Rachel Evans

The campaign to Save Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) has forced the Dean of the College to resign. It was a major demand of the fight to retain Sydney University’s unique, studio-based arts college in the heart of Callan Park — the jewel of Sydney's inner west.

Colin Rhodes announced his resignation on September 13. He will be replaced by SCA teacher Margaret Harris. 

The announcement came as the student occupation of SCA's administration building entered its third week — the longest occupation against management dictates, in USYD history. 

Anti-deportation activists were unable to stop the deportation of Tamil refugee Raj Kumar (not his real name) on August 31.

At short notice, refugee rights activists and members of the Tamil community gathered outside Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney to protest the deportation. An application for an interim ban on the deportation was filed but not heard in time to prevent the deportation.

Having appointed himself Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, then PM Tony Abbott went about cutting more than $500 million from Aboriginal services funding in the 2014 budget. The cuts formed part of a plan to consolidate existing government-funded Aboriginal affairs programs into its “Indigenous Advancement Strategy” (IAS).

In March this year, Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion announced that nearly 1000 organisations would receive a share of the $860 million up for grabs in the first round of IAS funding. This money is going to finance 1297 projects.

As we go to print, the students occupying the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) administration building at Rozelle can proudly say that theirs is the longest occupation in the history of the University of Sydney.

It has now surpassed the 10-day occupation, in 1983, of the Department of Political Economy.

The occupiers want the university to guarantee it will let SCA stay at Callan Park, drop its proposal for a 60% staff cut and reinstate the Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA).

Norrie has spent a lot of time in the offices of the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM). When Norrie went on October 28, it was for love and equality.

Norrie is sex non-specific — neither man nor woman. Five years ago, Norrie went to the office to get them to change zie's (the pronoun for a person of non-specific sex) birth certificate to read “sex: non-specific”.

BDM complied, but the New South Wales state government appealed. It took four years and an April 2014 High Court ruling for Norrie to be formally recognised as sex non-specific.

Melbourne-based author and community radio presenter Iain McIntyre has been documenting and celebrating Australian radical history since the 1990s. A series of zines he created entitled How To Make Trouble And Influence People were compiled into an expanded edition by Breakdown Press in 2009 with a second edition released in conjunction with US publisher PM Press in 2013.

One hundred medical students and their supporters took action at Sydney University against offshore processing and the detention of children on November 5.

Taping their mouths shut to represent the attempt to gag workers under the Border Protection Act, the students held up signs saying “I am a Medical Student Against Kids in Detention #DetentionHarmsChildren #KidsOut.”

The battle to save land and water in north-west NSW's Liverpool Plains, from coal and coal seam gas continues to be fought by Aboriginal communities, farmers, local councils and environmentalists.

People in Tamworth, Moree, Narrabri, Boggabri, Gunnedah, Quirindi and Toomelah are fighting coalmining in the Leard State Forest and the Shenhua Watermark coalmine near Gunnedah. They are battling huge coal seam gas (CSG) projects in the Pilliga and gas projects in Narrabri and Tamworth.

There are more people today who have been displaced by war, poverty and climate change than at any point in recorded history. The current number of refugees has exceeded those displaced by World War I and World War II combined.

Racism and homophobia are on the rise. Millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) and sex and gender diverse identifying (SGDI) people face life-threatening persecution.

About 2.7 billion people live in the 76 countries that criminalise homosexuality. The death penalty for homosexuality is applied in Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. In China, several hospitals use electric shock therapy as “anti-gay treatments”.


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