February 2018 – President’s Report

Hi everyone!

I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable O-Week, and I wish you all the best for your studies this year. O-Week is a very busy time of the year for USASA, we’ve been out and about on campus handing out freebies, and letting you know about all of the great services we provide for students. If you haven’t picked up one of our 2018 goodie bags, then make sure you pick one up from your nearest USASA Campus Counter!

While we’ve all been busy getting ready for all that 2018 brings, the federal Liberal government have been planning further cuts to higher education and student welfare. At the end of last year when the federal government handed down its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), they announced a two-year freeze to the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS). This is an effective cap on funding for student places, equating to a cut of approximately $2.2 billion to the Higher Education Sector. This was coupled with a plan to massively reduce the HECS repayment threshold – meaning you’ll have to pay back your degree sooner. Along with the attack on wages of many students, through the cuts to penalty rates, it is clear that this Federal Government sees students and workers as an easy target. USASA will continue to ensure your voices are heard on a national scale by working with the National Union of Students (NUS) to stand up to the Liberal government. If you’d like to get involved in the NUS Education Campaign, you can join me, and others for the National Day of Action on March 21.

Now onto what I’ve been up to this month:
NUS Presidents Summit

At the end of last month, I attended the NUS Presidents Summit in Victoria, along with the NUS National Office Bearing team, as well as campus presidents and secretaries from across the country. The summit provided a fantastic up-skilling opportunity for campus presidents. On the first day we received comprehensive training on the role and duty of Board Directors from Maurice Blackburn lawyers, as well as a presentation from the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA), where we discussed the role of TEQSA, and their plans to collaborate more effectively with the NUS in 2018. Attendees also received training on communications by the Media and Communications Officer of the NTEU, training on effective petitions by the VTHC data team, training on parliamentary submissions by former Senator Trish Crossin, as well as many other workshops and training opportunities. I will be submitting a more comprehensive report-back on the NUS Presidents Summit to the USASA Board at our next Board Meeting, and will make this available online for anyone who is interested.

A workshop with other campus leaders about what we think the priorities for the NUS should be.
February Board Meeting 

On the 6th of February, we had our first Board Meeting of the year, where I discussed with the Board my plans for moving forward with constitutional reform, and improving the governance of USASA. It was great to hear the plans of the all of the other Board members and what they hoped to achieve in 2018. We also appointed Committee Conveners, and I am very happy with how the Committees, and hope that we will have a very productive year. I also submitted my report to the board on the 2017 NUS National Conference, and opened to questions from the rest of the board. The minutes of the Board Meeting will be available online soon for those who are interested in reading them.

Mount Gambier Visit

It was great to visit the Mount Gambier campus towards the end of the month to speak with new students about the services that USASA provides, and to discuss the upcoming election for the USASA Mount Gambier Representative position. I understand how important our regional campuses are, and one of my goals for this year is to work more with our regional campuses to improve the student experience, and make sure students on our regional campuses do not feel left out. I can’t wait to visit both Whyalla and Mount Gambier next month.

Daniel Randell (USASA GM), Bridget Laffy (Student Rep Support Officer), and I during out Mount Gambier Visit for O-Week.

Other things I’ve Been up to:

  • 05/02/18 – Meeting with USASA GM Daniel Randell
  • 05/02/18 – Meeting with USASA GM Daniel Randell and PVC: Student Equity and Equity Dr Laura-Anne Bull
  • 05/02/18 – Shortlisting meeting for UniSA Counsellors
  • 05/02/18 – Meeting with Adelaide University SRC President Matt Boughey, and FUSA President Ashley Sutherland
  • 06/02/18 – Club Assistant Interviews
  • 06/02/18 – Meeting with Peter Andrinopoulos and Ryan Colsey to discuss ASR Program and USASA Education Committee
  • 06/02/18 – Meeting with USASA GM Daniel Randell
  • 06/02/18 – USASA Board Meeting
  • 07/02/18 – Club Assistant Interviews
  • 08/02/18 – UniSA Counsellor Interviews
  • 09/02/18 – Club Assistant Interviews
  • 12/02/18 – UniSA Counsellor Interviews
  • 13/02/18 – Presentation to ASR’s about USASA Education Committee with Ryan Colsey
  • 13/02/18 – NUS Education Planning Day
  • 14/02/18 – University Council Meeting
  • 15/02/18 – UniPrep Presentation
  • 19/02/18 – O-Week Activities at Mount Gambier Campus
  • 20/02/18 – Meeting with Bridget Laffy, Daniel Randell, and Ian McKay (Regional Manager Mount Gambier)
  • 22/02/18 – O-Week Activities at City West Campus
  • 23/02/18 – Academic Board Pre-Meeting
  • 23/02/18 – Academic Board Meeting
  • 27/02/18 – Student Appeals Committee Meeting
  • 27/02/18 – Clubs Committee Meeting
  • 27/02/18 – Education Committee Meeting
  • 27/02/18 – Finance Committee Meeting
  • 28/02/18 – Welfare Committee Meeting

What I’m up to next month:

Campus Fair 

The Campus Fair events will be hitting all metro campuses next month, and I can’t wait to meet you all at them. Each day will feature stacks of USASA Clubs, UniSA Sports Clubs, UniSA Services, furry friends, free food, and heaps more! If you’d like more information about Campus Fair you can find that here.


Other things I’m up to next month:

  • 01/03/18 – Visit to Mount Gambier Campus to discuss USASA Election
  • 01/03/18 – Club Welcome Back BBQ at City West Campus
  • 02/03/18 – UniSA Crisis Line Briefing
  • 05/03/18 – Governance Committee Meeting
  • 06/03/18 – Campus Fair – Magill Campus
  • 07/03/18 – Policy Review Project Meeting with Shweta Mariwala
  • 08/03/18 – Campus Fair – City West Campus
  • 13/03/18 – Campus Fair – Mawson Lakes Campus
  • 15/03/18 – Campus Fair – City East Campus
  • 20/03/18 – Meeting with Daniel Randell and Dr Laura-Anne Bull
  • 20/03/18 – USASA Board Meeting
  • 21/03/18 – National Day of Action at Parliament House
  • 23/03/18 – Whyalla Campus Visit
  • 24/03/18 – Whyalla Family Fun Beach Picnic
  • TBA – Committee Meetings

That’s all for now, if in the meantime you’d like to get in contact for any reason, feel free to send me an email at mumjp001@mymail.unisa.edu.


January 2018 – President’s Report

Hi everyone!

It is an incredible honour to be able to introduce myself as your 2018 USASA President. I am proud of the work I did in 2017 to deliver for Mawson Lakes students, and I can’t wait to continue to work this year to improve the student experience for all UniSA students.
2018 is going to be an incredibly busy year for USASA, from working behind the scenes to move forward on our goal of constitutional reform, continuing to focus on improving student welfare, as well as going through the process of developing a new Strategic Plan. I’ll have more to say on these areas in the coming months.
Last year we asked students what they wanted to see from their student clubs, and overwhelmingly students told us they want more grants and funding. This year will see the rolling out of our Club Strategic Plan which will deliver a framework to manage facilities, ensure financial equity across clubs, and provide more targeted resourcing. UniSA currently allocates significantly less Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) than other South Australian universities, and USASA will be at the forefront of continuing to seek additional funding for our student clubs, as well as supporting the expansion of external sponsorships, and improving processes around internal grants.

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December 2017 – Mawson Lakes Rep

Hi everyone,

We’ve finally made it to the last blog post of the year! I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas, and I wish you all a happy new year. As mentioned last month, I intend to keep this post quite short, so I am going to forgo the normal format of my posts and just speak about a couple of things.

One of the highlights of this month was attending the NUS National Conference at Deakin University’s Warun Ponds Campus. The conference was a productive one, and I enjoyed being able to advance the interests of students on a national level. I will be providing a comprehensive report back of the conference to the 2018 USASA board. For those of you who don’t know, I was elected to represent UniSA students as USASA’s Student President in 2018, so much of my time this month has been spent meeting members of staff, and preparing for 2018 so we can hit the ground running. I very much look forward to being able to continue to advocate for the interests of UniSA students next year, so with that said, I’ll see you all in 2018!

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November 2017 – Mawson Lakes Rep

Hi everyone,

It is hard to believe that 2017 is fast coming to an end already. Well done to everyone who has finished their study for the year, you can all be proud of the hard work you’ve put in this year. I wish everyone all the best for the break, and for those of you returning next year I look forward to seeing you all on campus.

Now onto what I’ve been up this month:

USASA Board Meeting – 06/11/17

Our board meeting in the first week of November was very productive so I’ll touch briefly on some of the outcomes of that meeting. One of the standouts of this meeting was the board approving a new financial investment arrangement for USASA, which students will be able to see the benefits of over the next few years. Continue reading

October 2017 – Mawson Lakes Rep

Hi everyone,
What a month! I’m sure you’ve all been super busy heading into the hectic exam season, but hopefully UniTopia allowed you to unwind and feel renewed and relaxed.
USASA elections have also been occurring this month, so to all of the staff who worked hard to ensure they ran smoothly thank you. To all of the candidates – successful, and unsuccessful, as well as all students who participated by taking the time to vote, thank you for contributing to this important process.

Now onto what I’ve been up to this month:

UniTopia Mawson Lakes 17/10/17 – 
I hope everyone who came and experienced the festivities of UniTopia at Mawson Lakes enjoyed themselves, as I certainly did. Events like this really showcase the best of USASA and it is especially great leading into such a stressful study period. I was lucky enough to work with the Women’s Committee on their responsible sex stall, and although turnout was quite low, we had some great conversations.
Louise Kyriaki (Postgraduate Rep), and I on the Responsibili-TEA stall at Mawson Lakes.

Other things I’ve been up to: 

  • Brekky Bar – 04/10/17
  • USASA Board Meeting – 09/10/17
  • Brekky Bar – 11/10/17
  • Student Connect Meeting – 17/10/17
  • Academic Review Appeals Interview – 20/10/17
  • Academic Board Meeting – 27/10/17

What I’ve got planned for next month:
  • Clubs Committee Meeting – 31/10/17
  • Academic Review Meeting 31/10/17
  • Welfare Committee Meeting – 02/11/17
  • USASA Board Meeting 06/11/17
  • Academic Board Meeting 24/11/17

That’s all for now, if you see me on campus then come and say hey! In the meantime if you have any issues or concerns feel free to send me an email on mumjp001@mymail.unisa.edu

September 2017 – Mawson Lakes Rep

Hi everyone,

I hope you’ve all had a great break from study, and are enthusiastic about seeing out the rest of the year. Throughout the month of September, USASA has been focused on several projects. I’ve been involved in discussions around the future of Brekky Bar, as well as the establishment of an emergency grants scheme. I will hopefully have more to say on these developments in the coming months.

Now onto what I’ve been up this month:

AHRC Survey Forum –
On the 5th of September, I attended the Responding to the Australian Human Rights Commission Survey Report Forum, which featured USASA President Kayla Dickeson, Vice Chancellor David Lloyd, Founder of EROC Australia Sharna Bremmer, Yarrow Place Representative Sophie, as well as Manager of Counselling at UniSA Narelle Lietschke. It was a great discussion, and while the University has committed to accepting the recommendations of the report in full, there is much more work to do in space.

Student Housing Survey – 
As part of a nation-wide project, the National Union of Students (NUS) and Anglicare Australia are trying to learn more about student housing and rental affordability. On the 7th of September, I, as well as Kayla Dickeson, and NUS Welfare Officer – Jill Molloy, spoke to students about the housing survey and encouraged them to participate. If you’d like to get involved you can complete the survey here.

Other things I’ve been up to:

  • Brekky Bar – 30/08/17
  • USASA Board Meeting 04/09/17
  • Welfare Committee Meeting – 28/09/17

Things I’ve got planned for next month:

  • Brekky Bar – 04/10/17
  • USASA Board Meeting – 09/10/17
  • UniTopia City West – 10/10/17
  • Brekky Bar – 11/10/17
  • UniTopia Mawson Lakes – 17/10/17
  • Brekky Bar – 18/10/17
  • Academic Review Meeting – 20/10/17
  • Academic Board Meeting – 27/10/17
  • Welfare Committee Meeting – TBA
  • Club Committee Meeting – TBA

That’s all for now, if you see me on campus then come and say hey! In the meantime if you have any issues or concerns feel free to send me an email on mumjp001@mymail.unisa.edu

August 2017 – Mawson Lakes Rep

Hi everyone,

This month has been extremely busy for me, with assignments and tests of my own, as well as USASA activities. I’m sure you’ve all been busy as the workload for the semester picks up, so I wish you the best in all of your assessments.

Earlier this month, The Australian Human Rights Commission released their report into sexual harassment and assault at Australian Universities. You can read USASA’s press release in response to these results here. If you are feeling distressed about the Australian Human Rights Commission report you can contact the National Hotline on 1800 572 224 for specialised trauma counselling. UniSA students can also book an appointment at UniSA Counselling here.

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July 2017 – Mawson Lakes Rep

Hi everyone,

I hope you’ve all had a great break and are keen to jump right back in to the second-half of the study year. For those of you just beginning university, welcome. It was great to meet so many of you at the O-Week events and let you all know the importance of USASA. If there’s anything I can do for you please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Now onto what I’ve been up to this month:

NUS Education Conference – 

From the 3rd to the 7th of July, I attended the 2017 Education Conference, hosted at the University of Queensland. The conference featured workshops, panels of guest speakers, presentations, as well as plenty of opportunity to discuss student issues with other elected student representatives from across Australia.


I hosted a workshop titled ‘Protecting the Rights of Students in the Workplace’, alongside the NUS Welfare Officer – Jill Molloy. We discussed issues students are facing in the workplace, such as the exploitation of international students, the PaTH program, wage theft, and the impact of the cuts to penalty rates. It was a productive workshop, and was a great opportunity for students to canvas their ideas on what can be done to address these issues.

I also attended a panel titled ‘The Future of Education Funding and Legislation’, which featured former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and former Treasurer of Australia – Wayne Swan, as well as NSW Senator – Lee Rhiannon, and the then Senator for Queensland – Larissa Waters. I had the chance to ask the panel what their parties would be doing to reform Australia’s Industrial Relations laws to ensure student workers are protected from the rampant wage theft which has seen many students being paid less than the minimum wage.

For the remainder of the week I attended a number of great workshops, where student representatives from across the country discussed how we can improve student advocacy services, how to better engage with international students, how we can improve on-campus mental health services, and how the introduction of HECS has led to a fairer, more accessible higher education sector.

Brekky Bar – 

Last October during USASA Board elections, I spoke to many students that had been promised free Brekky Bar, and were disappointed that the only change to the price of Brekky Bar had been an increase in cost. I made the commitment that during my board term, I would push for Brekky Bar to be a free service for students.


I’m excited that this month I was able to finally bring a free Brekky Bar to the students of Mawson Lakes, and I will be volunteering to provide this service for the remainder of the year. It was great to see so many of you on the morning of Wednesday 26th of July, where I was joined by International Representative Luke Le. The Welfare Committee is currently exploring how we can improve Brekky Bar in 2018, and if you’d like your voice heard you can fill out our survey here.

Other things I’ve been up to:

  • Mawson Lakes Master Plan Meeting – 30/06/17
  • USASA Board Meeting – 10/07/17
  • Clubs Committee Meeting – 11/07/17
  • Welfare Committee Meeting – 13/07/17 (Apology due to sickness)
  • Brekky Bar Planning with Kayla Dickeson – 14/07/17
  • USASA O-Week & Campus Tours – Mawson Lakes – 18/07/17
  • Mawson Lakes SSAF Event – 27/07/17

What I’ve got planned for next month:

  • Clubs Committee Meeting – 01/08/17
  • Brekkie Bar – 02/08/17
  • USASA Board Meeting – 07/08/17
  • Brekkie Bar – 09/08/17
  • School of Commerce Formal Enquiry – 09/08/17
  • Brekkie Bar – 16/08/17
  • Brekkie Bar – 23/08/17
  • Brekkie Bar – 30/08/17
  • Welfare Committee Meeting – TBA
  • Student Catch-ups with Jivan Jothi – TBA
  • Meeting with Zoe Zweck and Delene Webber – TBA

That’s all for now, if you see me on campus then come and say hey! In the meantime if you have any issues or concerns feel free to send me an email on mumjp001@mymail.unisa.edu

June 2017 – Mawson Lakes Rep

Hi everyone!

I hope you’ve all had a successful exam period, and I wish everyone well now that results have started rolling out. If you have any issues or concerns with your final grades, are unsure of university policy, or would like an assignment re-marked, then you can contact USASA’s Advocacy Team here, who are experts in academic policies and procedures, and can provide you with free and confidential advice.

This month has seen the resignation of both Diana Wong, as well as Izik Nehow. I wish them both the best with their future studies and thank them their contributions to USASA. I welcome the new International Student Representative – Luke Le, as well as the new Mawson Lakes Representative – Jivan Jothi, both of whom I look forward to working with throughout the remainder of the year.


Now onto what I’ve been up to this month:

SSAF Stall (Mawson Lakes) –

On Tuesday the 6th of June, I had the chance to get on campus and talk to Mawson Lakes students about SSAF, and to hear all of your great ideas about how you’d like it spent. It was slightly disappointing that as usual, I was the only Mawson Lakes Representative in attendance, but it was great to be joined by USASA President Kayla Dickeson. Many students engaged in the discussions about SSAF, and several students have consequently contacted me about their ideas. If you’d like to further contribute to this discussion, I’ll be back on campus on the 27th of July, and I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

These students would like to see SSAF go towards healthy food options, as well as donuts and pizza. ¿por qué no los dos?

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May 2017 – Mawson Lakes Rep

Hi everyone!

I hope you’ve all been keeping up with university after the study break, and I wish everyone the best of luck over this hectic exam period. This month has been particularly busy for me, with study commitments of my own, however I have still endeavoured to work my hardest for the students of Mawson Lakes. It’s been great speaking to so many of you this month, and I look forward to continuing to hear all of your ideas to make our campus a better place. Some great news from this month is that our very own Verse Magazine won the “Best Student Publication” at the 2017 TAG Campuslink awards in Canberra, congratulations to the Verse team, what a great achievement!

Now on to what I’ve been up to this month:

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