The National Union of Students has called a National Day of Action on August 20 = rally on every campus.
We’re on board because this federal budget’s treatment of higher education + welfare is an attack on students:
~ 20% cut to public funding for uni courses
~ Deregulation of fees allowing unis to charge whatever they want = $100,000 degrees
~ Real interest on student loans up to 6% p.a. so debt grows even when unemployed/kids
~ Earn or learn Newstart + Youth Allowance so unemployed under 30s not helped
ANU’s Vice-Chancellor’s Professor Ian Young AO is complicit in these unfair measures because, as the head of the Group of Eight universities, he lobbied for fee deregulation.
In an email addressed to all ANU undergraduates on May 14 Professor Young wrote “In coming months, you will be invited, along with staff and alumni, to contribute to a discussion about what type of future we can build for ANU in this new education landscape.” Yet there has been no student consultation.
As was voted on at the last ANUSA OGM, the rally will march to Chancelry lawns where we will hold our own student forum, in which students can speak out against fee deregulation and take a vote on their stance. Hopefully from his office way up in the Chancelry building Professor Young can hear our voices and listen.
From midday in Union Court on ANU campus, people gathered to watch a performance by the Tony Abbot Pants on Fire puppet, which first made an appearance at the Canberra Bust the Budget Rally in July.
There were speeches in Union Court on ANU campus from a diverse group of community members, including:
~ Laura Wey, Education Officer at ANU Students’ Association (ANUSA)
~ Aayushi Talwar from the Education Action Group (EAG)
~ Gabriela Falzon, a student from Narrabundah College
~ Stephen Darwin, National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) National Executive Member for the ACT
~ A representative from the Greens
~ A representative from the Australian Labor Party
~ Lorenzo White from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU)