May Report - David Mailler, UNE Student Association President
Our Vice Chancellor Annabelle Duncan has demonstrated in the first few weeks her style of leadership. There is a consistent concern for student welfare and experience, and the mood of UNE to my mind, is shifting. There are definite signs that UNE is more engaged with notion of educating and shaping of next generation of problem solvers and leaders. Annabelle is very approachable and genuine. The enterprises that UNESA now manages are consuming much of my time, and the need for additional support is now a priority. However UNE senior administration is working with UNESA and we have started to scope a strategy to ensure the sustainability of a vibrant and engaged student association.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the residential school period. It was especially busy and Tom, Mark and Jade and the team of drivers and helpers did a colossal job of providing a UNE welcome experience during the residential schools. I along with a few enjoyed the opportunity to do a few of the transits, and the service is popular.
At another level, the UNESA enterprises have some issues with the age of some of our inherited IT. This has become the latest headache with windows XP no longer being supported past 8 April 2014. This poses a threat to UNE systems and has become a priority to fix as it affects all the UNESA enterprises. The Postgrad centre is also affected. ITD is helping UNESA develop a strategy to resolve these problems.
The Federal Government threatens a radical and nonsensical erosion of tertiary education by Commission of Audit report. I would urge anyone who has not looked at this latest this latest draconian scenario to do some reading. Firstly, it proposes to load commonwealth-supported student up with additional debt. This is paramount to steal from a future generation by the generation that received a free education. This country and the world needs to invest in this generation of students because we’re going to need some very talented leaders to lead us out of the mess of neo-liberal economics that successive federal governments have created. I would like to suggest that Abbott, Hockey, Pyne and company tighten their own belts and act a bit more like leaders and not like the thieves and raiders that history I am sure, will see them as. If the Commission of Audit were not likely to be adopted and not so frightening I would think they would be laughable.
April 2014 saw another milestone in the march of economic growth at all costs that passed without a murmur. In the mainstream media this barely rated a mention although seems to have been mildly more important than Johnny Depp’s latest movie. Atmospheric CO2 passed 400 ppm for the first time in over 800 thousand years, to be almost double the pre-industrial levels. The importance of this is that 400 ppm is thought by climatologists to be a threshold level.
Keep in mind the Special General Meeting on the 21 May 2014 and good luck with the studies.
David Mailler, UNESA President