Danica Scott


Danica Scott (Left Action)

Hi, I’m Danica Scott. I’m a PhD student in astrophysics, activist, and socialist. I’m running for postgraduate student committee president with Left Action.

The last year has seen major attacks on tertiary education. Humanities students have had their fees doubled, and funding has been cut across the board by the Liberal government. Curtin has cut $41 million in staff, which has led to overworked lecturers and tutors who have had to mark assessments without being paid. The University’s desire to cut costs with forced online learning and trimesters must be opposed, and the quality of our education must be fought for.

Left Action activists in the National Union of Students (NUS) led the campaign against the Liberals’ attacks on tertiary education in 2014; they wanted to increase the cost of a degree by thousands of dollars and we defeated them. In contrast, the current NUS education officer and Guild have failed to fight back against the current wave of cuts. The Guild and NUS more than ever need to be leading activist bodies, and only Left Action is able to make that happen. At UWA, Left Action are leading the campaign against the complete cutting of the anthropology course with protests of hundreds of staff and students. At Curtin, we need to fight back in the same way, not just with endless surveys but with actual opposition to the University. Blended Learning has been fought off for now by students and staff, but there’s no reason to think that Curtin’s profit-driven management won’t try it again soon. Whatever cuts come next, we need a Guild and NUS that are ready to fight for students and staff

The Guild also needs to take up the fight against climate change. The recent IPCC report showed that the effects of climate change are already irreversible, and that life on Earth is threatened so long as the fossil fuel industry continues. Curtin has very strong ties to fossil fuel giants BHP and Woodside, as well as the mining industry in general. A Guild serious about climate change must protest these corporations and pressure the University to cut ties with fossil fuels. This is only possible with a Guild of activists who directly oppose the Vice Chancellor rather than prioritising a ‘good working relationship’. Last year Left Action activists led the bushfire protests, and have consistently been organising protests against fossil fuel companies and conferences. The next big action is the global COP26 protest this November, when international leaders will be meeting to discuss their plans for climate change. We need to come out to pressure them to shut down the fossil fuel industry NOW, and the Curtin Guild needs to do everything it can to mobilise Curtin students.

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