History of SUPRA

Our history

Formed in 1970 by science research students, 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 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 professional staff to assist council in representing the interests of postgraduate students within the University and broader community, as well as to support individual postgraduates through their courses of study.

The constituency of SUPRA has changed a lot since 1970. Notably, 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 Australia’s education system and the issues faced by students, SUPRA’s core objectives, as expressed in the Constitution, remain as relevant as ever.

Read more about our Mission and purpose.

50th anniversary celebrations

2020 was SUPRA’s 50th anniversary! To celebrate, we took a look through our archives and compiled a roll call of past SUPRA presidents. We also interviewed former SUPRA councillors and members about their memories of SUPRA, which we turned into a short documentary: Fifty Years of SUPRA.

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 • Get involved with your postgrad community.

• Get involved in the decision-making that affects your studies.

• Get free, confidential, independent professional advice.