2017 Ed4

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Lot’s Wife<br />

edition four

7 – 13 AUGUST<br />


monash.edu/winterfest<br />

MON 7 AUGUST, 6PM - The Fifth Element<br />

TUES 8 AUGUST, 6PM - The Matrix<br />

WED 9 AUGUST, 6PM - The Babadook<br />

Meet at The Dome, Northern Plaza, Clayton<br />

TICKETS $5 – Purchase online<br />

feat. Tommy Little<br />

TUES 8 AUGUST, 5PM<br />

The Dome, Northern Plaza, Clayton<br />

TICKETS $20/$7 Student Clubs - Purchase online<br />


TUES 8 AUGUST, 12 – 2PM<br />

The Dome, Caulleld Green<br />

WED 9 AUGUST, 12 – 2PM<br />

The Dome, Northern Plaza, Clayton<br />

FREE – Register online<br />

WED 9 AUGUST, 5PM<br />

The Dome, Northern Plaza, Clayton<br />

TICKETS $15 Staff /$12 Monash Sport /$10 Student – Purchase online<br />

FRI 11 AUGUST, 4 – 8PM<br />

Monash Sport, Clayton<br />

FREE – Register online

contents<br />

02/<br />

the team<br />

04/<br />

msa calendar<br />

06/<br />

office bearer reports<br />

08/<br />

wot’s news?<br />

jessie lu & joanne fong<br />

10/<br />

the exchange dilemma<br />

benjamin neve & elsie dusting<br />

11/<br />

being sick is expensive<br />

basia mitula & michelle farrelly<br />

12/<br />

monash students can’t afford to eat<br />

while university spends lavishly<br />

msa welfare & education academic affairs<br />

department & lin rahman<br />

14/<br />

do the carrots on your plate travel<br />

more than you do?<br />

marlo sullivan & cherie chan<br />

16/<br />

explaining pauline<br />

raymond field & selena repanis<br />

18/<br />

words<br />

john henry & joanne fong<br />

19/<br />

surviving the stigma of mental<br />

illness<br />

nikola guzys-mcauliffe<br />

20/<br />

the (apparent) failure of democracy<br />

alex niefhof & julia thouas<br />

22/<br />

looking back on australian<br />

indonesian business forum <strong>2017</strong><br />

andre nathaniel & patrick johannes kaihatu<br />

23/<br />

an explosive proposition<br />

benjamin caddaye & jessica macgregor<br />

24/<br />

elon musk: hero or villain?<br />

nick jarrett & angharad neal-williams<br />

26/<br />

the science of stress<br />

sasha hall & lily greenwood<br />

28/<br />

the energry crisis and the finkel<br />

review explained<br />

ashley wah & benjamin neve & elsie dusting<br />

30/<br />

alcohol poisoning: what to do in a<br />

pickle<br />

ayushi chauhan & bryan tan & elsie dusting<br />

31/<br />

test your inner science nerd ii<br />

austin luke<br />

32/<br />

science news<br />

science & engineering sub-editor team<br />

34/<br />

interview: san cisco<br />

reece hooker<br />

36/<br />

ansel elgort and lily james:<br />

baby driver is a musical delight<br />

nick bugeja<br />

37/<br />

accepting that my first novel is fan<br />

fiction<br />

rachael welling & angharad neal-williams<br />

38/<br />

the politics of metropolis<br />

nick bugeja & nathan kaseng um<br />

40/<br />

give a mug a shot<br />

kerrie o’james<br />

42/<br />

stanley kubrick on napoleon and<br />

many other things<br />

christian blackwell & john henry<br />

44/<br />

the animals<br />

a.a kostas & sa pasa<br />

45/<br />

has nerd culture gone too far?<br />

alex horner & hugh brooks<br />

46/<br />

a sonnet for the menzies revolving<br />

doors<br />

nicole willis & kim tran<br />

46/<br />

ながる<br />

zahra ymer & stephie dimofski<br />

47/<br />

when i see red<br />

kit mun lee<br />

47/<br />

come<br />

kit mun lee<br />

48/<br />

postcards from the middle<br />

jeanna carlos & yusra shahid<br />

55/<br />

wot’s life?<br />

agony aunt<br />

56/<br />

sport the difference<br />

calaena june sardathian & ??<br />

57/<br />

“it’s just locker room talk”<br />

hamah hosen & lily greenwood

edition four<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 />

Benjamin 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 />

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 Wife 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 Wife 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 Keely Simpson-Bull<br />

Keely is a third year engineering student who enjoys art as a hobby. She enjoys<br />

freehand drawing (especially dot rendering) and has very recently developed a<br />

liking to colouring her art with Copic markers. Although passionate about art in<br />

school, she decided to pursue a career in engineering and continually enjoys the<br />

creative outlet that drawing has to offer.<br />

Section Art by Audrey Chmielewski<br />

Audrey is a second year communication design student who watches far too<br />

many TV shows. Her design work heavily focuses on illustration and colour,<br />

exploring topics in a fun and often nostalgic way.<br />

Lot’s Wife Edition Four<br />

July <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 Wife 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 Wife 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 Wife Magazine<br />

Level 1, Campus Centre<br />

Monash University<br />

Clayton, Victoria 3800<br />

Design by Hana Crowl<br />

Hana is currently undertaking her final year of a BA in Communication Design.<br />

She has always been interested in the creative industry, experimenting with many<br />

fields before discovering her passion for graphic design, particularly enjoying the<br />

physical, tactile nature of publication and print. You can find her work online at<br />

hanacrowl.com or on instagram; @hana.crowl.

Welcome back, Monashians. We hope that semester two will be more endurable than the first.<br />

While things remain globally chaotic, nuggets of hope and cause for optimism have emerged.<br />

Most of Europe has vehemently stood up against Trump (alas, our own government), with<br />

Macron, Merkel and Löfven decrying his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.<br />

Taking it a step further, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has lambasted Trump on his stance on<br />

climate change, terrorism and foreign policy. Most encouragingly, Corbyn’s left-wing Labour party<br />

was inches from victory in the UK election. We hope the ALP is inspired to shift towards Corbyn’s<br />

humanist, compassionate and logical ideological position.<br />

One thing that has drifted under the radar is our cutting of foreign aid. It was announced in the<br />

Liberal’s latest budget that $300 million will be cut from the foreign aid budget, while defence<br />

spending remains extraordinarily healthy. This is a worrying announcement that has not been<br />

met with enough dissatisfaction and remonstration.<br />

For such a “rich” country as Australia, aren’t we obligated to help those who are starving, struck<br />

with disease and engulfed in wars for which they are not responsible? The answer is clear:<br />

Australia must do more to uphold values of human dignity and respect across developing<br />

countries.<br />

On another note, foreign aid helps to ensure a stable, safe world. Chief Advocate of World Vision,<br />

Tim Costello, has said that healthy contributions of foreign aid make developing countries more<br />

tenable and hospitable; thereby reducing the number of refugees and quelling sentiments of<br />

global resentment. Military spending often fosters antithetical consequences.<br />

It is mostly by the virtue of pure luck that we ended up here in a country like Australia. We<br />

shouldn’t forget that, and do all that we can to make the world an equal, empathetic place.<br />

While we’ve all just had a rough time sitting exams, it pales in comparison to the disasters that<br />

have occurred and intensified in <strong>2017</strong>. Here’s to another semester - and don’t forget to come to our<br />

launch party on Tuesday the 25th of July on the Lemon Scented Lawns!<br />

As always, if you’re interested in having your name on the pages of our last two editions, drop us a<br />

line at msa-lotswife@monash.edu to get involved.<br />


edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

MSA Calendar<br />



M T W T F<br />

S<br />

S<br />

one<br />



7.30pm @ Wholefoods<br />


9am-11am @ MUISS Lounge<br />


11am-3pm @ Main Dining<br />

Hall<br />



12pm-2pm @ Main Dining<br />

Hall balcony<br />



DINNER<br />

6pm-8pm @ Banquet Room<br />


8.30am @ Airport Lounge<br />


12pm-2pm @ Lemon Scented<br />

Lawns<br />



msa people of colour department week<br />

two<br />



7.30pm @ Wholefoods<br />


5pm @ 3 Idiots<br />



PANEL<br />


9am-11am @ MUISS Lounge<br />


12pm-2pm @ TBA<br />


8.30am @ Airport Lounge<br />


12pm-2pm @ Lemon Scented<br />

Lawns<br />


Provided by MUISS<br />


CRAWL<br />

8pm @ Richmond<br />


OPEN DAY<br />

10am-3pm @ Clayton &<br />

Caulfield Campuses<br />

msa education (public affairs) department week<br />

three<br />



7.30pm @ Wholefoods<br />


CINEMA<br />

6pm @ The Dome<br />

The Fifth Element<br />



5.30pm-9pm @ The Dome<br />


9am-11am @ MUISS Lounge<br />


12pm-2pm @ TBA<br />



12pm @ Lemon Scented<br />

Lawns<br />


11am-6pm @ Ten North<br />

Forecourt<br />




5pm @ The Dome<br />


CINEMA<br />

6pm @ The Dome<br />

The Matrix<br />


8.30am @ Airport Lounge<br />


12pm-2pm @ Lemon Scented<br />

Lawns<br />


Provided by MUISS<br />


8.30am-6pm @ Ten North<br />

Forecourt<br />



5pm-7pm @ The Dome<br />


MSA<br />

9pm-1am @ Monash Sport<br />



4pm-8pm @ Monash Sport<br />


6.30pm-9pm @ The Dome<br />

WINTERFEST: <strong>2017</strong><br />



2pm and 3.30pm @ Music<br />

Auditorium<br />

muiss & blue stockings week<br />

four<br />



7.30pm @ Wholefoods<br />


9am-11am @ MUISS Lounge<br />


12pm-2pm @ TBA<br />


NIGHT<br />

6.30pm @ Green Chemical<br />

Futures Building<br />


8.30am @ Airport Lounge<br />


12pm-2pm @ Lemon Scented<br />

Lawns<br />


Provided by MUISS<br />


NIGHT<br />

7.30pm @ San Remo<br />


student affairs<br />


edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

OBR<br />

Office Bearer Reports<br />



Hello everyone! Welcome to semester 2! Hope you’re feeling<br />

re-energised after a fun and restful break. In the last<br />

couple of months, your student reps have been busy<br />

making headway around our semester 1 projects and<br />

campaigns. We’ve succeeded in establishing our<br />

workers’ rights advice service in partnership with<br />

Trades Hall, are well on the way to having our legal<br />

referral service up and running, and have collated a<br />

bunch of data that indicates the demand for a Centrelink<br />

branch on campus. We have laid all the groundwork for<br />

our sexual assault campaign to be officially launched in the<br />

first week of August, and have introduced both a module and an app to inform<br />

students of sexual assault and what you can do if you or your friend are a<br />

victim. We’ve been trying our darnedest to solve the parking problem, and as<br />

of semester 2, there should be about 800 new parking spaces for you to house<br />

your car in! Our After Exams Party went off with a bang, and we’re well into the<br />

planning stages of our ~new end of year music event~. We’ve launched a solid<br />

campaign around the federal budget attacks to higher education, and will bring<br />

what we’ve learned at the conferences we’ve attended during the break back to<br />

the Education and Women’s campaigns that will continue to run until the end<br />

of the year. Enjoy our Mid-Year Festival on the 25th of July, and keep an eye out<br />

for our semester 2 activities which will address issues such as the cost of living,<br />

timetable extensions to 9pm, sexual assault on campus, mental health services,<br />

workers’ rights and parking at Monash! Until the next issue, Matilda xo<br />



Hey all! Welcome to another semester at Monash! I wrote<br />

this report while at National Union of Students Education<br />

Conference <strong>2017</strong> during a debate about the current<br />

climate of attacks against students and their education<br />

and welfare. My mind is elsewhere planning for the Mid-<br />

Year Festival where you get to meet our fantastic Office<br />

Bearers, join clubs and pick up some goodies. The rest<br />

of the conference explored the issues currently faced by<br />

student unions and students everywhere and the daily<br />

struggle of recovering from the introduction of Voluntary<br />

Student Unionism. But we have learnt many things from this<br />

conference to improve your time at Monash and make sure you’re getting the<br />

best quality of education you can. And here’s a photo of my dog to brighten<br />

your day. Keep reading Lot’s Wife throughout the semester to see pics of my<br />

dog! (His name is Sarge and he’s a good doggo).<br />



Welcome to semester 2 frienderinos! I hope everyone used<br />

their semester break to relax and forget everything you<br />

learnt during semester 1! To any new students joining<br />

us this semester, I hope you find it easy enough to<br />

settle in to the uni life! Please don’t hesitate to come<br />

and visit us in Campus Centre if there’s anything<br />

we can do to help facilitate a smooth start to your<br />

time here. What have I been up to since you last<br />

heard from me? Learning the importance of eating<br />

well cooked and well prepared food, the importance of<br />

Medicare and the quality of our free public health system.<br />

As great as it is, I still would recommend avoiding illnesses that require<br />

hospitalisation for 4 days. I held a finance subcommittee meeting, and<br />

have been supporting the OB’s with keeping their budgets afloat. By the<br />

time you’re reading this, I will have just enjoyed at enthralling week at the<br />

NUS Education Conference, and the Secretary Jessica and myself will be<br />

preparing for Mid-Year Festival! Here’s a photo of my dog who just turned one!<br />



Welcome to semester 2! We hope your mid-year holidays<br />

were full of fun exciting things (or that you achieved your<br />

goal of becoming a couch potato) and that semester 1<br />

exams weren’t too bad. The May 17 budget rally (jeez<br />

that was a while ago) was a great success! Hundreds<br />

of students around Melbourne (from more than six<br />

universities!) marched through the city to vocalise<br />

their opposition to the proposed changes. In the<br />

break we travelled to Brisbane for the National Union<br />

of Students Education Conference. We held a workshop<br />

on campaigning, and many Monash students got a chance<br />

to learn about student unionism across the country and attend a variety of<br />

workshops! Hope to see you at the next protest on August 8th, further showing<br />

our opposition to the government’s proposed cuts on higher ed!<br />



Welcome back, we hope that you all enjoyed your break<br />

and time off from uni! Semester one was a hectic time<br />

for everyone, and it was no different for us here in the<br />

Education Academic Affairs department! Throughout<br />

that time, we successfully negotiated for students<br />

to have greater control over their participation in<br />

Exclusion Hearings and produced electronic resources<br />

to raise awareness of what may happen when students<br />

get close to exclusion. These wins mean that students<br />

who participate in the Academic Progress Committee<br />

process will be fully informed of and prepared to exercise<br />

their rights. They’ll be empowered to speak up against academics who try to<br />

kick students out of uni and make sure everyone gets a fair hearing. We’ve<br />

also finally published the results from our series of cost of living surveys,<br />

meaning we are ready to fight student poverty in semester two! By talking<br />

to students and examining the data, we’ve found that 62 per cent of Monash<br />

students don’t earn enough to pay for their basic living expenses. This is made<br />

worse by Monash slugging students with additional course fees after already<br />

charging massive tuition fees. Check out our article in this issue of Lot’s Wife<br />

to hear more about the campaign. We’d love to hear about your experiences<br />

and if you’d like to get involved, email us at msa-education@monash.edu or<br />

find us on Facebook! We were all shocked when Monash hamfistedly axed<br />

their cancellation of exam policy and sent intimidatory emails to students.<br />

This semester, we’ll be working to evaluate how the change has impacted<br />

students and will be advocating for the policy’s reintroduction. If anyone is<br />

encountering any academic issues or wants help navigating the university’s<br />

vast and hollow bureaucracy, please feel free to contact us at msa-education@<br />

monash.edu and we’ll endeavour to help as best we can! Wishing you all the<br />

best of luck this coming semester and see you at mid-year orientation festival!<br />



Welcome back! We hope everyone had a wonderful break and<br />

has recharged the batteries. We’ve had a solid start to the<br />

year in the Welfare Department, with all regular events<br />

running quite smoothly and to great reception. Free<br />

Food Mondays has been extremely popular so far, with<br />

our viral ‘Free Garlic Bread’ event running alongside<br />

the Twilight Market, attracting huge numbers for the<br />

last free feed of the semester. Both Welfare officers<br />

attended the most recent post-budget student protest,<br />

which saw students all around the country rally against the<br />

government’s damaging proposed cuts to welfare and higher<br />

education. It was one of the largest and most successful protests in recent<br />

memory, which is a testament to the passion and tenacity with which student<br />

activists here at Monash and around the country are willing to defend the<br />

rights of students and stand up to unfair attacks. This semester we will be<br />

refocusing our efforts around providing asylum seekers and newly arrived<br />

refugees with the same opportunities that we’ve been fortunate to receive in<br />

valuable training and education. We’ve also been working with the Education<br />

(Academic Affairs) officers on a project to do with accessibility here at Monash,<br />

and collecting data from students on living costs to help us direct our efforts<br />

in this area. Also look out for two exciting events taking place in Welfare Week<br />

(Week 5): a campus sleep out to raise awareness for homelessness, and a drug<br />

policy debate/forum planned as part of our semester 2 campaign around drug<br />

safety and harm reduction. How bout dat.



Now there will be some change to the Activities team for<br />

semester 2. We are sad to see our beloved Sarah Harris<br />

leave, but we are happy to welcome our new Activities<br />

Officer Isabelle Capomolla to the team! Keep visiting us<br />

every Wednesday; be it at the Lemon Scented Lawns<br />

or upstairs in the airport lounge of Campus Centre<br />

for good times and of course, free snags. Check us<br />

out on Facebook too, to keep up to date on upcoming<br />

events and BBQ locations. Hopefully second semester<br />

will prove to be as much fun as the first as the Activities<br />

team endeavour to keep providing free food, quality events<br />

and entertainment.<br />



Hey all, we hope you are excited for semester two! As you<br />

may have known, the first week of July was the National<br />

Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee<br />

(NAIDOC) week and it was a time to recognise<br />

and celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal and<br />

Torres Strait Islanders. Throughout the week there<br />

were many celebrations emphasising Indigenous<br />

culture as well as the great work achieved by many<br />

in the community. It was a good chance to reflect on<br />

our national identity and recognise the shared values<br />

that make Australia great. Over the semester, we intend to<br />

continue in this tone and promote Indigenous culture as an integral part of<br />

the Australian fabric. We will function as a touchstone in this wider narrative,<br />

which hopes to ensure that the Indigenous community and Indigenous culture<br />

plays a role moving forward in the continuing discourse on what Australia<br />

fundamentally is. We look forward to a productive semester and good luck to<br />

your studies!<br />

WOMEN’S<br />


The MSA Women’s Department has been working<br />

extensively to identify and approach issues in university<br />

policy regarding sexual assault. In this process we have<br />

had several meetings with university administration<br />

and managed to improve lighting on campus (most<br />

notably on the way to the Yulendj Lounge), secure<br />

funding for a resource booklet for sexual and intimate<br />

partner violence on and off campus, plan events for<br />

the launch of our sexual assault campaign on August<br />

1, and much more. We have also been organising for the<br />

August 15 Women’s Industry Night, where women from<br />

several industries will be able to network with successful women in their fields.<br />

This will also be an opportunity to hear inspiring stories from women who<br />

have made it against all odds. NOWSA will be from July 16-22 and a Monash<br />

contingent will attend the conference in Canberra for this period, where<br />

campaign action will be discussed, especially in response to the release of the<br />

AHRC survey.‎<br />





The ESJ Department closed the semester with a lively public<br />

forum on the history of radical student movements. It was great<br />

to see new faces discussing how to take progressive social<br />

movements forward in Australia, and what role students<br />

have played in them in the past. On May 17, thousands of<br />

students around the country protested against the Liberal<br />

government, who plan to raise student fees by thousands<br />

of dollars and cut university funding next year. We spent<br />

the semester helping to organise and promote the demo, and<br />

we’re already planning how to keep up the fight next semester!<br />

We’ve also been campaigning to stop Adani’s Carmichael Coal<br />

Mine. We postered the campus, spoke to students, and held a film screening to<br />

raise awareness about the environmental destruction that will be meted out<br />

if the mine goes ahead. Uni may be off for now, but we’ve been busy helping<br />

Monash students to attend protests against racism and homophobia. We helped<br />

to build a national demonstration opposing Trump’s homophobia, and took to<br />

the streets against Margaret Court’s attacks on LGBTI+ people. We marched<br />

with thousands of others on World Refugee Day, calling for Australia’s barbarous<br />

offshore detention centres to be closed for good. If you want to get involved, email<br />

enviro.msa@monash.edu.<br />

QUEER<br />


Queer Week went very well, we wanted to thank Kirsten<br />

McLean, Brady Robards, Kodie Webb (Safe Schools) and<br />

Lefteris Patlamazoglou for participating in our panel on<br />

Queer Inclusiveness in Classrooms. There were so many<br />

contributions to workshops and events by our lovely<br />

students, alumni and other awesome organisations<br />

in Queer Week. IDAHOBIT was very special this year,<br />

due to all Monash Campuses participating over the<br />

week - thank you to Diversity and Inclusion. Pancakes are<br />

excellent, hopefully we don’t drop a whole tub again! At the<br />

time of writing, we’re planning on taking a huge delegation<br />

of students to the Queer Collaborations at the University of Wollongong,<br />

and we’re all very excited already. We are organising an awesome Industry<br />

Night for you, keep your eyes open on the Monash Queer Department - MSA<br />

Facebook page.<br />



The People of Colour Department has had an exciting<br />

start. The PoC Department has worked hard to set the<br />

foundations for the students of colour community<br />

at Monash. The launch of the PoC office was a great<br />

opportunity to enjoy some new company together<br />

with some food, music and engaging conversations.<br />

The launch also made way for the PoC Office Design<br />

Competition which calls for students to send in their<br />

ideas to design the interior of the new PoC office. The<br />

office interior will be designed according to the winning<br />

idea. Make sure to like our Facebook page @ Monash People<br />

of Colour Department and look out for our events in semester 2! In terms<br />

of what’s coming up: week 2 is People of Colour week!!! Expect engaging<br />

and thought-provoking speakers, fun social events and – as always – great<br />

company! See you there!<br />

Hey everyone! We hope you had a great break and managed<br />

to get some rest in. We have been busy planning for<br />

our department week to week 8 of semester 2, and<br />

have been hosting our regular afternoon teas and<br />

discussions in our office. We wish everyone doing<br />

deferred exams the best of luck, and remember you<br />

can visit our office any time if you have issues with<br />

accessibility or special consideration. Feel free to join<br />

our autonomous Facebook group “MSA D&C Collective”<br />

to stay in the loop.<br />

student affairs 6-7

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

Wot’s News?<br />

Jessie Lu & Joanne Fong<br />

Students Run for Refugee Scholarships<br />

THE Monash Student Association has launched<br />

an initiative to raise funds for the Monash Asylum<br />

Seekers Scholarship by asking students to participate<br />

in the 5.7km run at the Melbourne Marathon and<br />

consequently seek sponsorship for their participation<br />

from friends and family. Monash is completely<br />

subsidising the registration cost of $40 so that<br />

students can participate for free and focus on their<br />

fundraising efforts. Monash University currently<br />

provides 2 scholarships which pays the recipient’s<br />

tuition fees as well as providing $3,000 per year for<br />

the duration of their course. Additional scholarships<br />

for asylum seekers and refugees on temporary visas<br />

are currently funded by Monash alumni with four<br />

more made available in <strong>2017</strong>. The money raised by this<br />

effort will be going towards funding more. Headed by<br />

the Welfare Department of the MSA, the ‘Degrees for<br />

Refugees’ fundraiser will take place on October the<br />

15th at 11:30am. It aims to show the University the<br />

student support for assisting refugees who have little<br />

access to a tertiary education, as they are not eligible<br />

for a Commonwealth Supported Place or deferred<br />

fees through HECs with the hope the University<br />

will also increase their funding for the scholarship.<br />

Students can express their interest through a Google<br />

form available from the MSA Welfare Facebook page<br />

or their website. Only 13 tertiary institutions provide<br />

scholarships for asylum seekers or refugees on<br />

temporary visas. The University of Melbourne and the<br />

University of Sydney do not offer such scholarships.<br />

Winterfest<br />

MONASH campuses will host WinterFest from<br />

August 7 to 13 with events such as the secret cinema,<br />

silent disco, glow yoga and comedy lounge with<br />

Tommy Little, which’ll take place across the week.<br />

The MSA will be hosting ‘Chill’ at Monash Sport on<br />

the Thursday night which will involve drinks, music<br />

and dancing, with tickets available online from $20 for<br />

MSA members up to $40 for access to a VIP lounge and<br />

bars. The Winter Carnival on the Friday will have 10<br />

food trucks, entertainment and fireworks from 7:30pm<br />

with the winter concert series on the weekend playing<br />

at the Music auditorium to wrap things up.<br />

August 8 Protests<br />

THE National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)<br />

is holding a National Day of Protest on August<br />

8th to protest the higher education cuts by the<br />

government and to highlight the impact it’ll have<br />

on staff. Simultaneously, protests at universities will<br />

be occurring nationwide in response to the Federal<br />

budget changes to tertiary education. At Monash,<br />

the protest will also mark the start of negotiations<br />

for a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for<br />

academic and professional staff. The Monash Student<br />

Association is joining with the NTEU to hold a joint<br />

protest on the Lemon Scented Lawns with a BBQ and<br />

speakers before heading off to a National Union of<br />

Students (NUS) protest at the State Library of Victoria.<br />

The NUS protest will be in response to drastic fee<br />

increases, the $2.8bn higher education funding cut,<br />

the recent cuts to penalty rate and changes to the<br />

HECs debt threshold. The overarching message of the<br />

protest will be the call for free education.<br />

The NTEU protest is set to highlight opposition<br />

to the Turnbull government’s plan to cut higher<br />

education funding. This loss will result in an average<br />

of 10 per cent less funding per student to universities<br />

under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme, resulting in<br />

10 per cent less public investment in Commonwealth<br />

Supported Places (CSP). Despite a 7.5% increase<br />

in domestic student contribution to the CSP, the<br />

decrease in funding to the Commonwealth Grant<br />

Scheme (which universities primarily receive their<br />

government funding from), will mean less overall<br />

funding towards tertiary education. The NTEU has<br />

branded this as students having to “pay more but get<br />

less”, as larger class sizes, increased rates of casual<br />

staff, less courses offered and less face-to-face learning<br />

is likely to be the result. The NTEU is concerned that<br />

the decreased tertiary funding will lead to further job<br />

insecurity and increased pressure on university staff.<br />

As for the new Monash EBA, the NTEU is seeking<br />

improvements in working conditions, improved<br />

job security provisions that include permanent<br />

employment opportunities for casual academic<br />

staff and equality of superannuation contributions.<br />

Casual and some fixed-term staff currently receive a<br />

substantially lower percentage of superannuation.<br />

OECD statistics show that Australian students pay<br />

the third highest amount of fees for tertiary education,<br />

whilst public investment in tertiary education is the<br />

6th lowest, at 0.9% of our GDP. The government’s<br />

higher education package includes lowering the HELP<br />

threshold to $42,000, an increase to student fees of<br />

7.5 per cent by 2021, a 2.5 per cent ‘efficiency dividend’<br />

in 2018 and 2019 to universities and ending access for<br />

permanent residents and New Zealand citizens to<br />

Commonwealth supported places, moving them onto<br />

domestic full fee places with access to HELP loans.<br />

The changes are set to be voted on in parliament<br />

in mid-August. So far, Labor, the Greens, and Jacqui<br />

Lambie have stated they will oppose the legislation in<br />

the Senate whilst Derryn Hinch and David Leyonhjelm<br />

have announced their support. One Nation and<br />

the Nick Xenophon Team have yet to finalise their<br />

positions. Universities Australia and the Group of<br />

Eight are both in opposition of the changes.<br />

Sexual Assault Survey<br />

RESULTS from the Australian Human Rights<br />

Commission survey into sexual assault and sexual<br />

harassment in university is finally set to be released<br />

on August 1st. The results will reveal the extent to<br />

which the issue has proliferated on campuses, after<br />

the survey received 39,000 responses. All 39 Australian<br />

universities have committed to releasing their<br />

specified campus data, which has been recognised as a<br />

positive step in addressing this issue. Universities have<br />

recently been struggling with cases of sexual assault<br />

on campus, specifically in disciplining perpetrators,<br />

assisting victims with access to timely counselling<br />

and the repercussions for colleges which are often self<br />

governed. St Paul’s College at the University of Sydney<br />

was recently criticised for a Facebook post describing<br />

sex with larger women as “harpooning a whale”.<br />

The process has been heavily criticised after the<br />

Australian Human Rights Commission said it would<br />

not publicly release individual campus data itself. It<br />

has also been criticised for a lack of any enforceable<br />

recommendations on the findings and a failure of<br />

the survey in seeking full ethics approval. Further<br />

condemnation came from student advocates in<br />

scrutinising the links between Universities Australia<br />

and the Commission.<br />

In an email addressed to staff, Monash Vice-<br />

Chancellor Margaret Gardner outlined the steps<br />

Monash has taken in regards to tackling sexual assault<br />

on campus in preparation for the survey release.<br />

The primary campaign that she highlighted was<br />

the Respect. Now. Always. project from Universities<br />

Australia, that included the creation of a consent video,<br />

training for student leaders in off-campus events, an<br />

online training module and screening of The Hunting<br />

Ground documentary with panel discussions. Monash<br />

will also be releasing a smartphone app dedicated<br />

to informing students and staff of processes, and<br />

enabling better responses to incidents. Gardner<br />

has also committed to reviewing Monash’s student<br />

discipline policies and procedures in order to separate<br />

academic and research misconduct from general<br />

misconduct, the category sexual offences fall in.<br />

In a submission made to the Commission, advocacy<br />

group End Rape on Campus Australia has alleged that<br />

universities are ‘failing’ their students and “actively<br />

covering up sexual assaults”. They state that there<br />

have been only six expulsions despite over 500 official<br />

sexual assault reports in the last five years. This is<br />

based on information gathered from five years worth<br />

of Freedom of Information requests that show 575<br />

official complaints made to universities detailing<br />

sexual assault and harassment. 145 of these related<br />

directly to rape. The submission details widespread<br />

cases of “hazing” and at times a vitriolic campus<br />

culture, for example, a case where one university<br />

residential hall was known as the “slut alley” and where<br />

there were chants of “no means yes and yes means<br />

anal” to another female student. Examples where<br />

residential college heads, staff and students have not<br />

acted in accordance with sexual assault reporting<br />

procedure are also prominent in the submission, with<br />

additional criticism on the often inconsistent and<br />

confusing reporting mechanisms within universities.<br />

Monash University has been under fire in numerous<br />

occasions regarding sexual misconduct. Most recently,<br />

they have received criticism for an incident that<br />

occurred on an off-campus club weekend away, after<br />

a Monash student was allegedly raped and sexually<br />

assaulted by a fellow student. The delayed reporting<br />

process that was condemned has been perhaps a<br />

catalyst for Monash to introduce mandatory reporting<br />

protocols as well as mandatory training for students<br />

in dealing with these incidents. This follows the story<br />

of student Emma Hunt, unsatisfied with Monash’s<br />

processes, who told her account on Channel 7’s Sunday<br />

Night after Monash refused to cooperate with their<br />

Freedom of Information investigation into rape on<br />

campus and the disciplinary actions that universities<br />

took after reported cases.<br />

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald,<br />

Universities Australia chief executive Belinda<br />

Robinson said universities had embarked on the<br />

sector-wide initiative Respect. Now. Always to prevent<br />

sexual assault. In addition to this program, Monash<br />

University’s Safer Community Unit runs a number<br />

of initiatives to enhance the safety and wellbeing<br />

of all at Monash. This includes the Respectful<br />

Community Initiative aimed at preventing sexual and<br />

interpersonal violence. Other recent campus measures<br />

include the consent workshop Sexpectations run<br />

by the Monash Residential Services (MRS), consent<br />

posters, and better lighting on campus.<br />

Monash and their Campus Community Division<br />

have also been a supporter of the White Ribbon<br />

campaign, regularly running White Ribbon events.<br />

This includes the MRS White Ribbon Night last year,<br />

when 125 males took the ‘White Ribbon oath’ for zero<br />

tolerance for violence against women, raising over<br />

$2700 in the process as well as workshops to “upskill<br />

staff regarding sexual assault and family violence”.<br />

They have become a White Ribbon accredited<br />

workplace after an assessment to ensure Monash’s<br />

culture and procedures were adequate in preventing<br />

and responding to violence against women. Although<br />

some of these measures may be beneficial, there<br />

has also been much criticism surrounding White<br />

Ribbon in its one-dimensional approach, especially<br />

centred around the fact that it prioritises males<br />

and marginalises women, and that it is sometimes

tokenistic and draws attention and much needed<br />

funding away from front line services like legal aid and<br />

women’s shelters. Simultaneously, the campaign has<br />

been praised for placing emphasis on the perpetrators,<br />

by encouraging people ‘not to rape’, rather than placing<br />

emphasis on potential victims to ‘not get raped’.<br />

Students from the University of Sydney have<br />

recently launched The Survivors’ Network as a “peerled<br />

support group for survivors of sexual assault- run<br />

by survivors, for survivors”.<br />

Further, the Australian National University have<br />

recently employed a full-time specialist sexual<br />

assault counsellor to assist students. The counsellor<br />

is funded 40 per cent by their student union and 60<br />

per cent by ANU, and will mean students have access<br />

to this service five days a week. The ANU consulted<br />

with the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre for this move<br />

which has been widely praised, after over a year of<br />

criticism regarding their handling of sexual assault<br />

and harassment on campus.<br />

Past Exam Database Closed<br />

THE Library has closed its past exam database in<br />

response to the changes in university policy. Students<br />

will no longer have access to past exams through the<br />

Library Search in accordance with the university’s<br />

preference for exam preparation material provided by<br />

Unit Coordinators. This was a result of the University’s<br />

desire to shift away from reliance upon past exams for<br />

exam preparation, and on to new preparation material<br />

provided by educators. Further justification for this<br />

move was to encourage the creation of new tailored<br />

practice exams in the context of each unit and even<br />

out the availability of exam preparation material. In<br />

2015 and 2016, there was extensive variation in faculty<br />

provision of past exams, ranging from 0 and 1 for four<br />

faculties, all the way to 136 for Engineering whilst<br />

other faculties generally provided between 10-60. This<br />

change occurred as part of a number of policy changes<br />

to the Assessment in Coursework Units Policy and<br />

Procedures, that was approved in 2016 by the Academic<br />

Board and Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC).<br />

These bodies both have student representation.<br />

Assessment changes adopted last year were<br />

developed by the University’s Assessment Working<br />

Group, a working group of the LTC that sought to<br />

better relate assessment to the teaching and actual<br />

curriculum. More specifically, the new Security and<br />

Record Keeping Procedures has changes that include<br />

“a move away from the release of examination papers<br />

and subsequent emphasis in Examination Procedures<br />

on ensuring appropriate guidance is provided to<br />

students to encourage preparedness for examinations.<br />

This has facilitated the removal of previous<br />

requirements around the publication of examinations<br />

via the University Library....” (quoted from the<br />

submission to LTC meeting 7/2016). These policy<br />

changes have resulted in the removal of exams from<br />

previous years and the discontinuation of publishing<br />

any future papers. The now inaccessible database did<br />

not hold every past exam for every unit, only a partial<br />

small subset due to the reliance on the explicit release<br />

of the papers by each Unit Coordinator with many old<br />

exams being out of context. The Monash Library has<br />

provided a long lead time for implementation from<br />

the actual policy change to allow for adequate time for<br />

faculties to develop new approaches to assessment and<br />

more pedagogically appropriate preparation methods<br />

such as through class practice tests and updated<br />

exam practice questions. Provision of adequate<br />

assessment preparation materials including exams,<br />

now rest entirely with each relevant Faculty and Unit<br />

Coordinator. The Monash Library also provides online<br />

resources, workshops and drop-in sessions to assist<br />

with studying techniques.<br />

Other academic policy changes have included the<br />

end of the Cancellation of Exams process, and that<br />

exams are now stated to be a minimum of one and a<br />

half hours according to Monash Policy. The cessation<br />

of cancelled exams means that students who attempt<br />

their exam on the initial date can no longer defer due<br />

to an unforeseen circumstance or illness occurring<br />

during the exam but may still apply for special<br />

consideration through their unit teaching faculty.<br />

The implementation of this change was contentious<br />

in that it was communicated in a confusing manner<br />

and due to the unclear process replacing the original<br />

Cancellation of Exams that states that the dean of<br />

the unit teaching faculty may still approve deferred<br />

examinations given exceptional circumstances.<br />

Chinese Student Complaints<br />

A human resources lecturer has been suspended<br />

pending an investigation following complaints by<br />

Chinese students over a Moodle quiz question that<br />

indicated as a correct answer that Chinese officials<br />

were only truthful when drunk or careless. Aaron<br />

Wijeratne, who was behind the quiz, based it off the<br />

textbook used for the unit which will also be dumped<br />

for semester two. Human Resource Management by<br />

Raymond J. Stone, commonly used in other universities<br />

will no longer be in use for the unit as part of Monash’s<br />

response to concerns over the questionable quiz which<br />

were voiced over Wechat, Monash Stalkerspace on<br />

Facebook and through China’s consulate-general in<br />

Melbourne. Chinese students complained that the<br />

questions were not reflective of China’s current society<br />

and disputed the validity of the saying. The Chinese<br />

phrase of officials only speaking the truth when drunk<br />

or careless was cited as an example in a section on<br />

cross-cultural ethics where other countries were also<br />

discussed. Robert Brooks, Deputy Dean of Monash<br />

Business School responded to criticism of the quiz<br />

in a Moodle post, stating “Some of the questions are<br />

unsatisfactory and do not reflect the beliefs and views<br />

of Monash University”. The quiz was immediately<br />

withdrawn thereafter. Critics of the move have<br />

advocated to lift the suspension as the lecturer<br />

followed the textbook in creating the question and<br />

that as a tool for education, contentious examples are<br />

at times, beneficial.<br />

Budget Protests<br />

NATIONWIDE student protests occurred in<br />

major cities on May 17 in opposition to the Turnbull<br />

government’s proposed changes to higher education<br />

that would see an overall $2.8billion cut to funding<br />

in the tertiary sector. As organised by the National<br />

Union of Students and student unions, the Melbourne<br />

rally saw a turnout of over 800 students on estimates.<br />

Other proposed changes that students were fighting<br />

against include a 7.5% fee increase to domestic<br />

students, lowering the HECS repayment threshold<br />

and moving permanent residents and New Zealand<br />

citizens from Commonwealth Supported Places to full<br />

domestic fees.<br />

Longer Terms on Academic Board<br />

Changes to student membership on Academic<br />

Board now mean the two year terms will be introduced<br />

rather than the one year terms that are currently in<br />

place in to better facilitate handover for student<br />

members. However the current student members on<br />

the board (Matthew Gebert, Cindy Ho, Peter Hurley<br />

and Lawrence Lee) have recommended the terms<br />

return back to one year in response to concerns<br />

about the overall reduction of student representation<br />

and diversity of such as well as that “unproductive<br />

members” would be serving longer terms that would<br />

then “negatively impact the board”. The current<br />

student members have also recommended that<br />

student elections for Academic Board are moved<br />

forward from the current period of the end of the<br />

year, after exams to the start of semester 2 to facilitate<br />

greater student engagement and allow for a crossover<br />

period to instead assist the transition of the newly<br />

elected board members.<br />

Uni Rankings<br />

More university and subject rankings have been<br />

released recently with Monash ranked 12th out of<br />

243 universities in the Asia-Pacific region and 5th in<br />

Australia in the Times Higher Education Asia-Pacific<br />

University Rankings. In the ShanghaiRankings’ <strong>2017</strong><br />

Global Ranking of Academic Subjects which rated 52<br />

subjects in 4000 universities, Monash was placed in<br />

the top 50 of 16 subject areas including Education,<br />

Pharmacy, Law and Chemical Engineering and placed<br />

first nationally in 11 subject areas. The rankings used<br />

the same criteria as in the THE World University<br />

Rankings where Monash came in 74th, both times<br />

behind the University of Melbourne, ANU, UQ and<br />

the University of Sydney. This follows the recognition<br />

from Reuters naming Monash the most innovative<br />

university in Australia and the QS World University<br />

Rankings where Monash came in 60th.<br />

Relaxed Visas for University Staff<br />

The government has made amendments to<br />

the April immigration reforms that now result<br />

in international academics and university<br />

leaders being eligible for four year visas and<br />

a pathway to permanent residency, however<br />

university tutors have completely been removed<br />

from skilled occupation lists for visas. The<br />

initial immigration reforms announced earlier<br />

affected temporary foreign workers in replacing<br />

the four-year visa system with more restrictive<br />

two or four year visas which removed many<br />

academic positions from being eligible. The<br />

Turnbull government has now done a backflip<br />

and restored lecturers, vice-chancellors, faculty<br />

heads alongside other scientific and technical<br />

roles to the skilled migration list, allowing these<br />

workers to have four-year visas and a permanent<br />

residency pathway. Universities Australia has<br />

secured a government commitment that the<br />

time PhD students spend studying towards their<br />

doctorate will be counted at work experience<br />

when applying for a skilled visa.<br />

M City Monash<br />

A $1bn mixed-use development has been<br />

announced in Clayton which will include 635<br />

apartments, a hotel, offices and a retail precinct.<br />

Monash University students are a major target<br />

for the project as it is only a 20 minute walk<br />

away on the corner of Blackburn Rd and Princes<br />

Hwy. Construction is slated to begin soon and is<br />

expected to be completed by 2021.<br />

Matheson Library Refurbishment<br />

Complete<br />

Navigating around the seemingly endless<br />

construction has become an integral part of<br />

the typical day at Monash. However, part of<br />

the barricade separating us and a detour free<br />

pathway has been taken down, in the long<br />

awaited reopening of the Matheson Library. The<br />

refurbishment has brought Math a long way from<br />

the 1970s architecture chic, lined with asbestos<br />

and musty stairwells. It now features touch<br />

screen maps, self-serve book checkouts and<br />

even a cafe serving up caffeine and sweet treats<br />

sorely needed during a study break mere metres<br />

away instead of leaving books unattended while<br />

making the hike to campus centre. Come on<br />

down to study or just revel in the fact that one of<br />

our libraries is actually pretty cool, modern and<br />

hip with the times.<br />

student affairs 8-9

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the exchange<br />

dilemma<br />

article by benjamin neve<br />

artwork by elsie dusting<br />

How often should you travel during an exchange in<br />

Europe? To many, the answer seems obvious: you should<br />

travel as much as you can. There are many interesting cities<br />

to visit and they are all in such close proximity to each<br />

other. I spent more than a year in Germany on exchange<br />

at the University of Heidelberg, and I met many students<br />

who wanted to fill their passport with stamps as fast as<br />

possible. At first, I was the same, but as I spent more time<br />

in Germany – and began to feel at home there – I started<br />

to think differently. What if exchange in Europe isn’t about<br />

conquering the continent? What if there are lessons to be<br />

learnt simply by staying put?<br />

As Australians, we live on an isolated continent. We must<br />

travel by plane for several hours to get to any other country,<br />

so it is tempting to visit seemingly exotic and interesting<br />

places whilst studying abroad. But at the same time, we<br />

should ask ourselves, what are we missing out on as a<br />

result? On exchange in Europe the Australian student faces<br />

a dilemma: do I travel and experience new things as often<br />

as I can, leaving behind the city I live in, or do I stay mostly<br />

in the one place, integrate myself totally into local life? In<br />

my experience, it is worth spending more time in the city<br />

and country where you study. After my year abroad I’ve<br />

become an advocate of an immersed exchange rather than a<br />

dispersed exchange.<br />

Towards the end of my time in Germany I was often asked<br />

how many countries I had visited. To me it didn’t seem<br />

strange that I hadn’t tried to visit as many as possible. For<br />

the most part I had only travelled when an interesting<br />

opportunity presented itself and when I had proper<br />

holidays. Most people expected me to list fifteen or so<br />

different countries; after all, I had been in Europe for more<br />

than twelve months. To their disappointment however, I<br />

could only ever say that I had been to a handful of places,<br />

and they seemed to think this somehow detracted from my<br />

overall experience; as if exchange was synonymous with<br />

city-hopping. During my time in Germany I tried my best to<br />

live and study like a German student, because I wanted an<br />

immersive experience.<br />

When in Rome, you do as the Romans do, so I observed<br />

how the students of Heidelberg spent their free time,<br />

and behaved accordingly. The typical student did not<br />

skip classes to fly to Santorini or Sicily on the weekend.<br />

The students in Heidelberg study hard during the week<br />

and play even harder on the weekend in the many bars<br />

throughout the old town. And if the weather is especially<br />

nice, they travel by bike to visit medieval villages and<br />

castles in the forest around the city, often stopping to<br />

have a beer. Heidelberg is a city rich in history, there are<br />

ruined monasteries and castles, and the city itself has one<br />

of the best-preserved baroque city centres of any town<br />

in Germany. If I had left the city every weekend to visit<br />

somewhere else in Europe I would never have experienced<br />

the city to this extent.<br />

It may not sound as exotic as a weekend in the Greek<br />

islands, but I found it so much more rewarding to live like<br />

this for twelve months rather than trying to travel across<br />

Europe in bucket list fashion. I always noticed that the<br />

students who did this never really settled into Heidelberg,<br />

never got to know the traditions of the oldest university<br />

town in Germany, and moreover, were always frantically<br />

trying to finish assignments. By the end of my time in<br />

Heidelberg I had developed a deep connection to the city<br />

and its history and I felt a real sense of belonging. Many<br />

believe that is enriching to go off to Europe and visit all<br />

the sights, take all the classic selfies and come back being<br />

able to boast that you visited twenty or so countries during<br />

your exchange. However, if you do this at the expense of<br />

becoming a proper exchange student, then your travel is<br />

superficial, not enriching.<br />

As Monash students, we can spend a maximum of two<br />

semesters on exchange, and city hopping in Europe can<br />

always be done at a later stage. I’d like to emphasise that<br />

you can always be a tourist in Europe, but you’re only an<br />

exchange student once in your undergraduate life. Contiki<br />

tour-style travel is a hollow way to do an exchange. Your<br />

Instagram account might look fantastic at the end of<br />

twelve months, but you don’t know how it truly is to live<br />

and study in another county. Of course, I am not advocating<br />

that everyone goes cold turkey, so to speak, and not travel<br />

at all during exchange. I just recommend a sensible number<br />

of trips; don’t overload it and put pressure on yourself to<br />

traverse the entire continent. Discover what the city you<br />

live in has to offer, you might be surprised and find many<br />

rewarding experiences, especially if it’s a student town.<br />

Exchange will always be a personal experience; it will<br />

always be slightly different for everyone. I certainly had<br />

the best time by travelling somewhat conservatively and<br />

staying in Heidelberg. I saw a jazz concert in a cellar, I hiked<br />

in the forested hills around the city and I had a picnic with<br />

friends in the gardens of a ruined castle, and it was all made<br />

more special because I had a connection to Heidelberg. I<br />

wasn’t just a visitor; I was a real resident of the city. The<br />

most rewarding exchange is not one where you take the<br />

most selfies in front of the most landmarks, it’s the one<br />

where you become engaged and feel at home in a new<br />

place. We should evaluate our exchanges not by the breadth<br />

of travel, but by the depth of immersion, because when it<br />

comes to Europe, quality trumps quantity.

eing sick is<br />

expensive<br />

article by basia mitula<br />

artwork by michelle farrelly<br />

You know what’s more difficult than being sick? Being<br />

sick and being charged for the privilege.<br />

You’re 16, a teenager, and the world seems full of<br />

opportunities. Then one day you get sick. You shrug it off<br />

and try to keep going, hoping it’ll go away soon. But a week<br />

passes, then a month, and you don’t feel any better. You<br />

might even feel worse.<br />

You go to see a doctor. They brush you off. “You’re just<br />

stressed,” they say. Your parents seem to agree with the<br />

doctor; after all it’s normal to be stressed during VCE, right?<br />

It doesn’t improve. You insist on seeing more doctors, but<br />

they all say the same thing. Your parents are getting less<br />

and less willing to take you to appointments. You start<br />

doubting yourself as well. Are you just making a big deal<br />

out of nothing? Maybe everyone feels this way and you’re<br />

the only one weak enough to complain?<br />

Several doctors later something changes. This doctor is still<br />

sceptical, but you manage to convince them that something<br />

needs to be done. They give you a referral to a specialist and<br />

it’s amazing; finally, some progress!<br />

The specialist appointment is a few months wait away.<br />

When the day finally arrives you’re nervous, but eager for<br />

some answers. Walking into the waiting room, you notice<br />

that everyone else seems to be at least 50 years older.<br />

Self-conscious, you try not to contemplate their possible<br />

thoughts on your presence.<br />

After the appointment, you go to pay. It’s a bit over $100,<br />

though half is to be refunded by Medicare. You’re grateful<br />

that Australia at least has an okay healthcare system.<br />

It starts with a specialist appointment every three months,<br />

and one prescription a month. This eventually turns into<br />

two. It’s an average of $35 dollars a month since you have<br />

a health care card, but it would cost significantly more<br />

without one. The possibility of not having a health care<br />

card one day makes you terrified and anxious. You overhear<br />

people at school talking about buying stuff on eBay with<br />

their spending money.<br />

on a public waitlist, so it coincides with the beginning of<br />

the semester. It’s a bit weird trying to study in a hospital<br />

bed, but it works. All your meals are taken care of which is<br />

a small blessing - something about the combination of not<br />

needing to cook and free food…<br />

When you’re discharged the nurse keeps offering to call you<br />

a taxi. You don’t even consider it because damn, taxis are<br />

expensive. They warn you against trying to catch public<br />

transport home, but they can’t exactly stop you, so you do<br />

it anyway.<br />

You’ve learnt to take most things in stride, but out of all<br />

these things, it’s the cost of the proposed medication for<br />

yet another illness that gives you pause. It isn’t on the<br />

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), so you have to pay<br />

the full price with no discount. Each pill costs about a dollar<br />

and you need two a day, which means paying a terrible $60<br />

per month for the privilege of slightly improved (but still<br />

not ‘normal’) functioning. You reluctantly agree to give the<br />

drug a try – what choice do you have?<br />

You’re now 22, a young adult, and you can’t function as<br />

well as a healthy person. The world of opportunities you<br />

believed in when you were 16 feels more like a distant<br />

dream. You didn’t ask for this experience. None of it is even<br />

remotely your fault. But when you’re chronically ill, life is<br />

not even remotely fair.<br />

***<br />

This is an example of life with chronic illness in Australia.<br />

The sad thing is, the stresses of existing while sick in<br />

Australia is felt tenfold in countries like the U.S. I have no<br />

solution for this, I just hope that what I’ve written might<br />

increase your compassion for those who are often unwell.<br />

We are more than a burden on the healthy, we are real<br />

people with hopes and dreams and feelings.<br />

Then comes election time. Politicians discuss government<br />

spending. You read an article about the burden of sick<br />

people on taxpayers. You’re told that you’re a drain on the<br />

rest of the country. You struggle with a declining sense of<br />

self worth.<br />

Several years later, you’re at university. Balancing university<br />

and appointments is hard, and it becomes even harder<br />

when your specialist suggests a hospital treatment. You<br />

don’t get to choose the time of your treatment when you’re<br />

student affairs 10-11

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

monash students can’t<br />

afford to eat while university<br />

spends lavishly<br />

article by msa welfare & education academic affairs department<br />

artwork by lin rahman<br />

In a recent survey of Monash University students, the MSA has found<br />

that most students overwhelmingly lack the funds needed to meet<br />

the cost of living.<br />

In a series of surveys conducted by the MSA Education and Welfare<br />

Departments, 62% of students said they don’t earn enough to cover basic<br />

living expenses. This is hardly surprising when 64.1% of students say<br />

they earn between $0 - $5000 a year to cover, by the University’s own<br />

estimates, $23,607 of average yearly expenses, that represent everything<br />

from the cost of housing to the price of transport.<br />

Monash students aren’t the only ones copping it. Universities Australia<br />

has discovered that two-thirds of Australian university students live<br />

below the poverty line, adding to the already dire picture of student<br />

economic insecurity. Factoring in research produced by the National<br />

Union of Students, the data reveals that a staggering 17% of students<br />

regularly go without food or other necessities while 55% of students are<br />

also paying down debt.<br />

Though student poverty is an issue that generations of young people<br />

before us have had to overcome, welfare experts warn that students’<br />

ability to fund their living expenses is becoming more difficult every<br />

year. Stuart Martin, head of the Student Financial Advisors Network,<br />

warned in a recent ABC article that financial assistance provided by the<br />

Government to students ‘is considerably well below the poverty line’.<br />

If students are predominantly impoverished, and Australia’s cost of<br />

living is climbing with each successive year, how are students meant to<br />

stay afloat? Do Australia’s public universities, as bastions of free thought<br />

and student life, have a duty to help their students when Government<br />

support is recklessly inadequate?<br />

The MSA says abso-fucking-lutely.<br />

Some financial services are already available. The University provides<br />

limited financial counselling and support through Monash Connect,<br />

offering students personal budgeting advice and information about<br />

eligibility for government benefits. Students can also access interestfree,<br />

short-term loans, however these can’t be used to pay course fees<br />

and they incur a 15.25% penalty if the loan isn’t repaid by the due date.<br />

While Monash should be commended for offering a few services, they<br />

must do more. Acknowledging that excessive course fees are sucking<br />

student bank balances dry would be a wise place to start.<br />

Monash isn’t transparent when it comes to the true cost of studying at<br />

University. For domestic students, they know that university-related<br />

expenses don’t end with tuition fees covered by HECS. In responses<br />

to the survey, students listed a range of hidden fees that Monash<br />

charges throughout the semester, the most commonly cited examples<br />

being: textbooks, field trips, sheet music, lab coats and kitchenpractical<br />

uniforms, printing services and accompanying musicians for<br />

performance exams. These costs exemplify the compulsory fees that<br />

students have no choice but to pay in order to pass their units.<br />

Students from the School of Music who compulsorily undertake<br />

performance exams incur unfair and prohibitive additional fees. To cover<br />

the wage of a Faculty-mandated accompanying musician, students are<br />

forced to pay a fee of $90 per-hour of their exam. While many students<br />

in the School are performing several exams, administrators know they<br />

will require this service each semester as it is essential to how the School<br />

conducts their assessments. This cost could and should therefore be<br />

reflected in tuition fees. Non-music students don’t pay an extra fee for<br />

Exam Invigilators, so why must Music students pay extra? When the<br />

MSA spoke with students within the School of Music, many revealed<br />

they weren’t aware of this fee prior to enrolment. This is a dishonest and<br />

unfair practice for which the University needs to be held accountable.<br />

In 2016, total fees charged by the University to students rose by 3%,<br />

almost double the rate at which prices across the Australian economy<br />

rose during the same period. Monash now generates more revenue<br />

from fees and charges than they do from Government funding,<br />

demonstrating the apparently little-known fact that young people pay<br />

for their tertiary education. Some might say these increasing fees are<br />

inevitable in an increasingly corporatised world. Inevitable too then,<br />

must be the shameless 21 million dollars Monash forked out in 2016 to<br />

pay for business advisory services.<br />

Monash University students are forcibly charged $90 an hour to sit an<br />

exam while Monash spends millions employing the services of over 30<br />

top-tier consultancy firms.<br />

Such flagrant profligacy must not go unchecked.<br />

If Monash considers improving their embarrassingly low satisfaction<br />

rate a priority, they must take student welfare seriously. Most students<br />

whose marks leave them at risk of failing their course don’t find<br />

themselves in such a position because they’re lazy or stupid. Students<br />

fail because work commitments leave them underpaid and short on<br />

time. Students fail because they feel unsafe sharing a campus with<br />

their rapist. Students fail because they are burdened by every economic<br />

metric proclaiming that a job will not likely be available for them at<br />

graduation.<br />

In Semester 2, the MSA will be leading a campaign tackling student<br />

poverty and the cost of living. One feature of that campaign will be<br />

a campus-wide push to encourage the University to waive a range of<br />

hidden course fees. To achieve this we will be working with students<br />

from across Monash who would like to see their faculties address these<br />

unfair, unnecessary and prohibitive fees. Fighting for the internalisation<br />

of hidden fees is a meaningful step we can take towards easing the cost<br />

of living pressures on students.<br />

Stay tuned for further information on how to get involved with this<br />

campaign. If you have an idea or proposal to help struggling students<br />

meet the cost of living and escape the scourge of poverty, we’d love to<br />

hear from you! Chuck us a message through our MSA Education or MSA<br />

Welfare Facebook pages.

MONASH<br />


MONASH<br />



Whether you’re a student, staff member or visitor<br />

to Monash, you’ll find our security services team<br />

working around the clock to keep our campuses<br />

safe and enjoyable places to work, study and play.<br />

If you’re ever worried about your own or someone<br />

else’s safety, see something suspicious or just<br />

want some security advice, help is just a phone<br />

call away. You call the same general security<br />

number on all our Australian campuses. You’ll find<br />

the numbers on our website, it’s a good idea to<br />

note or enter them in your mobile phone.<br />

You can visit or call your campus security team<br />

directly, so make a note of your campus security<br />

office location and contact details which is also<br />

on our website.<br />

You’re in safe hands at Monash, so enjoy your<br />

time with us.<br />

monash.edu/security<br />

24/7<br />

Campus<br />

Security<br />

Patrols<br />

Emergency<br />

Help<br />

Points<br />

Security<br />

Advice<br />

Security<br />

Security<br />

Bus &<br />

CCTV<br />

Vehicle<br />

*<br />

333<br />

Emergency<br />

Contact<br />

Property<br />

Marking<br />

24/7<br />

Campus<br />

Control<br />

Room<br />

Security<br />

Safety<br />

Escort<br />

Security<br />

Orientation<br />

Video<br />

Turn over for more details<br />

*Phone 9905 3333 in an emergency<br />


Security<br />

Visit the security website and watch<br />

the security orientation video:<br />

monash.edu/security<br />

or simply scan the QR code<br />

and follow the prompts!<br />

Security Contacts<br />

Phone 9902 7777 for<br />

non urgent matters or<br />

9905 3333 in an emergency<br />

“ If You Leave It, You Could Lose It ”

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

do the carrots on your plate<br />

travel more than you do?<br />

article by marlo sullivan<br />

artwork by cherie chan<br />

Most of the fruit and vegetables you see in the shops and<br />

served on a plate in your local cafe or restaurant have<br />

been grown here in Australia.<br />

When we talk about locally grown, we don’t simply mean<br />

the farms on the outer fringes of Melbourne, we’re actually<br />

talking about Australia, a country of over 7.5 million square<br />

kilometres.<br />

Melbourne's food bowl is important. Carrots are grown<br />

in Cranbourne, oranges and grapes are grown in Mildura,<br />

apples come from Bacchus Marsh and Shepparton, and<br />

those crisp lettuces are trucked in from Werribee. One<br />

problem today is that the farmers growing all this fabulous<br />

food can now fund an early retirement by selling their land<br />

to clamouring developers, creating more and more housing<br />

estates on the outer fringes of Melbourne’s urban sprawl.<br />

Many people consider healthy eating and a balanced diet a<br />

necessary part of their lifestyle. The local vegan might well<br />

realise that their spiky-topped pineapple must be travelling<br />

south from tropical Queensland, but it’s also likely that<br />

their cucumbers, eggplants and zucchinis are doing some<br />

serious distance as well. Just think of all that veggie pasta<br />

on Instagram, those green noodles started their life in the<br />

west and had a road trip of 10 hours from South Australia.<br />

Fruit and vegetables are seasonal, so not everything<br />

is available all year round. Yet, when we walk into the<br />

supermarket fresh produce section it can seem like we can<br />

buy whatever we want, whenever we like. We’ve heard<br />

about apples being stored for up to 12 months (will a science<br />

degree explain how that works?), but where are those<br />

summer cherries coming from in the middle of June? I’ll<br />

make it easy for you, those cherries are flying in from sunny<br />

California.<br />

have other consequences. Imported foods are transported<br />

to Australia by air, a mode of travel with a huge carbon<br />

footprint and thus ecological impact. So in this sense, local<br />

produce is more sustainable than imported. As consumers,<br />

is it reasonable for us to expect all types of produce to be<br />

available all year round?<br />

Imagine if our fruit and vegetables could talk to each other.<br />

First, you'll need to disregard the fact that this would be<br />

extremely weird, and might put you off your salad, but can<br />

you imagine the conversation? How do you think a locally<br />

grown bunch of carrots that had only travelled 10km in its<br />

life would react to a globetrotting orange?<br />

What about the Peruvian asparagus? He's stuck greeting<br />

everyone with “Hola, ¿qué tal?” While the locals respond<br />

with “What are you on about, mate?” Maybe those<br />

Australian carrots would need to seek out the Californian<br />

oranges rather than the Egyptian ones.<br />

Think about it, as a student with a HECS debt and needing<br />

to budget for rent, food and transport, your food might be<br />

travelling more than you.<br />

What can we do about it? Our local farmers need our<br />

support; visit your local greengrocer. Make friends with<br />

local, seasonal produce, even if it doesn’t talk back. Think<br />

twice about where your fresh food is coming from. You<br />

could discover new foods and your lifestyle might just<br />

become more sustainable!<br />

That healthy lifestyle may not be as sustainable as you<br />

think. Fruit and vegetables are increasingly imported from<br />

overseas to fill gaps in local supply. At different times of<br />

year, your local greengrocer could be stocking oranges from<br />

Egypt, garlic from China and Argentina, pomegranates from<br />

the United States and kiwifruit from Italy (this one seems<br />

especially strange, because surely it should be coming from<br />

New Zealand).<br />

There is an increasing awareness of the impact our<br />

consumption habits have on the globe, and rising<br />

vegetarianism and veganism are part of this. Sure,<br />

eating more fresh fruit and vegetables is good for the<br />

environment, especially in terms of generally lower<br />

greenhouse gas emissions and water usage in comparison to<br />

meat production. Nevertheless, your healthy lifestyle may

politics/society<br />


edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

explaining<br />

pauline<br />

article by raymond field<br />

artwork by selena repanis<br />

David Marr’s essay on Pauline Hanson provides less insight into<br />

the forces behind the rebirth of One Nation than it does into<br />

how poorly equipped Australia’s political class is to deal with an<br />

insurgency.<br />

In his most recent entry in the Quarterly Essay series,<br />

cheekily titled “The White Queen”, David Marr inquires:<br />

how has the crass spectacle of Hansonism been permitted<br />

to survive in this country? Marr, with his previous entries<br />

in the Quarterly Essay series, previously managed to capture<br />

some of the most incisive portraits on Australia’s most<br />

important political figures. From revealing emergent<br />

glimpses into Kevin Rudd’s unbridled sociopathy in “Power<br />

Trip” to exposing the unsettlingly brutish depths of Tony<br />

Abbott’s character in “Action Man”, each work felt as if<br />

it had an immediate significance. In his profile of Bill<br />

Shorten, “Faction Man”, he managed to even turn the ALP’s<br />

byzantine factional system into a digestible read. It’s an<br />

unfortunate surprise, then, that “The White Queen” turns<br />

out to be a largely stale affair. Rather than diagnosing the<br />

conditions giving rise to One Nation’s success, Marr’s look<br />

at what makes Hansonism attractive seems more concerned<br />

with providing reassurances to a polity in crisis. He might<br />

be one of the sharper writers in our crop of political<br />

journalists, but Marr’s observations into the dynamics<br />

underlying Hanson’s success remain markedly within the<br />

intellectual parameters laid down and followed by our<br />

political class.<br />

Hanson’s return, we’re told, calls for ‘national reflection’.<br />

What is it, crucially, that drives support for One Nation? It’s<br />

the scourge of racism. Thankfully, though, Marr says we can<br />

rest assured that most Australians don’t share Pauline’s foul<br />

character; her views, and those sharing them, are relegated to<br />

the fringe. Hanson is a moral pariah and her influence would,<br />

were it not for political cowardice, perish with bipartisan<br />

efforts. Instead, our major parties have sought to capitalise<br />

on and legitimise her success – a trend which we are<br />

allowed to blame on the enduring villainy of John Howard.<br />

Marr crunches the numbers to assure us of this country’s<br />

decency. We are, he writes, ‘a better country’ than the United<br />

Kingdom of Nigel Farage and the France of Marine Le Pen.<br />

By comparison, Australians are firmly comfortable with<br />

large-scale immigration and multiculturalism, and our<br />

relative prosperity – a streak of 26 years without a recession<br />

– gives us immunity to fascistic degradation.<br />

How very banal these conclusions are. 94 pages, and what<br />

are we left to ponder that we have not heard before? Marr is<br />

not incorrect, per se, to attribute racial division as a leading<br />

component of Hanson’s success – a point which would<br />

only be challenged by those with a deficient brain. But the<br />

broader background against which this former fish and<br />

chips shop owner sent shockwaves through our political<br />

life in 1996 is given only rudimentary exploration. Hanson,<br />

armed with her vicious petit bourgeois ideology, emerged<br />

as this continent’s maternal White supremacist only upon<br />

the fractures that surfaced in our political system over the<br />

preceding years. This context is critical to her appeal.<br />

Much has already been written on the erosion of<br />

traditional political party divisions at the end of the<br />

post-war consensus, both in Australia and in the rest of<br />

the Western World. While the ALP today remains to a<br />

vision of social justice tied to the union apparatus and the<br />

Coalition committed to a careful balance of free-market<br />

economics and middle-class conservatism, neither can<br />

claim the authority of times past. This is most apparent<br />

in diminishing primary votes, despite the resilience of the<br />

two-party system. In the 1983 federal election, the combined<br />

ALP and Coalition primary votes were a combined total<br />

of 93.05%, but when Hanson burst her way into the<br />

Parliamentary Chambers in 1996, it was 85.65% (by the<br />

time of the 2016 Federal Election it had fallen to 76.77%).<br />

A changing electoral landscape, combined with declining<br />

membership and an increasing distaste for Canberra politics<br />

(and even democratic systems of governance) are the trends<br />

feeding each party’s existential woes.<br />

As Marr makes clear, Hanson’s initial success was on<br />

the back of the diminished Liberal Party (‘For every vote<br />

Beazley lost’, he writes, ‘Howard lost two’). But in the 2016<br />

election, an equal amount of One Nation voters came from<br />

Labor and the Coalition. The voters of One Nation, he<br />

emphasises, are sometimes unexpected, other than in their<br />

expected hostility to asylum seekers and immigration. Their<br />

politics can otherwise be surprising, for they are: broadly<br />

secular; supportive of euthanasia; in favour of availability<br />

of marijuana’s availability; and sympathetic to the cause of<br />

unions in the workplace. Marr also correctly links Pauline’s<br />

political rebirth to the collapse of the Palmer United Party.<br />

But it is here that complication arises in the notion of<br />

Hanson’s voters being solely driven by a prejudicial mind.<br />

Palmer, after all, floated asylum seeker policies that were<br />

more humane than what was being offered by the ALP and<br />

Coalition – he rejected offshore processing, and once even<br />

suggested that asylum seekers be flown to Australia.<br />

As the shift in votes from Hanson to Palmer makes clear,<br />

a vote for change can withstand the threat of a diversity<br />

injection. But to consider the indeterminate nature which<br />

hostility towards asylum seekers has on voting intention<br />

would undercut the narrative of a public with a fixed and<br />

dominating prejudice. Marr also mentions the Essential<br />

poll taken in September 2016, indicating 49% of Australians<br />

would like to see Muslims banned from the country –

an awkward inclusion given Marr’s repeatedly stressing<br />

the ‘decency’ of this country. That such sentiments are so<br />

widespread is alarming – yet, if such an extreme position is<br />

held by so many, why haven’t more of these people turned<br />

to One Nation as a vehicle for their grievances?<br />

Marr shares the grim view of asylum seekers being<br />

determinative of recent election outcomes. It is here that<br />

Hanson’s legacy is most acutely felt. These increasingly<br />

punitive policies towards asylum seekers, we’re told, were<br />

adopted in response to Hanson’s success. Marr indicts John<br />

Howard of tapping into this nation’s latent racism and<br />

breaking a bipartisan consensus since the 1960s to eradicate<br />

the nation’s racism:<br />

That political truce survived seven prime ministers,<br />

from Holt to Hawke, two or three recessions and the<br />

arrival of 100,000 refugees from Vietnam before it was<br />

repudiated by John Howard. So began the modern<br />

politic of race in Canberra.<br />

Howard’s victory with racial division is presented as being<br />

depressingly clear with the rise in his political fortunes<br />

following his conduct in the Tampa affair, in which a<br />

Norwegian vessel carrying asylum seekers was rejected<br />

entry into Australian waters. This was a tainted victory, we<br />

are to believe. The former MP for Bennelong, Marr writes,<br />

‘had made Hanson redundant’. Not mentioned here is that<br />

mandatory detention was introduced by Paul Keating. This<br />

is essential to remember, particularly as Marr seems to be<br />

of the view that Hanson’s election in 1996 unleashed racism<br />

that political consensus had kept at bay.<br />

Marr does not believe Hanson will simply vanish, but he is<br />

a believer that her influence will wane if she is rightfully<br />

ignored and labelled a racist. But a mere shift to bipartisan<br />

consensus on the matters Hanson capitalises on, and a<br />

maturation political culture – which has certainly fallen<br />

to depths of unbelievable stupidity – will not put a halt to<br />

Canberra’s decaying political authority.<br />

The Bedlamesque nature of One Nation, perhaps even more<br />

so than her personal failings, will always be an anchor on<br />

Hanson’s political prospects – in this respect, her challenge<br />

is similar to that of Marine Le Pen, who must neutralise the<br />

effects of being associated with the National Front’s ugly<br />

history. Yet, if Hanson were to vanish, the threat of a political<br />

insurgency would not be banished; the environment in<br />

which she finds her success might still provide more fertile<br />

ground for a substitute. Most obviously, the United States<br />

has shown how alienation from political structures can give<br />

rise to an authoritarian leader. But the opportunities for<br />

outsiders to thrive in a political order in decay has proved to<br />

cross ideological lines – one can see this in Jeremy Corbyn’s<br />

takeover of the British Labour Party, the election of Syriza in<br />

Greece, and the rise of Podemos in Spain.<br />

In his concluding comments, David Marr writes: ‘The<br />

far right where politicians are spending so much energy<br />

harvesting votes these days is not Australia.’ It may be the<br />

case that, if a rebellion against Australia’s political order<br />

were to break out, it would differ in form – and even be of<br />

lesser ugliness – than elsewhere; but a spectator of recent<br />

history should be wary of such proclamations and the<br />

complacency they can inspire.<br />

Amongst commentators (a rare exception can be found in<br />

Peter Brent), Howard’s 2001 election has been treated as<br />

impenetrable evidence of the capacity to win an election<br />

solely on asylum seeker issues. An unpleasant rule, but one<br />

that gives a sense of certainty to: recklessly opportunistic<br />

Liberals looking to wedge their opponents; and the hardheaded<br />

‘realists’ of the Labor Party, able to blame their<br />

political failures on the vices of the general public; and that<br />

subset of the Greens sustained by their moral superiority.<br />

This rule, however, is not written in hard evidence. It also<br />

ought to be problematised for the way in which it eludes a<br />

structural analysis of why such policies are made.<br />

Writing in Inside Story, Peter Browne’s (Boats and Votes,<br />

2010) look at the 2001 election polls shows the reversal<br />

of the Howard’s government’s fortunes began much<br />

earlier than the Tampa affair, beginning with the Howard<br />

government’s pissing off the Liberal’s economic purists<br />

with the 2001 budget. Tampa was a boost, but of far<br />

lesser significance to the party’s electoral support than<br />

the September 11 attacks. The importance of Kevin Rudd<br />

winning federal Labor’s sole majority in the last 24 years,<br />

despite promising an end to the ‘Pacific Solution’, also<br />

cannot be understated. Indeed, despite the notion of the<br />

2001 being won off the Tampa ugliness, data collected by<br />

the Australian National University on Australian voting<br />

patterns indicates that refugees and asylum seekers were<br />

seen as more important in 2007 (21%) than they were in<br />

2001 (16%).<br />

Marr’s essay should be critiqued for its laziness in the above<br />

matter; however, his lack of engagement with the crisis<br />

of political authority is his work’s eminent flaw. For it is<br />

in these conditions that we see a resurgent Hanson. Even<br />

if she has desperately sought to retain her sad position<br />

in public life over the past two decades, Hanson is once<br />

again our foremost anti-politician. Her success, we must<br />

understand, depends on her difference. We can then see<br />

how Hanson’s support for cutting penalty rates, which saw<br />

her aligning with an unelected body making an unpopular<br />

decision, contributed to One Nation’s poor result in the <strong>2017</strong><br />

Western Australian election.<br />

politics/society 16-17

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

words<br />

article by john henry<br />

artwork by joanne fong<br />

There are some legitimate crusades to be fought in ensuring that our<br />

language is not exclusionary or malicious, and it’s justified to point<br />

out to someone that they’ve written or said something that can be<br />

reasonably construed as offensive. However, if we want to make a<br />

positive change in fostering understanding and minimising prejudice, it<br />

is essential that we don’t go too far looking for new words to be offended<br />

by. Nit-picking about language trivialises real problems that need to be<br />

remedied, and it creates more opponents than it does supporters. It’s<br />

therefore useful to draw a line between what’s acceptable to regulate,<br />

and what is just being pedantic and overbearing.<br />

Gender-exclusive language is a good example of something that<br />

warrants some regulation. When an author in a book addresses the<br />

reader as a male, for example, it is an obviously offensive thing to do.<br />

There is no way to negotiate your way around it—if you’re not writing<br />

ironically, addressing the reader as a ‘he’ often bears unavoidably sexist<br />

and exclusionary connotations, by assuming that women aren’t reading<br />

your work. It’s a particularly unsubtle form of exclusion that ought to be<br />

avoided.<br />

Upholding standards of language like this is both reasonable and<br />

undemanding. But it’s worthwhile to avoid excessive attention to<br />

peoples’ wording—what was originally mindfulness and careful<br />

consideration can easily degenerate into petty word-policing if we’re<br />

not cautious. Before calling out someone’s statement as offensive, we<br />

need to interpret people’s words charitably, with an appreciation for<br />

context and the alternate meanings that words can have. Specifically, it’s<br />

worth remembering that vernacular language evolves, and words with<br />

unsavoury histories can be redeemed and used for innocuous purposes.<br />

A word is not irredeemably tainted by its historical origins—words<br />

are tools that can take on new meanings depending on the social<br />

environment they occupy. They can retain vestiges of their original<br />

meaning, but the prejudiced part of the term can disappear in common<br />

usage. The LGBT community’s appropriation of ‘queer’ demonstrates just<br />

how a word with negative connotations can be spectacularly reversed<br />

by a simple act of will. Therefore, words that could be offensive in some<br />

contexts are innocent of subconscious prejudice in others. Language<br />

is unique from other fields of enquiry, in that we can manipulate its<br />

content entirely by consensus. In other fields like the natural sciences,<br />

things do not become true by virtue of social agreement; it depends on<br />

the correspondence between statements and facts that aren’t necessarily<br />

dependent on human action. The statement “there is a volcano erupting”<br />

is not true based on consensus, but rather if a volcano is in fact erupting.<br />

On the other hand, the truth of the statement “idiot is an offensive<br />

word” is entirely dependent on the social consensus on how the word is<br />

used. So in language, we have the unique ability to counter and remedy<br />

words with questionable historical backgrounds. Words can be redeemed<br />

through different social usages.<br />

Another word like ‘hysteria’ is a good example—in the 19th century, the<br />

word was originally defined as a neurological condition that caused<br />

fits, paralysis, distress, and other nervous complaints; primarily it was a<br />

woman’s disease, thought to affect women and effeminate males. This<br />

classification therefore forged a questionable link between fragility and<br />

irrationality with femininity. This gendered view draws on the ancient<br />

meaning of the word, which considered hysteria as a female madness<br />

brought about ‘of the womb’ or ‘hysterikos’ (ὑστερικός). Feminists in the<br />

past 30 years have sought to reclaim ‘hysteria’ for their own purposes<br />

(similarly, witness how ‘virago’ is the name of a feminist publishing<br />

company), and the word can already have more gender-neutral and nonoffensive<br />

connotations, such as describing ‘mass-hysteria’ in the media,<br />

or describing a joke as ‘hysterical’. Obviously the offensive content of<br />

these words can be revived on some occasions; when conservative<br />

commentator Steve Price called writer Van Badham ‘hysterical’ last<br />

year, he was being rather sexist by condescendingly dismissing her<br />

claims as irrational, tacitly harking back to the older usage of the word.<br />

But these circumstances can be made exceptional, and it is preferable<br />

to use originally offensive words for innocuous purposes, rather than<br />

squandering them away as fundamentally insulting, and thus limiting<br />

the richness of our vocabulary one word at a time. It’s preferable to<br />

weaken the power of once-offensive words, than to strengthen them<br />

through taboo.<br />

We can apply this consideration to certain words that are supposedly<br />

‘ableist’. According to some commentators, words like ‘insane’, ‘lame’ and<br />

‘crazy’ are intrinsically prejudicial towards people with disabilities, and<br />

should therefore be avoided. For instance, were I to describe a Coldplay<br />

album as ‘lame’, or the latest decision of the Trump administration<br />

as ‘insane’, this theory of language suggests that I am perpetuating<br />

discrimination towards people with disabilities, on virtually every<br />

occasion that these words are used in any sort of negative sense. Or,<br />

more plausibly, perhaps I am using words that have evolved from their<br />

original meanings, and this innocuous interpretation is not sufficiently<br />

taken into account. It’s true that there are some words that are<br />

narrowly prejudicial towards people with disabilities, and these should<br />

obviously be avoided. Nonetheless, we should always remain alert to<br />

different connotations that words can adopt, and we ought to uphold a<br />

reasonable standard of language that does not make excessive demands.<br />

For strategic purposes, it is crucially important that we don’t regulate<br />

language any more than strictly necessary. Done poorly, it trivialises<br />

more productive causes dedicated to minimising offensive language,<br />

and it can come across as overly combative. If we curb these excesses<br />

somewhat, perhaps that will stimulate greater sympathy and<br />

understanding in discussions between different political perspectives.

surviving stigma of<br />

mental illness<br />

article by nikola guzys-mcauliffe<br />

artwork by nathan kaseng um<br />

Content Warning: mental illness, depression, anxiety, panic attack,<br />

suicide, Trump, slurs against mental illness.<br />

This piece is for everybody who has a mental illness, to let you know<br />

that you are not alone, that I see you, and that everything you think<br />

and feel is valid, but this piece is also for those who don’t have a<br />

mental illness. I encourage you to take this opportunity to develop a<br />

little bit of understanding for those of us with a mental illness (or five)<br />

and the struggles we face from a society which stigmatises, belittles,<br />

disregards and invalidates our truth.<br />

Downside One: You feel like a liar.<br />

Whenever somebody casually asks me how I’m going as they pass me in<br />

the hallway, I tell them I am fine, even when nothing could be further<br />

from the truth. I know that people don’t actually expect others to answer<br />

honestly. Can you imagine if we did? The lack of honesty with other<br />

people gets to me, because I work so hard to be honest with myself. It<br />

takes serious effort not to minimise my emotions, my thoughts and my<br />

capabilities at that moment. I find it hard to give myself permission not<br />

to finish my readings, leave my dishes dirty, or to eat junk food when I’m<br />

too anxious to concentrate. I have put a lot of effort into recognising that<br />

mental illness affects me and to not beat myself up about things I cannot<br />

control, so every time I tell someone I’m ‘fine, thanks’ I want to scream.<br />

Downside Two: People still get mental illnesses confused with<br />

emotions.<br />

People conflate depression with passing sadness; an anxiety disorder<br />

with a busy and stressful time. People who know me constantly ask how<br />

I’m feeling, the same way they’d ask after me if I had a cold. Have my<br />

sinuses cleared? Why am I sad again when I was sad last week? People<br />

fail to recognise that a mental illness can be an ongoing condition, and<br />

that it isn’t necessarily going to clear up over the weekend with some<br />

extra strength, non-drowsy cold and flu tablets. I call my mum in the<br />

midst of a panic attack and she sighs impatiently and asks what’s set<br />

me off now. A family friend tells me I’ll cheer up if I get a boyfriend.<br />

A medical professional tells me I need to do more exercise (ha), and<br />

practice mindfulness (ugh).<br />

Downside Three: You discredit yourself.<br />

I catch myself playing the ‘other people have it worse game’. It’s easy<br />

internalise all the mental illness stigma and start to ridicule your<br />

own inability to cope when you are constantly comparing yourself to<br />

people who are managing to get by with twice as many problems as<br />

you. Writing this, I’m questioning if I am mentally ill enough to have<br />

a valid opinion. When I’m not trapped in my bed, literally unable to<br />

get out, or locked in a bathroom cubicle because I don’t want to have<br />

to explain to onlookers that I’m having a panic attack, I wonder if I’m<br />

exaggerating, or if I’m just lazy or overly sensitive. I second-guess my<br />

own lived experiences until I spiral into self-blame. Another thing: how<br />

dare I be unhappy when I am so incredibly fortunate and privileged! I’m<br />

constantly winded by the notion that I don’t have a good enough reason<br />

for my mental illness.<br />

Downside Four: Nobody seems to care about slurs, at all.<br />

The festival was crazy. Donald Trump is a psycho. Haha, triggered.<br />

We didn’t have any coffee this morning and I wanted to die. Okay,<br />

the last one isn’t a slur, but it’s still incredibly harmful for people to<br />

bandy around as if it isn’t trivialising mental illness. The truth is, using<br />

these words is painful for everyone who is fighting against the stigma<br />

attached to mental illness. Your festival may have been a blast, but it<br />

wasn’t crazy. Donald Trump is an awful human being, but isn’t psycho.<br />

Being triggered is an awful experience that you shouldn’t joke about.<br />

Suicide is no laughing matter. Using these words is insensitive, no<br />

matter how you intended them. Please stop. I respect that some people<br />

have reclaimed some of these words in a similar way as gay or fat have<br />

been rebranded as badges of honour. This isn’t true for everyone. If<br />

you’ve never had a mental illness, it’s not your place to reclaim it.<br />

Downside Five: You’re disillusioned, but no one else is.<br />

I once met a girl who said she didn’t understand why people with<br />

mental illnesses didn’t just take medications to eliminate them.<br />

First, medications come with side effects. I’ve been so nauseated by<br />

medication that white bread and Zooper Doopers were all I could keep<br />

down. For some, it’s impossible to cope with side effects whilst still<br />

attending classes, going to work and socialising. Second of all, if you<br />

survive the side effects, medications usually take 4-6 weeks to start<br />

working, and then comes the rigmarole of getting your dosage right.<br />

There hasn’t been enough research into treatments for mental illness,<br />

and their efficacy is dependent on individual factors. If you somehow<br />

magically manage to get a medication that is right for you on the first<br />

try, then I am in awe. It took my sister two years to get the best balance<br />

of function vs side-effects available to her. Two years. hirdly, medication<br />

does not cure mental illness. Your symptoms are not eradicated after you<br />

finish the first pill bottle. Medication is there to lessen the symptoms<br />

of your mental illness, to make it easier to cope. Some people recover<br />

from their mental illnesses, and I don’t mean to imply that if you get a<br />

mental illness, you’re stuck with it forever. For some of us, though, that’s<br />

the reality. The path of medication isn’t a simple process guaranteeing<br />

positive results.<br />

There are more than five downsides to living with a mental illness, and<br />

I’ll admit that what I’ve written might not apply to everyone living with<br />

a mental illness. Nevertheless, it’s important to have these conversations.<br />

We’ll never be rid of the stigma of mental illness if we don’t talk about<br />

the nuances of its effect on us, on our lives and how we see ourselves.<br />

Keep on keeping on.<br />

politics/society 18-19

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the (apparent) failure<br />

of democracy<br />

article by alex niehof<br />

artwork by julia thouas<br />

It has been well publicised by almost all media outlets that Australia’s faith in democracy is<br />

at an all-time low, and plunging rapidly. Less than half of all Australians think that the party in<br />

power makes any difference to the country, and less than a third showed a good deal of interest in<br />

the 2016 federal election.<br />

This trend isn’t just a home-grown phenomenon. Almost half of Americans have lost faith in<br />

democracy and, shockingly, more than a quarter of Americans would regard an election where<br />

their preferred candidate lost as illegitimate. Similar numbers exist across most Western<br />

democratic nations.<br />

The ramifications of this trend show themselves at the ballot box. The informal vote proportion<br />

in this country is at an all-time high of 23%, a key indicator of the strength of stable democratic<br />

systems. Arguably worse is the fact that the proportion of Australians not lodging a formal vote<br />

hit one-fifth of the entire population at the last election. In a country where voting is law, and an<br />

informal vote requires just as much effort as a formal one, this statistic is even more damning.<br />

This lack of faith, however, is a relatively new phenomenon and many are rightly asking why.<br />

There are some key explanations which can be drawn from looking at the timing of this trend,<br />

which began during the Great Recession (2007-8). Since then, the number of people in this<br />

country that aren’t satisfied with democracy has doubled. The destruction of many financial<br />

markets during the recession ruined the savings of everyday people across the world, jobs were<br />

lost and houses seized. Did the top end of town pay? Not at all.<br />

Governments across the globe of all political leanings bailed out banks in an attempt to slow<br />

the turmoil, whilst everyday citizens were left to largely fend for themselves. Politics is, as we all<br />

know, about perception. Whilst the benefits of these bailouts can be debated on a moral and an<br />

economic standpoint for hours, the move didn’t look good. Democracy failed almost everyone in<br />

the Great Recession, there’s no wonder people started to turn their backs on it.<br />

This leads to another broader point. Inequality is at a critically high point in our history. People<br />

feel neglected, betrayed and taken advantage of by every major party in the world. Even if it’s<br />

not their fault, people will naturally blame the government of the day for the problems of the<br />

day. The trend towards a lack of faith in governments, democracy, and institutions in general has<br />

largely been driven by the younger population. Only half of under thirties in Australia agree that<br />

democracy is preferable, compared to 60% amongst the general population. Only a third of US<br />

millennials see civil rights, a key tenant of democracy, as absolutely essential. And, shockingly,<br />

more than a quarter of US millennials dismiss the importance of free elections to democracy. But<br />

what is it about the current relationship between young people and democracy which has left us<br />

so apathetic?<br />

Put simply, most of today’s societal problems disproportionally affect younger generations. Cuts<br />

to education funding that reduce people’s ability to improve themselves is one that is particularly<br />

close to us. The refusal to commit to any significant efforts to tackle climate change won’t affect<br />

anyone in power right now, but it’ll affect us, and our kids, and every other future generation.<br />

In addition, the correlation between political alignment and age has contributed to the<br />

abandonment of younger people by conservative and right wing governments. Conservative<br />

parties know that the youth vote is essentially a lost cause to them, whilst the grey vote is a<br />

guaranteed support base every time. Armed with this information, conservative parties have<br />

woken up to the realisation that there’s little political use in pandering to youth through<br />

sympathetic policies. In addition, progressive parties consider the youth vote a sure win every<br />

time. Elections are won and lost on the swing vote of the working age population, and as a result,<br />

younger people are consistently neglected by both sides of politics. This is evident through the

fact that nothing of substance has been done to improve housing<br />

affordability, despite a consensus that the issue exists. Little fixes around<br />

the edges have been implemented in an attempt to somewhat appease<br />

young aspirational homeowners, but nothing that will actually fix the<br />

issue. Politics, and by extension democracy, has failed young people. It’s<br />

no wonder we’re losing faith in it.<br />

Another explanation that is often proposed is simply that we’ve had it<br />

too good for too long. Relatively speaking, democracy’s been pretty good<br />

to us. We get somewhat of a say in things, the government doesn’t try<br />

too often to attack its own people, almost everyone is fortunate enough<br />

to have a roof over their head, and you generally get to say whatever you<br />

want without being persecuted. Sure, it’s pretty rough around the edges,<br />

and needs a lot of work, but for the most part, things are alright. This is<br />

in stark contrast to the outcome for many twentieth century historical<br />

examples of non-democratic societies. An estimated three million died<br />

during the reign of the Soviet Union, the Khmer Rouge resulted in<br />

between one and two million deaths and Mao Zedong’s reign in China<br />

resulted in the direct or indirect death of tens of millions of people.<br />

Then there is the less violent, but still horrible, crimes committed in<br />

states such as East Germany, and present day North Korea.<br />

Many of today’s youth, or millennials, myself included, are simply<br />

too young to have any real understanding of the scale of the horrors<br />

inflicted during instances of non-democratic states. It is then, only<br />

natural, that young people contemplate variations of these alternatives<br />

when they feel dissatisfied with how government treats them. The very<br />

real consequences of such alternatives are less likely to be taken into<br />

account when one has not experienced or lived at the same time as one<br />

of them. They seem more removed, and thus more unlikely. One starts<br />

to question whether these alternatives could be better after all. This<br />

may explain the increasing acceptance of non-democratic systems by<br />

younger people, as seen through the fact that far fewer millennials are<br />

opposed to military coups and martial law than older generations.<br />

So, we’ve got a problem with democracy, with plenty of reasons behind<br />

it. That much is a given at this point. But is this even a bad thing in the<br />

first place? Many would argue that this dissatisfaction is positive, as it<br />

could be the catalyst that leads to a better, fairer system. However, it’s<br />

important to consider the ramifications of an increasing lack of faith<br />

with democracy, and for the most part, they’re not pretty.<br />

Lack of faith is well correlated with a lack of government stability,<br />

resulting from a higher minor party vote share. When this happens, you<br />

end up with the likes of Pauline Hanson, whom we all know has done<br />

wonders for this country. Whilst a variety of views in Parliament is to be<br />

welcomed, when you end up with a collection of individuals that at best<br />

can be described as nutcases (hello Senator Malcolm Roberts), things<br />

aren’t going to turn out too great. The general instability stemming<br />

from the unpredictability of Parliament can be incredibly detrimental<br />

to things like consumer and business confidence. Look what happened<br />

in the UK when the world realised Brexit was going to happen. The<br />

pound tumbled, and doesn’t look like it is coming back any time soon.<br />

And if your response to this is ‘so what’? Just remember the last time<br />

the financial markets turned to shit. The little guy got screwed over,<br />

and those at the top just got richer and richer. Like it or not, political<br />

stability is pretty important, which is why it’s incredibly important<br />

that all those with the power to do so enact change to restore faith in<br />

democracy, since it might be our only option.<br />

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the way democracy treats us<br />

all. Or rather, the way that today’s current manifestation of democracy<br />

treats us. We have record amounts of money funding election<br />

campaigns, coming from sources with an interest that almost never<br />

align with the general population. The 2016 US Presidential Election<br />

campaigns raised $2.5 billion, with most of this coming from wealthy<br />

individuals and corporations. With an influence like this, it’s easy to<br />

see why the public feels like democracy simply doesn’t involve them<br />

anymore. The idea of one person, one vote, still holds technically true.<br />

By and large, however, when the vote of an entire nation is influenced<br />

by vested interests, a small number of individuals can effectively control<br />

millions of votes.<br />

Then there’s the many, many instances of political sell-outs. Voters of<br />

Palmer United back in 2013 would have understandably been frustrated<br />

when, one by one, every senator defected the party but still held their<br />

seat. Then there’s Cory Bernardi defecting from the Liberal Party that<br />

won him his seat, and Family First suddenly merging with Australian<br />

Conservatives without consultation of its membership. And then there’s<br />

the political policies that are obviously to the detriment of the average<br />

citizen; tax cuts to big business whilst penalty rates go, loans to a coal<br />

mining company that will pollute the earth and destroy the natural<br />

environment, the list goes on.<br />

Even when government policies actually do benefit the average person,<br />

quite often these benefits are hard to understand fully. The reignited<br />

debate surrounding globalisation compared with protectionism is a<br />

classic example of this. Policies that promote globalisation such as free<br />

trade deals are often given a bad rapport for their role in destroying jobs,<br />

and rightly so. However, these disadvantages are heavily outweighed by<br />

improved standards of living through cheaper goods, as each country<br />

can specialise in what it’s best at, with everyone winning. But the other<br />

side to the coin is often understated due to the fact that the effects of it<br />

are less personal in nature, and intrinsically harder to measure, despite<br />

the fact that they are as real as their downsides. In regards to faith in<br />

democracy, even when policies enacted through a democratic system<br />

benefit people, they can still be perceived negatively, thus contributing<br />

to a dissatisfaction with the democratic system.<br />

politics/society 20-21

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

looking back on<br />

australian indonesian<br />

business forum <strong>2017</strong><br />

article by andre nathaniel & patrick johannes kaihatu<br />

On the 6th of May <strong>2017</strong>, the Indonesian Students Association (ISA)<br />

of Monash University held their annual event called the Australia<br />

Indonesia Business Forum (AIBF) with the theme ‘Opportunity:<br />

Forging creative and inspiring future leaders that seize to explore,<br />

expand and embrace opportunities.’ For this year’s event, ISA<br />

Monash held the event in 3 formats: class seminars, main seminars<br />

and networking dinner. This year, AIBF <strong>2017</strong> presents the following<br />

distinguished guests:<br />

1. Dr. Sofyan A. Djalil, S.H., M.A., M.ALD (Minister of Land Affairs /<br />

Agrarian and Spatial Planning of Indonesia)<br />

2. Tom Quinn, Founder of Future Business Council<br />

3. Adam Stone, Founder & CEO of speedlancer.com<br />

4. Shishir Pandit, Chair & Director of Global Consulting Group<br />

5. Christy Tania, Executive Pastry Chef at the Langham Hotel, Guest<br />

Judge on Masterchef Australia.<br />

6. Prof Denny Indrayana, Former Vice Minister of Law & Human<br />

Rights in Indonesia 2011-2014<br />

7. Gim Ng, Business development manager in Monash College<br />

8. Mr. Adrian Jusuf Chandra, President Commissioner of<br />

PT.Bhuwanatala Indah Permai Tbk.<br />

In the class seminars, Tom Quinn, Adam Stone, Shishir Pandit, Christy<br />

Tania and Prof. Denny Indrayana shared their personal experiences<br />

in creating and capturing opportunities in their life and careers.<br />

Additionally, participants were given the opportunity to gain deeper<br />

insights through the Q&A sessions with the guests.<br />

All guests were then invited to join the penultimate seminar session,<br />

which was delivered by Gim Ng on enhancing career opportunities. In<br />

this seminar, the participants also gained insight on job-seeking as he<br />

highlighted common mistakes that inhibits the job searching process for<br />

university students.<br />

Finally, the seminar sessions were ended with a speech by Dr. Sofyan A.<br />

Djalil who shared his experience of capturing opportunity by leaving his<br />

hometown in Aceh to emigrate to the capital city Jakarta. Furthermore,<br />

he had also provided insights into the future opportunities for the<br />

current generation of students in Indonesia.<br />

AIBF <strong>2017</strong> was ended with a networking dinner where the participants<br />

and distinguished guests had the opportunity to interact with each<br />

other as they enjoyed Indonesian refreshments and cuisine.<br />

Overall, the event was considered a success, as participants and<br />

committee members attained valuable knowledge from the guests and<br />

were inspired through the seminars and interactions. On the behalf of<br />

ISA Monash University and the Committee of AIBF <strong>2017</strong>, we would like<br />

to thank everyone who has supported AIBF <strong>2017</strong>. We hope to see you in<br />

AIBF 2018!

an explosive<br />

proposition<br />

article by benjamin caddaye<br />

artwork by jessica macgregor<br />

Blackouts, bill-shock and a lack of base-load power. These are<br />

seemingly the catchwords of Australia’s current electricity market. With<br />

the release of Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s review, the issue of energy<br />

security has again come to the fore of political debate. As of last year,<br />

76% of electricity in the national energy market came from coal. Under<br />

Mr Finkel’s projections, coal would still generate over 50% of base-load<br />

power in Australia in 2030. This is far too large a proportion, but it then<br />

begs the question: if not coal, what? It is perhaps one of the biggest<br />

flashpoints in Australian energy policy over the past half century; but<br />

we need to consider far more seriously the option of nuclear power. Those<br />

two words are enough to get much of our nation’s environmentally<br />

conscious up in arms. But is the furore something that is based in valid,<br />

deep-seated concerns or in naivety as to the issue?<br />

It must be admitted that the societal angst towards the nuclear option<br />

has been compounded by historical disasters. Three-Mile Island in 1979,<br />

Chernobyl in 1986, and more recently the Fukushima disaster in 2011.<br />

While these events were calamites, they are not likely to be repeated.<br />

Chernobyl was caused by inherent design flaws of a Soviet-era reactor,<br />

Three-Mile by human-computer design oversights and Fukushima<br />

from a freak tsunami. 21st century reactor technology means that<br />

nuclear power generation is safer than it has ever been. It is also worth<br />

noting that the Australian landmass does not lie on any fault lines, and<br />

therefore does not experience severe earthquakes or tsunamis; making<br />

nuclear power a geographically sound proposition.<br />

that we have a plentiful supply, and therefore we should use it. However,<br />

the same can clearly be said for uranium and nuclear energy. The clearest<br />

benefit is the ability to provide consistent, reliable base-load power to<br />

the Australian market that is essentially CO2 emission free. This would<br />

enable Australia to become a world leader in green technology by having<br />

a strong, stable renewable-nuclear generation mix.<br />

It is impossible to ignore the fact that we are already experiencing the<br />

first effects of a global temperature rise. Record weather events are the<br />

norm in weekly news cycles. If we are to avoid irreversible damage to<br />

our planet, we need to act quickly and decisively. Up until this point, one<br />

of the few areas not explored when it comes to our energy security has<br />

been the nuclear option. I believe this is a serious error. Nuclear should<br />

feature more prominently in the debate about our energy security, and it<br />

is up to those of us who believe in nuclear to make our voices heard by<br />

our national parliamentarians.<br />

It is also easy to conflate the issue of nuclear power generation with<br />

the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The historical enmity towards<br />

nuclear power in Australia has links with the British weapons testing<br />

during the 1950s and the French tests in the pacific in the 1960s and<br />

70s. A generation of Australians grew up with the lingering shadow of<br />

mutually assured destruction. It is important, however, to separate these<br />

two issues. Australia has never had nuclear weapons ambitions, deciding<br />

against such a course in the early 1950s and is a ratified member of The<br />

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The advancement of nuclear energy<br />

generation in Australia would not result in a nuclear-armed Australia,<br />

and such claims are naïve and inflammatory.<br />

One of the remaining objections to nuclear power is the issue of waste.<br />

It is argued that nuclear power negates any possible environmental<br />

benefit from the reduction of CO2 emissions. For me, whenever I<br />

think of radioactive waste, I think of leaky green barrels and Mr Burns<br />

from The Simpsons. The reality is, however, as made clear by the World<br />

Nuclear Association, that the entire plants high-level waste per year is<br />

about as much as a two-storey building the size of a basket-ball court.<br />

Considering this is for all 449 plants worldwide, the amount that would<br />

be produced in Australia would be minuscule, and despite its potentially<br />

hazardous nature, it is a far more attractive prospect than the potential<br />

effects of climate change.<br />

This brings me to the obvious benefits of nuclear power. Australia is<br />

blessed with a wealth of natural resources; this includes a third of the<br />

world's uranium deposits. The proponents of coal make the argument<br />

politics/society 22-23

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

elon musk:<br />

hero or villain?<br />

article by nick jarrett<br />

artwork by angharad neal-williams<br />

Since the passing of technological juggernaut Steve Jobs<br />

in 2011, Silicon Valley has been desperate for a new genius<br />

to uphold its innovative and creative reputation. In the<br />

past few years, an heir apparent has emerged – SpaceX and<br />

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.<br />

The South African-born, Canadian-American entrepreneur<br />

rose to fame for co-founding PayPal, prior to his more<br />

publicised ventures of Tesla and SpaceX, which propelled him<br />

towards worldwide fame and notoriety. But questions still<br />

remain about Musk’s character; his effect on our society and<br />

the motivations behind his unrelenting pursuit of innovation.<br />

Most recently, concerns over Musk’s moral compass has<br />

dampened his golden image. Only recently he was an<br />

advisor to President Trump, part of the Strategic and Policy<br />

Forum and Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. Musk has since<br />

resigned, following Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris<br />

agreement.<br />

His initial appointment and acceptance of the advisory role<br />

drew criticism. However Musk, a centrist, stated he would<br />

prefer to have a voice in the machinery of Washington than<br />

none whatsoever. It was his resignation, though, that sparks<br />

serious questioning.<br />

If Musk was so swayed by morals and social issues, his<br />

resignation begs the question as to why he even joined<br />

the administration. Trump’s consistent racism, misogyny<br />

and his rejection of science provided Musk with good<br />

reason to refuse to join the boards. Similarly, Trump’s<br />

defunding of Planned Parenthood and quasi-immigration<br />

ban have shocked the globe by their insensitivity. The<br />

question remains: was this withdrawal simply the last<br />

straw in Musk’s attempt to justify his position as an<br />

advisor? Or was his resignation to do with Tesla’s stance on<br />

environmentalism and therefore, a stance aligned with his<br />

company and its stakeholders.<br />

Ultimately, Musk’s public decisions do beg the question of<br />

whether he is acting as an individual swayed by personal<br />

ideals, or rather as a company CEO eager to capitalise on a<br />

financial opportunity.<br />

maintain Tesla’s progressive reputation, rather than as an<br />

individual passionate about social justice.<br />

Moreover, Musk has been in the spotlight over workplace<br />

safety concerns at Tesla manufacturing plants. On May 24,<br />

Worksafe published findings that Tesla had a rate of injuries<br />

34% higher than the industry average. Following this, Musk<br />

made an emotional statement declaring he would personally<br />

oversee all future workplace injuries. Further, he would take<br />

the time to work in each role of Tesla’s manufacturing so<br />

that he could understand the difficulties of his employees.<br />

This statement was made on May 31 and was met with<br />

widespread approval. The problem, though, is that the report<br />

was shown to Tesla as early as January. There were only<br />

brief and emotionless statements about workplace issues<br />

appearing prior to the publication of the report.<br />

Musk’s emotional response was not driven by the fact that<br />

his staff were more vulnerable to injury than the industry<br />

standard, but rather by the prospect of a negative public<br />

reaction to the findings. Why else was his statement not<br />

issued within a week of this data being shown to him in<br />

January? The answer is simple. Musk recognised that an<br />

emotional response would be most popular, as it appeared<br />

that he had no prior knowledge of the stats and was<br />

devastated to learn of the misfortune of his staff. That way<br />

he could control the issue in one powerful presentation.<br />

This also calls his moral stance into question anew. How<br />

can we believe he is emotionally aware of issues facing<br />

pockets of society, when he is apparently more driven by<br />

profits than the wellbeing of his employees? Is his response<br />

to both his position with Trump and the Worksafe findings<br />

no more than damage control?<br />

Despite his entrepreneurial genius, questions remain for<br />

Elon Musk. Is he a worthy face of global innovation? Or is<br />

he simply a commercially driven, profit-hungry public figure<br />

willing to sell his morals for a few more orders of his latest<br />

Tesla pursuits?<br />

It is rather convenient that the face of sustainable<br />

automotive endeavours would so publicly announce his<br />

resignation over an issue of sustainability. However, in the<br />

face of countless other social issues, he ignored the actions<br />

of the administration in order to retain his influence in the<br />

politics of the country. Ought Musk, for the sake of moral<br />

conviction, not have continued to advise Trump to restart<br />

work on sustainability in the environment? Thus, one might<br />

infer that Musk’s resignation was motivated by a desire to

science/engineering<br />


edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the science<br />

of stress<br />

article by sasha hall<br />

artwork by lily greenwood<br />

Week one is an excellent time to tell yourself this<br />

semester will be different – less rushed assignment<br />

submissions, no 37 lectures to watch during SWOTVAC,<br />

and definitely less stress overall. Yes, you tell yourself,<br />

I can manage my time better, so that for once, I rule<br />

university and it does not rule me. The fact of the matter is,<br />

whether you keep your admirable new-semester resolutions<br />

or not, you will be stressed at some point in the next<br />

12 weeks. Every student has had to accept that stress is<br />

an inevitable part of university – just like HECS debt or<br />

spending too much on coffee and food. However, far from<br />

being an unfortunate byproduct of meeting the demands<br />

of semester, stress will take its toll on our wellbeing after<br />

semester and well after leaving university.<br />

On an individual level, it is no secret stress can make us<br />

more prone to both physical and psychological ailments<br />

such as neck pain, headaches, anxiety and depression. On a<br />

population level, the rising rates of stress-induced anxiety<br />

and depression among all ages is resulting in increased<br />

levels of suicide, with suicide becoming the leading cause of<br />

death for Australians from 15-44. As such, The World Health<br />

Organisation has dubbed stress the “health epidemic of the<br />

21st century”. All of this underlies a widespread problem<br />

that will send tidal waves through the healthcare system<br />

for generations.<br />

Fortunately, there are ways we can prevent stress from<br />

staying the new normal. Apart from addressing this issue<br />

through population healthcare, it is important to recognise<br />

the power we have as individuals. As a particularly stressedout<br />

bunch, we university students owe it to ourselves to<br />

hone our stress management skills and invest in greater<br />

long-term physical and mental health. By understanding<br />

the biology of stress, becoming self-aware of our stressors<br />

and actively diffusing stress, we are putting ourselves in<br />

better stead to deal with the next 12 weeks, and investing in<br />

greater long term physical and mental health.<br />

The science behind stress<br />

Regardless whether there are actual physical dangers<br />

present or if there are invisible stressors – an assignment<br />

lurking around the corner – our brains will respond<br />

to stressful stimuli by triggering a cascade of complex<br />

biological responses. This usually involves the activation<br />

of metabolic and physiological pathways (hormonal and<br />

neuronal responses) which act on a variety of tissues and<br />

organs. The outcomes may differ depending on the severity<br />

and duration of the stressors, but they ultimately help your<br />

body to work through the stressful period. However, when<br />

these pathways are activated for extended periods, they can<br />

often have a negative impact on overall health.<br />

A common stress response is known as the “fight or<br />

flight” response. It is the involuntary activation of the<br />

sympathetic nervous system, which will prepare the<br />

body for confrontation by diverting energy towards the<br />

most essential processes. After the brain has received a<br />

message of imminent threat, certain nerves are triggered<br />

and the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are secreted<br />

into the bloodstream. You might be familiar with the<br />

“adrenaline rush” feeling you have before a stressful event.<br />

Adrenaline slows digestion while increasing heart rate,<br />

blood sugar levels and blood flow to vital organs (heart,<br />

brain and muscles) as their energy demands increase to<br />

cope with stressors. Similarly, cortisol, which is usually<br />

secreted along with your circadian rhythm to regulate vital<br />

metabolic functions, alters metabolism so that more fats,<br />

glucose and proteins are broken down for energy. These<br />

primal responses, common among all mammals, have<br />

been essential to the survival of many species, especially<br />

when escaping predators or protecting territory. But in<br />

a modern human context, before giving a dreaded oral<br />

presentation,, it is slightly less useful. In this case, it can,<br />

rather unhelpfully, cause shakiness, heart palpitations and<br />

a dry mouth.<br />

Whilst short-term activation of these mechanisms will help<br />

you focus on the task at hand and facilitate a performance<br />

boost, long-term activation can be harmful to many aspects<br />

of mental and physical health. In the immediate future,<br />

you will experience a weakened immune response, and<br />

increased muscle tension and soreness. While later in life,<br />

the heightened blood cortisol and adrenaline levels result<br />

in elevated blood pressure and heart rate; a risk factor<br />

for cardiovascular diseases. Most importantly, however,<br />

chronic stress can rewire the neural circuitry of the brain,<br />

predisposing you to anxiety, depression and mood disorders.<br />

But relax! There is a whole long list of things you can<br />

do to mitigate or prevent the onset of chronic stress<br />

during semester. By taking regular breaks and engaging in<br />

these relaxing activities, you can help lower cortisol and<br />

adrenaline levels, essentially giving your body and your<br />

brain a deserving break to return to a calmer physiological<br />

state.<br />

Less stress, more chill<br />

Implementing stress reduction is more effective once you<br />

are self-aware of when and why you’re stressed, and the<br />

impact it is having on you physically and mentally. It is<br />

not so hard to recognise stress when you are hunched over<br />

a desk at 1AM, still trying to finish an assignment. And<br />

figuring out why you are stressed is easy too – it is probably<br />

uni, more specifically that ridiculous 3000-word assignment

your lecturers have not explained properly. Or maybe it has something<br />

to do with friends, family or work. But it might be harder to identify<br />

exactly how stress is affecting your body, mood and mind. We are often<br />

only subconsciously aware of these effects, and a concerted effort needs<br />

to be made to bring the physical manifestations of stress to the forefront<br />

of our consciousness.<br />

But once you have recognised all these things, you can do something<br />

about it! Give yourself the respect and time you deserve to just chill.<br />

Proven ways to de-stress<br />

Everyone releases stress differently. Whether it is getting active, starting<br />

a nice, long Netflix binge or hanging out with mates, it is important<br />

to try a few options and find out what works for you. What makes you<br />

go from stressed to chill? In case you do not have something in mind<br />

already, here are a few (taken from the masses of scientific literature)<br />

that might be a good starting point:<br />

Mindfulness meditation. This craze is here to stay, and with good<br />

reason. It might sound a bit… boring? Like sleeping but not actually<br />

sleeping? What am I actually supposed to do when I meditate? But<br />

everyone kind of starts out like that. After you get the hang of it,<br />

mindfulness really works – it is relaxing, and importantly it brings<br />

your attention to the physical effects of stress on your body. Plus, there<br />

is lots of evidence in support of it. You can try a few free apps which<br />

run through guided mindfulness meditations – Smiling Mind and<br />

Headspace are both excellent user friendly options. Just try it out –<br />

persevere for 10 minutes each day for a few days. By the end of it, if this<br />

just is not for you, try something else.<br />

Exercise. Whether it is high action sports to blow off steam or<br />

something more quiet like yoga, both forms of exercise are scientifically<br />

proven to lower stress levels by setting your body back to a calmer<br />

resting state.<br />

Talking and laughing with mates. You don’t need a scientist to tell<br />

you that spending time with friends and family, and cracking up ‘til you<br />

cannot breathe correlates to happiness and reduced stress – but science<br />

does concur.<br />

Food. Week 11 may have you mindlessly stuffing your face while working<br />

and worrying; but if you just take 15 minutes to sit, eat and enjoy your<br />

delicious toasted sandwich, this can go a long way to alleviate stress.<br />

How to let Monash de-stress you<br />

(since they are probably the cause of your stress):<br />

There are many facilities and options available on campus for students’<br />

well-deserved stress relief needs. Do you feel like…<br />

Just walking around? The good news is we have a whole campus for<br />

that, and a few parts of it (minus construction areas) are actually quite<br />

picturesque. Take a 10-minute stroll to soak up all the greenery and<br />

architecture Clayton has to offer, or better yet, go exploring to the parts<br />

of campus you never dared to venture into before. The change of scenery<br />

is sure to give your mind a nice break.<br />

Taking a nap? Sadly, while there are not dedicated napping areas<br />

complete with masses of pillows, there are select spots that provide<br />

enough peace and cosiness for a bit of shut-eye. Although not accessible<br />

to all, the Women’s Room has a couple of beds on offer, and the<br />

Disability Support Services can provide those in need with access to<br />

beds (provided you have a suitable diagnosis). For everyone else, the<br />

easiest places seem to be John Medley Library and the comfy couches<br />

of Wholefoods, but little quiet spaces can also be found in the many<br />

libraries and small unoccupied study spaces around campus.<br />

Patting a dog or two that will sure be happy to see you? As you might<br />

have heard, Clayton Campus has had regular visits from Boof and his<br />

L-plater sister, and sometimes even a litter of their canine friends. It is<br />

truly a wonderful experience, so definitely keep an eye out, especially at<br />

the Law Library.<br />

Talking to someone who will actually listen? As much as you might<br />

not want to see a counsellor, it can help when friends and family are<br />

too stressed out to talk, or when you just do not know who to turn to.<br />

Whether it is serious anxiety or a general deflated feeling, talking to<br />

someone is likely to alleviate some of your worries. Monash counselling<br />

services are free, confidential and ultimately there for your use to help<br />

deal with the tougher parts of your university journey. You can book<br />

an appointment online or call the convenient 24/7 number for Monash<br />

Counselling 1300 STUDENT (1300 788 336).<br />

Hopefully, this semester will bring you less stress and more enjoyment.<br />

But even if it does not, hopefully it will be a start towards reclaiming<br />

your wellbeing from all kinds of stress, so you can focus on chilling and<br />

having fun.<br />

science/engineering 26-27

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the energy crisis<br />

and the finkel review<br />

explained<br />

article by ashley wah & benjamin neve<br />

artwork by elsie dusting<br />

Read any paper, news headline or QandA #hashtag, and<br />

you'll be led to believe Australia is in the grips of an<br />

energy crisis - a crisis so serious that we should all be<br />

wondering if our lights will turn on tomorrow. But what<br />

is an ‘energy crisis'? What were the chain of events that led<br />

us here, and what does it mean for me?<br />

A well performing national electricity system needs three<br />

things: reliability, affordability and low carbon emissions. A<br />

decade of what can only be described as shambolic energy<br />

policy has led to an insecure system still dominated by coal,<br />

where consumer costs are rising every year.<br />

Unfortunately, energy policy has become a political<br />

hot potato, between South Australian Premier Jay<br />

Weatherill's press conference face-off with Federal<br />

Energy & Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and @<br />

ElonMusk's #batterybet for SA, many people have been<br />

left understandably confused about how we got here. To<br />

make things easier to understand, I've compiled some of the<br />

crucial events surrounding the National Electricity Market<br />

and cut through the political bull in this explainer.<br />

Record SA Wholesale Prices - July 2016<br />

On July 7th, the wholesale price of electricity in SA spiked<br />

to over 800% of the historical average in similar years.<br />

This spike reflects a general trend of increasing wholesale<br />

energy costs across the country, which ultimately means<br />

higher costs for consumers. But what has caused this<br />

price volatility? The record prices in SA, in particular, were<br />

caused by a combination of a low wind power generation<br />

and limited supplies from other generators in the state,<br />

but Australia-wide, there is a significant lack of investment<br />

in new generation capacity to replace old, recently-retired<br />

generators. When 50-year-old coal stations finally begin<br />

closing down, investment uncertainty means that there is<br />

nothing to replace them.<br />

SA Statewide Blackout- September 2016<br />

We all saw the headlines and political banter - and no, the<br />

blackouts were not the fault of wind power. The Australian<br />

Energy Market Operator's investigation concluded that the<br />

statewide blackout was caused by severe weather crippling<br />

transmission lines setting off a chain reaction of inbuilt<br />

network safety mechanisms resulting in a black grid.<br />

Drama ensued, with political point scoring evidently more<br />

important than strong governance.<br />

Closure of Hazelwood Power Station- March <strong>2017</strong><br />

Engie, the owners of Hazelwood Coal Fire Station,<br />

announced the plant would be shut down after 50 years<br />

in service, citing the plant's age and dwindling economic<br />

viability as reasons for the closure. The shutdown leaves<br />

a considerable gap in Victorian generation capacity and<br />

will cause significant of job losses. And yet, there is still no<br />

credible plan on where to from here.<br />

The Finkel Review - June <strong>2017</strong><br />

Early June saw the release of Blueprint for the Future:<br />

Independent Review into the Future Security of the<br />

National Electricity Market (AKA ‘The Finkel Review').<br />

This review is intended to bring some certainty back into<br />

Australia's energy market and was headed up by Australian<br />

Chief Scientist and former Monash University Chancellor,<br />

Dr. Alan Finkel AO. In his address to the National Press Club<br />

in Canberra on 21st June, Dr. Finkel demonstrated a superior<br />

understanding of Australia's energy market, in comparison<br />

to the politicians who actually control Australia's policy<br />

direction. On the causes of wholesale price increase, Dr.<br />

Finkel debunks the notion that power price increase are a<br />

result of investment in renewables over coal:<br />

“But for the longer term, it became clear to us that a more<br />

fundamental, underlying reason for rising prices in the<br />

wholesale market...is investor uncertainty. That uncertainty<br />

revolves around current and future emissions reduction<br />

policies.”<br />

The report's recommendation of a Clean Energy Target<br />

(CET) is designed to end this long and costly period of<br />

uncertainty and put downward pressure on power prices<br />

(contrary to what many pro-coal politicians will tell you).<br />

In his speech, Dr. Finkel addressed the challenges the<br />

Australian energy market may face in the future, and<br />

emphasised the concept of disruption. According to Dr.<br />

Finkel, disruptive forces are positive because they are the<br />

drivers of change, but if the system is not prepared or<br />

does not have the flexibility to adjust, then it can hinder<br />

development:<br />

“A second technological disruption are the nearly two<br />

million rooftop solar generators that householders have<br />

installed...[electricity demand] now ramps rapidly up<br />

and down during the day to the extent that it becomes<br />

difficult for slow-responding baseload generation to cope.<br />

The market into which coal generation operates has been<br />

forever changed.”<br />

Sadly, as soon as many politicians read the words ‘Clean<br />

Energy Target’ and hear of the decline of coal, alarm bells<br />

start to ring inside their head, and their agenda blinds<br />

them from recognising that we must reduce our carbon<br />

emissions. We signed the 2015 Paris Agreement and are<br />

therefore obliged to follow a certain path in emission<br />

reduction. The government announced shortly after the<br />

release of the report that it had accepted 49 of the 50

ecommendations put forth by Dr. Finkel and his colleagues.<br />

Not surprisingly, the only one which was not accepted<br />

straight away was the Clean Energy Target, which is<br />

effectively the cornerstone of the report. If the government<br />

decided to replace it with a less-effective alternative, it<br />

would only lead to more of what the report attempts to<br />

redress: investor uncertainty and higher consumer prices.<br />

In the future, more disruptive forces will undoubtedly<br />

emerge, which is why the Australian energy market requires<br />

certainty and an effective market-based mechanism to<br />

reduce emissions. Without one, we run the risk of further<br />

uncertainty and further price hikes in our energy bills.<br />

What can we do?<br />

Ultimately, what does this all mean for everyday consumers;<br />

should we be worried about the ‘lights turning on<br />

tomorrow'? The short answer is yes, the lights will come<br />

on, though this might not be the case if we continue on<br />

the same policy trajectory. Your bill is inevitably going to<br />

increase, and Great Barrier Reef will continue to be affected<br />

by global climate change as fossil fuel generation continues<br />

to dominate.<br />

As consumers, our options for action are limited. The<br />

best piece of advice we have is to switch to an energy<br />

retailer who is holding environmental credentials, actively<br />

investing in renewable generation in Australia, and backing<br />

consumers to make informed decisions about the way<br />

they use power. You can also let our government know<br />

that it’s time for genuine policy action and evaluation of<br />

opportunities presented in the recent Finkel Review.<br />

We recommend http://greenelectricityguide.org.au as a<br />

starting point for finding an environmentally-conscious<br />

energy retailer.<br />


The Safer Community Unit (SCU) is the first point of enquiry<br />

for information, advice, support and coordination in<br />

managing inappropriate, concerning or threatening<br />

behaviours for staff and students.<br />

MONASH<br />


T: +61 3 9905 1599<br />

E: safercommunity@monash.edu<br />

monash.edu<br />

•<br />

•<br />

You can ask for assistance if you:<br />

• Feel threatened or unsafe<br />

• Have concerns about someone else’s behaviour or wellbeing<br />

• Have received unwanted attention<br />

• Are worried about someone harming themselves or someone else<br />

What kind of behaviour does the SCU deal with?<br />

Stalking<br />

Uttered threats<br />

• Hazing<br />

• Sexual offences<br />

• Family and interpersonal violence<br />

• Sexual harassment<br />

• Unacceptable<br />

workplace behaviour<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 />

science/engineering 28-29

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

alcohol poisoning:<br />

what to do in a pickle<br />

article by ayushi chauhan & bryan tan<br />

artwork by elsie dusting<br />

It’s a Thursday after exams and you’re at the Nott, celebrating your<br />

exams. As usual, there’s always that one friend who has had a bit too<br />

much to drink, and you wonder if you should be worried. Turns out they<br />

were just taking a quick powernap before their next iced beverage. But<br />

that’s not to say the next person over isn’t in trouble.<br />

Everyone has known someone who needed to be helped home after<br />

a wild night. But what should you do when somebody has fallen<br />

unconscious and you’re worried about them? Alcohol is rampant<br />

everywhere you go: pubs, clubs, house parties, in Aunty Martha’s “fizzy<br />

drink”. In fact, it’s been found that the average party goer consumes<br />

an average of 7 drinks by 1am on a weekend night. So what does this<br />

all mean? Well, medically that means that you’re binge drinking. Let’s<br />

break it down. A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol. So how<br />

much your beer has in it depends on its alcohol concentration. This is<br />

displayed on all alcohol bottles. We’ve summarised the standard drinks<br />

for you below; a full list can be found at alcohol.gov.au.<br />

According to the National Guidelines, the recommended limit for men<br />

and women is 2 standard drinks. A binge is any occasion where 4 or more<br />

standard drinks are consumed within two hours.<br />

So, what happens when your friend goes beyond the recommended<br />

limit? You’ve seen (and probably experienced) their slurred speech, foggy<br />

thinking, and that overly loud behaviour that many revelers exhibit.<br />

But when should you be really, really worried? Alcohol is a depressant,<br />

which means that it interferes with the way your brain functions. This<br />

can result in failure of your gag reflex kicking in, and can alter your<br />

breathing, leading to dangerous consequences. If your friend shows any<br />

of the following symptoms- call 000!<br />

Often these are serious sign of alcohol poisoning:<br />

• Seizures<br />

• Choking on their vomit<br />

• Unconsciousness or unable to be roused<br />

• Irregular breathing, slowed breathing or no signs of breathing<br />

• Bluish-pale lips, cold clammy skin<br />

• Confusion<br />

It’s important to remember that the only thing that truly helps sober<br />

someone up is time. But in the meantime there are things you can do:<br />

The most important thing is to STAY with your friend. Make sure you<br />

try and keep your friend awake (perhaps by enticing them with the<br />

smell of Maccas).<br />

If at any point they do fall unconscious or look like they’re choking<br />

in their sleep turn them onto their side in the recovery positions (see<br />

the picture below). This will help open their airway and prevent them<br />

from choking on their tongue or vomit. Don’t ever leave someone who<br />

is vomiting and if they exhibit any of the serious alcohol poisoning<br />

symptoms call 000.<br />

https://blog.physical-sports.co.uk/2014/09/19/the-recovery-position/<br />

Time for a quiz - True or false?<br />

Beer before liquor, never been sicker;<br />

liquor before beer, you’re in the clear – FALSE<br />

This is a common misconception. Getting a hangover is dependent on<br />

the amount of alcohol you drink rather than the order that you drink<br />

it in. In the end it’s about how many standard drinks you take and how<br />

quickly you drink them that determines whether you get a hangover.<br />

Forcing yourself to vomit up the alcohol helps you sober up – FALSE<br />

This is really bad because the gag reflex is impaired when drunk and you<br />

can accidentally choke on your vomit. Moreover, by the time you decide<br />

to vomit up the alcohol, it’s already in your system and will take quite a<br />

while to metabolise. The reason you feel more sober though is because<br />

of the adrenaline released from the physical effort of vomiting. Give it 30<br />

minutes though and you might not be feeling so great.<br />

Walking your friend around can work off that alcohol – FALSE<br />

Only time can overcome the effects of alcohol and dragging your drunk<br />

friend around the block can result in trips and falls.<br />

The key guys, is to prevent the worst before it ever happens. Remember<br />

to pace yourself; by keeping track of the number of drinks you’ve thrown<br />

back, you’ll be sure to be pleasantly buzzed without all the regrets the<br />

next morning. The standard drinks table above is helpful to track your<br />

drinks, but you can always look at the details on any alcohol bottle<br />

as well. Even if you feel like you’re missing out on all the chugging<br />

competitions, your wallet (and liver) will thank you by setting a limit on<br />

the drinks you buy.<br />

Of course, the number one rule of the game is to NEVER ever drink on<br />

an empty stomach. Have a nice carb-heavy (if you’re not on a diet) meal<br />

with your buds before you head out for a great night. Alcohol is absorbed<br />

straight from your stomach lining, and if there’s food there already it<br />

will take longer for the alcohol to take effect. Also sorting out a plan to<br />

get home can motivate you to reign it in. Knowing you have a bus to<br />

catch or a specific time your ride is going to pick you is helpful.<br />

No one’s saying not to have fun, but the next time you get really worried<br />

for your friend you’ll know exactly what to do.

Test Your Inner<br />

Science Nerd II<br />

Test Your Inner Science Nerd-II<br />

1<br />

crossword by austin luke<br />

2 3<br />

5<br />

4<br />

6<br />

7 8<br />

9<br />

10<br />

11 12 13<br />

16<br />

14 15<br />

17 18<br />

19 20<br />

21 22<br />

24<br />

23<br />

*for solutions with more than one word, ignore spaces<br />

Created with TheTeachersCorner.net Crossword Puzzle Generator<br />

Across<br />

2. With two outer shell electrons (8)<br />

5. The number 6.022 x 1023 (9)<br />

6. Thermodynamics: moving from an ordered state into a<br />

disordered one (7)<br />

7. _____ organs have lost their original functions through<br />

evolution (9)<br />

9. Geologic period when the T.Rex lived (10)<br />

11. The first computer programmer (3,8)<br />

12. Law relating current, voltage and resistance (4)<br />

14. Only element in periodic table with simple cubic crystal<br />

structure (8)<br />

15. Ratio between a circle’s circumference and _____ is π (8)<br />

16. Number of inputs for binary computers (3)<br />

17. Samsung’s new digital assisstant (5)<br />

20. Fear of spiders (13)<br />

21. Mass movement of volcanic material (ash, lava, rock fragments,<br />

gases, etc.) (11,4)<br />

24. In chemisty: flask for standard solutions (10)<br />

Down<br />

1. Australian city: home to the largest tensegrity bridge (8)<br />

3. Malware that blocks computer access until money is paid (10)<br />

4. Only species of bird able to recognise itself in a mirror (6)<br />

8. What does the S.I. stand for in S.I. units (hint: it’s French) (7,13)<br />

10. Why did the apple fall to the ground? (7)<br />

13. Monash _____ designs, builds and races Formula-style race cars<br />

(10)<br />

15. Physics: the substance that makes up 27% of our universe (4,6)<br />

18. Organelle that assembles proteins (8)<br />

19. Monash University’s most popular Facebook group (12)<br />

22. Human CO2 emissions largely come from burning _____ fuels<br />

(6)<br />

23. Small circular double-stranded DNA in bacteria (7)<br />




science/engineering 30-31

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

Science News<br />

Science/Engineering Sub-Editor Team<br />

Art Meets Science: Monash<br />

University to Highlight Three Pioneer<br />

Women Scientists in New Play<br />

THE lives of three inspirational women<br />

scientists – Marie Curie, Lise Meitner and<br />

Hedy Lamarr – will be showcased in a oneoff<br />

performance presented by the Monash<br />

University Faculty of Science, in conjunction<br />

with the School of Physics and Astronomy.<br />

‘Curie, Meitner, Lamarr – Indivisible’, an<br />

international play produced by the Viennese<br />

Association portraittheatre will be performed<br />

at Monash University Clayton on the 15th of<br />

August as a part of National Science Week.<br />

The international play highlights the public<br />

and professional hostility that Curie, Meitner<br />

and Lamarr faced during their careers as well<br />

the value of their contributions to science.<br />

Source: Monash University<br />

3D Modelling Reveals How<br />

Plesiosaurs Swam With Such Long<br />

Necks<br />

NEW hydrodynamic modelling from<br />

the Liverpool John Moores University in<br />

the UK has removed some of the mystery<br />

surrounding one of the more extraordinary<br />

dinosaurs. Living during the early Jurassic<br />

Period, plesiosaurs are famous for having<br />

incredible long necks - up to a length of 7m!<br />

These extreme proportions have perplexed<br />

scientists as to how plesiosaurs moved and<br />

swam without damaging their necks. Using<br />

a 3D model, plesiosaur locomotion was<br />

simulated, revealing that these dinosaurs<br />

likely only bent their necks at very slow speeds<br />

to avoid excessive pressure on their spine, and<br />

may have been primarily ambush predators to<br />

take advantage of their extensive reach.<br />

Source: Science Daily<br />

Tickets Please: Sydney ‘Biohacker’<br />

Has Transport Card Chip Implanted<br />

in Hand<br />

A Sydney man has had the near-field<br />

communication (NFC) chip of an Opal<br />

transport card implanted into his hand,<br />

allowing him to access public transport by<br />

simply touching his hand against the reader.<br />

The ‘Bio-Hacker’ Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma<br />

Meow-Meow (his legal name) has said that<br />

increases the overall convenience and security<br />

of using public transport. “If someone stole<br />

my wallet, I could still get home,” he said.<br />

Mr. Meow-Meow had the implant inserted<br />

into his hand by a piercing expert and warns<br />

against trying the procedure at home. Meow-<br />

Meow also has an implant in his arm which he<br />

uses to keep documents on, and looks forward<br />

to when implants are widely used.<br />

Source: ABC News<br />

Boaty McBoatface Successfully<br />

Completes First Major Expedition<br />

THE humorously named deep-sea research<br />

submarine Boaty McBoatface returned from<br />

its first scientific expedition in late June,<br />

having made a total of three dives to a depth<br />

of 4000m. The submersible was used to<br />

map the movement of deep ocean currents<br />

travelling from Antarctica to the Atlantic<br />

Ocean. Boaty McBoatface received its name<br />

from a public poll carried out in 2016 that<br />

intended to suggest a name for the UK’s new<br />

polar research ship. Deemed inappropriate<br />

for such a vessel, the name was given to a<br />

research submarine instead. The success of<br />

Boaty’s first mission will allow it to complete<br />

more complex work in the future.<br />

Source: BBC News<br />

Elon Delivers: Tesla will build the<br />

world’s largest lithium ion battery in<br />

South Australia<br />

SOUTH Australian Premier Jay Weatherill,<br />

together with Tesla founder Elon Musk have<br />

announced together that Tesla will construct<br />

the world’s largest lithium ion battery in<br />

South Australia. The 100-megawatt battery<br />

will be paired with the Hornsdale Wind Farm<br />

to act as a back-up, storing excess energy to<br />

feed back into the grid during high demand.<br />

The announcement comes after the South<br />

Australian blackouts in September 2016,<br />

sparking a spate of political and public<br />

debates on the reliability of new energy<br />

technologies in Australia. The battery will<br />

be made up of thousands of Tesla car battery<br />

units and combined, will be able to power<br />

30,000 homes. The project is on a strict 100-<br />

day timelines, however Musk is confident in<br />

Tesla’s ability to deliver on time.<br />

Source: New Scientist<br />

Find out your blood type in 2 minutes<br />

or your money back!<br />

SCIENTISTS at the Large Hadron Collider<br />

facility at CERN, Switzerland have discovered<br />

a new ‘double heavy’ particle that will assist<br />

in the understanding of the ‘strong force’,<br />

which holds the nucleus of atoms together.<br />

Neutrons and protons at the centre of atoms<br />

are made up of three smaller particles called<br />

quarks, which can be either light or heavy.<br />

Led by Glasgow University, this study has<br />

discovered the first instance of a particle<br />

with two heavy quarks (where previously at<br />

most one heavy quark has been observed).<br />

The next step for the team is to determine<br />

how this new arrangement behaves and more<br />

importantly, how the strong force keeps this<br />

novel arrangement in place. Researchers<br />

described the discovery as ‘a new frontier in<br />

understanding the strong force’.<br />

Source: BBC News<br />

artwork by maria volobueva

arts/culture<br />


edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

interview:<br />

san cisco<br />

interview by reece hooker<br />

San Cisco have long felt like a contradiction. On their<br />

self-titled 2012 debut, they were fresh out of high school but<br />

were already proficient at steadily balanced raw emotion<br />

with bubbly humour. They followed that up with Gracetown,<br />

a melancholy-drenched record of breakup songs written to<br />

the rhythm of toe-tapping guitar riffs.<br />

Settling in on The Water, their just-released third album,<br />

that contradiction seems to have resolved itself through<br />

the process of organic maturation. Submitting their most<br />

compact project yet (10 tracks), The Water has the clearest<br />

direction we’ve seen from San Cisco.<br />

Frontman Jordi Davieson continues to brood over fractured,<br />

crumbling relationships but now, the music stands as a<br />

mirror to the sunny sadness of the lyrics rather than a<br />

jarring juxtaposition.<br />

Without losing their signature danceable spark, San Cisco<br />

have channelled influences across three to four decades<br />

of pop to find the nuance, maturity and personality that<br />

elevates The Water up as their best project yet.<br />

Speaking on the phone to Lot’s Wife a week after The<br />

Water’s release, San Cisco’s songwriting, guitar-playing<br />

maestro Josh Biondillo talks the recording process, getting<br />

his mum’s approval and how he writes so many bloody good<br />

melodies.<br />

Hey Josh, thanks for making the time to chat. How’s the<br />

day been?<br />

Good, I’ve just been easing into the day. We’ve just come off<br />

the back of a month of rehearsals so this is our first day off<br />

– kind of, not really. We’re doing promo today.<br />

There’s never really a day off, is there?<br />

No, there’s not…<br />

How’s the live show coming along, is it shaping up well?<br />

It’s good, yeah. I think we’ve levelled it up this time around,<br />

it’s starting to take shape which is good.<br />

You’re heading down our way soon for Urban Spread,<br />

where you’ll be playing some shows out in the suburbs.<br />

Does this feel like a bit of a return to your roots after<br />

touring the world?<br />

I guess so, it’s part of the Australian tour so it’s just another<br />

show on the tour. It’ll be a good one.<br />

Do you notice anything different when you play the<br />

smaller-sized venues or is it all the same good time?<br />

I think it’s a good thing to do, it’s definitely good to play<br />

smaller, more intimate shows which I like actually, I think<br />

it’s good. It’s kind of a better connection to the crowd.<br />

Does it change anything in the way you play or plan out<br />

the set?<br />

It’ll probably be the same set, but I think the crowd and the<br />

venue make for a different kind of experience for all of us.<br />

What are your earliest gig memories?<br />

To be honest with you, I didn’t really get out very much<br />

when I was younger. It’s only been very recently that I’ve<br />

been able to get out and watch gigs. When I say very<br />

recently, I mean the past five years since I left school.<br />

The early shows that I saw were kind of the big touring acts<br />

that were coming out in the big, huge venues like arenas,<br />

like your Bob Dylans and stuff like that.<br />

How much of that stays with you now?<br />

I’m still a huge Bob Dylan fan. It has all kind of trickled<br />

through to my understanding of how live shows should<br />

happen, I guess.<br />

Let’s chat music. You’ve got a hot new album out that<br />

everyone’s talking about. What’s the first week after<br />

release like?<br />

It’s been good! I think people seem to like it, it has been<br />

well-received but I don’t know. We’ve not really spoken to<br />

our manager about it just yet because, like I said, we’ve been<br />

making the live show so we haven’t really had time to get

the word on it.<br />

But yeah, I think it feels good. I don’t feel like it has hit any<br />

walls, really.<br />

Were there many nerves going into release or were you<br />

comfortable and happy no matter what happened?<br />

I was definitely nervous, I think [the album] came from a<br />

very different place and feels like a very different effort this<br />

time around. In some ways, it feels like a very exciting social<br />

experiment.<br />

There’s really no way of knowing, it’s not like an engineer<br />

who mathematically knows that his product is going to live<br />

up what he intends it to. With music it’s a lot to do with<br />

personal taste and for me, it’s like – I like it, [vocalist] Jordi<br />

likes it, my mum likes it. That’s all you’ve really got to go by.<br />

And mum’s approval is probably the most important, isn’t<br />

it?<br />

It definitely is! Always.<br />

I find that comparison to an engineer really interesting.<br />

You’ve got an incredible knack for writing melodies and<br />

I think it’s one of the first things that jump out to people<br />

listening to San Cisco. Is there a bit of a science behind<br />

the art, or does it come completely naturally to you?<br />

It’s partly natural, but I feel like we’ve gotten better at<br />

writing songs. Obviously, the more you do something the<br />

better you get at it, but I feel like my mind for melodies is<br />

definitely something that I’ve developed and I feel like I’m<br />

getting better at with the more music that I listen to and<br />

as my taste evolves, I guess as well it changes the way I<br />

approach melody.<br />

When you did Gracetown, Daft Punk came up as an album<br />

you were smashing in the studio, which maybe leaked<br />

into the record as an influence. What did you listen to<br />

this time around?<br />

What was I listening to? I don’t know, I’ve been listening to<br />

a lot of old music. I haven’t really found any new music I’ve<br />

been digging, I’m on this 1970’s West Coast Americana thing<br />

at the moment, like The Eagles and that whole scene.<br />

After the 60’s, these bands had established themselves<br />

as artists and had made a fair bit of cash, and they were<br />

looking to reinvent themselves.<br />

At the same time, producers were getting a lot more<br />

savvy in the studio with pushing things further, pushing<br />

production techniques and I’ve been really digging that era<br />

of music. Bands like The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, bands<br />

from Los Angeles and bands from the West Coast.<br />

Is this your first deep dive into that sound or are you<br />

revisiting after previously going in?<br />

It’s my first deep dive into it, it’s the first time I’ve given it<br />

a listen.<br />

Is it important for you to delve into the history of the<br />

genre and understand where each era fits?<br />

I guess it’s important because it helps me understand where<br />

it comes from, how they went about doing it and why it<br />

presents itself the way it does.<br />

You touched before on producers, I’ve read that on<br />

Gracetown you weren’t planning on producing with Steve<br />

Schram until it just happened. Was Steve your go-to man<br />

from the start on this one?<br />

Yeah, he really was. We were – not apprehensive – but we<br />

were trying to do it ourselves with Gracetown and then it fell<br />

into doing it again with him because we had worked with<br />

him in the past.<br />

we decided to go with him again with The Water and it<br />

definitely came from a different place in the sense that,<br />

with Gracetown, we had a lot more ammunition going into<br />

the studio but with The Water, we did a lot of writing in the<br />

studio – it almost entirely came about in the studio.<br />

I did hear that you had a more collaborative approach to<br />

song-writing on this record, what did that result in?<br />

Yeah, like I said, because we had less coming into the studio,<br />

there were less things that had been done start to finish<br />

on my phone or laptop or whatever. Because it was done<br />

together in the studio, it was a lot more collaborative like<br />

that.<br />

Steve’s apparently the man to rein in the band’s<br />

weirdness, but it seems like you’re getting a longer leash<br />

on each record. What would it sound like if you were<br />

completely left to your own devices?<br />

It probably wouldn’t be too different; we’ve learnt how to do<br />

this together. I think, because of our understanding and our<br />

approach to making music, it would be pretty similar.<br />

Each of your albums feel like a maturation of an earlier<br />

sound, which I think is really rewarding for fans tracking<br />

each release. I’ve heard you describe it as a natural, more<br />

mature and professional growth – can you detail what<br />

those changes look like?<br />

I just think that songwriting-wise, songwriting in its<br />

raw state, I think it’s a lot more mature effort … I think<br />

melodically it goes to different places than it has before and<br />

even production-wise, we just got our hands on new bits of<br />

software that have been inspiring for us.<br />

I think that comes through on the album, we can hear a<br />

whole bunch of sounds that are just different to anything<br />

we’ve heard on a San Cisco album and it’s really cool.<br />

Yeah, I guess it’s a very natural kind of progression.<br />

Gracetown got its name from a small town with some<br />

heavy ties to the band. What’s the meaning behind The<br />

Water and why did that stick?<br />

The Water was something [drummer] Scarlett really liked<br />

and latched onto, kind of how it tied into the aesthetic and<br />

the artwork. I guess that’s really where it stemmed from,<br />

just the artwork.<br />

The art is by the same artist as Gracetown, isn’t it?<br />

Yeah, a local guy.<br />

Urban Spread has put together some dream<br />

combinations. I know your special guests are still under<br />

wraps, but I gave you a magic phone and you could get<br />

any artist for Urban Spread, who’d you call?<br />

Who would I get? That’s a hard one.<br />

Sorry, I’ve put you on the spot a bit there.<br />

I don’t know, maybe, I reckon the rest of the band would<br />

agree with me, maybe André 3000? If we could get him out<br />

the retirement home, that’d be sick.<br />

San Cisco and 3 Stacks, that’s a show I wouldn’t mind<br />

seeing. Thanks for making the time to chat Josh, and<br />

we’ll catch you on the national tour.<br />

My pleasure, thanks.<br />

San Cisco’s The Water is available now.<br />

Because we had such a fruitful experience with Gracetown,<br />

arts/culture 34-35

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

ansel elgort and lily james:<br />

baby driver is a<br />

musical delight<br />

article by nick bugeja<br />

English director Edgar Wright’s latest film, Baby Driver, has been<br />

described as exciting Hollywood fare, an action heist film, and a ‘car<br />

movie’. According to Ansel Elgort, who plays Baby, it is also a musical.<br />

Perhaps just not in the legacy of Singin’ in the Rain.<br />

“I loved [doing Baby Driver]. It reminded me of doing musicals, which<br />

are based around choreography. So, the music gave the film pace and<br />

structure. If there was a beat to the song, you know the pace of the scene<br />

and you really feel it.”<br />

Lily James, who plays Baby’s refreshingly kind girlfriend Debora, concurs<br />

with Elgort’s appraisal: “You might have thought [the choreography]<br />

would get in the way… But it felt really organic because we were able to<br />

harness the momentum it afforded us.”<br />

Unlike the bulk of Hollywood films churned out each year, Baby Driver<br />

is almost solely driven by music. This is immediately apparent, when we<br />

first hear the strains of ‘90s alt-rock hit ‘Bellbottoms’ thundering from<br />

Baby’s headphones. Wright continues this trend with songs from Queen,<br />

The Beach Boys, Blur, and Simon and Garfunkel.<br />

Whole scenes of Baby Driver were shaped by music, a novel and inspired<br />

decision made by Wright. “The whole cast always had music in their<br />

ears; I did through headphones, and the others through the airwaves.<br />

Everyone is moving to music, whether it is noticeable or not,” Elgort said.<br />

“In the camera tests, Edgar put on the songs that would be in the film,<br />

and we just danced to it. We were basically jiving to it. He made the<br />

music feel ingrained in everything we did,” recalled James fondly.<br />

That music pervades Baby Driver is attributable to Elgort’s Baby, who<br />

constantly plays music on his iPod to drown out the tinnitus he<br />

acquired in a car accident. Bats (Jamie Foxx) and Griff (Jon Bernthal),<br />

Baby’s criminal colleagues, berate Baby for this unique dependence. His<br />

employer, and ruthless crime boss, Doc (Kevin Spacey), accepts it. After<br />

all, Baby is the best getaway driver in the business. When Baby wants to<br />

get out to make a life with Debora, Doc pulls him back in threateningly<br />

with ‘one final job’. Needless to say, things become more complicated<br />

than Baby anticipates.<br />

Thankfully, for Elgort, Foxx is vastly different to his character. “I’m a big<br />

Jamie Foxx fan, and I wanted to share my music with him.” On the first<br />

day of rehearsal, Elgort received a surprise when Foxx invited him to his<br />

home music studio. Elgort even ended up doing a studio session with<br />

Foxx and Flea from the Chilli Peppers, “which was friggen awesome.”<br />

Talking about Baby Driver, it was clear James and Elgort had an<br />

exceptionally positive experience – betrayed by their leaning forward<br />

and quickening speech patterns when recalling on-set antics. “You’re all<br />

sharing the music and the moment, which is great,” said James.<br />

It is easy to forget that James, 28, and Elgort, 23, are relative newcomers<br />

to the screen; such is their professionalism and mature approach to their<br />

work. Nonetheless, they have made the most of their burgeoning careers,<br />

with James starring in Downton Abbey, War and Peace and as Cinderella in<br />

Cinderella. Elgort has, similarly, starred in a host of successful young-teen<br />

films such as the Divergent film series and The Fault in Our Stars.<br />

It is hardly surprising, then, that their chemistry as Baby and Debora adds<br />

a vital emotional component to an otherwise car-chase heavy, adrenalinefueled<br />

film. “We didn’t do a chemistry test, as you sometimes do,” James<br />

said, “but we had rehearsals where Edgar would get really excited.<br />

Everything felt really natural, and I think the music helped that happen.”<br />

As was becoming a common theme, James praised Wright for his “wellwritten<br />

scenes that show how the characters open up and develop.<br />

Baby’s opening up to Debbie is a really important and powerful part of<br />

the film.” Elgort certainly felt the same appreciation for Wright, with<br />

whom he “hit it off. Because he just knows everything about music.”<br />

The same can be said about Wright’s knowledge of cinema, for his films<br />

are stacked with nods, gestures and references to other works. When I<br />

quizzed James and Elgort about a reference to Taxi Driver, both of them<br />

instantly started nodding in affirmation: “We weren’t told. But I’m sure<br />

it is [a reference].” Elgort elaborated, “Edgar is always referencing things,<br />

but it’s not overly obvious. He doesn’t even tell us as cast members. And<br />

it doesn’t feel like he’s taking us out of the movie, like ‘oh my god, that’s<br />

Taxi Driver’.”<br />

Wright’s use of cinema history is not purely referential. “When we would<br />

do rehearsals with Edgar, he would show us YouTube clips of the best<br />

scenes in films. ‘When you tell Doc and the whole group what the plan<br />

is, I want you to spit it back like this guy does in this film’,” Elgort told<br />

me. “Because of that, I think people will watch clips of Baby Driver and<br />

say, ‘that scene from Baby Driver is so sick’. You leave it to Edgar Wright<br />

to do that.”<br />

Elgort didn’t just do Baby Driver because he admired Wright. He was also<br />

motivated by a personal connection to the character of Baby. “When I<br />

first read the script, I thought ‘this is so right for me. I could totally play<br />

this role’. Like Baby, I have had plenty of sleepless nights while staying<br />

up making music.” James interjected, jokingly saying, “I like the music<br />

so much that I’m going to do a one-woman cabaret of all of the songs in<br />

Baby Driver.”<br />

Upon wrapping up the interview, I discovered that Melbourne was a<br />

special place for James and Elgort. James’s brother, a sports reporter,<br />

lives here. “He took me to a game at the MCG between Melbourne and<br />

Carlton.” Elgort’s connection to Melbourne is a bit more unexpected:<br />

“I told Edgar yesterday we were going to Melbourne, and there’s great<br />

dance music there – Melbourne Bounce in 2014 was this big thing… like<br />

Will Sparks.”<br />

Baby Driver is now in cinemas.

accepting that my<br />

first novel is fan fiction<br />

article by rachael welling<br />

artwork by angharad neal-williams<br />

Like many aspiring writers, I started writing when I was thirteen. Very<br />

few of my ideas made it onto a page, and most often it was objectively<br />

terrible. But the passion stuck, and at fifteen I told my parents that I<br />

wanted to be a writer.<br />

‘No one makes money writing’ was their reply. Young, impressionable<br />

and practical, I listened to my parents and studied Engineering. It was<br />

either a good job, or a career as a writer. But, at twenty, when I had an<br />

article published in this very magazine, I decided I could try my hand at<br />

both.<br />

I began calling myself a ‘writer’ for real, but after a year of ‘writing’ I<br />

had barely anything to my name except a few articles and a handful of<br />

short stories. I also discovered that my parents were largely right. While<br />

writing can bring in money, neither the people making money nor the<br />

money itself are abundant. It’s a modern conundrum; everyone can write<br />

and anyone can publish, so why pay for it?<br />

When I was twenty-one, I played that new Legend of Zelda game. I fell<br />

in love with the world, and the characters, and the story. All I could<br />

think was, what happens next? Where does this story lead? On the fly,<br />

almost as a joke, I brainstormed a ‘sequel’ with my boyfriend over dinner;<br />

wouldn’t it be cool if, wouldn’t this be fun if…<br />

The next morning, my ‘sequel’ was still swimming around in my head,<br />

stuck there unless I could shake it loose somehow. So I thought, fuck<br />

it. I will write this story. It would be easy enough. Being a ‘sequel’ the<br />

background was already established, and would be well understood by<br />

any potential readers. But no ignoring it, my story was fan fiction. The<br />

term conjures up trashy, wish-fulfillment, self-insert writing set in some<br />

Harry Potter or Supernatural multiverse and, thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey<br />

(which has its origins from Twilight), it’s basically the black sheep of the<br />

fiction family.<br />

I was different though, I told myself. My fan fiction was just a writing<br />

exercise, practice for when I was a real writer. I wrote 3000 words and<br />

put my first chapter online. A day later I had five followers. Then ten. So<br />

I wrote more, received nice reviews and more followers, leading me to<br />

write even more.<br />

I wanted to share my ‘success’ somehow, but was too embarrassed to.<br />

My partner already knew. He knew it was fan fiction, and he didn’t care,<br />

“I’m just happy you’re working on something”. I told my parents, vaguely<br />

describing it as a ‘fantasy novel’, and proudly announcing that I had<br />

recently hit the 50,000 word mark. “You could have written your Master’s<br />

thesis with that many words,” my mum said. I told friends as well, giving<br />

them the same ‘fantasy novel’ line, and they asked if I would let them<br />

read it. “Oh, maybe once it’s done, it’s a bit niche,” I said, unable to admit<br />

just how niche it really was.<br />

And then one of my readers, a Texan woman named Michelle, offered<br />

to help edit my chapters. She took me to task, held nothing back, and<br />

together we turned my amateurish ramblings into something of actual<br />

quality. I received more reviews; ‘This is amazingly well written! Please<br />

write more!’<br />

And I did. I worked hard at it. Michelle and I did research, we talked<br />

about flow, about tone. We grappled with characterization, with lore,<br />

with staying true to the source material. We were working double time,<br />

torn between the need to capture the spirit of the original game and<br />

my desire to impart my own style onto the work. After all, fan fiction at<br />

its heart exists to extend the original work, created because fans love<br />

something so much that they just want more. If we deviated too much,<br />

then we would lose readers. But having an editor who took me seriously<br />

made me realise that this wasn’t some silly writing exercise anymore. If<br />

this was practice for being a real writer, then I had to act like one.<br />

So I held firm – if I started making creative decisions based on what<br />

I thought would be popular, then the work really would be ‘just fan<br />

fiction’. Some reviews came in discussing the direction I took with<br />

certain characters – ‘Your characterisations are surprising, and kind of<br />

unexpected, but they really work!’ – and I knew we’d struck a balance.<br />

We published more, and more, and soon we hit 100,000 words.<br />

And then someone drew a scene from my work, as they were just so<br />

inspired by it. And then someone left a review saying that the latest<br />

chapter made them cry. After that, someone messaged me to say that<br />

they’re learning English and that they love how clear my style is. I<br />

checked my stats and was floored to find that I had 300 followers.<br />

It was too much to be ashamed of anymore. I had affected people with<br />

something I wrote, and I decided I had to take pride in that. Yeah, it was<br />

fan fiction, but that no longer mattered.<br />

Because I’ve now realised that there’s nothing wrong with a good story.<br />

It doesn’t matter where it comes from, or who wrote it. It doesn’t matter<br />

if the characters are original, or re-works, or someone else’s entirely.<br />

It doesn’t matter if it’s told over the dinner, or in print, or made into a<br />

blockbuster film, or never made into anything at all. If a story resonates<br />

with people, then it’s real, and it matters. And if the only person that<br />

it resonates with is you, then all the same. Now, if someone asks what<br />

I’m working on, I just tell them; “Yeah, I’m writing a sequel to that new<br />

Legend of Zelda game, it’s called From the Ground Up, and I’m really proud<br />

of it”.<br />

I want to keep calling myself a writer no matter what it means, no<br />

matter what I actually produce and no matter if I actually make any<br />

fucking money. Fan fiction or no, here’s to the passion that makes<br />

writers want to write. Here’s to the love of telling. Here’s to un-original<br />

ideas, and potential copyright issues, and trashy wish fulfilment. In this<br />

modern age, it’s all derivative anyway.<br />

If you really want to read my story, and happened to have played The Legend of<br />

Zelda: Breath of the Wild (in classic fan fiction style, the work doesn’t make any<br />

sense unless you have), you can find it here:<br />

http://archiveofourown.org/works/10515429<br />

arts/culture 36-37

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the politics of<br />

metropolis<br />

article by nick bugeja<br />

artwork by nathan kaseng um<br />

The film begins with a group of workers walking mechanically into<br />

one of the many factories that lie beneath the surface of the city. Their<br />

work is what created, and sustains, the apparently wonderful city of<br />

Metropolis. Yet they receive none of the fruits of their labour. The<br />

workers are confined to underground factories and tunnels, bereft of the<br />

colour and life that seems to define the innovative Metropolis.<br />

The workers are zombified – their labour is exploited beyond measure<br />

by the rich industrialists, and they are dormant to the possibilities of<br />

working life. They are literally forced to work underground, symbolic of<br />

their class position. Lang’s organisation of the workers in a large cluster<br />

attends to their untapped potential: a Marxist, active, collectivised<br />

proletariat could “break free” of their chains.<br />

This highly-stylised image of an oppressed, asleep working class stays<br />

with us. It is a significant point of reference; as we gradually observe the<br />

workers seeking to emancipate themselves. The opening of the film is<br />

consistent with Lang’s views of the state of Weimar Germany.<br />

On the surface of things, Fritz Lang’s seminal Metropolis is one of the<br />

greatest silent films. It is an incontrovertible hallmark of the sciencefiction<br />

genre, having paved the way for ambitious, futuristic films such<br />

as Blade Runner, Gattaca and even Star Wars. The epic sets, atmospheric<br />

aesthetic and notable set pieces; characterised by a grandiosity not yet<br />

seen in cinema, ushered in new and exciting cinematic conventions that<br />

exist to this day.<br />

Buried beneath the marvellous varnish of Metropolis is a political film<br />

that demands our attention. The times in which the film was made –<br />

1920s Weimar Germany – provided a great deal of inspiration for Lang to<br />

ground Metropolis in a basically political context. Even though Metropolis<br />

takes place in 2026, it is clear that Lang seeks to comment on the<br />

contemporary state of German working and economic life. Or, at least on<br />

the trajectory of German society.<br />

Germany had just suffered defeat in WW1. It had no choice but to<br />

sign the treaty of Versailles – its soldiers were dying, and the people<br />

of Germany starving. Its allies were vanquished into non-existence.<br />

Consequently, Germany agreed to pay significant war reparations to<br />

Britain and France, and it ceded 13% of its land.<br />

Even without the humiliating terms of the treaty of Versailles, Germany<br />

was struggling economically. Unemployment rates were staggeringly<br />

high, and lines to acquire even the most basic of goods were long.<br />

Manufacturing and industrial jobs made up a significant portion of<br />

the employment market, but the wages were lacklustre compared to<br />

that of pre-WW1 times. Germany’s rich were mostly left unaffected,<br />

and class structures began to intensify. Thus, Lang’s Metropolis can be<br />

understood as a futuristic take on the imbalance of class and the malice<br />

of unfettered capitalism.<br />

In Joh Frederson, Lang sees all that which is wrong and imbalanced<br />

in society. Frederson represents the wealthy, rapacious capitalists of<br />

the times. He lives and works in the upper echelons of impressive<br />

skyscrapers, far away from the everyday struggles of the workers.<br />

Frederson and his kind reap the benefits of the underground labour,<br />

without need to set foot in the concrete-laden factories. Lang presents<br />

Frederson as a contemptible magnate that values capital over the<br />

welfare of his workers.<br />

The first thirty minutes or so of the film aims to set out the disturbing,<br />

but stable, class structures. The images of uninhibited wealth,<br />

juxtaposed with the despair of poverty, denies that there is anything<br />

natural about such social and economic life. Rather, we are compelled to<br />

think that there is something deeply unnatural about the status of the<br />

ruling class. They own and control the city, even though it is the workers<br />

who create and toil to produce the city of Metropolis. Lang urges us to<br />

ask: why do the workers live without while the ruling class lives with so<br />

much? And a further, more specifically Marxist question: wouldn’t it be<br />

better if the workers owned their workplaces?<br />

We get the impression that Frederson’s son, Freder, has been spoiled<br />

with luxury and tranquillity. We first see him in the Eternal Gardens,<br />

dressed handsomely in an expensive suit. It seems to us he is oblivious<br />

to the plight of the proletariat, on account of being sheltered by his<br />

father’s hyper-affluence. Perhaps it was inconceivable to Freder that the<br />

reality of life for some was far bleaker than his own.<br />

When Maria brings a group of ‘underground’ children to the Eternal<br />

Gardens, Freder is enamoured with Maria. Apolitically but romantically<br />

drawn to her, there are numerous shots of Freder watching her from<br />

afar – he even follows her to the depths of the underground. Maria’s<br />

somewhat clandestine infiltration of high society sets off a chain of<br />

events that changes the structure of Metropolis.

Upon his physical entrance into the ‘underground’, Freder is horrified to<br />

find the proletariat in such a neglected state. Innocent of wrongdoing,<br />

but awash in dirt and grime; Freder is immediately sympathetic to the<br />

workers. Those feelings are compounded when a machine unexpectedly<br />

explodes, killing and maiming many. Freder rushes back to his father’s<br />

tower to tell him of the tragedy, but Joh is unreceptive, waving away his<br />

son’s concerns. He dismisses the plight of the workers by declaring that<br />

“[the underground is] where they belong.”<br />

This is a pivotal scene in the film, representing an unholy clash of the<br />

classes. It becomes clear that members of the disparate classes were<br />

never meant to meet and interact; for it would inevitably disturb the<br />

rigid organisation of class structures. Anew, Lang communicates the<br />

unnaturalness of class evident in Metropolis. If it were natural and<br />

inevitable, Freder would be unmoved by the sight of a lower class. But he<br />

isn’t. Freder is appalled at the working conditions and the converse apathy<br />

of his father. He undergoes an awakening, resulting in his siding with the<br />

besieged proletariat. The workers, to Freder, are “the people whose little<br />

children are my brothers, my sisters.” Thus, he elects to blend in with the<br />

workers, bearing the same dirt-stained face and ragged clothing.<br />

After the machine accident, the proletariat grow dissatisfied and angry.<br />

Their discussions, at first, are fractured and spontaneous. Maria, as a<br />

symbol of power and beauty, assumes the responsibility of being their<br />

unofficial leader. In a number of scenes, she stands above the workers,<br />

preaching quasi-religious passages that give them hope and comfort.<br />

Symbolically, she is closer to Mary than Lenin. Maria does not urge the<br />

workers towards violent revolution, but rather towards an inner peace. The<br />

most famous of her utterings is surely, “head and hands need a mediator.<br />

The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart.”<br />

She stands atop scaffolding, leaving Freder and the workers in awe<br />

of her from below. Maria harnesses the power of the proletariat,<br />

collectivising them through quasi-religious paraphernalia and preaching.<br />

Although this is discrepant from Marxist ideology, it seems to work to<br />

attribute power to those in the underground.<br />

The only problem is that Joh and Rotwang stumble upon one of the<br />

meetings of the workers. It is obvious to them that Maria is the force<br />

holding the proletariat together, and they return to the towers of<br />

Metropolis to plan her downfall. Joh concocts a plan for Rotwang to<br />

capture Maria in order to create an evil, violent duplicate of her. Their<br />

aim is to fragment the workers and impel them towards destruction, so<br />

the ruling class will have a case to forcefully suppress them.<br />

Maria represents the hopes and dreams of the workers – an embodiment<br />

of their strong fraternal connections. For the capitalists that wish to<br />

quash the humanity of the workers, Maria is something very dangerous,<br />

for in hope there is power to act.<br />

It is telling that Joh and Rotwang use technology as a means to facilitate<br />

her fall into disrepute. Lang is certainly conscious of the ways in which<br />

the ruling class exploit powerful apparatuses to maintain power: the<br />

printing press, destructive weapons and corrupt police officers. The<br />

robot incarnation of Maria is a fantastical, futuristic display of what the<br />

wealthy can acquire and deploy against those they wish to crush.<br />

This whole sequence seems to be a thinly-veiled warning against<br />

granting one inspiring individual the power to dictate and organise the<br />

working class. Although it is not Maria who leads the proletariat on a<br />

path of destruction, Lang communicates to us that too much can go<br />

wrong with only one symbolic leader. Particularly, Lang acknowledges<br />

the ease with which the ruling class can manipulate and discredit the<br />

entirety of the working class struggle if there exists one, unquestioned<br />

saviour – an apparent rejection of Leninism.<br />

Simultaneously, Lang presents the proletariat as an enormously<br />

powerful entity, capable of reshaping and determining the future of<br />

an urban city. Even though they initially seek to destroy the city’s<br />

infrastructure, the surge capacity of the workers is undeniable. They<br />

dismantle, discard and destroy large parts of the city. As an active, united<br />

group, the workers have the autonomy and authority to improve or<br />

ravage the spaces and conditions in which they live.<br />

Even though Lang advocates against vesting power in one authoritarian<br />

leader, he doesn’t make much of a case for the self-determination of the<br />

proletariat. They are regularly shown to be mindlessly submissive, lacking<br />

the mental faculties to self-govern. The carnage they exact on the city<br />

is fuelled by anger that blinkers their common sense – as they flood the<br />

places in which their children sleep, play and live. Only after they destroy<br />

the heart machine do they realise what they have done. In response, the<br />

workers, in a frenzy of revenge, burn the robot Maria at the stake.<br />

Pure luck saved the workers from murdering the real, benevolent Maria.<br />

As she emerges with Freder and the children, the workers exhale with<br />

cathartic relief. At best, the proletariat are temperamental; and at worst,<br />

agents of self-destructive violence.<br />

Metropolis concludes with an agreement between Joh and the<br />

industrialists, and the workers resolve to respect each other and work<br />

co-operatively. This is manifested in one of the final images of the film –<br />

with Joh, Maria and Freder standing out the front of the city centre with<br />

their arms entangled. We are encouraged to view the conclusion with<br />

a newfound sense of hope, of productive solidarity. The head and the<br />

hands have finally been co-joined by the heart.<br />

What is probably more regularly felt is betrayal. The shift towards<br />

social-democracy is indeed jarring and baseless within the film’s context.<br />

There is no point at which we see the potential for the working and<br />

ruling classes to be reconciled. Rather, they are shown as competing<br />

and antithetical. Lang’s compromised ending rings with naïve<br />

sentimentality, acknowledged even by himself. In years following the<br />

film, Lang labelled the film’s final message “absurd”, and other parts of<br />

the film “too simplistic” in evoking the “evils of mechanisation.”<br />

Ultimately, Metropolis is a notable and brilliant film that speaks to the<br />

anxieties and ambitions of an undervalued, oppressed proletariat. Even<br />

though it often fails to present a coherent political message, the power<br />

of its insights into the social and economic structures of capitalism is<br />

indubitable. Beyond that, it is a genuinely entertaining and engrossing<br />

film that has retained relevance for almost a century.<br />

In a similar sense, the robot represents a dangerous, almost foolproof<br />

future in which the wealthy can discredit the working classes. In the<br />

past, the ruling class had used plants at demonstrations, the printing<br />

press to disseminate lies and unlawful arrests to portray dissidents<br />

as scheming, violent and ‘enemies of the state’. The robot is certainly<br />

tethered to this past history, but it is also a futurist warning of the<br />

power that capitalists will have in a century’s time. Although robots<br />

are not in regular use, the development of technology, particularly the<br />

internet, bears out Lang’s worries.<br />

Once developed, Rotwang unleashes the robot on the proletariat.<br />

Subject to the whims of an unrecognisably violent, belligerent Maria,<br />

the workers rise from the underground to carry out terror against the<br />

privileged in Metropolis. The workers rabidly destroy the machines in<br />

the city, including the heart machine. This causes the underground<br />

to flood, while the children of the workers have been left to fend for<br />

themselves. Their lives are only saved by Freder and the real Maria, who<br />

rush to sweep up the mess of frenzied workers.<br />

arts/culture 38-39

edition four<br />

lot’s wife

creative/comedy<br />


edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

stanley kubrick on napoleon<br />

and many other things<br />

interview by christian blackwell<br />

artwork by john henry<br />

Despite turning 89 this year, Stanley Kubrick just concluded principal<br />

photography on his new film Napoleon. It is Kubrick’s first work since<br />

the hypnotic Eyes Wide Shut, and he is quietly confident about it.<br />

Upon pulling up at Childwickbury Manor, it is impossible to resist the<br />

allure of the place. Its character announces itself from far away, like one<br />

of the mansions in Kubrick’s beautifully-shot Barry Lyndon. The abode<br />

absolutely reflects the man: mythic, but still concrete; isolated, but still<br />

occupied; aging, but still imposing.<br />

Kubrick is standing on the front lawn waiting for me when I arrive. I<br />

feel an irrepressible need to rush towards him, not to waste a second of<br />

his time. Childswickbury Manor towers over his declining stature, but it<br />

only makes him seem greater.<br />

“Hello, yes, thanks for coming,” are the first words he says. He comes across<br />

as spritely and affable – two qualities I imagined to be antithetical to his<br />

character. After some of the horror stories told of his behaviour on set, this<br />

pleasant introduction was unexpected. Perhaps age has mellowed him.<br />

I follow him up to the front of the house. He walks with a cautious<br />

steadiness, which gives me time to formalise my thoughts. “We will do<br />

the interview out here. It’s a nice day for once, so we will get it done out<br />

here.” We sit down on some outdoor vintage furniture, and he locks me<br />

in with his penetrating gaze.<br />

“Relaxing out here, isn’t it?” He remarks. “I don’t get out here enough, it’s<br />

really quite nice.”<br />

“Actually, before we get started, no questions about politics. I’m over it<br />

all, if we could just focus on movies, that would be great.”<br />

“Sure, we can do that,” I reply.<br />

The filming of Napoleon was secretive. Can you tell us whether you<br />

used film, or whether you used digital technology?<br />

Yes I can reveal that. These days, everyone is always ‘revealing’<br />

something. Not, uh, telling you something, but revealing it. I find that<br />

strange really.<br />

We chose to film the picture on 35mm. There were some discussions<br />

about using digital, which I have experimented with and enjoyed, but<br />

this just wasn’t the film to use it. With Napoleon we are going back to<br />

the 19th Century, and we thought that 35mm would better capture the<br />

time period we were going for. I’m eager to use digital technology in my<br />

films, but this wasn’t the film for us to do that.<br />

That choice did cause us a few problems, because of the cost of shooting<br />

on film.<br />

Is that one of the reasons why there’s such a gap between this and<br />

Eyes Wide Shut?<br />

Yes. It was a bit of a fight for us to get our way, but I wasn’t going to<br />

make the film any other way. It had to be done on 35mm. It would be<br />

a totally different picture if it was filmed with digital technology. It<br />

wouldn’t be the film I wanted to make. And when you get to this age,<br />

you only want to be making the films that you want to make. You don’t<br />

want to spend your years making things you aren’t happy with. You<br />

might as well work at a desk job.<br />

I had a few health problems that set me back a bit in between this and<br />

Eyes Wide Shut. That was irritating to me; health getting in the way of<br />

work. But, I suppose you can’t always get around that.<br />

Does the amount of time you’ve invested in the film mean it’s an<br />

almost perfect product?<br />

I couldn’t really answer that because the whole process isn’t done.<br />

There’s still a lot for us to do to finish the film. And even if it was done,<br />

I don’t know if any film could be considered perfect or not. Maybe some<br />

could, but there’s always that human error element in films. Something<br />

could always be done better, whether that’s my doing or one of the cast<br />

and crew. I think you can minimise the faults with a film, absolutely; but<br />

I’m not sure you can make a perfect film. Something like Bergman’s Wild<br />

Strawberries is close to a perfect film, and maybe it is.<br />

Actually, Metropolis is a good example. It’s a good film, a really<br />

marvellous, grand piece of cinema. But it’s full of flaws. The story<br />

in places is downright implausible, and its tone is sometimes a bit<br />

disorientating. But that’s because parts of it are missing.<br />

You usually make emotionally distant films…<br />

I don’t know if that’s the way to put it. I always get told this, but I don’t<br />

see it. The kind of films I make are the ones that appeal to me, the ones<br />

that stick out to me. I think they do deal with emotion, most of them.<br />

They deal with human characters, and there’s always an element of<br />

emotion connected to that.<br />

So you think the commentators are getting it wrong?<br />

I’m not in a position to say that. Obviously, everyone brings different<br />

things into their experience of a film, and I think they’re entitled to their<br />

judgements of my films. Of course, I’ll have my own ideas of my own<br />

movies, and others will have theirs. That’s what creates a healthy film<br />

community – discussion and interpretation. I don’t believe in forcing my<br />

opinion of my films down the throats of my audiences, so let’s just leave<br />

it at that.<br />

What made you pursue this film so strongly? What motivates you to<br />

keep working?<br />

The story of Napoleon has always intrigued me, he’s one of those<br />

characters that never seems to stop bothering you in your mind. I think<br />

to be a ruler like he was, uh, you have to be an interesting person. He<br />

actually wrote a romance novel before he became a military leader. It<br />

was called Clisson et Eugénie. He was such an adept military leader, a<br />

powerful man; but he wrote a novel about love? See, that kind of thing is<br />

interesting. It reminds you, no matter how history is told, that people are<br />

multi-faceted creatures. You can’t just pin someone down as one thing.<br />

They might be something else as well.

His life, I think as I’ve said in the past, is a real epic poem of action. To be able to capture that in<br />

a movie is just something I have wanted to do for a long time. There’s not really a good way to<br />

explain it, other than that there is something that really draws me to him and his life.<br />

As for why I still work, what else would I be doing? Making movies is something I have to do, it’s<br />

much more preferable than rotting away in a home or something to that effect.<br />

Do you have any regrets looking back? On the way you conducted yourself or anything like<br />

that?<br />

As I said before, there are always things you could do differently. But is there much point worrying<br />

about that? No. I think there’s something to be said for acknowledging the past – your triumphs,<br />

your less pleasant times – but regrets aren’t something I think about. I don’t worry about them. In<br />

the moment, I always do what I think is best. That’s what you do.<br />

Is there a film that you’ve made that stands out to you?<br />

The simple answer is no. All the films I’ve made I’ve made for a good reason, bar a few I made<br />

early in my career. Fear and Desire is one of them, there’s only a few good moments in that. I’m not<br />

ashamed of it, but looking back it’s not a great film at all.<br />

I’m not in the habit of ranking my movies, and prefer to think of them all as discrete expressions<br />

of my thoughts and ideas. They are all different, and offer different things to an audience. A<br />

Clockwork Orange questions the authority of the state: should the state have complete control to<br />

modify our behaviours? Eyes Wide Shut explores the dynamics of marriage, and the insecurities<br />

we all hold in relation to our partners. Another film I wasn’t happy with was Spartacus. There’s no<br />

truth to it.<br />

Personally, I find 2001: A Space Odyssey to be your most ambitious film, if not your best. For<br />

the time, and even now, it is just like nothing else we’ve seen.<br />

I always wanted to make a big film out of 2001. A lot of what ended up in the film came from<br />

Arthur (Arthur C. Clarke) who was really one of the great science-fiction writers. We wrote up a<br />

novel alongside the screenplay to the film. As you can imagine, we wanted to get it right, make<br />

sure it was as unique as possible. I would refrain from calling it my best film, but I am certainly<br />

very proud of it. And I think it stands up against any sci-fi picture that has been made since.<br />

Kirk Douglas, Spartacus’ brainchild, recently turned 100. Did you send him your wishes?<br />

Now you’re just being facetious. My question would be whether he’s still working or not.<br />

The Melbourne International Film Festival is showing a Kubrick retrospective from November 1.<br />

creative/comedy 42-43

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

the animals<br />

article by a.a kostas<br />

artwork by sa pasa<br />

Kelowna Secondary felt enormous to Ahmed, too big to be an actual<br />

school. But in reality, because Ahmed’s year level was very small, and<br />

because the select-entry Christian College up in the hills had finished<br />

construction, the school was emptier than it had been for years. Over<br />

the scorching summer all the portable buildings had been wheeled away,<br />

and the playing fields now seemed to stretch out endlessly from the<br />

double-storey building, leaving it an island stranded in a golden, sundried<br />

sea.<br />

Ahmed met up with Ibrahim before school and was rendered speechless<br />

at first. Ibrahim had ditched his usual jeans and leather jacket in favour<br />

of an imam’s outfit: a long white robe that reached to his ankles and a<br />

taqiyah on his shaved head. Ibrahim wasn’t exactly smiling when Ahmed<br />

found him next to the bike racks, but his face was proud.<br />

“You look like my dad,” Ahmed managed to choke out while Ibrahim<br />

watched people pass by him to get to the school doors. Ibrahim’s<br />

robes flapped a little as he shifted his weight, and he nodded slowly,<br />

magnificently. “It’s better than looking like your mum though, isn’t it?”<br />

He broke into his usual grin as he looked down at Ahmed.<br />

“You’re not far off her either,” Ahmed mumbled as the bell rang and<br />

they made their way inside. Ahmed cursed Ibrahim for the rest of the<br />

day. Not just for the stupid robes, but also for making him think about<br />

his mother. For the whole day, she was all Ahmed could focus on, and<br />

everything else felt like a dream. His mother had been beautiful, even<br />

though everyone who had only known their mother when they were<br />

young said that. She was a small woman, shorter even than Ahmed’s<br />

dad, and had black hair that fell to her waist. When he was very little<br />

they played a game Ahmed called ‘Butterfly Queen’, where they jumped<br />

together on his parents bed and then his mother would flop back so that<br />

her hair spread out in every direction.<br />

“Am I the Butterfly Queen?” she would ask, looking up at him with<br />

searching, smiling eyes. Ahmed would pause for a second and lightly run<br />

his fingers over her smooth strands.<br />

“Yes, you are the most beautiful Butterfly Queen!” he would yell, and<br />

she’d beam and hug him tight.<br />

* * *<br />

Maheera doubled over laughing when she saw Ibrahim. They had all met<br />

up near the car park, where the basketball courts were.<br />

“You idiot! I didn’t think you’d actually do it!” Maheera was standing<br />

with a girl Ahmed didn’t recognise, but next to Maheera the girl looked<br />

plain. Like a dandelion next to a sunflower.<br />

“Be the fearful cobra…” Ibrahim intoned deeply, looking around at them.<br />

“…And shrink not from your nature…” Maheera followed on. They both<br />

looked at Ahmed to finish.<br />

“…For you are as He has made you,” Ahmed finished, reluctantly.<br />

Ibrahim bowed his head and spread his palms. “I am now the cobra.”<br />

The girl Ahmed didn’t know was watching them carefully.<br />

“What’s that from?” Her eyebrows jolted as she spoke. “The thing you<br />

just said.” Maheera stepped in. “It’s from a book we all just read. Inara,<br />

these are my friends, Ibrahim and Ahmed. Guys, Inara’s from West Side<br />

and she goes to the mosque there.”<br />

They all shook hands, which felt so strange to Ahmed, like they were<br />

old people at a country club. He glanced at Maheera and before he could<br />

help himself, he was thinking about how if his mother was beautiful,<br />

then Maheera was radiant, like the sun compared to the moon.<br />

Ibrahim was in the middle of asking Inara something convoluted about<br />

what she thought about a certain verse in the Quran, when suddenly<br />

an object flew into their little circle and hit Ibrahim square on his big,<br />

round nose. Laughter rose from the other side of the basketball courts<br />

and Ibrahim swore under his breath while he grabbed his face. A patched<br />

up football lay wobbling at his feet. None of them knew what to say,<br />

even the usually reactive Maheera, and Ibrahim kept quiet while he<br />

searched for the source of the football. Then they spotted the group of<br />

tough-looking boys and girls on the other side of the court, and saw a<br />

skinny, hunched figure start striding towards them. Ahmed felt like he<br />

was watching it all through glass, like at the aquarium when the sharks<br />

closed in on the fish dumped into their tank at mealtimes. But then he<br />

realised that it was just Dylan walking towards them, not a shark. He<br />

almost raised a hand in welcome, but then saw Dylan’s red, angry face.<br />

“I bet you liked that, didn’t you?!” Dylan yelled at Ibrahim, while staying<br />

a safe distance back. “Getting your face slapped by some pig skin. You’re<br />

all pig-fuckers, aren’t you?” He shot a nervous look back to his group and<br />

someone made an ‘oink’ sound. Ibrahim kicked the ball out to him and<br />

Dylan stooped to get it. Ibrahim was glaring, but uncharacteristically<br />

holding his tongue. Ahmed realised that he was scared, Ibrahim’s eyes<br />

kept flicking over to the big group.<br />

“You’re animals,” Dylan spat, before turning to leave, but his voice<br />

wavered so it sounded more like he was answering a teacher’s difficult<br />

question than actually insulting them.<br />

“Shut up,” Ibrahim said, finally regaining his voice.<br />

“Sand-monkeys!” someone shouted from the group, and they all took it<br />

up as a chant. “Sand-monkeys! Sand-monkeys!”<br />

And as Dylan re-joined them, head hung low, Ahmed glimpsed Angus,<br />

standing in the middle, his long, curly hair like a halo around his head.<br />

Suddenly, Ahmed knew why Ibrahim’s outfit had so unsettled him.<br />

Ibrahim had made them – Ahmed, Maheera, and now Inara – stand<br />

out, scapegoats for anyone to use. Angus and his friends now had a<br />

shockproof way to begin high school, gathering people to them. After all,<br />

Ahmed thought numbly as the jeers and laughter rang through the air,<br />

having someone mutual to hate is a great way to make friends.

has nerd culture<br />

gone too far?<br />

article by alex horner<br />

artwork by hugh brooks<br />

If you have attended university, you have probably run into some of<br />

the more “unpleasant” individuals roaming the campus. You can’t<br />

always tell at first, but as you get to know your fellow peers, it quickly<br />

becomes apparent that some of them have an agenda to push. It can<br />

start out as an innocent joke or remark, but the more you learn, the more<br />

you realise these people spend their days living in a fantasy, detached<br />

from reality. You soon understand that they spend their evenings sitting<br />

in a dark room lit solely by a computer screen, typing furious replies to<br />

anyone who dares to question or challenge their views. I am, of course,<br />

referring to ‘nerds’. Join us as we break down just how detrimental this<br />

group is on the good, wholesome experience that is Tertiary Education.<br />

Bad for your health<br />

Nerd culture blatantly glorifies anti-physical behaviour, as a common<br />

point of pride for a nerd is how little exercise they have done. In nerd<br />

culture, traditional sports (such as football or the American national<br />

treasure, Super Smash Bros. Melee) are flouted in favour of foreign<br />

e-sports such as League of Legends, Starcraft, and Viva Piñata, where<br />

contestants play entire tournaments without leaving their chair. This<br />

self-destructive behaviour is being normalised, stranding nerds in a<br />

vicious feedback loop of a sedentary lifestyle, poor health, and skinny<br />

legs. A staple food of the ‘gamer' nerd archetype during their depraved<br />

meetings known as ‘LAN parties' is the consumption of disgusting<br />

amounts of snack food. Doritos, Skittles, and Bega Cheese Stringers<br />

washed down with a hedonistic mix of Pepsi, Monster and Strawberry<br />

Rekorderlig. During these parties, ‘gamers' will often compare how many<br />

litres of Dr. Pepper they have consumed over the holidays, commonly<br />

referred to as ‘Drs Per Season', or ‘DPS' for short.<br />

Nerd culture also actively discourages healthy eating, as the effort<br />

required to learn to cook may impact the time spent on other, prioritised<br />

pursuits such as ‘grinding', ‘cosplaying' or ‘binge watching'. Also called<br />

the ‘Netflix Binge', this activity sees nerds spending upwards of twelve<br />

hours watching television shows on the capitalist propaganda platform<br />

known as ‘Netflix'. This nasty habit leads nerds into erratic sleeping<br />

patterns, rousing in the late afternoon, and only knowing when to retire<br />

by the judging gaze of the sunrise.<br />

Bad for the species<br />

As well as being physically detrimental, nerd culture also encourages<br />

anti-social tendencies. The standard for comedy among this group has<br />

devolved into a cancerous cesspool of derivative content known as<br />

‘memes'. Comedy is a way for a group of people to come together and<br />

agree on fundamental values. When society is pressured to find humour<br />

where none exists, we undermine the basic morals in our community<br />

that comedy instils. Where comedy subverts expectations, memes<br />

take expectations and repeatedly bludgeons them until there are no<br />

expectations left - only disappointment.<br />

Nerd culture stifles disagreement as diversity of thought is strongly<br />

frowned upon, and agreeing on approved nerd viewpoints is how most<br />

discussions unfold. Someone will express an entirely uncontroversial<br />

opinion, such as The Princess Bride is an underrated gem or Fallout 4<br />

took the RP out of my G, and the whole group agrees. Not only does this<br />

make for ridiculously mind-numbing conversation, but it doesn't allow<br />

new ideas to foster in the group, which is why you will find most of<br />

them have not progressed past a high school level of introspection.<br />

Beyond this, nerds will also try to simulate human interaction through<br />

online profiles and chat rooms, where there is no need for them to<br />

take care of their personal appearance or hygiene. Obviously, this has<br />

immediate adverse effects on society as a whole. For the species to<br />

continue to exist, people must be attracted to each other, and nerds<br />

take little to no action in making themselves desirable. This in of itself<br />

is not the worrying issue, however, when they try to drag society down<br />

by advocating for platitudes like, beauty is on the inside, and everyone is<br />

beautiful to someone, and it becomes an issue that affects everyone.<br />

Not even real<br />

Aside from killing people and bringing about the end of the species,<br />

‘nerd culture’ is largely a sham. There is no such thing as ‘nerd culture’.<br />

In the digital age, when everything is accessible to everyone, typically<br />

‘nerdy’ media such as Doctor Who, Star Wars and League of Legends are<br />

actually quite mainstream. Since its rebirth, Doctor Who has become<br />

a British national treasure. Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed 2.02<br />

billion dollars at the international box office. The season finale of the<br />

2016 League of Legends World Championship had 36 million unique<br />

viewers, more than the record breaking viewership of the NBA finals<br />

of that same year. Nerd culture claims to offer exclusivity, such that<br />

its members can avoid being ‘normies’. But the numbers are proof;<br />

the ‘normies’ have become the nerds themselves, and the nerds are<br />

becoming the norm. And clearly this now a global phenomenon, and it<br />

must be stopped.<br />

How to avoid<br />

Once a nerd has been identified one can arrange their schedule to avoid<br />

possible meetings, however, sometimes they may be unavoidable. In<br />

these scenarios, it is best to lay low and not draw attention to oneself,<br />

lest you be barraged with an onslaught of meaningless drivel and poorly<br />

concealed depression.<br />

One way to diffuse an encounter is to bring a group of friends. Due to<br />

their absolute lack of social prowess, the nerd will be unable to approach<br />

you or anyone else in the group. This is a handy method but can be<br />

difficult to pull off if your friends are unavailable or otherwise nonexistent.<br />

Another technique one can employ is the ‘fake phone call',<br />

which can be applied at a moment's notice with little to no counterplay<br />

from the nerd. Overuse of this tactic, however, may raise suspicion<br />

and resentment from the recipient, which would usually not be of<br />

any great concern except that chances are, they know three different<br />

ways to hack your social media. So even though nerds are a steadily<br />

growing part of the university experience, don't let them discourage you<br />

from being yourself. There will always be challenges in life, and when<br />

you get through your degree, you will find yourself a better person for<br />

overcoming them.<br />

creative/comedy 44-45

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

a sonnet for the<br />

menzies revolving doors<br />

words by nicole willis<br />

artwork by kim tran<br />

You know of which I speak there are five<br />

doors<br />

Stupid dumb and just a bit moronic<br />

Through these doors do we pass each morn in<br />

scores<br />

But for the pain it would be so comic<br />

Stop start all day so that I have but flinched<br />

Every time do they force your walk to halt<br />

The man who chose these dumb doors must<br />

be pinched<br />

We must find he who is so much at fault<br />

How can it be for them to work so hard<br />

Always at least one door out of order<br />

In my morning walk does it leave me scarred<br />

In my soul does this sow much disorder<br />

These doors each morn do make me fall apart<br />

The birth of your demise shall I kick start.<br />

ながる<br />

words by zahra ymer<br />

artwork by stephie dimofski<br />

のはのをした。がっていたに、をるがした。になるはなを<br />

たにきたくなったが、そうしないと、ってしまっているは<br />

ぶかもしれないか。<br />

がきながら、ののはくなった。まれたにになるの 一 人 だ<br />

ったらしい。げようとしたが、はまったにしくられてしま<br />

った。<br />

はなんのをたないで、ただのなのようにわれた。「のせ<br />

は、するとになって、をむことというがある。そのはくな<br />

いけど、それのはにでもるよ。はにしかできないことを<br />

やってみたかったけど、ここにはみたいな 生 きだわ。」の<br />

はそうえた。<br />

のをまたられるために、をきらせるために、つのがくなら<br />

ければならない。こののようなはからしたなだったとい<br />

うがある。そのがだんだんづくにつれて、は 非 常 にをに<br />

じた。「まれなければよかった。このいはしみとだらけだ。<br />

かがになれば、のはきびられる。 私 がんでも、みんながき<br />

ていってくれればというえなのね。」そいうきながら、が<br />

ぷるぷるえた。<br />

なぜのをにげるのだろうか?がにするのなら、やがむじ<br />

ゃないかな。だが、はで、やりでのをえたいだけかもし<br />

れません。<br />

「さあ……に 立 って」とがした。がないそののしいのはに<br />

えていた。だかりのているをして、やっとできた。「ようや<br />

くかった。どこからてもこれはただのショーのように。と<br />

かどうでもいいで、このたちはのさをめてほしいだけだ。<br />

じゃあ、になったのちは?のりやしみはどうしろ?にをに<br />

せてあげない。」とはした。にもがった。がって、のている<br />

はがくなって、ってしまいそうだった。なくでやされてい<br />

るをけていた。もがけても、のいはえなかった。<br />

いがって、のはながしたをれた。しずつ、はになって、べが<br />

に め て 、は に な り そ う だ っ た 。し か し 、そ の な は い に き っ と<br />

をさせる。それをやめるには、どのようながあるか?のに<br />


when i see red<br />

words by kit mun lee<br />

When I see red,<br />

I feel heat, right in my chest.<br />

It’s the glow<br />

Right before excitement,<br />

The feeling of light,<br />

The smell of desire,<br />

The knowing that something is there -<br />

Just beyond<br />

Your grasp, driving you forwards.<br />

Red is what people want.<br />

It’s that little bit faster<br />

That little bit brighter<br />

That little bit more attractive.<br />

Red is the loudest thing you hear,<br />

The hottest thing you touch<br />

And taste. The alluring aroma of a hearty meal,<br />

And the gasping, staccato cough<br />

From a bite of hidden pepper.<br />

It is the body-jerking, tearful regret,<br />

And the soaring chill of victory.<br />

Red is the collision between two worlds,<br />

The colour of friction,<br />

Of movement and ambition.<br />

Red is the fury<br />

At injustice<br />

And the spike of pride after a job well done.<br />

Red is the colour of success,<br />

And the screaming downfall,<br />

The raging denial.<br />

Red gets you over the finish line,<br />

And picks you back up when you<br />

fall.<br />

Red tells you that ‘you are good enough’.<br />

Red is not humble.<br />

Red is glory and the highest flavour of the<br />

human condition.<br />

come<br />

words by kit mun lee<br />

Thunder.<br />

Clouds darkened and his weariness overtook him, pulling<br />

him down onto the sand. Waves rolled in and out. In and<br />

out...In and out. Skies darkened and the world started to fly<br />

away. Up and down...Up and down.<br />

The rain started to fall; it was heavy on his back. He tried to<br />

rise but failed, he could barely crawl. It weighed upon his<br />

shoulders driving his hands and knees further and further<br />

into the sand. Thunder crackled above and threatened to<br />

capture everything he knew but for the waves it sounded<br />

far away, ephemeral, fleeting, almost as if a cover was placed<br />

over his ears. In and out...Up and down, down, down. Then a<br />

hand rested on his head.<br />

“Come”. Weary, he looked up and saw a figure. In damp light,<br />

his face shrouded by the halo of the horizon-glow behind<br />

him.<br />

“Come”. Weary, he grabbed the hand and heaved. In and<br />

out...Up and down. The figure lifted up the man and walked<br />

through the storm. In a haze, cradled in his strong arms, the<br />

man managed to say with his last breath, “Oh, Love that<br />

would not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee.” In and<br />

out...Up and down.<br />

Thunder.<br />

creative/comedy<br />


edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

postcards from<br />

the middle<br />

article by jeanne carlos<br />

artwork by yusra shahid<br />

looked solidly red. 10/10. It could probably make the Hall of<br />

Fame of high-fives. Maybe I should high-five Annie. Looks<br />

like a great way to establish contact. Will need a situation<br />

first. Can’t just high-five her out of fucking nowhere.<br />

How does Suzy do it so easily? She just goes for it. Whoosh,<br />

here I am! Hurricane Suzy. Just come in and fucking<br />

demolish the place with my never-ending, oh-so-wonderful,<br />

Playschool ‘kindness’.<br />

Any idiot could smile and wave.<br />

I’ll try it tomorrow.<br />

Day Four<br />

Whoever said friendship is a gift is a fucking liar.<br />

I spent the worst five hours of my life sipping warm beer,<br />

watching people play an assortment of beer pong, cards,<br />

Charades, and a mix of all three.<br />

Day Three<br />

Two more days to go and I really hope Suzy learns how to<br />

shut up. Just stop talking to me. Fuck. I mean, how hard<br />

could that be? I get that we’re all here to ‘make friends’<br />

and ‘learn leadership’ but there’s a line. Why isn’t there a<br />

workshop about knowing when to leave someone alone?<br />

“No, Suzy, I haven’t watched any movies recently.”<br />

Who has that kind of money? And time? God.<br />

Why can’t Annie ever bother me like that? I’d talk to her<br />

myself but she’s always surrounded by everyone else and I<br />

don’t need that kind of social anxiety in my life.<br />

I come into the workshops, participate, stare at her a bit,<br />

and then leave. I’m a solitary person. I value my space. She’s<br />

killing that vibe. And honestly? I think Suzy might have a<br />

crush on me. How do I let her down gently? She’s not bad or<br />

anything but she’s just too friendly. Is that a thing? Could<br />

someone theoretically list down ‘being too friendly’ as a<br />

flaw on their resumé?<br />

SKILLS: Photoshop, photography, second language<br />

(Spanish).<br />

FLAWS: Friendly. Way too fucking friendly.<br />

I think she’s trying too hard. She does it to everyone. Always<br />

saying hi. Smiling and shit. Completely unnatural. She’s<br />

too nice, but I can’t tell yet if it’s fake or not. Punchline is,<br />

everyone else seems to like it.<br />

Suzy’s talking to Peter right now. Laugh, smile, serious<br />

comment, chuckle, high-five. It’s a conspiracy. Is she<br />

recruiting them for something? We’re already part of a cult,<br />

what does she think we’re doing at camp? That high-five<br />

looked really good, though. Strong, timed right. Hands<br />

Bonus: Annie was there. She was playing beer pong. A girl<br />

after my own heart.<br />

I reckon the people who advertise this socialising shit don’t<br />

actually understand how stressful it can be. I’m there, and<br />

I’ve said ‘hi’. I accepted someone’s offer for a drink. I cheer<br />

when someone finally gets a shot in. I joked about how<br />

shitty that one lecturer is. Patted someone’s back when they<br />

told me they should be doing a 3000 word essay right now.<br />

“That’s rough, buddy.”<br />

They’d forgotten their laptop. The essay’s due on Monday.<br />

They’re going to die.<br />

Day Five<br />

Fuck. Shit. Fuck. I did it again. Shit.<br />

On the way back, the bus broke down near a gas station<br />

with a Maccas, so I bought Annie a McFlurry and she<br />

thanked me. She kind of looked like she was crying, so I<br />

asked her if she was okay.<br />

But wait! How could you fuck up asking if someone’s okay?<br />

Here’s a hint: ask her if she’s okay à la Michael Jackson’s 1987<br />

hit classic ‘Smooth Criminal’.<br />

I literally saw the light leave her eyes, and I could have<br />

fallen on to my knees begging for forgiveness. I think she<br />

actually hated me for three seconds. She kept the McFlurry<br />

at least. Didn’t tell me why she looked like she was crying.<br />

Fair enough, since even I wouldn’t have spoken to me. How<br />

would I feel if someone sang a song at me because of my<br />

name? I don’t think about these things enough. Later, I<br />

told her I thought she’d make a good leader. She won that<br />

prize with her group at the end of camp. I probably cheered<br />

louder than necessary, but I was sort of, like, actually proud.<br />

People were still loopy from hangovers (I found out who<br />

stole my booze). We’re all feeling pretty leadership-ed out.

Sidenote: Suzy’s been leaving me alone. Reckon she got the<br />

message. I think I might have actually said “Fuck off, Suzy”<br />

out-loud and not in my head. I was drunk, so it’s fine. She<br />

knows I was drunk. She just laughed and high-fived me.<br />

I got back home and my first thought was how that guy<br />

with the 3000 word essay was doing. Is he doing it right<br />

now? Is he okay? Is he playing DOTA? Is he crying?<br />

Day Six<br />

This is sort of fun. I reckon one day we’ll all just forget how<br />

to write with our hands. All we’ll know is how to point.<br />

What’s gonna happen to the drawers and painters?<br />

Not at camp, which means I’m back at home and back<br />

to telling my mum to stop gossiping about the man two<br />

houses down. Just let him walk his dog. Jesus Christ. But<br />

she can’t help herself.<br />

She’s a little racist. He’s tall and doesn’t smile. She’s<br />

fascinated. She wants to know everything, and if she can’t<br />

find out everything then she’ll guess. This is what happens<br />

when you move to a country halfway through your life<br />

and settle in a suburb where everyone else has come from<br />

somewhere else. You’re bored and stuck, trying to figure<br />

out what the fuck you’re meant to be doing now that you’re<br />

here.<br />

This is what you get. You get an Asian lady calling her sister<br />

and now they’re comparing notes. Turns out my aunt has<br />

‘criminals’ on her street too. She lives in the south-east so I<br />

don’t know why I’m surprised. I’m just glad they’ve stopped<br />

bothering me about not dating anyone.<br />

Wonder if Suzy has ‘criminals’ on her street. Gangs! Maybe<br />

that’s why she’s so over-friendly. She’s just used to being<br />

friendly to save her life.<br />

Day Seven<br />

Can’t make any of the Wonder Woman showings this week<br />

because I’ve got unrecorded lectures, tutes, labs, and then<br />

work. What the FUCK.<br />

Day Eight<br />

First meeting since camp and how does Annie look better<br />

than last time? Made sure not to reference Michael Jackson<br />

at all, or any other artists of the 70s, 80s, and beyond.<br />

Wouldn’t want to trigger anything. Maybe she has a brother<br />

called Jessie. And a sister called Stacy. And all of her dogs<br />

had been let out at one point. I don’t know.<br />

Meeting was boring, just went over everything. What went<br />

good. What didn’t. I suggested we tell people not to steal<br />

other people’s booze. Trent asked how exactly I planned to<br />

implement that. I shrugged and asked her: isn’t this why we<br />

have meetings? For ideas to be told and then other people<br />

actually doing it? He told me that there’s no point to an<br />

idea if you can’t follow it up with a plan.<br />

For fuck’s sake. Can’t even brainstorm anymore. I can’t<br />

believe I ever liked him. Asshole.<br />

No one else brought it up too, so I guess everyone’s fine<br />

with having their booze stolen.<br />

Annie stayed pretty silent. She mentioned that we can’t<br />

really control people that much, they’re all there for a good<br />

time. Sure.<br />

Suzy didn’t high-five anyone today. Same, Suzy, Same.<br />

Day Eleven ?<br />

Will I ever have my shit together.<br />

Day 22 24<br />

How do I get so tired from not doing anything? I go to<br />

uni and I sleep in lectures. I go to meetings and I sleep in<br />

meetings. I go to work and I sleep on the bus. I get home<br />

and I don’t sleep, and then I’m tired the next day. Shouldn’t<br />

they all cancel out or something?<br />

Sidenote: I don’t think I’m a very good leader. I forgot I was<br />

the mentor of five jaffies (I can’t be completely at fault,<br />

though, because they never contacted me).<br />

Maybe I could be the leader of some quiet group or<br />

something. All I have to do is book a room, open the door,<br />

let people in, and we could all just enjoy each other’s silent<br />

company. No need to get to know anyone else, this is Where<br />

the Silent People Are.<br />

Our constitution:<br />

1. Be silent.<br />

2. Don’t pressure anyone to talk.<br />

3. Always have booze.<br />

4. Don’t steal anyone’s booze.<br />

5. Don’t judge people for being quiet. Fuck you, if you do.<br />

6. Listening to music on earphones is permitted, but not<br />

loud enough so we can hear it.<br />

7. High-fiving is encouraged.<br />

Maybe I can book two rooms: one for the Totally Silent and<br />

one for the Somewhat Silent, so people who actually want<br />

to exchange a few words can do it in there. I could have<br />

snacks there too. Food gets noisy when you chew. Mouthbreathers<br />

go in this room too. That way, people like Suzy<br />

can come in, to balance it all out. I reckon I could probably<br />

have her as VP or something, so you got someone quiet and<br />

you got someone loud to, like, help people who are quiet.<br />

Yeah.<br />

I caught up with Suzy after a lecture. Never realised she<br />

was in the same lecture as me but I knew we did the same<br />

course. Always thought she was the type to say things all<br />

the time and actually participate and answer the lecturer’s<br />

questions. Turns out she’s been sitting two rows behind me<br />

this whole time. SHE was the one who always took pictures<br />

of lecture slides on her phone. Never participated once.<br />

Small world.<br />

She told me her cat died. It was a long-winded story about<br />

how she adopted him, and then how long the cat had<br />

been in the family. Then something about her uncle being<br />

allergic to cats, so she had to chase him out of the room all<br />

the time. The cat, not the uncle. I reckon she’d been waiting<br />

to tell someone about her cat for a while, and I didn’t have<br />

much else to do but study so I stayed. She also had some<br />

chips with her and she was sharing. I hadn’t eaten lunch yet.<br />

I had an essay to finish start but to be honest, I thought this<br />

was a good opportunity. Experience the other side for a bit.<br />

Suzy In Camp was draining and annoying and really just<br />

leave-me-the-fuck-alone, but Suzy By Herself wasn’t all that<br />

bad. Wonder if people think that way about me.<br />

The last thing I remember from what she said was that her<br />

cat’s name had been Annie. So, I did it again: I asked her if<br />

Annie was okay. Thank God she found it funny (I think),<br />

because I could NOT go through another five minutes of<br />

wondering if someone secretly hated me. Then I asked her<br />

if she was okay. She said she was fine:<br />

“Just…fine.”<br />

Day Sixteen (Fuck I Don’t Know!)<br />

What if we all collectively decided to not give a shit?<br />

Asking for a friend.<br />

creative/comedy 48-49

edition four<br />

lot’s wife

creative/comedy 50-51

START<br />


edition four<br />

lot’s wife

edition three<br />

wot’s life?<br />

with agony aunt<br />

Q.<br />

Dear Agony Aunt,<br />

I think I have a crush on my economics lecturer! I always see him looking at me in class, giving me ‘the<br />

eyes’, so he probably feels the same way, right? How do I approach him after class without looking like I’m<br />

hopelessly obsessed?<br />

Kind regards,<br />

A commerce student looking for true love<br />

Start up a conversation about his economic beliefs. If he says “jobs and growth” then it’s time to #Brexit as<br />

quick as possible. If not then continue to make poor puns by telling him how’d you love to acquire his assets or<br />

manage his stimulus package. He’ll catch on eventually.<br />

Dear Agony Aunt,<br />

My boyfriend and I are looking to move out of the nest and get a flat together, yay! However, there’s a<br />

slight issue. I work in hospitality while I study, and I have been trying to save up as much as I can. However<br />

he doesn’t work at all and has rich parents who are going to fund everything he needs. Should we still split<br />

the rent and bills 50/50? He keeps looking at apartments that are way out of my price range, and they’re<br />

cool places that I’d love to live in, but it’s not going to be possible if we go halves on the cost. I have tried<br />

to bring it up with him and he just doesn’t see why I’m concerned. It’s like he thinks money is just no big<br />

deal - typical private school attitude, you know. What do I do?<br />

A.<br />

Kind regards,<br />

A working class gal<br />

Firstly, I’d be telling that lazy-ass to wake up and get himself a job. If he’s too inept to manage that then make<br />

it clear he will be responsible for 100% of the jobs around the house from dusting to washing and cooking<br />

too (I think you’ll find that he’ll suddenly be able to get a job after saying this). Secondly, make your budget/<br />

contribution very clear to him and teach him how to double numbers. If this number is higher than the rent of<br />

an apartment that he is interested in explain that he’ll have to sell his collection of Ralph Lauren polos that his<br />

parents bought for him to make up the difference. PS go girlfriend

edition four<br />

lot’s wife<br />

sport the difference<br />

article by celaena june sardothian<br />

artwork by ??<br />

Content Warning: sexism, cissexism<br />

It is impossible to escape stereotypes about women. I think everyone<br />

has seen, heard, or been subject to some sort of stereotype, especially<br />

when it comes to women in sport. Across the whole industry, those<br />

stereotypes affect how women are treated from the court to the playing<br />

field. Girls never get picked first for teams. People hesitate before passing<br />

you the ball, or avoid throwing it to you altogether. Boys and girls<br />

play on different courts, and in different leagues, because otherwise it<br />

wouldn’t be fair.<br />

I never really cared much for the whole ‘boys are better than girls in<br />

sport’ thing, because for the most part I thought it wasn’t all that<br />

true. I’ve always considered myself quite good at sport. I tried a bit of<br />

everything, from football to badminton to gymnastics, and usually did<br />

just as well as my three brothers. Looking back, it’s obvious I was lucky<br />

in that I had male siblings (even if they did take it easy on me when<br />

we played together) and a sporty family, who encouraged me to pursue<br />

sport. I also found a sport that I loved, and so I never really lost interest<br />

in physical activity. It could have so easily gone the other way, like it<br />

does for a lot of us.<br />

I have 3 distinct memories about sport in my childhood:<br />

I used to get out of running laps at school because my (male) sport<br />

teacher knew later that day I would be playing representative basketball<br />

and wanted me to save my energy for the game. I played with my best<br />

friend and we were the only “representative” basketball players in<br />

our year so it was a pretty big deal for our school. My teacher seemed<br />

genuinely impressed at our sporting abilities and knew we could deal<br />

with the extra exercise but wanted us to really excel.<br />

My Dad said to me one Saturday evening, the night before an early<br />

basketball training session that he didn’t want to take me there anymore<br />

because “[I] wouldn’t get anywhere with basketball anyway”. I didn’t<br />

really understand why he said that, everyone at school was so supportive<br />

and my brothers played basketball too and Mum was happy to take me…<br />

so why did my Dad have an issue? I still don’t know.<br />

In year six, my school basketball team (girls) played in the boys’ division<br />

because we were too good for the girls’ competition. We couldn’t play<br />

in any other division; we were the oldest age group for primary school<br />

sport and were in the top girls division so the boys division was the<br />

only realistic option. We assumed the boys division would be more<br />

stimulating; the competition was better because they enjoyed the game<br />

more and played more aggressively, so it was more of a challenge. The<br />

boys, though, were angry at the audacity of the league to allow such a<br />

‘violation’ of rules. My mum remembers the boys’ parents being appalled<br />

at the idea and wanted to watch us lose. We finished 3rd!<br />

Primary school was great for me. I won sports awards and had heaps<br />

of athletics ribbons and loved being on the oval at lunch time with<br />

my friends playing any sport we wanted. My best friends and I fit in<br />

perfectly amongst the boys and they loved the competition! Back then<br />

we weren’t afraid to show some friendly aggression.<br />

After primary school comes high school, and well, puberty. I watched<br />

friends’ interest in physical activity drop, and was disheartened to find<br />

that everybody else found this normal. At lunch, we self-segregated,<br />

with the boys playing footy and the girls sitting in the shade. The<br />

average Beep Test score for girls in my age group dropped each year,<br />

while the boys’ would rise. I hated it and it made me sad. It didn’t make<br />

sense to me, and still doesn’t really.<br />

In basketball, girls nails had to be kept short because scratching was a<br />

major concern, the boys didn’t seem to have that rule; I guess if the boys<br />

got scratched they just had to suck it up? Maybe it was just because long<br />

nails were more of a “girl thing”? Who knows? I didn’t love the idea that<br />

in tennis the girls had to play 2 fewer sets than the boys. If I’m playing<br />

a sport then I wanted to make the most of it! I came to tire myself<br />

out!! I never tried netball, the girls at school would always talk about<br />

how bitchy the girls were and I wasn’t for that at all. Maybe I’ll never<br />

understand why rules and regulations in sport are so sexist.<br />

Ultimately, I found the biggest difference between boys and girls when<br />

it came to sport was aggression: boys could get away with playing rough<br />

without judgement or fear for their safety, while for us girls, aggression<br />

was seen as unladylike. Aggression was perceived as a male trait, and<br />

girls who played sport with some attitude were often labelled “manly”.<br />

It was important to me that I had an avenue to be aggressive without<br />

feeling unladylike.<br />

Once I found a sport that worked for me I latched onto it. Volleyball! It<br />

was perfect for me in so many ways: a full body work out, a team sport,<br />

offence and defence combined, and the best part? It’s aggressive as hell<br />

(but there’s a net between you and the other team so aggression is more<br />

than acceptable). In fact, we are constantly told to be more aggressive,<br />

and at the end of the games when you shake hands with the other team<br />

they comment on how well you play if you play aggressively!! It was the<br />

only sport I found where I could show aggression and refs didn’t take it<br />

the wrong way.<br />

I’ve been playing volleyball almost exclusively now for about 10 years. I<br />

like to imagine the other sports I tried in my childhood are different now<br />

to how I experienced them, and are less dependent on stereotypes about<br />

girls and women. It’s possible I had a completely different experience to<br />

others, and that they never experience sexism in sport, but I fear that’s<br />

wishful thinking. Women in sport aren’t taken as seriously or treated the<br />

same way as men.<br />

In the meantime, I’ll wait patiently for our turn and cheer on any<br />

movement in the right direction! Women’s AFL, Michelle Payne, the<br />

Williams sisters. It’s looking good.

“it’s just locker<br />

room talk”<br />

article by hamah hosen<br />

artwork by lily greenwood<br />

Content Warning: sexism, sexual assault, rape, rape<br />

culture, sexual harassment, victim blaming<br />

A newly structured version of “boys will be boys” has<br />

emerged, highlighting the continuation of sexism within<br />

our society.<br />

The framing of sexist comments as banter suggests<br />

this behaviour is tolerated,<br />

this behaviour is acceptable<br />

That is of course,<br />

as long as no one opposes them,<br />

as long as it’s not taken seriously,<br />

as long as they can be seen as a joke<br />

Disrespect is no joke.<br />

cat-calls while walking on the street<br />

sexist jokes on the public bus<br />

non-consensual grabbing at work<br />

But don’t worry, “It’s Just Locker Room Talk”.<br />

The reality is,<br />

these words are rarely ever only confined in the private<br />

environment of locker rooms.<br />

But somehow…<br />

they remained said with an excuse<br />

they remain said with a justification<br />

they remain said to facilitate rape culture<br />

It becomes a constant struggle to win the game …<br />

when we constantly have to tug and re-adjust our clothing<br />

while passing the players<br />

when we constantly have to try to speed up our pace while<br />

passing the players<br />

when we constantly have to watch that we aren’t provoking<br />

while passing the players<br />

But don’t worry, “It’s Just Locker Room Talk”.<br />

There’s no win-win in this situation<br />

The odds are not in our favour,<br />

as long as the rhetoric remains intact<br />

at the office,<br />

at the shops,<br />

in the bathrooms.<br />

This tired rhetoric needs to be challenged.<br />

It’s been overused and reused.<br />

We need to refuse to accept these conversations as a norm<br />

We need to refuse to stay silent<br />

We need to refuse to see this rhetoric as an excuse<br />

“Locker room talk” is not simply locker room talk.<br />

It’s a dangerous game facilitating an attitude of no<br />

accountability<br />

in a culture …<br />

where 1 in 3 women will become victims of sexual violence.<br />

where 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual violence.<br />

where less than 15% of rapes are reported<br />

But don’t worry, “It’s Just Locker Room Talk”.<br />

The ‘Game of Life’ is automatically sabotaged<br />

Free unlimited spins of the rhetoric<br />

Rewards for moving on in the journey<br />

Lucky chances for not being the 1 in 3<br />

creative/comedy<br />

dissent 56-57

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