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Nix Herriot

Preferred Name: 


Degree and year of study?

I’m currently completing the second year of my PhD in History.

What inspired you to engage with the office and role(s) you currently hold?

From opposing the Vietnam War to defeating fee deregulation, from environmental campaigns to taking on corporate giants like BHP, students have a proud history of spearheading political resistance. At a time when apathy is encouraged, I am always inspired by the radical traditions of student activism. It reminds me of what student unions should be about: not cosying up to those in power, but organising collective action to champion progressive politics and fight for our rights.

What Clubs are you involved with at UofA?

I’m not someone who appears once a year to ask for your vote! I’m an activist with the Socialist Alternative club. During my time as a student, I’ve helped organise campaigns to kick weapons manufacturers off campus, for action on climate change and against the Vice-Chancellor’s education cuts.

What led you to join the club(s)?

I’m a socialist because I’m horrified by the injustices of capitalism and I believe in our ability to create a better society. At uni, I believe in involving as many students as possible in activist causes beyond just election week. We have a world to win!

Favourite holiday destination/activity?

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Scotland twice as part of my studies. One highlight during my undergraduate exchange was organising students to support the UK’s largest ever university strike. Staff were demanding an end to the gender and ethnicity pay gaps, an end to precarious employment and guaranteed pension security. We decided to occupy Edinburgh University’s fourteen-story David Hume Tower for two weeks to support our lecturers. More recently, this year I joined an anti-racist campaign which successfully drove an anti-migrant fascist group out of a local community near Glasgow. Both were moving experiences and great reminders of the power of solidarity wherever we may find ourselves.

Favourite place to study on campus?

On a nice day, you can find me reading in the shade of the Barr Smith Lawns. Otherwise, I’m usually in the bowels of the library or at my desk in Napier.

What do you hope to achieve in your office and role(s) in 2024?

University management continues to prioritise its bottom line over staff working conditions and students’ education. Governments cut funding, raise fees and keep welfare and stipends below the poverty line. For too long, both have made a killing from our precarity, casualisation and low pay.

I think this situation must change. Previously, I’ve helped led the campaign against the university’s fossil fuel investments, campaigned against cuts and mergers and opposing the privatisation of the University Health Practice. In 2024, want to continue these campaigns and more, to give a voice to postgrads across the university and particularly to oppose casualisation and corporatisation. I’ll put forward a positive vision of a university that works for students and staff, not just the Vice Chancellor’s bottom line.

What advice would you give to students starting out at the University of Adelaide?

Learning doesn’t just happen in overcrowded lecture theatres and tutorial rooms. Get involved in fighting for the kind of university (and society) you want to see!