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I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling SEMESTER TWO

2 Aug

Happy Semester Two!

Or as my favourite character in Legally Blonde (who is also a total pisstake of everything I love, look up the Straw Feminist on Tropes vs. Women video here) would say, Happy OVESTER!

Thankyou to everyone who attended NOWSA 2013 and made it happen. We hope you left feeling empowered with new friends and skills to smash the patriarchy.


1.    Regular weekly events

2.    Judy’s Punch Submissions & Mudfest Launch

3.    Women’s Mentoring Network

4.    Self Defence

5.    Rad Sex & Consent Week

6.    Women’s Health 101 with MUOSS

7.    NUS Unlock Your Vote Campaign

8.    NUS Talk About It Survey

9.    UoM Experience Matters Festival: Women at Work Event ON MONDAY

10. How to keep track of what’s going on

1. So our regular weekly events are happening!

Mondays 1pm in Wom*n’s Room: Wom*n’s Action Collective (WAC!)

A space to meet other activist and initiate and/or contribute to campaigns

Wednesdays 2pm at Lab 39 (café off North Court of Union House) Feminist Discussion Group.

Open to all genders, with a theme every week.

Thursdays 1pm in the Wom*n’s Room: Ladies Who Lunch With Ladies

Free lunch and chilled hang out times for queer and questioning grrls and wom*n students on campus


FACT: Feminist rants are a great way to procrastinate, feed the fire within and soothe the soul.

You can submit essays, stories, rants, poetry or articles to

We are so excited to be relaunching Judy’s Punch as a blog at this year’s Mudfest with the UMSU Creative Arts Dept as a special edition of Wordplay!

It will be on Tuesday August 20 at 6pm in the Students Lounge on Ground Floor of Union House.

There will be some readings, some excitement and some launching of the pretty new website. And some bar tab.


Here’s a heads up for the calendar of our Women’s Mentoring Network months Networking Nights.

These nights are supplementary to the small groups that are the core of WMN and so women not participating in that side of the WMN are welcome to attend!

There will be guest speakers (TBC closer to date) and catering.

Monday August 12th  6.30pm– Ante Room & Formal Dining Room, Union House (accessible from North Court)

Tuesday 10th September  – 6.30pm– Grand Buffet Hall, Union House

Wednesday the 9th of October  – 6.30pm– Grand Buffet Hall, Union House


We are very excited to be subsidising self-defence classes this semester with Guardian Self Defence, starting Monday 19th August (week 4) from 4pm-6pm for four weeks, leaving the cost at $20 for a four-week program.

At Guardian Defence, 8-10 Peveril St Brunswick (off Sydney Rd, easily accessed from uni by tram.)

Register interest here because places are limited!


A WHOLE WEEK OF WORKSHOPS to radically relearn sex ed with all the stuff they never told you in school (and would’ve been mighty helpful), with the Queer & Welfare Departments. More info to come.


Lunchtime sessions in the Wom*n’s Room for women international students with a doctor and free lunch to talk about women’s health, run with the Melbourne University Overseas Student Service (MUOSS).


Students, young people and women in particular have oft been forgotten by the major parties. So we are helping the National Union of Students run a campaign in the lead up to this year’s Federal Election to find out what matters to you. You can now register your top 5 issues at this election:


The Talk About It survey has been reopened to get a bigger data pool. PLEASE spread it to people you know at ANY university in the country. The findings of the previous survey (it is biannual) were used to lobby universities for better facilities to improve safety on campus, and contributed in part to the establishment of the UoM Safer Community Program It is so important that the only student-run survey about women’s safety on campus is a success and that women’s voices are heard so please do spread it through your networks, especially to women at small and regional universities (but really, any university at all).

Trigger warning: harassment, assault, sexual violence

9. UoM Experience Matters Festival: Women at Work Event

Careers & Employment at University of Melbourne are running a really exciting event ‘Women at Work’ on Monday August 5th. We’ll have a stall there so come say hi!

The event is an opportunity to network and engage with a range of employers who support diversity in the workplace. Hear from keynote speaker Meredith Fuller, psychologist and internationally renowned author of Working With Mean Girls: Identifying & Protecting yourself from Workplace Nastiness. Tickets are $10, the price will be donated to Fitted for Work (an amazing charity that assists women experiencing disadvantage gain financial independence and gainful employment).

10.How to keep track of what’s going on

So we have a lot of “To be Confirmeds” in this email…We try to keep you updated here, on our blog, but also via twitter @umsuwomyn and on Facebook: &

And on our page of the union website

In love, rage & sisterhood,

Your Wom*n’s Officers,

Amy & Mercedes


Blue Stocking Week is upon us!

27 Apr

It’s time! Not in a Gough Whitlam way, though the increasing cost of higher education will be a recurring topic throughout the week.

Blue Stocking Week is a national campaign run by the National Union of Students and the National Tertiary Education Union, celebrating how far we’ve come while calling women to arms to make sure we don’t become complacent and constantly strive for equality.

It’s an opportunity for women across Australia to celebrate how far we’ve come since the early days of female enrollment, and to contemplate how we have left to go.

We will be selling blue stockings to help you get into the spirit of it throughout the week, for a donation to Shakti Migrant & Refugee Women’s Support Group.

Get involved. Get excited. Get sassy. Get educated. Get even.


Monday 29th April

  • BBQ & Giant Game of Snakes & Ladders on North Court 12-2pm

Here’s the Facebook event.

Tuesday 30th April

  • “Where are the Women?” Scavenger Hunt around campus

Ever wished the entire university could become your playground for a giant scavenger hunt? Ever wished you knew more about the influential women to have walked the grounds of this university before us? THEN THIS IS THE SCAV HUNT FOR YOU! Come to North Court during the Tuesday BBQ to get your first clue and then see where the scav hunt takes you! Here’s the Facebook event.

Wednesday 1st May

  • Panel on “Being a Woman in a Boys Club.” 12pm, Old Arts Theatre A

Featuring: Margaret Shiel (University Provost, background in science), Sally Coates (Former navy, currently manager at UoM Safer Community Program), Judy Courtin (lawyer and PhD student, conducting research into sexual assault and the Catholic Church). Ahem, a Facebook event to let people know with.

  • Cross-Campus Panel: I am woman, hear me type! 7-9pm, Victoria Room, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – 210 Lonsdale St

Panellists: Clementine FordKaren PickeringAmber JamiesonAmy Gray.

$3 for student union members (Incl. Melbourne University students), $5 for future members/non-students. All proceeds to Shakti

Here’s the Facebook Event

Presented by LaTrobe, Swinburne, Monash & Melbourne Wom*n’s Departments.

Thursday 2nd May

  • Pay Gap Cupcake Stall. Taking donations of $1 from men, 80c from women and 70c from trans* & SGD folk. All money collected will be donated to Shakti Migrant & Refugee Women’s Support GroupWe need as many lovely ladies to bring in cupcakes as possible, pretty please!  Here’s a Facebook event.

Friday 3rd May

  • A cross-campus statewide display of sass at the State Library Blue Stockings BridesDress code: bridal gown and blue stockings. MRS degrees provided. Run with Swinburne Student Union & La Trobe Student Union Women’s Departments.
  • Networking drinks at Tsubu from 3pm. Here’s the Facebook event, tell ya friends.

bsw banner


Aren’t we already equal? Yeah but NAH, bro. Here are some links to read up on.

On the gendered pay gap:

Gender Pay Gap Still a Disgrace: It hasn’t improved much in the past 20 years.

It got worse this year, we get paid less from when we graduate

On who the original Blue Stockings Society were:

On women’s representation at university:

Breakdown of how many women in teaching and leadership roles at the University of Melbourne

Bikes and Blue Stockings!

12 Apr

So it’s getting to be that delightful autumn weather with crisp mornings and sunny afternoons, the kind of sunny that doesn’t make you want to move underground (I’m looking at you, Melbourne Heatwave :|)

It’s pretty much perfect for riding your bike to uni (if you ever want to remember you can use the showers in the Basement of Union House, you can get the key from the Info Desk, and ask them about a locker as well… They have all the answers, about everything.)

So we’re excited to be running a bike workshop with the Environment department for women and trans* identifying students on Monday, on North Court from 1-4pm! Here’s the Facebook Event.

Then in a couple of weeks, it will be Blue Stocking Week, celebrating women in higher education!

Here’s the page with our event calendar and some links to read up on!

Monday: BBQ & Giant Game of Snakes & Ladders on North Court 12-2pm

Tuesday: “Where are the Women?” Scavenger Hunt around campus

Wednesday: Panel on “Being a Woman in a Boys Club”

Thursday: Pay Gap Cupcake Stall. Taking donations of 80c from women and $1 from men, starting the conversation about how women earn 83c to every diollar a man earns (on average). All money collected will be donated to Shakti Migrant & Refugee Women’s Support GroupWe need as many lovely ladies to bring in cupcakes as possible, pretty please!

Friday: A cross-campus statewide display of sass at the State Library Blue Stockings BridesDress code: bridal gown and blue stockings. MRS degrees provided.

Also, LaTrobe, Swinburne & UMSU Women’s Collectives are whipping up a zine for BSW! YOU SHOULD TOTALLY SUBMIT TO IT! (But not in a patriarchal gender roles woman is submissive and docile way, obviously)

bsw banner

In sisterhood,


Over the Easter Break

3 Apr

Easter break huh? Feel like procrastinating? You could always contribute to Judy’s Punch… 

Thank you so much to everyone who came to the National Day of Action last week!  There were hundred of students from universities across Melbourne there, chanting “Bullshit! Come off it! Our education is not for profit!” & “No ifs! No buts! No education cuts!”

There will be another NDA closer to the election. Maintain the rage.

We were also really happy to see so many at the launch of our Women’s Mentoring Network last week! Frances Separovic, Head of Chemistry at UoM told us her fascinating life story, focusing on how many mentors she had had and how many were unexpected and how career progression is rarely linear. The Mentoring Network Groups have now been assigned. We’ll be having great speakers at our Networking Nights every month. If you didn;t hear back from us, please let us know.

Next week will see a return of regular weekly events:

WAC (Monday 1pm in Wom*n’s Room) This week we’ll start talking about Bluestockings Week & NOWSA (again)

Feminist Discussion Group (Wednesday at 2 in Graham Cornish A) is happening!

Ladies Who Lunch With Ladies (Thursday 1pm in the Wom*n’s Room)- lunch and chats for queer and questioning wom*n on campus

Until then, keep smashing the patriarchy and taking care of yourself,


#NDA2013 & Women’s Mentoring Network Launch tomorrow!

26 Mar

Tomorrow will be a big day for the Wom*n’s Department!Image

We had a great time painting a banner in WAC on Monday for tomorrow’s National Day of Action organised by the National Union of Students (NUS) against fee increases, course cuts and deregulation of the higher education sector. these are big issues that affect all students, but women and minorities particularly. With the pay gap having increased again this year, it will take women on average over a decade to pay off our HECS, (long than men.) Not to mention the fact that gender studies is often the first thing to go whenever cuts are made (segue: petition).

There will be a BBQ on South Lawn run by the Student Union Education Department at 12.30 with a GIANT GAME OF MONOPOLY and then, most importantly, a rally on the State Library at 3.30pm.

(here’s a Facebook event for campusstate, and national events)

THEN at 6.45 in the Grand Buffet Hall at Union House we will be having the much anticipated launch of our brand new Women’s Mentoring Network! Food and bubbles are on us, and we are excited to have trailblazing scientist Frances Separovic as our guest speaker. It’s the first on many monthly networking evenings that are part of the WMN, as well as fortnightly meetings between mentors and mentees.

Have a fabulously feminist day, we look forward to seeing you!

International Women’s Day Picnic 2pm Friday Argyle Square

6 Mar



Come join us on Friday for a cross campus International Women’s Day picnic and a chat about women and media. Food, conversation and sun will be provided. The picnic is a collaboration between Melbourne, RMIT, Swinburne and LaTrobe Wom*n’s Departments. The picnic is at Argyle Square (off Lygon Street) and will start from 2pm. Here’s the Facebook event!

This friday marks the 106th birthday of  International Women’s Day. From the first demonstrations in Russia in 1917, a trigger for the February Revolution, the day has been a time for activism by women and for women.

The lives of women have changed, mostly for the better, but IWD remains as a reminder of what is left to do. The theme of IWD this year ‘A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women’ is an assertion that this year, like the years before it, we have been asked to observe terrible violence against women flashed on our tv screens and printed in our newspapers. We have observed how these experiences have been twisted and exploited. How they have been ignored or explained away.

Women and media can get complicated. It connects us, allows sharing of experience, spreads knowledge. It has created new forms of activism and expression. Yet often the stories of women are contorted. Representation of women is like looking into a funhouse mirror, just off. That is if they’re there at all. It’s not surprising, on the whole it is not women who control the production of print, television or film. Females owned only 6.8 percent (91) of 1,348 full-power commercial television stations in 2011, compared with 5.6 percent (66) of 1,187 full-power commercial television stations in 2009 (Federal Communications Commission’s Report on Ownership of
Commercial Broadcast Stations). Despite the prominence of women in 2012’s presidential election, male front-page bylines covering the election at top newspapers outnumbered female bylines nearly three to one (4th Estate Project).

It’s time to talk seriously about the presence of women in the media. It’s time to talk about how we can take control over our own stories.

New Smartphone App for Safety on Campus @ UniMelb

20 Feb

We’re really excited that the Safer Community Program is launching their new smart phone app called UniSafe.

It features a range of personal safety tips, easy access to the Safer Community Program and other University support programs, emergency contacts and after-hours services, and safety devices like a torch and personal alarm, this app is an asset to University staff and students alike.

UniSafe is available for free download in the App Store and Google Play, or via links at

Download the app today and help us promote it, because a safe campus is everybody’s business


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