Petition to Gary Smith
Justice for Murdoch University whistleblower Associate Professor Gerd Schroeder-Turk
In an important test case for whistleblower protections and academic freedom of speech, Murdoch University is seeking damages from an academic employee who, in the public interest, spoke up about issues at the university. An investigation earlier this year by ABC’s Four Corners (Australia's leading investigative journalism program), found Murdoch University was one of a number of Australian universities lowering academic standards for lucrative international students. An Associate Professor in Mathematics and Statistics, Gerd Schroeder-Turk, was one of three Murdoch University academics who spoke on Four Corners, having previously raised their concerns through internal channels. Murdoch University’s response was to deny the allegations. It is now known that Murdoch University’s retaliation towards Associate Professor Schroeder-Turk has included: Attempting to remove him from the university Senate (the highest governing body), where he is the only elected representative of academic staff Issuing a counter-claim which seeks damages from him personally, for losses in future international student fees (potentially running into millions of dollars). The university has also attempted to pressure him to reveal details of his contact with journalists This is despite: International condemnation of the university’s actions by the academic community Public outcry from university students and alumni, the Australian union for higher education workers (NTEU), and the general public The university admitting that its Immigration Risk Rating has been increased to the highest level in its history (this rating is issued by the Department of Home Affairs, Australia’s border security agency) The revelation that the Australian higher education sector regulator (TEQSA) is actively considering information from the university regarding the allegations made Please sign this petition calling upon Murdoch University to drop the legal action against Professor Gerd Schroeder-Turk, and demand that a transparent inquiry be conducted in relation to the issues identified by the Four Corners program. How you can help: Sign, share, and read the comments. For those who do not know Gerd, the comments provide a clear picture of the kind of person he is If you’re a member of the NTEU, head over to their campaign page for more ways you can help to support Gerd “At a time when the whole world knows the value of whistle-blowers, it is an outrage that a public university that is meant to be a bastion of free speech would seek to punish the elected voice of the academic staff” (NTEU WA Division Secretary Dr Jonathan Hallett). “If an Australian university is breaching its duty of care to any students and if its admissions processes are suspect, they should be held accountable. There should be a public investigation, not the use of the courts to silence and intimidate those who have the courage to speak out” (NTEU WA Division Secretary Dr Jonathan Hallett).
Petition to Students, University of Otago
Student response to the "Management of change proposal" - DEPT OF MARINE SCIENCE.
Dear friends, family, staff and students of the University of Otago: As some of you may or may not know, last Friday the Department of Marine Science received a proposal from the Division of Sciences for restructuring and downsizing the department. If you wish to receive a copy of this document, please email email@example.com. 8 marine science staff are up for consideration of disestablishment of their academic position. 3 of these staff will lose their job. This will have a huge effect on students learning opportunities and department Research extent. All 8 considered academic staff are award-winning supervisors, researchers and teachers. At least 3 of these staff scored A's in the 2018 performed-based research fund (PBRF) and are international-calibre active researchers. Most of them have been featured in the news and University publicity in the last few years. The staff under consideration are primary supervisors to 16 PhD students and 11 masters students. Some teach across multiple departments. This also means that the number of marine science papers on offer at Otago will be culled. Marine Science is a multi-disciplinary department. With nearly no overlap among researchers of other departments - removing one or more of these staff members would create a considerable gap in knowledge and teaching, research and student opportunities. By removing the broad expertise of our staff, as well as increasing individuals workload, it limits the capacity for our academic staff to engage in top-level interdisciplinary grants and research that increases the Universities international profiles. Page 12 of the proposal states that the University intends to consults with students and stakeholders, which they are yet to do so. Because of this, we have decided to act first and raise our voices. On behalf of the students of marine science, geology and the Otago Students Geological Society (OSGS), we urge everyone to help us raise our voices in objection to this proposal. If you want climate change action, we need to support and invest in our researchers and future climate scientists. The university has claimed they want to take strong action against climate change. This move is in total opposition to this claim. Make your voice heard and call the university out!
Petition to Queensland University of Technology, QUT Guild
Help save Gardens Theater from being demolished
With 20 years of history, QUT's Gardens Theater has now been scheduled for demolition at the end of next year. Why? Law faculty wants to build a new building and Gardens theater's current position is the chosen spot. Theaters across Brisbane are being teared down with no good reason. The theater is there to host touring productions, provide educational learning experiences for our many talented students, provide jobs to university students and to create an income for QUT. if anything, it should be getting a renovation to cater for our ever evolving performing arts world. For 20 years, students have signed their names on the walls, creating a lasting impression on the building history and atmosphere. the current technicians employed by QUT, who have been running this venue and coaching the next generation of technicians, will now be jobless. Where else are our Dance, Drama, Acting and Technical Production students going to receive the experience of a real theater within QUT. Please help us to save this historic venue. It shouldn't have to be killed just to build another generic building. QUT has plenty of them. Even if you aren't apart of this venue's community, sign the petition to do the right thing
Petition to Australian federal government, Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education
Support Australian craft education
"I believe that craft education plays an important role in Australian life. Any changes to funding for universities should reflect the employment styles of craft practitioners." In August 2019, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education delivered a report titled Performance-Based Funding for the Commonwealth Grant Scheme. This report included a recommendation to tie university funding to “overall employment rate”. Employment for craft graduates is not typical of other vocations, such as accounting or engineering. Rather than a salaried position, craft often involves self-employment in running a small workshop. These make a concrete contribution not only to our economy but also the community which takes pride and enjoyment in what’s produced. Traditionally, craft was taught in workshops by masters. Since the 20th century, these have gradually been replaced by formal institutions such as universities. Tertiary craft courses offer a level of sophistication that is important to a nation’s skill set. Craft is a key strength in any society. Our craft skills reflect qualities of commitment, creativity and purpose. Civilisation is largely an evolution of the techniques used to fashion our world into a space of utility and beauty. With the use of natural materials, each society develops its unique capacities to transform its environment. Our museums offer testaments to this endeavour. In recognition of this, support for a nation’s craft capacity is growing in most governments around the world. See our website for more.
Petition to Young empowered students, Educators, Parents, Academy Students
Academy Class of 2020 in the whyte building
Due to the increasing number of students in younger year levels, the year 12 class of 2020 will be once again placed in a building that is overcrowded, distracting and all-in-all quite obstructive to their learning. The whyte building has always been known as the senior building until 2019 when the year 11 class was kept in their same level that they have remained in for 3 years. Being in this level has proven to be detrimental to their learning during vce. Other students consistently spend time in the hallways of this level and distract the classes, Teachers must leave class to tell students off, sacs and tests are put at risk, the exams are placed in the whyte building anyway and the library in which private study and free periods are held is underneath the classrooms. It is a right of passage in year 12 to be in a building far away from the younger year levels in order for a more peaceful environment for the stress that comes with year 12. Please sign this petition to make the school Academy of Mary Immaculate not only acknowledge the problem but fix it for the sake of their students learning.
Petition to Malcolm Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull
Stop kids raping kids. Introduce porn safeguards for our kids sake!
Enough is enough. With the news from Sydney of two 12 year old boys being charged with raping a 6 year old, and last months news of 70 Australian high schools being involved in an internet porn ring, when are we going to address the influx of issues that stems from porn being readily available to Australian kids? Following similar atrocities in the UK, where a 12-year-old boy, emulating pornography, raped a 9 year old, the news outlets and politicians joined forces to make Internet porn something people had to opt in for. In an effort to combat the early sexualisation of children there was a move to legislate so as to provide freedom for kids to... well ... be kids. Then Prime Minister David Cameron made it clear that his aim was to ensure that all ISPs (internet service providers) would have a filtering system in place. As a result, within a year, all 4 major Internet providers introduced default filtering. There is no reason why our politicians can't legislate and put pressure on educators and Internet providers to bring about changes to the current harming of children we are seeing through pornography. As we have seen in the UK it is possible for ISPs to automatically block pornographic sites, with individuals being required to opt in to receive sexually explicit material, rather than opt out. As leading expert Dr Michael Flood, (A professor from the University of Wollongong) said in his 2009 report there is “consistent and reliable evidence that exposure to pornography is related to male sexual aggression against women.” Prime Minister Turnbull - You have been quoted as saying “It is “unAustralian” to disrespect women”. Therefore can I suggest that it is "unAustralian" to be ok with the current unfettered pornography that kids are exposed to. (20% of teenagers in this country say they looked at porn at age 8 or earlier). Pornography cultivates, promotes and normalises acts where men are sexually violent and dominating towards women. I think it is very important that we consider a number of things in an effort to counteract porn shaping the behaviors of young people. We need a bigger push for education of parents who often are unaware or naive to the availability and impact of porn on children. Parents need to be better equipped and informed We need an encouragement of schools to educate age appropriate awareness of what kids should do if they come across pornography online. All Australian schools need be held accountable that they are addressing this issue and trying to foster healthy relationships and attitudes as part of their health curriculum. We need to put pressure on Telco’s and Internet providers to be accountable for the harm that their products can be having on young people. ISP filtering should be introduced in an effort to protect Australian Children. This is not about censorship; it is about children's rights and the future health of Australia's young people.
Petition to Jeanette Nagorcka
Secure Lisa Duffy as Acting Principal at Arthurs Creek PS for 2020 and beyond.
Dear Jeanette Nagorcka As a member of the Arthurs Creek Primary School Community I urge you to immediately offer Lisa Duffy an extension on her contract as Acting Principal at Arthurs Creek Primary School for 2020 and beyond. Arthurs Creek Primary School has experienced challenges with its leadership over the past six years. In 2019 Lisa Duffy was appointed Acting Principal and has been a great fit for our school. A small school like Arthurs Creek requires a leader that understands our community and wants to be part of the community. Lisa was the first to put her name down to help out at our Bunnings BBQ! Lisa has done an amazing job of fulfilling the role of teaching principal. We require stable ongoing leadership to drive the future of our school. Lisa is currently only contracted to Arthurs Creek for 2019. Our School Council has had regular contact and meetings with the Department of Education and Training throughout the second half of this year to push for plans to be made for 2020. Currently, we are told by the Department that they are not clear on their plan for the Principal role in 2020. It is not fair on our children that your decision making has been left until term 4. Please allow our children and teachers the stability of leadership going forth so that short, intermediate, and long term plans can be made to drive our school and our children's education forward. Our children only have one primary school experience and we want it to be the best it can be.
Petition to Our Principal Mr Whiting, Jacinda Ardern, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health
LGBT+ safe space at our school
At our school, we have found that casual homophobia (or LGBT+phobia in general) is a big issue that has never been formally addressed by our school's administration, nor have LGBT+ topics been talked about to students in an academic environment. Because of this, we have decided to attempt to implement an LGBT+ space in our school. It will serve as a place for LGBT+ students to spend their free time as well as a place for allies to become educated about the community directly from members of the community. Our space will be: - A place of tolerance where people can openly discuss their sexuality and/or gender identity; - A place to talk about problems they may be facing and to seek advice on specifically LGBT+ issues; - A place of learning and conversation surrounding LGBT+ issues and topics; - And a place to create healthy and understanding LGBT+/ally alliances. We believe that having this space will be beneficial and improve our school environment, breaking down barriers such as ignorance, exclusion and intolerance towards the LGBT+ community. This petition is important for our cause because it provides evidence to the school that this idea is not pointless or unsupported by people in the community. If you support this idea, please sign below.