01 March 2015

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2015

Hiya everyone and welcome to a new year at the University of Sydney!

In case we haven’t become acquainted, my name is Kate Bullen, and I’m the Wom*n’s Portfolio Holder on the University of Sydney Union Board of Directors. I was fortunate enough to start this position in July last year and have thoroughly enjoyed it ever since. For my introductory post click on the link below.


Now then, I trust you all enjoyed the festivities of our fantastic Oweek last week (was it last week? All that time-travel talk has really messed my head!). I’d like to take this opportunity to firstly congratulate the amazing wom*n who pulled off the whole affair: Sophia Roberts and Laura Barendregt.

For those as sad as I am that Oweek is now over and classes are beginning- never fear- International Women’s Day (IWD), is nearly here!

International Women's Day Poster 2015
IWD falls annually on March 8th and has been celebrated since 1910. It’s a time when wom*n are recognised for our economic, political and social achievements and triumphs despite past struggles. Yet it is also a time to reassert that our battle to true equality across the gender spectrum is not yet won. It is a time to unite, network and organise for meaningful change, to look forward to the future generations of wom*n, and what we want the world to look like for our daughters and granddaughters.  

IWD was adopted by the United Nations in 1975 and has since been made an official public holiday in many countries around the world such as Russia, Vietnam and Georgia. This year marks the 20th anniversary since the fourth World Conference on Women adopted the Beijing Platform for Action. It was a ground-breaking moment which recognised the role wom*n’s rights must play in global development. So this year, we reflect on what has been achieved of this blueprint, and how much we have left to accomplish.

Events will be held all around the world and I highly encourage you to get involved in the festivities. The official Sydney event is to be held the following Saturday on March 14th. More information can be found on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/642380019224394

Here at the USU our fantastic Wom*n’s Student Events Coordinator, Ivana Radix is hosting an event this Wednesday 4th March. Between 12 and 2pm on Eastern Avenue you can check out some brilliant live music and also grab yourself some free food. 

The very next day at 1pm on Thursday 5th March Wom*ns’ Collective (or Woco as it is affectionately known) begins for the year. So now, without further ado, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the 2015 Wom*ns’ Officers Xiaoran Shi and Subeta Vimalarajah.  

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Greetings feminists, allies, men’s rights activists et al. We’re humbled and excited to be your Wom*n’s Officers for 2015 and we have a year of activism, creativity and dare we say it, fun, planned ahead. WoCo is a radical, autonomous, feminist space open to all who identify in whole or in part as a wom*n, trans or non-binary person.

We meet every Thursday at 1pm, starting from March 5 in the Wom*n’s Room in Manning, level 1.

You might have seen us at our O-Week stall, where we showed off our awesome T-shirts and showbags! Thank you to those who came over to say hi; it was great to meet you; we apologise for the displays of awkward dancing also on offer.

Subeta with Growing Strong Magazine
For slightly more accomplished dancing, why not check out the launch of the annual Wom*n’s Collective magazine Growing Strong at the 5 Eliza Ballroom in Newtown? It will be on Saturday 14th March at 7.30pm. There will be live music, slam poetry and good food – stay tuned for more details!

Still here? If we haven’t scared you off yet and you’d still like to meet other feminists in an engaged, welcoming environment, hit us up via our email usydwomenscollective@gmail.com or via the Facebook group, Usyd Wom*n’s Collective. Don’t hesitate to say hi or ask questions if you see us around! We don’t bite (unless it’s the hand of the patriarchy).

-Xiaoran & Subeta
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That’s all from me for now- as always, if you have any questions about anything mentioned in this blog post, or would like more information on the services available to wom*n on our campus, don’t hesitate to contact me or visit me in my consultation hours.  Other than that, I look forward to seeing/meeting you at our International Women’s Day Celebrations on campus J

KATE BULLEN
WOM*N'S PORTFOLIO HOLDER - BOARD DIRECTOR
Consultation hours: Wednesdays 3-5pm in the Wom*n’s Room, Level One of Manning Building.
(Please note that the Wom*n’s Room is an autonomous space for wom*n-identifying people)

23 February 2015

SAY HELLO TO THE FUTURE - AN INTERVIEW WITH YOUR 2015 OWEEK DIRECTORS

Just a few days ago we sat down with Sophia Roberts and Laura Barendregt to find out what they have installed for us at the 2015 OWeek Festival happening this week from Wednesday 25th to Friday 27th of February, here's what they had to say...


WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THIS YEAR'S OWEEK THEME, "BACK TO THE FUTURE"?

Sophia: Well it’s 2015 and if you’ve seen Back to the Future Part II (which you should because it’s a classic) then you’ll know that 2015 is the year they travel ‘back’ to from 1985. If you haven’t seen it then see it because there’s all sorts of cool stuff that happens and I can’t really go into detail without giving it away but essentially Marty creates a false 1985 in which his mum tries to hit on him - it’s weird. Just the watch the movie.

Laura: Sophia mentioned that it was 2015, like in the movie, one night at an exhibition opening at the Verge gallery in late 2013. I got really excited about the theme after that, I was like “oh my god we could get hoverboards” but we didn’t in the end. They exist but they’re like $10,000 each.
For more goss on OWeek 2015 events check out the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/776284812448746/?fref=ts
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE EVENT THIS OWEEK?

Sophia: I think my fave is going to be the Comedy Night. We’ve got a really cool lineup of young Australian comedians and I’m very passionate about promoting wom*n in the industry. It’ll be a great night.

For tickets: http://manningbar.com/Home/Shows-Gigs/OWeek-Wom-ns-Comedy-Debate.aspx
Laura: Opening Night Party! For the first time in 3 year’s we’ve got a split level Manning Party and we’re really excited about it. There will be free food, drink, movies and arcade games in the all ages area on the bottom floor and awesome DJs on the top floor. We want everyone to dress up heaps 80s too. I’m gonna crimp my hair.

Featuring: Djs Wyldstyle, BASSFACE9000 and Hubble - Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/607390429361151/?ref=ts&fref=ts
WHAT MAKES THIS OWEEK UNMISSABLE?

Sophia: This hectic theme! We tried really hard to make this OWeek quite different, and although not all our wild ideas didn’t get through, we think we’ve succeeded in bringing the University community an OWeek that is markedly different this year.

Laura: We wanted to make this OWeek as inclusive as possible. We also felt for the last little while the themes and the branding have been aimed at a particular audience and we wanted to challenge that, make it less “cool kid” and more “nerdy”.


FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE TIME AND MONEY POOR, WHAT THREE EVENTS OR ACTIVITIES SHOULD I PRIORITISE?

Sophia: There’s heaps of short and free events this OWeek. I’m really looking forward to the free, hour-long workshops (Improv Theatre Sydney and Sydney Revues), and Doctor Who Trivia. If you can spare an hour you can learn some cool stuff for free, or win some beer. 


Laura: Badge-making, screen printing and face painting down at the Wormhole are going to be heaps fun, you can spend as long as you want and they’re free! Make yourself some cool stuff and have some fun. I’m going to make so many badges. Time Travel with Dr Karl on the last day will be awesome too!



WHAT ARE SOME GOOD WAYS TO GET INVOLVED IN OWEEK AND MEET NEW PEOPLE?

Sophia: We’ve got a few welcome events. CarbarGay will be heaps of fun and a great way to meet other queer students, similarly the Wom*n’s Morning Tea will be a casual event where you can meet other wom*n identifying students. The Safe Spaces Q&A will also be a great way to find out about dedicated spaces on campus for ethno-cultural minorities. 

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1614827408753712/?ref=ts&fref=ts
Laura: If you’re a first year then definitely the First Year Q&A on the first morning at the Wormhole, that’s free and a good opportunity to meet new students and ask questions you feel awkward asking. We’ve got a panel of Board Directors there to give you answers to pretty much anything about Uni life.


IF YOU HAD A TIME MACHINE AND COULD GO TO ANY POINT IN TIME, WHEN WOULD IT BE AND WHY?​

Sophia: Probably some time in the late 60s and early 70s in Sydney. It’s hard to say because I wasn’t there, but it seems like that was a real time of change in this country and around the world. I think it would’ve been a really exciting time to be around in Australia, there was a steady march towards a progressive nation and that would’ve been great to see first hand.


Laura: 1920s before the Great Depression but with money. New York, Chicago or East Sydney. If you had money that would’ve been a heaps good time. Or London! I just want to wear the dresses and go to the parties. But I’d need to have access to modern medicine, I don’t know if I’m allowed to have that though - can I take it with me?



THERE'S A POINT IN BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II WHEN OLDER JENNIFER MEETS YOUNGER JENNIFER. SURELY OLDER JENNIFER WOULD KNOW THAT YOUNGER JENNIFER WAS IN THE HOUSE? AND SURELY, THEREFORE, SHE WOULD BE EXPECTING HER TO BE? HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR THIS?


Sophia: Nah because in the previous timeline Jennifer just grew older with no knowledge that there’s another one of her travelling through time. It’s only when they create an alternate timeline that (younger) Jennifer goes to the house, hence older Jennifer in her reality is not expecting her. Older Jennifer and younger Jennifer don’t share the same consciousness. I know, it’s a bit weird and timey-wimey but I promise it makes sense. 


Laura: Wait, what?


ANY FINAL WORDS? 

Sophia: I don’t think I have any left after that.


Laura: Please come to OWeek! Does that sound too desperate? Nah, it’ll be heaps
good.

So there you have it, OWeek 2015 is set to be the best yet, and you should come! If you need more proof, watch this OWeek teaser video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYfEW_79ge8

See you there,

TARA "DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE" WANIGANAYAKA
PRESIDENT OF WONDERLAND

& ED "TEA PARTY" McMAHON
BOARD DIRECTOR OF WONDERLAND
UA-5126621-7