MELBOURNE — Fifty students from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and other campuses protested at the inauguration of Sam Smorgan (of Smorgan Smallgoods) as chancellor of RMIT on March 10. The rally was part of the preparation for the national day of action against fees on March 23, called by the No Fees Activists Conference in December. The students demands included free education, no fees, more library resources and an end to voluntary student unionism. Present at the inauguration were Premier Jeff Kennett and federal education minister Simon Crean.
PERTH — Eighty students, mostly from Kwinana Senior High School, defied threats of suspension to rally on the Perth Esplanade on March 10. The rally was organised to demonstrate students' concerns over the WA government's failure to respond to teachers' industrial action. WA teachers are the lowest paid in the country. The students marched to the offices of the Education Department, chanting "Ban the bans" and "20% pay rise for teachers". A delegation met with the education director-general.
SYDNEY — Three thousand people attended a spirited and united demonstration which blockaded Sydney's international and domestic airports for several hours on March 11. The blockade became highly spirited when police provoked the crowd by disrupting the demonstration. Another blockade is planned without notice for the domestic terminal on either March 17 or 24.