Deep Tea Diving: Week 12, Semester 2

It's the last cuppa

Stupol goes FEDERAL

In news that will shock the nation, friend-of-Grassroots and international student Board director Decheng Sun has joined the ALP. At Saturday’s Wentworth by-election, Sun proudly wore Labor red in support of candidate Tim Murray. He was joined by a horde of Labor diehards: Tom Manousaridis (who is tipped to be Unity’s Board candidate for next year), Jack Whitney (former Board director), Chloe Anderson-Smith (former SRC president), Bella Pytka (former almost-SRC president), Alisha Aitken-Radburn (former USU president and Bachelor contestant), Hannah Smith (former almost-SRC president and NUS education officer)—and the list goes on.

Self-proclaimed leader of the Libdependent movement and Board director Jacob Masina battled hard for Dave Sharma in Clovelly, but alas it wasn’t enough.

Former USU Honorary Secretary Grace Franki, who ran as an indie, wore purple in support of Kerryn Phelps.

It’s on in Bart-on

But stupol’s clutches stretch far beyond Sydney’s well-heeled East. Cue scene change to the south-western Sydney electorate of Barton, where preselections are ongoing for next year’s federal race. The Greens, it turns out, are nominating Grassroots-aligned Connor Parissis, who was SRC Queer Officer in 2017. Parissis made national headlines during the same-sex marriage plebiscite for leading a counter protest against prominent ‘No’ campaigner Francis Tamer, who emerged from the encounter with a faceful of hummus. Tamer has now been elected undergraduate Senate representative.

In a Facebook post announcing their candidacy, Parissis concedes their attempt on Barton is a “losing battle”. The seat is safe Labor territory, held by high profile MP Linda Burney. Parissis also isn’t above biting the Green hand that feeds them, saying they “remain extremely critical of the growing right-wing cognitive dissonance within the party.”


All parties are keeping their lips sealed ahead of next week’s Repselect. That said, a few rumours have reached this little mermaid’s ears: Panda is said to be gunning for both general secretary roles, and for one of the two education officer positions. These are two of the most powerful roles in the organisation, coming with generous stipends and well-resourced departments.

Panda’s Yuxuan Yang, who was this year’s gen sec alongside Groots’ Nina Dillon Britton, is allegedly eyeing off a second year in the position. This year, Yang spent three months of his term in China, where he was unreachable. Yang’s stipend, as one of two gen secs, was $12,000.

There have also been developments in the fight for Wom*n’s Officer. We reported last week that Panda’s Crystal Xu was bent on the role, despite not being a member of the Wom*n’s Collective. Panda looked ready to violate collective autonomy, to elect a candidate against WoCo’s wishes. But word is Xu has backed off, and may not contest the position after all.

This little mermaid has also spotted public Facebook posts suggesting the WoCo preselection has been finalised, and Layla Mkhayber and Groots member Jazz Breen are the collective’s nominees. If council respects WoCo’s wishes and votes for this pair, they will be the SRC’s two Wom*n’s Officers for 2019.