The fallout between the two countries has started. Following the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Indonesia has come under attack from the UN, and especially Australia. Australia has retaliated by recalling their ambassador Paul Grigson, and it seems certain that foreign aid to Indonesia will be slashed considerably. On the internet, thousands of Australian social justice advocates have sworn to never visit Indonesia again, culminating in the boycott Indonesia campaign.
If you have been following the news lately, there have been growing tensions between Australia and Indonesia as two Australian citizens, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are facing execution for smuggling drugs. A diplomatic visit to Indonesia by our trade minister, Andrew Robb, has already been cancelled and there have been suggestions by Indonesians and Australians alike to sever trade relations between the countries, while some Australians plan to boycott travel to Bali. With regard to trade, how important is Australia to Indonesia, and vice versa? Do the two nations significantly trade with each other? Let’s find out.
University—a fresh start, and a new beginning. For many of us, especially first year students, it represents the next chapter in our lives. University gives us all the opportunity to experience new things, such as independence from our parents. Along this journey to adulthood, we will inevitably make new friends. For some, making friends seems very natural, and for others not so much.
In the world of gaming, there’s a very popular topic at the moment: the newest Pokémon releases, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. As a child who grew up on a steady diet of video games, I am very excited by these new games. So much so, that I went and bought a second hand Pokémon Emerald to prepare myself for these new remakes. I thoroughly enjoyed Emerald, as I was able to raise my Pokémon properly, beat the Elite Four and become Pokémon Champion for the nth time.
My friends, the end of the semester is approaching, and there is a distinct lack of motivation in the air. That’s right, final exams are looming upon us, and understandably we are unenthusiastic about it. While I enjoy my studies, I dislike burning the midnight oil, drinking copious amounts of coffee just to stay up late at night to squeeze in that last little inch of knowledge into my brain. In times like these, I wonder why we slave away through the torture that is studying just to get good marks. My friends, why do we put up with this? Why do we choose to study at university?
My fellow friends, this year our ‘glorious’ government delivered one of the most unpopular budget outcomes in Australian history. Sweeping cuts have been made across all welfare programs, and tougher rules have been enforced, especially in regard to Age Pension claims. The minimum pension age will rise to 70 in 2035. The message is clear: the Australian government is finding it harder and harder to fund the program down the track. If this is the case, should our government actively plan to abolish the Age Pension in the future?
The deregulation of Australian universities has to be the most controversial topic in the higher education sphere at the moment. The government stated that this move will help to increase Australia’s international competitiveness. ‘Universities only see us as cash cows!’ you say. And you may be right! Universities may just see you and me as nothing more than a way to raise their revenue. However, there’s a huge target market for Australian universities, and it doesn’t comprise local students.