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					Postgraduate Information




                                                                                The SUPRA
www.supra.usyd.edu.au


University of Sydney employer
but how well are female
The University of Sydney is 1 of 99 Australian            Sure, the University is constantly trying to improve
Businesses in 2008 that have been named as an             safety on campus. For example they are installing
Employer of Choice for Women, meeting specific            new lighting, running the security bus service and
requirements set by the Equal Opportunity for Women       are moving to install CCTV (problematic for other
in the Workplace Agency (EOWA). These requirements        reasons). On the other hand, the University is in dire
include 6 conditions (such as working to deliver          need of adequate accessible and affordable child care
improved outcomes for women and the business) and         services. This doesn’t just affect Students, staff also
additional pre-requisites that were imposed in 2007.      miss out. The child care centres are run quite like
Among these more recent conditions, one states that       community centres, open to staff, students and the
the “Pay equity gap between average male and female       local community. But like the whole childcare sector,
salaries at each level of the organisation is less than   there just aren’t enough childcare places available.
the national gender gap identified by ABS research        Until the University (perhaps in collaboration with
(currently 17%).”                                         USU, although more likely with ABC Learning)
                                                          provides enough places to meet demand SUPRA
Wait a sec, did I read that correctly? Why did it take
                                                          believes students should have access to these services
the EOWA until only last year to implement this pre-
                                                          preferentially.
requisite? Shouldn’t the condition stipulate that the
pay equity gap be equal, without any discrepancy          The second area that needs serious reform is in
between male and female salaries? Why on earth            Harassment and Discrimination. The University
would women not get paid the same as their male           claims to take this issue seriously, but its policies in
counterparts? Can women get a 17% discount on             the area are backward and outdated. For example, if
their university fees?                                    a student makes a complaint to the University about
                                                          a member of a Faculty, it is referred back to the          Bashir at the helm, the University of Sydney should take
Within the upper echelons of the University of
                                                          Faculty to investigate. Talk about conflict of interest!   charge in creating an exemplary environment for women
Sydney, there aren’t too many women that have to
                                                          All students, but women in particular, need to feel        students and staff. Until that day comes, I’ll be the one
worry about this discrepancy in wages. Despite the
                                                          comfortable that if they make a complaint about H &        holding up the Express Lane at your Supermarket as I
fact that 44% of academic staff and 62% of general
                                                          D issues that it will be dealt with quickly and fairly.    sort through my bag-full of coupons, attempting to
staff at the uni are women, they are under-represented
                                                          The University needs to act to address this issue.         compensate for that ‘pay equity gap’…
at senior levels: 1 of 6 Deputy Vice-Chancellors, 1
of 3 Pro-Vice Chancellors, 9 of 39 Senior Executive       Having said that, the University of Sydney and EOWA        Remember SUPRA is your voice and your safety net.
Staff and 3 of 8 Deans are women . Hopefully the          should be commended as some of the better examples
                                                                                                                     Lulu Stewart
‘Women in Leadership Program’ is currently assisting      of organisations attempting to change attitudes
                                                                                                                     Vice President
our future university leaders to affect change in these   towards women. This is a much wider cultural and
                                                                                                                     president@supra.usyd.edu.au
statistics.                                               social problem which needs to be addressed. Maybe
                                                          the appointment of Quentin Bryce as Governor-
Putting that aside, if the University is such a “good”
                                                          General could instigate some real change? As a
place for women to work does it follow that it is a
                                                          leading educational institution with Chancellor Marie
“good” place for women to study? Not necessarily.




 SAAO Corner
 As an independent student association SUPRA hires
 professional and independent casework and research
 staff to help postgraduates with welfare issues affecting


                                                                                                                                            Movie Night
 them as students. We affectionately call them SAAOs,
 which stands for Student Advice and Advocacy
 Officers. The SAAOs offer a free service to anyone who
 is a SUPRA Subscriber, and seeing as subscription is free
 to all postgraduate students we reckon it’s pretty much
 the best deal for postgrads on campus!
                                                                                                                                 Thursday 1 May 2008
 If you have a specific issue you would like to see the
 SAAOs address then email us via help@supra.usyd.edu.
                                                                                                                                 6pm for 6.30pm start
 au and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.                                                                                   @ The SUPRA OFFICE

20
                                                                                                                  Postgraduate Information




Postgrad Pages
                                                                      Feministically in Honi Soit every week!
                                                                                                                              Subscribe to
   of choice for women –                                                                                                      SUPRA
                                                                                                                              it’s FREE!

   students supported?
                                                                                                                              By becoming a SUPRA
                                                                                                                              Subscriber you will be
                                                                                                                              able to:
                                                                                                                              •	 Access our free,
                                                                                                                                 confidential
                                                                                                                                 student advice and
                                                                                                                                 advocacy service
Along with the University of Sydney, 22 other        While SUPRA supports the idea of individual                              •	 Participate in SUPRA
universities in Australia were included by           responsibility for students, we also support                                events and activities
EOWA as employers of choice for women. As            the idea of USyd having a duty of care, nay -                            •	 Receive regular
there are only 39 universities in Australia, this    public responsibility, to reduce the barriers to                            email updates
                                                                                                                                 and electronic
acknowledgement should be seen as a general          participation for all students. As our community                            publications (eGrad)
recognition of the access and support available      ages, more and more students (again, mainly                              •	 Use the SUPRA
for women in the higher education system,            women) are going to be in the position of caring                            Resource and
                                                                                                                                 Meeting Rooms
rather than a USyd specific award. You can see       for aging relatives. This is a national issue that
more information about this acknowledgement          is being addressed at all levels of government. As                       •	 Access discounted
at http://www.eowa.gov.au/                           a public entity, the least we could expect form      Is   the   same        photocopying,
                                                                                                                                 printing and faxing

So what does this mean for female students? Is
                                                     USyd is a system that recognises and supports        level of support    •	 Vote or run in the
                                                     students who are in these precarious situations.                            SUPRA Council
the same level of support available for female                                                            available    for       elections
students as for female staff? The answer to this,    If you are experiencing any difficulties with your                       •	 Actively participate
generally, is no.                                    studies due to caring or other responsibilities,     female students        in your representative
                                                                                                                                 student association.
SUPRA applauds efforts on behalf of the USyd to
                                                     or you experience discrimination as a student        as for female       By becoming a SUPRA
                                                     at USyd, then contact a Student Advice and
support women on campus, such as security and
                                                     Advocacy Officer (SAAO).                             staff?              Supporter you will be
                                                                                                                              able to:
facilities working with SUPRA to promote and
improve safety on campus. But where are the          If you would like to become involved                                     •	 Access all of the
                                                                                                                                 above benefits
systemic supports that would make life easier        with supporting and promoting women’s
                                                                                                                              •	 Receive a SUPRA
for women to become and remain students?             issues  for  postgraduate students, then                                    Supporter Welcome
USyd has no general access to childcare, and no      contact the SUPRA Women’s Officer at                                        Pack (including
                                                                                                                                 SUPRA highlighter
policy on supporting women (or any student)          womens@supra.usyd.edu.au                                                    and t-shirt)
with extraordinary caring responsibilities (such
                                                     This section is prepared by SUPRA’s Student                              •	 Show that you
as caring for a child with a disability, or caring                                                                               appreciate the value
                                                     Advice and Advocacy Officers (SAAOs). The                                   of an independent
for an elderly relative).
                                                     SAAOs are professional staff employed to assist                             student run
                                                                                                                                 organisation.
SUPRA caseworkers have seen cases of students        postgraduates with a wide range of welfare and
(mostly female) who have tried to get special        academic matters. Call 9351 3715 or email                                Complete your
                                                                                                                              subscription online at
consideration and support from their faculties       help@supra.usyd.edu.au to ask a question or                              www.supra.usyd.edu.
because of the need to balance studies with caring   request an appointment.                                                  au/subscribe then follow
                                                                                                                              the links if you would
for someone (usually a child) with a disability.                                                                              like to become a SUPRA
It appears USyd has no policy directions on this                                                                              Supporter. Alternatively
                                                                                                                              you can drop into the
issue, so the answer to any of these students                                                                                 SUPRA office.
is invariably no. It also appears USyd is not
looking at addressing these issues any time in
the near future.


                                                                                                                             Raglan Street Building (G10)
                                                                                                                             Darlington Campus
 SUPRA’s Legal Service                                                                                                       University of Sydney NSW 2006
                                                                                                                             Phone: (02) 9351 3715
                                                                                                                             Fax: (02) 9351 6400
 Redfern Legal Centre has a new SUPRA funded branch office on the Darlington campus in the SUPRA                             E: admin@supra.usyd.edu.au
 offices. A solicitor is available to provide free legal advice, representation in court and a referral service to           Web: www.supra.usyd.edu.au
 postgraduate students who are SUPRA subscribers.
 The solicitor can assist you with a wide range of legal issues including:

 •	   Administrative law (government etc)
                                                            •	   Employment law
 •	   Consumer complaints
                                                            •	   Family law (advice only)
 •	   Court action against the University
                                                            •	   Motor Vehicle Accidents
 •	   Credit & debt
                                                            •	   Tenancy law
 •	   Criminal law
                                                            •	   University complaints
 •	   Discrimination and harassment
                                                            •	   Victims compensation
 •	   Domestic violence
                                                            •	   Other general complaints
 The Service operates a Drop In Advice session on Thursdays from 1pm-3pm (no need for an appointment). You
 can also make an appointment to see the solicitor at other times by calling the SUPRA Office on 9351 3715.
 Note: The solicitor cannot advise on immigration law but can refer students to contact points


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