Posted by: meghanbh | October 4, 2012

Hello from the new President!

Hello!  All of our affiliates would have heard by now that CAPA recently conducted a by-election to appoint a new President and National Secretary.  The role of National Secretary has been filled by former Secretary and 2011 President, John Nowakowski, who brings with him a wealth of relevant experience as we prepare for the end-of-year Annual Council Meeting (ACM); while the role of President will be filled by me – Meghan Hopper.

Previous to this, I was Policy and Research Advisor of CAPA throughout earlier 2012, as well as Acting President in June; and in 2011 I was Vice President (Equity) and Women’s Officer.  I also sit on the Monash Postgraduate Association as their Women’s Officer, and have previously been President of the Monash Uni Gippsland Student Union (2010) and a student representative to Monash Academic Board (2011).  So I already have a background in higher ed advocacy and in working with postgraduates, particularly on matters of policy, and am very much looking forward to continuing to do so in this new role.

We’ve just got off our monthly Executive meeting, and I wanted to give affiliates a quick update on finances.  At today’s meeting we were delighted to approve discounted affiliations from Griffith University Postgraduate Students’ Association (QLD) and Swinburne University Union (VIC), which we will be invoicing this week.  These are both associations that have been actively involved in CAPA, but have struggled to pay affiliation in previous years due to circumstances at their respective campuses, and so it’s great to see them able to commit this year.

We also approved at the Executive Meeting to cut the President’s salary by half for the remainder of the year.  This was a decision made by me prior to nominating for the role – cutting the President’s salary puts CAPA’s honorarium structure more in line with other peak bodies in student representation, and means that we have extra money to spend on representing postgrads nationally.  While other Executive members were offered the option of turning the resultant extra money into honorariums for their roles – a model which I supported – they declined, and have instead requested that that money go into our general budget, and that part of it assist them to attend our ACM.  I think this is further evidence, if any were required, of the dedication and selflessness of the CAPA Executive members our affiliates have elected.

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you at our ACM, which will be taking place this year November 26-28 at the University of Melbourne.  Further details around suggested accommodation and how to make changes to the Constitution, Regulations and Policy will be forwarded to affiliates over the next week.  We’ve set up a committee of Exec members to plan the ACM and are looking forward to getting the ball rolling with our first meeting on Tuesday morning.

That’s all from me for today – looking forward to chatting with you all soon,

Meghan x

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