USU Board Candidate Profile 2023: Julia Lim

Honi’s profile and interview with 2023 USU Board candidate Julia Lim.

Slogan: Join Julia

Colour: Purple

Quiz Score: 80%

Faction: Independent

Favourite USU Outlet: Courtyard

Julia Lim has an extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the USU, having worked as a Student Activities Officer for two years and as President of the Korean Law Students Society and Secretary of the Sydney University Law Society. Lim is running as an independent candidate, appearing to be backed by numerous SULS heavyweights, including current Board Director Naz Sharifi — for whom Lim campaigned last year.

Lim is promising a “more diverse and inclusive USU” through measures such as cultural competency training, offering resources in different languages and improving allergen management. Programs such as increasing training modules are well-trodden ground for Board hopefuls, but their efficacy isn’t concretely proven. Lim also seeks to improve support for revues, autonomous spaces, Foodhub, cultural accessibility for international students, disability justice, and safer spaces that end sexual assault and harrassment on campus; however, as with her close competitor in the Honi quiz, Grace Wallman, it is unclear whether a position on Board can actually achieve these progressive changes.

One of Lim’s policies aims to prioritise First Nations voices and storytelling among the USU. When pressed about the capacity of the USU to openly take political stances, particularly in regards to the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, she said “the USU doesn’t have to hesitate, it doesn’t have to fence-sit in a sense. I think a view can be given, but students can also be informed and encouraged to further explore the issue for themselves”.

When asked about transparency on the USU Board, Lim said that “with my experience as SULS Secretary, I now have an understanding that ideally things should be left for members of the public to view so that the organisation can be held accountable… I do understand from what I’ve seen that there are cases where you have confidential or sensitive information where going in camera is a necessity.”

With the second-highest quiz score, Lim boasts an intricate understanding of the USU, however she faltered in areas such the NTEU’s demands for Indigenous employment and the current NUS President. In her interview, she noted that “the USU is distinct from the SRC”, however also explained the organisation’s history of lobbying in cases such as the Ramsay Centre partnership.

Overall, Lim is a strong candidate with deep institutional experience, however her progressive policy might echo those of past Board Members who have been unable to effect the changes they promised. Despite this, she does see a capacity for the USU to speak out in favour of student welfare, particularly on issues such as the Voice to Parliament. It’s up to students whether they want to “join” Julia, and elect her to Board.