Monica Sestito

Education (Research) Officer

I’m Monica, a PhD student in the School of Languages and Linguistics, the Education (Research) Officer on the Left Action ticket to fight for a university where profit does not dictate our conditions of study and work.

As an activist, I’ve helped to organise climate rallies within Uni Students for Climate Justice. I’ve contributed to the No Cuts campaign and stood in solidarity with staff against restructuring and forced redundancies. I’ve fought against the detention of refugees, which has happened literally down the road from our campus. I’ve also advocated for graduate researchers on my school’s research committee for over a year.

2020 showed staff and students what matters to university management. Graduate researchers are often both, so we’ve experienced exploitation on multiple fronts. Amidst a global pandemic, university management dismissed the possibility of universal candidature or stipend extensions. They slashed our jobs as sessional tutors. When we continued to tutor, they stole our wages. And they accepted scraps from the Australian Government. In this context, we need a GSA that prioritises activism.