Lot's Wife Edition 3 2024

  • No tags were found...

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

LOT'S<br />

<strong>Wife</strong><br />


Thank you to our wonderful<br />

contributors!<br />

We are always on the lookout for new writers<br />

and artists to contribute to future editions. If you<br />

would like to get involved, shoot us a message<br />

on socials, email or pop your head into our<br />

office!<br />

Writers<br />

Artists<br />

(in order of appearence) Carina Griffin, John Sopar, Tisanga<br />

Serasinghe, Thomas Hall, Isla Hickey, Mandy Li, Dora Chung,<br />

Chloe Wong, Erica Di Pierro, Lucia Lane, Mary Elizabeth, Dimitri<br />

Kaminis, Dilhan Simsek, Robert Barber, Ash Dowling, Julia Fullard,<br />

Amiriya Dorian, Louis Perez<br />

Lucinda Campbell, Thisanga Serasinge, Dora Chung, Spencer<br />

Slaney, Louis Perez<br />

Editors<br />

Contact us<br />

Angus Duske, Samantha Hudson and Mandy<br />

Li<br />

Email: msa-lotswife@monash.edu.au<br />

Instagram: @lotswifemag<br />

Facebook: Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong><br />

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

Level 1 Campus Centre, next to Sir John’s Bar<br />

Disclaimer<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> is the student magazine of Monash Student<br />

Association (MSA). The views expressed herein do<br />

not necessarily reflect those of the MSA, the printers<br />

or editors. All material remains the property of the<br />

accredited creators and shall not be redistributed without<br />

consent.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> is produced and published on Aboriginal land. We acknowledge the<br />

Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nation as the<br />

traditional and continuous owners af the land. Sovereignty was never ceded.<br />



6 - MSA departmental reports<br />

12- Greenwashing, Gag Orders and a<br />

Gas Extraction Empire - the case to<br />

kick Woodside off campus<br />

15- Referendum<br />

16- The Orange Tree<br />

18- HECS and housing: united against<br />

the youth<br />

20- We're Banking on It! MUST cast<br />

interview<br />

22- Something about Liminal Spaces:<br />

The Sweet East, The American Dream<br />

and Ayo Edebiri<br />

24- The Cult of Toxic Positivity<br />

26- I am Lucky<br />

27- Eleanor<br />

LW<br />



30 - Standing on the Borderline<br />

31- An Offering in Defense of<br />

Aphrodite<br />

32- The Charm of a Prince<br />

34- Rise (artwork)<br />

36- A word from your academic reps<br />

40 - Judas who Loved Me<br />

40 - The Leader of the Opposition<br />

41- You Decide...<br />

41- Me, Again<br />

42- When Monash students resisted<br />

the Vietnam War<br />

44- Match Point<br />



MSA DEPARTMENT REPORTS / EDITION THREE <strong>2024</strong><br />

MSA DEPARTMENT REPORTS / EDITION TWO <strong>2024</strong><br />


Hi Everyone, I hope everyone is not too stressed with assessments! This semester has<br />

consisted of many exciting events so far – Wednesday Sessions, AUSLAN Sessions, and<br />

ESJ Week just to name a few! There has also been an array of advocacy happening<br />

– fans will now be installed in all Residential Villages and some action is being<br />

organised to protest against the Library opening hour changes. I am also continuing<br />

to work with the NTEU to ensure that the University knows both students and staff are<br />

angered by parking prices and have met with VC Sharon Pickering to ensure student's<br />

voices are heard. Once again, please reach out if there are any concerns because we<br />

are here to represent you and your voices. Thank you and know that we are always<br />

fighting for students!<br />


Hi everyone, Zareh here, your MSA Secretary for <strong>2024</strong>, I’m introducing exciting new<br />

initiatives called MSA Day and MSA Expo which are scheduled for Monash University's<br />

Semester 2, <strong>2024</strong>, with the goal of improving the overall student experience. The Expo<br />

will bring departments and industry partners together while promoting connections<br />

and providing insights into university life. The goal of MSA Day is to foster a sense of<br />

community among students by organising fun events that encourage harmony and<br />

good times. The purpose of both events is to foster a sense of community among<br />

students and create enduring memories. Moreover, we are committed to enhance<br />

the transparency in our advocacy efforts, ensuring students are well-informed about<br />

initiatives that affect their university experience. As a result, I plan to post detailed<br />

update reports of our advocacy work through our social media, including achievements<br />

and challenges, to foster a collaborative and engaged student community.<br />


Hey everyone, I hope you are all doing okay as we reach the tail-end of semester.<br />

As MSA Treasurer much of my focus lately has been on making sure we are ready for<br />

MSA's AGM where we approve our financial statements for the previous year. At MSA<br />

we've also been working hard planning and preparing our foodbank for students<br />

which we hope to have up and running soon. This is an exciting and important<br />

initiative which we hope can combat food insecurity on campus and make your life as<br />

students easier. My upcoming goals are to continue working on the foodbank, and to<br />

help prepare MSA for a great Semester 2.<br />

Good luck with exams and I hope to see you at an MSA event soon.<br />


No report received from this department.<br />


(HE/HIM)<br />

Over the past few weeks, the CLA Department has achieved significant milestones<br />

in our ongoing initiatives. We successfully completed five Wednesday Sessions<br />

promoting various concepts and diversity, including BABBA, Aleksiah, Ten Jesus &<br />

the Jean Teasers, and a Taylor Swift cover artist. By providing free food, drinks, and<br />

live performances, it has resulted in a notable increase in engagement from students<br />

on Clayton Campus. Additionally, we've noticed our Wednesday Sessions fostered<br />

meaningful connections with our audience and drove interest in our events.<br />

Looking ahead, we aim to further amplify our brand presence through social media by<br />

introducing virtual competition events, and more parties or events with DJs and other<br />

live artists. We plan to roll out more themes and activities for the second semester<br />

of Wednesday Sessions. These efforts align with our overarching goal of fostering<br />

long-term engagement with our audiences and solidifying our impact in the students'<br />

university experiences.<br />



We've had a busy first half of the semester, with two lots of AUSLAN Sessions, several<br />

events during Neurodiversity Celebration Week and ESJ Week. A special thank you<br />

to our speakers for our Neurodiversity Networking Night, your insights were greatly<br />

appreciated.<br />

Advocacy continues to keep us busy. We are in the process of providing further<br />

feedback on the Accessibility, Disability, and Inclusion Action Plan (ADIAP) that is<br />

being developed. In the coming weeks we plan to finish our Access Guide, this will<br />

provide all departments with information on how to make their events, socials and<br />

publications the most accessible they can be.<br />

As always if there is anything that you would like to raise or that you need support<br />

with, please email: msa-disabilities@monash.edu<br />

Upcoming Events<br />

Body Doubling Sessions - SWOTVAC<br />



Hi Everyone! It’s Grayson and Naomi back with another update from the Ed(Ac)<br />

Department. We’re halfway through semester now and have been working tirelessly to<br />

best support you. Our Academic Affairs Committee has been finalised, and we’re really<br />

excited to work with them to best serve your interests. With their diverse backgrounds<br />

and experiences, we can’t wait to have their assistance on our current and future<br />

campaigns. At the moment, the campaigns we’re fighting for include bringing back<br />

five-day extensions, universal submission times, and pushing for the return of longer<br />

library opening hours. The last of which has been of great disappointment - cont. pg 8<br />

6 7

MSA DEPARTMENT REPORTS / EDITION TWO <strong>2024</strong><br />

to us due to the lack of consultation with the MSA before the hours were cut.<br />

As always if you would like to reach out to discuss anything, please contact us via<br />

email at msa-education@monash.edu or visit us in person at our office.<br />


ISLAM (HE/HIM)<br />

No report received from this department.<br />



At ESJ we've wrapped up our big events for the semester with ESJ Week being a success!<br />

Throughout the next five weeks we'll be following up with our Emissions Transparency<br />

Campaign aiming for a semester two or end of semester one launch date and<br />

doing some behind the scenes work regarding environmental policy and building a<br />

sustainable framework regarding events at Monash. We'll also be establishing and<br />

updating our activism calendar with relevant protests so that students remain aware<br />

of movements happening on the Clayton campus.<br />


No report received from this department.<br />


(SHE/HER)<br />

On March 6, <strong>2024</strong>, Monash University and the Islamic Society achieved a significant<br />

milestone with the inauguration of a dedicated prayer space. This culmination of<br />

years of advocacy and collaboration with MUIS stands as a symbol of unity and<br />

acceptance, providing a sanctuary for Muslim students and faculty on campus.<br />

Just two weeks later, on March 20, <strong>2024</strong>, the POC Department, in collaboration with the<br />

Pakistani Society at Monash University, hosted a heart-warming Ramadan Iftar event.<br />

Attendees were treated to a feast of traditional Pakistani cuisine, including flavourful<br />

dishes like biryani and samosas. This celebration of community spirit showcased rich<br />

cultural heritage and the values of compassion embodied by Ramadan.<br />

Our last event of the semester, the POC department hosted a Pizza & Game Night on<br />

April 17, <strong>2024</strong>. It was an event open to all who registered, and promised a fun and<br />

relaxing evening for students to unwind before exams.<br />

Upcoming Events<br />

Mid-Autumn Festival – Details on Social Media<br />

MSA DEPARTMENT REPORTS / EDITION TWO <strong>2024</strong><br />


We geared up for our panel with 1978 Mardi Gras rioters from Sydney, which is now<br />

organised as a component of Environment and Social Justice Week, a collaborative<br />

effort with the ESJ Department. We have started advocacy campaigns regarding<br />

Labor’s recent targeting of refugees, particularly case ASF17, who is an Iranian bisexual<br />

man, who the government is attempting to deport back to Iran. He is extremely likely<br />

to suffer persecution based on his political views and sexuality if he is deported. MSA<br />

Queer has written an open letter which we will be promoting and campaigning about<br />

in collaboration with NUS Queer.<br />


HER)<br />

Our department has made significant strides in enhancing accessibility and inclusion<br />

for individuals with disabilities living on campus. We've implemented a structured<br />

approach to setting goals, focusing on specific improvements like accessible facilities,<br />

inclusive events, and support services. Over the next five weeks, we aim to conduct<br />

surveys and focus groups to gather feedback from residents and identify areas for<br />

enhancement. Additionally, we're collaborating with community organisations to<br />

expand resources and support for students living off-campus. This includes creating<br />

partnerships for transportation services, advocating for accessible housing options,<br />

and hosting workshops on independent living skills. Our goal is to foster a more<br />

inclusive and supportive environment for all members of our residential community,<br />

on and off-campus.<br />


THEY)<br />

Hello everyone! We hope that you are all doing well with sem 1, especially as the<br />

stress of exams and final assessments approach!<br />

The Welfare Department continues to run Free Food Mondays every week! We also<br />

ran our first Welfare on Wheels in week five. The Welfare Department also hosted an<br />

activities day on the 6th of May which included craft activities, snacks, board games<br />

and dogs!<br />

We will be running Welfare on Wheels in Week 12 and we will be delivering our<br />

packs from the libraries across campus! Check out our Instagram @msa.welfare to<br />

see the schedule!<br />

If anyone is feeling stressed and needs a moment to breathe, the Welfare Hub,<br />

located near the outside steps of the Campus Centre that leads up to Sir John’s is<br />

a great quiet place! They have quiet pods that block out sound and are perfect for<br />

private calls.<br />

Upcoming Events<br />

Free Food Mondays – Mondays – 5:00pm – Wholefoods<br />

8 9

MSA DEPARTMENT REPORTS / EDITION TWO <strong>2024</strong><br />

MSA DEPARTMENT REPORTS / EDITION TWO <strong>2024</strong><br />


Hellooo its Zoe from MSA Women's

Greenwashing, Gag Orders and a Gas Extraction Empire - the case for kicking<br />

Woodside off campus<br />

By Carina Griffin<br />

When I say Woodside, I’m not talking about the Engineering building– the Woodside<br />

Building for Technology and Design, on our own Clayton Campus, is an energy-efficient<br />

architectural masterpiece with a slew of design awards. Built in 2019-2020, and opened at<br />

an online launch in between lockdowns, it’s the only building on campus that doesn’t use<br />

gas for power. That isn’t the ‘Woodside’ I dread.<br />

I’m talking about the name plastered on its side, Woodside, standing for the mining<br />

company known as Woodside Energy, formerly Woodside Petroleum (before they merged<br />

with BHP). The oil and gas-extracting megacorporation currently partnered with Monash,<br />

and the Engineering building’s namesake.<br />

Woodside, Australia’s biggest fossil fuel company, with the revenue (2022-2023 profit of 10<br />

billion Australian dollars) and production rate (513M barrels of oil per day) to prove it. The<br />

company that recently, in 2022, swallowed up all of BHP’s oil and gas assets, catapulting<br />

it into the top 10 of the world’s biggest hydrocarbon extractors.<br />

The other day, I walked by a fellow student excited that her and her mate’s next class was<br />

in the Woodside Building, and I mourn the fact that this is exactly what Woodside wanted–<br />

to have its name be known for the beautiful Engineering building, and not the insidious<br />

company that it is. The company that’s pushing for its massive offshore Burrup Hub gas<br />

proposal to run until 2070, with lifetime emissions of 6.1 billion metric tonnes of CO2– that’s<br />

13 years of Australia’s carbon footprint alone, from a singular Woodside gas plant.<br />

As a climate science student, I’m well aware that this oil and gas-burning is catastrophic,<br />

suicidal, and heralds the destruction of the weather systems we depend on for a habitable<br />

environment, but it goes deeper than that. Even by fossil fuel standards, Woodside is truly<br />

evil, and you only have to look at their shady history.<br />

In 2006, they were investigated by the Australian Federal Police over bribery and corruption<br />

of officials in the Mauritanian government. Their Greater Sunrise oil field operation, reserves<br />

of massively lucrative undersea oil between East Timor and Australia, was the alluring deal<br />

at stake that led Australia to wiretap the East Timorese government in a 2004 espionage<br />

scandal. The ASIS operative whistleblower known as ‘Witness K’ only made the situation<br />

public in 2012, after then-foreign affairs minister at the time of the bugging operation,<br />

Alexander Downer, retired and became a corporate adviser, to Woodside. In 2014, the<br />

International Court of Justice ordered the Australian government to stop spying on East<br />

Timor.<br />

Offshore gas regulator NOPSEMA refused to disclose the location or company behind<br />

an oil spill of over 10 000 litres off the coast of Western Australia in 2016, only that it had<br />

been leaking continuously for over 2 months. Woodside turned out to have been behind<br />

the disaster, kept secret for more than a year.<br />

In Parliament from 2007-2016, and Minister for Energy and Resources under Gillard, Labor<br />

MP Gary Gray worked as Woodside’s Director of Corporate Affairs from the turn of the<br />

millennium right up until the winning of his seat. Ian Macfarlane, Liberal Minister for Industry<br />

under Howard and then Abbott, has sat comfortably on the Woodside board since his<br />

12<br />

2015 retirement. The three most recent chairs of offshore gas regulator NOPSEMA have<br />

all held positions at Woodside prior to their appointment on the supposedly independent<br />

regulatory body. In Western Australia, where Woodside is based and operates, the<br />

revolving doors between government and industry continue, and the control Woodside<br />

has is even more staggering.<br />

This brings us to the Burrup Hub.<br />

The Burrup Peninsula, Indigenous name Murujuga, sits in Western Australia’s Pilbara. I’ve<br />

already told you that Woodside is pushing to expand its operations there for more than<br />

50 years into the future, and that the billions of tonnes of emissions this would produce<br />

would eclipse all of Australia’s historical emissions reductions, striking out any progress<br />

we’ve made towards the Paris or Kyoto Agreements. Traditional Owners have pointed out<br />

that sacred 40,000 year old rock art is already being destroyed by Woodside’s existing<br />

onshore processing plant. Marine reefs lie off the pristine coast, with Greenpeace and<br />

the Conservation Council of Western Australia fighting against plans to use huge seismic<br />

blasting waves to map potential sites for drilling, damaging fragile Scott Reef beyond<br />

repair and harming species like endangered pygmy blue whales that call the ecosystem<br />

home.<br />

Mardudhunera woman Raelene Cooper successfully argued in Federal Court that<br />

Woodside had failed to adequately consult her and other custodians of Murujuga, and<br />

that the cultural heritage of Indigenous songlines were jeopardised by the project, before<br />

NOPSEMA waved through a second approval process in 2022. Back in WA, Cooper then<br />

had her home raided by police, who found nothing.<br />

Restraining orders and gag orders, usually used in domestic violence situations to prevent<br />

social media threats by abusive male offenders, were slapped on Disrupt Burrup Hub<br />

activists in Perth, preventing them from posting about Woodside online. The orders were<br />

placed after one 19-year old attempted to spray-paint messages outside CEO Meg<br />

O’Brien’s residence, with no intention to enter the premises. The Australian Human Rights<br />

Law Centre calls this “beyond democracy”, and other legal experts have expressed shock<br />

at this abuse of the legal system by these gag orders, which extend O’Brien’s right to<br />

personal safety to encompass the reputation of the company itself. Bail conditions placed<br />

on activists already restricted them from approaching O’Brien or Woodside’s property,<br />

so the additional gag order only served to silence the activists discussing Woodside’s<br />

activities online. The effect is a perverse inversion of the legal “corporate veil”, with the<br />

courts protecting Woodside’s social licence as if it was a real person in physical danger.<br />

Woodside is trying to sue these activists for loss of revenue after a demonstration at<br />

company headquarters. They have threatened to sue, additionally, for loss of brand value<br />

and social licence as a result of protesting, as if the public isn’t opposing Woodside due<br />

to their own destructive actions.<br />

Woodside have been accused by unions of deliberately ignoring AWU and MUA strikers<br />

and hiring inexperienced scab labour engineers on their oil rigs, waving away safety<br />

concerns.<br />

WA police, in a blatant attempt at intimidation, pulled a 21-year old unarmed anti-Woodside<br />

activist over with an unmarked police car and held him at gunpoint the night before a<br />

protest, searching his vehicle without a warrant.<br />

When I say I’m campaigning to end Woodside’s partnership with Monash, many people

When I say I’m campaigning to end Woodside’s partnership with Monash, many people<br />

consider this an extreme position. Can’t we work with this company that is supposedly<br />

‘transitioning’ to carbon capture and storage (CCS) and green hydrogen tech, especially<br />

when they fund plenty of good research? Isn’t it important to not get so extremist about<br />

this? Can’t I take a moderate position?<br />

I hope after this article you can understand why that’s not possible. That the company’s<br />

history demonstrates the staggering legal, political and police power they revel in wielding<br />

to protect their gas and oil mining empire. That their crusade against democracy, the law,<br />

and community safety is truly a terrifying sight to behold.<br />

That despite their greenwashing, less than 1% of Woodside’s profit goes towards carbon<br />

capture technology, and they’re actively pursuing the largest carbon-emitting project the<br />

southern hemisphere has ever seen. That they are an oil and gas company, and will<br />

never transition to renewables. That the Woodside-funded engineering and environmental<br />

research may look good on the surface, but that it’s been proven that universities funded<br />

by fossil fuels produce skewed, biased, and unscientific conclusions. That Woodside are<br />

a deeply calculating and insidious corporation that does not, and will never, have the<br />

climate’s best interests at heart, let alone the interests of staff, students, and academic<br />

integrity.<br />

That continuing to frack, drill, extract and burn fossil fuels, in <strong>2024</strong>, is itself, extremist,<br />

and extremely dangerous for the future of Earth, and all of us who live on it. And that<br />

Woodside, actively pursuing the destruction of the planet, doesn't deserve anyone’s cooperation,<br />

moderation, or acquiescence, especially that of any scientific institution with a<br />

moral backbone.<br />

Woodside’s presence on Monash campus is a venture that serves their PR needs and theirs<br />

alone, a co-option of the prestige and respect that Monash holds. Monash is respected as a<br />

research university, not because of upper management or parasitic industrial partnerships,<br />

but thanks to a hard-working staff and student body driven to find ways to create a better<br />

future. Woodside is a company profiting off of our hard work, our university community<br />

and our passion - using their ties with Monash in order to slow their demise in the public<br />

eye, and maintain the unquestionable political status that has fuelled their domination for<br />

so long. The Woodside-Monash WORDS Energy Partnership BY is undoubtedly MANDY a lucrative deal LI for the<br />

university, but it’s an unforgivable one. Woodside is paying in cold hard, oil-slick cash for<br />

the dodgy sale of Monash’s scientific integrity into fossil fuel’s pockets.<br />

No amount of research grants or industry connections can justify the Chancellor, Vice-<br />

Chancellor or the Board colluding with a company actively conspiring to destroy our future.<br />

They must axe all ties with Woodside immediately, and implement a comprehensive ESG<br />

policy that ensures this never happens again. I urge you to follow the Stop Woodside<br />

Monash campaign, and to join your fellow staff and students in the fight.<br />

Woodside, and the rest of the fossil fuel megacorps, are scrambling to protect their influence<br />

because they are worried that the extraction industry will become a sociopolitical pariah,<br />

scorned by any respected scientific institution.<br />

We can only hope.<br />

Referendum<br />

By John Sopar<br />

And for the next, I worry.<br />

If the past is any indication of the future,<br />

My fears are justified. But we will see.<br />

May their efforts, our efforts,<br />

Make a difference.<br />

For if they don’t? What next.<br />

When all is said and done,<br />

And the pieces lie scattered and broken,<br />

How far is the way back?<br />

How hard to search, blindfolded, bound,<br />

And dream of the sky.<br />

So, I wrap myself in Country,<br />

In possum skins and the wisdom of my Elders.<br />

I soothe my scarred heart with the whisper of the wind in the gums,<br />

With a mother’s crooning lullaby.<br />

Will that be enough? I do not know.<br />

Enough to heal.<br />

Enough to forget.<br />

Enough to reconcile past, present, future.<br />

So, for the next, I worry.<br />

Carina is a third year Law/Science student. She wants you to go to stopwoodsidemonash.<br />

org or @stopwoodsidemonash on Instagram, and join.<br />

14 15

The Orange Tree<br />

words and art by Tisanga Serasinghe<br />

There is<br />

a tree in my<br />

garden. Its branches<br />

strained –<br />

like me.<br />

The day<br />

I emerged, it<br />

too sprung, a wily shoot<br />

of green.<br />

Our limbs<br />

branched out<br />

together, one mobile,<br />

one still.<br />

Soon it<br />

mocked me, able<br />

to stand alone, as I<br />

stumbled.<br />

Stiff grooves<br />

appeared, which I<br />

palmed, as it expanded<br />

above me.<br />

Up the<br />

branches, I would<br />

clamber, foot in the forks,<br />

looking<br />

up through<br />

the leaves, and I’d<br />

dream of walking on<br />

clouds<br />

of white.<br />

Until<br />

it surpassed me,<br />

burgeoning boughs<br />

blocking<br />

the light.<br />

Playing<br />

in the roots, I’d<br />

fantasise, of what was<br />

above.<br />

Small buds<br />

appeared one morning<br />

peeking at me through<br />

green.<br />

white blooms<br />

Until<br />

it surpassed me,<br />

burgeoning boughs<br />

blocking<br />

the light.<br />

Playing<br />

in the roots, I’d<br />

fantasise, of what was<br />

above.<br />

Small buds<br />

appeared one morning<br />

peeking at me through<br />

green.<br />

white blooms<br />

gave way<br />

to green nubs, that<br />

eventually turned into<br />

gold orbs.<br />

Now tall<br />

enough to reach<br />

I extend myself, pluck<br />

one fruit,<br />

then reach<br />

for another. Greed<br />

overtakes me, filling<br />

my arms.<br />

Each fruit<br />

in my hand fills<br />

me with ambition for<br />

more, more.<br />

Big and<br />

golden, some firm,<br />

some a bit tender, bit<br />

paler<br />

Leave a<br />

few unworthy<br />

alone. Variety makes my<br />

stash grow.<br />

Without<br />

my notice, some<br />

tumble out of my arms,<br />

Slipping<br />

through gaps,<br />

fall to the ground.<br />

Some neglected, rot in<br />

my hold.<br />

Outstretched,<br />

compelled by my<br />

nature, I keep aiming<br />

higher.<br />

Stick my<br />

hands into the<br />

depths of foliage for<br />

new tastes.<br />

I don’t<br />

see the fallen<br />

rotting at my feet, till<br />

too late.<br />

Can’t be<br />

salvaged, so I<br />

keep digging, searching<br />

to<br />

replace.<br />

Some fruit<br />

spoil on the tree<br />

itself, uneaten, each a<br />

chance missed.<br />

Hollow,<br />

shrunk potential<br />

land on the dirt, tainted,<br />

unplucked.<br />

This tree<br />

will die someday,<br />

it’s successor inside<br />

my hoard<br />

Struggle<br />

to keep what is<br />

in grasp, as everything<br />

shrivels.<br />

I have<br />

to release some<br />

of my hoard to preserve<br />

others.<br />

Within<br />

juicy flesh, sour<br />

pulp, lies seeds of future<br />

promise.<br />

I can<br />

bury all the<br />

seeds I please, water<br />

them<br />

each day<br />

Time will<br />

tell which survive<br />

my ficklety, and which<br />

perish<br />

So I<br />

keep picking from<br />

this tree’s bountiful limbs<br />

and wait<br />

16 17

HECS and Housing: united against the youth<br />

By Thomas Hall<br />

It’s no secret that Australia is in the midst of a housing crisis. With every passing day we’re<br />

one step closer to Jane Austen’s Georgian England, where you can only get a house<br />

through marriage or inheritance. Negative gearing and a capital gains tax concession for<br />

property investors are increasing demand, while planning restrictions, unsustainable<br />

immigration and government mismanagement is flatlining supply. A perfect storm. The effect<br />

of this housing quagmire impacts young people the most, locking them out of the housing<br />

market.<br />

Naturally, this issue is becoming political. Max Chandler-Mather, the housing spokesperson<br />

for the Greens and one of the only renters in federal parliament, is making significant political<br />

inroads with his rallying tiktok videos on the topic, often garnering over one million views.<br />

At the same time, another political storm is brewing, closing in on HELP loans, more<br />

commonly known as HECS. Dr Monique Ryan, the independent MP for Kooyong has<br />

amassed over 260,000 signatures on her petition to change the HECS system. HECS is<br />

indexed to inflation, which effectively means that young people are charged an annual<br />

compounding interest. This, when combined with stagnant wage growth means that the<br />

HECS debt of the youth is growing faster than they can pay it off.<br />

The Fujiwhara effect<br />

The Fujiwhara effect is a meteorological term that describes two cyclones connecting to<br />

become a larger one. Political radars seem to have failed in detecting the Fujiwhara effect<br />

between the housing and HECS crises happening right now, and the aspirational Australian<br />

youth caught in its eye.<br />

Currently the Australian government is led by people who went to university for free and<br />

bought their homes for between three to five times the average wage, thanks to the Whitlam<br />

education reforms and a housing tax system with parity. Since then, changes to capital gains<br />

tax have combined with the existing practice of negative gearing to rapidly drive up the price<br />

of housing. In <strong>2024</strong>, the median house price is over nine times the average wage, and it’s<br />

getting worse. Throw in an interminable HECS debt, and you’ve got yourself a really unfair<br />

system.<br />

The Politics<br />

The Prime Minister was right when he said that the Labor government ‘needs to do better for<br />

the younger generation’, the Coalition would do well to follow suit. There is massive political<br />

capital to be raised for either major party, here. At the moment, this area is dominated by the<br />

Greens with Chandler-Mather leading the charge. Granted, it is not unusual for young people<br />

to have a natural inclination towards the Greens but the political order is changing; people<br />

aren’t ‘growing out of it’ anymore. The pool of landowners is shrinking while the pool of<br />

renters is growing. Likewise, everyone who attended university after 1989 walked away with<br />

a massive HECS debt and so too will the students of today. So the number of people with a<br />

HECS debt will soon be the majority.<br />

It’s illogical for both major parties to effectively ignore this when their primary vote is in a<br />

steady decline. True, Bill Shorten lost the 2019 election by going after negative gearing<br />

and<br />

the CGT exemption, and Albenese pragmatically kept it out of the debate in 2022. But a lot<br />

has changed since those elections. Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese each resonated<br />

with ‘middle Australia’ in their election pitches, but it won’t take long for ‘middle Australia’<br />

to<br />

consist of renters who can’t get into the housing market. Given that ‘middle Australia’ or<br />

‘the<br />

centre’ decides the outcome of elections, the message to major political parties is clear:<br />

ignore HECS and housing at your peril.<br />

The issues of HECS and housing both go against the deeply entrenched Australian grain of<br />

fairness and aspiration. It’s not fair that younger generations are locked out of the housing<br />

market by property investors with a leg up. By the same token, it’s not fair for boomers to<br />

tell<br />

younger generations to ‘grow up’ when we talk about HECS given they went to university<br />

for<br />

free.<br />

Aspiration is under attack by a tax system that makes it easier to buy your tenth home than<br />

your first, not least because your HECS debt is handbrake on your ability to get a loan.<br />

People once dreamed of home ownership with hope that it could one day be a reality.<br />

Opportunity used to be earned but now it’s inherited, evidenced through the rise of the<br />

bank<br />

of mum and dad now funding 40% of first home buyers. The formula was to work or study<br />

hard, get a good job, start a business and grow your savings until you can afford a home.<br />

Any Australian should be able to work hard, make money and then buy a house. It shouldn’t<br />

be the case that hard working Australians are bested on auction day by lazy property<br />

investors.<br />

What can be done?<br />

The federal Labor government has hinted at HECS reform in the upcoming budget, and<br />

continues to tout policies aiming to increase housing supply, ignoring demand. True, we<br />

have a supply problem in this country but dismissing the demand issues only infantilizes the<br />

intelligence of the Australian people.<br />

As a country, we need to ensure that fairness underpins all our systems; political, taxation or<br />

otherwise. And we need to ensure that our country rewards hard work and effort, maintaining<br />

the promise of aspiration. Practically, changing how HECS is indexed, reversing the job<br />

ready graduates scheme (the one that increased the price of humanities units) and treating<br />

HECS as a tax instead of a loan (increasing borrowing capacity) would be a start. Likewise,<br />

putting an end to negative gearing and the CGT concession would quickly reduce housing<br />

demand. These reforms, while welcome, only scratch the surface.<br />

There is a political reckoning coming, and our politicians need to wise up quickly, because<br />

they’re kidding themselves if they think they can outrun the HECS and housing storm before<br />

they get wiped into oblivion.<br />

18 19

We're Banking on It! - MUST cast interview<br />

By Isla Hickey<br />

This May Monash Uni Student Theatre<br />

(MUST) and the Bloomshed ensemble<br />

present We’re Banking On It! at<br />

fortyfivedownstairs. Fusing ideas from<br />

the new theatre talents of MUST with<br />

MUST alumni, the collaboration promises<br />

to examine capitalism’s iron grip on<br />

corporations and government. Cast<br />

members share their thoughts on the<br />

production in this article.<br />

Can you describe the show in three<br />

words?<br />

“Corrupt, chaotic, outrageous.” Luca<br />

Edwards.<br />

“My name is Sophie Foster, my three<br />

words are Stupid Fucking Bird. Jokes.<br />

Bold, incisive, absurd.” John Burgess.<br />

“Rat, dog, vampire.” Simmar Chawla<br />

Describe the experience of working with Bloomshed.<br />

“Is that the Green Room award winning Bloomshed you’re referring to… Really, it’s not<br />

student theatre, it’s students performing professional theatre.” John Burgess.<br />

“We’ll be able to show this play to a broader audience than if it was going on at MUST. I<br />

think it’s pushing all of us to really make something special.” Kieran O’Baoill.<br />

How do you feel about the opportunity to perform at fortyfivedownstairs?<br />

“Be more excited if they named it properly.” John Burgess<br />

“It’s 52 stairs.” Simmar Chawla<br />

“The address is 45 Flinders Lane.” Kieran O’Baoill<br />

“It’s the venue, the audience - they’re both huge opportunities you wouldn’t normally be able<br />

to get through student theatre.” Luca Edwards<br />

How has the devising process and creation of the show been as an actor?<br />

“Writing a script together has been a bonding experience. You don’t usually have freedom<br />

to choose what you’re going to play in a play. So the fact that we get to write the characters<br />

and then perform them is crazy.” Simmar Chawla<br />

“I’ve never been in a show where I have had to do as much generation… any real plot that<br />

comes out of [the show] has all come from people in the room. Sure there [was a starting<br />

point], but to use that and then transform it into something tangible has been really fun and<br />

really exciting.” Kieran O’Baoill<br />

“It’s the most creative I’ve had to be on a show before. Actually writing script…it’s more<br />

script than I’ve ever had to write for anything. So I think the creativity and the dynamic<br />

between the cast and crew is what’s made it exciting and different for me.” Luca Edwards<br />

Who would you recommend to see this show most?<br />

“The board members of [any corporation in the world]. Anyone at the Last Supper. The 1%.”<br />

John Burgess<br />

“Anyone from management. Anyone who has a managing role or marketing role [anywhere].”<br />

Luca Edwards<br />

“All people should come to our show. [And] anyone who wants to be really angry at<br />

something.” Simmar Chawla<br />

“People who love spending all their money. Anyone and everyone who wants to have a really<br />

good time. And people with pet rats too.” Kieran O’Baoill<br />

How has being a part of MUST added to your student experience?<br />

“It’s the only time you see people regularly enough to bond with them… We had pizza<br />

together in the city, can you believe.” Simmar Chawla<br />

“It’s the best thing about Monash.” Kieran O’Baoill<br />

“It’s been a fun, creative outlet. A chance to get to know people in a very different way to<br />

how you normally would.” Luca Edwards<br />

“One of the deciding factors when I picked between other universities and Monash.” Thu<br />

Pham<br />

“Something to do on Friday nights.” John Burgess<br />

What does this show mean for theatre with student performers?<br />

“We’re Banking On It! shows the work that MUST has done to garner such a good reputation…<br />

for professional teams to collaborate with student theatre. We’ve gotta keep flying that flag<br />

and showcasing the work MUST does.” Kieran O’Baoill<br />

“The only thing we’re not getting out of it is money… and that’s exactly how professionals do<br />

it.” John Burgess<br />

Thanks to the participating cast members for their comments.<br />

We're Banking on It! will be playing at fortyfivedownstairs from May 17th-24th (preview on<br />

the 16th) - get your tickets via the QR code below!<br />

20 21

Something About Liminal Spaces: The Sweet<br />

East, The American Dream, and Ayo Edebiri<br />

By Mandy Li / ⭐⭐⭐⭐<br />

The Sweet East is a gooey, amusingly written critique on American life and a<br />

stunningly simple answer to the question I ask myself every day when I wake up:<br />

what exactly happens in America?<br />

Written by Nick Pinkerton and directed by Sean Price Williams, a cinematographer<br />

making his directorial debut, the film’s premise is based on high school student<br />

Lillian’s (Talia Ryder) journey across America after being separated from her peers<br />

on a field trip. She shuffles through a variety of characters that obviously belong to<br />

different subsets of American culture– firstly, anarchists who dig through the trash<br />

for food, then a pedophilic far-right academic who hides his true beliefs lest it cost<br />

him his career, an eccentric duo of filmmakers (one of them is played by Irish Queen<br />

Ayo Edebiri, for some reason), a crew member who brings Lillian to an Islamic<br />

community, and then finally, Lillian is brought to a monastery.<br />

My favourite archetype of the film were the nouveau riche, self serving anarchists,<br />

your typical subversive champagne socialists; they rifle through rubbish bins and live<br />

in a cluttered sharehouse and smoke sketchy strains of marijuana while conveniently<br />

forgetting the fact that their lifestyle is funded entirely by their rich parents. This<br />

satirical image of the punky splintered attitude was not lost on me at all, especially<br />

when it was immediately compounded by the sleazy old man who talked about<br />

moths for like two minutes of the film’s 104 minute run time and his raging criticism<br />

of the liberal agenda. What was funny was Lillian’s complete apathy towards them;<br />

she’s clearly never had a strong opinion of anything in her life, and she’s very<br />

clearly being talked at rather than talked to. It doesn’t help that the last 45 minutes<br />

of the film weren’t terribly engaging either.<br />

I found myself questioning the film’s message; was it about the hopelessness of<br />

the future? The downfall of the American Dream? The moral dilemma surrounding<br />

femininity and agency, the illusion of projection? Was it just a male manipulator’s<br />

wet dream? Lillian’s character is quiet and calculating; she’s smarter than she lets<br />

on, clearly, however her motivations and values and goals remain a mystery, even<br />

by the conclusion of the film. This was something I wasn’t super comfortable with–<br />

clearly, Lillian is a vessel for other characters to project onto, but in terms of the<br />

actual substance of her character, there was very little, and there weren’t other<br />

fleshed out female characters to analyse either.<br />

This film isn’t afraid of itself; it’s alluring, dreamy cinematography doesn’t distract<br />

from some of the more disturbing scenes. The shock value comes from these<br />

scenes– a violent altercation between the filmmakers and the white supremacists<br />

is loud, graphic. I had chosen a seat to the left side of the cinema, and the sound<br />

design with the film was shocking and super interesting– there’s no denying that<br />

the surrealist aesthetic of The Sweet East was accomplished extremely well. And<br />

look, I had to say it at least once. This film is camp. It had a seat at the table at the<br />

2019 Met Gala. There were some issues I had with the film, but I enjoyed myself<br />

immensely, and I would recommend it to anyone who’s here for a good time.<br />

22 23

The Cult of Toxic Positivity<br />

art and words by @dora_and_design<br />

Often the older generations liked to reassure young people that “the future is bright and<br />

everything will be fine. But the conversation below says otherwise.<br />

"How do you know that everything will be fine?”<br />

“I don’t.”<br />

“Well don’t say it then! I’m not a child!” (excerpt from unknown)<br />

We live in a world where life is a mystery and nothing is certain. Yet there is this shroud<br />

of toxic positivity and bragging that surrounds our culture. One had advised those<br />

experiencing newly grieving and loss to slow down. We have the right to choose not to<br />

live this “alchemised”, “I’m okay” life to other people. Similarly, we are not required to<br />

“provide your parents with a ‘success story’ to share at gatherings”. Toxic positivity is the<br />

act of “avoiding, suppressing, or rejecting negative emotions or experiences”. It is this<br />

perfectionistic desire to be happy, optimistic all the time when we are in pain.<br />

When we respond “to distress with false reassurance”, we can come across as “fake”,<br />

or insecure and inauthentic, insensitive to people’s emotional triggers, lacking empathy,<br />

disconnection, and shutting people down. After all, “[we] can’t bond with someone [who]<br />

are unwilling to sit in [other people’s] pain, discomfort, and anger with them”. It is also<br />

noteworthy to note that emotions are gendered. Boys are taught to not display and<br />

suppress their emotions, whereas girls are to display “less powerful” emotions such as<br />

agreeableness, which may pressure them to only display positive emotions and come<br />

across as inauthentic.<br />

When we deal with pain, we can either respond with pain or love. By responding with love,<br />

we respond to pain by taking time aside to sit with these difficult emotions, acknowledging<br />

these emotions, so that we may process our emotion, and “share our distress without<br />

needing to fix them”.<br />

When denied the right to acknowledge our full human experience of perceived “flawed”<br />

or negative emotions, it can lead to a “sense of helplessness” and even “overwhelming<br />

powerlessness”, when pain is not acknowledged or becomes invisible.<br />

Our emotions are valid. It’s essential to not be just okay. Just because we feel distress does<br />

not mean that we are defective, weak, or inadequate. True happiness means authentically<br />

feeling in the moment, accepting that our lived experiences and wide range of emotions<br />

are valid and acceptable. “The truth is, humans are flawed. We get jealous, angry, resentful,<br />

and greedy”, and that’s ok as long as we are not “denying or suppressing our emotions”,<br />

acknowledging them, and not lashing out at other people's pain. After all, we can only<br />

respond to distress with pain or love. Don’t try to force positivity if it is something that’s<br />

within my control. If it’s out of my control, that's okay.<br />

24 25

I Am Lucky<br />

By Chloe Wong<br />

Content warning: Graphic discussions of self harm and suicide<br />

I was self harming in primary school. I’ve been in and out of psychologists’ offices since<br />

I was in my third year of primary school. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression<br />

when I was in my second year of high school, at thirteen years old. I’ve been on and off<br />

antidepressants since then. I had a mental health relapse when my cousin died by suicide<br />

during my second last year of high school, when I was seventeen.<br />

I say all these things not to brag about my trauma but to actually say I'm lucky (which is so<br />

cheesy, I know). At the time when these things were happening I couldn't comprehend them.<br />

I wouldn't have called them what they were. In primary school I was labelled a “sensitive<br />

child” by the adults around me, but “tantrums” were the precursors to panic attacks. Kids<br />

around me outgrow them: I sure didn’t. I genuinely thought it made me a spoiled kid who<br />

had to make up for the fact I was wasting everyone's time with my emotions. I thought I<br />

burdened people (such an understandable thought).<br />

I am lucky that my pain was visible. It made all the difference that I was distressed in<br />

public, instead of crying quietly at the back of the bus, choking myself in my room, or<br />

scratching my arms in the school bathrooms. No one would have even thought to ask me<br />

if it wasn't so obvious to their eyes. I was embarrassed every step of the way: ticing at<br />

every pen click in class, leaving suddenly to have a panic attack in the hallway and asking<br />

for any help ever. But (and I hate to admit it) the fact that I clearly couldn't cope was THE<br />

ONLY reason anyone even knew to help me. On paper, I was a straight A student raising<br />

my hand in every class, in the highest maths class, I played multiple instruments, I was in so<br />

many extra curriculars, I was confident with a bright future. All those things were true: a list<br />

of obvious strengths that made my weaknesses feel against the “brand” I had constructed.<br />

I couldn't cry again, I couldn’t self harm again, I couldn't get a D and I couldn't stop. I rarely<br />

believed the compliments I got. I heard them, logged them away but never thought they<br />

were true in any meaningful way.<br />

I am lucky my parents were persistent, across years and thousands of dollars to get me<br />

professional health when they couldn’t admit it or talk about it themselves. I am lucky I<br />

broke the barrier of speaking about how I really felt. It was and still is the hardest part.<br />

I am lucky I got diagnosed. I am lucky I got medication. I am lucky I got medication that<br />

works for me. Some, in fact most people get stuck at any one of these steps.<br />

I will never be fully ‘okay’. I will always be susceptible to relapses into anxiety and<br />

depression, whenever life events happen (positive or negative).<br />

Despite all of that, I am lucky that I am here and that I even get the chance to have<br />

retrospect.<br />

Lifeline:<br />

26 27

Eleanor<br />

By Anonymous<br />

Eleanor was the sort of person who didn’t dance. It was not that she didn’t want to, more<br />

that she was rather unable to do so. When she was in uni she would sometimes sit alone in<br />

her bedroom at 3am, both earphones in, blasting Chappell Roan, and a strange urge would<br />

come over her causing her to shrug her shoulders up and down instead of writing the essay<br />

that was due in six hours. It was the closest she would come to dancing though. The second<br />

other people appeared it was as if all desire, all knowledge of how, disappeared and was<br />

replaced by an overwhelming feeling of “stuck”.<br />

There had been one exception to this rule. One glorious night as a twenty-year-old spent<br />

dancing till 5am in some gay club in Fitzroy. Admittedly, the night had been strongly helped<br />

along by copious amounts of alcohol and the continued presence of the hand of a pretty girl<br />

she’d never have in her.<br />

This, Eleanor thought, was probably the story of her life. Destined to want things, but choke<br />

just as the opportunity presented itself to her. Sometimes, she’d let herself feel as if it wasn’t<br />

her fault she was like this, choosing instead to blame it on the universe, her parents, that one<br />

situationship in high school. Really, anyone but herself. But just as soon as the thought would<br />

occur, she would bat it away. Such thinking was drawing dangerously close to that of those<br />

mediocre boy-men who felt personally victimised by every woman who even slightly dared<br />

to indicate she was not interested in him.<br />

It was pathetic, she thought. She’d agreed to go to dinner with Oliver after work because<br />

since starting their grad roles they’d barely seen each other, and now, two bottles of red<br />

wine down at dinner, they’d ended up at some rooftop bar. It often struck her how ridiculous<br />

the whole situation was. Their offices were on the same street and yet, despite repeated<br />

promises to catch up soon, it was now early September and they hadn’t seen each other<br />

since a night out on Chapel Street with other uni friends in April.<br />

They had tried to see each other a few times,<br />

but the age-old excuses always came up. She<br />

had, in fact, almost cancelled when she woke<br />

up this morning, still tired after another night<br />

of not enough sleep and the mere idea of yet<br />

another sleepless night filled her with a dread<br />

that could be best described as nothing short<br />

of torturous. But she missed him, and their<br />

dinners like this they’d had at uni on nights<br />

once they’d finished assignments and exams.<br />

So she had dragged herself out of bed, gone<br />

through her usual morning routines and sent<br />

him a reminded text on her tram into work.<br />

And now here she was, somewhat unsure of<br />

when dinner and a glass of wine had turned<br />

to two whole bottles, and then margherita’s.<br />

She had been hiding out in the bathroom<br />

for the past ten minutes, unwilling to stand<br />

awkwardly at the edge of the dance floor<br />

Oliver had tried, and then quickly given up,<br />

dragging her onto. What had started as<br />

a general attempt to justify her refusal to<br />

dance to herself had now descended into<br />

a full-blown deep dive into the problems of<br />

her life. Or rather the fact, that despite the<br />

apparent lack of real problems, she still felt<br />

as if something was missing.<br />

Generally, she thought, her life was going<br />

pretty well. She had a good job as a junior<br />

lawyer at one of the more high-end corporate<br />

firms, and while it didn’t pay a lot, it certainly<br />

wasn’t anything to complain over, not when it<br />

was enough to cover the rent to live with one<br />

of her old high school friends in a two-bed<br />

flat off Brunswick Road. The long hours might<br />

have been worth complaining about, except<br />

that everyone she knew was either also a<br />

junior lawyer, or a post-grad student, working<br />

nights at bars in order to afford to eat while<br />

they worked towards a PhD in litreature.<br />

She was in the best shape of her life. She ran<br />

three mornings a week, including at one<br />

of those godforsaken run clubs that crowd<br />

the foreshores of St Kilda at 6am on a<br />

Saturday morning, and hit the gym four or<br />

five days depending how she was feeling. If<br />

time allowed, she’d play hockey in the winter,<br />

and travel home to the outer south-eastern<br />

suburbs to play cricket in the summer.<br />

She wasn’t lonely. She had plenty of friends<br />

and had recently realised that maybe romantic<br />

relationships weren’t for her. Her attempts<br />

at dating always figured out quickly. She’d<br />

originally thought that maybe it was because<br />

men weren’t for her, but after beginning to<br />

date women, it had dawned on her that just<br />

because she thought someone was attractive<br />

and she liked talking to them, it did not mean<br />

that she had to be in a relationship with<br />

them. Singledom was treating her well, and<br />

she had no plans on changing that fact.<br />

So what was it that was missing? Somewhere<br />

in the back of her mind a thought, or more<br />

accurately, a memory began to form. There<br />

was something she was missing, something<br />

she knew that she could figure out if she just<br />

had a little more time. But just before she<br />

could place it her phone began to ring.<br />

Oliver was calling, asking where she’d gone,<br />

promising one more drink before they left to<br />

go home, sleep, and the wake up and do<br />

another day all over again.<br />

28 29

Standing on the Borderline<br />

By Erica Di Pierro<br />

Nowadays I scrub myself clean of anything representing a stereotypical mentally ill person.<br />

No more will people say I remind them of Harley Quinn or Ramona Flowers, no more will<br />

I meet their sexualised expectation of a mentally ill woman.<br />

I’m dying my hair back, thinking carefully about the tattoos I want, I don’t fall asleep at 3am<br />

with some depressing playlist, and I’m finally selling all my lifeless clothes at the Sunday<br />

market. I no longer identify with that. I’m not proud of it, I wasn’t happy, it wasn’t me.<br />

I’m not insulted that I dress “basic” now, I’m not insulted I no longer meet your expectations<br />

of me. I traded my chains and fishnets for basic tees, and I feel better now.<br />

As I reach for that abrasive loofah, I do contemplate why I can’t accept who I was when<br />

I was deep in the trenches, begging everyone to believe that it was a stranger, begging<br />

myself to believe that was never me. I’m not my illness, that’s not who I am, but as someone<br />

who has walked in my own shoes, shouldn’t I be a little more understanding of the roads<br />

I’ve travelled?<br />

Too often I’m sitting on the fence between accepting myself and being okay with it or<br />

tearing any resemblance of mental illness and keeping it as far away as possible. How<br />

can I be okay with this, do you know what people say about me?<br />

Sometimes I feel like I must carry the agonising burden of being a spokesperson for BPD,<br />

those three words come up in a conversation and I feel eyes pierce me like they know<br />

a big secret I’m hiding. The desperate need to say something to disprove of borderline<br />

symptoms is haunting, cursed with the fear that people think I want this and I’m so quirky.<br />

Screw you TikTok.<br />

Even the few positive attributes this illness gifts me is something I wish I could get a<br />

shovel and weed out of my garden. Everything feels like a double-edged sword, everything<br />

is a double-edged sword. A sweet sensitivity that snowballs into debilitating anxiety,<br />

compassion, and loyalty like a dog, and will never be reciprocated in any relationship. It is<br />

not fun fighting everyone else’s wars yet never being able to stand next to your own army.<br />

Shame is unfortunately ingrained in me, one Google search and there’s more results on<br />

BPD being toxic manipulators than there are helpful resources. I walk around with a scarlet<br />

letter, people stop and stare knowing I’m a horrible, toxic gaslighter. Constantly scared<br />

that those around me walk on my field of landmines, running a never-ending marathon<br />

questioning, ‘what if I am the stereotype?’ It’s getting quite lonely locked away with a moat<br />

of eggshells and glass shards.<br />

Perhaps this is a perspective that changes with the years, right now detachment feels like a<br />

home, maybe I’ll keep dancing with these ideas. I am not borderline; I am not a borderline.<br />

No one says I am a thyroid problem, or I am a cold. The less I dwell on stereotypes and<br />

playing the painful losing game of trying to change people’s beliefs, the easier it is to<br />

cope. Maybe at the core of wanting to appear so extremely unwell is just simply wanting<br />

someone to care, not to be immediately seen like a monster.<br />

An Offering in Defense of Aphrodite<br />

By Lucia Lane<br />

This piece was originally published by Pnyx Magazine<br />

Love and war lay tangled together, laughed at<br />

but the punishment was a failure<br />

being bare before them brought her no shame,<br />

she was the goddess of beauty<br />

seeing her marriage dissolve brought her no pain,<br />

she was goddess of love, not matrimony<br />

She didn’t hate her husband because he was ugly<br />

but he demanded her hand and expected fidelity<br />

only choosing her because others lusted<br />

and fought over her frequently<br />

But Ares didn't hesitate to remember<br />

that love finds the spot where it hurts and adds pressure<br />

she was older than the others and wilder<br />

finally, someone who matched him in power<br />

he saw the parts of her nobody knew<br />

she had begun as goddess of war<br />

and would always be the more violent of the two<br />

30 31


PRINCE<br />


A delicate young flower, unpicked by the bare hands of a malicious suitor.<br />

She would never allow someone to extract her. Yet the young prince had been gentle, and the<br />

naïve princess had felt herself blossom.<br />

They’d met amongst the stars, her light brighter than the sky. She had a captivation that was<br />

irresistible. Eyes like sapphires; lips red as the rose; hair black as ebony; skin white as snow.<br />

All eyes had been on her. The prettiest accessory. How could he not resist?<br />

Within his introduction, he mentioned things he knew she liked, pretended to be interested in<br />

her endeavours. Her voice sounded like music; her smile glimmered in his eyes.<br />

What a revelation! A handsomely unexpected greeting! Yet she liked surprises, desired him to<br />

pick every petal until he reached her pistil.<br />

How easy it had been for him…<br />

Soon she was whisked away to his castle– one far more magnificent than her own. The walls<br />

were decorated with glorious artworks; the great hall filled with fine China; the bed covered<br />

with vibrant silken materials. There she sang hymns before him every night, which he indulged<br />

in mercilessly as he tasted all of nature’s finest fruits after twilight.<br />

When the sun beamed, she’d have a garden ready for picking, with sunflowers taller than her<br />

own that she danced around with him.<br />

She constantly played him ballads, showed him performances, and told him stories she<br />

cherished. He seemed puzzled by these things, but she anticipated that his love would flourish<br />

eventually.<br />

Each day there was a new gift authentically crafted just for her. He even promised her glass<br />

slippers– so long as she behaved.<br />

Every other princess must be jealous; she had attained the most precious jewel imaginable.<br />

Yet something inside the prince was of disarray and slowly pulled him into the shadows. A<br />

tinge of sadness had now turned into an ache, burned for something the princess feared she<br />

wasn’t capable of providing to her beloved. He had been forsaken by many before her, and<br />

her presence seemingly wasn’t enough to rid the prince of his sorrows. Now he no longer<br />

accompanied his darling on strolls around the garden, didn’t cling to her like ivy amongst the<br />

flowers. Instead, he solemnly spent many weeks in his private quarters, the princess helpless.<br />

She was as desperate as his servants to rid his sorrows, but alas the young royal remained<br />

within his solitude.<br />

However, one evening, when the princess had visited his chambers, he was completely absent.<br />

She had grown fearful until he stumbled into the room, a drunken smile on his face.<br />

He had just been to a tea party, a mad tea party! One of many he’d always longed to attend.<br />

How wild it had been! What odd company there was: the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the<br />

Mad Hatter, the March Hare. And even more exciting: he had been invited to another! Oh, how<br />

she must go with him, meet all his new companions!<br />

While slightly hesitant, the princess was overjoyed to see her lover glowing like he never had<br />

before, and so she attended…<br />

… mad it was indeed! Every character was distinct from the next. She was lovingly welcomed<br />

by them, much to her relief after the prince abandoned her side once entering the function.<br />

How unworldly she seemed to the prince, who assumed she couldn’t comprehend the group’s<br />

dialogue. Never mind that, he was having fun– that’s what really mattered.<br />

Once seated, the princess noticed a glass filled with prismatic liquid, with a label that read<br />

“DRINK ME!”. However, when she did, the prince was furious and stated she was too delicate<br />

to consume their tea party concoctions. It was for her own good.<br />

She tried to protest, but the prince was dismissive. Stay quiet, remain pretty, my friends are<br />

here– don’t make a scene!<br />

The princess felt her magic wither away. Her lover’s gaze never once fell on her afterwards.<br />

Things only worsened back at his castle; the flowers began to wilt as the prince’s presence<br />

slowly lessened. While she remained within their chambers, he was out most nights. Rarely in<br />

the late hours was she accompanied. However, when she was, he was always preoccupied<br />

with thoughts of his mad friends, who played him the same ballads, showed him the same<br />

performances, and told him the same stories as hers. Yet now they piqued his interest, because<br />

their madness made them captivating, something she was not capable of replicating.<br />

She was simply not enough. Her spell wasn’t so appealing anymore.<br />

Confrontation only made him push her further away, so she brushed her feelings aside so<br />

he’d always feel heavenly. Otherwise what use was she anymore? Yet even that wasn’t enough.<br />

Something was always wrong; always needing to be fixed; always her fault. He remained<br />

fantasising about his next tea party; yearned to be far away from her, drinking more potions<br />

he never let her near.<br />

She no longer enjoys the ballads, the performances, the stories– not when the prince shames<br />

her for them, even though his mad friends enjoy them too.<br />

Over time, she realises she knows him better than she knows herself; was never the company<br />

he truly desired. She was a piece offering, and after one small bite, he was already full. He<br />

had wanted to fulfil his fairy tale fantasies, never hers. How good he had been at hiding his<br />

demise, pushing her off a throne that was never once hers and always belonged to his friends.<br />

She had been exiled from a life short-lived. A fantasy quickly faltered, wasting her words, her<br />

art, her fidelity.<br />

The castle she left behind no longer seemed grand, standing as a fortress where her presence<br />

was now unsanctioned, the garden trampled to the dirt, her belongings now tossed aside for<br />

a new princess.<br />

What a witch she was for questioning his authority, his beliefs, his intentions.<br />

But how beautiful she was when she didn’t speak. The prettiest accessory. How could he not<br />

resist?<br />

32 32<br />


Artwork by Spencer Slainey<br />

34 35




What is the Academic Board?<br />

The Academic Board serves as the principal academic body of the University,<br />

responsible for maintaining high standards in teaching and research.<br />

It operates under the Monash University Statute and Council Regulations.<br />

Membership of the Board includes the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Faculty<br />

Deans, Deputy Deans, Heads of Department, and elected staff and students.<br />

The Board establishes Standing Committees to assist in its functions, including<br />

the Steering Committee, University Education Committee (UEC), Monash<br />

University Research Committee, and the Graduate Research Committee<br />

(GRC). These committees oversee various aspects of academic affairs, from<br />

managing urgent business to ensuring excellence in education and research<br />

strategy implementation.<br />

The Academic Board meets eight times each year. The Board encourages<br />

submissions and engagement from its members to inform decision-making<br />

processes. Overall, the Academic Board plays a pivotal role in shaping<br />

academic policies, maintaining high standards, and ensuring excellence<br />

across Monash University.<br />

Meet your reps:<br />

Demitri Kaminis (until 31/12/2025), 5th year Law/Commerce student:<br />

Hi All! I’m Demitri, one of your<br />

Academic Board representatives in<br />

<strong>2024</strong>. I’m incredibly passionate about<br />

making the student experience the<br />

best it can be, and want to ensure<br />

that the student voice is placed at the<br />

forefront of teaching and education.<br />

Outside of Uni, I work in the education<br />

sector and as a part-time tennis<br />

coach, and my hobbies include<br />

playing sports, chess, cycling, and<br />

reading novels and autobiographies.<br />

Dilhan Simsek (until 31/12/<strong>2024</strong>), 4th<br />

year Commerce/IT student:<br />

Hey! I’m Dilhan, one of your<br />

undergraduate Academic Board<br />

student representatives for <strong>2024</strong>. I’m<br />

dedicated to ensuring Monash is as<br />

accessible as possible. I have been<br />

committed to ensuring your time<br />

at University is the best it can be.<br />

Through my involvement with Clubs<br />

& Societies as an Executive and<br />

having served on club committees,<br />

student life and engagement have<br />

been a priority of mine throughout<br />

my time at Monash. I’m also currently<br />

on the Monash Student Association<br />

Executive, working on developing<br />

welfare initiatives and big projects.<br />

In my life away from Uni, I’m an SES<br />

volunteer, work in the Public Service,<br />

and spend time advocating for better<br />

community outcomes.<br />

As part of our ongoing commitment to<br />

student welfare, university experience<br />

and academic excellence, we have<br />

actively engaged in advocating for<br />

several important initiatives<br />

aimed at enhancing the overall<br />

student experience and academic<br />

environment at Monash. This piece<br />

provides an overview of the various<br />

issues we have raised at the first 2<br />

meetings of the Academic Board and<br />

highlights some key areas of progress.<br />

1. Establishment of More 24/7 Study<br />

Areas:<br />

One of the primary concerns we raised<br />

was the diminishing access to oncampus<br />

resources and the reduction in<br />

library hours. We know how important<br />

it is to have accessible study spaces,<br />

particularly during peak academic<br />

periods. Our proposal to establish<br />

the Sir Louis Matheson Library and/or<br />

the Learning and Teaching Building<br />

(LTB) at Clayton as a 24/7 Study Area<br />

sparked an investigation into the use<br />

of study spaces on campus. The aim is<br />

to provide students with uninterrupted<br />

access to essential resources and<br />

conducive study environments.<br />

Paired with advocacy from the Monash<br />

Student Association (MSA), we are<br />

proud to share that the university has<br />

agreed to transforming a new space<br />

into an extended access study lounge.<br />

2. Accessible Class Options:<br />

We have expressed concern and<br />

have emphasised the importance<br />

of offering a diverse range of class<br />

options to accommodate students'<br />

varying needs and schedules. This<br />

includes advocating for flexible<br />

scheduling, greater diversification<br />

36 37

d in to class ensuring offerings, your time at online University learning is the Paired received. with We advocacy have from attributed the Monash this<br />

of a twelve week semester it can not to Paired be one with advocacy of the best from in the terms Monash of<br />

best can be. Through my involvement with Student Association (MSA), we are proud<br />

dates, has been engaged and will work<br />

opportunities, and alternative class trend to students providing feedback<br />

be said to be properly scheduled. It experience Student Association but one (MSA), of the we worst are proud when<br />

Clubs & Societies as an Executive and having to share that the university has agreed to<br />

with us to review the current timelines. to share that the university has agreed to<br />

formats to ensure accessibility for all after the semester concludes, which<br />

is our opinion that a mid semester it comes to unit credits.<br />

served on club committees, student life and transforming a new space into an extended<br />

transforming a new space into an extended<br />

engagement<br />

students.<br />

have been a priority of mine access<br />

limits<br />

study<br />

the<br />

lounge.<br />

benefits they can derive<br />

break 7. in Late the Submission middle of Marking a semester Penalties: The<br />

access<br />

IBL<br />

study<br />

program<br />

lounge.<br />

spans a duration<br />

throughout We will continue my time at to Monash. work with I’m also the from it. In response, we have been<br />

is crucial The for late promoting submission student marking wellbeing<br />

and 10% per academic day for a success maximum and of seven we work 2. days Accessible but only Class credits Options: 18 credit points.<br />

penalty of 105 of days or six months of full time<br />

currently University on the to Monash ensure Student students Association are 2. advocating Accessible Class for Options: reforms to enhance<br />

Executive, given a choice working and on can developing schedule welfare their We the have transparency, expressed concern timeliness, and have<br />

will continue has been to advocate a point of for contention. this shift. We Whilst We have have on expressed IBL placement, concern and students have<br />

initiatives and big projects. In my life away emphasised the importance of offering<br />

benchmarked the university and compared<br />

Uni around their life and not the other and effectiveness of feedback<br />

We are glad that the University Chief cannot emphasised be the undertaking importance any of unit offering<br />

from Uni, I’m an SES volunteer, work in the a diverse range of class options to<br />

this policy with other universities. What a we diverse range of class options to<br />

way around.<br />

mechanisms. This includes exploring<br />

Operating<br />

Public Service, and spend time advocating accommodate students' varying needs and<br />

found Officer, was that who out of is the responsible<br />

37 universities study. in our Comparatively, students in the<br />

accommodate students' varying needs and<br />

for<br />

3. Universal<br />

better community<br />

Submission<br />

outcomes.<br />

Time (UST):<br />

schedules.<br />

new approaches<br />

This includes<br />

to<br />

advocating<br />

gather and<br />

for<br />

for semester country only periods three and have key a penalty dates, between Faculty<br />

schedules.<br />

of<br />

This<br />

Business<br />

includes<br />

and<br />

advocating<br />

Economics<br />

for<br />

As We part have of our proposed ongoing commitment the establishment to student flexible act upon scheduling, student greater feedback diversification earlier, in<br />

has been 6-10% engaged per day and will 28 have work a with penalty can flexible of complete scheduling, 55 greater days diversification of industry<br />

welfare, of a Universal university Submission experience and Time academic (UST) class thereby offerings, improving online learning teaching opportunities, and<br />

us to review 1-5% with the the current rest being timelines. faculty dependent. placement, class offerings, and online are learning awarded opportunities, with 24<br />

excellence, of 11:55pm we to have streamline actively assignment<br />

engaged in and learning alternative outcomes class formats and to reducing ensure<br />

7. Late We want Submission to make sure that Marking when you credit and find alternative points. class formats to ensure<br />

advocating submissions for several and alleviate important initiatives student accessibility for all students.<br />

yourself in a situation where you aren't<br />

the current lag in feedback<br />

Penalties:<br />

Advocacy accessibility efforts for all students. have been made to<br />

aimed at enhancing the overall student We will continue to work with the University<br />

eligible for special consideration, the We late will continue to work with the University<br />

stress. By standardising submission implementation.<br />

The late<br />

experience and academic environment at to ensure students are given a choice and<br />

submission submission policy marking does not penalty discourage recognise you and award fair and well<br />

to ensure students are given a choice and<br />

Monash.<br />

deadlines<br />

This<br />

across<br />

piece provides<br />

units, us<br />

an<br />

students<br />

overview can<br />

We<br />

schedule<br />

are pleased<br />

their Uni<br />

to<br />

around<br />

share<br />

their<br />

that<br />

life<br />

Allie<br />

and<br />

of 10% per from day submitting for a maximum and continuing of seven to persevere deserved<br />

can schedule<br />

credit<br />

their Uni<br />

points<br />

around<br />

for<br />

their<br />

students<br />

life and<br />

of can the better various manage issues we our have workload raised at and the not Clemans, the other way Deputy around. Vice-Chancellor<br />

days has and been engage a point with of your contention. studies participating not and the other way in around. IBL programs.<br />

first plan 2 our meetings study of time the Academic effectively. Board and (Education), has confirmed a trial<br />

We have assessments. benchmarked We will the continue university to engage 9. Remarking Policy:<br />

highlights We will continue some key to areas follow of progress. up progress 3. for Universal early Submission semester unit Time evaluations<br />

(UST):<br />

and compared and ensure this the review policy of with the existing other policies We 3. Universal have Submission requested Time the (UST): University<br />

of the feasibility review into this We have proposed the establishment of a<br />

lead to outcomes ensure consistency<br />

in semester two. While the specifics<br />

universities. We found that out of the revisit We have the proposed remarking the establishment policy to ensure of a<br />

1. Establishment of More 24/7 Study Areas: Universal Submission Time (UST) of 11:55pm<br />

and fairness.<br />

Universal Submission Time (UST) of 11:55pm<br />

initiative and hope to have some of this trial are still being worked<br />

37 universities in our country, only our concerns about transparency and<br />

One of the primary concerns we raised to streamline assignment submissions and<br />

to streamline assignment submissions and<br />

was<br />

positive<br />

the diminishing<br />

updates in<br />

access<br />

the near<br />

to on-campus<br />

future.<br />

alleviate<br />

through,<br />

student<br />

it will<br />

stress.<br />

offer<br />

By<br />

students<br />

standardising<br />

the<br />

three have 8. IBL a Credit penalty Points: between 6-10% consistency<br />

alleviate student<br />

in the<br />

stress.<br />

remarking<br />

By standardising<br />

process<br />

resources 4. Extensions and the reduction and in Special library submission opportunity deadlines to provide across feedback units, us<br />

per day While and industry 28 have placements a penalty and of 1-5% experience are submission heard. deadlines We are working across units, towards us<br />

hours. Consideration: We know how important it is to have students on units can early better in manage the semester. our workload We<br />

with the vary rest from being faculty to dependent. faculty, we implementing students have can better clear manage guidelines our workload and<br />

accessible Efforts have study been spaces, made particularly to review during and anticipate plan our study that time this effectively. initiative will<br />

We want identified to make the Faculty sure of that IT’s Industry when Based procedures and plan our study for time requesting effectively. and<br />

peak and improve academic the periods. process Our for proposal granting to We will continue to follow up progress of<br />

Learning (IBL) program to be one of the We best<br />

lead to positive steps being taken<br />

you find yourself in a situation conducting will continue remarking to follow of up in progress semester of<br />

establish the Sir Louis Matheson Library and/ the feasibility review into this initiative and<br />

in terms of experience but one of the the worst feasibility review into this initiative and<br />

extensions and special consideration to address feedback in a timely<br />

where<br />

or the Learning and Teaching Building (LTB) hope to have some positive updates in the<br />

when you aren't it comes eligible to unit credits. for special assessments which currently is not<br />

hope to have some positive updates in the<br />

at<br />

to<br />

Clayton<br />

students<br />

as a 24/7<br />

facing<br />

Study Area<br />

extenuating<br />

sparked an near<br />

manner<br />

future.<br />

and pivot teaching methods<br />

consideration, The IBL program the late spans submission a duration of allowed.<br />

near 105 future.<br />

investigation circumstances. into the Due use of to study the spaces recent on to best accommodate the current<br />

policy days does or not six discourage months of full you time from work but<br />

campus. large changes The aim in is to these provide processes students and with 4. teaching Extensions period. and Special Consideration:<br />

submitting only and credits continuing 18 credit to points. persevere Whilst on Student 4. Extensions IBL representation and Special Consideration: in decisionmaking<br />

Efforts have processes been made is vital, to and review we and will<br />

uninterrupted policy, the university access to essential has committed resources Efforts 6. Semester have been 2 Mid-Semester made to review Break: and<br />

with your placement, studies. students We will cannot continue be undertaking to<br />

and to reviewing conducive data study as environments. it comes through improve the process for granting extensions<br />

any unit of study. Comparatively, students improve We have raised large concerns with<br />

engage and ensure the review of the continue the to process ensure for that granting the needs extensions and<br />

and special consideration to students<br />

the Faculty of Business and Economics and can special consideration to students<br />

and continues to make data driven how late the semester two midsemester<br />

existing<br />

facing extenuating circumstances. Due to<br />

complete policies 55 lead days to outcomes of industry that placement, voices of students are central to the<br />

facing extenuating circumstances. Due to<br />

decisions.<br />

the recent large<br />

break<br />

changes<br />

occurs.<br />

in these<br />

The<br />

processes<br />

midsemester<br />

policy, the break university during has semester committed<br />

8. IBL Credit 9. Remarking Points: Policy:<br />

Please and policy, feel the free university to reach has out committed to any<br />

ensure and consistency are awarded with 24 credit points. priorities<br />

the recent large<br />

and<br />

changes<br />

initiatives<br />

in these<br />

of<br />

processes<br />

Monash.<br />

5. Unit Feedback Procedures and and<br />

Reforms:<br />

to two reviewing is supposed data as it to comes allow through students and<br />

While We industry have requested placements the University and revisit of to the reviewing us with suggestions, data as it comes feedback through or and if<br />

We have scrutinised the current unit continues time to to recharge make data and driven manage decisions. their<br />

experience remarking vary from policy faculty to ensure to faculty, our concerns you’d continues like to to make find data out driven more. decisions.<br />

about transparency and consistency in the<br />

feedback procedures (SETU) due to a workload effectively. When this<br />

we have identified the Faculty of IT’s<br />

remarking process are heard. We are<br />

noticeable decline in responses break happens after nine weeks<br />

Industry Based Learning (IBL) program<br />

38 39

Judas Who Loved<br />

me<br />

By anonymous<br />

sitting in the dark, i would wait<br />

hoping you’d come back<br />

heart on your sleeve, apology ready<br />

some semblance of guilt, empathy<br />

plenty<br />

crawling, tail between your legs<br />

back to our glass house, empty<br />

desperate, i whispered eulogies<br />

months passed waiting by the phone<br />

entwined your name in prayers<br />

‘just a temporary high’, she swears<br />

in every laugh, every torment<br />

i’m sure it’s there somewhere<br />

always in my peripheral, yet<br />

never meeting the eye<br />

desire, the naked temptress<br />

chased after it nevertheless<br />

marked for perpetuity, still you left<br />

better off they’d say? never, i protest<br />

i stalk your ghost in dreams<br />

awake in my shame, it remains<br />

every memory threatens to leave<br />

cling in desperation, it’s futile maybe<br />

but i still hope i cross the mind<br />

of judas who loved me<br />

The Leader of the<br />

Opposition<br />

By Robert Barber<br />

“Mister Speaker,” he said, “I rise”<br />

– amid the stare of waiting eyes<br />

he rose – “to ask the Prime Minister-”<br />

saw the hungry journalists, “Sir-<br />

What’s the government position-”<br />

Can you feel naked ambition?<br />

“on this or that moral outrage?”<br />

Headline writers, op-eds engage,<br />

with heavy guns, artillery,<br />

turning shit into millinery,<br />

forcing ammunition onto heads.<br />

Every trace of trust that he sheds<br />

Is pleased, knowing soundbites<br />

secured -<br />

Media, public, all skewered,<br />

One simple piece of mockery.<br />

Who really wants democracy?<br />

Please, forget your apprehensions.<br />

This is how we win elections.<br />

You 'Clockwork' Decide...<br />

by Anisha Deshmukh<br />

By Ash Dowling<br />

Jemima holds a star in her head like<br />

the You limbs decide of her girls fanning out in the<br />

He says<br />

sun they are swans they are wolves<br />

Anxiety rises in my chest like nails<br />

with Do I have to?<br />

canines I don’t really for days care who hold the world<br />

in<br />

I say,<br />

their<br />

or<br />

exhale<br />

maybe I just don’t know<br />

And it seems overwhelming to<br />

deep<br />

Assess the<br />

release<br />

options<br />

with sweet sweaty<br />

palms Have the clasped conversations around forearms the<br />

earth Read the is sprouting books out<br />

Reflect on my life<br />

the And back say the teeth prayer like the lock clicking at<br />

the back door only<br />

there But not is making no passcode a decision to is renter a<br />

no decision logical too fallacies no perfect<br />

combination And Love will arrangement not impose itself soliloquy on<br />

Jemima you. can do now but fall deeply<br />

in the great bodies of water curdling<br />

dreams and arise with<br />

hair streaming<br />

molars pulsing<br />

'You Don't Me, Again See Me'<br />

A poem on intense female friendships<br />

by Sheenam Sharma<br />

By Julia Fullard<br />

I put you on a pedestal,<br />

Coming back to myself was<br />

Your birthday<br />

And now I look up at you looking<br />

down<br />

Sitting<br />

on<br />

at<br />

me,<br />

the counter,<br />

like an<br />

watching<br />

enigma<br />

you<br />

so<br />

forgettable… all in a busy kitchen:<br />

Faye Webster on speaker<br />

I told Pasta you bubbling where it on hurts, the stove<br />

Cream & strawberry sponge cake in<br />

And the you oven didn’t hesitate to stab right<br />

there, Frosting-licked like it was already fingers rehearsed… & paper<br />

people cake toppers<br />

You My told hands me in I meant dishwater everything to you,<br />

And Coming I believe back your to myself words was more than<br />

your<br />

Nothing<br />

eyes<br />

more<br />

telling<br />

than<br />

lies,<br />

a knowing<br />

behind<br />

smile<br />

the<br />

beautiful hazel hue..<br />

No ceremony, no discernible shift<br />

Just new friends sitting on a new<br />

I gave you my mind, my heart, and<br />

my<br />

floor,<br />

soul,<br />

watching Ratatouille together -<br />

Me, leaning with my back to the<br />

And couch you didn’t flinch a minute to turn<br />

that Mug love of into tea cradled pain, taking my a hands toll…<br />

Thinking: this is right,<br />

I guess This is I me, chose again to give myself to you,<br />

And I can’t blame you for taking me,<br />

taking all of me,<br />

When you can’t see that I was alone,<br />

in love with you…<br />

40 41





‘The first televised war’ showcased the blood and barbarity of American imperialism.<br />

People across the world witnessed the massacres in villages like My Lai, saw the<br />

images of running children burned by napalm and heard the ruthless justifications like<br />

“it was necessary to destroy [Vietnam] in order to save it”. They didn’t buy it. Although<br />

the US and Australia paint themselves as fighters of freedom and justice, their drive to<br />

destroy as much of Vietnam as possible picked away at the image of their so-called<br />

democratic war. Here at Monash, that politicisation was felt early on.<br />

A radical minority of Monash students began to discuss and debate the question of<br />

Vietnam in 1965, just a month after the Menzies’s government brought in conscription.<br />

Protests and teach-ins were organised with less than 100 people participating. But<br />

discussion about the war started to heat up when the Monash Labor Club decided to<br />

collect military aid for the National Liberation Front of Vietnam (NLF), Australia’s enemy<br />

in the war. This sparked a huge debate and polarisation within society as anti-war<br />

activists took their opposition to the next level. The Liberal government, the Labor Party<br />

and the mainstream press went into a complete frenzy and condemned the action<br />

as “treason”. Both major parties worked together to outlaw aid to the NLF and the<br />

Monash Vice-Chancellor banned the collection.<br />

Rather than deterring students from aiding ‘the enemy’, this galvanised over a thousand<br />

students in a general meeting supporting the right for students to collect aid for the<br />

NLF. This initiated a series of the largest student meetings in the country and inspired<br />

other campuses to collect aid for the Vietnamese resistance. The Labor students won<br />

and defied the University and political establishment, personally handing $500 (over<br />

$7,000 in today’s terms) to the NLF in January of 1968. In May 1969, there was a<br />

meeting to oppose disciplinary measures against anti-war activists at which 6,000 out<br />

of 9,500 Monash students attended. Radicalisation happened suddenly, particularly<br />

in 1968, and students were some of the first to move into action. Radical students<br />

had been a minority, but after the disaster of the Tet Offensive, they were joined by<br />

thousands of others as society became more politicised.<br />

However, activists need to have the right approach to be successful in their aims. Police<br />

violence pushed students to understand the role of police under capitalism. Monash<br />

activists were arrested by police for the ‘crime’ of stopping traffic as early as 1965<br />

facing persecution and violent beatings from police throughout the anti-war movement.<br />

Police brutality overseas also had an impact on students in Australia. In the US, the<br />

Kent State Massacre proved that the government will exert brute force through the<br />

police if their political stability is threatened. Activists at Monash were quick to realise<br />

the police were not on their side and saw first-hand how the state repressed any<br />

opposition to the government and their interests.<br />

The limits of electoral politics opened a space on the left for radical, anti-capitalist<br />

politics. As mentioned before, the Australian Labor Party (ALP), including leaders of<br />

the left such as Jim Cairns, supported legislation that banned raising funds for the NLF<br />

in a direct attempt to suppress Monash students. Students reacted to the shameful<br />

collaboration by rejecting the politics of ‘respectability’ and became interested in<br />

revolutionary politics and the disruption of the status quo. Although a few ALP members<br />

used anti-war rhetoric during the Vietnam War, it was an effort to relate to the biggest<br />

radicalisation of Australian workers and students seen in decades. The ALP was and<br />

continues to be firmly committed to the US alliance. Capitalism causes all the barbarity<br />

we see in society; inequality, oppression, genocide, war and imperialism. The ALP has<br />

no interest in getting rid of this system. Their project is to maintain the system of profits<br />

and competition. We need a revival of radical and militant politics that rejects the lies<br />

of the Labor Party and has a strategy for a truly equal society.<br />

The student movement against the Vietnam War was part of a broader radicalisation<br />

within society. The 1960s and 1970s saw the revival of militant union struggle in Australia<br />

for political issues such as indigenous rights, women’s rights and the anti-Apartheid<br />

movement. The actions of working-class militants in opposition to the Vietnam War is<br />

what made the Australian movement so strong and successful. For example, in 1967<br />

militants in the Seamen’s Union of Australia (SUA) banned the ship HMAS Boonaroo<br />

which was carrying weapons and ammunition to American troops in Vietnam. While<br />

the student movement was an important layer to the radicalisation against the Vietnam<br />

War, ultimately without the international movement, Vietnamese resistance and power<br />

exerted by the Australian working class, students wouldn’t have been successful on<br />

their own. The success of the movement is a reminder that with broad and workingclass<br />

resistance, even the biggest imperialist armies can be defeated.<br />

The anti-Vietnam War movement serves as a huge inspiration for leftists today. It<br />

exposed the lies of Western ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ threatening the rule of<br />

Australian capitalism. After more than six months of Israel’s war on Gaza, more people<br />

are questioning the normal functioning of capitalism today. Join the movement for a<br />

free Palestine and get organised with radical politics on campus. We’ve got to “mourn<br />

the dead, and fight like hell for the living” just like students at Monash did against the<br />

Vietnam War.<br />

42 42<br />


'Match Point'<br />

Words and art by Louis Perez<br />

It’s that time once again.<br />

Match Point.<br />

I look over, across the net<br />

waiting for the gesture.<br />

Constant racing thoughts<br />

hoping to not succumb<br />

to this pressure.<br />

Pacing around,<br />

every action I take<br />

is monumental<br />

to the outcome<br />

of this game.<br />

A decisive decision<br />

that determines<br />

my fate.<br />

Game. Set. Match.<br />

44 45


LOT'S TO<br />

LOOK<br />


TO...<br />


<strong>Edition</strong> Three, <strong>2024</strong> / Front cover art by Lucinda Campbell

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!