30 November 2015 – At its Annual Council Meeting (ACM) 25th – 27th November the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) have elected a highly capable, diverse team of postgraduate representatives to advocate for the needs of postgraduates in 2016, an election year.
|National President||Jim Smith||Melbourne University|
|VP – Chair of National Operations||Zhao (Joe) Lu||Adelaide University|
|VP – Chair of Equity||Alyssa Shaw||ANU|
|Policy and Research Advisor||Vikraman Selvaraja||UWA|
|General Secretary||Peter Hurley||Monash University|
|Media Officer||Natasha Abrahams||Monash University|
|Women’s Officer||Joanne Ruksenas||Griffith University|
|Disability Officer||Katy Brownless &
MD Aminal Haque
|Queer Officer||Vibol Hy||Monash University|
|Eastern Branch President||Yash Pandya||UTS|
|Central Branch President||Vacant||By-election TBA|
|Northern Branch President||Roberto Fragoso||UQ|
|South-Eastern Branch President||Dylan Styles||Victoria University|
|Western Branch President||Peter Derbyshire||UWA|
|NATSIPA Liaison Officer||Sharlene Leroy-Dyer||Newcastle University|
Table 1: Elected Officers, terms starting January 1 2016
Jim Smith the incoming 2016 president said ‘2016 will see CAPA campaigning heavily on the issues of importance to postgraduates and advocating strongly for an equitable, high quality and fairly-funded tertiary education system. We will continue to fight against cuts to research funding, inappropriate levels of income support for students and unfair changes to student fee contributions’.
‘Postgraduates currently have much at stake. CAPA calls on all political parties to engage in greater student consultation in their policy development and to ensure that equitable access and participation principles are at the heart of any policy agenda affecting postgraduates’.
Promoting the importance of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is also shaping up to be key priority for CAPA in 2016.
‘We already see a need to start getting information out into the public domain and to start asking higher education stakeholders including universities, politicians and the community to give it their continuing support’.
‘The misguided motion which appeared on the Senate agenda last week calling on the government to amend the Higher Education Support Act 2013 ignored the value of the essential student services and representation that this funding supports and shows us that politicians are not currently well informed about the SSAF or the positive impact which it is having’.
‘The SSAF is a fee for non-academic services which can be levied by a university, It is an important source of funding for services ranging from food outlets, accommodation to sporting facilities, even counselling and medical services. It has been transforming campuses and the student experience at Australian universities since its introduction. It is essential for a high quality student experience, and to keep our universities internationally competitive’.
‘The 2016 team and I are looking forward to taking on these challenges, and I will be working with the outgoing president Harry Rolf to ensure that the needs of postgraduate students are front and centre in the year to come’ concluded Jim Smith.
Attachment: CAPA Submission
CAPA is concerned with the quality and integrity of international education, and the experience of international students coming to study in Australia. While streamlining will promote the growth and competitiveness of international education providers, a lack of regulation or oversight can lead unintended behaviour particularly when funding is involved. It is for this reason the CAPA is concerned with some aspects of the Education Services for Overseas Students Amendment Bills (Registration Charges & Streamlining Regulation) 2015. CAPA makes this submission with the intention of ensuring that international students wellbeing is a concern and that they are protected from adverse behaviour, we offer the following two recommendations.