Senator urges students to have their say
Greens Senator Kerry Nettle visited Lismore on Monday to open an exhibition of student activism photographs at Southern Cross Universitys Student Representative Council.
Ms Nettle said the Greens supported student activism, but said this would be curtailed by the introduction of voluntary student unionism (VSU).
This campus has a strong and proud history of activism locally, Ms Nettle said. The federal parliament is full of people who had the opportunity to take part in university student union activities, but has voted to undermine the unions that provide those activities, as well as the opportunity to see a doctor or welfare officer.
Ms Nettle said with the introduction of VSU it was even more important for students to take action on issues they felt passionate about.
I know you will all find ways to make sure your voices are heard, she said to a gathering of students at the opening. It is particularly important that we in parliament hear the voices of young people who are concerned about the low level of Austudy and the high level of fees. Politicians are voting on these things so tell us how these decisions will impact on your lives.
Whilst in Lismore Ms Nettle also addressed a local Greens meeting, where she talked about her recent experience visiting West Papuan asylum seekers on Christmas Island.