Tobias Langtry

Every month the student representatives meet to discuss the business of the UWA Student Guild. This report details the happenings of the Student Guild Council meeting held on Wednesday 30th August, 2023. Discussion concerned the Guild’s Masterplan, police presence at protests, and a new Ordinary Guild Councillor (OGM).

Readers can find the meeting agenda and minutes here. If an amendment is considered ‘friendly’ by the council member who initiated the motion the amendment is accepted. If an amendment is ‘non-friendly’ the amendment has to be voted on by the whole committee to be accepted.

Proxies included Alevine Magila (for Alejandro Villa Gomez), Finn Penter (for Claudia Bruce), Suchi Kalia (for Rutvi Timbadia), Amira Nunn (for Alex Knowles), Chloe Roberts (for Sean Cheung), and Olivia Stronach (for Anushka Mukherjee).


6.1 Managing Director

Tony Goodman says that student numbers on campus are up. The 2022 SSAF spending report is available now online. The Masterplan is ongoing and has been presented to the UWA Senate. A meeting will occur between the Guild and UWA Executive in September. Minister for Education, Tony Buti visited the Guild to discuss the Masterplan and welfare concerns. The annual report is slightly delayed and the Catering review should be released by the end of the month.

6.2 Finance Director

For July, the Guild made a loss of $68,859 (which is slightly over budget). This is because of timing differences. When considering the year-to-date, the Guild is ahead of budget. 

The student-run departments are all under budget, except for the Council budget. This is because of an insurance excess fee and the UDub Radio licence.  

Staff budgets are all under budget except for the Finance budget. This is because an employee left and the Guild paid the relevant entitlements.

9. QUESTIONS TIME—Student Reports

Luke Alderslade has read the Access report and notes that it includes social media analytics. Luke thinks this is great and that it should be adopted by more departments. Robert Whitehurst explains that Luke can recommend that but he can’t mandate it. Bradley Carter explains that this is because some Office Bearers don’t have social media accounts to analyse.

Luke has a question for Melani De Alwis. Luke thanks Melani for her report and asks her to elaborate on the two events she is planning with Amnesty International WA. Melani explains that she is working on a campaign for a human rights act. Melani hopes to provide an information panel event, and the campaign is really ramping up. Melani was previously the Access Officer and that is why Amnesty International is working with her.

Luke also asks Melani to explain her role as NUS WA Education Vice-President. Melani says she will provide a written response at a later date, as she is currently at the meeting in her capacity as a Student Guild representative, not a representative of the NUS.

 Luke has a question for Robert. What progress has been made on Relay for Life? Robert explains that he took the role of Chair recently, amid concern that the event wouldn’t happen this year. Since being elected to committee, Robert has coordinated with the Cancer Council and clubs. A date and location have been set and registrations are open. The committee is actively discussing how to make the event succeed.

Luke asks Ashley Lui to please provide an update on her project on increasing the number of international student scholarships. Ashley says that the current situation is very poor, with only one scholarship available for international students from Singapore. There is a lack of transparency around the opportunities available—the University’s website is “kinda shit” and difficult to navigate on this issue. Ashley wants to make it easier for international students to find opportunities.

Luke has a question for India Creed. Why was the Tav Show cancelled last Saturday? India says that the Show was poorly timed (too many assignments were set during that time). The Tav Wednesdays are very successful and popular, but it was not feasible to have two Tav events in the one week. 

Melani De Alwis has a question for Robert. Melani wants to know the relationship between the Publications committee and UDub Radio. Melani had asked for a written response for this question in the previous council, but had not received it.

Christopher-John Dauda (who leads UDub Radio) says that UDub Radio does report to the Publications committee, but the UDub Radio Director does not sit on that committee. 

India Creed has a question for Chido Mukomberanwa. Chido had not submitted her report, why is that? Chido explains that she had sent her report to the wrong place, but will fix the matter soon.

India has a question for the Ethnocultural Department representatives. Why are your reports incomplete? Neither of the Ethnocultural representatives are at the meeting (instead being represented by proxies) so the proxies say they’ll take the question on notice.

India has a question for Melani. Melani apparently told the Guild Council in June/July that she received the submissions made by other WA student guilds to the WA University Review Panel, and would send those submissions to the UWA Guild. Melani explains that she has sent the Murdoch Guild’s submission to Viknash, but has not received the submissions from ECU and Curtin.

Viknash VM has a question for Melani. Viknash wants to be updated on the ‘Know Your Rights’ guide that Melani mentioned in the June/July council meeting.

Melani explains that she has been in contact with the relevant people from UWA and she plans to provide the Guild’s design team with the necessary information next month.


 12.1 The 110th Guild Council appoints Nexia Australia as the External Financial Auditors for 2023, 2024 and 2025 financial years on the recommendation  of the Strategic Resources Committee.

Moved by Viknash VM

Seconded by Bradley Carter

Motion passed. Alevine Magila abstains.

 12.2 The 110th Guild Council;

    1. Endorses the 2023 Guild Masterplan designed by Taylor Robinson Chaney Broderick (TRCB);
    2. Acknowledges the effort of the Guild Executive and Management in actuating the Masterplan;
    3. Directs the Guild’s Managing Director and the rest of the  Management team to initiate the Masterplan including the financing  and communication of it to the student body.

Moved by Viknash VM

Seconded by Bradley Carter

Viknash VM speaks in favour of the motion. The Masterplan has been presented to the Senate and other major stakeholders, which involved lobbying senate members before the meeting. This might be the largest amount of funding given to the Guild in its history. The implementation of the Masterplan is a ‘“matter of when,” not if. Viknash appreciates the effort by past councils and Guild management on this issue.

Bradley Carter speaks in favour of the motion, commending Geemal, the Council and Guild management for their work.

Motion passed. Alevine Magila and Finn Penter.

12.3 The 110th Guild Council approves $45000 for the upgrade of the CCTV Camera system in the Guild Village, on the recommendation of the  Strategic Resources Committee.

Moved by Viknash VM

Seconded by Bradley Carter

Viknash VM speaks in favour of the motion. He explains that this has been a major topic of discussion between the Guild and University management over the Masterplan. Viknash is glad that Guild advocacy has paid off. 

Alevine Magila asks why the Guild wants the additional cameras and lighting. Taleah Ugle explains that this is a response to the National Student Safety Survey. The survey found that lighting and lack of CCTV was a key concern for students.

Alevine speaks against the motion. Alevine is concerned about additional surveillance on campus, noting that the CCTV system is always on. Alevine asks who monitors these cameras. After being told that the University will manage these cameras, Alevine says that is problematic as you can’t trust the University. Alevine questions the focus on strangers, as most assaults are perpetrated by people known by the victim. If the Guild really wants to improve student safety they should challenge sexist values. Andrew Tate and “sexually fucked material” is a major issue to tackle. Alevine also notes that $45,000 is a lot of money to spend.

Viknash agrees that more can be done to challenge sexist values but points out that the CCTV upgrade is only part of the Guild’s response. The Respectful Relationships module has recently been released. CCTV and lighting are all pieces of the puzzle but the Guild isn’t expecting that they’ll solve the problem on their own.

India Creed speaks in favour of the motion. India notes that lighting and CCTV upgrades were major requests from respondents in the National Student Safety Survey.

Taleah Ugle speaks in favour of the motion, noting that the Guild wants to battle against sexual assault and sexual harassment, not just sexism in general. Having evidence (from security footage) is useful for victims and empowers them to report assaults.

Akshata Jois speaks in favour of the motion. Challenging sexist values is a long term game, but better security and lighting can benefit students right now.

Alevine expresses concern with how the security footage can be used, a part of his general scepticism for security and police. For example, increasing police presence near train stations can have unintended effects, just like CCTV can. The power of the state is often used to oppress people. Alevine says most sexual assaults happen at homes and parties, not dark alleys.

Suchi Kalia suggests that the Guild make an agreement with University management about how the CCTV footage can be used. Tony Goodman says that there are already agreements and the CCTV is not constantly monitored. The lighting and CCTV will act as a deterrent against assaults and other crimes.

Joseph Pietrzak responds to Alevine’s comment, noting that the Guild often hosts parties (where alcohol is served) in those places set to receive improved lighting and security. Joseph says we can’t immediately change the social structure (that facilitates sexual harassment) but we can better equip victims with the evidence they need.

 Alevine is sceptical that the upgrades will meaningfully deter crime. The Guild should focus more on the culture. Alevine doesn’t trust that the University will use their power well.

Motion passed.

12.4 The 110th Guild Council appoints Juan Lakonawa as the Volunteering Chair until the 30th of November 2023.

Moved by Viknash VM

Seconded by Bradley Carter

Viknash VM speaks in favour of the motion. Robert Whitehurst does the same, noting that Juan Lakonawa was recommended by the Volunteering Department.

Motion passed.

12.5 The 110th Guild Council Accepts the resignation of Drishti Kripalani from the  Position of Ordinary Guild Councillor.

Moved by Viknash VM

Seconded by Bradley Carter

Viknash VM speaks in favour of the motion, explaining that Drishti is going on exchange. Bradley Carter speaks in favour of the motion and “wishes her the best.” 

Motion passed.

12.4 The 110th Guild Council Appoints Rishav Neog to the Position of Ordinary Guild Councillor.

Moved: Rutvi Timbadia

Seconded: Ashley Lui

Suchi Kalia speaks in favour of the motion, explaining that Rishav has grown a lot and will do well in the role.

Ashley Lui speaks in favour of the motion.

Motion passed.


15.1 The Guild Council;

15.1.1 Opposes the unnecessary presence of the police on campus;

15.1.2 Recognises that the police make activist events more violent;

15.1.3 Considers the presence of police on campus to be an effective curtailment of students’ right on campus to freely assemble and demonstrate;

15.1.4 Objects to any and all weapons that the police bring on to our campus;

15.1.5 Notes the role of the police at the peaceful protest against Warmongers on campus on August 23 was to defend high-level military personnel and politicians who want to develop nuclear submarines in Australia.

Moved: Chloe Roberts (proxy for Sean Cheung)

Seconded: Finn Penter (proxy for Claudia Bruce)

Chloe Roberts speaks in favour of the motion, proposing ‘no cops on campus.’ Chloe says that police do a lot of harm, including the oppression of Indigenous people. Students deserve a campus free of that.

Finn Penter says you have to live “under a rock” to not know of the racist and oppressive nature of the police. On the 23rd of August, at an anti-AUKUS protest, police were there. The Guild should make it known that the police are not welcome. 

Luke Alderslade asks for more detail about this protest. What prompted the motion?

Alevine Magila says there weren’t any altercations or violence from the police. However, it was very intimidating and shocking to have heavily armed federal police present. We’re just students on campus with a right to protest—we shouldn’t be intimidated from protesting.

Charlotte Kennedy asks if this motion is opposing police on campus for any purpose at all. What’s the limit?

 Alevine says this motion is about opposing police presence during protests. It does not mean to prevent police investigating crimes on campus.

 Meghana Maganti does not think it’s feasible or safe for students to have a blanket ban against police on campus. Though she does acknowledge the WA police’s history of intimidating protesters.

Alevine says this is a motion for representation—it is a statement of the Council’s values. It is not meant to set a practical limit on police presence. Police did not make students safer at the protest, and were actually there to protect the peace of mind for politicians. 

Robert Whitehurst presents a hypothetical—what if there’s a violent protest of a radical group (like anti-vaxxers). Surely there should be some police there. 

Alevine says that it depends.

Charlotte proposes an amendment to 15.1.1, to read as “opposes the unnecessary presence of the police on campus, particularly during peaceful protest.” (Non-friendly, seconded by Bradley Carter).

 The amendment is voted on, producing a tie. The vote is held again and the amendment is passed.

 Amira Nunn speaks in favour of the motion. Amira agrees with Alevine, saying that students need to feel safe when protesting, without worrying about police presence. Amira notes that UWA has the ability to mobilise their own security and this is a fair motion.

Charlotte speaks in favour of the motion.

Motion passed.

15.2 The 110th Guild Council:

15.2.1 Notes that the current proposed abortion reforms in WA are a progressive step in decreasing barriers to abortion access, but do not go far enough

15.2.2 Recognises that abortion is both essential healthcare and fundamental to women’s rights, and declares that it should be made free and available on demand

15.2.3 Notes the link between anti-abortion campaigns and the far right, with anti-choice events in WA consistently attended by groups including neo-nazis, the Proud Boys, One Nation, and Australia First

15.2.4 Condemns Labor MP Bill Johnston for opposing the current proposed expansion of abortion rights

15.2.5 Opposes the anti-abortion meeting held by the Australian Christian Lobby and the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life, which intends to try and block the current reforms

Moved: Chloe Roberts (proxy for Sean Cheung)

Seconded: Finn Penter (proxy for Claudia Bruce)

Chloe Roberts speaks in favour of the motion. The proposal will strengthen abortion rights, and the Guild should support abortion rights. Despite this positive movement, there remain pro-life, right wing forces opposed to these reforms.

Finn Penter speaks in favour of the motion. The Guild passed a pro-abortion motion last year and should do the same now. It is “despicable” that Bill Johnston, a Labor MP, could oppose these reforms. We cannot trust the Labor Party on this issue.

Melani De Alwis speaks in favour of the motion, saying that the proposed reforms are positive, but do not go far enough. Abortion has not been completely decriminalised (in cases where the practitioner is unqualified).

Alevine Magila speaks in favour of the motion, saying the Guild should not be complacent about the far-right—they still remain opposed to abortion rights and trans rights. The Guild should reiterate its opposition to these right-wing forces.

Taleah Ugle speaks in favour of the motion, telling the Guild that it should not be complacent about this issue. Taleah has been to many protests in support of abortion rights and other rights. The far-right have been very consistent in their attendance of counter-protests. This is a fight worth having.

Motion passed.

15.3 The 110th Guild Council:

15.3.1 Condemns the State Security Investigations Group for charging Disrupt Burrup Hub climate activists with counter-terrorism charges because they refused to comply with data access orders.

15.3.2 Condemns police powers being used to crack down on climate protesters

15.3.3 Expresses support to and solidarity with Joana Partyka, Tahlia Stolarski and Emma Sangalli for their climate activism and opposes any legal penalty being applied against them for the protest actions they have been a part of

Moved: Chloe Roberts (proxy for Sean Cheung)

Seconded: Finn Penter (proxy for Claudia Bruce)

Alevine Magila speaks in favour of the motion. Alevine says that climate activists haven’t done anything to warrant these charges—they have simply protested peacefully. It is wrong for them to be charged and called terrorists or extremists. It is really abhorrent for the government to crack down on civil liberties. 

Finn Penter says the treatment of protesters has been really bad, but not surprising. This is an attack on climate activism and the Guild should show solidarity for those being persecuted. Finn claims that one protester was even harassed at gun-point by officers in an unmarked police car. 

Will Partridge asks for more details about the protest and Luke Alderslade says he has found an article about the issue.

Meghana Maganti asks if the issue was limited to just those protesters named in the motion.

 Alevine explains that these specific protesters were named in the motion because they had just appeared in a Magistrate’s court.

Melani De Alwis speaks in favour of the motion. The right to protest is a fundamental human right, with “no ifs or buts” allowed.

 India Creed speaks in favour of the motion, saying that the Burrup Hub project will have significant environmental and cultural costs.

Motion passed.


16.1 The Voice

Taleah Ugle tells the council that the date of the referendum has been set for the 14th of October. The ‘Yes’ campaign needs more support from the Guild and UWA students. The referendum is close to her heart as an Indigenous woman.

Akshata Jois tells the council that Geemal has acquired ‘Yes'” vote shirts and would like to take a photo of all the council members wearing those shirts.

Amira Nunn thanks Akshata and Taleah for their support of the ‘Yes’ campaign. Amira has been working with ‘WA students for Yes’ and has been encouraging students to enrol while they can.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *