June 29, 2020

International Students Are Welcome

Viknash Vm Viknash Vm

My fellow international students, many of you may have heard the commentary over the past week related to international students from China.  

We want to personally assure students who have travelled here from all over the world including our Chinese peers that you are welcome here at UWA. We are doing all we can to ensure that you are being taken care of wherever you are in the world right. We are working to ensure that your return to Australia is done with priority given to your safety and wellbeing.  

We would like to reiterate the Guild’s stance on non-tolerance towards racism. We have said this many times in previous letters to you and it is something that we stand strong on.  

We have always taken a pro-active stance on racism and have condemned any form of it on Guild Council, be it in UWA or any part of Australia. We have taken steps since February to address these concerns such as the anti-racism campaign we ran with posters being put-up all-around campus to remind students of our firm beliefs. We also had social media campaign addressing the issue as well. We will continue to reaffirm this message and will not stop till we achieve a campus culture where discrimination on any accord is brought down. We’re working hard to ensure your return to campus is as safe and comfortable as possible. Every student has the right to study at UWA free from racial discrimination or fear.  

We’re calling on all UWA students, domestic and international, to step up. If you see something, say something. We all have a responsibility to call out racist behaviour. If you’d like some guidance on how to be an active bystander, keep an eye on the ISD Facebook for our bystander training sessions.

If you believe you are being racially discriminated, or encounter someone else being racially discriminated – don't wait, say something, and reach out for help as soon as you need. Below are some services available: 

·         Guild Student Assist: [email protected]; or call 08 6488 2292 

·         UWA Medical Centre: 6488 2118; or visit https://www.uwa.edu.au/students/need-help/medical-centre 

·         UWA Counselling and Psychology Services: 6488 2423 

·         Lifeline: 13 11 14 

·         Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 

·         Mental Health Emergency Services: 1300 555 788 

·         24/7 phone interpreting service: 131 450 

·         To report a personal safety concern to UWA, fill out this form.

You can get in touch with your International Student’s Department President, Viknash VM, at [email protected] and/or ISD’s social media handles (@uwaguildisd). Viknash is also available for consultation on Fridays at 1pm via discord. 

In solidarity,  

Viknash VM and Bre Shanahan 
2020 ISD President and Guild President