The Guardian November 14, 2001

51-day occupation:
UWS agrees to mediation

The Aboriginal student occupation at Goolangullia was the longest in the 
history of Australia. It started on September the 18 and 51 days later the 
University of Western Sydney (UWS) management agreed to a mediation process 
with the students. Mick Dobson is the mediator who has spoken to all 
parties concerned about the rules and the process of mediation.

The occupation began because the UWS management tried to move the 
resources, staff and programs that operated out of the Aboriginal Education 
Unit known as Goolangullia at the Bankstown Campus to another site.

The students are passionate about the issues and believe that if mediation 
fails to find an adequate solution then they will have to find further 
means of political pressure to change the University's decision to close 
the Goolangullia Aboriginal Education Unit.

Nicole Alexander, Aboriginal Student representative, said, "the mediation 
session gives UWS the opportunity to listen to our side of the story.

After almost two months of being in occupation it has become apparent that 
the University does not understand our point of view. We are just fighting 
for quality courses and programs for our people and our children, and the 
UWS proposal for Aboriginal Education does not allow for this."

As The Guardian goes to press we are not able to report on the 
results of the mediation. We are hoping the students will get positive 
results and will inform our readers about the outcome in the coming issue.

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