Welcome to the President’s blog for June!
As mentioned on the newsletter P,ARSA had a jam-packed May with lots of events happening before the conclusion of semester, in particular the Sustainability Café, and Global Café hosted by the Pakistan Students Association.
Given the end of semester was upon us, we celebrated Reconciliation Week a week earlier with ANUSA and Tjabal. This year’s Reconciliation Week is particularly special given the anniversaries of landmark events for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people including the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and 25th anniversary of the Mabo case. A huge thank you to PARSA’s Indigenous Australian Officer, Darcy, for all her incredible work and to the PARSA staff team who are always a wonderful support.
Last month also saw the ANU community say goodbye to Union Court in our Farewell Union Court event. This was a PARSA-led initiative, in collaboration with ANUSA and the ANU. Vice -Chancellor Brian Schmidt came down to say a few parting words, and led students and staff alike to ‘make your mark’ on Union Court aka spray painting. Hundreds of visitors came and painted their farewell messages over the two hour event with wonderful Indigenous artists and cultural ceremonies taking place at the event in celebration of Reconciliation Week. Check out our Facebook page for photos from the Farewell.
PARSA also held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May. Thank you so much for everyone who attended. We successfully passed a change to the PARSA constitution which will create handover periods for student representatives of 6 weeks. This is a necessary step to make sure student representatives are supported in their new roles, which will ultimately benefit how PARSA represents postgraduate students. The AGM also approved the creation of a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Officer which seeks to represent and support HDR students, given the unique nature of their programs. Lastly, we opened discussion regarding PARSA’s Governance Project which seeks to reimagine PARSA’s structure and review our constitution to ensure we are fit for purpose. Membership consultations will be taking place early next semester, with the intention to call an Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) in semester 2 to consider changes to our constitution.
PARSA is also moving office due to the Union Court Redevelopment – so you will be able to find us in Melville Hall from July onwards. As we will need time to set up our new home, PARSA will be closed for one week at the end of June, but our student assistance team will still be available for any help you need.
Our postgraduate survey has over 1,100 responses which is an excellent result! It closes on June 14, so there is still some time to complete the survey and have a chance to win some wonderful gift vouchers! A huge thank you to everyone who completed the parent’s survey – we had over 40 responses. These responses will help PARSA prepare representations and future campaigns in order to make the ANU more family friendly.
Coming up in June and July we are excited that ANU will be hosting both the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) and Network of Women Students Australia (NOWSA) conferences. More information on how to get involved in these will be coming out soon, including opportunities to join the PARSA delegation to these conferences. We also are currently planning the PARSA Ball and Welcome Week to celebrate the start of semester 2, including the Postgraduate Student Welcome and PARSA Big Day – our twice annual family friendly event! Keep an eye out for other events over the break.
Wishing you all the best,