USU Board Candidate Profile 2023: Grace Porter

Honi’s profile and interview with 2023 USU Board candidate Grace Porter.

Slogan: Put Porter on Board

Colour: Red

Quiz score: 79%

Faction: Unity

Favourite USU Outlet: Laneway

Grace Porter is running on a progressive platform backed by her faction, Unity (Labor Right). In the past, Unity has had success in USU elections with Connor Wherrett from the faction elected as President in 2019. Porter’s main policy points focus on service provision as “the capability to change student lives for the better.”

Porter’s vision includes a suite of progressive causes, such as improving sustainability practices in the USU. Her strongest policy point, as part of her feminist platform, was to “fight sexual violence on campus and within clubs and societies”. This included an anonymous reporting system that is “well publicised and accessible” involving professional coordinators to “help facilitate these incident reports”. Porter also said she would advocate for increasing access to free sanitary products in “high traffic areas” on campus as a Director. 

Like other candidates, Porter stressed the cost of living crisis and the USU’s capacity to provide “some tangible and immediate aid to students”. Her regular involvement in Foodhub is commendable, giving her knowledge of “what the day-to-day conditions are there”. Porter said she would push the USU to instate a full-time coordinator (not to her discredit, the USU has since begun advertising for this position). She also noted a potential increase in funding for Foodhub. Other policies included reducing prices at USU food outlets.

Apart from these specific pledges, Porter has policies similar to other candidates running on progressive platforms. Porter supports divestment from fossil fuel companies and other unethical industries, and pushing the USU to openly take a stance on political matters such as the NTEU strikes. In her policy statement, and in the interview, Porter emphasised “taking public stances on how our university management is threatening the quality of our education.” 

With a high quiz score out of 79%, it’s clear that Porter has a strong level of institutional knowledge and experience. Porter has been involved in the SRC this year as a councillor, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harrassment Officer, and as the Director of Student Publications.

In terms of C&S experience, Porter is the current Women’s Officer in the Australian Labor Party Club, and is on the General Executive of the Waste Fighters Society. However, despite clearly supporting worthy causes such as supporting smaller clubs and societies, the mechanisms Porter suggested to achieve these aims weren’t as clear. When asked about what specific mechanisms would help support clubs and societies, Porter said “this could be anything from training courses to… events and zooms and increased funding.”

Overall, Porter brings a convincing campaign, and though her policies could be better fleshed out, she displays an intention to advocate for progressive vision of the USU.