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Over the past few months, I’ve been working in a team with Laurie Yutuc (Bachelor of Commerce), Vishal Uppal (Bachelor of Commerce / Science) and Megh Mankad (Bachelor of Science / Law) as part of the Hult Prize. We were challenged to create a social enterprise that could “restore the rights and dignities of 10 million refugees by 2022.”

By Anthony Makragelidis (Bachelor of Commerce/Law)

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By Brian O'Callaghan

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Two weeks ago, Colleen, Zac, Cassie, Britt, Samanvay, Jaime, Dr Sakhaee and I departed on a journey which would take us to the literal opposite side of the world. Our journey would see us meet inspired young people from every corner of the globe on the United Nations General Assembly floor, engage in collaborative leadership conversations with our colleagues at Penn State University and learn from experts on how to bring real positive action for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of course, our trip was also rounded out by exploring the city that never sleeps and engaging in the ‘cultural experiences’ made famous by American TV.

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Written by Perrin Walker

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Photo Credit: University of Sydney/Victoria Baldwin

No words can describe the rush of excitement I felt when I found out that the University of Sydney was hosting a talk by Dr. Bassem Youssef. Dubbed ‘the Egyptian Jon Stewart’ by fans, and listed as one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine, Bassem Youssef began his television career in 2011 with a YouTube show he recorded in his home laundry. Within two years, he had created the most viewed programme in the Arab world, ‘Al Bernameg’, which fearlessly satirised Egyptian media and politicians before its sudden cancellation in 2014.

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Written by The Student Ambassadors of the Sydney Teaching Colloquium

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Want a break from studying during STUVAC?

Then why not register for this year’s Sydney Teaching Colloquium on Wednesday 4 November 2015 at the Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium. The event will run from 9.00am to 5.30pm and is FREE for University staff and students.

The Colloquium considers how we might meet the challenge of embedding cultural competence in teaching and curriculum.

This year’s theme is 'Cultural Competence is everyone’s business'.

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Written by Subeta Vimalarajah

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Photo Credit: University of Sydney

As a student activist and Wom*n’s Officer of the Student Representative’s Council, I was reluctant about going to the latest Sydney Ideas talk ‘Women In Leadership’. Having read Sheryl Sandberg’s best-seller Lean In, I thought this event would carry a similar message – identifying the ways women can reform their behaviour in the fight for gender equality. I was expecting a shallow conversation targeted at appeasing the corporate big names in the audience and the University’s image.

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Written by Sarah MacDonald

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in the United States Studies Centre’s Inaugural G’Day USA program where I had the opportunity to spend some time in Washington DC and visit some famous monuments.

My favourite monument was the Lincoln memorial.  I distinctly remember reading off the wall of the monument, the famous final words of the Gettysburg address where Lincoln said:

“This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

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For the past eight days the group has primarily been exploring Batam’s industrial heart, visiting places such as Batamindo Industrial park, Batam Industrial Free Zone Authority (BIFZA) and various unions. On Tuesday morning, the Tourism Sector group distanced themselves from heavy industry and visited Turi Beach, a luxurious resort in Nongsa on the north-east coast of the island that has attracted the likes of our own Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

On arrival we were greeted with cold honey ginger beverages in champagne glasses - we certainly weren’t in Batam Centre anymore! We were given a short presentation by senior management on how Turi Beach offers not ‘just a place to sleep’ but a lifestyle - as a place for relaxation or for outdoor activities. The general manager, Sumantri Endang impressed us with his knowledge on the potential for tourism growth. He was concerned about the inconsistency in visa regulations across the five international ferry terminals in Batam. While Batam Centre has free visa on arrival for over 35 nationalities, Nongsapura International Ferry Terminal does not. While this doesn’t affect Singapore, their main source of visitors, who don't need to pay for Visas for entry into Batam, it affects their second largest source of tourists, South Korea.

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Our tour of the facilities lasted 45 minutes, exploring the two different styles of accommodation, the swimming pools, restaurants and bars, rock climbing wall and marine activities on the waterfront. We found ourselves looking at approximately ten cargo ships on the horizon, reminding us of the industrial presence on the island. We were told that guests were cautioned not to swim at the beach at certain times of the year, at risk of tar-stained clothes!

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We finished up the day with a lesson from housekeeping staff on making towel animals, including bulldogs, elephants, monkeys (for children) and swans (in the honeymoon suites) - a valuable new skill we will practise on our friends and family! While we would have loved to stay the night, it was great to return back to Batam Centre, the pulsing cultural heart of the city.

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It has been a few days now since I got back to Sydney, after joining a group of amazingly passionate people on the 50th anniversary Freedom Ride through regional NSW from 18-22 February 2015, but I can tell you that I am still buzzing from the experience. It is certainly a challenge to detail five days' worth of insights, thoughts, feelings, emotions, expectations, conversations, observations into one neat little blog. What I can say straight up, to kick-off the post-Ride reflections, is that it has been an absolute privilege to meet some of the people connected with the 1965 Freedom Ride, other Sydney Uni students and staff, two amazing Aussie music legends, and the many Kooris and Murris from the Aboriginal communities we visited.

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Smoking ceremony at Walgett, to cleanse people of negative energy.
Copyright Mariko Smith 2015.

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For one of my draft PhD chapters, I referred to a famous phrase coined by Canadian communication theorist, Marshall McLuhan, in his influential work, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), which is "the medium is the message". It can be interpreted to mean that in choosing a particular channel to communicate information, that medium effectively influences how the message is perceived by and how it impacts on its audience.

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50th Anniversary cake for the Freedom Ride, courtesy of the lovely mob in Dubbo.
Copyright: Mariko Smith, 2015.

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Info Day is a great opportunity to talk to someone before you finalise your course preferences. It's also a great opportunity to have fun. And who doesn't love fun?

The end of school is typically a time of traditions and rites of passages. When I think of my end of high school, I remember a blur of graduations, formals, muck-up days, exams, schoolies and seemingly endless holidays. All these are fun, but without a doubt the most exciting and important summer event on anyone’s calendar should be the University of Sydney Info Day.

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PHOTO: Jeremy Yao

It starts with a visit to Kmart the night before. Amassing ammunition, preparing for zombies and planning for gun-jams.

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Did you know that the University of Sydney Union has its own impressive art collection? Well, neither did we! That is, until we applied for the amazing opportunity to manage the collection.

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We’ve all been told that when it comes to securing an internship or job, often it’s not what, but who we know that makes the difference. For those of us who are a little shy or self-conscious though, the task of networking can feel intimidating, if not somewhat contrived. But it doesn’t have to be...

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Insects, super conductors, latex bouncy balls, Quidditch, food DNA and Game of Thrones... these are just some of the fun hands-on activities that will open your mind at Open Day this Saturday.

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Australia is less than two weeks out from an election. Those eighteen and above will go to the polls to have their biggest say in politics for the past three years. But 1.2 million of us eligible to vote have kept our names off the electoral role, 400 000 of those being young people 18-24. It begs the question, “why are young people not having their say?”

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Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Anderson Cooper, Stella McCartney, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks.

What do said multi-millionaires have in common? Before they ascended into the upper echelons of the world’s most influential people they were – brace yourself – interns.

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Would you shave your head for charity? I've just lost my locks for my favourite animal causes, but there's less drastic ways to get involved too...

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Extreme Theatresports. The one night of the year when the Project 52 comedians turn Hermanns Bar into a mess of honey, silly string and sherbet; and somehow get away with it. The annual event, now in it’s second year, attracted the usual Sydney University comedy crowd and a few extras to fill the room to capacity.

Hosted by Steen Raskopoulos and Michael Hing, the event was a one not to be forgotten.

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Image: students, staff and alumni pack birthing kits in the Great Hall, for distribution in Africa.

Many students enter university with the desire to save the world – by no means an easy feat! There are countless issues, from human rights abuses to environmental concerns, and the scale of the challenge can sometimes cause starry-eyed idealism to diminish.

But student life offers some great ways to make a difference...

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Student prize winners (from left) Scott, Louise, Andy and Vanessa with ASA president Andrew Hopkins. [Photo: Bryan Gaensler]

The Astronomical Society of Australia’s Annual Scientific Meeting is an opportunity for the Australian astronomical community to gather for a series of talks and meetings about all the great astronomy that has happened, is happening, and is going to happen. It's a fantastic experience for a student, because you gain exposure to diverse and pioneering research taking place as well as having the opportunity to network with students and researchers from all over the country. This year I was also fortunate enough to have the chance to present my work, which was a great honour and thrill!

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It’s not everyday you’re given the opportunity to present your findings in an international conference – especially as an undergrad student – but I’ve just returned from presenting at one in New Zealand about improving the experience of first-year uni students.

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Exams are over! Time to hit the beach and enjoy the great weather Sydney is having! Or, even better, to jet off to Italy!

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Jazz, mobile phones and photography. These seem like three unrelated concepts, but this semester, they will combine in a new way. Find out how you can get involved - and maybe even win a prize...

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Yes, it's student election season again. Here are my tips for not being harassed by people in bright t-shirts...

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This week I spoke with four extraordinary young alumni, Emma Collenbrander, Katerina Kimmorley, Monique Alfris and Jamie Chivers, who joined forces in 2012 with a mission to eradicate energy poverty in India through their social business venture, Pollinate Energy.

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On Wednesday I spoke with Bill Pritchard, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Geosciences. As a human geographer and researcher into food security, there are few as qualified as Bill to speak at this year's TEDxSydney event, which will focus on food and sustainability.

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What's it like to change countries and careers? Third-year student Audrey Deheinzelin is making the transition from IT to the environment, and represents students on her faculty board and the University’s academic board. She took time out from her busy schedule to do a quick Q&A with us...

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Youth – it’s that time between being a child and an adult. And, as a generation told both to “act our age” and to “never grow old” it’s a little hard to work out who we’re supposed to be or how we’re meant to act at any time. This week, however, is National Youth Week. A time for those aged 15-24 to reflect on the power of this odd period between the freedom of childhood and the responsibilities of a mortgage.

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Where can your medical studies at Sydney Uni take you? Brooke Sachs (pictured) is a stage three medical student based at the Royal North Shore Hospital, founder of the rural youth mentoring initiative ‘Avenir’, and the Vice-Chair of the Australian Youth Forum Steering Committee. Despite this daunting workload, she’s made time to do a quick Q&A with us!

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Walking through uni the other day I saw people setting up a multitude of stalls along Eastern Avenue. A giddy sense of excitement welled up inside of me as I braced myself for the fun ball of happiness that’s about to explode on campus: O-Week!

Speed dating in Manning Bar isn't the only way to meet new people during O-Week; you can also get an Access card and join a million clubs and societies. But what exactly are clubs and societies?

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(Left: Victoria Baldwin and Christopher Hay mid-performance, Right: Esther Rolfe, student volunteer at the gallery Photos: Esther Rolfe)

As a student at Sydney University, I’ve had a lot of wonderful opportunities thrown at me. Whether it is space and money to rehearse and put on a comedy show, or exhibit some photographs, there just seems to be endless opportunities for students to express themselves.

Over the summer, classes take a break and Uni students kick back, relax, travel or get creative. I’ve been working fulltime over the summer and working on some challenging creative projects to make sure I don’t go insane.

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(Left: Team Johnson & Friends receiving 5/5 for their performance. Right: 'best new improviser' Rubee McManus)

Thursday 25 October was the culmination of months of improvisational practice and wit, coming together to produce the Sydney University Theatresports grand final. It was an epic night. Manning bar was packed out an hour early and the bar was running low on jugs and glasses. If those two factors were anything to go by, it can be deemed an instant success, yet the actual content of the night far exceeded this initial hint of greatness.

For the past two months, the lovely Bridie Connell and prolific Tom Walker have been hosting weekly Theatresports competitions between 12 teams. It was fierce. Apparently there are a lot of funny people at Usyd. Funny people that can be funny on the spot.

The night saw a furious comedic battle between the 6 qualifying teams; Choose Your Own Adventure Time, Fireman Spam, Doppelgangers of New York, Johnson & Friends, First World Solutions and S Club 3.

Teams were easily distinguished by elaborate costumes, which also provided comedic relief when they malfunctioned.

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2012 Verge Festival directors, history and music student Lauren Eisinger and physics and literature student James Colley, did a quick Q&A for us about their work:


This is the 10th Verge Festival. Any stats or facts & figures about why this will be the biggest and best?

This Festival will probably be the biggest yet, however we have to say that this is because we have been able to stand on the shoulders of giants. The University of Sydney Union – who are responsible for the funding and execution of Verge Festival – along with the people who work there, have tirelessly supported our crazy and almost impossible ideas with such passion and energy. Nothing has been too hard or too much effort. We have been so privileged to be able to talk with previous directors and adapt elements of past festivals so they can form the basis of wonderful events in this Verge Festival.

This year Verge is much more visual. We have taken the festival Tent of years past, given it steroids and evolved it into a 15m-diameter geodesic dome that stands 7.5m high. We put this up on the Front Lawns next to the iconic Quadrangle where it cannot be missed, so Verge has instantly taken a higher profile within the university.

We have sold out three major events prior to the start of the festival. We are hosting the Australian premiere performance of The Magical Music of Disney, a symphonic concert of Disney classics accompanied by the animated film footage played on a big screen.

Humans vs. Zombies, a giant Nerf battle of apocalyptic proportions, will be played on campus for the first time and sold out in less than an hour. This festival has more than 33 hours of comedy, 30 hours of music performances, two circus shows, an artwork that was displayed in Vivid Festival, 25 hours of theatre and hundreds of ways to get involved. From drawing on the ground to entering a slow bike race (the winner is the one who comes last) we can honestly say there is something in this festival for everyone.

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Verge Festival is in full swing. Opening Night last night (with the help of some beautifully warm weather) went off with a bang! The Halloween themed opening party was host to many bands making wonderfully loud noises, some SURCAS kids twirling fire and even a tiny dog that wandered about in the Verge Dome who was quite open to affection from strangers!

I was lucky enough to be part of a piece of Headphone Verbatim Theatre called “A Tree Ascending” that opened last night. This piece is inspired by the light installation, “Palettes of Urban Green” on the Law Lawns (you may recognise it from the Sydney Vivid Festival).

The piece was devised by a group of student performers, who are all from the Sydney University Dramatic Society (SUDS). It is centred on the theme of sacrifice.

Headphone Verbatim is a contemporary performance technique where interviews are recorded with audio devices; the audio is then edited and played back through an IPod into the performer’s ears. The performer then repeats the words they hear, a moment after them, attempting to tease out the nuance in the interviewee’s voice.

The piece works as a guided tour. It begins on the Cellar Lawns (home of SUDS) and small groups of audience (of 3 or 4) are guided on foot through the most beautiful parts of the University, whilst listening to the performers recount these interviews.

These are intimate performances, with interviews of real people speaking honestly and profoundly on the subject of sacrifice.

There are only two nights left of this show, so if you would like to come, check out the Facebook eventand prepare yourself for a night of insightful entertainment.


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The Verge Festival is a dream factory. And being a Verge Director it is like being a child in Wonka’s chocolate factory: anything is possible, often it’s amazing and sometimes it’s just dangerous.

We had an idea: a symphony orchestra would play all the greatest songs from the Disney collection in the iconic Quadrangle.

But Disney is one of the world’s most protected brands. No Australian agent could give me performance rights for the orchestral music. So I did some research and found a concert that had been performed overseas: The Magical Music of Disney. This gem sees a symphony orchestra play all the Disney favourites as their film footage plays on the big screen.

I approached Walt Disney Music Publishing in the USA and several months later, the Verge Festival had the rights to stage the Australian premiere of The Magical Music of Disney.

Verge Festival will also play host to the "Humans vs. Zombies" Nerf battle, the Quad will be transformed into Hogwarts for Harry Potter Trivia, and Axis of Awesome and Tom Loud will perform shows straight from sell-out runs at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

And that’s just the icing on the cake. So from 3 to 12 October, come and be a part of the action.

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Even if you don’t have strong feelings about faculty-specific issues at the moment, being a student rep on your faculty board is a great way to learn more about how the University operates.

First of all, it’s important to give the students in your Faculty the right to be heard in these meetings. This part of the role is generally as much as you make it. If you want to get a better sense of who you’re representing, you can encourage more student interaction by surveying students about issues being raised at Faculty Board. But you don’t always have to have a particular angle you’re pushing, or issues you’re looking out for – you’re still there for the purposes of “keeping them honest”. It’s still valuable to have a student voice at the meetings – in fact, it’s astounding how much difference it makes just to stick up your hand and remind them we’re here.

On a personal level, you get a better understanding of what’s going on at the University. Tertiary education is changing, and it’s really interesting to learn more about the competing interests involved. It also doesn’t hurt for the CV, either.

Nominations close on Monday 20 August. For more information, visit the elections website. To nominate, contact the administration office of your school or faculty.

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Howdy! I'm Andrew and I'm undertaking a PhD in Computer Science via the School of Information Technologies. For the past year, I've also been on my faculty board as a student representative. And I’d like to encourage you to take a role in this part of university life.

These roles give us a presence behind closed doors. One of the biggest issues during my time as a rep was the Student Services and Amenities Fee. I attended the faculty board meetings, heard how the different positions would affect coursework, research, undergrad and postgrad students, and voiced the concerns of those students.

And that's the biggest motivator as a student rep – being a voice! You can raise awareness of issues that have been brought to your attention by other students, and get them dealt with. Compare this with waiting 6 months, 12 months or even longer...

So nominate, participate, experience, and be that voice!

For more information, visit the elections website. To nominate, contact the administration office of your school or faculty.

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Got ideas that could improve your courses or faculty? Ever wondered, 'why is it like this?' or 'did they even think of the students when they came up with that?' – well that’s exactly what being a faculty board student rep is about!

Being a rep for your faculty is an opportunity to get involved in the inner workings of the uni and help the student perspective be heard; you’re the link between decision makers and students, and students are the reason the university exists. Being a student rep will add depth to your uni experience and set you apart from your peers when potential employers are looking through hundreds of CVs. And it isn't going to take hours of your time, you don't need to make big speeches in front of the staff, and you don't need to already know how everything works!

During my year as student rep I've been working to improve the orientation for new reps, so they can make the most of their role and feel more confident in it. I've gained valuable insight into how the faculty works, and I've been able to bring student issues to the attention of the faculty and University board, such as informing and rallying the students to voice their concerns about the effects of possible staff cuts. If you’re looking for an opportunity to stand out, this is it!

For more information, visit the elections website. To nominate, contact the administration office of your school or faculty.

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It’s been an incredible week as I wrap up “Oliver the Musical!” – (arguably) the most epic musical ever!
With a cast of 138 performers (ranging from age 4 to 60+)
PLUS a full orchestra of 35
PLUS a stage crew of 15
PLUS a front of house team of 10
PLUS a production team of 20
Furthermore, there was a ten metre bridge spanning the stage
Our lead boy, Zac Collin-widders was the first indigenous Australian to play the role of Oliver
and 100% of the proceeds from the show went towards supporting Indigenous education charity “Yalari”.
It was a musical production like no other.
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I always thought Halloween was a great idea for a public holiday - I'm now sure of it. As for Obama, let's hope I'm right there too!

While Halloween probably passed unnoticed (again) in Australia, it was celebrated with great enthusiasm in this corner of the world. Pumpkin carving, house decorations, costume parties and more fun-filled events occupied much of last week. Even lecturers got in on the action with at least one of my professors showing us her "favourite biochemical molecule" costume. Ok, a little lame, but the enthusiasm was nice.

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In the last few days, I've been almost lynched, I've been in and out of hospital, and the world has nearly ended. Not to, you know, catastrophise or anything. There was a giant arts festival and a student election and not all bad things.

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This is my last semester of undergraduate coursework. I thought this wouldn't affect anything but boy was I wrong. I feel like a kid trying to sit through maths class before icecream after school. I haven't been able to get in to the swing of the semester and I can tell you why as an example of obstacles you might encounter.

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SURG FM!

31 Jul

The beginning of my second semester at the University of Sydney means only one thing. It’s time for Uni Radio.

The Sydney University Radio Group (SURG) is a small but enthusiastic group of people who like the sound of their own voice. A friend and I decided we could not pass up the opportunity to communicate our comediocrity to anyone who will listen, so the two of us joined up during O-week for the small fee of three dollars.

SURG broadcasts on 90.9 FM. After a very brief demonstration of the simple equipment, the executive committee pretty much lets you say what you like. Other kinds of shows include chart countdowns, breakfast shows, heavy metal broadcasts and the odd variety hour.

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Ok, as we roll our merry way towards the end of our holidays, you might ask – what exactly do uni students do during our long breaks? No doubt we fill our days with parties and social events, sleeping till noon and drinking till dawn. At this very moment, a great deal of my close friends are travelling to Thredbo for a week of snow-bound revelry. Of course, which brings me to reveal that (quite ironically) for some, the holidays bring no end to the actual work for uni. As a participant – and leader – of a first year Advanced Engineering group, my abilities are increasing greatly as I realise *smacks self repeatedly in the head* Don’t - leave - things - for- the - last - minute.

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When seeking sage counsel from elders who are already firmly ensconced in university life you will often encounter such nuggets of wisdom ranging from the indifferent, like ‘at Uni, you can pretty much do whatever…’ to the saccharine, like ‘the world is your oyster’! However you anticipate what the university experience will be like, until you are right in the thick of it everything will seem really vague. To clear things up, I will tell you straight off that the university world is not your oyster. Rather, it is your octopus. I use the word ‘octopus’ metaphorically, to convey to you the idea the experience is multi-tentacled and each aspect of university life will probe slimily into your heart as much as an octopus would, should it ever have the chance. It’s true, in the lead up to university and in your first weeks of it you will absolutely bombarded with information about degree and course structure but this kind of information can never encapsulate the myriad of ways a new student can participate and invest in his or her university experience.

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Emerging from the cocoon of my beloved Fisher library yesterday, I took a few moments to get accustomed to the late afternoon sun, whilst attempting to transform into the neglected social butterfly of my former self. This is none to easy a task when carrying twelve books, the physical manifestation of an unhealthy belief that if I can just borrow all the books on my topic I’ll get through my thesis.

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My heat for the USU Justice Michael Kirby Plain Speaking Competition was last Friday. And, I got through to the next round! Woohoo! Here's a recount...

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How can you make $1000 in 9 minutes? By winning the University of Sydney Union Plain English Speaking Competition, to be judged by High Court star, the Hon Justice Michael Kirby.

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Now that I find myself an aging third year student at the University of Sydney (represses panic attack…my god where did the time go?!!??!) my first week of uni seems a bit like ancient history. Though there are a few memories that remain particularly vivid – the masses of people, the mind numbing boredom of sitting through a second year econometrics tutorial because I was too afraid to announce that I was in the wrong place and more than anything, the overwhelming sense of culture shock. While that was a few years ago now, my first week back at uni after 7 months away on exchange and traveling has been culture shock all over again – to the extent that I feel so much empathy with the poor map-carrying first years that I’ve actually been giving the right directions when they ask.

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I’ve never been to a Beachball. So I’m sure as hell gonna be there this Thursday!

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Okay, bad title. And okay, it’s not from a song.

But I just saw the O-week timetable and I am SOOOO pumped.

Here are my personal picks:

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February is a very gay month in Sydney. It is Mardi Gras season again, which features a month-long festival of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer cultures in Sydney. And this year, Mardi Gras Festival sprinkles its rainbow glitter all over Sydney University...

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The tale of bravery, heroics and spandex that is about to unfold is the next instalment in the epic story of team Deli-Sandwich. For those of you unfamiliar with Team Deli- Sandwich, the myth-like account of its creation may be found here on this very website. Essentially, it tells of a group of intrepid young exchange students callously denied the glory they so rightfully deserved by that cruel and flighty mistress called fate. However, it was with heads held high and rejuvenated spirits that Team Deli- Sandwich rallied their forces to make an assault on perhaps the most perilous competition ever devised by the masterminds of the UBC REC committee…Gladiators.

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I had a blast yesterday performing for a few hundred people at a family show at Marrickville. What did I do? I bellydanced.

“I didn’t know men bellydanced”, is the response I often get. The short answer is they usually don’t, which is why I do it.

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One day a year, the shores of Vancouver’s Jericho Beach are swarmed by hoards of college students ready for war. Ridiculous outfits are donned, gauntlets are thrown down and The Day of the Long Boat begins.

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Recently I flew to Brisbane along with 13 other Indigenous people from Sydney University to kick some serious butt in the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games...

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About two weeks ago something awful happened. I actually had to go to class.

Somehow over the course of the last month I’d managed to block out the fact that going on exchange to a foreign uni would entail actually having to attend class. My blissful bubble of denial was burst, however, when I found myself seated in the back of a packed-out lecture hall at an hour of the morning that I hadn’t seen since my last Sydney Uni exam in June. The horror of the situation only increased as the lesson went on and dirty words like “essay”, “midterm” and “oral presentation” were used with increasing frequency. As the Prof (note my use of Canadian uni slang) started to describe what was expected from our study groups, rather than giving him my full attention, all I could think about was how having to go to study group on Monday morning would affect my plans to go to mechanical bull night at the Buffalo Club on Sunday.

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After three weeks of great events, the Verge Arts Festival comes to a close.

With faculty reviews, concerts, exhibitions, awards, radio broadcasting and a screening of Harry Potter in the main quad, Verge has become an unmissable event in the student calendar.

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After a miserable week in Sydney (I'm still unsure of how Wednesday's downpour came about - stop teasing us with this erratic weather: can I wear my spring skirts or should I stick to jeans????), full of studying (for me, at least) and complete media saturation about one person (which in my opinion, disproportionately overshadowed everything else), it was refreshing to witness the 2006 Law Revue. Finally, someone was ready to stop being so serious and take the piss out of...everything.

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For those of you who are regular readers, you might remember a blog entitled 'Am I an idiot?’ I now have a definitive answer: YES!!!

Last Friday morning I was amongst 1784 people who undertook the challenge of walking 100km for charity. Sadly, 20% of them did not complete the challenge for various reasons. It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It is so difficult to describe the physical and mental pain that I was experiencing. Give me 6 exams in 5 days any time!!

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More than once I’ve witnessed a lacklustre showing at a uni protest and thought wistfully of the so-called golden years of collective action, when everyone had a social conscience (or perhaps just the looming spectre of mutually assured destruction is just a sexier issue than Voluntary Student Unionism, I don’t know). Yesterday's Pro-Choice protest also made me somewhat reflective, but for a different reason. It’s not that people don’t care about this particular issue. Not at all. It’s just that both sides have such strong beliefs, and such solid reasons (in their own convictions, at least) for these beliefs, that any interaction between the two inevitably reaches stalemate.

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National Sorry Day was last Friday - did you remember it? A massive crowd at Manning Bar certainly did!

I’ve just finished helping out with an event I couldn’t be more proud of. A good mate of mine, Jack, decided last year to stop merely talking the talk, and he began the National Sorry Day Indigenous Carnivale. It’s a big party held at Manning Bar on campus, and it was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. Even better, the money made on the night is going towards an indigenous mentoring program for local high school students.

Carnivale.jpg

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The verdict is in: sweat is sexy. In fact it is incredibly sexy……

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For regular readers of this blog it will be fairly obvious that I seem to be obsessed with two things: sandstone and the dramatic society. Well, this week is no different and as my brain slowly descends into a miasma of all things SUDS I’m taking you all down with me to check out what is happening with your friendly neighbourhood dramatic society.

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Why there’s a bit of Broadway diva in us all…

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Statistically, there are more people born in the world that are right-handed then left, but what about that minority who are born with two left feet?

I am referring to people who lack sheer co-ordination and those other upper level skills that are required to perform a series of steps in sequence AND in time...let alone in harmony with another individual. I am talking about me.

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My absolute favourite thing about Uni is the Dramatic Society. I have been involved in it since halfway through first year, and thanks to it I have made most of my friends and become more active on campus. If you were involved in theatre or drama in high school then you are gonna love it.

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I have few regrets in my life. Keeping the tragic but-oh-so-fashionable-in-the 80’s fringe in year 7 is one of them. Not joining up to the capoeira club in O-week in first year is another.

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The holidays are always so much more interesting when you’ve got homework or something else unpleasant to do, because you begin to realise the potential fun in almost any situation; you know, like watching midday soaps, dusting the entire house, and my personal favourite, tuning out from the cruel world and finding inner peace by staring at the wall for a couple of hours.

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Workin' It...

14 Feb

Workin' nine to five, what a way to make a livin', barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin'....want to move ahead but the boss won't seem to let you?

It's probably because you didn't do any work experience at uni, silly!

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One of the best things about studying at Sydney University is the feeling that you belong to a community. This is helped in a big way by the activities and presence of the Union. The concept of a campus community is something that really gets me excited and looking forward to coming to uni each day.

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