NatCon 2018 comes to a close
Will Edwards (NLS) gives candidate speech for Disabilities Officer
Alfred Lowe (Unity) gives candidate speech for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officer
Jordan Mumford (Unity) gives candidate speech for National Small and Regional Officer
Sarah Tynan (NLS) gives candidate speech for National Women’s Officer
Adriana Malavisi (Unity) gives candidate speech for National Welfare Officer
A motion is carried to extend the session past 6pm until candidate speeches are done.
Steven Blacker (NLS) gives candidate speech for National Queer Officer
Unity takes to the podium to commend the bloc. The chair notes that the bloc has in fact already been passed.
SAlt takes to the podium. The previous NLS speaker points them out as the one who made the comments earlier this morning. “Shame!” yells every faction but SAlt.
A motion is moved to discuss the previous bloc.
Disabilities bloc passed
The bloc passes, with only one abstention from a Liberal delegate.
SAlt defend their actions with reference to the protests and campaigns conducted in 2019 but the National LGBTI Department.
Almost the entire LGBTI Chapter is moved en bloc
New session opened at 5:29pm
Delegates attempt to initiate new session
Jacob Cripps informs Unity that they may leave to have a dart in the interim if they wish. A large number of delegates leave.
Quorum has been lost. There is now 30 minutes to regain quorum before the conference floor will be closed.
Honi understands that Jasmine Duff (SAlt) has been ejected not only from the conference floor, but from the grounds of Federation University itself. We understand that it may be in relation to comments made to a member of NLS.
Lachlan Barker (NLS) resumes their candidate statement for National Education Officer
What is happening
Lachlan Barker (NLS) (begins to) give candidate statement for National Education Officer
SAlt moves another motion from the floor to give a candidate statement, taking the opportunity to speak against the far right.
Michael Iroeche (Unity) gives candidate statement for General Secretary
Desiree Cais (NLS) gives President candidate statement
Outgoing Small and Regional Officer James Callow gives final report
Outgoing Disabilities Officer Kayla Dickenson gives final report
Outgoing Ethnocultural Officer Hersha Kadkol gives final report
Outgoing National Queer Officers Kim Stern and Jasmine Duff give final report
Outgoing National Women’s Officer Kate Crossin gives final report
Outgoing National Welfare Officer Jordon O’Reilly gives final report
Outgoing Education Officer Con Karavias gives final report
Outgoing General Secretary Jacob Cripps gives his final report
Outgoing President Mark Pace gives final report
Conference floor opens and National Executive announced
Leila Clendon (SAlt) elected as Adelaide University Campus Representative
Update from the ballot room
Will Edwards (NLS) takes to the podium to discuss the next bloc of motions, but instead declares that he’s going to “do a Trot”, referring to SAlt’s practice of speaking on past motions.
The bloc is passed.
Disabilities chapter opened
Another bloc of motions is moved regarding international student welfare, including international student access to Medicare and concession travel cards.
Another bloc of motions concerning the welfare of international students is moved by Unity.
Two motions moved en bloc concerning support for international students in gaining English proficiency are moved by Unity. The bloc passes.
International chapter opened
Debate resumes. Daniel Rodriguez (NLS) requests that the floor “get this over with” and pass the motion on opposing the racist law and order campaign in Victoria.
SAlt moves a motion condemning the “racist law and order campaign in Victoria”.
Debate between SAlt and NLS continues. The content of the motion has been all but abandoned.
Hersha Kadkol (SAlt), speaking on a motion supporting access to higher education for refugees, condemns NLS and invites them to the podium to condemn members of Unity for their voting record during the Ethnocultural Chapter.
A motion supporting the Solidarity Now/Genocide Awareness campaign is commended by speakers from GI and AUJS. The speaker from AUJS emphasises the importance of recognising and raising awareness of the Armenian genocide.
The bloc is carried.
A large number of motions are moved en bloc.
Two motions are moved en bloc, one condemning Islamophobia, the other racial discrimination and violence.
A motion is moved by SAlt condemning Fraser Anning, the federal senator who proposed a “final solution” on Muslim immigration.
A speaker from SAlt takes to the podium to speak to a motion condemning Luke Foley, former Leader of the Opposition in the NSW Legislative Assembly, and his comments about the “white flight” out of Western Sydney. The speaker condemns NLS and Labor Left for failing to immediately eject Foley from the faction following the comments.
A large number of motions is moved en bloc. The motions call for the establishment of Ethnocultural Departments at individual student unions and multilingual consent modules, amongst other related motions.
A motion is moved by SAlt condemning antisemitism.
A motion is moved by SAlt condemning antisemitism.
A motion is moved by SAlt commending the activist efforts of the 2018 Ethnocultural Department and endorsing the adoption of a similar approach for 2019.
Another motion is moved by Grassroots Independents condemning the same motion from Pauline Hanson.
A motion is moved to condemn Pauline Hanson and all the Federal Senators who voted for the “it’s OK to be white” motion in October this year. The motion is called condemned by speakers from SAlt and NLS.
Ethnocultural chapter opened
A motion is moved to promote the inclusion of Aboriginal voices in complaint resolution procedures at universities.
A motion is moved to condemn the Berejiklian Government’s change to NSW adoption laws which allows adoption without parental consent.
A motion is moved to increase the number of Indigenous teachers teaching Indigenous knowledge.
A motion is moved for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officer to be paid.
Another motion condemning the use of the acronym ATSI is moved.
A motion is moved to recognise the Union of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students as the peak representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
A motion is moved to condemn the use of the acronym ATSI. The speaker emphasises the outdated nature of the term, and the fact that it homogenises First Nations people and fails to account for differences between peoples and cultures.
A motion is moved by to abolish Australia day. Criticism is directed at SAlt.
Ethan Taylor (GI) will chair the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chapter.
Evening session (almost) opened
Speaking on a spontaneous motion about punch, as in, the beverage, outgoing General Secretary Jacob Cripps speaks past the allotted speaking time and is named three times and ejected.
A motion is moved by NLS in support of a universal student income.
A motion is moved by SAlt opposing the privatisation of public housing in Victoria. The speaker maligns the Daniel Andrews government for “smashing” public housing, for which the waiting list is 30,000 applications long.
The aforementioned bloc is passed.
Outgoing National Women’s Officer, Kate Crossin, is ejected from the building for unruly behaviour.
A bloc is moved by Unity concerning the provision of vocational job training, and student employment on university campuses.
The bloc carries.
NLS move a bloc concerning youth wages and the underpayment of students.
The bloc is passed.
A bloc of three motions is moved by NLS. The motions consider counselling services for students, student tenancy exploitation and mental health first aid at events.
A motion is moved against Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan’s proposal that protesters be fined for their demonstrations.
The motion for raising Centrelink and giving it to all students is passed, with objection from Unity.
James Callow (Unity) takes to the podium to tear down USyd delegate Eleanor Morley (SAlt).
A member of Unity speaks against the podium. The speaker takes issue in particular with platform point 2 of the motion, which promotes the provision of Centrelink to “all students on enrolment.”
SAlt take the podium to move a motion entitled “raise Centrelink and give it to all students”. The speaker criticises the stagnation of Centrelink payments in real terms over the past 20 years, despite uninterrupted economic growth.
A litany of speakers from SAlt admonish NLS whilst speaking on the motion for migrant welfare. The speakers criticise NLS’ support for the federal Labor opposition in light of deals like the one passed with the Liberals.
Anneke Demanuele (SAlt) moves a motion supporting the provision of welfare to migrants. SAlt admonish Labor for doing a deal federally with the Liberals to withhold Newstart payments from migrants for four years after their arrival.
Another bloc is moved, this time concerning cashless welfare and improving Centrelink accessibility.
The bloc carries.
Another bloc of welfare motion is moved by Unity. The motions consider bystander training, domestic violence in the student population, the provision of crisis housing, and child care centres for parent-students.
The bloc is passed.
A speaker from Unity stands to move a number of welfare motions en bloc.
A speaker from Unity moves a “fucking good motion” to change the Food Charter at Deakin University to allow for the distribution of barbecued goods, including sausages. The Charter is described as “un-Australian”.
Jordon O’Reilly will now chair the Welfare Chapter.
A speaker from GI moves a motion calling for better translation services for sexual assault and harassment reporting. NLS seconds the motion.
NLS moves a motion to include non-binary people in women’s spaces. The motion is commended by a number of speakers from NLS.
Madeline Lucre (NLS) takes to the podium to move a motion to support sex workers.
Emily Sagolj (Unity) takes to the podium to move a motion to support a Women in Higher Education week, a week which celebrates the Bluestockings movement.
Unity moves a motion to support women in sport.
A motion is moved by Unity to support women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Adriana Malavisi, newly elected National Welfare Officer for 2019 from USyd, speaks in favour of the motion.
National Women’s Officer Elected
Afternoon session open
A motion is moved opposing the restructure and cuts to women’s studies, and to work with the NTEU in doing so.
GI moves a motion in favour of providing an open source guide for student leaders around the country on dealing with and preventing incidents of sexual assault and violence.
A bloc is moved and carried in favour of the provision of sanitary products and pap smear tests.
SAlt moves a bloc in favour of equal pay for women, free childcare and inclusive campuses for student-parents.
The motion in favour of mandatory consent modules carries unanimously.
A speaker from Unity commends the motion. The speaker emphasises in particular the need for consent modules that accommodate international students.
NLS moves a motion in favour of mandatory consent modules.
Update from RO
The bloc carries.
A bloc is moved by SAlt that includes motions against the Proud Boys, men’s rights activists and Bettina Arndt.
The motion carries.
A Unity speaker takes to the podium to speak against the motion. The speaker notes that they are a rural student, and that colleges provide accommodation for students who relocate to study.
SAlt speaks against the reformation of the colleges.
Angela Griffin (NLS) takes to the podium to speak against residential colleges. The speaker notes that in addition to systemic misconduct, the colleges are also examples of institutional elitism and would be better replaced with affordable student housing.
NLS moves a motion in support of letherspeak, a campaign against laws in the Northern Territory and and Tasmania which prevent survivors of sexual assault from publicly sharing their stories.
NLS moves a bloc calling for the establishment of a national taskforce into sexual assault in residential colleges and universities. The speaker condemns Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan for shelving the program and instead pursuing a review into freedom of speech.
A Unity speaker takes to the podium to speak strongly in favour of the motion. The student explains that they have lived in a residential college this year, and that the stories heard in the media are true.
Molly Willmott (NLS) seconds a motion moved by NLS against the misconduct of residential colleges around the country. The speaker points out that, in addition to sexual violence, college hazing practices involve “just violence”.
Annabelle Romano (Unity) takes to the podium and claims that women in the right feel bullied by the left faction of Labor. The speaker criticises NLS for bringing 15 women’s motions en bloc.
NLS moves a motion to condemn delegates from NatCon 2017 for failing to provide adequate time to discuss the Women’s Chapter. The speaker names Unity in particular for failing to provide quorum. The speaker notes that there was no time left to discuss issues such as campus sexual assault, in the same year that the AHRC report on the topic was released.
The motion to establish and run the first NUS Women’s Officers’ Summit in 2019 passes.
Quorum has been lost during discussion of an NUS Women’s Summit. Chair and outgoing National Women’s Officer Kate Crossin implores delegates to be respectful of the proceedings. Quorum is regain within a minute or so.
GI take to the podium to speak against Jeremy Buckingham, a NSW Greens MP who has been accused of sexual assault by Ella Buckland.
The pro-choice block carries.
NLS takes to the stand to speak to a pro-choice bloc.
A motion is moved by Grassroots Independents to ensure that the 2019 National Women’s Officer works with and supports campus Women’s Officers by distributing an updated Women’s Officer Handbook. The motion emphasises the importance of autonomous collectives and organisation on campuses.
The motion to include non-binary people in women’s spaces and activism carries with the support of all but Unity and the Liberals.
NLS takes to the podium to reject Unity’s assertions. The speaker calls the exclusion of male-presenting people from women’s spaces a “blatant example of transphobia”. The speaker notes that trans women may present as male.
Unity takes to the podium to criticise the practice of including male-presenting individuals in women’s spaces. The speaker explains that women’s spaces should be reserved for women-identifying people to feel safe.
Daniel Rodriguez (NLS) takes to the podium to speak in favour of a motion to include non-binary people in the actions of the NUS. Rodriguez emphasises the importance of specifying preferred pronouns as regular practice at events like NatCon.
Outgoing Women’s Officer Kate Crossin (NLS) will chair the Women’s Chapter.
The NUS Disabilities Officer in 2019 will be USyd’s own Will Edwards (NLS).
Session closes at 9:57pm
Two motions are moved as a bloc by SAlt and NLS. The motions condemn funding cuts to small and regional campuses, and the delivery of teaching through digital mediums over face-to-face. The bloc carries.
Outgoing National Small and Regional Officer, James Callow (Unity), is cut off while discussing the effects of his mental health on his performance as an Office Bearer this year. Callow asks outgoing President, Mark Pace, whether he will really cut him off while talking about such a topic. Pace confirms that he will, and that the speaking limit was passed through the Business Committee by Unity.
A brief excursion to the Indigenous chapter is made. A motion against the Federal Government’s proposition that a nuclear waste dump be established in South Australia with minimal consultation with Indigenous locals is moved. The motion passes with objection from Liberals only.
A motion is moved by Unity calling for the 2019 Small and Regional Officer to encourage investment in regional Australia to create jobs for STEM graduates. The 2019 National Small and Regional Officer is Jordan Mumford (Unity).
The motion “Ban fracking in WA” passes. Unity votes against it.
“Fracking has so much to offer. Jobs!” says one Unity speaker. “Say it loud, say it clear, fracking is welcome here.”
A motion against fracking in Western Australia is moved by SAlt. The speaker is drowned out by Unity shouting.
A bloc of motions, again moved by Unity, is discussed. The motions call for better access to public transport for students of small and regional campuses. Speakers from both Labor factions speak in favour of the motion.
The bloc, which concerns regional access to mental health and other services, passes unanimously.
Debate moves onto the Small and Regional chapter. Discussion begins with a bloc moved by Unity. A speaker from Unity condemns other factions for failing to contribute to the chapter as much as Unity.
EDU 4.2 Trimesters are not an option passes.
A motion condemning optional trimesters, such as those introduced by Curtin University, is discussed. A speaker from NLS condemns Griffith University and the notion that trimesters support student learning.
A motion is debated condemning the funding cuts enacted by the federal government to ‘non-career related programs’. The motion particularly affected students of the Diploma of Languages at ANU.
The bloc against the national interest test passes.
SAlt move a motion against the national interest test for academic research. The motion refers to the former Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s decision to block 11 research grants on the ground that they were not in the national interest.
The motion against Adani carries.
A Liberal has taken the podium to discuss the school climate strike. He argues, somehow, that the strike was a failure, and that the children who stayed in school did so in support of coal.
SAlt and NLS are speaking on a motion against the Adani coal mine. NLS notes that, in addition to environmental damage, the Adani coal mine poses a risk to workers, owing to Adani’s history of employee mistreatment.
A motion in condemning the University of Queensland for accepting donations from Dow Chemical Company, a company tied to weapons manufacturing and environmental vandalism.
Speakers from NLS and SAlt deal bi-partisan criticism to the French Review, a review proposed by Federal Education Minister which seeks to investigate supposed infringements on free speech by protesters. The motions are also considered en bloc with a motion against Dan Tehan’s suggestion that protesters should be charged for the security fees their demonstrations incur.
NUS Office-Bearers announced
NUS says no to Ramsay
Unity speaker declares that is “shameful” that there are factions within the NUS who want to “let you choose what you want”. He states that a Bill Shorten Labor Government is the only reasonable option for students at the 2019 Federal Election.
EDU 4.23, detailing the NUS’ federal election campaign, passes with support from Unity and NLS. SAlt votes against. The motion enumerates a number of policies to be conducted by the NUS during and in the lead up to the election, including protests and enrolment drives.
Felix Faber (NLS) speaks out against running a campaign that centres around free education. He points to progressive drug policy as one of the many policies the NUS’ federal election campaign should centre.
The amendment proposed by SAlt fails. The motion on the NUS’ federal election campaign will now be considered without the amendment.
Emma Norton named three times
SAlt accuses NLS of “giving the Labor Party a black cheque” to do whatever they want once in government in response to accusations that SAlt’s refusal to support Labor is tantamount to supporting the Liberals.
SAlt is arguing for an amendment to a motion proposed by NLS. They are seeking to amend the motion to stipulate that the NUS encourage students not to vote against any candidate that does not support free education.
President Mark Pace pauses to instruct SAlt delegates and observers to sit down. Honi counts almost a dozen Unity delegates who are also standing, who but go unaddressed.
The bloc against weapons manufacturers passes.
Announcement from the RO
A speaker from NLS describes as weapons manufacturers “war-mongering fuckwits” and suggests that governments should be funding universities rather than arms manufacturers.
A Unity speaker claims that “weapons manufacturers are absolutely the friend of students … stifling weapons development is a net loss to students and mankind as a whole.”
The motion against trimesters passes, along with a motion that supports the right of staff to strike, both pass en bloc.
Debate on trimesters drags on. SAlt reiterates points from 20 minutes ago, calling trimesters a “neoliberal attack on universities”.
Another Unity speaker advocates for trimesters, citing their effect on revenue – “the market knows what it wants,” he declares.
Unity speaks in favour of trimesters. The speaker argues that trimesters give students greater freedom of choice, as universities are able to employee staff during off-peak times of the year.
School’s out for summer
Motion on arms divestment
Motion on lecture recording
The motion on free education failed. Unity voted against, and NLS abstained.
SAlt move a motion in support of free education. The motion calls on the NUS to commend the Greens for supporting free education, and to invite the ALP to adopt the same policy.
After slightly tangential debate, the EdCon motion passes with unanimous support.
NLS speakers Lachlan Barker and Desiree Cai take to the podium to champion holding an Education Conference 2019. EdCon is traditionally held annually by the NUS.
Lachlan Barker (NLS) speaks to the motion and argues that student issues extend beyond just free education.
Education chapter opened
Conference opens for afternoon session
Session closed for lunch
SAlt supports the motion, but criticises the Change the Rules campaign. The speaker argues that the ALP has a history of undermining students.
The motion carries.
The NUS condemns Anthony Albanese and the policy of boat turn backs
A motion that condemns Anthony Albanese for supporting boat turn backs is considered. Speakers from SAlt and NLS condemn Albanese and the policy of boat turn backs.
Watch out for paparazzi
Unity takes the podium to speak in support of penalty rates. The delegates praise Bob Katter for his support of penalty rates. SAlt takes the podium to criticise Bob Katter for his support of Fraser Anning. The motion fails.
NLS and Unity 🖤 Flags
NUS 🖤s Flags
USyd delegate Will Edwards (NLS) takes the podium to second a motion on NUS visibility at protests. The motion calls for the production of NUS branded flags to be used at protests and rallies. The motion passes, with Unity voting against.
A bloc of motions is moved by NLS. The motions call on the NUS to support the Change the Rules campaign, the public services sector and the Go Home on Time campaign. The bloc passes.
Wrong person, sorry
The motion on the unionisation of young and casualised workers passes.
A motion in support of unionising young and casual workers is considered. Speakers from SAlt and NLS speak in favour of the motion. The speakers speak with reference to the union movement that has developed at call centres like operated by companies such as Ipsos.
The bloc in support of spreading student unionism passes.
Friendly with the libs
A bloc of motions in support of spread of student unionism is considered. Speakers from various factions speak in support of extending NUS affiliation to unaffiliated universities.
A motion in support of the full-time employment of university coordinators passes.
A motion from NLS supporting Jason O’Mara and the CFMEU is considered. The motion passes.
The bloc in support of the NTEU passes.
Weird flex but ok
SAlt delegate Beth Jackson ejected
Solidarity with the National Tertiary Education Union
The motion in solidarity with the UFU fails.
Debate about the United Firefighters Union
A bloc supporting the Shop, Distributive and Allied employees’ Association (SDA) passes with support of Unity.
The bloc, in support of Daniel Andrews and electoralism, fails.
SAlt takes to the podium to speak against the bloc and admonish both Unity and NLS. The delegate accuses Daniel Andrews of Islamophobia.
It’s definitely not boot-licking
Unity to Libs: we’ve got your back
Floor closes for the day
Final motion for the day: report from Grievance Officer
Motion to amend Union 3.16 to change the word “bipartisan” to “government” in the sentence, “NUS will work with the ACTU and other trade unions to organise national protests against the bipartisan attacks on workers and the draconian labour laws in the Fair Work Act.” Cries of shame from all in the direction of Unity. The amendment fails.
Union 3.26 and 3.16 considered
Union 3.32 is considered, which condemns the actions of the Young Liberals at Queensland University of Technology. The motion supports the affiliation of QUT with the NUS.
Union 3.24 Frack off WA Labor passes
Unity defends fracking
Union 3.24 Frack off WA Labor is considered
Union 3.12 passes
The bloc fails, with SAlt and Unity voting against.
Admin 2.12, 2.22 and 2.13 considered en bloc
Admin 2.16 Against KPIs passes
All quiet in Building Q
Refer to the graphic
Update: a campus count has been called on Admin 2.16, meaning the individual number of votes each delegate represents (determined by affiliation fee and campus size) will be recorded to determine the outcome of the motion. Honi understands this is to ensure the coalition that voted for the motion is in fact in the majority.
Admin 2.16 Against KPIs is passed.
Outgoing General Secretary Jacob Cripps stands to speak in favour of SAlt’s motion. Just to clarify, Unity is siding with SAlt against NLS on Admin 2.16. Cripps admonishes NLS, questioning how trade unionists can support what he calls corporate policy.
Desiree Cai (NLS) takes the podium to speak against Admin 2.16 Against KPIs. Cai emphasises the lack of accountability that has stifled NUS work – in her words, office-bearers “not doing their jobs”. Cai suggests KPIs are a potential solution.
Anneke Demanuele (SAlt) takes the podium to speak on Admin 2.16 Against KPIs. The delegate delivers an impassioned speech against key performance indicators, citing the ongoing problems that have prevented ANU from accrediting to the NUS over the past several years (see Honi’s analysis of KPIs here).
Business Committee will be comprised of Inez Meredith Penrose (Unity), Christopher Graham (Unity), Ella Lola Gvildys (Unity), Elizabeth Holly Jackson (SAlt), Alice Smith (NLS), David Lawrence Grover (NLS), Lincoln Aspinall (Grassroots/Independents).
Evening session open
Secretariat informs the floor, without the aid of a microphone, that quorum has lapsed. Delegates are instructed to keep an eye on @NusSecretariat on Twitter for instructions about when the conference will resume.
B.B King rings out through the floor speakers. Less than five minutes to regain quorum.
A member of the Secretariat has informed Honi that delegates have already begun verbally abusing volunteer organisers. Almost 15 minutes have passed since quorum was lost, meaning 15 remain to regain quorum.
Quorum has been lost
Quorum has been lost at 4:14pm after Grassroots/Independents leave the conference floor. It is understood some members of NLS will do the same.
Honi understands delegates are frustrated by the Pre-Conference Business Committee, 4/7 members of which are from Unity. The Business Committee decides upon motions to be brought to the floor.
The floor has 30 minutes to regain quorum.
Bipartisan applause for the motion. No speakers against the motion. Unanimous support and the motion is carried.
Admin 2.1, the NUS sexual harassment, assault and discrimination policy, is put to the floor. Outgoing General Secretary Jacob Cripps moves the motion, outgoing Women’s Officer Kate Crossin seconds.
Motions 2.18, 2.19 and 2.20 – all administrative motions – are put to the floor for debate. The motions relate to the formatting of the Constitution, member organisation feedback and the NUS website.
The Administration and Education chapters are to be debated following the Constitution chapter.
Debate begins with discussion of a motion proposing alterations to the NUS constitution to amend the process of filling casual vacancies (CRBL 1.1). The motion passes.
Keep it short
Speaking time has been limited by Business Committee to 2 minutes.
Wash your mouth out with soap
The floor is reminded that swearing has been banned after outgoing General Secretary Jacob Cripps boasts “a big fuck off surplus”.
As per usual, a motion banning filming on the conference floor has passed almost immediately.
We’re also following the conference on Twitter at @honi_soit.
Conference floor opens
The conference floor has opened over an hour late at 3:15pm with a Welcome to Country.