July, 2016 Archive

Merge Termination: What next for Sydney College Arts?

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Last Thursday, the University of Sydney’s (USYD) vice-chancellor, Michael Spence has announced the termination of the merge between Sydney College of Arts (SCA) and the University of NSW.


The merge was proposed less than a month ago and secretly signed between USYD and UNSW in June without the consultation of students. However, the students recently received an email from Spence. He stated that the two institutions ultimately had different definitions of what a “centre of excellence in visual arts” meant. Apparently, the original intention had “always been…not to proceed…unless we were clear that the vision…would benefit both the University and visual arts teaching and research.”

According to Fairfax Media, the agreement only allowed students to continue studies at UNSW Art and Design as well as the transition of some staff to UNSW. But one industry source questioned the move, saying “If [UNSW’s contemporary fine arts curriculum] was inadequate from Sydney’s point of view, why did it not include these issues in the Heads of Agreement?”


Several influential people have also expressed their discontent. Greens MP Jamie Parker had no faith in the merge from the outset: “If the University [of Sydney] had properly consulted staff and students, they would have discovered the incompatibility of the art practices at the two schools.” Neither did he believe that UNSW had adjusted their syllabus to align with SCA’s studio-based learning or had sufficient space for the new students.

Sally Breen, a well-known art collector and sponsor, told Fairfax Media that she would be “far more swayed into putting money into art schools”. When SCA was threatened, she no longer pledged money to the Art Gallery of NSW’s (AGNSW) Sydney Modern building project. To protest the planned closure, students alumni and supporters had also gathered on the steps of AGNSW. The rally coincided with the award of the Archibald Prize to highlight the social importance of art.


Although the merge has been terminated at present, Spence still states that talks of a merge with UNSW’s Art and Design may continue. Additionally, the future remains uncertain due to the planned movement of SCA students to the main Camperdown campus from the beginning of 2017. SCA’s original Rozelle campus at Callan Park will also be part of USYD’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Spence believes that this will “avoid unnecessary costs of remaining at Rozelle for more than a transition period.”1003188_659422267402083_130609927_n

Furthermore, Spence states that 2017 applicants will not be accepted for the Bachelor of Visual Arts “to create a re-imagined Bachelor of Visual Arts for commencement in 2018.”

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 

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10 Reasons to Return to Uni

Written by Student Life

Semester 2 is just around the corner and if you are expecting to return to the same old uni – think again. A few universities had makeovers while you were gone. Here’s what’s new:

  • I know, starting off the list with ways to get out of uni instead of in seems a little unconventional. However, you know what’s extraordinary? These EnergyPods at USYD’s Fisher Library. The University has introduced a new sleep zone back in February and the world’s first chairs designed just for napping. It has a privacy shield (goodbye, Spotted: USYD), peaceful soundtracks and gentle lights to accompany your much-needed rest. If you have not seen them yet, check them out for a few minutes…or twenty.

Spend all my time here? Don’t mind if I do

  • When it comes to studying, USYD students might head off to the library at Bosch, Camden or Badham. Not anymore. USYD has renamed their libraries to the Bosch Burrows, Camden Burrows and The Quarter. Pretty fancy. Not to mention appropriate as we “burrow” our faces into books when it is exam time.
Maybe we need to update the map too

Maybe we need to update the map too

  • NSW Premier Mike Baird has just opened the Hilmer Building at UNSW on the 20th of July. It is the new home of Materials Science and Engineering Innovation, containing leading labs and collaborative spaces. This will allow research students and teams to reach creative solutions for businesses and governments.
Thank you John Gollings (photo credit), it's beautiful

Thank you John Gollings (photo credit), it is mesmerising

  • On the 3rd of September, UNSW will hold Open Day again, so come along and see what this university has to offer! Alternatively, just to visit our grounds and your friends (or maybe just for something that might be better – freebies).
Where to next?

Where to next?

  • World-class nursing and midwifery labs have been proudly opened at UTS by the Secretary of the NSW Ministry of Health, Elizabeth Koff. The recreation of hospital wards will provide realistic clinical experiences for these students. In doing so, a smoother transition from study to work will be gained. So…it is like we are acting as if we are on a movie set? Rad.
The patient looks to be in terrible condition

The patient appears to be a bit unwell

  • UTS is also holding their Open Day on the 27th of August from 9 am to 4 pm. Navigate your way around the city for more than 200 info sessions. If you are there, gaze up at the buildings’ weird and wonderful architecture. However, they are probably more commonly known by us as the ‘Paper Bag’ or the ‘Jenga Tower’ or, my personal favourite, the ‘Cheese Grater’.
Now just imagine a really large block of cheese (photo credit: sydneycubed.wordpress.com)

Now just imagine a huge block of cheese (photo credit: sydneycubed.wordpress.com)

  • Over at Macquarie Uni, two new buildings are being built – the next stage of expansion in the university’s Campus Master Plan. They will connect community and businesses as they are conveniently placed next to the new Library, but are also a short distance from MQ’s train station and the shopping centre. It will definitely be easier for some snacking post/pre/during lectures and study sessions.
The plan for University 8 and 10 Ave (credit: Kannfinch and Sissons)

The plan for University 8 and 10 Ave (credit: Kannfinch and Sissons)

  • MQ’s two commercial buildings are not the only things that are new. Operations for a new Cyber Security Hub will soon be under way between Optus Business and Macquarie Uni. The multi-disciplinary partnership draws upon Science and IT, Business and Economics, as well as Security Studies and Criminology. The Hub’s creation is a response to organisations seeking to better their management of cybercrime. Most of us are on the Internet anyway what with Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter…and Instagram and Google and Pokemon Go and…
John Paitaridis, Managing Director, Optus Business and Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement) (credit: Paul Wright)

John Paitaridis, Managing Director, Optus Business and Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement) (credit: Paul Wright)

  • From Semester 2, you can listen up for the relaunch of ACU’s very own Radio Station – ACU Wired – over “hear“. The team of 6 have trained and developed the program that will broadcast at stations such as Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Ballarat, North Sydney and Strathfield. If you are an ACU student, and you have always wanted a chance to DJ, work in radio production or be a news presenter, now you can!
There are too many button-knob-things

There are too many button-knob-things

  • ACU also shares their Open Day with UNSW. If you are at the North Sydney campus you can have freebies from two universe- I mean, you can find out what’s happening on campus, meet known and unknown students and rub shoulders with staff. If you are on the Strathfield side, Open Day is just a week later on the 10th of September!


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International Student suicides due to Permanent Residence Visa

Written by News, Student Life

According to SBS Australia, an Indian international student – Deepark Singh, committed suicide in his apartment last week Sunday. From close sources, Singe felt pressured by an inability to gain Permanent Resident Visa in Australia because of the updated Skilled Occupations List.

Pinterest: Émilie Asselin

Pinterest: Émilie Asselin

Deepark Singh had a dream to settle down in Australia. An education agent in India advised that studying would be a pathway to pursue his dream. Once Singe finished his diploma degree in Community Welfare he hoped to gain Permanent Residence in Australia after his education. Unfortunately, the new Skilled Occupations List changed annually and his major was removed from the list, rendering him ineligible to meet the PR requirement application.


Later on, Deepark got married to an Australia woman and received a de-facto visa status. He could then apply for PR and Citizenship in Australia. However, the Immigration Department denied his application and this led to an intense sense of frustration and depression. Deepark’s experience is just one of the stories of people who are struggling to seek a better life in Australia.

What is Permanent Residency in Australia?

An Australian Permanent Resident Visa allows an individual to work, live and study without any restrictions in Australia for 5 years. The person gains an automatic right of entry to the country at any time. However, after the time period ends, the PR visa holder must leave or apply to re-enter Australia. But, one can apply for Australian Citizenship certificate in advance one year after holding a PR visa.


Australia is considered one of the top countries to live in due to the many benefits that a PR holder can gain. The individual not only has a right to vote in the Australian election, but also gain benefits such healthcare, education, employment and other social securities in Australia.


How to apply for Permanent Resident Visa in Australia?

There are several of ways to apply for PR in Australia. Some options include options such as SkillSelect, Regional Employment, Bringing family with you, Sponsored or nominated work visa options, etc. However, you should always conduct in-depth research or seek professional advice and follow the steps accurately. For more information, please visit the Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


If you’re experiencing any struggles, or know someone who is, be sure to contact your university counselor (sessions are free and confidential). Or, you can call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or contact international suicide hotlines here.

Living in wealthy countries and having a good life is everyone’s dream.

But keep moving forward and never give up when chasing after your vision, your goals. Remember that everyone chose different paths, so don’t stress out or compare with each other. 

Great things take time to come, be tough and be patient! Every life is worth it.

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Eat Like A Refugee for One Week: Ration Challenge

Written by News, Student Life

My name is Sumaiyah Tasneem, and I have attempted the Act for Peace Ration Challenge of 2016. If I were to write this article talking about every minute of my experience, I could go on writing forever. But, let’s start with:

What is the Ration Challenge?

From the 19th until the 25th of June, contestants are challenged to eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee for a week and raise donations for them. In doing so, the participants will experience a small part of a refugee’s struggle and contribute awareness about refugee life. Through the power of compassion, we can show refugees that “we are with them, not against them”.


The idea of the Ration Challenge is an initiative of The ACT Alliance, a network of 140 organisations and 130 countries. This foundation works to help communities threatened by conflict and disaster. Together with the Act for Peace, they hope to achieve easier lives for Syrian refugees. Act for Peace is an agency focusing on international aid which belongs to and is governed by the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) which consists of 19 member churches.



My experiences before the Challenge:

Initially, the primary focus for me were donations. As soon as I opened my fundraising page, I told friends, family, acquaintances, cat and dogs, anyone who would give a donation. Personally, the page had felt like direct access to help to the refugees, so I considered this challenge as one of the easiest ways to help people in need. I was busy encouraging everyone to donate to the cause in general, but I didn’t really sit down to think about what the Challenge would be like. I hadn’t fully comprehended how hard it would actually be. Logically, I knew that it would be painful as my Challenge Kit contained basic rice, flour, lentils, and oil. However, I didn’t know how painful exactly. I never knew food had such a significant impact in my life, and that hunger could change so many things. 


During the Challenge:

So, how does it feel doing the Challenge? To put it frankly, there is solid hunger involved. Usually, you only think about physical pain. You’re trying not to get side tracked and lose your focus (which is against the challenge’s rules of course). 

Whenever it was time to eat, I was baffled by the satisfaction I felt after simply having bread or lentils. I also found it extremely hard to sleep in such a state. On the first night, I slept on my stomach, but woke up numerous times because I felt my torso twist and turn painfully. 


Apart from the physical pain, there are many other obstacles involved when it comes to battling hunger. My mood was never fixed. I was always either happy or sad, angry or hungry, but mostly dull and sullen. Focusing on work or study was almost impossible. My mind was all over the place. One thought led to another, and at some point I realised that it could have been a refugee. This is what life is like for a refugee. It was terrifying to imagine their life in a war-zone additionally, constantly threatened by the potential loss of friends and family. It was almost too surreal even to consider. 


After the Challenge:

I have realised that before doing the Challenge, there was a certain extent of ignorance about the experiences of refugees. But, if I hadn’t done this challenge, I wouldn’t have known how hard it is for them to live on such small rations. Residing in Australia, a developed country, I had the chance to live their hunger and a little part of the pain that comes with it.

tears of joy

Now, I see that life is incredibly complex when hunger is involved. And it’s not just food or physical hunger. It’s also the emotional suffering when having to bear these tribulations all at once. Not only do they have minimal food and no security of a home, but must also cope with the trauma of a war zone. These people are facing their lives now with raw vulnerability and an impending sense of doom. Being completely in the shoes of refugees is a lot harder than we could ever understand. I wasn’t acutely aware of the reality of the refugees. Perhaps no one truly can be until they have experienced it themselves.

The power of humanity is winning

I would encourage everyone to try this Challenge at least once as I believe we can ultimately help one of the most marginalised groups in the world. By understanding the experiences of the refugees, we can use our power as a society to change laws and sway governments in their favour. In participating in the Challenge, you can also help the organisations who can provide them with more food rations. If we don’t help, then who will?


As of now, the current statistics on the Ration Challenge page show that $2,023,952 has been raised. That is enough to feed 7,254 refugees for a whole year! You can view the changing numbers here. If you wish to donate to the cause, you can sponsor some of the participants of the Challenge. Or, if you wish to attempt it in 2017, you can pre-register here.


Photo credit: Sumaiyah Tasneem & ChiPheo & Huu Trong Nguyen

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‪#‎YOUthCANLEAD Youth Leadership Conference

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Sydney was raining cats and dogs over the first weekend of June 2016, but it was extremely heated at the ‪#‎YOUthCANLEAD Youth Leadership Conference, organized by City of Sydney and ISLA. It was a fantastic full day event with leadership activities, honored guest panel and, last but not least, the mind-blowing Human Sound Project. I was kindly invited by VOIS Magazine to experience the Youth Leadership Conference and learn what it means to be a great leader.

youth leadership photo 2

The speakers shared their experiences as successful young adults. They said, among other pieces of wisdom, that a leader must be able to listen to people. Participating in group games also fostered thoughts about myself: “What are your capabilities?”, “What sort of leader do you want to be?” and “How can you optimize yourself to lead better?” It was a game in which we had to raise our creative visions to think of ideas that could help develop the community.


The Human Sound Project‎ was the most spectacular finale. The lyrics were composed by words related to leadership that each group had brainstormed during the day. By singing and moving, we released our internal power and were unified by our motivation to lead.


At first, we had no clue how the program worked. However, after following the instructions, everyone was surprised at the amazing audio their performance created. If anyone attended VIVID on the 10th of June, VIVID: The Human Sound Project – Interactive Song Making Experiences will give you an idea of how the project was run by such a large group.

youth leadership photo 1

This was the first ever conference I have joined, and it was an impressive introduction. Despite the severe weather, ISLA remained professional and organized, even providing a hotline phone number in case there were any issues. I met old friends and made new ones, networked and took photos to save the moments. It was a great break after a hectic week of assignments and a heavy workload.


As I sat in the heart of Sydney, among more than a hundred students from nationalities such as America, African and Japanese, it reminded me of the reason I chose Australia to study – multi-culture. I realized that this event was also successful in teaching me one last lesson: that leadership was also about connecting people with different personalities together.


I would send a heartwarming thank you to the City of Sydney for creating such an enjoyable experience. It has helped young people have more faith in themselves, widen their knowledge and network and start to be successful leaders of the future. I am looking forward to more events from the City of Sydney or ISLA as equally as extraordinary as this one.

YOUth can lead!

Photo credit: VOIS M and ISLA 

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Students of SCA hold vigil on Art Gallery steps

Written by News

“Creativity is innate but culture is fostered.”

~ Agatha Gothe Snape


On Friday, 15/7/16, USYD’s Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) students and alumni, as well as supporters, held vigils at 11 am and 5 pm on the steps of the Art Gallery of NSW. The vigils were to protest SCA’s closure by the University of Sydney, proposed on the 21st of June without any consultation. SCA’s merge will force current students to transfer to University of New South Wales to continue their studies from Semester 1, 2017.

Dressed in red capes to show their unity, SCA students welcomed Barry Keldoulis to the stage. Once a candidate for the Arts Party, he addressed the fact that the proposal was not made with the people who it matters and affects most. He also encouraged the support of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

Barry Keldoulis speaks first

Barry Keldoulis speaks first


Anthony Albanese, as part of the newly elected federal government, also had a few words to say: “Sydney is a global city…[which] values the enrichment art gives”. Without many local artists bringing cultural diversity to Sydney, businesses, residents and the community as a whole will be affected.

Anthony Albanese addresses the public and media

Anthony Albanese addresses the public and media


Alumni from SCA, such as Tim Silver, also graced the podium. Silver believes that since art is assorted, one art institution under UNSW will not allow the full and true experience of art. Not only that, but he argues that a single school, despite how excellent, will be easily controlled by the state.

Tim Silver speaks

Tim Silver speaks


Lionel Bawden, another SCA Alumni and previous winner of the prestigious Wynne Prize, said that our “arts education is murdered”. Sydney’s College of the Arts has a unique studio-based education that serves an entry point for people from all different levels of life. The students’ protest were not fighting only for their education but for the education of future students.

As one presenting within the walls of the Art Gallery, the artist had many things to say

As one presenting within the walls of the Art Gallery, the artist had many things to say


The last alumni to take the microphone was Agatha Gothe Snape, a SCA alumni who has exhibited in the Art Gallery of New South Wales previously. She spoke of the “weirdness” that was common with all the greatest artists past and present, a trait that could only be helped by a place that fostered growth. Without the history and politics that the college represents, Sydney’s art and public will not be deeply informed. By agreeing to merge SCA with UNSW, the University of Sydney will be going back on its promise made 25 years ago, to protect the art and creativity of its individuals.

Agatha Gothe Snape spoke powerful words at the SCA protest

Agatha Gothe Snape spoke powerful words at the SCA vigil


By holding the vigils on the same day as the Art Gallery’s opening of one of the most famed art prizes in Australia, the Archibald Prize, SCA’s supporters hoped to highlight the importance of the college. However, as of now, students still do not have any solid information regarding their future.

Visit Sydney College of the Arts Resistance (S.C.A.R) at letscastay.com for more information, or their Facebook page, or follow #sossca on Instagram.


Photo credit: VOIS Magazine

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How do you make money from your study notes?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

Some students do not know that attending all the lectures, all the tutorials and writing heaps of notes with tips and tricks for assignments or exams during the semester could help them to buy a flight ticket and pay for other expenses for their overseas or domestic trips during winter or summer break. Thousands of university and college students around Australia have been cashing out by selling and exchanging their lecture notes, exam notes, exam materials or tutorial notes from 35 dollars to more than 1200 dollars, depending on their quality through a few platforms.


In order to upload and sell your records, you need to register your personal details on the platform. Your notes could be in English or other languages, depending on the buyers’ interest, some students could receive between 160 to 220 dollars for a 1000 word note written in Chinese. So, being international students or students speaking more than two languages could help you to increase your notes financial value.HOMER

Note purchasers can also give a rating and rank your note’s quality, which you could use as a reference for the future. The higher the ranking, the more trusted and valuable your notes, as more students are willing to purchase or download your notes.

giphy (27)


Trading records does not mean selling your property or cheating; it is just another useful method of helping each other to study, as some students are unable to attend lectures because of unexpected circumstances. It is a good way that you can help others to have a glance at the subjects that other or prospective students are interested in or intend to enroll in for the next semester.This exchanging and selling are very popular among other universities around Australia, so you can easily find the notes that you want.

Here are some of the platforms where you can freely sell your notes and inject some pocket money directly into your bank account:

1/Sell Study Notes – Stuvia

2/Buy and sell great uni notes​ –StudentVIP Notes


3/Nexus Notes


giphy (20)

Study hard and receive HD’s and also unlimited dollar figures in your bank account.

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Sweet Treats for Winter in Sydney?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

It might be ‘common’ that some of your friends do not like chocolate, but for sure they would never say no to any sugary and yummy desserts. Sydney is getting colder and colder, wrapping yourself in a cosy bed with heaps of thermo layers is the best idea ever to avoid the night cold. However, you should think twice when seeing some of the mouth-watering sweet treats posted on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat by your friends on a Friday night out.


It is the hardest job ever researching and selecting the yummiest dessert places in Sydney. However, I can finally share a few of my favourite ones, where you can chit-chat and enjoy the sweet- affairs:

wallphoto (3)

Doughnuts @ Doughnut time

Coming all the way from Brisbane, all of the doughnuts are cute overloaded with a decent, colourful and creative modern look. No matter how much I am afraid of gaining weight, the temptation just keeps you returning time and time again.

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Watermelon cake @ Black Star Pastry

A light, soft and creamy slice of watermelon cake with a rose essence at Black Star Pastry is the reason why people keep travelling back and forward to one of the most livable, young and energetic towns in Sydney, Newtown. You can grab a cup of hot chocolate or tea to balance its taste.


Matcha Crossaint @ Topimpressionbakery

Top Impression Bakery is located in Wolli Creek, just outside the train station. This new establishment has lots of interesting pastries such as apple and rhubarb danishes or salted caramel croissants. The Matcha Crossaint is the top seller as well as my favourite!! It has a crispy outer and a strong matcha custard. I end up with lots of tissues on the table just to finish one matcha, because of the yummy runny custard.

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Chocolate Truffle @The Choc Pot

Right in the centre of Sydney, a well-deserved queue is common at the Choc Pot. The Secret Garden, rich dark chocolate layers, fluffy white chocolate, crispy goodness on the top, is a taste of heaven. The signature Choc Pot and Mr Souff are rich, chocolaty and moist with salted caramel and ice-cream on the side. You should also get a pot of tea to elevate and balance its sweetness.

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@KOI Dessert Bar

A busy and beautiful alley in Chippendale, next to the Central Park building, called Spice Alley, you can find a modern sculpture-looking and delicious sweet treat for any sweet-lovers at KOI Dessert Bar, owned by Reynold – a very talented dessert lover of Masterchef Australia 2015. You can make a booking with 2 or 3-course desserts or simply grab one of the treats such as vanilla yoghurt pannacotta, nomtella, espresso mousse or coconut mousse.

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Winter is here now, so screen-shot it, save it or share it, so you will not waste time searching for sweet places. Keep yourself warm and indulge in these sugary and rich desserts.


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