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SUPRA is the postgraduate student association at the University of Sydney and is run by postgrads for postgrads. SUPRA represents all postgraduates at Sydney University, and all postgraduates can look to SUPRA for assistance with any issues that may confront them, both academically and personally, during the course of their candidature. Being on Council is a great way to get involved and make a difference to the life of postgraduate students at the University of Sydney.
So how did it all begin?
Formed in 1970 by Science postgrads, SUPRA was formally acknowledged by the University of Sydney Senate in 1974 after years of debate. Because most postgraduate students at the time were research students, the Students' Representative Council (SRC) considered them to be junior academics and had thus declined to admit them as members. SUPRA is the only organisation that has ever represented postgraduate students at the University of Sydney.
In 1979 SUPRA became a founding member of the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA), the peak body representing Australian postgraduate students.
Over the years SUPRA has grown from a small volunteer based organisation to a much bigger one. SUPRA now employs a number of staff to assist elected representatives in the work of representing the interests of postgraduate students at all levels within the University and support individual postgraduates through the course of their study.
Since 1970, the constituency of SUPRA has changed markedly. For one, the University of Sydney now has considerably more coursework postgraduate students than research students. While changes in higher education policy since the late 1980s have changed the nature of Australian's education system and the issues students face, SUPRA 's core objectives as expressed in the Constitution, remain as relevant as ever:
2.1 The overriding object of the Association shall be to promote the interests of the University's postgraduate students.
2.2 The Association shall seek to reflect the views of postgraduate students of the University, and to that end shall consult their opinions regularly on matters of concern.
2.3 The Association shall represent the postgraduate students of the University and make appropriate representations on their behalf. It shall seek to defend their needs and uphold their aspirations at all times.
2.4 The Association shall provide independent representation, advocacy and advice to postgraduate students of the University of Sydney.