Get in contact Ethnocultural@utsstudentsassociation.org

So what is the Ethnocultural Collective?

It is an autonomous space for those who have experienced discrimination based on cultural background, identify as a person of colour (POC), or part of a marginalised culture. This is a place where we can vent, organise and support each other!

Please note: the term ‘person of colour’ isn’t defined consistently, nor coherently across historical and cultural contexts. It is a mode of self identification and it is not okay to police other people’s identities. (description borrowed from The Wom*n of Colour Network)

Going to uni straight out of high school, I had little idea of what those 3 words really meant together – ethno, cultural, collective. We had a newly formed Women’s Collective at school, but I didn’t know there was a space in the structures of uni for people of diverse backgrounds to gather and organise. Google and that amazing thing known as the Internet is always a helpful port of call for me. Some of you may have spent time looking at post-colonial theories and literature in high school, or touched upon race theory while keeping up to date with current affairs, or simply experienced racism in any of its multiple forms. All of this is basically what the Ethno-cultural Collective .

So who makes up the Ethnocultural Collective? The phrases ethnocultural and people of colour may be dauntingly new, as it was for me not long ago, but most simply put, it means being part of a cultural minority of any country. UTS is a wonderfully multicultural community and the Ethnocultural Collective is here as a safe, prejudice free group for you of culturally diverse backgrounds to talk, learn, organise and really, do what you collectively want.

In 2013, the Ethnocultural Collective had a fantastic World Fiesta to celebrate the diversity of culture that exists amongst UTS students and just to have some music and food fuelled fun! In previous years and at other universities, the Ethnocultural Collective has been a rallying point to tackle issues of racism and discrimination in student life and also in a broader context. Overall, the collective aims to bring greater and more meaningful awareness of the diversity of cultures and ethnic groups that exist amongst UTS students in order to eliminate racism and ensure the safety of both local and international students.

What we do this year is really up to you! Whether it is weekly meetings, film screenings, discussion groups, social justice campaigns, social events, or just regular meetings to talk to one another, I’m all ears and keen to helping you achieve whatever you’d like to do in 2013.

If you ever have any questions, ideas, or just want to have a chat about what’s happening with the Collective and how you can join, send over an email at ethnocultural@utsstudentsassociation.org! Looking forward to meeting you!