Sydney university Aboriginal students rally to defend Koori Centre

Rally to save the Koori Centre, October 31. Photo: Hannah Farrugia/Facebook
November 1, 2012

Aboriginal students and their supporters rallied at the University of Sydney on October 31 to demand university management commit to maintaining the Koori Centre.

The Koori Centre provides a supportive place for Aboriginal students to work and study together. Students organised the protest in response to information that the centre was slated for closure.

The protesters marched from the Fischer library to the university administration building, where they handed over petitions calling for management to stop attacking the centre.

In an October 29 statement, the students said university management had been “slowly removing some of the support we have as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students".

"During this year, two of our main support staff have been removed from the Koori Centre itself and placed on the other side of the university. This has taken away the availability of them to us and destroyed a substantial means of communication between us.

“The students in the Koori Centre are people that can relate to each other. They’ve all been through the same experiences as each other and create a massive support for each other that cannot easily be found elsewhere in the mainstream education system.”

However, University of Sydney deputy vice-chancellor Shane Houston said on October 31 that “contrary to rumours, there are no plans to close the Koori Centre” and promised that “existing facilities at the Koori Centre will remain”.