NUPSA President, Ash McIntyre, brings you up to date with everything we’ve been doing this past month.


Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back! Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you all got a chance to put down your research and have a well-deserved break.

With a new year comes a new start! While you are all (hopefully) abuzz and invigorated with energy for the new year, why not make sure all this enthusiasm for productivity is reflected in your online personality too? Speaking to several students, it appears that the opportunity to post an online profile of your postgraduate CV is not heavily publicised, and these can be very useful to share your research topic, publications, conferences, and other study-related details. The University has already created the bare bones of your profile – you just need to activate it, and fill in the details!

There is a nifty page on the University’s website that tells you all about it, and how to set it all up. It feels odd to be saying this in February, especially since we have had such a busy January, but such it is.

We now have a nearly-full compliment of Executive members all inducted and ready to go – check out our website to read all about them. This year, we are trying something a bit different, and each Executive member is working on a project or two to share with you all as the year goes on. I can’t wait for you to see what they have planned!

We’ve also run our first events of the year, including a film screening, a day at the Newcastle Ocean Baths (with a sandcastle competition!), and Georgia’s self-care workshop. And we have made massive plans for O-Week and March, the month of University festivals! Despite having just had a holiday, I hope you all find time to check out some of the events during International Women’s Day, SHAG and Harmony Day next month (I’ve told you early so you have plenty of time to set the time aside!). Again, we have big plans and plenty coming.

I am also off to the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference at the end of this month, where a lot of important people (and me) will come together to discuss the role of universities. I am particularly looking forward to streams on ‘Startups and Seismic Changes: Rewriting the Future of Work’, a student panel on ‘Perspectives of Juggling Study, Stress and Money’, and ‘International Geopolitics 4.0: The New Geopolitics of Higher Education’. It’s actually cheaper to fly to Canberra via Brisbane rather than direct, so I get to take the scenic route. (Lucky me!)



Now, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this month’s newsletter is themed ‘love’. As I am not the sappiest of folk, I thought I’d share a brief story that I always thought would have suited those “Embarrassing Moments” pages in Cosmo or Girlfriend (they don’t exist anymore, and that is not anything to be sad about).

I was living in Ireland at the time, in a share house that slept six people. It was this topsy-turvy three-storey thing, with stairs so narrow I was certain I’d hit my head or tumble down them repeatedly during my 12 months of living there. (Luckily, my paranoia made me cautious and my fears never eventuated.) At the time, however, it was only me and a German guy living there, and I had a massive crush on him.

One evening, we were heading out to meet some friends at the pub in town. Now, I get migraines, and when they are coming on I get a pain up the left side of my neck. I could feel it starting, but sometimes it goes away, and I was determined to head out and walk with this guy. So I got ready, took a Panadol, and off we went.

I made it about 70 meters before I felt my stomach being extremely unhappy. Smoothly and subtly, I said, “You know what? I’m gonna stay in. You go ahead and have a good night and I’ll head home. Bye!”


Except for the fact that I’d already gotten ready, done my makeup and walked down to the road, and then suspiciously changed my mind at the last minute. So naturally, when I bolted back to the front door, fumbled with the keys and fell inside, he followed me to see what was going on – just in time to see me projectile vomit across the kitchen floor, past the dining table and all the way to the stove.

Time froze. He was there behind me with his mouth open, and his hand reaching out as he was about to ask if I was okay. And I was… well, you can imagine. So, I did the only thing one can do in this situation. I leapt inside, just about slamming the door in his face, and said again, “You go out and have fun, I’m going to stay home and bleach the kitchen, bye, bye, bye, say hi to everyone for me!”

Not exactly a love story, but good fun all the same.

Have a wonderful month, and hopefully I’ll see you all at some of our events!


Ash McIntyre
NUPSA President



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