By Erin Handley.
First published Monday 21 February 2011 in Farrago.
Kyle Dadleh, the Indigenous Officer of the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU), has been terminated from his position after he failed to pay membership fees to the student union. Constitutionally, all student representatives must be members of the student union in order to continue in their posts.
This is a further blow to Indigenous representation at the university, as the student elections in 2010 failed to elect an Indigenous Representative for Students’ Council.
UMSU Secretary Dominique Ottobre noted in her report for Students’ Council: “This is also highly problematic in that of the 10 positions for Indigenous student representation across UMSU and VCAMSA, none are now filled.”
New models of representation for Indigenous students are being investigated by Ms Ottobre, President Rachael Lim and UMSU Manager Justin Baré, in conjunction with the Centre for Indigenous Education (CIE), in order to resolve the issue.
They intend to “contact Indigenous students and conduct a review of Indigenous representation within UMSU,” the report added, “as it is clear that the current model isn’t working, and hasn’t been working for some time.”
“This has been a recurring pattern over the last few years,” she continued.
“The aim is not to abolish the Indigenous department,” Ms Ottobre explained to Farrago, “but to develop a model that actually engages Indigenous students.”
Kyle Dadleh was unable to be reached for comment by deadline.