Australasian Union of Jewish Students

O'Week Antisemitism Statement

O'Week Antisemitism Statement



By Gareth Milner / March 05, 2018


The National Union of Students (NUS) and the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) are deeply concerned by reports of antisemitism and discrimination at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus and La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus. This is especially alarming as it is the third consecutive year of antisemitic activity on university campuses during the first week of classes.


Farrago, a student newspaper, reported that on 26 February 2018, two men were handing out leaflets stating “it’s okay to be white,” at the University of Melbourne. The men allegedly called one student a “faggot” and spat in front of another student who identified herself as Jewish after being questioned about her ethnicity by the assailant. On the same day, the Bendigo Advertiser reported that signs from the neo-Nazi group ‘Antipodean Resistance’ were plastered across La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus. AUJS and NUS understand that the University quickly removed the signs as soon as they were alerted. Antipodean Resistance posters were also recently found at Victoria University’s Footscray Park campus and Bendigo South East College.


Unfortunately, these events are examples of the systemic rise of antisemitic incidents across Australian university campuses. In 2017, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry found that reported incidents of antisemitism had increased by 9.5%, creating an increasingly hostile campus environment, in which it is hard for Jewish students to feel safe and protected.


Antisemitism is not a phenomenon of the past. Discriminatory and antisemitic individuals are becoming more emboldened and increasing their activities on campus. Therefore, as student representative organisations, it is vital that we at AUJS and NUS adopt a unified and strong stance against discrimination.  


Consistent with the “We Must Act Against AntiSemitism” resolution that was successfully passed by AUJS at the NUS National Conference in December 2017, AUJS and NUS is united in condemning and combating antisemitism, as defined by the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Additionally, in 2018, AUJS and NUS are committed to directly engaging with universities’ administration and student unions to ensure that our higher-education institutions are tolerant and safe for Jews and all minorities.


Faced with an increasingly hostile and antisemitic campus environment, AUJS and NUS are committed to the fight against all forms of discrimination. We call on all other student unions and educational institutions to join us.

Mark Pace

Saul Burston

National President - NUS

National Chairperson - AUJS



Jacob Cripps

Noa Bloch

National General Secretary - NUS

National Political Affairs Director - AUJS


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