The Campus Lowdown

JODIE RAMODIEN | NEWS



Grapeshot got in touch with Macquarie University’s cultural societies to find out more about the communities that make up our diverse campus.


African Students Association


Macquarie University African Students Association is a diverse and inclusive society which fosters community relations and social interactions with African students at Macquarie University. Our members are students from all nations in Africa but domestic students and other international students are welcome to participate and attend our events. We have had social events where we organise food such as barbeque, pizza, and last semester we had Nigerian food where students came and hung out, ate, played games and made new friends. We plan to do something different next semester such as bringing our students to strike or bowling. We’d like students to know that this is a place where they can have fun, share their experience of being a student from African roots and have a nice time during this stressful period. Our aim is to provide a safe space and host social events which help build interpersonal relationships within the African society here at MQ. By doing this we create a community of ubuntu (togetherness) at Macquarie University.


Chinese Students and Scholars Association


Chinese Students and Scholars Association was established in 2012 with the purpose of helping our members from overseas integrate into the Australian community. We offer a platform for our members to communicate and enhance their social networks. Furthermore, the association is open to all Macquarie University students who are interested in Chinese culture. We have held numerous events such as “Cantonese Corner” to promote students' knowledge of Chinese dialects. Furthermore, we also have a welcome party each semester for the students. We provide food and card games like UNO and poker during the party to entertain students.


Filipino Student Society (FSS)


Hello kaibigan! If you love all things Filipino – eating food, the vibrant culture, karaoke, playing video games, watching anime, listening (or crying) to P-pop or OPM, or just love people in general, the Filipino Student Society of MQU is the perfect society for you. We welcome all university students to join us and participate in our fun events, both in-person and online, and access special student discounts at our favourite restaurants. Some of our highlight events include Palarong Pinoy, a Filipino street games tournament with our UNSW, USYD, UWS, UTS, and UoN friends, and FSS Got Talent, an annual talent show. We also hold weekly hangouts on our Discord server called Maligayang Mondays, where we play games, socialise, watch movies, sing karaoke, or form study groups. For all your student-life needs, we’ve got your back. We wish all current and incoming Macquarie students a smooth start to the new semester and be on the lookout for FSS MQU happenings.


Greek Association (MUGA)


The Macquarie University Greek Association (MUGA) was formed in 1984 by students of Greek-Australian background to promote, celebrate and strengthen the Hellenic culture, history and values at Macquarie University and beyond. Throughout the early stages of our society’s formation in the 1980s and 1990s, MUGA has played a pivotal role in establishing Modern Greek Studies with the Faculty of Arts which proudly continues to this day. To broaden our engagement with the Greek-Australian community in fostering Modern Greek Studies at the university, the Macquarie Greek Studies Foundation was established in 1987. With a diverse committee of 12 members, including men and women in executive positions, and over 450 paid members, MUGA is the largest non-faculty student group at the university with members diversifying from both Greek and non-Greek backgrounds.


MUGA prides itself in historically partnering and collaborating with organisations across the Greek community of Sydney including Combined Universities Greek Association (CUGA), National Union of Greek Australian Students Victoria (NUGAS), The Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales and many more. Throughout the 37 years of our history, we have embedded our cultural values in supporting the St Catherine Greek Orthodox Church food donation drive, annually co-hosting the Polytechneio Commemoration with CUGA and raising funds for the Greek Studies units. Today, more than ever, MUGA continues to reframe and preserve the heritage of the Greek culture for an even brighter future of Greeks Studies at Macquarie University.


Hong Kong Student Association (MQHKSA)


The Hong Kong Student Association of Macquarie University is operated by our volunteer student-members and serves their peers in a variety of ways. Our aim is to connect Hong Kong international students as well as locals and other international students by the common interest of Hong Kong culture. Together we can build a sustainable network that will enrich our university life and beyond. Members of MQHKSA can participate in sports events like the annual Inter-HKSA Sydney Game competing against other HKSAs in Sydney; entertainments like Mahjong and Karaoke and all sorts of other cultural-exchange and tourism events. To make these events possible, all members are eligible to volunteer as a committee/sub-committee taking part in organising events as a team, which is a great opportunity to begin developing your personal skills that will benefit your future career after finishing at Macquarie University.


MQHKSA is currently developing an online networking platform that will make connecting with other members with mutual interests easier, enabling them to form sub-communities like gaming, sports, production, music, arts and crafts, cooking, etc. This will therefore allow us to continue socialising with each other over the lockdown period while bringing together active members to plan for our future.


Indigenous Students Association (ISA)


The Indigenous Students Association (ISA) is an independent student group for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at Macquarie University. The ISA runs social events for our members (always accompanied by a tasty feed) in which we gather and share yarns in a safe social space. Due to COVID-19, this has proved difficult, but we have adapted and moved our social events online for our members! We are looking forward to more online events during Semester 2, so keep an eye on our social media accounts for all the details. We aim to foster relationships built upon acceptance, understanding, and knowledge sharing between our members. Our mission is to further empower Indigenous peoples and culture within Macquarie University and the wider community through the processes of reconciliation, cultural exchange, and education.


@mq_isa on Instagram

@MacquarieISA on Facebook


Myanmar Student Club (MMSC)


For a newly enrolled student studying at Macquarie University, joining a university club or society is perhaps the easiest way to make new friends and explore diversity in Sydney. Macquarie Myanmar Student Association (MMSC) was established in 2018 to enhance the presence of Burmese students, to promote Myanmar culture as well as to create a family-like community for them. Our society is run by enthusiastic Macquarie Myanmar students and is a gateway to engaging with other Myanmar students across universities from all over Australia by providing support, networking opportunities, and information to newcomers. Twice every year, we conduct collaborative events together with other Myanmar student societies from Australian universities to celebrate Myanmar New Year (Thingyan) and the lighting festival (Vivid) in Sydney. Adapting to a new-normal lifestyle under COVID-19, the fresher welcoming event, casual hangout sessions, and end of semester events have been transformed into virtual sessions in recent years. We know it is hard to leave your communities behind when you travel overseas to study, don’t worry, we are here for you. Join our society group, we can guarantee that it is a great way to find your home away from home.


To get more updates, please like the Macquarie Myanmar Students Club Facebook page. All you need to do to join is create a MMSC membership, any valid student ID from any university is accepted so please feel free to join us!


Pasifika Student Association (PSA)


The Pasifika Student Association (PSA) connects the Pasifika students of Macquarie University and provides them with a space where they can celebrate their heritage, and the diversity and interconnectivity of the Pacific Islands. PSA aims to empower Pasifika students’ studying experience at Macquarie, by providing a social environment catered for Pasifika students by Pasifika students. PSA often holds a mix of social events where students can meet and interact with each other such as Sports Days, Film Nights, Bowling Nights, Trivia Nights or Pizza Nights at Ubar. PSA also cooperates with other Pasifika Student Associations from different universities for intervarsity events such as the Australian University Pasifika Association Conference (AUPAC).


Follow us on Instagram @pasifika.sa.mq


Persian Association (MUPA)


Macquarie University Persian Association (MUPA) is a society focused on promoting and celebrating the culture of Iran and its many different people. The society is welcoming and open and boasts a membership of both Persians and non-Persians, with this openness extending into the society's executive team with both Persians and non-Persians alike helping to run the society. The society holds regular events that feature food, games, movies, music, sport, and other cultural activities from Iran and has successfully adapted these events during lockdown with society zoom sessions featuring various fun games. The society is also focused on spreading awareness and educating the student body about Persian culture, history, and language, and welcomes anyone, regardless of nationality, religion, or familiarity with Iran and Persian culture, into the society.


Slavic Students Association


The Slavic Students Association or ‘SlavSoc’ is one of the fastest growing societies at Macquarie. The fundamental purpose of the society is to celebrate Slavic cultures and our members’ shared cultural experiences. To be a Slav is an umbrella term, as the definition encompasses many customs, languages, and a diverse range of experiences. However, we converge as Slavic culture forges our image of self and is the lens through which we view and interpret the world. To instil SlavSoc’s fundamental premise, SlavSoc takes pride in our social events. Since our establishment 4 years ago, SlavSoc has held an annual cruise which is essentially a large boat party. This is highly anticipated and has been a huge success across all 4 years. On a smaller scale, SlavSoc holds pub crawls, partakes in social sports such as soccer (to which we were the winners of in our division) and our beginning and end of semester mingle, eat and drink events. The emphasis we place on social events is because Slavic cultures are inherently collectivistic, so what better way to bring Slavs together than to have a wholesome and hearty Slavic feast with great company. In the 2 years I have been president, I have learnt so much from our members and it has been such an honour to be a representative of this society. The people I have met inspire me and I can only imagine the great things our talented members will go on to do in future. You do not have to be Slavic to join our society, people of all ethnicities are welcome.


Sri Lankan Student Society


Lanka MQ was established in 2016 and we aim to spread our culture through traditional and street foods that many of us Sri Lankans hold dear to our hearts. We are run by a tight knit committee that functions as one big family and we hope to develop strong bonds with

new members joining us as well!


Our most popular event is “Faluda Friday,” held at the beginning of the semester where you can enjoy a refreshing glass of rose-flavoured Faluda, topped with a scoop of ice cream and fairy floss. You can also grab some authentic short eats such as chicken or vegetable rolls and fish cutlets. Another crowd favourite event is “Kottu Arvo,” where the popular dish Kottu consists of diced roti and stir fried vegetables. We can’t forget the signature kick of spice! In the past we have had events such as “A night in Lanka,” which was a large party at the end of the year, filled with great food, music, and of course we will all be dressed up in our traditional Sarees and Sarongs.


Although the current lockdown situation is far from ideal, we do not plan on slowing down! When times are tougher, the stronger we as a society must be. We will have social media challenges and exciting virtual events to stay connected. As a community, we love to enjoy good food with even better company. In the spirit of celebrating togetherness and sharing our culture, all our events are open to both Sri Lankans and non-Sri Lankans!


Thank you to all the cultural societies who wrote and contributed to this piece.


Find the full list of cultural societies at Macquarie University here: ​​https://students.mq.edu.au/uni-life/clubs-societies/cultural