James Pinkerton, President of NUPSA, give his monthly update.


 

Spring is the season. And with the end of this horrible flu season comes my favourite time of the year. Allergy season…

Spring season is actually really pleasant in Newcastle and a brilliant time to check out some of the surrounding areas (such as the amazing Hunter Valley), as well as enjoying the outdoors without being completely cooked by the Australian sun.

 

The vineyards at Pokolbin are gorgeous this time of year.

 

Springtime is also a fantastic opportunity to recharge one’s batteries for the tough second half of Semester 2. And what better way to reset than by getting involved in NUPSA’s social activities?

For all you international students, we are running a visa workshop on September 21 to ensure you are getting the correct information in respect to your rights to live, study and work whilst in Australia. This will be a Q&A session, and I strongly encourage anyone who has questions in respect to their visa to attend.

For those of you who missed out on our first Shut Up and Write! Boot Camp, we have good news! We’re running two boot camps this month (one at Ourimbah on September 19 and one at Callaghan on September 26) to help you improve your writing skills and develop good work habits for your postgraduate study.

Each boot camp is structured using the Pomodoro Technique, and includes yoga/mindfulness sessions throughout the day. We’ve also introduced a dedicated writing circle session in the afternoon, where you can share your own writing among your peers for feedback.

I can’t stress how effective these techniques are in writing a significant document like an essay, paper or even thesis. Registrations will open next Monday (you’ll be sent an email with all the details) – make sure you sign up quickly, as places are limited.

 

From our last boot camp: Jill McKeowen instructs students on sentence/paragraph structure.

 

Next week is Pride Week, when we celebrate LGBTIQ+ culture and pride on campus. It’s about helping develop a campus environment that is inclusive and supportive of all students, regardless of their sexuality and/or gender.

To this end, I would like to state that, in the upcoming postal survey in respect to marriage equality, NUPSA is fully supportive of the YES campaign. NUPSA believes that the introduction of equal marriage rights for all Australians will help ensure the development of an environment that is more inclusive of all students based on campus or otherwise.

We encourage all students to come and attend the amazing events held on campus during Pride Week. And we especially encourage any students with an interest in postgraduate queer research to attend our evening at the Hop Factory. This event which is being put together by NUPSA’s LGBTI Representative to showcase queer research at UON.

So if you are a postgraduate student, an honours student or staff member focused on gender diversity, sexuality or queerness, this is your opportunity to showcase your work in a friendly forum. For those who don’t want to present but would love to come along, I strongly encourage you to check out our site for more information.

 

Love is love! NUPSA says ‘YES’!

 

Lastly, this month we also observe R U OK? Day on the September 14. R U OK? Day is an annual event that reminds people to ask family, friends and colleagues the question, “Are you okay?” Its purpose is to ensure we connect meaningfully with anyone who might be struggling.

As postgraduate students, we are much more likely to suffer from a mental health disorder then other members of society and, as such, it’s extremely important that we look out for one another. R U OK? Day encourages us to check in with those we might think are having a tough time, and I encourage you to take out time for your fellow colleagues to see if they are okay.

If any students need support at all, I encourage you to contact a NUPSA Executive member for a private conversation, or to utilise the relevant support services that UON provides.

As always, I hope you are all well.

James

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