Prove your humanity

Cadence Gant – Illuminate 

Cadence Gant. Photo: Curtin Guild.

What sparked your interest in student politics?
I’ve been involved in the Queer Collective before and having that insight into student politics, [I saw that] there are things that the office bearer role at the Guild can get done really inspired me to get involved myself to see how much change I could make in a similar role.

What is the purpose of this role?
The purpose of this role is to advocate and educate people on feminism on campus and advocate for women and other fem students around Curtin.

If elected as Woman’s Officer, what do you hope to achieve?
One of my big policies is vending machines with free period products available 24/7 on campus. I also like the policy of having student lockers available on campus and aiming to improve Curtin counselling as well.

What is your confession at Curtin or a Curtin life hack?
Having switched my degree in the past I think a life hack I’ve learnt is going to careers counselling even if you are really set on the degree you are doing can be really, really helpful. They can give you really important information about career opportunities you might have that you didn’t realise in the degree you are studying.


Erin Russell – Left Action

Erin Russel. Photo: Curtin Guild.

What’s sparked your interest in student politics?
I was already pretty involved with activism so when I first came to uni I got into a lot of refugee rights activism. I was pretty involved in the marriage equality campaign and since then I’ve done quite a lot of activism, so it makes sense to run for the Guild election to try and push the Guild to resource those campaigns.

What’s the purpose of the Woman’s Officer role?
I guess it’s contested what the purpose is. I think it should be an activist role, particularly there are all sorts of attacks on women in society, so I’ve been involved in a lot of abortion rights activism because abortion has been on the criminal code in WA for many years and we managed to take that off. We forced the WA government to remove all sorts of legal barriers and I think the Woman’s Officer should go on to fight for free abortion because it still costs hundreds of dollars. So I think a lot of those broader things across society that impact women on and off campus should be a really important priority for Woman’s Officer.

If elected as Woman’s Officer, what do you hope to achieve?
Continuing the abortion rights campaign definitely … It costs $250 to get a medical abortion and $800 to get a surgical one. I’ve spoken to women on campus who’ve said they’re not even sure how they’re going to afford that because obviously a lot of students are struggling with the cost of living crisis. But I think there’s all sorts of things to fight around – the far right is on the rise, we’ve protested against them for trans rights. Activism generally, I think the cost of living crisis needs to fought harder. [Things like] welfare, higher Centrelink, that all impacts women who are often some of the lowest paid people in society.

What’s your own confession at Curtin or what’s a Curtin life hack you have found?
I’ve found that you don’t need to go to your lectures all the time. I zone out a lot so I find it easier to watch them online, but having said that I think it’s still important to support your staff and anytime there’s a staff strike happening … But it’s a hack, I think it improves our education quality to support staff rights.

A full video of the interview can be found here: