Prove your humanity

Left Action candidate Richard Birchall is vying to be elected as a first-time Guild councillor and represent the student body as one of seven National Union of Student candidates.

Birchall, a first-year Occupational Therapy student, said his interest in university politics arose through his involvement in the Social Alternatives club where he’s been actively involved in protests for issues such as marriage equality.

Birchall said the current Guild needed to be more active in mobilising and representing students.

“They haven’t done enough in regards to engaging politically with the situations that affect students, such as the tertiary education budget cuts,” he said.

“These cuts are very aggressive attacks on students, and I think the Guild needs to be involved in increasing student awareness.

“This issue is something that also needs context on a national level; the fight is something beyond just our campus.”

The National Union of Students body, which Birchall is hoping to be elected to, is a peak representative body for Australian University students.

In the upcoming Guild Elections, seven student candidates will be selected Curtin’s NUS delegates.

If elected as an NUS representative, Birchall said he would use his position to advocate against his prime concern, university funding cuts which will see Curtin’s budget reduced by $41 million.

“When you have something as clear as defunding student education, most people agree that we shouldn’t support this. I hope to mobilise students through protest to call attention to such attacks,” he said.

Birchall is also aiming to increase the advocacy for LGBTI+ rights on campus – one of Left Action’s key policies.

“Over the last few weeks we’ve provided leaflets, rallied and reminded people to enrol to vote for the same-sex marriage postal vote. As the issue continues we too will continue to rally and promote equality,” he said.

“It’s fairly tough to go against a university organisation, but when talking about issues that need discussion, it is clear that someone needs to stand up for them.”