Friday 11th September 2020

I hope everyone has been keeping well and that those in Melbourne have been enjoying some of the great weather we have had over recent days. Last week the Victorian Premier announced an extension of the Stage 4 restrictions and a roadmap out of restrictions for Metropolitan and Regional Victoria. Many of us, including myself, undoubtedly found elements of these announcements difficult. However, this further certainty about the road ahead is promising, and a reminder that although there will be long-term challenges posed by COVID-19, the current lockdowns are only a temporary fixture and we will get to a level of normalcy very soon.

As always, GSA remains here to support graduate students in any way we can. Currently we are opposing proposed changes to special consideration which will lead to further inequity for students facing hardship, particularly in regard to supplementary assessments. The University should be increasing support for students in the midst of a global pandemic, not weakening it. We have also been continuing with our Town Hall events, with our Transition to Work for International Students providing invaluable insight into barriers international students are facing with regards to employment. Thank you to all those who attended and contributed; your contributions will inform our upcoming advocacy to the University in this area.

Lastly, student wellbeing and safety is of upmost importance to GSA. We are in the early stages of our Student Safety on Placement Project, where we will be investigating ways to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students on placements. This is in addition to the work we have been undertaking in other areas, for example with the Respect Taskforce, and the supports GSA has been able to provide to students throughout the pandemic.

That being said, please don’t hesitate to contact us for support; this is a difficult time and I encourage you to make use of the supports available to you as a graduate student. You can reach us on 1800 472 435 or for support and as always I remain contactable at Keep safe and well; we’re here whenever you need us.

Jeremy Waite
GSA President