Kim Pinto – Illuminate
What sparked your interest in student politics?
I’ve always been a lover of student politics ever since high school, but in university I first started my stint with Curtin Student Guild as IC Councillor in 2021 under the leadership of Sophia who was the Illuminate president for ISC then … they really inspired that confidence in me because they also had similar careers to mine in nursing. Nursing and politics are quite challenging to do at the same time but because of them as role models I felt [as though] I can do it and that’s what sparked my interest. Also, I’ve always been involved in clubs ever since semester 1 – different clubs, I’ve been in Study With a Purpose, I’ve been in Desi which is the Indian association at Curtin and other unis. I’ve also been in other leadership roles for other clubs like Study With a Purpose at Curtin, I was events member and I was the only nursing student in an education club. So something that I like to do is politics.
What is the purpose of the role of the ISC president?
The ISC president, as I’m running with Illuminate, I’m basically trying to lead the committee. I’ll be the president and there are different roles in the ISC – there’s ISC councillor, there’s health representative and other representatives, and I basically coordinate the team and the issues that international students face on campus. We bring them up to the university body and we make sure that the university understands that we are not cash cows. So we basically just don’t pay fees and stay quiet – we deserve the best education. We paid for it, we deserve the best events and that is why I feel like if elected, I can bring new change.
If elected as ISC president, what will you do to improve the experience of international students at Curtin?
I’ve been in the committee for a long time. In 2021 I was elected as ISC councillor. I’ve had plenty of experiences raising issues to the university body, I’ve sat in meetings, I’ve answered people’s emails and Instagram DM’s. And not just that, I’ve also been a vital person in organising events … So that just tells you that I’m very passionate about events. And I get that there is the Left Action agenda of yes, the Guild just spends money on events and it’s unnecessary, but I think differently. Because events are what makes university experiences. As an international student I have put a lot of money into my degree, a lot of effort in my degree. And I want to be able to go a Rave Cave, I want to be able to go to a potential music festival that Illuminate says is one of their policies. So yes, I get the argument that yeh it could be money, but at the end of the day what do you care about – money or experiences? I choose experiences. So if you agree with me I feel like you should vote for Illuminate because we will give you the best time. We will bring forward all your issues. You can even make suggestions. We are a very friendly, accomodating team and are very approachable. You can approach me any time and I will talk to you. That’s just the person I am. Just vote for us because I feel like yes there is the issue of activism and I get their point of view, but at the same time we are university students and you only have one life, so we need to make the most of it. And the only time you make the most of it is through experiences.
What’s your own confession at Curtin or what’s a Curtin life hack you’ve found?
I live on campus and every day at 8am I have the sudden realisation that ‘Shit, I didn’t turn on my CellOPark.’ And if you live on campus everyone has to pay the same thing – it might be 8am or it might be noon and there you have it, you’ve been fined $45 which is more than my hourly wage and is probably more than yours too. So I think that my personal hack, especially when I live right here and I have to use Curtin university parking because I didn’t get access to a parking spot – again it’s unaffordable – I book my parking the night before. So if I’m on campus I know that I have classes, so I’ll book parking in the Green Zone perhaps, I book it at 8pm the night before and it only starts at 8am the next day, so you don’t get charged for that time. It’s just so you get that mental stress of your head and you don’t have to think ‘Oh my God I didn’t turn on CellOPark, there’s going to be a fine sitting on my windshield’ and then I have to think about how to pay that fine and I’ll be relieved if it’s just a warning. All of those thoughts are out the window.
Hely Branco – Left Action
Grok Magazine approached Hely for comment but did not receive a response.