Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations

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The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is the peak representative body for postgraduate students in Australia. CAPA's members are 33 postgraduate associations and the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Postgraduate Association (NATSIPA). CAPA provides member associations with representation to the Federal government, and peak bodies such as the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia, on issues affecting postgraduate students in Australia. In 2015, Australia had over 310,000 postgraduate students, representing one quarter of all tertiary students in Australia.[1]

Recognising the dual roles of many postgraduate students, CAPA works in collaboration with the National Union of Students where matters impact on all students (such as voluntary student unionism and funding for higher education), and with the National Tertiary Education Union regarding issues of employment in the tertiary education sector, particularly on the casualisation of the academic workforce.

CAPA has an office located at the NTEU National office in Melbourne, Victoria. Its Annual Council Meeting (ACM), where organisational issues and policy directives are decided, is hosted by a different constituent organisation each year.


CAPA was founded in 1979 by a coalition of ten postgraduate organisations in order to protest taxation on postgraduate research scholarships.[2] Historically, CAPA has been concerned with lobbying around fees on postgraduate degrees.

In 1998, a separate organisation, the National Indigenous Postgraduate Association (NIPA) was formed within CAPA.[3] This association became the National Indigenous Postgraduate Association Aboriginal Corporation (NIPAAC) in 1999, and was later restructured as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Postgraduate Association (NATSIPA) in 2015.


CAPA consists of elected representatives on three committees: the governing Executive Committee, the Equity committee, and the National Operations Committee. The NATSIPA Liaison Officer sits on all committees. Each committee meets on a monthly basis. New committee members are elected at the Annual Council Meeting, which is held in November.

2017 Executive committee[edit]

National President- Peter Derbyshire

General Secretary- Natasha Abrahams

Vice-president (Equity)- Vibol Hy

Vice-president (National Operations)- Dylan Styles

NATSIPA Liaison Officer- Sharlene Leroy-Dyer

Media Officer- Oluwadamilola Ayeni (Lola)

Policy and Research Advisor- Simon Burnett

2017 Equity committee[edit]

Vice-president (Equity)- Vibol Hy (Chair)

Disabilities Officer- Alexandra Nixon

International Officer- Alex Yao

Queer Officer- Swathi Shiva

Women's Officer- Alyssa Shaw

NATSIPA Liaison Officer- Sharlene Leroy-Dyer

2017 National Operations committee[edit]

Vice-president (National Operations)- Dylan Styles (Chair)

Northern Branch President- Brittany McCormack

Eastern Branch President- Anish Saini

South-Eastern Branch President- Swathi Shiva

Western Branch President- Diane Smith

Central Branch President- Richard Matthews

NATSIPA Liaison Officer- Sharlene Leroy-Dyer

Past Presidents[edit]

  • 2010- Tammi Jonas
  • 2011- John Nowakowski
  • 2012- Chamonix Terblanche
  • 2013- Meghan Hopper
  • 2014- Meghan Hopper
  • 2015- Harry Rolf
  • 2016- Jim Smith
  • 2017 (current)- Peter Derbyshire

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2015 First half year student summary tables". Australian Government Department of Education and Training. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Twenty five years of CAPA – the fight is far from over" (PDF). Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "About NATSIPA". NATSIPA. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 

External links[edit]