SUPRA Council elections

Council is the representative body of students within SUPRA, and the governing body of the association. If you are interested in joining SUPRA Council, or making a nomination for someone else, or if you would like to learn more about how our elections are run, this page will help you out.

There are three ways to join Council:

  • through the General Election
  • through an Equity Election
  • by filling a casual vacancy.

The General Election and Equity Elections are often held simultaneously, while casual vacancies are filled throughout the year as they occur.

The General Election

The general election is the main election, to instate 27 General Councillors. Any postgraduate student of the University of Sydney is eligible for nomination, provided they are also a member of SUPRA.

SUPRA’s general elections run annually some time during April and May. Those who are elected begin their term on the first day of July and continue until the 31st of June the next year, or until they resign from Council.

Equity Officer Elections

There are six equity officer networks, representing women students, international students, queer students, students with a disability, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students and satellite campus students. Each of these networks may elect independently a member who is part of those equity groups to hold a position on the Council.

No single person may hold more than one Equity Office, or an Equity Office and a position as a General Councillor. Nominees may submit a nomination for both General Councillor and an Equity Office, but upon success of attaining an Equity Office that nominee will be removed from the list of nominees to General Council.

These elections are run independently of the main election by their networks, but SUPRA can facilitate these elections when necessary. For more information, contact your Equity Network or the Secretary of SUPRA.

Casual Vacancies

Casual vacancies are run differently to the general election. When one or more positions become available, SUPRA send an announcement out via eGrad and the website. Any Subscriber can send a nomination form to the Secretary of the association.

Candidates will be given an opportunity to speak to Council about their nomination, which will be for two minutes approximately. Council will direct general questions, designed to ask things of all candidates.

Candidates will then be asked to leave the room, and a secret ballot will be conducted. As No Candidate is an option, meaning that Councillors can vote to have all or some of the vacancies remain unfilled, there is no guarantee of filling a position by default.

Both successful and unsuccessful nominees will be invited to attend the remainder of the Council meeting.

Nomination forms for Casual Vacancies can be downloaded here.

Office Bearers

Council has a number of Office Bearing roles, who have duties to discharge regarding the governance, management and organisation of the association. All of the Office Bearing positions carry a stipend, but often rely on some volunteer time of the person holding the role.

No person may simultaneously hold more than one of the Offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer. However, these offices can be held simultaneously with an Equity Office or any other Office created by Council.

The Offices of President, Vice-President(s), Secretary and Treasurer are elected separate from the General election in a small event called Representatives-Elect. This occurs in the month of June, and is an internal election from the instated members of Council.

Nominating to General Council

To nominate, a member must have two other nominators who are also members of SUPRA. Membership is free, and any postgraduate student from the moment they have enrolled to the moment they graduate are able to become SUPRA members.

Nominations are sent to our Independent Returning Officer, who presides over the elections to ensure that they are fair and open. This person is not an employee or representative of SUPRA, and their details can be found at the bottom of the election page, where you will also find further information and the nomination form.

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