Zavier Wileman – Illuminate
What sparked your interest in student politics?
The first instance of me getting involved in student politics was when I was in high school. I got involved with Youth Parliament, which is a program for young people (aged) 15 to 24 run by the Y. It’s kind of just an opportunity for young people to talk about issues that they’re passionate about. So, I got involved kind of hoping to learn a bit more about what politics is like in Australia, and I was really passionate about queer issues like conversion therapy. I was really, really passionate about that in high school so youth parliament gave me the opportunity to talk about that in parliament which was really awesome. This year was my third year being involved because i’m in the task force. That was what certified my interest in politics and coming to Curtin, I was really keen to get involved with student politics here to continue that path of advocating for Queer people.
What is the purpose of the role you are running for?
I suppose Queer Officer is one of the equity department positions, so the role kind of exists to help run the Queer Department of the Guild. So, I kind of see my role as being an advocate for Queer students on campus. Making sure that (if there) any issues or problems that Queer people are facing, they have a student they can come to and talk to who will advocate for them to the university. Also, I think an important part of the role is to do events throughout the year, so it’s kind of that social element as well, to help create a sense of community for LGBTQ+ students on campus.
If elected as Queer Officer, what will you do to improve the experience of LGBTQIA+ students at Curtin?
Well, I should probably start by acknowledging the work that’s already been done. The deadnaming campaign to stop deadnaming has been really successful this year. We’ve managed to stop deadnaming at graduations which is awesome, and I really want to continue the important work that’s been done by that campaign, and continuing making sure that nobody experiences deadnaming at university. I think that’s really important. I also want to particularly advocate for mental health of Queer people in uni. One of the polices that Illuminate is pushing for is to fix Curtin counselling, because currently the wait list to get into counselling is six weeks, which is a really long time. And, when you think about Queer people, we’re disproportionally experiencing mental ill health, and that six weeks is a really long time to leave a queer person without support if their in crisis. So, addressing that is something I am really passionate about doing. Also, of course running some cool events for Queer people on campus.
What’s your own confession at Curtin, or what’s a Curtin life hack you’ve found?
I guess i am a bit of a caffeine fiend, and I like to bring a Monster energy drink to campus. It’s kind of part of my wellbeing when I come to uni. But Monster energy drinks are really expensive on campus, so my hack is that i go to Aldi and buy Monster energy drinks in bulk, which means they only cost about two dollars as opposed to five dollars at uni. That’s my hack to save money.
Caitlin Egloff-Barr – Left Action
Caitlin is a nursing student and a member of Left Action who believes that the Guild and NUS should be activist bodies ‘which protest and fight for better quality of education and for social justice.’
Caitlin says the emboldenment of the far right has led to attempts to decrease the rights of LGBTI people, limiting discussions about gender and sexuality in schools, universities and workplaces.
“The current cost of living crisis is affecting students and people experiencing oppression all the harder. More than half of LGBTI people aged 14-21 live out of home, and are twice as likely to become homeless,” Caitlin’s candidate profile reads.
“While wages remain the same, rent and other living costs are going through the roof.”
Caitlin believes the Guild needs experienced left-wing activists which are independent of major political parties.
Grok Magazine approached Caitlin for comment but did not receive a response.