So if you hadn’t realised, elections for the Swinburne Student Union are taking place this week. 3SSR has spoken to the candidates, researched the policies, and understood how the election is taking place to give you everything you need to know before heading to the polls.
Firstly, 3SSR is a completely independent student club, and neither we nor our election reporters endorse, financially support or volunteer for any ticket or candidate in this election. All the information here is completely non-partisan — so you can be the most informed.
How do I vote?
The easiest way is to vote in person. All currently enrolled Swinburne Students (Higher Education, TAFE, or Online) are eligible to vote — you just need to present your student card at a polling place. Check the following grid for times and locations at your campus.
|Hawthorn||Atrium||10am – 4pm||10am – 4pm||12pm – 6pm||10am – 4pm||10am – 4pm|
|Crodyon||Cafeteria||10am – 4pm||No voting||10am – 4pm||No voting||10am – 4pm|
|Wantirna||Cafeteria||No voting||10am – 4pm||No voting||10am – 4pm||No voting|
If you are “genuinely unable to attend a polling booth”, the Swinburne Student Union Constitution allows for you to request a postal ballot. To do this, you will need to contact the Returning Officer, Stephen Luntz, who has final discretion on whether to grant your postal ballot application.
Note: if you are a financial member of the Student Union (ie. you have paid for a Union membership this year), the Section 8(8) of the SSU Constitution reads: “it is a condition with the payment of membership that financial members must vote in annual elections“.
Who am I voting for?
Well, there’s a few groups connected to the Union who conduct their elections in line with the annual SSU ballot. For the Student’s Council, you’ll be voting for the following positions:
– Education Officer
– Education Public Affairs Officer
– Health/Disability Representative
– Residence Representative
– Swinburne Online Representative
– Three (3) General Representatives
Fifteen positions on the SSU Council (General Secretary, Welfare Officer, Hawthorn Campus Chair, Postgraduate Representative, International Representative, TAFE Representative, Indigenous Representative, Queer Representative, Women’s Officer, People of Colour Representative, Environment & Sustainability Officer, Higher-Education Faculty Representatives, and Mature Age Representative) have been provisionally elected, as only one individual nominated for these positions.
In addition to the Students’ Council, you will also elect:
– Five (5) Representatives for the Hawthorn Campus Committee (Hawthorn campus only)
– Five (5) Representatives for the Swinburne International Students Association (SISA) Committee
– Five (5) Representatives for the Swinburne University Postgraduate Association (SUPA) Committee
– Four (4) editors for the SSU’s Swine Magazine
– Seven (7) delegates to the 2016 National Union of Students (NUS) National Conference
Who are the groups (tickets) contesting this election?
A ticket is a way to group nominations, similar to that of a political party. It makes it easier for you to research the policies of the major candidates.
This year there are two tickets contesting the election: Amplify, and EVOLVE. See below for a short snapshot of these tickets and their major policies.
For mobile devices, you can horizontally scroll within the tables below to view the information.
|History||New ticket for 2016. Amplify's President Candidate, Anthony Osborne, was elected under the Amplify and EVOLVE tickets in 2014 and 2015 respectively.||Ticket used in 2015 Election, which elected the vast majority of the incumbent Union Council. Historically, the group has run under "Activate" and "Next" names.|
|Political Ideology||Independent (not factionally aligned)||Independent (not factionally aligned)
EVOLVE has been receiving campaign guidance from senior Unity figures
|Social Media||Facebook Page||Facebook Page|
|Union & Services||– Better student engagement across the Union|
– Development and implementation of a 5-year strategic plan for the Union
– Start discussions around combining the Union and SSAA
– New benefits for SSU Membership
– Make voting easier for online students
|– Expand SSU Printing Service
– Grow the Union at the Croydon and Wantirna campuses
– Retain and expand existing Union services and collectives
– Implementation of phone charging stations across Swinburne
|Swinburne||– Introducing payment plans for International students|
– Install Eduroam in student residences
– Conduct regular student forums
– Advocate for Swinburne provided supplies for arts and film students
|– Improving studentHQ administration
– Investigating opening of a Postgraduate Lounge
– Advocate for students to access empty classrooms and labs
– Lobby for better lighting and security around campus
– Examine installing Eduroam within Student Residences
|Education||– Fighting for free education|
– "Texts on HECS"
– Advocating for employment and industry-based course designs
– Fight against compulsory trimesters
– Pushing for more units to be available during Summer and Winter terms
– Develop a Counter-Course guide
|– Greater academic support for students
– Push for all lectures to be recorded
– Advocate against fee increases or fee deregulation
|Disability and Welfare||– Undertake a disability audit of Swinburne and develop a plan of accessibility works to be undertaken|
– Restart the Swinburne Disability Collective and provide an adequate and accessible space on campus
– Introduce pill testing kits on campus
|– Better access to campus for people with disabilities
– Student campaigns on sexual assault
– Introduce pill testing kits (eg. for spiked drinks)
– Conduct self-defence workshops
|Campus Life||– Allowing clubs to affiliate with the Union|
– Providing more events for International students
– Expand SSU Cafeteria to the Wantirna campus and look at SSU managed Catering at Hawthorn
|– Grow Swinburne's multicultural community through more cultural events
– Introduce more market events on campus
– Explore 24/7 accessible coffee machines in the Library
|Sustainability||– Continue to advocate for a sustainable Swinburne
– Campaign for solar panels on ATC
– Promoting zero waste and recycling initiatives on campus
Each of the two major tickets (Amplify and EVOLVE) are fielding candidates for the SSU Presidency. Check out their profiles below.
|Name||Anthony Osborne (Amplify)||Ana Tinc (EVOLVE)|
|Studying||Bachelor of Business (Public Relations)||Bachelor of Laws (Professional Writing)|
|Union Experience||Education Officer / Vice-President in 2015 and 2016||Sustainability and Environment Officer in 2016|
|Other campus experience||– FBL Representative on Faculty Students Consultative Committee|
– Co-chair of Student Representative Council (SRC)
– Involved in various clubs
|– Key participant on the Fossil Free Swinburne Campaign|
|Political Ideology / NUS Faction||Independent||Independent|
|More info...||Interview with 3SSR Radio||Interview with 3SSR Radio|
Students’ Council Candidates
The following material has been sourced from Candidate and Ticket Facebook Pages, as well as individual Candidate Statements.
|Name||David Brodtmann (Amplify)||Suzanne Walker (EVOLVE)|
|Studying||Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology)||PhD Engineering Education|
|Current Positions||– FHAD representative on SSU Education Board|
– Swinburne University Psychology Association (SUPA)
|– Education (Academic Affairs) officer on Students' Council, 2015 and 2016.|
Education (Public Affairs) Officer
|Name||Audrey-Lee Rizzato (Amplify)||Xzavier Kelly (EVOLVE)|
|NUS Faction Affiliation||Independent||NLS (National Labor Students)|
|Current Positions / Experience||Member of Swinburne Education Action Network||– Education (Public Affairs) Officer in 2016
– Convenor of Swinburne Education Action Network
Health and Disabilities Representative
|Name||Belinda Rogers (Amplify)||Amy Gilderdale (EVOLVE)|
|Studying||Bachelor of Arts (Politics & History)||Bachelor of Social Science (Security & Counter Terrorism)|
Patrick MacDonagh-Gonda (Independent) is also contesting the Health and Disabilities Representative position, although they have not submitted a Candidate Statement or contacted 3SSR.
|Name||Steven Blacker (Amplify)||Xander Spehar (EVOLVE)|
|Studying||Bachelor of Media & Communications||Unknown|
|More info...||Candidate Statements|
|Name||David Brodtmann (Amplify)||Joseph Cullinan (EVOLVE)||Harry Wall (EVOLVE)||Minura Gamage (EVOLVE)|
|Studying||Social Science||Information Systems||Digital Media & Screen Studies|
The following individuals are Independently contesting a General Representative position, although none have submitted Candidate Statements or contacted 3SSR.
– Saravanakumaran (Independent)
– Patrick MacDonagh-Gonda (Independent)
– Keshinis Munaweera (Independent)
Committees and Associations
Hawthorn Campus Committee
|Names||– Joshua Briers|
– Joseph Cullinan
– Samuel Roberts
– Akbar Syed
– Harry Wall
|The following candidates for the HCC have independently nominated
– Keshini Munaweera
|Links||EVOLVE Facebook Page|
Swinburne International Students Association (SISA) Committee
|Names||– Adesh Shah|
– Ankita Raut
– Parth Patel
– Reuben Charles
|– Aashima Sondhi|
– Ali Mazoori
– Faraz Haider
– Bharath Venkat Rajan
– Praveen Kumar Rajendran
|– Keshini Munaweera
– Krishna Adhikari
Swinburne University Postgraduate Association (SUPA) Committee
|Names||– Anwika Kushalappa|
– Bharath Venkat Rajan
– Basir Nisa Awan
– Praveen Kumar Rajendrran
– Sirisha Rajendra Raju
|– Siddharth (Independent)|
|Links||EVOLVE Facebook Page|
National Union of Students (NUS) Delegates
3SSR will update this table if additional photos or information on candidate’s political ideology and/or NUS Faction become known.
|Candidate Photo||Name||Ticket||NUS Faction / Political Alignment|
|Qazi Syed Zaheeruddin||N/A||Unknown|
|Viktoria Ivanova||N/A||Socialist Alternative|
Thanks for reading our election run-down. 3SSR will be here all throughout the week to give you the goss as voting commences. We’ll also be producing a Live Results Blog on our website Friday afternoon as the ballots are counted.
Disclaimer: Neither 3SSR Media nor our election reporters endorse or support (financially or otherwise) any candidate or ticket contesting in the 2016 SSU election.