University of South Australia Students Association

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UniLife Inc (USASA)
Type Incorporated Association
Industry Students' union
Headquarters Adelaide, Australia
Number of locations 6
Area served University of South Australia
Key people Arun Thomas (Current President)
Employees 15+

The University of South Australia Student Association is the peak student representative body at the University of South Australia (UniSA). USASA is spread across UniSA's four metropolitan campuses as well as the Centre for Regional Engagement, encompassing the Whyalla and Mount Gambier campuses.

Upholding its three pillars of "Voice · Advice · Play", USASA provides key student services to the UniSA student body such as supporting university clubs, holding events, running the student publication - UniLife Magazine, providing advocacy services and volunteer programs.


From 1 January 1991 the University of South Australia was established as a result of a merger between the Institute of Technology and significant elements of the South Australian College of Advanced Education.[1] This merger necessitated the formation of a single student association that represented the needs of the then six campuses of the newly formed university. The New University Merger Discussion Group was the beginning of the UniSA Students Association (USASA). USASA was inaugurated in 1994, with the Confederated Student Union, the South Australian Institute of Technology Union and the Council of South Australian College Student Organisations managing the intervening years.

When the Howard Government introduced Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) in 2006,[2] USASA had to restructure to cope with the dramatic loss of income. Part of this restructure included rebranding UniSA's student association as 'UniLife'.

In 2013, the student association went back to their roots after a referendum of students overwhelmingly voted to officially rebrand the organisation as the 'University of South Australia Student Association'. This marks a time of restructure and renewed focus on student representation.[3]


USASA is a democratic organisation run by students that is responsive to student needs. USASA provides opportunities for students to become involved in the decision-making process at the central level and their local campus level through branch committees. USASA has established a number of standing committees that deal with specific areas of student concern. These standing committees include the Education Standing Committee, the Equity and Welfare Standing Committee, and the Services Standing Committee.

USASA Board[edit]

The overarching policies of the student association are set by the USASA Board. This is composed of students elected by and from the student population. The composition of the UniLife Board and its powers and responsibilities are set out in the USASA Constitution.[4]

UniLife Board 2013-14 [5]
President Arun Thomas
Postgraduate Student Officer Andrew Friebe
International Student Representative Timmy Pham
City West Representatives Elisia Hancock
City East Representatives Bethany Beggs-Brown
Tyler Whitaker
Magill Representatives Lia Lawrie
Anthony Hooper
Mawson Lakes Representatives Lauren Coppock
Andrew Kay
Whyalla Representative Mitchell Wilson
Mt Gambier Representative Claudia Shelton

Former Representatives[edit]

President [6]
2013-14 Arun Thomas (National Labor Students)
2012-13 Stepehen McCallum (National Labor Students)
2011-12 Melissa Davies (Conservative Independent)
2010-11 Melissa Davies (Conservative Independent)
2009-10 Kelly Graham-Sutton (Student Unity)
2008-09 James Wangmann (Student Unity)
2007-08 Prashant Joshi (National Liaison Committee)
Post Graduate Representative [7]
2013-14 Andrew Friebe (Progressive Independent)
2012-13 Andrew Friebe (Progressive Independent)
2011-12 Matthew Walton (Student Unity)
2010-11 John Sy (Progressive Independent)
2009-10 Thomas Rudkin (Conservative Independent)
2008-09 Thomas Rudkin (Conservative Independent)
2007-08 Thomas Rudkin (Conservative Independent)
International Student Representative [8]
2013-14 Timmy Pham (Conservative Independent)
2012-13 Kim Chau (Progressive Independent)
2011-12 Established
City East Student Representatives [9]
2013-14 Bethany Beggs-Brown
Tyler Witaker
2012-13 Bethany Beggs-Brown
Arun Thomas (National Labor Students)
2011-12 ()
2010-11 Mandy Koay (Independent)
Terry Tan (Independent)
2009-10 Konnie Rapassani (Independent)
2008-09 ()
2007-08 ()
City West Student Representatives [10]
2013-14 Elisa Hancock (Australian Liberal Students Federation)
2012-13 Elisa Hancock (Australian Liberal Students Federation)
Callum McLeod (Student Unity)
2011-12 Daniel Nikoloski (Student Unity)
Shaylee Leach (Student unity)
2010-11 Stephen McCallum (National Labor Students)
Ryan Dow (Progressive Independent)
2009-10 Stephen McCallum (National Labor Students)
Yu-fu Liu (Independent)
2008-09 Kelly Graham-Sutton (Student Unity)
Joko (Independent)
2007-08 ()
Magill Student Representatives [11]
2013-14 Lia Lawrie (Independent)
Anthony Hooper
2012-13 Barry Shannon (Progressive Independent)
Kosta Latsis
2011-12 Felicity Williams (National Labor Students)
Samuel Miller (Student unity)
2010-11 Nayan (Natasha) Sud (National Labor Students)
Liam Mannix (Independent)
2009-10 Christopher Bean (Independent)
Liam Mannix (Independent)
2008-09 ()
2007-08 ()
Mawson Lakes Student Representatives [12]
2013-14 Andrew Kay (Independent)
Lauren Coppock
2012-13 Andrew Kay (Independent)
Callum McLeod (Student Unity)
2011-12 ()
2010-11 Timothy Dixon (Progressive Independent)
John Sy (Progressive Independent)
2009-10 Ali Hussaini (Independent)
Carl Bengsston (Conservative Independent)
2008-09 ()
2007-08 ()
Mt Gambier Student Representatives [13]
2013-14 Claudia Shelton (Independent)
2012-13 Claudia Shelton (Independent)
2011-12 ()
2010-11 Krissy Thompson (Independent)
2009-10 Krissy Thompson (Independent)
2008-09 ()
2007-08 ()
Whyalla Student Representatives [14]
2013-14 Mitchell Wilson (Independent)
2012-13 Rachel Jones (Independent)
2011-12 Rachel Jones (Independent)
2010-11 ()
2009-10 ()
2008-09 ()
2007-08 ()


USASA employs over 15 permanent, temporary, and casual staff. Representation and student service delivery provided by USASA is generally coordinated from the City East Campus head office and assisted by branch offices on each campus. USASA employees perform a range of roles and either directly provide student services or support student representatives and club organisers to carry out their roles.

Student Services[edit]

USASA is recognised by the University as the preferred provider of student amenities with services concentrating around VOICE, ADVICE and PLAY. As a non-profit organisation all income received is returned to the student members via the provision of services that encompass the full gamut of student needs.


USASA provides a range of advocacy services for students. USASA Advocates provide students with advice to help them navigate university regulation and different forms of student appeal processes.[15]


USASA supports over 100 sporting, social and academic clubs.[16] USASA pays homage to club activities throughout the year by holding the USASA Awards Night. USASA clubs compete at the Australian University Games


Since 2007, USASA has held the Annual Masked Ball event (known as the Black Tie Event prior to 2009) at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Student Bar[edit]

UniSA purchased the "Rapture" nightclub building situated at 58-60 North Terrace to be refurbished into a student lounge in 2009. This was opened for casual student use in Study Period 2, 2009.[17] Notable events held at the venue included the National Campus Band Comp, National Campus Art Prize Finals Exhibition and an exclusive Sundance Kids gig organised by UniSA CareerShop.

Over the summer of 2011-12, the UniSA student lounge underwent major renovations to become an official Adelaide Fringe 2012 venue called "The Grand Academy of Lagado". The Grand Opening Party on 24 February 2012 attracted over 1700 patrons with live music, art, cabaret and comedy events spanning the 3-week Fringe period.

During the 2012-13 study break the University failed to renew the lease of the student bar and now directly controls operations. This takeover caused another name change and the bar is currently called 'West Bar'.

Student Media[edit]

UniLife Magazine[edit]

UniLife Magazine 1906 - Sept 2011

The UniLife Magazine is a student-run magazine published eight times a year and distributed around all of UniSA's campuses. UniLife Magazine covers the latest student-relevant events, photos, interviews, reviews and stories. Any UniSA student can contribute to the UniLife Magazine. The publication is run by a team of editors working out of the UniLife Magazine office at UniSA Magill Campus.

UniLife Magazine Editorial Team 2012-13 [18]
Head Editor Illona Wallace
Website Editor Matteo Gagliardi
Graphic Designer Josh Evans
Sub-editors Laura Clark
Ashleigh Knot
Nicole Vale

Entropy Magazine[edit]

Entropy Magazine was a spin-off project started by the UniSA student association to promote youth culture in 1992.[19] The design driven magazine proved to be an effective means of discovering new creative talent within the fields of design, art, illustration, photography and writing.

In 2004, Entropy beat 26 other student magazines from Australia and New Zealand to win the ACUMA "Best Student Magazine Award".[20]

The Greenpeace Design Awards was a poster design award in 2009, presented by Greenpeace Australia Pacific and UniLife Inc, in association with the University of South Australia. The aim of the competition was to motivate creative communities around the world to create artwork that encourages the public to take action on environmental issues and support Greenpeace. This need for a call to action message was stimulated through the poster brief "Be Part Of The Action". The Greenpeace Design Awards proved an international success, garnering 1500 entries from 77 different countries.[21] Melbourne designer Sam Dickson won the inaugural competition, with Denis Popenkov from Russia and Spencer Harrison taking second and third place respectively.[22]

March 2009 signalled the rebranding of "Entropy Magazine" as "UniLife Magazine" to ensure that the student publication more greatly represented UniSA student interests.[23]