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.

The University of Sydney ended last year with a $117 million surplus, but is moving close it's Koori Centre. The Koori Centre has supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the university since 1989. It also coordinates the teaching of Indigenous Studies and provides a library, comfortable meeting space and computers.

The Centre provides support staff whose role was to help Aboriginal students through their degree. Instead of maintaining and expanding the Centre, student says the university is seeking to close it.

Students from the Koori Centre released the statement below on October 29.

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Join us in saving the Koori Centre.

The Koori Centre puts their collective view.

The Koori Centre is a space in the University of Sydney on the ground floor of the Old Teachers' College that allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to gather in a community environment to study together.

Reclaim the Night Sydney released the statement below on October 24.

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Reclaim The Night, an annual worldwide campaign against all forms of violence against women, will hold its annual march this Sunday October 28 at Hyde Park at 7pm.

“In the wake of the Jill Meagher case, it is more important than ever that we highlight the effect violence against women has on our community,” Reclaim the Night spokeswoman Annabel Osborn said.

Speakers at the rally this year include:

The NSW Liberal government is planning to put vital community services on the chopping block.

An October 12 article titled “Child sex assault services on hit-list” by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Josephine Tovey said a “leaked departmental briefing note” showed “funding for child sexual assault services and the child protection helpline are on a hit-list as part of cuts of almost half a billion dollars over the next four years to community services in NSW”.

Sydney Stop CSG organised a human sign action at Sydney Park, St Peters, as its part of an Australia-wide week of action on this issue. A thousand people participated in this successful event.

A half-day strike by NSW public servants on October 8 featured a mass meeting of workers at Sydney Town Hall. A vibrant crowd of about 2500 filled the lower deck of the Town Hall. A further 1000 people outside were able to observe the events taking place inside via a large video screen.

A crowd of up to 200 protesters met in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the “Rally for Assange and WikiLeaks: Don’t Shoot the Messenger” at Sydney Town Hall on October 6.

As well as an end to the persecution of Assange, protesters called for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. This year marks 11 years since the US-led invasion and occupation of the nation.

Although drab weather did deter some, the strength of the crowd was still felt through the bellowing of a “WikiLeaks ballad”, which captured the attention of many passersby.

A document called “Sydney's Rail Future – Modernising Sydney's Trains” was released by the Barry O'Farrell NSW government in June. It plans to modernise the Sydney rail network by converting it to a "three tier" system: rapid transit, suburban and intercity.

Unfortunately, the plan is vague about the long-term future of rail expansion around Sydney. Its unstated objectives would appear to be:

An election in the NSW Public Service Association (PSA) will be held in October to determine who leads the 42,000-strong union for the next four years.

Membership of the PSA consists of public servants employed by the NSW government. The current ALP-aligned leadership team is being challenged by a group of rank-and-file members and delegates known as the Progressive PSA (PPSA).


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