Murdoch student to shave it all for cancer research

Madura McCormack

An estimated eight Australians are diagnosed with leukaemia every day, with 1, 720 people losing their battle with the cancer in 2014.

Murdoch student and Guild Sustainability Officer Lauren Hodson knows too well what it’s like to be drawn into the crossfire, losing her father to the disease ten years ago.

On March 13, Lauren will take to the clippers and lose her long locks in a bid to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation.

“I’m doing this as a f%#k you to cancer: you can take away our warriors’ hair but you will never break their spirit,” says Lauren, who studies international aid development and law.

Taking this big step has been years in the making, she says, and is something she has thought about for years.

Her father was diagnosed with cancer when Lauren was very young, and after a successful bone marrow transplant, managed to stave off the leukaemia for two years.

Just two weeks after her 13th birthday, Lauren’s father succumbed.

“Despite the impact that cancer had on my Dad, he had never looked as brave or more like a warrior than he did when he was going through treatment and fighting his battle,” she says.

It was during her father’s cancer treatment that Lauren found herself invested in fundraising for cancer research.

“My school teacher knew, and read us this old Japanese tale about the Hiroshima bombing. In this story it says if you fold a thousand paper cranes, you will have a wish come true. I decided I would surprise him and fold a thousand paper cranes, and the whole school came together to fold them,” she says.

Presenting her father the cranes was a moving moment, and what happened after added to the gesture.

Lauren and her mother approached the hospital to use the cranes for a fundraising event, and through this, earned enough money to refurbish the somber hospital walls into a more welcoming space for patients and their families.

“It shaped the way I look at fundraising for cancer research. I really see the value of it and the people got to see the immediate benefits when they went in to get treatment for cancer,” Lauren says.

To her, taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave means standing in solidarity with those that fight the courageous battle with cancer. She wants to show them that they are not alone.

“Cancer fighters should feel like the brave warriors they are, they should be able to hold their (bald) heads high with pride knowing their strength in the war they are fighting.”

So far she has raised 75 per cent of her goal amount, and needs only a small push to reach her target.

To donate to Lauren’s World’s Greatest Shave campaign, head here.

Screenshot 2016-02-20 16.37.28

This article originally appeared in the Edition #1 2016 of METIOR, on stands around campus now. Grab one today. 


New candidate for Guild Events Officer revealed


Madura McCormack

Elected to the position during the Guild elections in October 2015, Rachael Davidson has stepped down as Events Officer for this year.

One of the three members of the ACTION ticket to be elected to the 40th Guild, Davidson was elected unopposed after a last-minute disqualification of the TMNT nominee.

“I felt that the attitude of the guild board was one of negativity amongst members

I did not want to actively put myself in that environment and so have withdrawn,” says Davidson.

The spot may not remain empty however, with third-year student Ruebendraa Kantahrao vying for the position.

MUEnSA President and Guild hopeful Ruebendraa Kantahrao. Photo: Supplied

MUEnSA President and Guild hopeful Ruebendraa Kantahrao. Photo: Supplied

The current President of Murdoch University’s Environmental Science Associations (MUEnSA), Kantahrao must garner 25 student signatures to endorse him for the role.

He has received 24 signatures at time of writing.

An Environmental Science and Biological Sciences double major, Kantahrao (better known as Rueben) says his previous experience holding MUEnSA events will help him succeed in the role.

“I believe that I will be able to bring a similar increase in student activity to future Guild events as Events officer,” he says.

“I have a list of events that I have planned, all of which will be revealed when I am voted in.”

Murdoch parking permit fees surge


Madura McCormack


  • Parking rates up by average of 30 per cent
  • Funds to be used for upgrading and maintenance
  • NTEU launches petition in protest
  • Murdoch University has 39 parking spots available per 100 students, twice national average
  • Daily permit rates remain unchanged at $5
  • Guild President to have meeting with university on January 18


Parking rates at Murdoch University have increased across the board, with full year Red Zone parking now costing $480 and $500 for students and staff respectively.

This is a marked increase from 2015 when the same category cost $390.

Parking at the Student Village has risen a staggering 47 per cent for residents, at $250 per annum and $140 a semester.

The rate increase has been made to reflect the true cost of maintaining, operating and upgrading parking services says Steve Dickson, Senior Executive Director at Murdoch University.

“Murdoch University is embarking on an investment plan to improve our car parks and roads,” says Mr Dickson, stating the new fees will allow for necessary upgrades to the 13 car parks and 15-kilometre road network.

“In 2013, we announced the University was unable to continue to heavily subsidise the delivery of parking facilities and services.

After consideration on the financial impact on our students, it was decided we would only adjust fees on a gradual basis and over a number of years,” he says.

Mr Dickson confirms that any further parking rate increases will be capped at the rate of inflation until 2018.

The University made an announcement on Thursday, January 14, stating that the latest increase is ‘the final instalment of a four-year staged process’.

Infographic (2)

Sources: Parking permit application form 2015 and 2016, provided by NTEU Murdoch.

Union and students unhappy

The National Teaching and Education Union [NTEU] Murdoch office say there was no consultation before the increase, and the surge was only noticed when a member went to purchase a permit.

The NTEU has since launched a petition opposing the price hike, garnering more than 230 signatures so far.

“Students and staff who live in areas where public transport isn’t readily available or practical will be seriously disadvantaged by these changes,” says Beth Cole, NTEU officer at Murdoch University.

“The lack of consultation or even advice to staff or students doesn’t start us off on a good foot with management for the New Year.”

Comments on the NTEU petition

Comments on the NTEU petition

A meeting between Guild President Guy McDonald and the university to be held on January 18 will allow the student representative body to voice a number of concerns he says.

The cost of parking-related maintenance and services is currently more than $1.2 million per year, according to the university.

The increased rates will fund on-going maintenance and safety such as improved lighting and 24/7 security.

Parking availability at Murdoch University is twice the national average, at 39 spaces per 100 students, says Mr Dickson

While still better than other universities, which average 19 spaces per 100 students, parking at Murdoch is a competitive sport.

“When I was last there [in 2014] parking lots in the expensive red zone were always quite empty while the green zone was so full.

People were parking on the verges then receiving hefty fines despite having nowhere else to park,” says Murdoch student Hannah Pratt.

“Punishing us for parking or having a car when that’s a prerequisite for most jobs in Perth and, therefore, necessary for survival for many working students is wrong,” she says.

Staff_parking (1)

Editor’s note: In a 1994 edition of METIOR, former Guild President Adam and current Greens MP Adam Bandt was tackling the parking issue as well. Check out the article, on page 9.

METIOR is looking for a new editor

Become the 2016 METIOR Editor!

We need a current Murdoch student who is passionate about journalism to become our 2016 METIOR editor and lead the student publication into a new era.

Last year METIOR moved from print to an online-first platform and it needs a leader to rebuild the presence the mag in the student eye while protecting the strong ethical and moral integrity of the publication.

METIOR needs an Editor with strong language skills, relevant experience in writing and editing, excellent time management and great social skills to take the helm. The successful applicant will have experience in journalism and writing, basic marketing, and know their way around WordPress.

Your application must consist of:

  • A CV with at least one relevant prior writing position.
  • One to three clippings of your previous work.
  • A cover letter (maximum two pages) demonstrating why you would be the best person for the job.

The successful application will show:

  • How a diversity of viewpoints will be sought and represented.
  • The ability to innovate and tackle difficult problems
  • How you plan to grow METIOR’s readership and contributor base.

Email your application to, CC by 5pm, 20 January 2016.

Feel free to send us any questions you might have.

Major changes made at final Guild Council meeting

Madura McCormack

The final Guild meeting for the year has yielded some major changes for Murdoch students, with the axing of some Guild positions, changes to the Clubs Room and tough financial decisions.

The outgoing guard, helmed by Raeesah Khan, have removed a number of Guild Council positions, including the Rural Regional and Interstate representative and closed the Rockingham Student Association (RSA).

The RSA was considered obsolete in a campus that has less than a dozen students.

No RRI representative had been elected in the recent elections, a position last held by Alex Knoop.

In a move that has been floated for several months, the five Guild Councillor positions of Sports, Clubs and Socs, Events, Sustainability, and Social Justice have been axed to make way for seven ‘Ordinary Guild Councillors’.Screenshot 2015-12-04 14.25.18Screenshot 2015-12-04 14.19.14

These positions, according to the agenda, will be ‘voted by quota to council’, similar to voting in the Australian Senate.

Students seeking election as an Ordinary Guild Councillor will need to attain 12.5 per cent of the vote after preferences, with portfolios allocated to them by Guild Council.

“It means duties can be flexible with the changing times,” says outgoing Education Vice President Roland Belford.

“In 20 years who knows what the important values to the student body will be.”

Guild President Guy McDonald says the changes will need to go through Senate, and will affect the election scheduled for late 2016.

Room swap

A unanimous motion was passed to reallocate the Clubs Room to the Indigenous Collective.

Outgoing Clubs and Socs officer Brodie Skalko says the Guild wants to build up the Indigenous Collective, who before this did not have a room.

“The Indigenous Collective have a hierarchy structure that they can use to ensure the room is looked after,” she says.

Located in the Amenities block, the Queer and Women’s Collectives will also swap rooms, giving the Queer Collective three square metres more room and wheelchair accessibility.

“We’ve got a large number of active members and until now have had a space that was far too small, so it’s great that we’ve finally been able to expand a little,” says outgoing Queer Representative Ash Spring.

Bookshop to stay open

At the meeting held on November 30, the council opted to keep the loss-making Guild Bookshop open after heavy discussion on cost-cutting measures.

Although the closing of the bookshop would have saved almost $50,000 in SSAF money, the risk of losing vital services such as the sale of second-hand books, Guild sticker distribution and Student SmartRiders proved too high.

In order to keep the bookshop open, the positions of Guild Shop manager and assistant manager have been made redundant, while the Tavern assisting manager will be made a casual position.

The operating expenses for the bookshop is budgeted at $230,000 for 2016 but revenue should offset a bulk of the cost.

The Clubs and Socs Room now for the Indigenous Collective. Photo by: Madura McCormack

The Clubs and Socs Room now for the Indigenous Collective.
Photo by: Madura McCormack

Student Hub

Council has also offered guidance to the architects of the planned student hub.

In what is described as an ‘ambitious’ plan, the Student Hub is expected to take over much of the Refectory side of Bush Court and is slated for 2017.

The Guild passed a motion to endorse a dedicated spaces for Indigenous students close to Kulbardi, queer-identifying students and women.

Murdoch’s student representative body also wants “the entire student hub project to utilise best practice in accessible building design” for inclusion of students with disability.


In collaboration with the current editor, outgoing Education Vice President Roland Belford wrote a new METIOR policy to reflect the publication’s move to online.

Changes were made to the selection process of future editors; with the new policy ensuring the next person “shall be appointed from among the Murdoch student body by the Guild President and outgoing Editor”.

In the old policy, it was “recommended” that the METIOR editor be a current or previous student of the university.

The magazine is in the process of securing at least one print run, with the edition out by February 22, 2016.

Murdoch appoints Eeva Leinonen as new Vice Chancellor


Professor Eeva Leinonen will become Murdoch University’s Vice-Chancellor from 2016.

Professor Leinonen is the university’s first female Vice-Chancellor and replaces Professor Andrew Taggart, who has been acting in the role since October 2015.

The university has been on the hunt for a new Vice-Chancellor since the controversial resignation of Richard Higgott late last year.

The Murdoch Senate referred Mr Higgott to the Corruptions and Crime Commission (CCC) for suspected misconduct.

It is unknown at this time the stage of the investigation.

Previously the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wollongong, Professor Leinonen has a background in psychology and linguistics.

Her most recent citations focus on children, speech, and children with autism-spectrum disorder, particularly with Aspergers.

She was also Deputy Vice Chancellor for 19 years at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.

Professor Leinonen said in the statement that she saw Murdoch as a university with a ‘solid foundation, a strong research focus, and an impressive vision’.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available. The Murdoch University Wikipedia page has somehow already been updated.


Murdoch ranks in top 100 universities under 50

by Madura McCormack

Murdoch was ranked top 91-100 universities under 50 years old by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) earlier this week.

The 40-year-old university is joined at the bottom end of the chart with Charles Darwin University and the University of Canberra.

QS is one the most widely read university rankings in the world but has been criticised for giving weight to subjective indicators.
Screenshot 2015-11-26 10.11.17

QS rankings are based on metrics that include academic reputation and staff to student ratio.

Murdoch University has a total of 10,809 students and 833 staff, with 19 percent of the student population being postgraduates, according to the data provided by QS.

Screenshot 2015-11-26 09.51.41

Infographics taken from QS Top 50 under 50 rankings

QS confirmed in an email that the data was given to them in April this year by Murdoch University.

Murdoch University named in ‘concerning’ data security report by Auditor-General


Madura McCormack

Western Australia’s auditor-general, Colin Murphy, released a report today detailing concerns about the security of sensitive information stored by agencies.

Murdoch University was one of the seven agencies involved in the audit, which also includes Curtin University and the Legal Aid Commission of WA among others.

Murdoch University makes up 31 of the 115 failures logged in the report, seven of them extreme.

“Most concerning was that we continue to find weak controls in some basic, easy to fix areas such as passwords, patching and setting of user privileges,” says Mr. Murphy of the seven agencies.

Three of the university’s databases were tested, including Murdoch Finance, Murdoch Student Admin and Murdoch Human Resources.

Chart shows the number and severity of the findings per agency database. Source: Auditor-General report, 5 Nov.

Chart shows the
number and severity of the findings per agency database. Source: Auditor-General report, 5 Nov.

At one unspecified agency, the auditors managed to compromise two accounts and browse highly confidential and sensitive records on individuals including minors, the report said.

The same process was performed a week later, only to find that appropriate action had not been taken by the agency.

The Auditor-General’s report also identified accounts at agencies with passwords such as ‘test’ and ‘password1’.

University response

In response to the findings presented to Murdoch University, the institute has ‘engaged the services of an independent technical consultant’, it says in the report.

“Some of the actions have been completed, including the acquisition of a comprehensive password management system,” Murdoch University said in the report.

“Many of the remaining actions require specialist technical skills which are being sought.”

Here’s another time Murdoch University IT has been sketchy.

READ MORE: Poor State Government data security putting confidential information at risk, reports finds// ABC

Guild Election 2015: The Numbers


Guild_Elections_2015 (1)The votes have been counted and the winners have been announced, but before Murdoch University’s 40th Guild take office, here is the breakdown of this years numbers.

This year a total of 4113 votes were cast, marking a staggering 471 percent (yes, that’s right) increase from 2014, when only 720 votes were cast. 

Judging from the sharp decline between 2011 and 2012 however, it would be premature to call this year’s election a revival in Murdoch student politics.

It is important to note that 4113 votes does not mean 4113 people voted. A total of 505 votes were cast for Guild President, which gives a good estimate of the the number of actual voters. This is still pretty low considering the number of students enrolled at Murdoch University.

Whether or not voter count could have been higher if elections were not postponed to fall during study week remains up for speculation.

[Read more: Guild-splainer: Unofficial Guide to who does what in the Murdoch Student Politics]

With such a small cluster of votes, it is inevitable that some candidates won their seats with less than a breath of air between them and their opponent. Lauren Hodson of the ACTION ticket trumped TMNT’s Coraline De Zilwa by only five votes.

Bianca Talbot, TMNT’s candidate for Sports Officer comes out of this years race with the largest majority of any ballot, garnering 216 votes over Megan Bilney’s 128.

Events Officer Rachael Davidson would have claimed this title, however TMNT’s candidate Daniel Puls was disqualified after polls opened for not being a registered Guild member and it is unclear what the vote division would have been had this not happened. The final count for Events Officer was 208 votes for Rachael Davidson and 55 for Adrian Gallo.

Better than 2014

Apart from the large increase in votes, 2015 also sees the number of vacant positions drop to 13 out of 45 positions compared to 2014’s 20.

The number of candidates elected unopposed also fell 20 percent from last year, but a majority of student politicians are still taking their positions without a fight.

Disability Representative Megan Browne reclaims her seat for the third consecutive year along with Indigenous Representative Ashleigh Lindsay who is on her second term.

Positions that remain vacant include:

  • Murdoch University Post Graduate Association President
  • MUPSA Vice President
  • Rural, Regional and Interstate Representative
  • Mandurah Student Association President
  • Rockingham Student Association President
  • Academic Council: Regional Student
  • School Board: Arts

Any student interested in these positions may approach the Guild.

See who won the Guild Elections here. Check out Roland Belford’s Google Chart of the elections here.

Cowabunga! TMNT takes majority of Guild Council


By Madura McCormack

The Murdoch Now Team, headed by Guy McDonald, has emerged as the overall winners of the 2015 Murdoch student elections.

This year marks the largest voter turnout since 2011, with 4113 votes across 15 ballots.

The new Guild Executive, which will take office from 1 December, will be headed by Guy McDonald as President and Andy Hunter as General Secretary.

“We ran with a positive policy platform for making university life here more engaging, fun and vibrant and I look forward to working to continue the great work of previous Presidents like Raeesah Khan and Roland Belford,” says McDonald, paying homage to his predecessors.

“Between our two active campaigns we’ve more than quadrupled the number of votes cast in the student elections. I think that’s a huge win in and of itself.”


Guild President Guy McDonald. Source: Supplied

Brodie Skalko, from ACTION, will be the new Education Vice President. She won the position by 30 votes to oust Dean Wicken.

“She bucked the trend and won an executive spot despite her ticket not taking out the election majority. She is obviously hugely deserving and I look forward to working with her on council next year,” says Wicken, who will join council as External Representative.

Skalko says she is ‘gutted’ that Troy Treeby from ACTION has not been elected, calling him an ‘inspirational influence on council’ this year.

“I endeavour next year to fulfil my personal promise, which was also a priority of TMNT; to reboot Education Council,” she says.

Other elected members of the ACTION ticket are Sustainability Officer Lauren Hodson and Events Officer Rachel Davidson.

TMNT’s candidate for Events Officer was disqualified when polls opened because he is not a registered member of the Guild.

“Congratulations to the incoming council, regardless of the political differences I would hope that everyone can work together to do the right thing by students,” says Troy Treeby, who has been elected together with Guy McDonald as student representatives on Senate.

Out of the 9 ballots contested for Guild Council, 6 have been filled by TMNT candidates.

Independent presidential candidate Ferhan Siddiqi retains his president of the Murdoch International Student Association.

The positions of MUPSA, Mandurah Student Association and Rockingham Student Association President remain vacant.

“Thanks to the students of Murdoch for putting up with us campaigning this last week. Big thanks to those who engaged with us and voted. Bigger thanks still to those who are voted even though they’re about to leave Murdoch- people voting entirely for others than themselves was actually quite touching,” says McDonald.

Position Elected Ticket Stupol Experience
Guild President Guy McDonald TMNT 2012: Sustainability Officer

2015: General Secretary

Education VP Brodie Skalko Action 2015: Clubs Officer
General Secretary Andy Hunter TMNT 2015: President of Murdoch Student Law Society
Murdoch Post Grad Student Association [MUPSA] President Vacant    
MUPSA VP Undergrad Samuel Edge (unopposed) Independent
MUPSA VP Postgrad Vacant    
MISA President Ferhan Siddiqi (unopposed) Independent 2015: MISA President
Clubs Officer Darian Whyte TMNT  
Events Officer Rachel Davidson Action  
Social Justice Officer Carmel Hooshmand TMNT  
Sports Officer Bianca Talbot TMNT 2015: Women’s Representative
Sustainability Officer Lauren Hodson Action  
External Representative Dean Wicken TMNT  
Disability Representative Megan Browne


  2014 & 2015: Disability Representative
Queer Representative Jacintha Kenny


Indigenous Representative Ashleigh Lindsay


  2015: Indigenous Representative
Women’s Representative Claire Brodie


Rural Remote and Interstate Rep Vacant