />

C3 is located in the basement of the beautiful Abbotsford Convent.<br />

It comprises of six exhibition rooms exhibiting a wide range of art<br />

forms. This hybridised public art and artist-run space encourages<br />

artists to exhibit risk-taking and experimental works making a visit<br />

here truly fascinating. Afterwards, make sure to stroll through the<br />

historic gardens and have a bite to eat, as vegan pay-as-you-choose<br />

restaurant Lentil as Anything always poses a good option.<br />

This list is by no means exhaustive and everyone has very different<br />

and distinct art taste. Some feel enthusiastically passionate about<br />

contemporary art, while others love nothing more than a bathtub<br />

nude by Degas. Just as everyone enjoys different music or certain<br />

clothing styles for no apparent reason, art is an idiosyncratic<br />

experience. The most important point to be taken is to try new<br />

things and experience art as you would do any other leisurely<br />

activity, at your own pace with what feels right. Go forth and be<br />

enlivened!<br />

Photography:<br />

1/ Exterior of Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP)<br />

2/ Exterior of SEVENTH Gallery<br />

3/ Exhibition shot of ‘Sister Corita: Summer of Love’, at<br />

The Ian Potter Museum of Art<br />

arts/culture 38-39

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the wacky and wonderful:<br />

jude perl<br />

article by manon boutin charles<br />

illustration by sa pasa<br />

I first heard about Jude Perl when the singer from<br />

Toehider, my favourite Aussie band, retweeted one<br />

of her jokes on Twitter. I followed her instantly as<br />

it was the funniest Twitter account I had ever seen<br />

(that was before Donald Trump started using it too).<br />

I instantly became a huge fan of her music, which<br />

at the time was just the EP 3am and some sick-ass<br />

covers on Youtube (Virtual Insanity, anyone?). I was<br />

blown away. When she started acting, I was in France,<br />

far away from any show she was doing in Melbourne,<br />

but I followed her closely on social medias and<br />

Youtube. A few years ago, Jude Perl got into music<br />

comedy. I see her as a female version of Tim Minchin,<br />

a very specific but at the same time broad form of art<br />

I had never seen in France, my home country.<br />

My top 3 favourite recent tracks would be “Is it Just<br />

Me?” the cute and absurd “Our Love: a Power Ballad”<br />

and above all, the mildly politically engaged “I’m a<br />

good person” in which you inevitably will recognise<br />

yourself. Or is it just me?<br />

I’m pretty excited about going to my very first<br />

Melbourne Comedy Festival this year (from March<br />

29th to April 23rd). Hundreds of comedians from all<br />

over the world playing in Australia’s cultural capital<br />

city (yep that’s us, sorry Sydney). And I got ten times<br />

more excited to see that Jude was going to be there<br />

again this year. It took me a few minutes to ‘instant<br />

buy’ tickets and I found myself halfway into writing<br />

her a message begging her to accept to talk to Lot’s<br />

<strong>Wife</strong>. Here we are. She said yes.<br />

Hey Jude, how are you today?<br />

I am feeling good and mildly gassy.<br />

That's awesome...I guess. You were Monash student,<br />

that's pretty cool. What did you study and what<br />

kind of memories do you have from Monash<br />

University?<br />

Yes indeed, I studied music at Monash. I have lots of<br />

happy, strange and emotionally erratic memories of<br />

Uni. My best memories from Monash were playing<br />

in the funk ensemble (which is as cool as it sounds)<br />

which was run by Tony Floyd (amazing drummer<br />

and all round magnetic ball of energy). I learnt an<br />

enormous amount about musicianship, song writing<br />

and performing from Tony Floyd.<br />

Cool! Were you a good student? And, most<br />

importantly, did you know about <strong>Lot's</strong> <strong>Wife</strong>?<br />

My grades got steadily worse over the duration of<br />

my course, I'd say on average I was a solid 6 out of 10<br />

student. I did not know about <strong>Lot's</strong> <strong>Wife</strong> and I am<br />

currently filled with regret for that.<br />

It’s not too late to start reading it! You’re a<br />

comedian as well as a singer-songwriter, musician<br />

and the face of a sugar company. When did you<br />

start music and when did you start acting?<br />

I started performing (playing piano and singing) while<br />

I was in high school. I was constantly changing my<br />

mind with what I wanted to do when I was younger,<br />

eventually I focused on music and started doing<br />

gigs and working as a musician. I did some acting in<br />

school and I loved it, but like my previous answer, my<br />

enthusiasm probably exceeded my skill. I was always<br />

obsessed with comedy, and had secretly wanted to do<br />

that since I knew what stand up comedy was. I did it<br />

for the first time in 2014 and it just seemed to make<br />

sense to combine my passion for music and comedy.<br />

From your videos and presence on social media, you<br />

seem to be a nerdy oddball. You always point at the<br />

weirdest stuff in everyday life in an interesting way,<br />

just as if you were an alien watching us from afar.<br />

Would you say you're playing a character or are you<br />

really an eccentric person?<br />

I think I'm mostly being myself. Or maybe not. I don't<br />

know. I'm not really sure who I am. I promise I'm not<br />

an alien. Or maybe I am. I don't know. I need to sit<br />

down.<br />

So in 2012, you've released an EP called 3am and the<br />

single "Girls and Boys" became pretty big. How did<br />

you feel about that reception?<br />

It was really exciting, especially it being my first<br />

single, first EP, first video. I loved getting to do the<br />

interview and live performance on Fox FM.<br />

I feel like “Girls & Boys” was the first song I wrote<br />

that was dipping my toes into being a bit silly with<br />

songwriting, which eventually lead to music comedy.<br />

I'm really grateful and proud for how it turned out.<br />

Recently you've sold your soul and your image<br />

to the Sugar Company, who financed your debut<br />

album Modern Times. How was this experience?<br />

I am contractually obligated to tell you that working<br />

with the Sugar Co has been an overwhelmingly<br />

positive experience and without their help I'd<br />

probably be repeatedly walking into piles of sawdust<br />

for no reason.<br />

OK that’s...very interesting. Can you tell us about<br />

your new show, Roommates: the musical?<br />

Yes. Yes I can. So this is my third solo comedy show,<br />

I'll be performing twelve shows from April 11th -<br />

23rd at the Malthouse Theatre. The show explores<br />

how different parts of ourselves interact using the<br />

metaphor of a share house.<br />

Do you have any inspirations or heroes at the<br />

moment in the Melbourne scene?<br />

As you know, I'm a massive fan of Toehider [note: a<br />

progressive rock band from Melbourne] and I'm super<br />

excited for the new album coming out this year. There<br />

are so many comedians in Melbourne that I love, and<br />

especially leading up to the Comedy Festival next<br />

month, so much to choose from. I especially love<br />

Anne Edmonds, the Chimp Cop crew (Adam Knox,<br />

Timothy Clark, Rosie and Ben Vernel), Kirsty Webeck,<br />

Celia Pacquola, David Quirk, … ahhhh there's too<br />

many to mention!<br />

For our readers who don't know anything about you,<br />

what would you suggest they check out first?<br />

I have a few playlists on my Youtube channel<br />

(youtube.com/judeperl). One of them is called 'Jude<br />

Perl: Selling Out' and the other is 'Jude Perl: Comedy<br />

(live)' If you don't like any of the videos on these<br />

playlists, then your standards are just ruthlessly high<br />

and we can't be friends.<br />

I’ll definitely be checking them all out as soon as<br />

I’m home. For those who can’t wait, can I put you on<br />

the spot and ask you to tell us a lame joke?<br />


Alright. This is the first joke I remember writing as a<br />

teenager:<br />

“There are people out there who will have sex with anything<br />

that moves…<br />

But I say, why limit yourself?”<br />

I'm not proud of it... I'm sorry.... please come to my<br />

show, I promise I've gotten better.<br />

Yeah you have gotten better. We’ve been talking<br />

about your past at Monash and the Melbourne<br />

International Comedy Festival happening now.<br />

What about your future plans? More music? More<br />

comedy? Both? Or maybe something different?<br />

I'm mostly focusing on comedy and music comedy<br />

at the moment, I have been enjoying it immensely.<br />

Without sounding cliché, I feel like I can actually be<br />

myself and say the things I want to say in the comedy<br />

world.<br />

That’s awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing you<br />

doing more and more stuff, and of course handing<br />

you a hard copy of Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> Issue 2 at your April<br />

shows!<br />

Roommates: The Musical is on from 11 April- 23 April at the<br />

Malthouse Theatre.<br />

arts/culture 40-41

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

videogames are a great<br />

storytelling medium<br />

article by rachael welling<br />

illustration by angharad neal-williams<br />

‘Are videogames art?’<br />

This is all you need to say to stir the pot in the gaming community.<br />

Ask them; are videogames on the same level as film, novels, or<br />

television? Some vehemently say yes. ‘Of course they are’. But the<br />

rest?<br />

‘No, they’re just for entertainment.’<br />

‘It doesn’t matter. Videogames are a waste of time.’<br />

‘You don’t play games for the story.’<br />

But I do. As a child I was obsessed with The Sims 2, an infamous sim<br />

game where you take control of the lives of virtual people (or Sims).<br />

It’s a game entirely without plot, but full of story. You can’t play<br />

without first creating your Sims. Do you want a family? A young<br />

couple with children they are struggling to support? Should they<br />

live in the city or the countryside? Who do you marry, or divorce?<br />

What do you name the little baby Sims? The act of playing itself<br />

tells a story.<br />

This is true for all games. Story is the rendering of human<br />

experiences in a way that can be shared – in a way that canvasses a<br />

journey. Maybe we don’t all fight monsters or shoot heavy duty guns<br />

in war-torn countries. But we all face challenges and we all make<br />

choices, which are fundamental aspects of modern gaming. Games<br />

all tell a story, and by being interactive, they let us engage with the<br />

story in ways unavailable to other mediums.<br />

Every game has a story because every game has an objective. Hit<br />

that thing. Score those points. Find something. Kill something. Don’t<br />

get seen. Escape this room. And so, the story goes something like<br />

this: you are given a task. Through skill, smarts or luck you achieve<br />

it. And now you receive a reward. It’s a description that encompasses<br />

a clear majority of not only videogames, but film, literature and<br />

other traditional forms of storytelling. So maybe you don’t play a<br />

game for the story, but by playing you act it out whether you want<br />

to or not. Perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch to say Pong has a story, but<br />

my point stands. Games are almost always quest narratives; and<br />

playing, and winning, makes you the protagonist.<br />

Interactivity is the key here. Even in games where the plot is not<br />

the focus, story finds other ways to come through. Take the most<br />

recent instalment of the Hitman series. It is arguably a simple game<br />

where you play as an assassin dropped into different environments<br />

with the singular goal of offing people. But the ways you murder<br />

people are virtually endless. Do you want to be the super calculated<br />

assassin, staking out your target to discover that they like a bit of<br />

golf, before planting a golf ball rigged with explosives in their kit<br />

bag? Or do you want to go the more guns-blazing route and murder<br />

almost everyone you find on a trail of death to your target?<br />

Even in games when the who and why of the story isn’t the focus<br />

(your target’s identity is never terribly important), the how shines<br />

through. Games tell stories through the way we play them – the<br />

hitman always kills the target, but the character of the assassin<br />

comes through in the player’s approach to the game – and the<br />

interactivity lets us tell the same story in ways unique to each<br />

player.<br />

Close friends all the way down to incidental acquaintances will tell<br />

you that I love Dragon Age, a series of dark fantasy games. Dragon<br />

Age, alongside many role-playing games, sets out to make story one<br />

of the focuses of the game. Because while most games have story<br />

content – such as cut-scenes to progress the plot, readable books to<br />

flesh out the world, and character backstories – Dragon Age makes<br />

telling the story part of the game. The player starts off by creating<br />

a character - I made a scrappy elf who liked to make bad jokes and<br />

was deadly with a bow – and then, at key points in the game, my<br />

character was given choices. Which warring faction to support,<br />

whether or not to exile a group of rogue warriors, which monarch<br />

to endorse and so on. And what I chose affected not only the world<br />

my character lived in, but future plot points in the game. Recent<br />

landmark games like Skyrim, Until Dawn, The Walking Dead, Life is<br />

Strange and The Witcher series all take a similar approach, making<br />

choice and story not just window dressing, but core mechanics of<br />

the game.<br />

Games are essentially the same each time they’re played. In Dragon<br />

Age, the setting, backstory, and motivation for the plot doesn’t<br />

change. But characters can be one of four races and three classes,<br />

with a multitude of backgrounds and combat styles. One friend of<br />

mine chose to make his Dragon Age character a sarcastic dwarf with<br />

a penchant for cleavers, while another made a straight-laced human<br />

with a shiny heroic personality and a shinier golden sword. We all<br />

played essentially the same story (plot twist: your character saves<br />

the world), but with permutations and combinations that made it<br />

ours. So unlike a film or a book which are unchanging, games can<br />

tell stories from multiple perspectives.<br />

And some games push this further. Her Story has the player sort<br />

through four hours of police interviews with one woman by<br />

searching for individual snippets using keywords, with the game<br />

suggesting you start with ‘murder’.<br />

Depending entirely on the words the player choses, the story can<br />

unfold in literally endless ways as you discover more and more<br />

of the woman’s testimony. One might never get the full story, or<br />

they might stumble upon the key plot twist fifteen minutes in.<br />

Gone Home gives the player an empty house to explore at their<br />

leisure, finding notes, books, letters and pictures all telling the story<br />

the player’s little sister and her eventual disappearance – again<br />

unfolding according to the player’s decisions. In the detective<br />

thriller LA Noire, how ‘good’ you do has subtle effects on the story.<br />

Miss some key evidence or ask a suspect the wrong questions? The<br />

story shifts and changes, as accomplices escape and leads go cold.<br />

Videogames unlock the shackles of linear and standardised<br />


storytelling, making worlds feel more organic, and the stories more<br />

realistic. Life isn’t a three-act drama; it’s a world to explore and<br />

discover at the pace we choose. Life is a game.<br />

‘But for fuck’s sake,’ people shriek. ‘Are videogames art?’<br />

Of course they are. They take time to create and are made to say<br />

something, even if all there is to say is ‘Have fun’ or ‘Doesn’t this<br />

look pretty?’ Storytelling is an art. Games tell stories. How can there<br />

even be a debate?<br />

Perhaps the good news is that, outside of my waxing lyrical<br />

about them, videogames are being legitimised as an art form.<br />

The Annual BAFTA Game Awards ceremony is in its twelfth year,<br />

with nomination categories such as Best Story and Best Artistic<br />

Achievement. Game Design is now a Bachelor’s degree; a family<br />

friend teaches the second-year unit at Swinburne on storytelling<br />

in games. I’ve seen reviews that call a game’s cut-scenes ‘cinematic’<br />

and watched as Fifa 17 (a game about goddamn literally just playing<br />

football) was given an 8-hour long story mode with choices and<br />

dialogue options. A game about playing football!<br />

But I am confident that as gaming continues to age, and as gaming<br />

communities grow larger and more diverse, the medium will<br />

continue to change and challenge the way we approach storytelling.<br />

At least then maybe the film industry will stop feeling the need to<br />

make those awful videogame movies (here’s looking at you, Assassin’s<br />

Creed).<br />

arts/culture 42-43

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

why reality tv is a<br />

blight on humanity<br />

article by marlo sullivan<br />

illustration by audrey chmielewski<br />

Reality TV. Love it or hate it, reality TV shows fill our<br />

screens, especially the free-to-air commercial stations.<br />

Our love affair with reality TV has even spawned a<br />

double-reality show. It is now possible to sit in your<br />

living room on a couch and watch on screen a range<br />

of people in their living rooms on their couches<br />

watching TV. I’m looking at you Gogglebox.<br />

Sure reality TV is a great way to watch other people<br />

behaving badly and is good for a laugh, but reality<br />

programs are contrived set-ups and fill a large number<br />

of prime-time TV slots. If only the commercial<br />

stations would put on more of the critically acclaimed<br />

dramas and documentaries that abound on streaming<br />

services like Stan and Netflix, they might see a rise<br />

in viewers who switched to streaming when we<br />

struggled to find anything engaging to watch on<br />

free-to-air TV.<br />

But reality TV is not unique. International versions<br />

of many well-known reality formats, like The Bachelor,<br />

Farmer Wants A <strong>Wife</strong> and the Real Housewives series<br />

are shown across the world. I confess I quite enjoy<br />

watching a couple of these reality shows. Yet it often<br />

feels as if I’m watching an impending car crash. It<br />

can be so hard to look away from the screen as the<br />

‘stars’ yell, cry and verge from one chaotic confession<br />

and exposé to the next. There are hugs, altercations<br />

and displays of extreme emotions before lengthy<br />

discussions on these things that have just happened,<br />

as though we didn’t just watch it all.<br />

On a recent catch-up with friends, I wondered why<br />

we spent a good part of our time together talking<br />

about recent episodes of Married at First Sight. I found<br />

I could barely follow the discussion on whether one<br />

couple would stay together or if another couple was a<br />

sham. Our conversation sounded like we were talking<br />

about mutual friends, but not only were they people<br />

we didn’t know, we were also unlikely to ever meet<br />

them.<br />

The issue is that we talk about these characters like<br />

they are real people, friends even. It is worth noting<br />

that reality show casts generally present a distorted<br />

view of society, featuring mostly photogenic people,<br />

but lacking diversity of culture. Yet, while the people<br />

cast in these shows are real, their depiction on our<br />

screens is manipulated to increase viewership. This<br />

raises the question of ethics. When a show purports<br />

to be depicting authentic issues and situations, can a<br />

show be called reality if it features editing as well as<br />

character and plot storylines?<br />

One fictional drama on our screens poses this and<br />

many other questions with regards to the dating<br />

show format. The show unREAL gives a look behindthe-scenes<br />

on the set of Everlasting, an invented<br />

show eerily similar to The Bachelor. It is here that the<br />

extensive editing and manipulation of contestants<br />

that usually goes unnoticed by audiences is exposed.<br />

While occasionally stories of cast manipulation come<br />

to light in the media, more often our news headlines<br />

are a mix of frivolous reality TV discussions and<br />

serious stories. When a light plane crashed with fatal<br />

results in Melbourne’s north in late February, it was<br />

listed side-by-side in the daily news headlines with<br />

the cheating scandal of My Kitchen Rules. These stories<br />

are not of equal weight, yet the continued interest in<br />

these programs means that each unexpected twist<br />

becomes news, not just on the show, but on social<br />

media and more tabloid and commercial outlets.<br />

Even the reporting of politics has become a strange<br />

type of reality TV, whereby our news of daily politics<br />

comes in soundbites, from outbursts in parliament<br />

to unusual comments in interviews. We often end up<br />

talking about politicians’ behaviour rather than their<br />

policies. Is it likely Donald Trump would have become<br />

the 45th President of the United States had he not<br />

been a star in his own reality show?<br />

There is a saying of disputed origin, often attributed<br />

to Eleanor Roosevelt: ‘Great minds discuss ideas,<br />

average minds discuss events, small minds discuss<br />

people.’<br />

When we talk about people, especially people we<br />

know only through our screens, we contribute to an<br />

ever-increasing stream of gossip and rumors. Ideas,<br />

on the other hand, have been known to evolve into<br />

inventions, businesses and solutions to real-world<br />

problems. Reality TV encourages us to talk about<br />

people.<br />

Imagine what the world could become if we talked<br />

more about ideas.

arts/culture 44-45

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

political acts: pioneers of<br />

performance art in<br />

southeast asia<br />

article by linh thuy nguyen<br />

Exhibition: February 11 - May 21<br />

Gallery One, Arts Centre Melbourne<br />

Free, Open Daily<br />

Curator: Dr Steven Tonkin<br />

Artists:<br />

Dadang Christanto (Indonesia/<br />

Australia)<br />

Le Wen (Singapore)<br />

Liew Teck Leong (Malaysia)<br />

Khvay Samnang (Cambodia)<br />

Moe Satt (Myanmar)<br />

Melati Suryodarmo (Indonesia)<br />

Tran Luong (Vietnam)<br />

F’n’F (Face and Fingers), 2008-09<br />

Moe Satt<br />

This exhibition, Political Acts: Pioneers of Performance<br />

Art in South East Asia — presented as part of the<br />

inaugural Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of<br />

Performing Arts — showcases the work of seven<br />

contemporary artists from the South East Asia<br />

region. As the exhibition states: ‘performance art is<br />

a radical alternative practice providing avant-garde<br />

artists with a creative means to critically explore<br />

social, political, economic and environmental issues …<br />

an ideal means for artists to express their social and<br />

political activism.’<br />

Performance art involves the artists placing<br />

themselves at the centre of the work, using their own<br />

corporeal body as stage, canvas, spectacle, megaphone<br />

and manifesto; both the medium and the art work<br />

itself. The body is both subject and object. The<br />

resonance of these works is found in their ambiguity,<br />

in the deliberate and often bewildering nature of<br />

their staging. Didacticism is eschewed in favour of<br />

open interpretation and subtlety, where concrete<br />

meanings are not easily grasped or readily available.<br />

In particular, in order to circumvent persecution and<br />

censorship from often repressive political regimes,<br />

cultural critique is often obliquely referenced —<br />

cloaked in metaphor, so to speak. Performance art<br />

has been a medium that ‘challenges and violates<br />

borders between disciplines and genders, between<br />

private and public, and between everyday life and<br />

art — it follows no rules.’ Broadly, performance art<br />

encompasses a broad range of artistic practices that<br />

involve bodily involvement and live action, predicated<br />

on the manipulation of four elements; time, space,<br />

the performer’s body, and the relationship between<br />

audience and performer. Performance art pieces are<br />

traditionally works intended to be experienced and<br />

witnessed in the moment, and thus demanding<br />

a form of witnessing from the viewer, a level of<br />

complicity and engagement by being present — not<br />

simply as an observer but a participant. However,<br />

increasingly, these performances are extended beyond<br />

their initial staging and given a second life by being<br />

documented through film or photography.<br />

The works in Political Acts are grounded in the<br />

specificity of each artist’s local experience and<br />

cultural context, and the socio-political legacies<br />

of their respective countries. Khvay Samnang,<br />

a Cambodian artist born in 1982, explores the<br />

environmental and social consequences of rapid<br />

urban development in Phnom Penh, while Lee Wren’s<br />

(Singapore) works often interrogate the experience of<br />

existing as an ethnic minority. Dadang Christanto, an<br />

Indonesian artist based in Australia from the late 90s,<br />

has constructed a new installation work specifically<br />

for this exhibition. Titled Slaughter Tunnel (2015-<br />

<strong>2017</strong>), it is a narrow and dark U-shaped passageway<br />

in the centre of the gallery space, constructed out<br />

of recycled cardboard. The inside of the tunnels is<br />

covered from top to bottom with hundreds of small,<br />

crudely drawn portraits of faces, pinned to the walls<br />

with tassels of red wool.<br />

The experience of walking through the tunnel is<br />

unsettling and haunting; the space is oppressive<br />

and claustrophobic. Christanto’s work can be<br />

interpreted as responding to his own personal<br />

history, in which, as a young boy, he lost his father<br />

to the anti-Communist purges of 1965-66 (the<br />

documentary The Act of Killing (2012), directed by<br />

Joshua Oppenheimer, is about the participants of<br />

these killings in the present day). However, Slaughter<br />

Tunnel also resonates beyond this limited biographical<br />

meaning, reflecting on the myriad of anonymous<br />

victims of state-sanctioned terror around the world<br />

today. As Christanto himself states: ‘my work is open<br />

to interpretation, so anybody is able to engage in a<br />

dialogue with that work.’<br />

The works that most intrigued me were by Tran<br />

Luong, a Vietnamese artist from Hanoi (my<br />

own home town). In particular, Tran Luong’s Coc<br />

Cach (2013-2016), a video montage of Communist<br />

propaganda images superimposed with iconic<br />

wartime photographs and images, alongside with<br />

his giant, three video installation Lap Loe left<br />

me reflecting on the weight of history and the<br />

subsumption of the individual by ideology.<br />

By placing all seven artists together in a single<br />

exhibition, these works become a form of collective<br />

documentation, transcending across national borders<br />

to articulate a common mode of social engagement<br />

through a shared medium of embodied critique.<br />

The works are intentionally ambivalent and oblique,<br />

leaving the burden of interpretation up to the viewer.<br />

‘For performance art you don’t really need a proper space. It can<br />

happen anywhere.’<br />

- Moe Satt<br />

‘Talking about politics, society or psychology is meaningless<br />

unless it can be manifest in the physical body.’<br />

- Melati Suryodarmo<br />

‘I am an image maker. I create images with my body.’<br />

- Lee Wren

Splash! #8, 2003<br />

Lee Wren<br />

Coc Cach, 2013-16<br />

Photo still<br />

Tran Luong<br />

Lập Lòe, 2012<br />

Tran Luong<br />

Rubber Man #3, 2014<br />

Khvay Samnang<br />

Body+Dots+Politics(Yellow), 2016<br />

Liew Teck Leong<br />

Sweet Dreams Sweet, 2013<br />

Melati Suryodarmo<br />

Tooth Brushing, <strong>2017</strong><br />

Single channel video, duration 6mins<br />

Dadang Christanto<br />

Steam rice man, 2001<br />

Tran Luong<br />

Lập Lòe, 2012<br />

Tran Luong<br />

Slaughter Tunnel<br />

Dadang Christanto<br />

arts/culture 46-47

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the human implications of<br />

scorsese’s taxi driver<br />

article by nick bugeja<br />

Last year, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) presented a<br />

fantastic retrospective on the American film director Martin Scorsese. As<br />

an avid fan of cinema and an even greater fan of Scorsese’s films, I voraciously<br />

anticipated seeing his 1976 magnum opus, Taxi Driver, on the silver screen.<br />

Taxi Driver is a film that immediately places the viewer firmly within the venal<br />

streets of ‘70s New York. It throws us into the political and social context of that<br />

era as we come to know the anti-hero of the film, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro),<br />

a Vietnam war veteran. Other than a brief allusion, we never encounter Bickle’s<br />

experience of the war directly. Rather, Scorsese makes us cognisant of the impact<br />

of the war through Travis’s behaviour; his sleeplessness, his Army jacket, his<br />

snap into a rigid fighting stance when confronted. While the presence of the war<br />

surreptitiously lingers in the background of the film, it never really manifests itself<br />

as a central thematic concern. Instead, the war paves the way for Travis’s personal<br />

ills, giving the viewer greater understanding of the erratic psychological processes<br />

embedded within him.<br />

The designation of simplistic labels to those who are broadly considered ‘the other’<br />

is damaging; calling the homeless ‘lazy’, telling women who have experienced<br />

domestic violence ‘to get up and leave’ and condemning those who have criminal<br />

pasts as ‘psychopaths’ are expedient ways for us to avoid deeper analyses of<br />

prevalent social ills. It places blame on the individual, rather than the unequal<br />

structure of society itself.<br />

Perhaps the worst thing that this kind of thinking does is that it perpetuates a<br />

culture of misunderstanding. Without acknowledging the plights of individuals,<br />

we will never begin to reduce suffering and negative discriminations.<br />

Only when we fully comprehend the complexity and multifaceted nature of<br />

human existence will we be able to diagnose and resolve problems in modern<br />

society. For Travis, perhaps with better veteran counselling and engagement<br />

services, and greater reception to his loneliness and bleak outlook on life, Taxi<br />

Driver would not have ended in the misanthropic, macabre way that it did.<br />

It is no secret that Travis is a character who is profoundly troubled. Scorsese always<br />

confronts us with this fact, providing shots of Travis staring contemptuously at<br />

African Americans, wandering about with an armoury of weapons, and of course,<br />

that famous scene when Travis looks into a mirror and asks: “are you talkin’ to me?”<br />

The screening of Taxi Driver at ACMI was powerful, even more so when<br />

experienced on the sizeable screen. It was to my utter disappointment, however,<br />

that some patrons behind me summed up their viewing experience by a simple<br />

denouncement: “he’s a psycho.”<br />

I’ve heard this assessment of the film before, and I have always launched into a<br />

robust defence of the complexity of Travis and Taxi Driver. To merely denounce<br />

Travis as a psychopath is to deny Scorsese his filmmaking dexterity, while also<br />

undermining the genuine human implications of the film.<br />

Indeed, Taxi Driver is a film that perfectly positions us to observe and apprehend<br />

Travis’s psychological processes. We are in his mindset for all but two scenes<br />

during the entirety of the film. Travis’s ever-persistent voiceover gives the viewer<br />

access to his dangerous and unstable view of the decadence of ‘70s America; to<br />

his insatiable desire to get rid of the ‘scum’ and ‘filth’. Travis operates as a kind of<br />

noir-ish figure – always alone, navigating the streets in his grimy yellow taxi. This<br />

feeling of isolation within the urban setting of New York is a pronounced feature<br />

of the film, central to understanding the motivations and actions of such a volatile<br />

character.<br />

In many ways, Travis is a repulsive character. He is racist, hate-filled, creepy<br />

and excessively prone to violence and volatility. However, Scorsese does not<br />

unequivocally condemn Travis, but rather illustrates to the viewer how this<br />

character is the way he is. We can understand Travis as existing within a real-world<br />

framework, and therefore relate his ills – and the ills of ‘70s New York – to our own<br />

society.<br />

If we disregard Travis as a one-dimensional psychopath, we deny his humanness.<br />

To do so is consistent with the lamentable ways in which ‘the other’ is often<br />

fallaciously labelled and compartmentalised in contemporary society.<br />

Indeed, there are quite a number of individuals and groups that are perceived as<br />

‘the other’ in the West; those who are racialised (i.e. not white), those who depart<br />

from heteronormative definitions of sexuality; those with disabilities; those who<br />

are homeless; those who have committed criminal infractions.

creative/comedy<br />

creative/comedy 48-49

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

cabin 85<br />

article by lachlan liesfield<br />

illustration by john henry<br />

Assuming nothing serious had occurred, Emanuel returned to his<br />

room and began the newspaper he had originally planned to read<br />

on the trip down. So to his newspaper. He had no way of contacting<br />

work about the train, and would have to explain his lateness as the<br />

result of a delay, or a particularly overzealous attendant who had put<br />

his bags in the wrong compartment. One of them would see him<br />

suitably forgiven.<br />

Again the train pulled off, but evidently no one had boarded<br />

either. Something must have been wrong with the station then?<br />

Renovation work, or repairs. He recalled one of the stations being<br />

scheduled for something like that earlier that month. They must<br />

have been mid-way through it by now then. Yes, that must have<br />

been it.<br />

Emanuel heard the sound of the train’s horn again. They were<br />

nearing the next stop.<br />

His worn, khaki suit felt stiff as he pulled himself peeled himself<br />

from the seat. The wait between stops was long, and his back felt<br />

as equally as inflexible as it did after a day in his cubicle. Emanuel<br />

pulled the sliding door open to the passageway, again it seemed he<br />

was the only person who wanted to exit. This did not surprise him,<br />

most rode this line directly into the city, and this was just a minor<br />

pause. The passageway was free even of the crew as he made his way<br />

toward the door. Activating the door, a familiar voice spoke.<br />

Emanuel K had missed his stop. Hat over his eyes, en route to his<br />

job at the bank, he had fallen fast asleep the moment the train left<br />

off.<br />

Jolted into consciousness, Emanuel snatched his satchel and dashed<br />

for the door at the next station, fearful of being late to work.<br />

Waiting impatiently for the train to stop, Emanuel tapped his foot<br />

over and over as the carriage pulled into the next station, . Again,<br />

the dragging wait for the light to flash above the door played on his<br />

patience, eager was to alight the train and catch a cab in the hope of<br />

making it to work.<br />

But it seemed this would be denied to him.<br />

A tall attendant, dark hair and surly moustache, as impeccably<br />

groomed as his pressed and cleaned uniform, held his hand before<br />

the door<br />

"I am sorry sir, but you cannot get off at this station" he said<br />

impassively. Emanuel’s mouth fell open with a look of doubt. The<br />

attendant, Monsieur Jean by his nametag, had directly refused<br />

him leaving the train. Had there been some emergency he had not<br />

become aware of? When Emanuel pressed Monsieur Jean, who<br />

looked in no way French, he was told to simply to:<br />

“Wait in your cabin for the time being, sir.”<br />

“I am sorry sir, but you cannot get off at this stop,” spoke Monsieur<br />

Jean, whose sudden appearance and close proximity made Emanuel<br />

pull back his hand back in shock. Monsieur Jean now kept his whole<br />

body between Emanuel and the doorway, politely, but firmly, barring<br />

the way. A look of uncertainty, and even mild concern spread over<br />

Emanuel’s face, but Monsieur Jean was soon to console him with<br />

the words, “wait in your cabin for the time being sir”, repeating the<br />

phrase as before. Emanuel raised his voice to speak, before clenching<br />

his fist around his newspaper and returning to his cabin. He did<br />

not hear Monsieur Jean leave, though when he turned round again<br />

to demand an explanation, once more conjuring his courage in the<br />

hope of receiving an explanation, Monsieur had left the doorway,<br />

presumably returning to his duties aboard the trains other carriages.<br />

The train rocked as it pushed on toward the city. There were scarce<br />

few articles left in the paper for Emanuel to read through now,<br />

limited now to advice columns and the personal ads, both areas<br />

he tended to avoid. The steady rocking of the train threatened to<br />

send him to sleep again, though the desire was staved off by the<br />

ever-increasing anxiety he felt as he moved further and further<br />

away from the bank. It was a commendable position, though with<br />

few prospects for higher employment. The branches location and<br />

overall obscurity ensured the highest Emanuel could see himself<br />

rising was general manager, a man of modest hours and an equally<br />

modest salary.<br />

A third time the train jolted to a stop, a third time Monsieur Jean<br />

barred his way. Taken with frustration, Emanuel attempted to<br />

occupy his time by visiting one of the other passengers with whom<br />

he shared this carriage. Shuffling past his cabin, he knocked on the<br />

door to its left. A sour voice answered back to him.<br />


“Yes?” A woman — many years his senior — bid him inside her<br />

compartment. Clearly not one for travelling lightly, a selection of<br />

fold- out suitcases furnished her with everything she could need<br />

for an extended field journey, including mirror, iron, and washbasin.<br />

She sat meekly on the seat, as if her seemingly perfunctory frame<br />

merely hovered over the cushions rather than displacing them with<br />

any weight.<br />

Her enviable collection of luggage was matched only by the wealth<br />

of jewellery she kept within them, much of it spilling over the sides<br />

as if she’d been unable to decide what to wear that morning and<br />

had haphazardly thrown them back in into drawers as one does<br />

with clothes when rushing for a party. She was a Dowagess, she<br />

explained, her voice harsh voice cracking as she spoke. Emanuel said<br />

little during the interaction, the Dowagess apparently quite content<br />

to spill her opinions at a moment’s whim, the deficiency of the cabin<br />

service, the length of the trip, all to her were equally detestable<br />

as they were topical. The train was deathly silent; and despite the<br />

soundproofing of the cabins, it felt as if they were the only two in<br />

the carriage, if not the whole train.<br />

The Dowagess’ conversation droned on: “never free” she was, “now<br />

she could finally be herself,” she said. Emanuel increasingly desired<br />

the sound of the next train horn, unable to think of a polite reason<br />

to depart. Instead, frustration, a question quite simply burst out of<br />

him: Why could they not get off the train?<br />

Before the Dowagess could answer in her sandpaper voice, the cabin<br />

door slid open.<br />

A whirl of movement found a pair of lithe hands tightly gripping<br />

his arms. Sleeves pulled taut, he was spun back to face the carriage.<br />

Monsieur Jean stood straight-backed before him.<br />

“I am sorry sir, but you cannot visit the private cabins of others,”<br />

Monsieur Jean rattled off. Emanuel K. did not protest, and chided<br />

himself for not predicting this outcome. He was held in place by<br />

two men — the train guards presumably — whose freshly pressed<br />

uniforms held a surprising stiffness as he was pulled up against<br />

them.<br />

“Wait in your cabin for the time being, sir,” he heard Monsieur Jean<br />

calmly say as he was escorted back, the guards promptly opening the<br />

door and tapping him inside in one efficient movement, drawing the<br />

exterior blind as they left.<br />

Sealed inside his cabin, Emanuel considered why he was continually<br />

denied exit. Nothing was mentioned of it in the paper, which, within<br />

the next few minutes, he would have succeeded in reading cover to<br />

cover in order to distract himself from the preposterous situation<br />

he was in.<br />

Emanuel rhythmically tapped his foot against the bottom of<br />

his seat, reading through the statements for his late afternoon<br />

appointment, familiarising himself with the facts so that when he<br />

arrived, if he arrived, he could attempt to make up for lost time.<br />

It did not hold his focus for long. The situation on the train had<br />

become increasingly present in Emanuel’s mind, his thoughts over<br />

and over: what in fact could be going on? Was there even an issue<br />

outside? Was it something happening on board? One possibility<br />

sparked his mind. He had not looked properly into the other<br />

carriages, he was not sure if this was isolated simply to his.<br />

He would find out.<br />

under the weight of an impressive collection of medals, bestowing<br />

upon him an air of authority that singled him out as the train’s<br />

captain. Flanked by the same two guards, and Monsieur Jean behind<br />

him, the Captain and his crew had effectively barred his way. The<br />

captains bearded chin lowered just enough for the words,<br />

“I’m sorry sir, but you cannot change compartments” to flow<br />

familiarly from his mouth and into the ears of a disconcerted<br />

Emanuel K. The man’s honey-coated voice did little to calm him as<br />

the guards walked forward and promptly lead him back to his room,<br />

the Captain repeating that familiar phrase,<br />

“Wait in your cabin for the time being, sir.”<br />

So flustered by these events was Emanuel K. that it did not cross his<br />

mind that trains do not typically have a Captain. Thoughts swirled<br />

in his head. Surely such peculiarities could not be isolated to him<br />

alone.<br />

Was it that the guards had a special interest in him, or was there<br />

simply some issue they refused to announce? Either way it played<br />

on Emanuel’s nerves.<br />

The Dowagess, he would ask her as to his predicament, perhaps her<br />

position would make her privy to information he was not.<br />

Stepping into the hallway, Emanuel’s head darted around. Satisfied<br />

the crew were out of earshot had moved on, Emanuel K. turned<br />

toward the Dowagess’ compartment.<br />

Again, the girth of the train’s captain blocked his path, backed again<br />

by the silent guards and the implacable Monsieur Jean. He was not<br />

even surprised to see them this time. Emanuel heard no sign of the<br />

Dowagess in her compartment, no babbling to herself as last time.<br />

Angered, Emanuel K. listened to the Captain speak.<br />

“I’m sorry sir…” Emanuel K. cut him off, he knew the rest.<br />

“Wait in your cabin for the time being, sir” The Captain continued<br />

in that polite tone he imagined a diplomat would use during<br />

negotiations; exasperation behind a cordial façade.<br />

Padding back into his cabin, Emanuel K. threw himself onto the<br />

seat beside the window, the familiar rattle of the tracks underneath<br />

rumbling through the walls. Emanuel had lost complete track of<br />

time now, his inability to leave the carriage leaving him lost within<br />

the walls. How far along the line was he now? What station would<br />

he be refused next? Emanuel’s arms shook with rage as he reached<br />

out to draw the blind.<br />

His eyes darted up, a startling sight beheld him.<br />

A hand, tight around the string held the blind in check over the<br />

window, plump fingers gripping its coarse length. Turning his face<br />

up, Emanuel K. noted the crew bending down across his window,<br />

bodies tightly packed into the cabin, who, from Emanuel’s lowered<br />

position, now seeming impossibly tall and impossibly wide. Weary<br />

of the coming words, Emanuel K. looked on in complete horror as<br />

the crew announced in unison:<br />

“I’m sorry sir”<br />

Emanuel screamed.<br />

Emanuel K. slid across the chair toward the door. He would ask,<br />

nay, demand an answer from this Monsieur Jean who continued to<br />

impede him. Emanuel burst into the hall, only to find it deserted.<br />

Emanuel K. was awfully ambivalent about this fact. Initially<br />

brimming with purpose, such energy now deserted him. The<br />

emptiness left him on edge. The blinds were drawn to the dining<br />

carriage, leaving Emanuel no way of knowing if Monsieur Jean was<br />

there.<br />

Emanuel K., however, had forgotten to check behind him. The<br />

sudden bump of another body against him sent a shriek from his<br />

lungs as he jumped around to face what had hit touched him.<br />

Before him stood a short, pudgy looking man whose shirt sagged<br />

creative/comedy 50-51

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the greenhouse<br />

article by joanne fong<br />

illustration by anna tsuda<br />

The white roses are her favourite.<br />

Delicate snow petals, spilling out from the centres, like a ballerina’s<br />

tulle frozen forever mid pirouette.<br />

A violent assault of deep reds, canary yellows, rich blues; each more<br />

colourful than the last surround her in the greenhouse. The roses<br />

are like her children, all scrambling for her attention, for her eyes to<br />

linger for just a second more upon their technicolour cries.<br />

Amid the harlequin chaos the white roses sit patiently, quiet,<br />

solemn. Their subdued silence sings loudest of all.<br />

She still loves every rose in the garden of her greenhouse though.<br />

She feels guilty for having favourites.<br />

At first she would visit every so often; a few minutes at first, which<br />

turned into a few hours, then whole days.<br />

Eventually leaving became too hard. So she just never left.<br />

It’s peaceful here. She feels secure. It’s not like how things were on<br />

the outside. Dark and shadowy and turbulent. Everything was too<br />

overwhelming as though she was being suffocated by the invisible<br />

grasp of her monsters.<br />

Sometimes he comes to visit her. He is the one thing from the<br />

outside that she allows in.<br />

She knows that he wants her to leave, leave the safe haven she has<br />

made for herself in the greenhouse. But she can’t.<br />

When he talks she gets drawn into what he has to say. It makes her<br />

feel wistful, a strange twinge of melancholy fluttering in her chest.<br />

He lulls her with soft coaxing anecdotes; how there was a galah in<br />

the backyard that didn’t run away when he approached it, how the<br />

leaves of the elms on his street were starting to golden, or how he’d<br />

left the stove on to boil water and had come back to a pot burnt<br />

black. He tells her how much he misses her. So, so much.<br />

He reminds her that there is life outside. She would have forgotten<br />

long ago otherwise.<br />

Each time he’s with her, her greenhouse starts to get fuzzy, like the<br />

remnants of a dream before it slips through your fingers like sand.<br />

sitting next to a cosy fireplace with heavy rain outside, homemade<br />

spaghetti nights, fighting over who got to finish the last serving.<br />

Memories with him, experiencing all those things.<br />

Memories with him; shivering, trembling, shallow breaths, burning<br />

holes into her skin with his mouth.<br />

Every day he comes, the roses decay. She keeps finding more of their<br />

shrivelled little corpses scattered along the branches of the bushes,<br />

faded and stained brown.<br />

She desperately puts her nose to the buds, searching for a hint of<br />

fresh perfume but all she can smell is death.<br />

There is a bitter taste in her mouth, metallic like she has gargled<br />

blood.<br />

It’s all his fault. Poisoning her with his stories, taking her away from<br />

her garden with his allure.<br />

When he’s there, the gold rays of sunshine that stream down<br />

through the glass seem to taunt her, knowing that she will never<br />

venture beyond the walls to feel its warmth on her skin.<br />

One day he comes to visit, but she ignores him.<br />

“Go away.” She is pruning the roses carefully with a small pair of<br />

clippers. She doesn’t look at him. Looking at him is too hard.<br />

“Why?” He asks.<br />

She continues to prune the roses as if he weren’t there. Snip. Snip.<br />

Snip.<br />

“What’s wrong?<br />

Snip.<br />

It hurts to breathe. The silence chokes her.<br />

Snip.<br />

Snip.<br />

“You can’t come visit me anymore,” she says finally.<br />

It scares her.<br />

Memories of the outside start to seem more vibrant, more alluring.<br />

Memories of dipping her feet into the cool wet sand of the ocean,<br />

“What? Why not?”<br />

Snip.<br />

Snip.<br />


Pause.<br />

“You’re killing the flowers.”<br />

Sni-<br />

Her hand falters, slipping, dragging against the rose bush’s thorns,<br />

slicing into her flesh like butter. Her fingers are on fire. She is on fire.<br />

Her eyes flash up at him, burning. “You’re ruining everything.”<br />

He sighs. “Why can’t we go back to how it use to be? When you<br />

weren’t like this?” He asks exasperated.<br />

“What do you mean?”<br />

“I hate you being here, in this place. I hate you not being at home<br />

with me.”<br />

“I like it here. I feel safe here.”<br />

“You’ll be safe with me.”<br />

“I’m safe in my greenhouse.”<br />

“Ha. Your greenhouse?”<br />

“Yes!”<br />

“Don’t you understand? This isn’t real – none of this is real!”<br />

“Wha – “<br />

She feels dizzy, the rose bushes, the earthy scent of dirt, the<br />

greenhouse walls all start to blur and distort. The vibrant colours<br />

start to fade, dissolve; sickly sweet sugar-coated lies.<br />

“Wha- what do you mean?”<br />

The glass walls start to crack. The sun streams into the darkest<br />

corners of her mind. It’s liberating, it’s horrifying, it’s terrifying. Fuck.<br />

The world is grey. Grey linoleum floors and dull grey walls. A thin<br />

grey mattress covered in a single sheet on a cool metal bedframe.<br />

She blinks. Hard. Once. Twice. Why won’t the grey go away?<br />

“Stop!” Her vision is blurry. Everything hurts. Why won’t it stop?<br />

Stop. Stop. Stop.<br />

She plunges the rose clippers straight into his chest.<br />

Stop.<br />

He chokes, staring at her in wide disbelief. She gazes back blankly<br />

at him.<br />

With one sharp jerk she wrenches the blade out. Then she thrusts it<br />

back in again. Again. Again. Again.<br />

The blood spurts out of him slowly at first, a rusty drink tap being<br />

turned on for the first time in years. And then it gushes out all at<br />

once.<br />

Everything is red. Warm, warm, warm on her fingers and hands and<br />

arms and clothes.<br />

The room is spinning.<br />

The walls, the bed, the floor are all marred with splatters of crimson.<br />

She looks down at her hands, a pair of blunt craft scissors glistening<br />

red clutched tightly in her fist.<br />

She scans the walls around her, garish childlike drawings of roses<br />

scrawled with coloured crayons, cut out clumsily and thumbtacked<br />

on every inch possible.<br />

This isn’t real. It can’t be.<br />

She blinks. Hard. Once. Twice.<br />

And then it all rushes back.<br />

Everything is still again. Everything is better. The greenhouse walls,<br />

the flowers, the colours have all solidified again. Everything is real<br />

again. Familiar. Safe.<br />

The dirt of the garden bed is soaked with blood, still warm. Alive.<br />

Small white rosebuds are starting to dot the branches around her.<br />

She smiles. They are beginning to grow again.<br />

Where are her roses? Where is her garden? Where is her greenhouse?<br />

“You’re crazy.” His voice cuts her like jagged glass. “You’re fucking<br />

crazy! Why can’t you just-“<br />

creative/comedy 52-53

edition two<br />

lot’s wife<br />

Crazed Anti<br />

Capitalist<br />

Nick Bugeja<br />

EXCLUSIVE!!!<br />

LAST Sunday night, it was reported that<br />

26-year old Travis Riddle blew up the central<br />

offices of Channel 15. The past week has been<br />

defined by shock regarding the incident, but<br />

new information about his motivations has<br />

come to light.<br />

In our EXCLUSIVE interview with Riddle,<br />

he states that a “hate of capitalism” drove him<br />

to commit the horrific act. “I guess I did it<br />

because I hate capitalism,” said Riddle. “TV is<br />

a form of capitalism, so yeah.” Riddle is facing<br />

up to one day and four hours of jail time over<br />

the incident (Read our article on ‘Why all<br />

young people are thugs and deserve to go to<br />

jail’ on Page 12).<br />

Apparently an advertisement for the<br />

esteemed reality show, ‘Speed dating for 95-<br />

year olds’ set Riddle off. “I was [on hardcore<br />

drugs] sitting there with the TV on, and I<br />

heard Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2.<br />

I looked up and saw it was featured on some<br />

ad for a reality show. I got angry at capitalism<br />

and went to destroy Channel 15.”<br />

When our Pulitzer-prize winning journalist<br />

Tracy Grimshape told Riddle that an<br />

advertising agency was probably to blame<br />

for the ad, Riddle muttered “oh well…..shit….<br />

at least I’ll be out of jail in a few days. I’ll fix<br />

them up.”<br />

Riddle’s childhood sheds light on his<br />

motivations for committing the hateful<br />

crime. His mother and father were both<br />

aggressive communists, having campaigned<br />

for Mark Latham’s Labor Party in 2004.<br />

One Nation candidate Michael Sillypants<br />

said “like any normal person, I like a little<br />

bit of classical music. Especially Russian<br />

composers like Vladimir Putin and Sergei<br />

Rachmaninoff. I personally thought it was<br />

great when Piano Concerto No.2 was played<br />

on ‘Speed dating for 95-year olds’. It left me<br />

and my wife in tears because it made Mal and<br />

Bette’s break-up so much more emotional.”<br />

Sillypants continued by saying “one day and<br />

four hours is a joke. Not only did Riddle end<br />

a lot of lives, but he offended the Australian<br />

love of Russia and reality TV.” Sillypants has<br />

since declared that he thinks Riddle should<br />

be put to death on the steps of Flinders Street<br />

station. “He is probably not white”, said<br />

Sillypants.<br />

‘Speed dating for 95-year olds’ screens at 6:30pm<br />

on Channel 15.<br />

apprivoiser<br />

article by manon boutin charles<br />

Avant, j'avais la tête pleine de mots. Je les balançais, comme ça, presque sans<br />

réfléchir. Sur le clavier, sur l'écran, ils s'animaient. Je les laissais faire leur vie parce<br />

que de toute façon, sitôt sortis de mon esprit, dès qu'ils passaient par mes doigts, je<br />

ne les reconnaissais plus.<br />

Avant, j'avais la tête pleine de mots. Je ne structurais pas ma pensée. Je ne savais<br />

pas ce que ça voulait dire. Mais je la transformais en mots. Des mots supers rudes.<br />

Des mots effrayants. Des mots très forts. Parfois trop forts. Mais c'est parce que je<br />

pensais très fort. C'était intense. C'était profond. Je ressentais des choses magiques.<br />

Et des choses terribles.<br />

Aujourd'hui, je pense beaucoup. J'ai la tête pleine de sensations. Mais que sont-elles<br />

? Comment fonctionnent-elles ? Je ne sais pas comment les apprivoiser. Je ne sais<br />

pas comment me les approprier. Je fais des rêves que je n'arrive plus à interpréter. Je<br />

rêve de choses dont je n'ai plus envie de parler. Personne n'a envie d'écouter ce dont<br />

je veux parler.<br />

J'ai envie de crier des mots. De chanter des chansons super fort. De m'exprimer.<br />

Mais je ne sais pas comment. Plus le temps passe, moins j'arrive à extérioriser toute<br />

ma créativité. Elle est là, coincée entre deux informations capitales dans mon<br />

esprit. Avant, je lui disais de rester tranquille et de se faire oublier. Maintenant, je<br />

lui ai tellement dit qu'elle a peur. Elle est devenue timide. Elle n'ose plus se montrer<br />

quand je l'appelle. Elle n'a plus envie de jouer avec moi.<br />

J'aimerais regagner sa confiance, lui dire que je l'aime et qu'elle me manque. Mais<br />

elle a trop peur, elle a trop mal encore. Elle est retournée à l'état sauvage, et il faut<br />

que je l'apprivoise.<br />

"Que signifie apprivoiser ?<br />

- C'est une chose trop oubliée, dit le renard, ça signifie « créer des liens »..."<br />

Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

come back<br />

words by isaac reichman<br />

I saw you yesterday<br />

In a vacant mood I passed with mind<br />

Closed my eyes and travelled through time<br />

Just to meet you again<br />

In the same place, yet different<br />

As the same person, yet different<br />

I now know fear<br />

For each time I close my eyes<br />

And visit that place of solitude<br />

I know it may be the last time<br />

I see you —<br />

The last time I recognise your face<br />

Then, to never be able to tell your hair<br />

Apart from their’s in a crowded room<br />

Able to tell your eyes<br />

From countless strangers, all of which<br />

Equally beautiful, all of which<br />

Equally not you.<br />

I am no longer able<br />

Maybe I have never been so<br />

For I do not know you<br />

Not truly<br />

Though as I drift through the pages of my past<br />

Smelling that bergamot which clings to the paper<br />

As it clung, like a perfume,<br />

To your olive skin (or was it fair?)<br />

Acquired from all the tea stained mugs<br />

You knew as the friends<br />

May still know<br />

That would sit besides you in that coffee house<br />

Where I saw you<br />

Where I see you still when I sit in that same chair<br />

I sat in, at some point since<br />

Don’t let me forget the subtleties<br />

Your Auburn hair and shy glances<br />

They bring me back to you<br />

If only for a moment<br />

I can’t... grasp it<br />

Your face is as familiar to mine<br />

As that sight of green fields from some<br />

Innocuous painting<br />

By some innocuous painter<br />

That everyone knows<br />

But no one can name<br />

(As I have known since I was but a boy<br />

Sitting beneath a cherry tree<br />

Picking shapes from the clouds)<br />

Even that strains an effort<br />

The arrow drives us relentlessly forward<br />

I will not know you tomorrow<br />

So, let me dream<br />

We are both sitting in that coffee house<br />

As we once both did<br />

But now I sit alone<br />

As I have done for a lifetime<br />

creative/comedy 54-55

edition two one<br />

lot’s wife<br />

wot’s life?<br />

with uncle trump<br />

Q.<br />

A.<br />

Why have the taco prices at Sir John’s Bar been<br />

raised to $3? I’m not really happy about that!<br />

I eat tacos all the time. I love tacos. Tacos are the<br />

greatest. And I love the Mexicans. Nobody has more<br />

respect for the Mexicans than I do. They are rapists<br />

and murderers, but nobody respects them more than<br />

me. I respect them so much that we need to BUILD<br />

THE WALL. I am so so glad Sir John’s is helping us<br />

build our great, tremendous wall. I have so much<br />

respect for Sir John’s that we are building one in<br />

Trump tower. HUGE news. We might also build a<br />

Trump tower in Clayton. Can you believe it? We are<br />

excited.<br />

I have the hots for a Mexican guy I see at work<br />

everyday. I’m a bit shy so I don’t know how the<br />

flirting game works. How do I let him know I’m up<br />

for it?<br />

Wrong. You don’t like the Mexican guy. These are<br />

FAKE feelings. Date someone else (someone you<br />

can’t take your hands off). But make sure you have<br />

big hands….. I’ve been knocked about my hands,<br />

and you know if you say someone’s hands are small<br />

something else must be small. I guarantee you there’s<br />

no problem, I guarantee you. Ask anyone, they’re<br />

impressed. Can you believe it? Even I’m impressed. It’s<br />

just tremendous. And don’t make the same mistake<br />

as Robert Pattinson with Kristen Stewart. So much<br />

out of her league. Can you believe it? Probably bad<br />

(or SICK) guy. Kristen Stewart is defiantly a disaster<br />

(or PIG). Like Rosie O’Donnell: ratings failure! She has<br />

nothing on Donald.<br />

Hi Uncle, I’m in a terrible situation where my<br />

housemate have a crush on me, what can I do?<br />

Ignore it. Unless their a stunning beauty. If they are,<br />


FROM YOUR LIFE NOW! If nothing works,blame it<br />

on the Chinese (Chinese hoax!). Watch out for the<br />

Ginese. Never trust a Ginese.<br />

My linguistics lecturer can’t write “cognition” or<br />

“grammar” properly. Should I just tell the Unit<br />

Coordinator that there’s a problem?<br />

Take them to the department of Immigreatin and<br />

get them deported. We will secure the borders and<br />

make America safe again. I also have the best words.<br />

Nobody has better words than me. I know words, I’m<br />

very highly educated. I have a good brain, probably<br />

the best brain.<br />

Dear Uncle, where would you recommend me to eat<br />

on campus?<br />

Eat a Trump steak. I love steaks. I know them<br />

(STEAKS). They are my favourite food, and the Trump<br />

steaks have just raised the steaks. They are flavourful<br />

pieces of meat (like IVANKA, who I would be dating<br />

(If she wasn’t my daughter)). I know we won’t make<br />

any Trump dim sims. You don’t know what’s in dim<br />

sims (probably DOGS!) Even President Trumble eats<br />

our Trump steaks. He said: ‘Trump steaks are the<br />

greatest!’ Good man, really good man.<br />

Why did Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> have you on their cover in<br />

edition 1?<br />

Every magazine has me on their cover. Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong><br />

is the best magazine. It’s tremendous. Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> is<br />

a great magazine, and I’ll tell you why it’s so great:<br />

because it has Donald Trump on the cover. Believe<br />

me, Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> is so much better than everything else.<br />

The other student magazines are epic failures, just sad<br />

and failures. Only I can make Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> the best, and<br />

I did people. The rest are just desperate (and SAD).

‘turn’ and<br />

‘whisky & gin’<br />

words by shona louis<br />

illustration by lucy zammit<br />

Turn<br />

Peering down into the glass table<br />

In the depths of the reflection,<br />

The umbrella above me stirred.<br />

The sun was much too bright, just as I like it.<br />

When we sat on the grass at the foot of the library, I beamed at you,<br />

Utterly content,<br />

And your eyes<br />

Gleamed<br />

As I did.<br />

The sun was much too bright and later<br />

You would find patches of red<br />

Across your forehead and neck.<br />

You told me about what you’d done in Afghanistan.<br />

Not concerned<br />

For yourself,<br />

But for me.<br />

And it was as though I had known already,<br />

I trembled all the same,<br />

It shook me—<br />

But I clung to your lips.<br />

I told you about my stint in hospital<br />

Not concerned<br />

For myself,<br />

But for you.<br />

I do not know if you shook as I did.<br />

We nuzzled into one another, seeking<br />

What we could,<br />

Inhaling and exhaling<br />

Together.<br />

But the sun didn’t mind the rampant surging of our minds<br />

As we began to fall into one another.<br />

Whiskey & Gin<br />

We wandered<br />

Past the tortoise and smiled<br />

At his age,<br />

At ours.<br />

Later, with the butterflies<br />

“You disarm me.”<br />

In the Japanese garden,<br />

We travelled<br />

Giddy as we were.<br />

We held each other close in 1964<br />

And rotated in a party.<br />

The following hours<br />

Shrieked, collapsed and beat<br />

In our lungs,<br />

Our cage,<br />

Our city,<br />

Our fever,<br />

For jazz.<br />

In the evening<br />

Our mouths are alcoholic<br />

And you talk about our ‘Adult future’.<br />

What’s in three months?<br />

What’s in a lifetime?<br />

We are both young and old<br />

The spectrum of age<br />

Waxes and wanes<br />

And the moon is high.<br />

The heavy grating tide of the trams<br />

Bore through us,<br />

Carried us through the streets.<br />

The hum of the world sounded<br />

Like a gong<br />

When I closed my eyes, the ground was gone<br />

And in its place,<br />

The sea.<br />

You and I were drifting,<br />

As though just below the surface,<br />

The language of the city was suddenly<br />

Ours.<br />

I am the froth of a wave,<br />

You are the sand between toes,<br />

The night blusters,<br />

The spray clings<br />

To us.<br />

creative/comedy<br />








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