The Monash Sleep-Out 2017


The Monash Sleep Out is a student run charity event targeted towards raising awareness for youth homelessness. Every night, over 105,000 individuals are homeless, a quarter of whom are aged between 12 to 24. All proceeds from the night will be donated to STREAT, a charity dedicated to eliminating homelessness. Although this event is a fundraiser for a serious issue, the Monash Sleep Out will be anything but, with live music, activities and food provided, its going to be a night you wont want to miss.

STREAT is a charity focused on finding long-term solutions for disadvantaged and homeless youth. By providing work experience, training programs and short courses at their hospitality-based establishments, they have been able to help over 500 adolescent Australians find their feet and break into the competitive job market. Currently, the social enterprise offers 10-20 week programs and a Certificate I and II in Hospitality, all at no cost to the participants. The non-for-profit injects all the funds made from their six businesses back into supporting these initiatives and the subsection of the community so that they effectively aid. The work of STREAT is invaluable, assisting those facing a life of long-term unemployment in getting a leg up or a foot in the back door to a brighter and more promising future.

However, in order to both grow and sustain their amazing work, STREAT require grants, donations and the success of fundraising events. This is where the Monash Sleep Out comes into play.

The Sleep Out aims to network like minded people and create positive change within the community. Being supported by National Union of Students (NUS) and the Monash Student Association (MSA) giving the cause a generous donation, the charity event is already off to a great start. Headliners for the music acts will be soon teased out on the Facebook event page. A diverse group of speakers well versed in the intricacies of homelessness will also be discussing the challenges of said issue and will endeavour to debunk misconceptions.  This is an event with the primary focus on promoting inclusive, whilst being informative and fun.

As this is a charity event bring some spare coins to participate in the kindness jackpot with a chance to win! There will also be a puzzle corner, homelessness support wall, golden couch and street decoration. Education and support is the way forward. The food provided will be vegetarian and vegan friendly, as there is an emphasis on being all inclusive.

The Monash Sleep Out is on October 5th and begins at 7:30pm and will run later into the night. Early bird tickets are only $10 and are available to purchase online at the Monash Sleep Out website. There are also discount tickets for groups of 3 persons plus wishing to sign up together. Normal ticket prices are still only $13 dollars. Even if you do not wish to sleep out come down and donate, enjoy the vibes, participate in activities and show solidarity for our fellow young people.

For those sleeping out, the event will take place under cover and all details of items to bring will be listed on the Monash Sleep Out website. In the morning there will be copious amounts of coffee provided along with breakfast. A sweet deal considering tickets are only $10, and all proceeds will be going to STREAT.

All information about the event is on their website. Here you can donate, buy tickets and find out more about this event run by a group of passionate students.


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Students’ mental health will be compromised by cuts to counselling service


The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has questioned Monash University’s commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff, in response to management plans to cut in-house counsellor jobs.

The proposal to slash more than one third of full-time-equivalent (FTE) counselling positions comes at a time when thousands of students most need support as they deal with exam stress, the release of results, and navigation of academic progress committees.

The NTEU at Monash has demanded more details of the rationale behind management’s plans, which would reduce the in-house counselling service to 2.4 FTE counselling staff each at Clayton and Caufield, and one coordinator per campus.

“With the student population across the two campuses growing to 51,000, and Monash employing 14,000 staff in Australia, the Union is concerned these cuts will reduce access to counsellors and compromise the quality of care for growing student and staff populations,” said Tony Lad, NTEU Monash Branch President.

“It amounts to cost cutting gone mad. How can Monash raise awareness of mental health issues through R U OK? Day and train staff and students in Mental Health First Aid, then turn around and slash its counselling service? The university also recently circulated flyers with a message from the Vice Chancellor referring students who suffer sexual assault to Monash’s counselling service.”

While management plans to replace Monash counsellors with contractor and private practice psychologists, there appears to be no plan to cover the support services provided by the internal counselling service. Currently, students can walk in and get advice or referrals on a range of concerns that aren’t necessarily categorised as mental health issues but they can be the precursor to one if not resolved soon. If the cuts go through, there’s the possibility that a GP will have to identify whether an issue is a mental illness before making the referral. This includes issues such as:

  • Grieving the death of a loved one, or the break up of a relationship
  • Coming to terms with your sexuality
  • Culture shock
  • Seeking advice to support a friend
  • Needing understanding and support to deal with sexual assault
  • Struggling with transition from high school to university
  • Dealing with parental pressure
  • Failure in units
  • Exam stress
  • Helping a family member with a long-term illness

The new process may cause students to wait until the issue manifests into depression, anxiety or worse, before they can see a GP and get a referral. For university staff, there will be a reduced number of appointments available for free. Without timely access to counselling support, students and staff stand to lose the most.

Contractors charge the university by the hour, are paid per client, and see up to seven clients a day, leaving little time or incentive to conduct follow-ups or referrals, which in-house counsellors currently perform routinely. If a student doesn’t turn up to an appointment for whatever reason, a counsellor on payroll loses nothing. However, private and contractor psychologists will charge a $50 fee for not attending and the student will then have to pay the fee before being able to make another appointment.

“Monash counsellors work as a team during challenging cases and critical incidents, run a series of preventative programs to build mental health resilience and coping skills, and develop invaluable knowledge and understanding of the Monash community,” said Mr Lad.

“There is a very real risk that the standard of these services will be severely diminished if management goes ahead with its planned cuts.”

“We are also concerned that the proposal is a further step towards the full privatisation of counselling services, following a ‘restructure’ in 2013/14 where 30 per cent of staff were cut.”

NTEU supports a petition launched by the Monash Student Association urging management not to proceed with the counselling staff cuts.

If you’re on Twitter: #weRnotOK

NTEU contact details:
Contact no.: 0478304800


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Survive the summer


The end is nigh. The semester is slipping away through our fingers like salty tears shed after getting back your mid-sems. You know what that means? Four mercilessly long months of holidays, bookended by the twin dreads of results release and O-Week. It’s a black hole at the end of a car crash of a year. But don’t fear, I’m here to fill that hole. Wait, no not like that.

1. Find A Job
Finding a job is certainly the most ‘productive’ way to waste four months. You could be a Christmas Casual, except that most places have hired theirs by now (but really, you wouldn’t be reading this if you had your life sorted, would you?) Or you could be an intern: get paid to feel inadequate when normally you’d be doing that all day, every day, for free. Or you could also sell yourself – that’s right, your skills. Tutor, paint, mow lawns, walk dogs, or whatever else people are willing to burn money for. Here’s the thing though: it’s a giant scam. Most jobs require you to show up. Some are even full time. Yeah you’re a ‘full-time’ student, or whatever, but a job is literally full time. You can’t watch that shit online, alright. You have to leave your room, you have to shower. I mean, the obvious upside is money, career development, building networks, and office gossip, and maybe even some office hookups. But is it really worth it? Is your dignity already that far gone? Is it?

2. Work On Your Personal Brand

So maybe you don’t have a job, or suck too much to find one (i.e. the truth). Well now is the time to work on your Personal BrandTM. Get a LinkedIn, spend hours on your profile, and get those sweet, sweet connections. What happens next? Who knows? You have to let that LinkedIn page marinate, alright, for at least twelve hours. Once it’s done who knows what will come out? Maybe a job offer, maybe new connections, or more likely, random spam and nothing else. Is you profile pathetic and pitifully short? Upskill! Learn to code, all the cool kids are doing it. Get a CodeAcademy account and spend two hours making a text-based adventure game in Java. What? What do you mean you aren’t suddenly earning buckets of dosh in your own version of Sillicon Valley? Are you even trying? No wonder you’re unemployed.

3. Go Outdoors
It’s literally summer. You can’t complain about shitty Melbourne weather, you can’t moan about having assignments due, you can’t even say you don’t have enough money because most things that are outside are free. Parks are free, beaches are free, even some food is free. In fact, most things are free if you don’t get caught*. Alternatively, just mooch off your friends. If you have a mate with a pool, have a pool party. If you have a mate with a pool but he doesn’t like you that much and would hesitate to call you a ‘mate’, just don’t tell him about the party (pro tip: don’t have the party when he’s home). C’mon, we’re all students here. If you can’t think of innovative ways to do things on the cheap, what are you really doing at university?

4. Watch TV

There is also the option to not go outdoors and instead watch TV shows about people who do. I don’t need to explain this; Australians are literally the most prolific pirates in the world. Four months is probably enough time to watch the entire Australian Netflix library, or the entire American library if you have a sneaky VPN. Yes, that is a challenge.

5. Existential Crisis

Am I doing the right course? Should I study more? My GPA is fine right? Am I going to find a good job? Get a good house? Do I even want a house? Will I ever find the one? Will I ever find ‘the one’? Do I actually like my uni friends or do we only hang out because failing any real conversation we can just moan ‘OMG Uniiiii’ at each other repeatedly? Should I drink less? Should I eat better? Am I OK looking? I’d be fine with OK but am I even OK? Am I a good person? Does anyone like me, really? (Repeat ad infinitum.)

6. Literally nothing
This is what you will do anyway. This is what we will all do. Embrace it. Lazy isn’t a personality flaw; it’s a lifestyle. So now you have six activities to fill the void: work, upskill, mooch, binge, weep, exist. Now you can make the most of your summer. Now you can grow as a person, as an adult, in the ever changing journey of the ‘best years of your life’. Or you know, you can not do that. Which do you think is more likely?

*I don’t actually advocate stealing, alright. It’s just an option. This is all about options.

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