Farrago news

Chocolat Revolution: Hopes, Dreams and the People

“Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.”

Aussie Psych Rock Trailblazers GUM & Ambrose Kenny-Smith Come Together on ILL TIMES

“Involve your friends in your art” is a striking statement I recently stumbled across—working with like-minded people is a reliable way to produce a labour of love and revel in fun. That’s exactly what Australian psychedelic rock pioneers Jay Watson (Pond and Tame Impala’s touring band) and Ambrose Kenny-Smith (King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and The Murlocs) got up to when concocting their collaborative album, Ill Times.

MWF's First Knowledges: Innovation: The Panel I Was So Divided On I Split Into Two People

Trigger warning: This piece contains continuous swearing, discussions of colonialism, racism and academic gatekeeping, and mentions the transatlantic slave trade.

ESSENDON AIRPORT Chronicles Their Early Voyage

Coming off their latest performance at Collingwood’s lovely Hope St Radio (which we wrote about for the magazine), David Chesworth and Robert Goodge, founding members of the legendary Melbourne band Essendon Airport, are in good spirits.

SAUDI FILM NIGHT: ALHAMOUR H.A. - A Little Vapid, but by What Standard?

"What do you think of ‘The Line?’”, my friend, Ben, asks of the Saudi person sitting next to us. An oud sings out melancholically on stage. I catch eyes with the oud player. I'm excited.  

He says he doesn't know much about “The Line", so they go on to banter about sport, and how we call soccer “soccer”, and they call soccer “football”.

26 by MANNIK SINGH: A Reminiscent Exploration of the Self from Adolescence to Twenty-Six

Streaks of child-like wonder, bashful adolescence, angst, relationships, and the crushing realisations of adulthood, 26 by Mannik Singh is a personal project at heart.

A Wholesome Night with Good Morning

There’s something uncomfortable about going to a concert by yourself. It’s the same feeling as going to a restaurant, the beach, or the cinema alone. All these locations carry with them the anxiety (or maybe it’s a desire) that you must be sharing them with someone else.

A Sunday at the Symphony

Photograph credit: Melbourne Chamber Orchestra

underscores Brings Her Electrifying World to the Corner Hotel

It was a real joy to discover underscores, aka April Harper Grey, was finally set to headline our continent. The San Francisco artist’s 2021 debut album fishmonger made waves in the hyperpop scene, and 2023’s Wallsocket did that more so by bending indie rock, dubstep, Midwest emo, pop punk and all the sort. We got the chance to see her fervent artistry in person, witnessing her interweaving of maximalist rocky-electro soundscapes with pensive lyrics and worldbuilding to lose yourself in.

RISING'S 'ONE SONG' - A Musical Test of Endurance

Photographer credit: Tamarah Scott


Photographer credit: Bakri Mahmoud

ABC CLASSIC 100 in Concert 2024 – Counting Down the Hits

Photographer credit: Laura Manariti

MACBUREAU: Honestly the Most Fun I've Had Watching Shakespeare in Years

Ever wanted Macbeth to have more lesbians? What am I saying? Everyone wants more lesbians, and Melbourne University Shakespeare Company’s (MUSC) Macbureau gave Macbeth the lesbians it sorely missed, with (not-at-all pointed) critiques of university systems to boot.

GOODBYE JULIA: It isn’t just the personal that is political

‘Goodbye Julia’ (Mohamed Kordofani) opens with protagonist ‘Mona’ cooking in her large and kept kitchen, making breakfast for both her and her husband. Mona lives in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. This scene begins quite lonely as Mona cuts an onion, with her husband ‘Akram’ only entering the room when Mona calls him in. Despite his presence, there is still a lingering absence in the air.


Arriving amidst a brief hiatus from her 154-show global phenomenon The Eras Tour, Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ annihilated streaming records within a day of release. A whopping thirty-one tracks and two hours in length (including its surprise second half, The Anthology), Tortured Poets lives up to its title in a devastating and at times astonishing fashion.

METAL SKIN: Worthy of Fiendish Worship?

Trigger Warnings: Mentions of disability & abuse of disabled people

Well-baked Fruitcake at the Butterfly Club

Fruitcake is a sweetly satisfying original play by playwright/director Jaimee Doyle that was shown as a part of the Butterfly Club’s one act play festival in March. If you made your way down an unassuming alleyway in the CBD, much like the city’s hundreds of alleyways, to the Butterfly Club’s humble entrance from the 6th to the 9th of March, you would have been treated to an immersive story about burgeoning young love and the challenges of expeditious intimacy.

Men vs Books: A Melbourne Writers Festival Review

Ghost Cities and Ghost Futures: A Conversation with Siang Lu and Laura Jean McKay

Everything Everything and The Vaccines bring English indie rock to Melbourne

I’ve probably been listening to indie rock band The Vaccines casually for almost a decade. I’m not sure how I was first introduced, meaning it was probably through the hallowed halls of Tumblr, around 2014 to 2018. On the other hand, I confess that I didn’t know of Everything Everything until earlier this year.

Inside Mahmoud’s Hall: Pro-Palestine Students Continue Sit-In

On Wednesday 15 May, an autonomous group of protesters involved with the Gaza Solidarity Encampment on South Lawn initiated a sit-in in Arts West following a rally that culminated in them renaming the building “Mahmoud’s Hall”.

“My Body Is My Home”: A Review of Neptune Henriksen’s BEING A WOMAN FOR MONEY

When I walked into The Butterfly Club at 10pm on a rainy, mid-April Wednesday, I didn’t expect to walk out both having seen an entirely naked body and experiencing a euphoric sense of utter self-acceptance.

Emily Henry: A FUNNY STORY That Lacks Punch

Content Warning: Mentions of emotionally abusive and absent parents. Minor plot spoilers.

DEAD END COLLECTIVE’s Zany New Show Speaks Far More Than Meaning into the Flesh of UNIMELB’s Theatre

Trigger/spoiler warnings: mentions of character death and intense imagery

Tourist Delivers Incessant Elation on the Lustrous MEMORY MORNING

The wonder of transporting to somewhere serene is ingrained into Tourist’s output. Dom Lepore does a deep dive into Memory Morning, Tourist's new album.

OPINION: Join the School Strike for Palestine on April 18

Crouched on the squeaky black tiles, the young faces of students screamed the same chants, united, crying for a free Palestine. This year, Students for Palestine organised national demonstrations on the 29th of February and on the 14th of March.

University of Melbourne staff to vote on proposed enterprise agreement tomorrow

University of Melbourne staff are set to vote on a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) after negotiations between the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Branch Committee and University management reached a breakthrough.

The Origin of Evil (2022): Evil takes on a new form in this moody thriller

The Origin of Evil, directed by Sébastian Marnier is an intriguing little movie. I knew, essentially, nothing about this film but I read the synopsis and it seemed like an interesting rendition of an Agatha Christie-esque whodunnit. We follow Stéphane, a woman who reunites with her estranged family. She goes to stay with them in their manor on a small French island where everybody knows everybody. But, as she reconnects with them, she discovers that not everything is as perfect as it seems.

Reawakening Tragedy For Healing: A Review of SURAT-SURATNYA and MAY 1998

Two plays. Two monologues. Two real stories. One truth; corrupt governments can no longer hide their sins, and memory and healing can only be done when we face the luka (luka=wound).

“Starry Nights, City Lights.” - A Comprehensive Review of Melbourne’s Lighting of The Tree

Recently, the Provocative Inklings (an emerging writing group aimed at writing pieces that spark thinking and a little bit of mischief!) visited Melbourne's Christmas Tree Lighting of Melbourne. But we all had a different take on what really went down... read on for our honest review of Christmas Square!

Angie McMahon Grows Into Herself on Latest Australian Tour

With McMahon’s new album coming up, seeing where she goes from here will be exciting. If her quiet smoothness at Northcote was anything to go by, she’ll certainly keep growing and realise her potential as a talented artist.

Mount Eerie Sings About Love, Death and Empty Paper Towel Rolls at Melbourne's Max Watt's

Thirty minutes later, Phil takes the stage. It’s just him, an electric guitar in his hands with a cord running back to his amp. This is how it will be the entire show.

FARMING IS (not) FOREVER: An Earthy Sketch-Lecture Composite

Farming is Forever bridges sketch comedy and persuasive oration to deliver an impactful message about the environmental catastrophe wrought by the agricultural industrialisation in which we are all complicit, from Gina Rinehart’s billions to your weekly shopping list.

Which BookTok Romance Novels are ACTUALLY Worth It?

Romance novel connoisseur Hayley sorts the trash from the treasure.

PINK SLIME is beyond words

As I’m trying to write up my review for Uruguayan author Fernanda Trías’ novel Pink Slime (2023), I am drawing a blank and the only words I can think of dissatisfy me: depressing, dystopian, harrowing, tragic, and heartbreaking. They are too common, too cliche to describe a book that is neither.

"Get Back on the Treadmill!": Actual Success and Theatrical Failure in Pony Cam’s BURNOUT PARADISE

Coming off their ‘Best in Theatre’ Fringe win last year for Grant Theft Theatre, Pony Cam’s new show Burnout Paradise amusingly harnesses their success to explore the precarity of expectation, and the porousness of actual and theatrical failure.

Marriage as Consumption in Unspooled Theatre Collective’s ANTE/MEDEA

Unspooled Theatre Collective’s ante/medea, produced by Arky Ryall and running from Oct 10 to Oct 14 as part of Melbourne Fringe 2023, delves into Medea’s psyche.

OPINION — VOICE TO PARLIAMENT: Vote ‘Yes’ to Fight Against the ‘Racist No’ Campaign

The right have used the Voice to Parliament referendum to promote disgusting anti-Aboriginal racism over Labor’s proposal to establish a symbolic advisory body.

'Irago - 이라고 - Said So': A Multifaceted Journey of Healing and Belonging

In a world constantly in flux, where our individual paths to healing seem as intricate and varied as the human experience itself, "Irago - 이라고 - Said So" emerges as a compelling exploration of closure, transformation, and community.

OPINION: An open letter to Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell and Dean of Arts Russell Goulbourne

Dear Prof. Duncan Maskell and Prof. Russell Goulbourne,

We are writing to you in your capacity as Vice Chancellor and Head of School to try and resolve a grievance issue in the Faculty of Arts and the University itself. We are hoping that by raising this complaint with you informally, you will be in a position to consider the best outcomes in a timely way. This is consistent with s 5.4 of the University of Melbourne Student Complaints and Grievances Policy (MPF1066).

“They keep having to reapply for their own job, again and again”: Why your tutors are on strike

“I’ve always loved the ideal of the university as a place of learning, as a place of new possibilities...”

Scott, a doctoral student and casual tutor in the School of Social and Political Sciences, describes witnessing the disintegration of this ideal with “growing horror”.

Despite initial misgivings in the lead-up to the Week 6 strike, his concerns over the persistence and precarity of academic work compelled him to take part.

Jimmy Rees' NOT THAT KINDA VIRAL is a rollercoaster of laughs

Beloved Australian entertainer Jimmy Rees, renowned for his fame on Giggle and Hoot, kicked off his Melbourne show with a blend of nostalgia, wit and infectious laughter.

A FLEETING GLIMPSE at Mudfest 2023 is a triumph for student theatre

I had the opportunity to witness A Fleeting Glimpse, a captivating student theatre production that delved into the intricacies of human relationships and the pursuit of personal ambitions.

OPINION: "You can Stop 1, but you can’t stop us all": Why your Student Services staff are on strike

You might hear that by going on strike this week, staff are causing harm to students in delaying important processes related to their education. But those of us who work in Student Services know that it’s University management who are responsible for the crisis we find ourselves in.

University of Melbourne staff to strike for all of Week 10

University of Melbourne staff in the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) have called a campus-wide strike next week to force further concessions in bargaining negotiations with the University.

The branch-wide strike will start with a stop-work rally at midday on Monday 2 October and run until midnight on Sunday 8 October. During this time, NTEU members will not be running classes or doing any other work, including communicating with students or planning lessons.

A sit-down chat with Richard Ha, UMSU International's new President

With the UMSU International elections complete, Farrago writer and subeditor Rico Sulamet sat down with the organisation's newly elected President Richard Ha to ask some questions about his plans for the year ahead.

A richer student experience, but for who? The discriminatory effects of abandoning dual delivery.

With the days of strict lockdowns and cautious safety measures seemingly behind us, the University of Melbourne has implemented a return to full on-campus learning for all undergraduate and most postgraduate courses.

For many students, however, this is still not possible; they have spoken out about the difficulties of returning to campus, and their need for online teaching options.

The American private equity giant buying up our local pubs

Have you noticed that something hasn’t quite been the same about your favourite pubs since the pandemic? Perhaps the pints are costlier, the menu has changed, the staff’s smiles appear forced and there’s a certain soulless swankiness pervading the room? Chances are that the pub has been quietly snapped up by new owners.

Normalisation of Unpaid Trials: How Melbourne’s Casual Job Market Exploits International Students

Shivani, 21, moved from India six months ago. In April, she was called in for her first casual job at a kebab joint on Flinders Street.

The marketing graduate was asked by the owner to do 12 hours of unpaid trial shifts before being potentially hired at $18 per hour—$3.38 below the minimum wage then.

Daniel Andrews Resigns as Victorian Premier

Daniel Andrews will step down as Victorian premier effective tomorrow afternoon, resigning from parliament after nearly a decade in power.

In a surprise press conference on Tuesday, flanked by his ministerial colleagues, Andrews said that his decision to leave parliament had crystallised only recently, explaining that the demanding nature of his job had taken a toll on his wellbeing.

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: 2023 UMSU Elections, Explained

Preliminary results for the 2023 UMSU Elections are in, and we now have a good idea of what the union will look like for the next twelve months. Spoiler alert: not much has changed.

2023 UMSU Election Results Live

Check back throughout the night for the results of this year's UMSU elections!

2023 UMSU General Election Guide

Your guide to the 2023 UMSU General Election is here! Read all about the candidates and their vision for your student union in 2024. Check your student email for your voting link, and don't forget to cast your vote during election week, 4-8 September 2023.

On Dreading Netflix's Upcoming Depp v. Heard Documentary

A few weeks ago, Netflix announced its new documentary, Depp vs. Heard, set to premiere later this month. The promises made were lofty: to re-examine the trial, to analyze the mass hysteria it provoked online, and more philosophically, to “question the nature of truth and the role it plays in our modern society”, whatever the fuck that means. Upon seeing the trailer, which I could barely get through, all I could think was: Oh God, not again.

Equitable Contraceptive Responsibility: Pioneering Gender-Neutral Contraceptive Solutions

If it takes two to tango, why does only one have to suffer? There should be more safe and effective methods available for men so that we can all equitably share the contraceptive responsibility.

Budgeting Bootcamp: A Student’s Guide to Mindful Spending

What justifies inadequate dedication of thought to important commitments? Must you stand atop a mountain of communicable wealth? Or perhaps, on the flip side, be a naked soul—a literal naked being without offerings that might interest the common human?

Bimbofying the Inner West: VIGILANTONIE at Mamma Chen’s 11/08

Vigilantonie probably isn’t going to get us out of the cost-of-living crisis, but at least she gives you something fun to listen to while you’re waiting for your Centrelink to come through.

FRANCES HA 10 years later: perhaps there is much more to adulthood.

As the Barbie (2023) wave swept over Australia, ACMI’s tribute to its director Greta Gerwig’s remarkable career from her early mumblecore indie days feels almost nostalgic while offering a refreshing perspective.

Beauty Myth-Busting in MONUMENT at Red Stitch

Developed through the INK playwright program and now in its world premiere season at Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre in St Kilda, Monument documents the strictly 90-minute appointment between PM Edith (Sarah Sutherland) and make-up artist Rosie (Julia Hanna) in real-time as they prepare for Edith’s acceptance speech, her first public appearance as leader of the country.

GUYS AND DOLLS by Antipodes Theatre: a revival of the classic musical with a modern tweak

Broadway’s classic musical Guys and Dolls (1950) gets a delightful and immaculate revival in this production by the Antipodes Theatre Company.

“We’ve botched this campaign”—NUS calls for a student led 'Yes' campaign in Voice referendum

The National Union of Students (NUS) is calling for a more grassroots approach to the ‘Yes’ campaign for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament after a heated debate at June's Education Conference (EdCon) forced Labor students to concede that the party “[has] botched this campaign.”

Sony's GRAN TURISMO Movie Fails to Make it Across the Finish Line

With David Harbour, Orlando Bloom and Archie Madekwe taking on the roles of Jack Salter, Danny Moore and Jann Mardenborough respectively, the movie, on paper, looks pretty good. However, much to my disappointment, it did not deliver a satisfying story with nail-biting racing sequences that the countless trailers and promotional materials had promised. Instead, the movie was filled with choppy editing, horrible pacing and questionable dialogue.

COPENHAGEN DOES NOT EXIST Another Tired Tale of Male Gaze Surveillance

While no doubt dripping in intrigue, Copenhagen Does Not Exist (2023) attempts to spin a retelling of the story of a missing mysterious girl, but results in a finished product that is best described as an unintentional fulfilment of Mulvey’s theory.

The Coquette: Reclamation or Self-Fetishisation?

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

MTC Musical BLOOM Shines a Light on the Struggles and Triumphs of Aged Care

From its poignant premise and exceptional portrayal of characters by a talented ensemble to its evocative lighting design, Bloom has captured hearts and minds and, hopefully, sparked conversations about the challenges faced by seniors in our society.

Union House to become new Science Building; six buildings to be demolished in new Estate Master Plan

Union House is set to become a new Science Building and several Faculty of Arts and FMDHS buildings will be redeveloped amongst sweeping changes announced in the University of Melbourne's Estate Master Plan.

LADY BIRD at ACMI: There's Just Something About Greta Gerwig

Gerwig’s solo directorial debut Lady Bird has become more or less a staple for contemporary indie cinema. It's a comedy-drama with all the classic coming-of-age tropes–jealousy and conformity, awkward sexual firsts and existential dread–that Gerwig makes so distinctively hers.

Notice of Election: UMSU Annual General Election, 4th–8th September 2023

Notice is hereby given of the 2023 University of Melbourne Student Union annual student election. This is your chance to help shape the future of the Student Union!

THE COLLECTED REGRETS OF CLOVER: : A heartwarming read perfect for cooler weather

The Collected Regrets of Clover follows Clover Brooks, a death doula, as she lives in her late grandfather’s apartment in the bustling city of New York—the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. She’s been dealt a brutal set of cards: her parents passed away when she was just six and her grandfather, who had taken on the role of her parents, passed away when she was older. Death, as is expected, has permeated every aspect of her life.

Unveiling the Layers of Batman's Hill and Melbourne's Urban History

While doing the Melbourne Urban History subject this February, one site, Batman’s Hill, caught my attention. It is a site that has floated in and out of Melbourne’s urban consciousness since colonisation. The various activities, narratives and interpretations associated with Batman's Hill shed light on its historical use, its role in the commemoration of John Batman and its appropriation by urban planners in the Docklands precinct.

NUS joins EROC, Fair Agenda to call for national taskforce to prevent sexual assault on campus

The National Union of Students (NUS) has joined with sexual harm advocacy groups End Rape on Campus (EROC) and Fair Agenda to call for an independent taskforce to address universities’ failures to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) on campus.

Chey Jordan Talks Gigs, Growth and His New Single 'narcissist'

Radio Fodder's Olivia Ryan catches up with indie artist Chey Jordan in support of their first Melbourne gig & new single 'narcissist'.

A Compelling New Production of Michael Gow’s AWAY at Theatre Works

Away at Theatre Works is both moving and, at times, muddled. The play’s fractured final sequence moves rapidly from holiday destination to Meg’s classroom for the new school year, forfeiting some narrative conclusions. However, Stephen Tall’s powerful operatic voice and a striking tableau provide a strong culmination, vindicating this poignant production.

Live, Love, Laufey: A Fun Night of Jazz Serenade

With tickets selling out minutes after going on sale, it’s safe to say there were more than a few excited guests for singer/songwriter Laufey’s (pronounced ‘lay-vay’) debut tour of Australia. Having her first single reach #1 on Icelandic Radio at only 21 years of age, this budding ‘jazz pop’ artist recently held two concerts in Melbourne, and I was among 75 or so lucky ticket holders.

HEAR MY EYES take GOOD TIME to another level at RISING

The Safdie Brothers’ bank heist-gone-wrong film Good Time, the latest edition to the HEAR MY EYES performance series and part of Melbourne’s RISING Festival, is transformed into an all-encompassing experience of the senses with a new soundtrack performed live by Big Yawn and Teether.

"I am merely a disciple of her gospel": Weyes Blood at RISING

“Last time I was here, it was March 2020” says Weyes Blood (Natalie Laura Melling) to the crowd that Thursday night. A chuckle from the audience follows this–in recognition, mostly–as she shared how she would wash her hands and face multiple times a day to avoid getting sick. She responds with deadpan delivery, “I guess you could say a lot has changed”. Her 2019 song from her album Titanic Rising, ‘A Lot’s Gonna Change’ starts playing, with a cheer from the audience.

DAYDREAM: The Future of Australian Indie Music?

Australia isn’t exactly an indie rock capital. For us, indie rock evokes one of two images: skinny dudes with long hair trying for some spacey Tame Impala-esque psychedelia or private school kids in wife-beaters playing up their Australian accents for pub-rock anthems. Daydream is here to offer an alternative vision of what Australian indie can be.

Great Songs, Alright Execution: Winnie Lane Launch OZONE at the Bergy Bandroom

Melbourne-bred indie rock band Winnie Lane make headlines in the Bergy Bandroom! This indie band sought to redefine themselves after a change in band members  and allowed audiences on the night of the 8th of June to experience a never-heard EP for the first time.

Farrago’s Must-Watch Anime of the Summer: A Season of 2nd Seasons

As the northern hemisphere starts getting hotter, a new season of anime is about to be released. Welcome to Farrago’s Must-watch Anime of the 2023 Summer Season! This is a list of some of the upcoming anime coming this season, which ones you should watch or which ones to avoid. These are just my opinions and they definitely hold the absolute truth.

Writing Back to Music: Interview with Eddie Ink on new ‘Daydream’ album and celebration of sobriety.

Harrison interviews Eddie Ink on his latest classic blues album 'Daydream at Nightime', a celebration of his sobriety and the organisations "which caters for people on the edges of society".

EUPHORIA is Entertaining, But Fails to Reach a High

Ultimately though, it can’t be denied that Euphoria is a beautifully crafted work. Sure, it’s probably not going to start a revolution anytime soon but I still enjoyed being drawn into the meandering conversations of its characters and listening to its musical offerings. Its attempts to undermine capitalist ideology is certainly admirable but in the end, I just cannot shake the feeling that it can’t put its money where its mouth is.

SATYAGRAHA: An Emotional Truth Lacking the Right Force

Satyagraha (“The Truth Force”) was held as a one-night exclusive opera performance at Hamer Hall on Saturday 13 May. Curated by influential composer Phillip Glass and supported by a star-studded cast, including Indian-born tenor Shanul Sharma as Gandhi, high expectations were set for this opera from the very first brochure advert. For my first opera experience, I went in blind, with limited expectations.

The Writers Strike: What is it and What it Means for You

On the 1st of May 2023, which also happens to be international labour holiday May Day, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced a strike.

“We have not reached an agreement with the studios and streamers. We will be on strike after the contract expires at midnight,” the WGA announced.

Hearth Theatre and the Lasting Relevance of DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Hearth Theatre does an incredible job in retelling one of the most important plays of the 20th century–a play where, given the cost of living and inflation affecting us all in the modern day, the notion that we are “worth more dead than alive” has never been more unsettlingly fitting.

Not Easy Being Teens: Moth Soars at Theatreworks

Two-hander productions demand a lot from their performers. They’ve got to be able to play a variety of characters, keep the audience’s attention, give 100% without a single break. After seeing the show however, I can think of no two actors more up to this task than Noviello and Ansell, who demonstrate a skilful balance of pathos and comedy in their respective roles.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is Overwhelmingly and Absurdly Fun

The game is, above all, fun to play. Because the world is so open, every player is going to have a different experience with the game, so you might as well have fun with whatever the game throws your way. Why worry about playing “correctly” when you can lose yourself in the ridiculousness of the world of Zelda?

"Did you know that Liam Neeson pees his pants a lot?": DAN CROWLEY at MICF

Dan Crowley’s debut show Fantastic. Great Move. Well Done, Dan (FGMWDD) at the 2023 Melbourne Comedy Festival skirted the lines of farce and satire, refusing to easily reconcile itself.

Seven suspended, but no action on clubs or colleges: UniMelb 2022 Sexual Misconduct Report released

The University of Melbourne has released their 2022 Sexual Misconduct Report, revealing that four staff members have been removed from the University after being found to have committed serious misconduct, but the report remains absent of any actions to combat sexual assault in clubs and residential colleges.

Three months on from the Türkiye-Syria earthquakes, communities are still reeling.

On February 6, a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southeast Türkiye and northwest Syria, resulting in over 50,000 deaths, 130,000 injured, and millions displaced in a sub-zero winter. A fortnight later, a third 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck, resulting in an additional 308 casualties. Three months later, the situation remains dire.

Black metal shoegazers Deafheaven playing Melbourne’s Max Watt’s in May

Blackgaze heavyweights Deafheaven are returning to Australia for the first time in over four years for a national tour of our major cities, including two Melbourne headliners at Max Watt’s on May 31 and June 1.

“It has felt deliberately slow”: UniMelb staff strike for secure work, fair pay as bargaining stalls

Hundreds of staff from the University of Melbourne walked off the job for a half-day strike last Wednesday, calling for better pay and job security amid protracted negotiations over a new employment contract.

A Fantasy Romance, Minus The Romance: THE ISLES OF THE GODS Review

When I first picked up this book, it’s safe to say that the blurb had me expecting a YA romance like never before, set in a fantasy world filled with action scenes and displays of magic that would awe. What I ended up getting, however, was a lukewarm romance (at best) and action scenes that, while fast-paced and intriguing at times, were watered down by bad pacing and a lack of build up.

Lara Ricote’s ‘GRL/LATNX/DEF’ is Wild, Shocking and an Absolute Must

Lara Ricote’s latest show, ‘GRL/LATNX/DEF’, is an absolute comedic marvel. Describing her show as one for people who can relate to being hard of hearing (“in the ears mostly”), Latinx or just anyone “who is or knows a girl,” Lara manages to masterfully cover all bases, delivering a show that is somehow incredibly niche but capable of making a diverse audience laugh uncontrollably as she sings about ovarian cysts, kidney theft and “stupid” younger siblings.

One Little Thing Can Go Wrong… Sally McKenzie’s WAY Shows You How

WAY, written and performed by Sally McKenzie, is a thought-provoking piece in its use of live performance, video, and audio elements. I wasn’t expecting the screen to compliment the performance so well.

“Online Self-Paid Internships”: a Springboard Or a Trap?

Once again, it’s time for Heng Xu, a Chinese international student studying at the Australian National University, to remind her internship supervisor to send her feedback about the work she submitted three days ago.

NTEU Staff Strike – Show Your Support!

At 11am tomorrow, Wednesday 3rd May, hundreds of University of Melbourne staff will be walking off the job to demand job security and a pay rise to keep up with the rising cost of living. UMSU supports this action and encourages students to join in the strike by not going to class. Students should instead attend the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) rally.

OPINION: High Rents, Low Wages: Fight against the cost of living crisis!

Workers and students are facing a colossal cost of living crisis. While the official rate of inflation is 7%, the rising costs of essential items are much higher. Staple foods like cereals are up by 12%, and dairy is up a staggering 15%. The housing crisis makes this much worse; a whopping 331,000 households are in rental stress, and unit rents in capital cities have skyrocketed by 22% in just the past year.

Mainstream Pop: The Gatekeeping of Sexual Desire

A Case Study on Sam Smith’s ‘I’m Not Here to Make Friends’

Chinese international students continue online studies despite government ban

Recently returned Chinese international students are choosing to continue their studies online, over concerns about their level of in-person English proficiency. This is despite the Chinese Government's announcement in January it would no longer recognise foreign qualifications completed virtually.

Ben Stevenson's RATBAG: A MICF Meditation on Losing Those Who Shaped You

Ratbag is a show about Stevenson’s late mother, who seems to be what I can only describe as a wonderful and complex woman, and that is a testament to Stevenson’s performance and comedy. Stevenson uses the formula of dropping a shocking revelation a quarter into his show in an attempt to add gravity to the jokes made earlier and to provide depth to the rest of the show. Few can do this well, but Stevenson made this his own in what can only be a bravo.

Late penalties banned as UniMelb NTEU begins industrial action

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has today taken the first steps in a campaign of protected industrial action against the University of Melbourne, initiating a ban on members applying late submission penalties to their students’ work.

Hannah Camilleri’s Assorted Sweet Treats: LOLLY BAG a sketch stand-out (not stand-up) at MICF

Though she darts occasionally into the wings to retrieve a wig or dressing gown, Camilleri fearlessly transitions between characters in plain view of the audience with the quick addition or subtraction of a jumper, a moustache, a hat, etc. This regression to elementary stagecraft will remind you of the dress-up box at home, but it’s all the material needed by a comic who has mastered solo stage performance.

Geelong Gallery Host the Work of Australian Art Great Clarice Beckett in New Exhibition ATMOSPHERE

Although Atmosphere is Clarice Beckett’s first major public exhibition held in the Geelong Gallery, her name is synonymous with the understanding of modernism in Australian art. I didn’t know any of this going into the exhibition but I came out a lot more knowledgeable about this history.

MFF PayPal Pay in 4 Closing Runway: An Inclusive Runway, But Not Really

To put it simply, the show was well-done in both curation and execution, but this one oversight has definitely soured the show for many (myself included).

Burton Brothers thrill with a taste of Vegas

Delight and incredulity may well describe the show as a whole. Vegas Residency is costumed as a show about two brothers at Vegas; at its heart shines all the fun and creativity of local theatre, delivering borderline absurdist moments and a whole lot of joy.

Silly Sketch Comedy is Alive in Brendan Wan’s Yummy Yummy Cha Cha

The advertising copy promises that “if you're looking for political satire, cathartic comedy about the Chinese-Australian experience or observations on modern life – this is not the show.” And it isn’t! Wan, who has previously appeared across broadcast radio and television, delivered an hour of sketch-PowerPoint-musical comedy where he slipped between personas with ease.

Notice of By-Election

Notice is hereby given that nominations will open at 12 noon on Monday April 3, for the following positions:

Indigenous Representative on Student Council
Southbank Campus Representative on Student Council
Members of Indigenous Committee (5 positions)
Southbank Campus Committee (3 positions)
Burnley Campus Committee (3 positions

Aiden Willcox and Isaac Haigh Deliver Hysterical Jazz Tunes and Mummy Issues in Latest MICF Show

'Songs from the Heart in the Hole of my Bottom' is painfully funny, so funny that moments of awkwardness in which you are usually the only one left laughing are eradicated, because the whole audience is similarly struggling to break free from the frenzy.

Pageant Legends The Beryls Dazzle in Latest MICF Show 'Cattle Call'

It may be a “silly little show”, but it has the audience effortlessly under its spell from the outset; a spell that doesn’t break at any point throughout their hour-long set, even as we’re standing together singing a ballad from the perspective of “decrepit old nuns.”

Gabbi Bolt Delights with Bright, Oddball Comedy 'Odd Sock' at MICF

But taking my seat and watching as a brightly coloured Gabbi Bolt stumbled through the curtains before taking a seat behind her electric piano and declaring herself “fucking unhinged,” I knew I was in for a fun 60 minutes.

Urban Oasis: The MFF's Celebration of Multiculturalism

The Urban Oasis runway was a standout during the fourth day of the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival (MFF). Being the spotlight show of the night, it assembled a remarkable cast of leading and emerging First Nations designers. From newly established brands to fashion mainstays, everything was truly a celebration of distinctive Australian talent.

Mystery in a Blimp and Elsewhere: Mysterious and Marvellous Meta-Theatre

“Where the fuck am I?” is the first mystery of Mystery in a Blimp and the first words Hershall (Gabriel Partington) utters when he awakes in the Bluestone Church Arts Space. The answer is simple this time, but don’t settle down–you will be asking yourself “Where the fuck am I?” many times in the 80 minutes to come.

OPINION: Melbourne Student Forum must amplify student voices, not undermine them.
A purple graphic with hands holding thought and speech bubbles. The words "UMSU ASSEMBLIES" and "BY

The University of Melbourne has announced the establishment of a new Melbourne Student Forum (MSF), which is intended to be a focus group that will listen to student voices. However, the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) has expressed concern about the MSF and its potential impact on student representation and democracy at the University.

Western Australia set to review public university structure
A photo of the University of Western Australia's Student Hub building. It has a glass base and latti

The Western Australian state government will conduct an independent review into the state’s universities to “consider how structural change could strengthen the local university sector and delivery for students,” reopening debates around a potential merger of the state’s universities.

“Women’s rights are human rights”: Iranian women fight on for International Women’s Day campus rally
Two women stand in the centre of the image holding signs that say "WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS"

Protesters gathered at South Lawn in support of Iranian women on International Women’s Day on Wednesday March 8, as part of a larger global “Campus Rally for Iran.”

"Politically motivated intimidation": Bail conditions removed after midnight raid on UNSW activist
Cherish Kuehlmann stands in the middle of a street as a female police officer arrests her. A police

UNSW Education Officer Cherish Kuehlmann has accused NSW Police of using “politically motivated intimidation” tactics after her restrictive bail conditions on a charge of aggravated trespass were overturned by the court.

Separating the 'Tár' from the Tár-tist… and vice versa

Wildly successful orchestra conductor Lydia Tár (played by Cate Blanchett)’s life falls apart when a woman she presumably had a romantic relationship with—then blacklisted from the industry—commits suicide, and abuse of power accusations cascade. Tár (2023), directed by Todd Field, is a character study that morphs into a psychological thriller, exploring what happens to a woman defined by her art form when the industry turns its back on her.

Notes on a Scandal: Conversations and Reflections on Gary Newman’s 'The State of the Union'

'The State of the Union' is a fascinating dive into the insular world of student politics by covering the 2003 student election at the University of Melbourne, one of Australia's most prestigious universities. Twenty years on from when the documentary was released, it remains a testament to what happens when politics gets ugly. If one was to compare it to the contemporary world of student politics, one can't help but wonder how much has changed.

Sex, Scarecrows and Stardom: Mia Goth Proves She Really Is “a Star” in Ti West’s Latest Film, Pearl

The film therefore serves as the remedy for Pearl’s unfulfilled aspirations, a manifestation of the powerful stage presence she never got the opportunity to showcase, shedding light on a slasher villain who will go on to define the genre through a performance that will likely, in turn, define Goth’s career.

All Style & No Substance: MFF'S Power Runway Missing that Spark

International Women’s Day is a recognition of the power possessed by all women, not just those that wear sparkly dresses.

OPINION: The climate is getting worse. Join the climate strike on March 17!
A pink banner with the words 'National Climate Strike, UniMelb Contingent, 12:30PM March 17 South La

Join the Melbourne Uni contingent to the national climate strike - 12:30pm Friday March 17 @ South Lawn, Parkville campus.

Living (2022) is lovingly sentimental–if familiar

Living is lovingly sentimental–in its performances, as well as the themes and messaging that existed in Ikiru. It would have been a feat not to do a remake well. But Living is unfortunately too safe and doesn't dare to push far enough beyond its distinctive Britishness to stand alone. It is too neat and smooth to delve into the messy reality of human existence tackled by the original. It is simply the British Ikiru and, as lovely as that is, it is all it ever can be.

Oscars 2023 Deep Dive: Predictions & Picks for the 95th Annual Academy Awards

The 2023 Oscars will hit our screens at 1pm (AEST) on Monday the 13th of March! In this deep dive, I’ll take you through the context and characters populating each category, who missed out, who’s predicted to win, who I think should win, and some outside films and performances that weren’t nominated but probably should have been (if the Academy were a little more adventurous).

I’ve stopped drinking at 20, and it upsets everyone around me

There’s no doubt that alcohol is at the centre of our social lives, especially for young people. Catching up with someone involves “going out for a drink”, the end of the week calls for “Friday drink trolley”, and most celebrations include champagne or big nights out. So when I stopped drinking 6 months ago, I was prepared for a change in the way I engaged in social environments. What I wasn’t prepared for was a change in the way everyone around me behaved.

Night Ride (2020): Oscar Nominee for Best Short Sends a Good but Patronising Message

In places where strangers congregate, like on a tram, it’s easy to dismiss others as stand-ins, mere figures who happen to be standing around us. But what do we do when these strangers need a connection? What happens when bystanders just stand by when someone is in need?

Night Ride, directed by Eirik Tveiten, poses this question to the audience.

My Year of Dicks (2022): A Rare Moment of Sincerity

My Year of Dicks is unabashed in its use of cliche that it creates something wholly original, a film brimming with sincere love for its form. It is a rare diamond in a trough of pessimism that you cannot help but hold dearly in your heart.

In Missing (2023), the Camera Sees Everything

Missing (2023), the standalone sequel to Searching (2018), takes the current society's roadblocks for thrillers (connectivity, technology, high-tech security) and uses them as the main plot device to hammer home the lack of privacy in our world: FaceTime screens idle on the laptop, smart watches, Ring doorbells and CCTV cameras to live feeds of popular tourist spots.

Melbourne's Jim Alxndr on new EP ‘Feels Worth Living For’ & life's nuances told through music

Radio Fodder speaks to Melburnian indie artist Jim Alxndr in support of his latest record 'Feels Worth Living For', his creative process and how it's a "reminder that life is cooked and amazing and just so rich”.

The modern-day classroom: A recipe for solitude

Traveling a million miles to study in another country alone is hard. What’s harder is adapting to a dying classroom culture when easy, effortless, and abundant friendships are the only thing you need to get through it.

Review: The Mousetrap, at Comedy Theatre

Indeed, it is easy to forget about worldwide disaster once you are in the grip of a classic murder mystery, no matter how typical the “whodunnit” formula becomes.

Universities unlikely to be prosecuted under Victorian wage theft laws

Although Victoria’s first criminal case of wage theft is set to be heard in February, experts say tertiary institutions are unlikely to be criminally prosecuted under the state’s recently legislated Wage Theft Act. Selina Zhang reports.

Netflix Lighting and the Death of the Director in 'Wednesday'

There aren’t a lot of directors’ styles that someone who only casually engages with film will recognise more than Tim Burton. There is a lot to critique about his work—especially his casting choices—but there is no doubt when people describe a Tim Burton film as a “Tim Burton film”, that they are accidentally leaning into auteur discourse.

Hidden Gems & Summer Surprise: A Playlist of Radio Fodder’s Top Summer Releases

For Radio Fodder's debut playlist for 2023, here are the hidden gems of the summer that still take us by surprise.

Review: ‘Virginia’ at La Mama HQ

Showing at La Mama HQ from the 14th to the 26th of February is acclaimed Irish writer Edna O’Brien’s Virginia, a compelling portrait of the intimate life of modernist author Virginia Woolf (Heather Lythe).

Fair Work Ombudsman takes UniMelb to court for alleged underpayment, “serious contraventions” of en

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has initiated fresh legal action against the University of Melbourne over the alleged underpayment of casual staff in the Faculty of Arts. Joel Duggan and Elizabeth Browne report.

Fair Work Ombudsman takes UniMelb to court for alleged underpayment, “serious contraventions.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has initiated fresh legal action against the University of Melbourne over the alleged underpayment of casual staff in the Faculty of Arts and the creation of false or misleading records. Joel Duggan and Elizabeth Browne report.

Who's who in the stupol zoo? NatCon '22: Explained

For the next four days, Josh Davis and Joel Duggan will be bringing you all the shouting, scabbing, and paper-scoffing from the conference floor, all the way out in the idyllic suburban paradise of Waurn Ponds.

From Tumblr to TikTok: a Reckoning with Toxic Trends

Picture this, it’s 2014, and you’ve just turned thirteen. You’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of teen YouTuber content. You binge-watch Bethany Mota and Meredith Foster when their usernames were still Macbarbie07 and StilaBabe09, and are convinced that a can of chalkboard paint and a hoard of EOS lip balms would solve all your pre-teen problems.

The Psychology Behind Procrastination

Why do you always leave your assignment to the last minute even though you promised yourself you wouldn't do that again? It's 10 am, and you have a massive assignment due at 11.59 pm that night. Have you started? Well, no, not yet, anyway.

Why does PTV hate students?

One of the big policies at this year’s student elections was a promise to expand the free tram zone, championed by the Rebuild ticket. It was an ambitious proposal that raised eyebrows and raised questions (namely, “how do you plan to do that?”), but it got at something that students care about: the fact that our public transport system does not work for us.

Studio Ghibli: Retrofuturism and the Technological Sublime

For a Japanese animation studio that has mastered the art of wholehearted storytelling in children’s films, Studio Ghibli has never refrained from exploring socio-political ideology in its films. Themes such as ecology, feminism, cohabitation, religion, war, and capitalism frequently appear in several films such as Ponyo, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Spirited Away, Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbour Totoro and many more.

That Last Neon Night
Two faces at the top and bottom of the page, trailing duplicate heads and shooting out red lines.

The pink, spherical Neon Galactic was in a dim rest stage at the moment, and hung, low and shallow, in the sky.

Cults on Campus: How They’re Targeting Students
A spindly, long-fingered purple hand reaches towards the shoulder of a person in a green jumper.

Running into cults isn’t uncommon in Melbourne.

The Reel Life Assessment
A vibrant cartoon illustration of two crying friends, a test paper between them breaking to pieces,

You fill in the blanks with your best friend’s complete name—written repeatedly over grade school friendship slam books.

The Woman in the Well
A woman in a grubby blue dress, submerged in water, half smiles from the bottom of a stone well.

Time stops passing like it does in the outside world and instead sort of hangs in the air, stale and inert.

micro city
A row of distorted grey faceless people on a street before green trams and purple city buildings.

People with multicoloured veins and swollen bellies sleep on the streets, recover from back-alley surgeries in gutters.

The Creature in the Thicket
A silver mermaid, submerged in dark water, faces an enchanted clearing among trees and weeds.

She blinks away frantic winged water boatmen. Their dead, waterlogged bodies litter the surface like jewels.

Satire-in-Brief: Edition Six 2022
Abstract blue-and-black lines and shapes surround the playful bubble text 'satire in brief'.

Progressive Arts Student Suddenly a Devout Monarchist Right Before Their Assessment Due Date

Flash Fiction Edition Six: Nostalgia
An ink-pen-sketched person sits and looks into an abstract haze of fluorescent warm colours.

blockbuster became liquorland / asphalt corner grew up / it doesn’t know i still have a child inside

angel sonnet
An old television emits a purple substance into the air, through which fall blue-orange people.

rollercoaster rides through sparkling / synths sounding there’s a big black sky / over my town

The Exhibit Must Be Cleaned On Sunday
A marble statue which, from the upper torso, turns to a woman, arms above a flower-crowned head.

my pearled gaze / will watch that haze mark the soul / will watch it puncture
thirty hollow men

Give Up, the Ghost
A person with long hair and a dress reaches towards a childlike creature in an oversized jacket.

“A move from the first house to the twelfth.” He paused to read. “If you acquiesce, you’ll have strange times.”

A Grave for Smoke and Mirrors
An outlined transparent child sits before a hazy grey empty fireplace in a dark room.

So I write this elegy not / for them; / but for the spaces left in the dust on my mantelpiece

Hocus-Pocus Recipes and Rituals: Jamming and Vibing Ourselves out of a Sticky Situation
A pattern of liquid-like hot pink and orange ghost shapes, layered with white fruits and stars.

Witch jail sure gets boring. Fortunately I will be released soon—but not before they take my ability to do magic!

the little prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's Little Prince sits atop a glowing grey moon, surrounded by stars.

i imagine the patter will sound like a baptism. / or at least, it will sound.

wishing on a plucked eyelash
The side of a large, gnarled green tree with a swing hanging from it, surrounded by bright stars.

can you still remember / when we all stepped / in, and left our / shoes be- / hind / ?

A child with long purple hair leans against a tree, holding a teddy bear, surrounded by stars.

she liked to make me dance / led me soapy / to the balcony / i grew up thankful, violet-haired

A glowing green jaw clamps on a hand, surrounded by red and blue barbed wire, bubbles and fish.

the marrow vibrates verbena, neon pink, the cast of sickly skyscrapers and long drives during witching hour.

A W.I.P. Around the Workshop: Character voice, style, and points of view
Three pairs of eyes, becoming gradually larger, containing images of water, people and hands.

How do we as writers create a character’s voice that is interesting and engaging, relatable and likeable?

Satire-in-Brief: Edition Five 2022
A watercolour painting of colourful, outlined, overlapping shapes, splodges and flowers.

Twitter Realises That Elon Musk Is Actually That One Flaky Friend We All Have

Solace, Solange
A pastel drawing of a bed, a lamp, and two entangled blue silhouetted bodies at the edge of a sea.

My breast is wet / with wine and droops / like a greyhound’s tongue / The nipple expectant as / pursed lips

at the edge of memory
A lone house, two petrol pumps, a smoking car and a few scattered sheep before a purple-grey sky.

a gentle woodsmoke trails to / where the grass is frozen silver / at the edge of memory / on the edge of town

January 26th
Two tall trees with a red ribbon tied to a branch, before a grey-blue sky, wattle at their feet.

I am from yelling, barking, laughing / I am from european birch outside my window / I am from stiff wool skirt

North of the Swan

There’s a duality to conversation around that Country; a space imagined as both sublime, and ugly.

Outlines of thorny vines on a dark background. An arrow pokes through, dripping blood.

But I would deify the wanton flesh / And drink the carnal poison to avoid / The cherub’s arrow pointed at my chest.

Femme Fatale
An outstretched hand on red silk, clutching a string of pearls coming loose and dripping blood.

A charlatan’s promise: a tongue edged with rust / has a way with its words that bewitches the mind.

I woke up with vertigo, and now I can't get up
A vivid, swirling collage: a hand with red-blue nails, spilling pink liquid, broken car parts.

twirling of colours of / red and blue and black and blue / aurora would weep if she saw this

Murder on the Dancefloor: Tales from Late-Stage Hospitality—The Dying Venue
A close-up drawing of a bar, with rows of bottles and two staff members standing and smoking.

She often wondered at what point the owner would concede. The place had mortal wounds and it was simply a matter of time.

Hocus-Pocus Recipes and Rituals: The Future Is Yours, the Future Is Cheese
Five polaroid pictures on a string: a cheese platter, cemetery, broomstick, cauldron, and owl.

Time for cheese to truly do its thing! I am now going to show y’all how to do the impossible: stop time.

Two pairs of lips glow red in the dark. A bottom lip meets another’s upper lip, producing sparks.

god is pretty god is a real hunk / dressed in all black / god thinks i’m sexy i know it / like / bitter sugar burn

monday morning
A person with pink and blue clothes on a black-and-white city street, a red bus on the road.

blue wells– / a billion hues / I know you, without knowing you.

Snow falls on a small bush and a wheel leaning against the base of a tree before a grey brick wall.

Winter is here. / Waifs and mudlarks turn angels in the snow, so / Our little joke goes.

A bright light shines out from behind a purple curtain. On the right wall are pink crucifixes.

When lustre dripped / from my fingers / they blanched like it was blood.

Bitter Preserved
A pattern of shiny lemons with protruding ends, leaves wedged between them.

I felt as though there were tens of rows of nipples staring out from the shelf by my right ear.

Ordinary Phenomena: Mosquito Bites
A bright pink cartoon car on a hill under a pink night sky. To the left are text icons with emojis.

He’s a handsome thing, with a glowing smile that softens his sharper, more intimidating edges.

Don’t Go Down to the Basement: Why We Shouldn’t Enjoy Horror… and Why We Do Anyway
A sketch of a scared person with monsters under their bed, and cobwebs and ghosts in their room.

Writing horror represents a mastery of controlling and releasing tension.

Satire-in-Brief: Edition Four 2022
A waving cartoon cactus wearing a broad-brimmed hat, red bandana, and red glasses.

Vegan Destroys Entire Democratic System by Refusing Democracy Sausage

One-Sentence Westerns
A bright pink horse with a blue mane before a purple sunset. Its smiling rider wears a pink hat.

She rode off into the sunset: just a girl and her horse, and a saddlebag full of gold.

Flash Fiction Edition Four: Redemption
A femme person on a white horse, seen from the back, in a desert scene under a soft sunset.

I am the cowboy, the not-so-lone ranger marching through the smoke, triggered by intuition, my personal firing range.

Farrago State Election Policy Comparisons #5: Arts and Events

What do the parties and candidates say about arts and events in Victoria?

Farrago State Election Policy Comparisons #4: Policing and Legal Reform

What do the parties and candidates say about policing and legal reform in Victoria?

Farrago State Election Policy Comparisons #3: Housing

What do the parties and candidates say about housing in Victoria?

State Electorate Profile: Melton

Dominique Jones gives you the rundown on one of the most interesting contests in this election.

Farrago State Election Policy Comparisons #2: Energy

What do the parties and candidates say about energy in Victoria?

The Running Inn

He was staying alone at the inn for two more nights. The waitress was rushed and mistook his calmness for arrogance.

These Hands
A pattern of plants, feathers, and two hands, one with fingers closing in and one reaching out.

with the palm reader lines / surging upwards with vitality, / landing on half-moons that / disappear when pressed.

Melbourne Gardens: Haiku Series
Coloured drawing of three small, plucked native Australian plants floating across the page.

Dewy fractals spill / from stone-white cherubine mouths, / fall gently downwards.

Pink cowboy boots kick up from the bottom of the image, framed by cut ropes and pastel splashes.

the awkward dawn stretch. / the minute before when / he ain’t a man, just / a matchflame within someone’s reach.

The Doña
A mournful femme person sits at sunrise in a patterned green shawl, framing the illustration.

And I am clean, / by this squat brick stack I am clean. / As aluminium-scuffed rust / am I clean.

Murder on the Dancefloor: Tales from Late-Stage Hospitality—The Bathroom Stickers
A collage of vibrant stickers, some related to bands or pop culture. At the centre is a large eye.

Everything was familiar to him ... It was well-loved, like the spine of a book read dozens of times.

rodeo clown
Liquid-like purple and green swirls with an abstract, sketched blue hand/foot in two corners.

the lamb, suckling on the statue of liberty / closes its fist / against girlhood / against desert kingdoms

Farrago State Election Policy Comparisons #1: Health

What do the parties and candidates say about healthcare in Victoria? Farrago's resident policy wonk Benjamin Cronshaw reports.

Sick Paddock
A windswept field with silhouetted trees and rocks on the horizon, beneath a pastel sunset sky.

The cow’s wail wafts ghostly / in life. In death, / it breathes on the air, / odourless, a clean tongue.

Group Ticket Voting in the Victorian State Election – Whose Preference is it?

Above-the-line voting? Below-the-line voting? Group voting tickets? Preference-whispering? Abbey Saxon breaks it down.

State Electorate Profile: Brunswick
A street perspective of Sydney Road in Brunswick, on a slightly cloudy day.

Abbey Saxon gives you the political rundown on Melbourne's most (in)famous inner-northern suburb.

Wow, it’s the Victorian State Election! Wait, what are we voting for again?

Two elections? In one year? Thalia Blackney is here to let you know what you're voting for on the 26th, and how the Victorian state election actually works.

Dating App Armageddon

I’m in bed on Hinge. I scroll through a couple of photos on a profile and then hit the cross in the bottom left corner. My thumb is so accustomed to this that I don’t even have to look down to find it—just scroll and tap. Scroll and tap. Profiles blur together, faces become unrecognisable. I shudder: is this normal? Or is this doing irreparable damage to my brain? Probably both.

Empathy and Entropy: Mobile Gaming’s Advertising Dystopia

We are deep within the entropy of hyper casual mobile gaming. New apps are uploaded every single second, often as previously created games just with a new colour scheme. The creative bankruptcy of these developers is increasingly obvious, so how do they lure people in to download their apps?

The Aesthetics of Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The Animal Crossing franchise’s cosy aesthetics and relaxed gameplay have enjoyed wild popularity, especially since the release of their newest title, Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch. For the uninitiated, the premise of Animal Crossing is simple: you are a friendly town resident with friendly animal neighbours, and you are free to fill your days with decorating, gardening, fishing, catching bugs, and generally just leading an idyllic and idle life.

Robots and Lawyers: What Being ‘On the Spectrum’ Really Means

In this final column, I want to have a look at a few examples of some stories on screen and in literature that seem to play into stereotypes about autism only to subvert or otherwise complicate them in interesting ways. I will mainly draw on the opening episode of the aforementioned Netflix series, and the first book in the wonderful The Murderbot Diaries series written by neurodivergent author Martha Wells.

Ordinary Phenomena: Birdmen in Flight
Glowing green-and-blue outline of twisting rollercoaster tracks, a green bird flying above.

The crowd trickles in and out of lines, lips dulcet and candied, breaths loud and permeating.

Satire-in-Brief: Edition Three 2022
A row of buildings silhouetted against a swirly textured and blurred purple background.

Ormond College Student “Too Poor” to Pay for Uber Home

White and black outlines of flowers and plants, dotted with eyes, on a dark grey background.

Focus on the earth as if it is the one moving. Are you falling away? Is it rising away from you? Physics says it’s both.

After Dark
A silvery person tumbles into red swirls and silhouetted bottles, hands pulling at their legs.

Neon lights groan to life as they crawl out of hiding. Leaning in from the edges, their eyes slide across your body.

The Untethering
A watercolour painting of an old woman deep in thought, holding a teacup with a rose on it.

Is it the toasted sugar kisses? / Or when we waltzed in the kitchen / To spring’s symphony?

Hocus-Pocus Recipes and Rituals: Clearing the Brain Fog
A half-smiling Selena Sparklemoon, with blue braids and pink sunnies, sips from a purple mug.

I’m running on empty, and my noggin’s got nothing. It’s a condition you are likely all too aware of: brain fog.

That Much Is Known
A man and faceless woman sit in a car under a starry sky, bathed in a silver-blue glow.

“She had light, auburn hair and perfect teeth.” He saw her projected onto the screen of the cold-smoked car window.

Against the Hurries, Against the Waits
An illustration of a tram stop framed by telegraph lines and birds. Two people sit on the bench.

and I wonder, / is this my first lesson in buoyancy / against the cavalry of weeks?

summer in fitzroy
A row of silhouetted buildings in various shades of purple, before a soft sunrise.

Summer slips through the air, greasing the asphalt and flushing skin pink.

When we were teenagers
A grey owl in front of a starry blue night sky, with galaxies and stars spilling out of its eyes.

We were the smell of each other, the glandular oil, the acned sweat, the small of the neck smooth and vaguely feminine.

nitrous oxide love machine
Two silvery hands cradle a ladybug.

my body blooms / though not so much my body / as much as my liver / or maybe my stomach

final girls
Girls in red tutus, the front carrying a baseball bat, run through rows of purple fields at night.

our final girls have heaven now / botox, cloud houses, miniature ponies, swimmer’s bodies

Ordinary Phenomena: Snakeskin
A mystical pastel illustration of a sunset with golden-pink clouds over a glistening sea.

You feel her trace the moles carved into the shallow of your skin like they’re constellations.

Murder on the Dancefloor: Tales From Late-Stage Hospitality—The Staff Drinks
Two characters, with purple and orange skin respectively, embrace in front of a chaotic party scene.

Echoes of the universe outside passed, barely perceptible, into the world of their intimacy.

The ‘VAPE NATION’ To Sad Girl Pipeline: How Melbourne’s Vaping Epidemic Is Fuelling Mental Illness

If you live in Melbourne—or anywhere really—you’ll be aware of the rise of disposable vapes and their many enthusiasts. Whether you’ve taken it up yourself, or simply walked through billowing clouds of lush ice on Chapel Street, there is no doubt that IGET, HQD, Vaporlax and Puff Bar have well and truly settled down in Melbourne.

“Giving It All Away” (to him): Analysing Phallogocentrism in Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip

Bitches love Monkey Grip. And by bitches, I mean me, and every other indie kid and/or English/Creative Writing major in the greater Melbourne Area. But we have good reason.

A Message to the Uni Gods: Change Your Extension Policies

Extensions, huh? You can’t really get through uni without needing one at least once, but boy do they make it an absolute fuckfest of a process. The professor becomes judge, jury and, in the event your pleas are insufficiently desperate, executioner.

When ‘Less Is More’ Is Too Much

Those of us who have been subjected to feminine beauty standards will remember with some contempt the ‘Instagram makeup’ look of 2016. Pomaded, arched brows, full coverage foundation, and cheekbones painstakingly carved out of setting powder were the daily uniform. I stewed in envy when I overheard a girl in my 10th grade English class mention that she woke up at 4 AM to get the look down every day like it was nothing, just what was expected of her—her duty.

Loving/Hating DALL-E

I’m fidgeting in a swivel chair as we wait for Craiyon, formerly known as DALL-E mini, to spit out images for the text prompt: “philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wearing a green crochet bonnet, photorealistic”.

Can Electronic Music Still Conjure the Future?

It became apparent to late writer Mark Fisher that around the mid-2000s, electronic music as a genre had failed to produce a new innovation. In the time since, electronic music failed to progress past tropes and stylings that had already been explored in the twentieth century. To some, this may simply sound like the bemoaning of an older generation that “music just isn’t as good as it used to be.”

Who is the Cool Girl? The evolution of coolness in a culture that thrives off impermanence.

We’ve all seen her, in some way or another, in some time or place. The illusive walk, the ethereal mystique, the silent charm that draws you in. The internet calls her the “cool girl”, but really, it seems to be increasingly more difficult to try and pin down the qualities that make her “cool”.

Abortion in Australia

As of September 2021, abortion practices have been legalised under Australian law nationwide. It’s been a long journey, from the criminalisation of all abortion through the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act; to the Menhennit Ruling 1969, which legalised abortion only in cases of physical and mental necessity; to the removal of abortion from  the Crimes Act 1900 through the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019.

The College Captain to Green Hair Pipeline

I loved high school. I loved my teachers and my friends. I loved immersing myself in my subjects and my role as College Captain. I loved the validation of a productive workshop session with a teacher or a good grade. I loved the awards ceremonies and the public acknowledgement that, academically, I was thriving.


But just like that.

After 20 years of nothing but constant support.

This is how the North Melbourne Football Club treats me.

Women in Muscles

I’ve been working out since I was in my early teens. Not always consistently, and very rarely well, but I grew up with a very conscious desire to either get in or stay in shape. But, as far as I knew, being ‘in shape’ just meant doing cardio. And lots of it.

A Love Letter to the Seventies

I can still remember where I was the first time I heard ‘Everything I Own’ by Bread. I remember who with me at the time and what the sun felt like as it streamed in through the window in the backseat of my mum’s car. I remember the instant love I felt for it, the sadness in knowing that I might never find a song that made me feel the same way, and the gratitude for how lucky I was to have stumbled across a song I knew would be a special part of my life forevermore after that first listen.

“Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win”: A History of the Green Ban

You may have heard recently that the Curtin Hotel is closing down. An iconic pub, a popular live music venue and a go-to watering hole for Melbourne unionists for the past century — thrown to the dogs because it was unable to sustain itself financially through the pandemic. However, all is not lost for the Curtin, because the unions of Victoria are set to declare a ‘green ban’ on the pub’s demolition.

Isekais Suck

Isekai: a blight genre that consistently plagues seasonal anime releases. As a genre, it tends to be about as trashy as it can get. And yet, its everlasting presence suggests that somebody out there is consuming this stuff in enough quantity to sustain the entire market.

What’s Missing in Incel Discourse?

I’ll be honest, it’s been real weird watching incel manosphere stuff enter public consciousness from its isolated internet origins. Before, I’d been watching interviews with incels and browsing through their subreddits much like watching a car crash, inevitably ending in the subreddit getting banned for sexism (big surprise).  Now ‘incel’ gets used synonymously with ‘sexist dudes’ whilst we have ironic sigma male memes riffing off manosphere-phrenology.

University of Melbourne Farmers’ Market Closes for Rest of 2022
A photograph of Farmers' Market stalls outside the MSD.

University of Melbourne students are devastated by the cancellation of their beloved Wednesday Farmers’ Market.

"VCA & MCM pay your staff": Chalk Protests Splashed at Open House Tour
The words 'VCA &amp; MCM PAY YOUR STAFF' written in chalk on a footpath with splashes of water on it

Chalk protests reading “VCA & MCM pay your staff” were splashed with water during an Open House Melbourne tour.

UMSU’s SSAF Funding up in the Air as University Imposes Hefty Rental Charges
A photograph of the new Student Pavilion building

The University of Melbourne Student Union will be required to pay the University almost $400,000 in property outgoings.

How Many Campaign Posters Can One Electorate Take?

Historically, posters have long been used as an art form to persuade readers on a whole range of positions. Think Uncle Sam demanding you enlist into the army or Rosie flexing her muscles encouraging us girls to help with the war effort. Suppose there’s one skill I’ve mastered studying history and politics for this long; it’s the ability to overanalyse the purpose and message of these posters.

But are they actually effective?

How Micro-Trends Are Ruining Our Consumption Habits

Let me set the scene: you are deep in the last of Melbourne’s 2021 lockdowns, sitting on the couch scrolling through TikTok when you see someone wearing a fresh, cool, unique piece of clothing. Envisioning how trendy you would look if you wore it too, you rush to Google, locate and secure the item on an impulse. However, in the time you spend waiting for Australia Post to deliver it to your door, you have seen the item worn by 56 different people, on 4 different social media platforms.

The War on Misinformation: TikTok Edition

Since TikTok exploded, its effects on music (look at the GRAMMYs nominations), clothes (search up OOTD) and trends, in general, have been seen everywhere. It is the world’s fastest-growing social media app used by more than 1 billion people worldwide with roughly 7.38 million Australian users. With half of its users under 30, TikTok is central to many lives.

Bon Appétit and Me: A Breakup Story

We spend days on end scavenging for books, reading Letterboxd reviews, and creating shopping carts that are never purchased, only to discover that the author is a TERF, the film’s director has been accused of sexual assault, and the clothing brand relies on unpaid labour—or in my case, that Bon Appétit magazine, creator of the binge-worthy YouTube series “Gourmet Makes,” has exploited its workers of colour.

Capitalism and the Crisis

Capitalism—the economic system that manifests in the free market, structural wealth inequalities and the pursuit of economic advancement at all costs—meets crisis—a moment of surging conflict, of irrepressible chaos and change. What could possibly go wrong?

An Obituary To My White Canvas Sneakers

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you are forced to throw out your favourite pair of shoes. No amount of duct tape, superglue or staples can keep them together anymore. And as much as these shoes have become a part of who you are, deep down you know. It’s time to move on.

On that note, it is with a heavy heart that I announce that on February 17, 2022, I had no choice but to discard my white canvas sneakers.

Baby Botox, Social Media and Our Fear of Ageing

The pervasive desire for “preventive” cosmetic procedures within the younger generations was brought to my attention during a recent visit to the dermatologist. My doctor expressed her concern for children as young as fifteen, most of whom were accompanied by a guardian of legal age, who were coming in to request facial fillers or body augmentations, such as lip and cheek fillers or rhinoplasties. Why are such young individuals seeking such procedures?

Offaly Delicious: a more holistic diet

In Australia, we live plentifully and can choose whatever cuts of meat we desire most. Our socio-economic conditions do not ask for rationing or a major rethink of our diets. The only major impact on our diets in recent memory has been the failure of supply chains during COVID-19 to give consumers what they want. Selecting offal is a choice, not a necessity—but it should be considered as much as our chicken breasts or pork chops.

The Pram Factory: A Retrospective

It’s been 42 years since the demise of the Pram Factory. Still, the legacy of that shambolic factory-turned-warehouse-turned-theatre continues to loom large in Carlton's history and Australian culture.

The Pram Factory was an alternative theatre that operated in Carlton through the 1970s. It was the home of the Australian Performing Group (APG), an experimental ensemble that sprouted from La Mama Theatre before setting up shop at The Pram in 1970.

Presidential Candidate Profile: Hibatallah (Hiba) Adam
A purple graphic with large block text, 'UMSU ELECTIONS: PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DEBATE'.

Meet Hibatallah (Hiba) Adam (she/they), a second-year Juris Doctor student, and the UMSU presidential candidate for ‘Community for UMSU’.

The Motivation Behind World Leaders’ Public Congratulations for Prime Minister Albanese

As the news of Prime Minster Albanese’s election spread across the world Saturday night, the customary congratulations from Australia’s allies rolled in, wishing the new PM and his Labor cabinet well for the future.

Hey—did I see you at Collingwood Yards last week?

Collingwood Yards: 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood, embedded in Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs. A series of vast brick and concrete structures pushed up against a narrow footpath, rimmed by neon lights—a new, surprising and innovative community arts space. Somewhere along the way, Collingwood Yards became synonymous with a particular crowd—bleached-cap wearing, bike-riding, Savers-shopping young people—leading to plentiful Instagram discourse poking fun at the Yard’s regulars.

Filling Up the Static: Rocket, magic and Big Thief’s Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You

In the song “Time Escaping”, the opening bars of percussion clatter reluctantly into view, as if someone’s dropped a pair of sticks down a slightly confused slope. You can hear Adrianne Lenker sigh and cough a little; then, a second rhythm, overlapping. The first time I heard it, I felt turned around and faintly bewildered. They were going somewhere I wasn’t sure I’d be able to follow.

Dear Diary: The PM's Retrospective Journal

Dear diary,

I’m tired of the city life, summers on the run, people tell me I should stay, but I’ve got to get my fun.

Driving Stick

My brother is trying to teach me to drive a manual car; we go around and around the empty lot down at the local high school. When I was younger, my band teacher taught us a trick on the snare drum, where you throw the drumstick in the air and catch it again without interrupting the drumbeat. He said if you have the coordination to do this, you have the coordination to drive a manual car.

Review: Mothering Sunday (2021)

‘Mothering Sunday’ (dir. Eva Husson) is a period drama in the most unconventional sense – both the viewer and the characters hardly know what time and era they’re supposed to be in.

Column: Futility and the beauty of devastation in Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is a behemoth in the indie games’ scene, lauded worldwide as “the Metroidvania to end Metroidvanias”. Created by the Adelaide-based Team Cherry, it follows the adventure of the unnamed Knight as you explore the wretched ruins of the underground kingdom of Hallownest.

Column: Aesthetic Representations of Neurodivergence and Mental Illness

Representations of neurodivergence in fiction rarely invite the viewer into the perspective of characters who experience the world differently. Instead, they portray the world through the lens of the oft-neurotypical creator watching from the outside. I want to look at a few examples of narratives where the aesthetic choices made by the writer or director puts audiences in the head of the neurodivergent protagonist, thus allowing viewers to experience their unique mindset and empathise with them

Review: 9 to 5 the Musical

Nearing completion of its first run at the State Theatre in Arts Centre Melbourne, 9 to 5: The Musical has had no trouble enticing audiences with the lure of Dolly Parton and a stage cast of beloved Australian performers. Unfortunately, this success isn't enough to overlook the glaring problems of a half-baked story lacking real depth.

On Holding

The wind pulls my hair / out from behind my ear / onto my face and so I set down / my book and push my hair back

The Well

Now its blue-grey rocks were pocked and waterstained, and a wooden board covered the opening.

The City of Light
A sketched city framed by mountains, with a sunset backdrop. On a cliff, a red figure holds a torch.

The City of Light gets brighter and brighter / As they wait for the King’s arrival

A WIP Around the Workshop: Modern Mythology—Creating Our Own Lore

What about the tales now whispered in apartment buildings around a bowl of popcorn at 2am? Will they too become myths?

A Name for a Monster
An illustration of a crying Medusa reaching out towards a falling warrior who's just turned to stone

“Medusa!” he yells. “Gorgon medusa!” Frightful ruler! Greek words, easy on his tongue. All these heroes are Greek.

Jan 27 (Hardly Working)
An ink drawing: a mass of small, leaf-like shapes crossed with grey and green root-like lines.

Mud-caked and defeated / we rove over a country choked / into submission.

Why the Left Sucks: An Inquiry into Campus’s Most Hated Political Group

It is no exaggeration to say that The University of Melbourne is one of the largest breeding grounds for leftist thought in the country. For those of us who have been on campus–walked past the columns plastered with protest posters, been a part of tutorial discussions (particularly within the Arts faculty), socialised with fellow students–this statement needs even less justification. Yet, UniMelb’s most far-left political group, Socialist Alternative (SocAlt), seems to be its most hated.

Material Girls—a source of liberation or an excuse for overconsumption?

The so-called “Material Girl” lifestyle is a phenomenon that has circled TikTok ForYou pages since November 2021. The hallmarks of this trend—be it a brightly coloured Telfar bag, a pair of $900.00 Airpods Max or a head-to-toe Lululemon ensemble—assure us that ultimately, shopping can be empowering and wealth is equal to success. However, with the rising criticism of overconsumption, we are left with the question: does an ethical version of a “Material Girl” exist?

No, You’re Not in Your Fleabag Era

In a world overwhelmed by praise and adoration for characters such as Phoebe Waller Bridge’s Fleabag and those in the Sally Rooney literary universe, it can be difficult to distinguish redeemable, commendable behaviour from the not-so. Written so eloquently and with such realistic qualities, myself and others, particularly female, audiences and readers have found it refreshing to gravitate towards such characters, identifying with their flaws and feeling the weight slowly slip off our shoulder

Rating the Past: How Classification Shaped Us All

As a generation of media consumers, we have, in one way or another, encountered the Australian Classification and Ratings System. You know, that little prohibitive green/yellow/blue/red/black box in the corner of the DVD or video game case you had growing up? Chances are that since you turned 18, you haven't given those ratings much thought. After all, they hardly apply to you anymore, or maybe they never did (especially for the more rebellious readers).

In Defence of Science Fiction

When you think of science fiction, what comes to mind? Aliens? Sheldon Cooper? That trope where a condescending male character spews scientific jargon, only to be asked to repeat themselves “in English, please”? Space as “the final frontier”?

Why the Face? The Role of the Face Cam in Constructing Parasocial Relationships.

We operate in a time where attention is a commodity, dispensed by live streamers and ravenously sought after by audiences. Livestreaming culture has been struggling with obsessive audiences for years now –  this video from 2020 is an excellent description of how these cultures came into being. While there has been extensive writing on parasociality from podcasting and live streaming before, few discuss how these bonds are constructed.

Lines in the Sand: The Pride and Rivalry of Australian States

Upon learning of my Southern derivation, the inevitable question would follow: “What’s there to do in Adelaide?”  One way or another, every Australian capital city has come to embody an archetype. If Australia were a John Hughes film, casting each capital city would be easy.  Somehow, Adelaide has a reputation for being a hopelessly provincial pseudo-city trapped at the arse-end of Australia.

New Year
An illustrated pattern of red and pink flowers mimicking an embroidered style.

January air is amniotic. / February will come like a birth or excision.

Students' Council Round Up: 10(22) + 11(22)

While everyone was in Europe, I was in council.

to: life.
A white sketched outline of a femme-presenting person lying asleep on their back, overlaid on an ima

to wring a dry cloth / on cracked soil / under the ablaze sun.

Virgil's Eclogue I
An illustration of sheep in a green pasture. In the background are hills, between which an orange su

Tityrus, you recline beneath a screen / of spreading beech and dwell upon the woodland / muse with slender reed

A digital illustration of fragments of a watermelon bursting out from an orange, galaxy-like spiral

The watermelon dwarfs the little fridge it’s displayed on, green rind overtaking white plastic.

Satire-in-Brief: Edition One 2022
A grey-blue banner littered with floating, disembodied human faces wearing a variety of fun and stra

Student who submitted timetable preferences during their “new year, new me” phase now holding back tears in 8am tute.

Labor’s latest climate bomb shows we need to fight for climate justice

The media have adopted a wait-and-see approach towards the new Labor government, particularly concerning the climate.

Column: M. Night Shyamalan and the Ableist Myth

Director M. Night Shyamalan has become something of a joke among film fans. Following the smash success of The Sixth Sense in 1999, he briefly became Hollywood’s golden boy, gracing the cover of Newsweek magazine in 2002 along with the moniker “The Next Spielberg”. Yet, he fell just as quickly, releasing a series of commercial and critical flops that destroyed the goodwill he had accumulated with his first three major features.

Column: The Tiny Blue Car

Round white headlights. An even rounder exterior. Metallic blue doors and black rubber tires. Scratched but intact side lamps. Worn fabric seats, peeling at the sides to expose yellow foam. Seven-year-old Chathu stared at the unfamiliar object, a tiny blue second-hand Nissan Micra with headlamps and grills that gave it the curious face of a two-year old child. “It’s our new car,” her father said proudly, the beams of the sun glinting off his bald head mirrored in the smile he gave her.

The Ironies of the ‘Public House’

My interest in the contemporary Melbournian pub began with an expensive Northcote parmigiana. 

As I tapped my card to facilitate the transfer of $26 from my bank account to the EFTPOS machine, I found myself wondering whether a pub meal was always this expensive. Sure, the cost of a chicken parmigiana must cover the price of ingredients, and the labour of preparing, cooking and serving the meal.

“We won’t go back”: Thousands in Melbourne Protest in solidarity against overturned Roe v Wade

Thousands of people took to the streets of Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday, protesting in solidarity against the overturning of the landmark Roe v Wade ruling by the US Supreme Court.

Australian Election Breakdown #2: By the Issues

Ben's back: electric boogaloo.

'Nepo babies' and white feminism: the '22 Teal Independents

Are these women just manifestations of white feminism who were brought forward on the premise of climate change and transparency?

Review: Six the Musical; Production, Creative Direction & Legacy

Six, possibly one of the most important musicals of our generation, has finally arrived in Melbourne, after originally being set to reign over the Comedy Theatre’s stage two years ago, before delays due to COVID-19. Six is the brainchild of students Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, who created the glitzy pop musical across 10 non-consecutive days in the hopes of providing a platform for the musical talents of their female friends, and to rewrite how women are being portrayed in theatre.

Vivid from Inspiration | Blackout Poetry Competition, Third Place
An illustration with a black background. Across the image are scattered white music notes, a star, a

it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment that ignited creative expression. the movement began further blurring the answer

Students' Council Round Up: 9(22)

Burnley goes ham with motions.

Review: Susanville by The Chamber of Susans

We sent two Farrago writers to an improv show. They gave us different reviews.

“I’m ready to be something for you”: Carla Geneve, performing, and music-making

Just a song into the concert, she tunes her guitar and within moments, a string breaks.

So it’s the Federal Election Today… How do I Actually Vote?

POV: you're realising why you should have made that list of preferences.

Explainer: What you need to know about the preferential voting system

So, first question—why do we have preferential voting, and why does it matter?

A (disassembled and underwhelming) conversation on voting Greens or Labor (w/ Adam Bandt)

It has come to my attention that even in a country with preferential voting, ideology and voting preferences don’t always align as one (me) might assume.

Profile: Jerome Small, Victorian Socialists Candidate for Calwell

Victorian Socialists candidate Jerome Small is up for Calwell this coming Federal Election. He spoke to Farrago about climate policy, labour rights, and the challenges for Victorian Socialists in the upcoming election.

Previous PMs Pick Sides as the Election Race Heads into the Homestretch

Here is a brief summary of where six former Australian Prime Ministers stand in the 2022 federal election.

Farrago Policy Comparisons #7: Health

What do the parties and candidates say about healthcare in Australia?

Farrago Policy Comparisons #6: Indigenous Affairs

What do the parties and candidates say about the Uluru statement or other policies to support Indigenous Australians?

A Contemporary National Anthem
A photograph of the Australian Parliament House at night

Australians, all / I do not believe that the colour of one’s skin determines whether you are disadvantaged. / Let us rejoice / It wasn’t a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels, either.

Farrago Policy Comparisons #5: Gender Equality

How are each of the parties doing on gender representation? And what are their records and key policies on gender equality and women's safety?

Farrago Policy Comparisons #4: Defence

What do the parties and candidates say about national security issues?

The LinkedIn Industrial Complex

I have attempted to make a LinkedIn profile twice in my life.

The Cost of Space Travel

I am named after the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. This is usually my go-to “fun fact about myself” I have tucked away for the first week of uni classes; a simple and easy answer to most ice-breaker questions.

Hey hey hey, it’s time to recap the Kooyong Leaders Debate piece

Poor Selina, she had to watch the whole debate.

The Memes of the 2022 Election (so far)

Allegra gives us her opinions again!

Farrago Policy Comparisons #3: Housing and Homelessness

With the rising housing market, renting, or buying a house has been increasingly unaffordable or precarious for many Australians.

Students' Council Round Up: 7(22)

Fighting? In your Students' Council? It's more likely than you think.

Farrago Policy Comparisons #2: Education

What do the parties and candidates have to say about education or supporting students?

Can Independents break the addictive appeal of voting habits?

There’s an element of excitement to a candidate not tied to a party line. I quite like the idea of voting Independent. It is empowering.

Farrago Policy Comparisons #1: Environment and Climate

This week we are looking at Environment and Climate Change.

The Comforts and Criticisms of Cottagecore

What comes to mind when you read the word “Cottagecore”? Is it images of flowing streams, thatched roofs and knitted cardigans? Or is the word utterly foreign to you? Unlike its contemporary counterparts, Cottagecore looks toward the past and embraces it. It takes aspects from a bygone era and repackages them to appeal to the present day.

Gender Hiring Quotas in Australia’s Workforce

The pay gap between men and women in Australia’s workforce averages 14.2 per cent, according to the 2021 Census. This figure represents the weekly discrepancy between men’s and women’s earnings in full-time work, accounting for careers and industries all across the board. Not ideal, but hey—it could be worse, right?

No One is Above the Law

Novak Djokovic. World No. 1 tennis player. His whole saga about trying to enter Australia without being vaccinated made global headlines. It turned out almost like a soap opera. He was initially refused entry despite having a permit, for which he successfully appealed. Yet the government once again rejected his entry, so he appealed once more but ended up being deported. Various news outlets either condemned or condoned Australian laws. So, what happened?

Staff Writer Film Recommendations: The Criminally Underrated Films You Would Die For

We all have those films that we watch and think, ‘why doesn’t everyone watch this movie all the time?!’ Perhaps it’s fallen by the wayside in the decades since it was released, or is an un-streamed masterpiece slowly being forgotten? So, here are the criminally underrated films we would die for from the Non-Fiction Staff Writing team at Farrago.

The Myth of Cisyphus

They keep words from children, so I had no name for what I was until puberty had finished with me. This language is narrow, and strains under even a little stretch. We confuse the plural pronoun, confuse it more when we apply it to flesh. For my part, I have a body that doesn’t announce itself: one of those faces that carried adolescence into the third decade, and hair long for a boy but short for a girl. If I were to pass a pair of strangers, I could be Man to one, and Woman to the other.

The Aesthetics of Poverty – Why students at UniMelb are so keen to appear poor.

The discourse accusing this so-called ‘student aesthetic’ of fetishising poorness has surfaced within the past year on social media (especially TikTok) and in conversations between students on and off-campus.

Review: Operation Mincemeat (2020)

Along with the atrocities of the Second World War came a total distrust of how we as humanity can communicate with each other. In that vein, Operation Mincemeat opens with the idea that there is a ‘seen’ war and a ‘hidden’ war. This duality between seen and unseen, between trust and distrust, and ultimately between hero and villain, is perhaps what this biographical war drama truly aims to showcase – and it achieves this to varying degrees of success.

Review: Dice Paper Role 'Myths & Legends', MICF 2022

You don’t have to be a “nerd” to enjoy good ol’ role-play

Gender and Self-Expression in the Time of the Plague

An underreported side effect of the pandemic has been the effect of widespread insecurity on people’s sense of self. In their 2021 study, researchers Gibbons and Thorton found that the changing social environment of the pandemic allowed people to “experiment with how they express their identity”. With this widespread focus on self-improvement throughout the pandemic, it is perhaps unsurprising that an increased number of young people have experienced qualms about their gender identity.

Hot Cocoa and Hot Cannibals: Snuggling Up with the Slasher

“That’s sweet,” a friend of mine said when I told her.

“It is,” I replied. “It’s the kind of sweetness you sometimes get with kids that’s somehow even sweeter for the tang it has of morbidity,

An ‘exorcism of perfection’, Beige Bitch forces us to confront the mediocrity within us all

Emily Carr presents a one-woman tour-de-force, a beautifully blunt exorcism of unrealistic expectations as captivatingly honest as it is tumultuously hilarious. Nominated in 2018 for Best Comedy at the Melbourne Fringe Festival for her work QUEENZ and performing regularly with the Mystery Radio Theatre Company, this is her debut solo show. And what a show it is – Emily Carr presents Beige Bitch with such infectious energy and charisma, taking her audience on a journey through carefully crafted

Review: Empathy Training, MICF 2022

Should our mistakes define us? The dogmatic dominion of ‘cancel culture’, perpetuated by its re-tweeting apostles, has spread from social media fodder to become ubiquitous in real-life relationships. In Brendan Black and Martin Chewell’s play Empathy Training, shown at the La Mama theatre as a part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, this contemporary philosophy of ‘cancelling’ is pulled apart and prodded in comically genius and thought-provoking ways.

Review: Happening 'L’événement' (2021)

Audrey Diwan’s Happening is a simple film. Set in 1960s Paris, the story focuses on heroine Anne Duchesne (Anamaria Vartolomei), who leads a seemingly unremarkable life as a 20-year-old student trying to pass her entrance exams for university. The costumes, setting, and actors themselves are unglamorous, almost plain. When one thinks of it, it’s almost strange that Diwan’s no-frills approach is directed toward the magnanimous subject of abortion. This, however, may be the point.

Younger Siblings
A digital illustration of the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park, with a smiling sun, a pathway, a tree

The conversation continued like a river, energetically rolling on before slamming into rocks and getting redirected.

On the Tip of the Tongue
An illustration of an open mouth with a spider inside and a kernel of popcorn trapped in its web. Th

Kasey lifted the bottom of her mask just enough to slip a popcorn kernel onto her tongue for Winona to nibble on.

A Screen is Not a Room (But it Might be a Door)
A fantastical digital sketch of a blond masculine-presenting person, face full of frustration, leani

It was the third consecutive night of video calling when I decided I’d had enough.

Murder on the Dancefloor: Tales from Late-Stage Hospitality - The Bar Fight
A white line artwork on a black background, depicting a crowd of distorted, abstract people on the l

The nightclub on Collins Street had no official cloakroom, and the alcohol-saturated crowds began shedding their jackets: dancing with silk over their arm, a sleeve dangling by their knee.

Enrol to Vote Now!

Come 21 May, every eligible Australian will go to the polling booths and cast their vote in the Federal Election. However, you must be enrolled to vote.

Review: Hope and Change in It Snows in Benidorm

Written and directed by Isabel Coixet, It Snows In Benidorm is as unreasonably beautiful in its imperfections as it is refreshing in its film elements, despite the dull and reclined protagonist we are introduced to. This is an exhilarating masterpiece, from the quirky and mysterious characters that populate its woefully dreamy world to the ever-transient scenes at the beach to the unique sectioning of the film into ten types of weather.

STI AWARENESS MONTH: 28% of young Aussies are skipping essential sexual health checks

Young Aussies are being significantly under-screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with sexual health assistant app “Geni” reporting that 28 per cent are skipping out on essential sexual health checks.

Getting Versed in the Metaverse

In an hour-long video released in October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg expounded about what the rebrand of Facebook Inc. envisioned for the Internet’s future, discussing innovative ideas and concepts in the realms of entertainment, education, business, and—surprisingly—privacy.

The Dark Side of New Religious Movements

Jane, whose name has been changed to maintain her anonymity, was raised in the spiritual tradition of Falun Gong. It is one of many new religious movements (NRMs) that emerged from the Qigong boom of late 20th century China. The PRC’s policy of state atheism had seen many traditional religions wiped out. Still, qigong was accepted because it was considered a form of Chinese medicine that used meditative exercises to refine one’s health.

The Feminist Wave Construct

Where do we learn to be feminists? How do we learn to be feminists? For many of us, it’s not as simple as picking up a book by Virginia Woolf or attending a university lecture on gender studies. And yet, these are some of the stereotypes by which we have come to qualify feminist identification. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with studying feminist literature, or attending feminist lectures, but such academic resources should not be the only means of ‘learning’ feminism. Here's why.


I encounter the bitcoin boy far later than most others. His devotion to the world of bitcoin makes him easy to poke fun at and he is quickly compacted into an unflattering archetype. Over time, bitcoin boy becomes easy to spot in both online spaces and real-world interactions. Over time, bitcoin boy also becomes wealthier.

Satire: Farrago Shuts Down; Honi Soit Now Australia's Oldest Student Publication

As of today, Farrago Magazine, Australia’s oldest student publication, will cease operations under the current four editors.

"Nothing has changed!”: On the Global Climate Strike

We knew of this crisis in the ‘70s, and these strikes began in 2018. A whole pandemic has occurred, a generation of strikers have graduated, and we still haven’t had meaningful climate action, let alone justice.

Felicide Friday

They don’t look anything alike. They’re simply two cats, existing separately but parallel in my mind.

pink cadillac (in memoriam)
An illustration of a bright pink cadillac in front of a small petrol station in the middle of the de

car crash simulation straight out of heaven / and you, in the driver’s seat (Jesus take the wheel!)

An illustration of femme person with blond hair and a shining diamond engagement ring. She appears d

“A ring is a promise,” Evangeline’s mother told her as she sat upon her knee.

Through a Window
A illustration of an ornamental castle window, with fairy tale vibes, pictured from the inside. The

Sweetness wasn’t alone / When it flew out your window, / For some dusty sorrow hung soon after.

A Lighthouse
A fantastical lighthouse shining through layers of clouds and swirly lines. The lighthouse is pictur

I’ve been drowned / By my own brother. Tonight / He comes from a sailor’s grave / With a makeshift lantern.

A haphazard pattern of sketched leaves and stars on a dark grey background. On the right side of the

Earthworms / don’t have eyes, but they have light— / sensitive receptors in their skin. Especially their front end.

Ordinary Phenomena: The Elephant's Call
A digital illustration of a young femme person sitting alone in the carriage of a train, riding thro

The invitation comes as a surprise; somehow it always does.

Will The DJ Be Automated?

The late music industry lecturer Ed Montano wrote in 2010 that “the DJ will always have a role in club culture”. More than a decade later, technological advances have fully digitised the DJ’s tools, prompting the idea that the DJ themselves could soon be digitised. An automated, artificially intelligent DJ could be an easily achievable cost reduction for venues— so why hasn’t the DJ been automated?

A Viet-Aus. Experience: Why The @#$! Was My Grandmother Talking About Donald Trump?

I know, I know. We’re literally a whole year and an ocean away from the Trump administration. Really, this is something I had forgotten about—at least—until I realised that I stopped having to manoeuvre family interactions around it. Thinking back on it, it was a bizarre experience seeing as how before 2019, anything resembling “politics talk” from my grandmother was unthinkable.

Never See Your Favourite Artists Live

Never See Your Favourite Artists Live: A Concert Review of Lisa Mitchell’s ‘Zombie’ Single Launch at the Corner Hotel

We arrive at the bustling Corner Hotel band room, bee-lining for the gap at the front. The crowd is a mix of: 1. other twenty-something girls who have grown up on a diet of Missy Higgins, Charlie & Lola, The Rainbow Magic Series and hand-me-down stripey-toe socks and 2. the cool parents responsible for introducing them to Albury local indie-pop songstress, Lisa Mitchell

In the Deep End: Public Swimming Pools in Colonial Australia

Australia is a hot place. Semi-tropical New South Wales is especially so. In 1965, very few people could afford to build their own swimming pool. The public pool was more than a quaint site of pre-adolescent fun but a public necessity. Public pools also belonged to that collection of spaces which formed the social fabric of a country town. For white patrons at least, they were neutral grounds on which to meet. For others, they became a battleground.

A Goodbye to Union House—and a glance into the future for Union House Theatre

For those of you who have been keeping up with the University’s updates, you may be aware of the upcoming Student Precinct that is currently reaching its final stages of construction.

Groove Tunes: Creating accessible space in music for people living with a disability

A live music event that promises to be entirely accessible and inclusive for people living with a disability is attempting to change the music landscape for attendees and artists alike.

Your guide to combating Test cricket mansplaining

What the fuck is Test cricket and why is it so complicated?

Students Demand More Support in Student Life Programs

With the prospective return to on-campus life in 2021, students have called for more variety and non-academic elements in the Student Life programs to better support first-year undergraduates.

Snow Medical cuts ties with the University after inaction on gender and racial diversity

Australia’s largest philanthropic donor to medical research Snow Medical has suspended the University of Melbourne from their Snow Fellowship program.

“Karrinjarla muwajarri—we call for ceasefire.”

On 9 November 2019, Warlpiri man Kumanjayi Walker was shot three times dead by police officer Zachary Rolfe. He was only nineteen.

Feminism and the home in Steph Markerink’s Domesticated

Union House’s George Paton Gallery (GPG) is currently home—in the truest sense of the word—to curator Steph Markerink’s exhibition Domesticated.

Students' Council Round Up: 4(22)

I walk a lonely road...

Finding Sense in the Cinema Again

You’re in a large room filled with many seats. To avoid any confusion, you made sure to get into your assigned seat early, or maybe you arrived right on time. Other people filter in and walk past you trying to find their row. The lights seem to be dimming, but you’re also not sure if they are. You may call this place the cinema, the movie theatre, the silver screen, or the pictures. What happens next has the power to profoundly affect you— if you allow it.

ET, Phone My Home (Please)

One night in August 1993, Kelly Cahill awakens from a lapse of unconsciousness, unable to recall the events that had taken place just minutes beforehand. Her life was about to change forever.

On a night some 29 years later, mostly untouched by the story of Kelly Cahill and her legacy, I sit watching ‘Paul’ with my mum, pondering what my dad has always told me about the extra-terrestrial happenings in the area in which we live, and yet feeling entirely detached from it.

down with capitalism

over the past few years, i’ve witnessed friends, family and now even myself fall victim to a sickening trend. 

what started (i can only assume) as a simple grammatical mistake, has since taken over the entire internet. but maybe, this disturbing phenomenon is actually for the best.

Interview: Julius Black on Experimental Alt-Pop Sophomore EP, “Together We Go Down In The Dark”

Soft, dark and haunting. Kiwi artist Julius Black is back on the alt-pop scene with his latest EP, “Together We Go Down In The Dark”, an episodic visage of one’s descent into a toxic love-induced madness.

Dear Diary: The PM's Retrospective Journal

It has been a big few weeks, my worst New Year’s ever.

VCA Students Demand UniMelb to Commit to “Zero Tolerance” Policy

Students at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) are calling on the University of Melbourne to “commit to stronger policies and actions when it comes to sexual assault”, after the University ignored multiple reports which detailed alleged sexual and racial harassment by a male student as far back as 2019.

Eternals, A Review by FASFAS

Marvel has released another action-packed, complex and thrilling film, and with it, we have been given another piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) puzzle.

The first instalment of the Fantasy and Science Fiction Appreciation Society (FASFAS)'s review column, 'Eternals'

Column: Unwriting the hero's journey in Chicory: A Colourful Tale

On its surface, Greg Lobanov’s Chicory: A Colourful Tale is the poster child for escapist video games. Chicory is a colouring book turned video game, complete with Zelda-inspired puzzles, Metroidvania elements, and fun side-quests… all of which combine to create a disarmingly devastating commentary on what we are taught to want, as opposed to what what we actually need.

The first instalment in Aries' column, 'Unwriting the hero's journey in Chicory: A Colourful Tale'

Column: A Whole New World

8351 kilometres and two planes later. A sudden loss of heat and humidity. Hands nervously twisting together. Breathing hitched and shallow. Six-year-old Chathu looked out at her new classmates, her eyes slightly shielded by a heavy black curtain fringe. A sea of children stared at her; seated together, their heads looked like a patch quilt; every shade of brown, red and yellow.

The first instalment of Chathuni Gunatilake's column, 'A Whole New World'

The Coffee Pot

The old percolator makes about a mug and a half.

A Farrago Family Dinner with Busted Chops

Performing with Busted Chops is like drinking a shot of fireball and eating a pineapple.

Review: Drama School by Alistair Ward

In Drama School, the question of what it means to be a good actor ultimately becomes an inquiry into what it means to live a fulfilling life.

Review: Studio 666

Gone are the days where rock bands were such an IP in and of themselves that they warranted their own movie. That is precisely why Foo Fighters' Studio 666 stands out as an unburdened and creatively absurd project amidst the current rising sea of mass formulaic media.

Review: Sumodo ~ The Successors of Samurai, Japanese Film Festival 2022

Despite being the national sport of Japan, sumo remains relatively unknown to the western world. Director Eiji Sakata seems to have taken this lack of familiarity as a challenge, with Sumodo - The Successors of the Samurai offering an intricate introduction to sumo through its history and place within modern Japanese culture.

Review: It's a Summer Film!, Japanese Film Festival 2022

A trio of cinema-loving schoolgirls that we know only by their quirky codenames—Barefoot, Kickboard and Blue Hawaii—cobble together a ragtag production crew to create a samurai film. Only, they find out mid-production that one of their crew members is a time traveller from a dystopian future where their beloved films are banned, no less. A premise like this demands heart, spunk, and energy by the truckload, and luckily, It’s A Summer Film! delivers without fault.

Divestment for Dummies: An UMSU Enviro Guide

Care about the environment but don't know what to do? Don't worry, 2022 UMSU Environment OBs Chelsea Daniel and Zach Matthews are coming to the rescue.

Students' Council Round Up: 3(22)

Giddy Up! Yeehaw! Second council! Already losing my brain!

Review: The Silent World That Won’t Stop Talking, Nico Lim’s Daring Debut

On 13 February 2020, Nico Lim posted on his Instagram account @_flashpoetry, for the first time. This post signalled the beginning of a new project; an attempt to break down his hesitancy to share his creative work. This demolition of his caution hardened barriers manifests itself in The Silent World That Won’t Stop Talking, Nico’s debut poetry collection.

RAs initiate class-action lawsuit against UniLodge

UniLodge will be facing a class-action lawsuit initiated late last year by multiple residential advisors (RAs) working with Adero Law. The lawsuit accuses UniLodge and partnered universities, including the University of Canberra and the University of Sydney, of wage theft and exploitation.

Review: Barrikade, Transitions Film Festival

Acclaimed German photojournalist David Klammer’s new film is taking the documentary world by storm. Awarded best documentary at the Snowdance Independent Film Festival, Barrikade was also selected to be screened at the Kassel Dokfest, SUNCINE Film Festival, and Portland EcoFest, to name just a few. Released in 2021, Barrikade depicts the lives of German climate activists who built and occupied treehouses in the Dannenrod Forest to protest its clearing for the construction of a new motorway.

I Came, I ‘Sa’, I Cried: Parvyn launches debut album

All eyes are glued to Parvyn as the gleaming stage lights make a disco ball of her gold sequined choli, and she welcomes us to the unveiling of Sa, an album about love and family, betrayal and anxiety, written during the pandemic.

Addressing the Opinion Piece: “The GSA is Rushing Through Structural Changes...”

GSA General Secretary Lily Day writes a response to an opinion written about the GSA's proposed structural changes.

Anti-vaxxers: A Lost Cause?

Have you ever encountered an anti-vaxxer? Perhaps a family member, a friend or even online? Encounters with an anti-vaxxer, whether it is in person or online, tend to leave people frustrated, however, exploring the psychology behind the anti-vaxxer mentality may be the key in learning what you can do to influence vaccine-hesitant people.

Review: The Ants and the Grasshopper, Transitions Film Festival

Raj Patel’s new documentary gets its title from an Aesop’s fable. In the fable, a fiddle-playing grasshopper approaches some ants asking them to lend him some food. The ants ask why he has no food of his own, to which he replies that he’s been too busy playing the fiddle to grow and stockpile crops. The ants, rather dispassionately, are disgusted by the grasshopper’s laziness, and leave him to starve. This theme of abandonment is the launchpad for Patel’s documentary.

Review: A.rtificial I.mmortality, Transitions Film Festival

For the first time last week, I yearned for immortality. I stared at the unread books on my shelves, the pages collecting dust; I thought about the seas I’d never cross, the countries I’d never visit; I mourned the conversations I’d never have, the things I’d never learn.

Review: Bottom by Will Hudson, dir. Gavin Roach

The curtain of Willy Hudson’s Bottom rises and falls with Beyoncé. As theatregoers take their seats, “Love on Top” plays on a loop, affirming protagonist Willy’s devotion to his pop idol— as if the monstrous cut-out mood-boards weren’t enough. Running just shy of an hour, Bottom explores the various illusions and expectations inherent to that all-too-important third date. After all, he hasn’t yet been asked that dreadfully reductive, crushingly inevitable question: “Top or botto

Review: Run dir. Gavin Roach, a One-Man Show Starring Ben Stuart

Gavin Roach’s one-man show, Run, is an endearing, unique and impressive piece of theatre that bravely lays itself out completely bare to its audience. It can’t hide, and it doesn’t try to.

OPINION: The GSA is Rushing Through Structural Changes That Will Crush Student Democracy

On 5 February, a blog post appeared on the website of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) announcing major plans to reshape its structure and amend its constitution. Obscured by a number of seemingly innocuous changes is a proposed transformation that would impose serious limits on student activism, and should be of concern to all graduate students.

Review: The Shy Manifesto

Written by Michael Ross and directed by Gavin Roach, the Australian premiere of The Shy Manifesto opened in Melbourne as part of Midsumma Festival. British playwright Michael Ross has enjoyed a string of accolades in the UK, including being shortlisted for the 2014 Off West End Adopt a Playwright Award.

The Recipe for Loving My Chinese Parents

The recipe for loving my parents is complex. It is the product of countless mental notes from years of trial and error and several mishaps. The golden step to avoid getting scalded, you ask? Greasing your pan with several layers of patience.

What does 2022 have in store for club life?

The UniMelb Italian Stallion is writing for Farrago. Welcome to 2022.

Cosmic Medicine

Who didn’t love the Science Works Planetarium as a kid? The universe in high-definition above our pig-tailed and bowl cut heads; the hush that fell over the domed room as they lowered the lights; the dancing red pointer they used to describe stories in the stars.

Science Works isn’t quite so popular among senior high school students.

NUS condemns increased university funding announced by Morrison Government

The National Union of Students (NUS) have condemned the Coalition Government’s new research funding project which will see a $1.6 billion increase in university funding for “projects with high potential commercialisations” in fields that are deemed high priority by the Government.

University of Melbourne removes LSAT as entry requirement for Juris Doctor

The Melbourne Law School (MLS) has permanently removed the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as an entry requirement for all Juris Doctor (JD) applicants from 2022 and beyond

Interview: Dekleyn’s latest single ‘Save My Name’ and the future of their sound

Formed in 2017, Aussie duo Dekleyn are no strangers to the music industry. Having amassed over 5 million streams on Spotify over the last 3 years, the two have made a name for themselves in the realm of memorable, irresistibly catchy and skilful songs. Inspired by the beat from their 2021 single ‘Over Again’, ‘Save My Name’ is a heartfelt song that delivers a sincere yet uplifting emotional narrative through the duo’s reliable roots in electronic pop.

Review: Love, Hate and Fixation in The Hating Game

“Hating someone feels disturbingly like falling in love with them,”

Bookending the opening monologue, this quote astutely summarises the narrative of the screen adaptation of Sally Thorne’s bestselling novel, The Hating Game. The film follows Lucy, played by Lucy Hale, and Josh, played by Austin Stowell, as they toe the oh-so-narrow line between love and hate, falling predictably in the former.


Last year Cruella made a reappearance on screens in a live-action origin story of the fur-fashioned fiend. The film captures the transformation of the villainess—a brash, quirky but sagacious maverick, and the humble but twisted beginnings which induce her maniacal traits.

Interview: Will Hyde on the powerful, visual world of his sophomore EP ‘nothing ever changes’

Every so often, an artist comes around with an almost supernatural ability to capture the mutability of adolescence in their work. will hyde does exactly this, weaving a powerful, emotional story of youth throughout his sophomore EP ‘nothing ever changes’. The EP combines singles released previously as ‘chapters' with new unheard tracks, narrating a journey of growth and acceptance that serves as a testament to will hyde’s growth and maturity as an artist.

Collaboration, creativity, and the power of a collective: alum reflect on student media

Aeva and Allie caught up with three former Farrago contributors to look at their lives after student media.

“The archives are haunted!”: The Titwitchez are back with Hagademia

COVID-19 has attempted to stop the arts industry at every turn but queer comedy coven, The Titwitchez, have no fucks to give. In their latest production Hagademia, they have to face much more with a looming deadline and sexy hauntings.

Managing footy and full-time study: Farrago sits down with Ellyse Gamble

Farrago reporter Patrick Sexton sat down with Western Bulldogs player Ellyse Gamble to talk about how she managed the commitments of full-time study and footy, as well as what the future looks like for AFLW players studying at a tertiary level as the League looks to expand.

International students finally allowed to return to Australia

After 21 months, international students can finally return to Australia.

FarraGoes to NatCon '21: A Guide

What is NatCon? Jo doesn't know but Max does!

Federal government to slash university debts for rural and regional nurses and doctors

The federal government has announced a new scheme which will wipe the university debts of nurses and doctors who work in rural, regional, and remote areas.

“Shame on you, Duncan!”: Students and staff rally against casualisation at Melbourne University

University of Melbourne staff and students rallied outside Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell’s Parkville mansion yesterday in opposition to the University’s growing casualisation of teaching staff.

OPINION: In the Morrison Government, Students Deserve No Second Chances

In a sequel nobody asked for, the Student Learning Entitlement will return in 2022. This will limit how long you can study in Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) before you either pay the full, exorbitant fees or pray for a FEE-HELP loan.

Students and staff say no to the Robert Menzies Institute

Students gathered on South Lawn yesterday to protest the opening gala of the Liberal-backed think-tank Robert Menzies Institute (RMI).

Staying Alive (CWC Video — Winner)

In late 2021, the Media Department ran the 'Creative with COVID' competition, which encouraged students to continue creating in spite of everything going on in the world around them. There were four categories in the competition—art, photography, audio/music and video—with prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each. All winning works are available on our website for you to enjoy.

In case of emergency (rearrange as required) (CWC Video — 2nd Place)

In late 2021, the Media Department ran the 'Creative with COVID' competition, which encouraged students to continue creating in spite of everything going on in the world around them. There were four categories in the competition—art, photography, audio/music and video—with prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each. All winning works are available on our website for you to enjoy.

a pinter moment (CWC Video — 3rd Place)

In late 2021, the Media Department ran the 'Creative with COVID' competition, which encouraged students to continue creating in spite of everything going on in the world around them. There were four categories in the competition—art, photography, audio/music and video—with prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each. All winning works are available on our website for you to enjoy.

Grocery Shopping (CWC Photography — Winner)

In late 2021, the Media Department ran the 'Creative with COVID' competition, which encouraged students to continue creating in spite of everything going on in the world around them. There were four categories in the competition—art, photography, audio/music and video—with prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each. All winning works are available on our website for you to enjoy.

Untitled 2 (CWC Photography — 3rd Place)

In late 2021, the Media Department ran the 'Creative with COVID' competition, which encouraged students to continue creating in spite of everything going on in the world around them. There were four categories in the competition—art, photography, audio/music and video—with prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each. All winning works are available on our website for you to enjoy.

Don't I look like a tree? (CWC Art — Winner)

In late 2021, the Media Department ran the 'Creative with COVID' competition, which encouraged students to continue creating in spite of everything going on in the world around them. There were four categories in the competition—art, photography, audio/music and video—with prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each. All winning works are available on our website for you to enjoy.

Bog Ravens (CWC Art — 2nd Place)

In late 2021, the Media Department ran the 'Creative with COVID' competition, which encouraged students to continue creating in spite of everything going on in the world around them. There were four categories in the competition—art, photography, audio/music and video—with prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each. All winning works are available on our website for you to enjoy.


Birdman: Review

I had a nasty experience with this film, which came naturally as I saw it the same day that Millicent and I had our first fight. I suppose it was always coming. She’s been speaking to me less and becoming increasingly passive aggressive. She has an elitist demeanour, and I’m only now realising that she’s been judging me. I finally confronted her about it, and the argument quickly spiralled into chaos. Insults were hurled, and some of my contraptions were damaged. It started off[...]


—circa 1989

OPINION: Why students should protest the opening of the Menzies Institute on November 18

The grand opening of the Robert Menzies Institute will come to Parkville campus this November 18 in the form of a conference and gala dinner on campus. The Menzies Institute is a Liberal Party think-tank masquerading as a Prime Ministerial library being set up in the Old Quad by the Menzies Research Centre (MRC) and the University of Melbourne. The Institute will shape campus life...

LE VOURDALAK: A Friendly* Reminder That the Horror Genre is Built on Violent Prejudice

*It was not a friendly reminder, I am Very Uncomfortable™.

Story of Kunning Palace: So Good It Was Released Almost a Year Ago & I Still Can’t Shut Up About It

My brainbox will not shut up about Story of Kunning Palace, so if you haven’t watched it, you should, and here’s why!

The Bridal Lament哭嫁歌: Song of Love and Loss

When you think of weddings, you immediately picture an atmosphere of joy: flowers, parties and good wishes from family and friends. Even if there will be tears, they will most likely be a sign of joy and happiness. But, have you ever heard of a bridal lament?

Tech-bro Psychotherapy: The Unintentionally Funny but Worthwhile Experiment of DIVINITY

I’ll start with a disclaimer that when I signed up to review this movie I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. The Fantastic Film Festival line-up appeared on the Farrago slack channel, and as I watched the opportunities for other films dwindle within minutes, I took a plunge and thought the title “Divinity” sounded pretty cool—“I like films that explore themes of religion,” I thought—no time to look up what it was about.

Which 2024 Horror Movies Should Survive Your Chopping Block?

Content Warning: References to Blood, Death or Dying, Child Abuse, Kidnapping, Violence

HOMESHAKE Concocts a Remedy for Distress on HORSIE

Throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks is what HOMESHAKE is all about. The long-time musical project of Peter Sagar transcends mere pleasant, unattentive listens; Sagar’s bedroom pop-adjacent sensibilities mirror his headspace during recording. Where his livelier and more celebrated releases such as 2017’s Fresh Air ooze with jovial indietronica and alt-R&B, Horsie is Sagar’s second release in 2024 following March’s CD Wallet, and a continuation of the latter’s heavier approach.

A Hypnotic Dance with YVES TUMOR at RISING

There’s very little we know of Yves Tumor. With aspects of their identity, like their birth name and age, being punctuated by mere question marks, Tumor is not only private but has cemented themself as a rising enigmatic star. If anything, they further prove it with their otherworldly debut in the Melburnian landscape of the Forum.

The Torturous Cringe of The Tortured Poets Department

From its very public conception, The Tortured Poets Department (TTPD) was an incredulous embarrassment. Following Midnights' album of the year win, Taylor Swift subsequently announced TTPD’s impending release date at the Grammys, eclipsing Annie Lennox's performance calling for a ceasefire in Gaza directly after.

Total Snoozefest: A Review of RISING’s 8/8/8: REST

If you happened to be drunkenly stumbling home past the Arts Centre in the witching hours of a cool Saturday morning you may note the serenity of the scene. Empty streets, only an Uber or two on the road. You certainly would not guess that just a few floors down a large group of strangers nestled in blanket hoodies are awake witnessing what can only be described as a fever dream.

“I Brought All the Instruments on Stage with Me”: ANDREW O’HAGAN at the MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL

Reading is an inherently solitary practice – it’s one of the main reasons why I enjoy it so much. But reading is also a largely social practice, with the themes and ideas in a novel becoming the source from which socio-political discourse can be generated.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Netflix’s Version)

My favourite episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender is “The Ember Island Players”. It's not a particularly important episode. It’s the re-cap; little plot, mostly jokes, a good time before the epic four-episode finale. That’s not why I love it.

PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK: A marvellous debut from Barkly Theatre

CW: Violence, references to settler colonialism in Australia

Polarising Palates: A Review of RISING’s FOOD

Melbourne’s RISING Festival has returned for a fourth helping, serving up a delectable range of shows for its 2024 iteration. For those with a more adventurous palate, the festival presents FOOD, an “intimate dinner party performance” presented by American illusionist Geoff Sobelle.
The show’s hook? A giant table with plates and cutlery where the audience sits, while Sobelle performs the show as the establishment’s garçon, doing everything from taking fake orders to pouring wine.

Fassion 4 Passion Tells the Audience What We Already Know

When people make fun of people from Melbourne, there are a few recurring motifs in the jokes made via Facebook comments or Instagram reels:

Oat milk (depending on the age group),
Protesters (depending on the suburb),
Greyhounds (see both above),
And thrifters. The op shoppers. The secondhand fiends.

A Conversation with PAUL WILLIAMS

Paul Williams, star of Taskmaster NZ and a comedian in his own right, has been in Melbourne performing his new show Mamiya 7 as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (check out the review here!). I had the chance to talk to him about his experience with stand-up, Taskmaster NZ, his opinions on vanilla ice cream, and his back-up career options.

"Brown women truly can do it all": BROWN WOMEN COMEDY at MICF

Unapologetically brown and delightfully besharam, Brown Women Comedy is back better than ever at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Oz Xmas Comic-Con was the Christmas Miracle of 2023

Oz Xmas Comic-Con is a weekend long event held at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre (MCEC). This was the convention’s second Christmas themed event. I attended their debut Xmas convention last year which was held at the Melbourne Showgrounds. I was relieved to find out it was not there this year because I found the Showgrounds to be too far removed from the city, so this year's event location was perfect and only a few minute walk from the bustling atmosphere of the city.

SPIDER-MAN 2: A Frustratingly Great Game

Now, after a solid 26 hours and 100% completing the game, was it worth it?

Yes, but it is also way more complicated than that.

THE SCARLET SUN's closing night a murder-mystery student theatre show-stopper

Four Letter Word Theatre’s original murder mystery musical comedy The Scarlet Sun is a fast, frenetic and hilarious production that showcases the talent of the University of Melbourne’s student performers with its impressive stagecraft and exciting musical storytelling. Their closing night performance was an event where everything fit together perfectly.

IRAGO is a daring journey of sound and dance unveiling the human condition

Irago 이라고 - Said So, performed at Kensingtown Town Hall from 13-14 October for Melbourne Fringe, is a contemporary dance piece that sets out as an exploration of closure, transformation, and community in a constantly changing world.

Baking Bread Children

Vulnerable child dough meets its parent(s).

NIGHT SWEAT at Fringe is a confident, confusing look at what it means to sleepwalk

Michelle McCowage shows us what it's like to sleepwalk.

Notes on Ferguson’s Set Design in Armfield’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Teaching student Sean gives the rundown on how the latest Melbourne production of 'Death of a Salesman' provides a vision for rethinking education's role in society.

Grindcore Good Enough to Risk a Concussion For: NAPALM DEATH and WORMROT at The Croxton 9/09

This was the first time I had experienced something resembling fear in the mosh, that oh-shit-if-I-don’t-go-easy-I-could-actually-wind-up-in-hospital-with-serious-injuries kinda fear which I have to assume is known chiefly to skaters, footballers and anyone who partakes of the various Melbourne party drugs that we all know are predominantly methamphetamine.

THE EIGHT MOUNTAINS (2022) is an ode to the beauty of male friendship

Adapting Paolo Cognetti’s novel, The Eight Mountains (Le Otto Montagne) begins with an ode to friendship and expands to a love of life in the face of being pulled away from what we love.

Why is Hollywood on strike?

Hollywood is all over the place right now. When the Writer Guild of America went on strike in May this year, it was pens down for any movies, TV shows, late-night and variety shows in Hollywood.

OPPENHEIMER is a Chilling, Brilliant Character Study that Lands Among Nolan's Best

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is a stark and brilliant character dissection of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb

TALK TO ME: Goon of Fortune meets gouging out your own eyes

But that’s not Talk To Me (2023) by Aussie brothers (and YouTubers) Danny and Michael Philippou. The tone of Talk To Me is immediately established within a minute of the film’s start as we are struck with psychotic violence amidst a quintessentially Gen Z Aussie high school party. It’s intriguing, I can’t wait to see what’s going on. At first, I was worried because the horror came so early I wondered “How can it get worse from here?!” But it does. Continually.

CHAMELEON Plays with Imitation and Identity for a Warm, Insightful Show

The one-of-a-kind, one-man production Chameleon, starring the vibrant and charismatic Stewart Reeve, was truly a feast for the ears. Playfully toeing the intertwining line between standup comedy and musical, Reeve showcases his talent for vocal mimicry; calling to the helm a myriad of unmistakable voices and sounds identical to their originators, a performance at which an audience can do nothing but marvel; and of course, laugh.

How LITTLE WOMEN (2019) foreshadowed Greta Gerwig's creative evolution

All this happened, and more, as I found myself sniffing in moments of nothingness, wondering if I was more of a Jo or a Meg. However, in the wake of Barbie-mania, I left the cinema with a thought I wasn’t expecting. I couldn’t help but wonder how Little Women foreshadowed Gerwig’s move into the IP adaptation style of filmmaking unfolding before us.

Failing students back on HECS “at the first possible opportunity", says interim Accord report

Labor’s Federal Education Minister Jason Clare has committed to abolishing the 50% pass rate rule that currently prevents failing students from accessing HECS-HELP support as part of a suite of other higher education reforms designed to make the sector more equitable.

Oceanique: The Western Australian Twinduo that is the future of Australian folk.

Radio Fodder chats with indie folk duo Oceanique in support of their release show for debut album 'Would the Light Hold Me'.

NUS calls for National Duty of Care for University Students

The National Union of Students (NUS) is calling on the federal government to legislate a “National Duty of Care” at Australian universities, making tertiary institutions legally responsible for supporting and protecting student wellbeing.

TANZ at RISING: A Spectacle of Effort

TANZ pinpoints the subtleties of individual taste by putting everything on the table. There is a freedom begat by this intense exposure, which demands that you think something–anything–of it. You must consume everything or leave (or, occasionally, faint). And you must own your choice: you can walk out of TANZ, but everyone will see you do it.

Don’t Forget Lizzy Grant: Radio Fodder Reviews '...Ocean Blvd'

Radio Fodder Reviews Lana Del Rey's 'Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd' and its reflective breath of fresh air.

Navigating Chronic Dissatisfaction: Interview with Anna Smyrk on new EP ‘Cortisol and Blue Light’

Radio Fodder speaks to Anna Smyrk on their latest indie & dance EP, ‘Cortisol and Blue Light’, the feels of reconnection, and letting go of "thinking that everything is going to be great and perfect"

Tannhäuser – The slow-beating heart of German Romantic Opera

Tannhäuser, one of Richard Wagner's most acclaimed works, stands as a captivating testament to the composer's mastery of the opera genre. With its sweeping score, poetic libretto and compelling characters, this four-act opera takes, or rather attempts to take, its audience on an unforgettable journey through themes of love, redemption and the eternal struggle between passion and purity.

"I'm more here for the shoegaze": DEAFHEAVEN at Max Watt's 31/05

Deafheaven are often decried as “hipster black metal” for their amalgamation of the genre-trademark banshee shriek with the dreamy guitarwork of shoegaze: “blackgaze". To the credit of their critics, our first observation upon entering Max Watts was that this crowd did lean toward the “lanky dudes in My Bloody Valentine shirts” side of the hipster-black metal spectrum. “I’m more here for the shoegaze” were the words of one audience member.

THE GUEST: A (mostly) seductive dive into the world of the rich

The Guest is a fun and delicious dive into the lives of the affluent in a way where you don’t feel the need to envy them. It will curb your appetite for a scoop into the luxurious and excessive upper class with stunning and entrancing writing, as well as your desire to glimpse snapshots into the raw human experience. However, do not expect to connect with the characters in a meaningful way or climactic points in the plot.

Is ‘Baby J’ Enough to Save John Mulaney’s Likeability?

While I loved Mulaney for his pristine suit collection, his old-timey charm and, of course, his dog, Petunia, it was the way he spoke about his former wife, Anna Marie Tendler, that made his stage persona so endearing. So when that persona shattered, and the person I had decided he was was challenged, I was left confused, disillusioned and frustrated that he did not live up to the characterisation I attempted to enforce on him.

Nick White’s MICF Show GROW UP a Rundown on TikTok Humour

Nick White’s show Grow Up is a testament to the value of figuring out who you are and where you fit in the world. Or so he says. It is an overall funny and entertaining show but, unfortunately for this reviewer, overwhelming in its TikTok vibes.

Bursting at the Seams: FLESH DISEASE Struggles to Find Focus

Flesh Disease, staged at La Mama HQ, is many things. It’s a theatre performance, it’s a movement piece, it’s poetry, it’s a rumination on the lives of women and the trauma, memories and craft groups that colour those lives. At times, however, this wide scope muddies the waters, leading to a work that, while powerful, struggles to find any strong point of focus.

The GRIM in Ellen Grimshaw

As a sketch comedy, Grim commits to a single, multifarious act that titularly admits itself a derivative of its creator, Grimshaw, whilst proliferating a variety of imitative facades. Where stand-up panders the effect of the real, Grimshaw unapologetically rejects her claim to reality, embracing the effect of the fictive.

“Stand up, fight back!”: Students fight for climate justice in National Day of Action rallies
Students crowd together outside the steps of the State Library of Victoria holding banners that say

“When the air we breathe is under attack, what do we do?! Stand up, fight back!”

Student protesters gathered at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus to fight for climate justice on 17 March, led by the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) Environment Department as part of a wider National Day of Climate Action.

MFF's National Graduate Showcase: Clothes, Creativity and Panache

Watching a designer’s early-career work is an absolute privilege, which is exactly what this show was. From reimagining materials to re-envisioning household items, the designs were marvellous. We had picture frames, umbrellas and tents, among other things, serving as a focal point for the dresses and somehow everything translated well in the designs.

Aston By-Election Breakdown

If you weren’t fatigued enough after the federal and state elections of 2022, get ready for yet another political contest as the federal seat of Aston goes up for grabs once again. On April 1st, it’ll be April Fools for one of our major parties, as Alan Tudge passes the torch to a debut MP.

The fantastical realm of Italian superstition

When one thinks about Italy, art, history and of course food come to mind. However, there is so much more that lies beneath this rich culture. For the past seven months I have immersed myself in la dolce vita (the sweet life) and unearthed the unique realm of Italian superstition, a practice I didn’t realise is deeply embedded in their cultural norms.

'An Ostrich Told Me the World is Fake' (2021) Asks: Are We All Claymation?

This film isn’t subtle; it is hard to miss this glaring metaphor if you’re someone who has ever encountered a metaphor before. But anything that emphasises the work put into claymation and balances light-heartedness with the cruel realities of life is always worth a watch. An Ostrich achieves this, bringing a smile to the face with its charm despite the overwhelming pessimism of its message.

Are Robots Destroying our Education System?

As a child I thought that an AI apocalypse would look like a scene from Blade Runner or Wall-E. I did not predict that the greatest threat artificial intelligence presented to society would surround academic integrity.

The Quest for Intimacy in Lonesome (2022)

Lonesome doesn’t create a world to get lost in, but it is a movie to look at lovingly. A welcome addition to queer narratives surrounding the cowboy, if you’re willing to move past a few stumbles.

Radio Fodder’s Top 10 Releases of February

View Radio Fodder's curated playlist for the month of February 2023.

Review: Cherry, Midsummer Festival 2023

You are twelve years old in your childhood bedroom. Nobody understands you. You pull out your pink iPod Nano and press ‘play’. Katy Perry asks, “do you ever feel like a plastic bag?”

Memes and the Absurd: Modernity’s Opium of the People

On Youtube, there’s a video of author Patricia Lockwood reading her piece, The Communal Mind, at the British Museum. It’s witty, insightful, and unlike many written pieces about the internet, a completely immersive, self-aware, and nuanced piece of writing. You can watch it here. Just as a preface, I’ll be similarly carrying on in her absurd and confusing style, in some sort of a post-modern exploration of the internet and the meaning of life.

Vedic Hymn 121
The grey text 'Vedic Hymn 121', surrounded by soft clouds, a moon, a tree, a lantern and a book.

Cyberpunk fluoros, / And past it all… noise / noise and buzzing. / Who is the god we homage with our oblation?

College Admin

content warnings: sexual assault

Makeover Reality TV and its Gen Z’d, Aestheticised Reincarnation

I explicitly remember the excitement I felt in 2009, getting home from school, turning on the TV and tuning into ‘60-minute makeover’, ‘What not To Wear’, or something else of the like. As I perched on the edge of the couch in an anticipated fixation, I was eager to see how the “ugly duckling” or “fashion nightmare” at the beginning of the episode, was transformed into a new, prettier, more fashionable person at the conclusion of the show.

Spectacular Now: Self-Image, Social Media, and The Curse of Main Character Syndrome

Nowadays, it’s hard to find an image—whether online or in print—whose intended purpose isn't to promote an item or an idea. With the number of social media users exponentially increasing each year, companies and individuals wishing to capitalise on this growth have found new ways to garner frequent and continued patronage. By tracking user interactions and interests, new media algorithms generate a unique experience for each user.

Hippies, Conservatives, and Rock n' Roll

What was the soundtrack of your teen years? Mine was classic rock and its many derivatives. I don’t know what did it for me. Perhaps it was the wailing guitars, thundering drums, hammering baselines, and audacious vocals that felt especially electrifying to a fourteen-year-old Catholic schoolgirl. I fell quickly down the rabbit hole, collecting dusty old records that could trigger an asthma attack, and plastering my bedroom walls with the faces of bygone bands.

The Extraordinary Effect of #BookTok

#BookTok has had a significant influence on the sales of physical books and has disrupted the publishing industry. According to the NPD BookScan, which tracks the number of books sold, print book sales have increased by 9% from 757.9 million in 2020 to 825.7 million in 2021, the highest since they started tracking in 2004. NPD BookScan said, “no other form of social media has ever had this kind of impact on sales.”

The Plates I've Made: Three Vignettes on Dishes and Their Social Lives
An intricate painting of a bowl of mussels, pumpkin ravioli, and a cut loaf of banana bread.

We circuited between food and the erotic, making promises to roast pumpkins and burn butter for each other.

A W.I.P. Around the Workshop: Exposition Exposed
Two mirrored scenes of people in a blue living room: a TV flashes words at one, and the other reads.

The call’s coming from someone called ‘Plot-Critical Caller’, so unfortunately you have to answer.

Bird Hunting
A surprised-looking cartoon astronaut in a blue-and-purple suit, holding a card with a bird on it. I

“Now available,” the ad said. “Bird collector cards in every ZipFresh Ready Meal. Collect them all!”

triptych for elvis / i want to swallow my own piss
Three faceless outlines of Elvis performing distinctive dance moves.

on stage in honolulu / the music driving upwards out of his crotch / his arms knives cutting through the air.

The Mistreatment of Amber Heard
A drawing of Amber Heard pasted over newspaper clippings and translucent outlines of flowers.

You heard she deserved it. You p u l l e d her a p a r t taking her words and / spitting!! / on her!

Three blue-green silhouetted people, seen from behind, reach towards a red sun in a purple sky.

We believe their aim is to (re)militarise time, to make it politically explosive. This stance opposes Ministry policy.

Murder on the Dancefloor: Tales from Late-Stage Hospitality—The Retiree
Four oil pastel drinks in various glasses, one green and the rest red, before a blue background.

She lingered on that final word. Every part of the restaurant felt like it was screaming at her: “Experience me!”

Ordinary Phenomena: Dog Days and Everydays
A smiling femme person in a yellow blouse drinking coffee alongside a dog with a puppuccino.

You give yourself experiences as gifts, letting your inner child sit in the space of your cerebrum.

Opening Night
Red, blue and green spotlights crossing and overlapping on a dark stage

LIGHTS! / camera! action! / theres something about staring at the sun the white burns
/ when they flash rhythmically

Edition Four: Satire-in-Brief
A waving cartoon cactus wearing a broad-brimmed hat, red bandana, and red glasses.

Vegan Destroys Entire Democratic System by Refusing Democracy Sausage

stone statues don't cry
To the left is Michelangelo's David, and to the right is a headless person tied down by an anchor

This glasshouse gallery has no ceiling, / and the blood of my callouses is / slicked, like hot oil paint on its walls.

A person holds hands with a skeleton in a glass case, which they’ve smashed open with a hammer.

four feet of bipedal beauty, she follows a strict diet and is practically skin and bones—minus the skin.

Hocus-Pocus Recipes and Rituals: A Happy Hearty Meal for a Great Big Adventure

I must confess, I’ve been finding myself bone-tired lately, and sluggish as a mealworm without a meal.

Bull Man
A glowing green cowboy silhouette crawls up a hill, reaching for a blue bull at the top.

Lights blurred like trailing spit. I fell hard. But I queued again. Be the cowboy, I thought. It wasn’t my thought.

god fucked me last night

god fucked me last night / or was it you? i couldn’t tell you apart / from my position on the floor.

Myki Fare War between the Liberals and Greens

With a daily full-fare ticket for metropolitan bus, train, and tram rides climbing to $9.20, struggling students have to allocate more budget to public transport. Vanessa Chan evaluates the public transport policies of Labor's two main rivals, the Liberal/National Coalition, and the Victorian Greens.

Two dogs on a yellowed, upturned plate
Two sad-looking dogs huddle together in a field of yellow wheat under a dark, cloudy sky.

Father / talks to the fields like talking to you, / tills the soil like knowing you.

The (Para)Social Network

While some of these investments can be harmless—like the celebrity crush Pinterest board I have been cultivating since I was 13, and the radio show that spawned from these romantic infatuations—the inhumanity of other parasocial behaviours of mine has recently reared its ugly head. So, where do you draw the line? And why do I have a sickening feeling that I’m only going to end up ignoring it?

Really, this is how we’re ending things? A Guide to Series Finales

It’s no surprise that when our beloved TV shows come to an end, we’re left bereft. We’re left standing there, more awkward than a contestant on The Bachelor who didn’t receive a rose, unsure of what happens next and trying not to make a scene.

But what’s the best way to end a show? How can you call off the relationship but still stay friends without the stressful will-they-won’t-they of Ross and Rachel?

One-Sentence Fairy Tales
Black-and-white art of two foxes in a forest, dressed in silk, playing the mandolin.

When my incisor wobbles—pulls— falls, I slip it under my pillow, and wake to a bed full of pansies.

One-Sentence Nightmares
Black and blue buildings with windows lit, a cat in one. A shadow-monster emerges from a grate.

I peeled off my mask and my face came with it, layer upon layer until nothing was left but an empty void.

A W.I.P. Around the Workshop: The Entangled Character
A glowing blue sketched outline of a face and hand on the dappled surface of water.

We are constructing a character together as the words appear on the page right now. The character is a version of me.

She the Sea
A wave striped with shades of dark blue. Its white crest curls, and bubbles rise within it.

The water in those submerged vessels / once was in the sea. Just like / I once was a particle in my grandmother

Murder on the Dancefloor: Tales From Late-Stage Hospitality—The Frozen Margaritas
A birds-eye view of two glistening, pink margarita glasses, each with a tiny person inside.

Summer always comes shyly to Melbourne, where patches of sun peek between weeks of dismal skies and harsh wind.

fourteen things I found in my notes app, in no particular order
A abstract, geometric sketch of a naked femme person traced with a highlighter-yellow glow.

I’m very drunk on the 109 tram right now and the sunset is so pink behind all the houses it looks like a green screen

“Change the Age”: Report Published on Centrelink’s Failure to Mitigate Youth Poverty
Black poster with the NUS logo and orange text: 'Locked out of Youth Allowance’

The NUS has condemned the Australian government for “failing hundreds of thousands of 18 to 21 year-olds".

God Fashioned Into Woman The Rib

For a young Greek hero to prove himself, there was one thing he had to do. I’m not talking about slaying monsters, sleeping with enchantresses, or kidnapping royal daughters. From Hercules to Theseus to Bellerophon, the stories of Greek heroes share one interesting overlap: each of them proved themselves by battling an Amazon warrior and emerging victorious.

Review: Book of Love (2022)

Book of Love is a bizarre film. Some of the choices made in its production turn what would have been a predictable rom-com with a clever premise into a truly unusual watch.

DEIFIED - A Review, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2022

“Performance art is so gauche!”

Joss Whedon: Fuck you

And so, from the bottom of teenage Sophie’s heart—fuck you, Joss Whedon. We’ve got it from here.

Presidential Candidate Profile: Conor Barnes
A purple graphic with large block text, 'UMSU ELECTIONS: PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DEBATE'.

Meet Conor Barnes (he/him), the UMSU presidential candidate for the brand new ticket of ‘Rebuild’.

Under the Apple and the Pear: Of Edwardian Arts and Kusama Yayoi

As I read several tediously long articles to alleviate the boredom of isolation, I came across one describing the life and artwork of Kusuma Yayoi. An acclaimed Japanese artist, her most significant achievement seemed to be having entered herself into the psychiatric ward of a Tokyo hospital. The words used are "psychiatric ward," but they might as well have been "mental asylum", "lunatic asylum", or "bedlam". Search though I did, not one description of her artwork caught my notice.

Sad Girl: The Soundtrack of an Era

Music made by melancholic women is nothing new. The 1950s’ darling, Billie Holiday, has been credited with the popularisation of the ‘torch’ song, a sentimental ballad for unrequited love. Folk singers like Carole King and Joni Mitchell rose in the 60s and 70s. The 90s saw the surge of Fiona Apple, who remains a key figure in the Sad Girl genre today.

The Panchatantra: A Life Kit

My brother is trying to teach me to drive a manual car; we go around and around the empty lot down at the local high school. When I was younger, my band teacher taught us a trick on the snare drum, where you throw the drumstick in the air and catch it again without interrupting the drumbeat. He said if you have the coordination to do this, you have the coordination to drive a manual car.

Column: Mango Friends

“Would you like to play with us?”

These words were to become the earliest memory of friendship seven-year-old Chathu would remember from Australia—the first time someone had offered to be friends with her after she had begun her new life abroad.

Satire-in-Brief: Edition Two 2022
A cartoon person painted with the Russian flag scowls at an upset person as the Ukrainian flag.

Israel Recognising Ukraine’s Sovereignty Proves No One Knows the Definition of Irony

Hocus-Pocus Recipes and Rituals: Making Fiction Come to Life!
Selena reads a book from which pastel bubbles fly, forming an image of her lying with a femme lover.

Maybe I could even change the very course of events and add a whole new level of spice to my favourite works of fiction!

“Where’s the essay, OP?”: TikTok is ADHD Culture, Tumblr is Autism Culture

It is a truth universally acknowledged—at least among those in the know—that different neurotypes will naturally gravitate towards different social media platforms.

Before taking a deep dive into cyberspace, let’s backtrack a little and start with the basics of neurotypes and the neurodiversity movement. The term ‘neurotype’ arose out of the neurodiversity movement, the founding ideology of which was kickstarted by Autistic Australian sociologist Judy Singer in 1998.

The Rise of Eco-anxiety in Generation Z: How Climate Change is Affecting our Mental Health

In a world constantly bombarded with news about floods, earthquakes and bushfires, it is no surprise there has been a rise in eco-anxiety over the past few years.

Are you someone who has difficulty falling asleep because you are constantly thinking about the impacts of climate change, or do you feel a sense of doom at the rising sea levels? Have you ever felt that fear as if you were on a sinking planet and there is nothing you can do to save it? If so, you may have experienced eco-anxiety.

Happiness is a Warm Gun: Firearm Culture at Home and Abroad

Last month in America, the gun manufacturer Remington reached a legal settlement with the families of those who lost their lives in the 2012 Sandy Hook Massacre. $73 million will be shared equally amongst the families who took Remington to court, hoping to establish their legal culpability for the massacre. This settlement is not, of course, adequate compensation for what these families have lost.

I No Longer Want to be That Girl: A Deconstruction of Wellness Culture

The emergence of that girl culture is one of the internet's best-kept secrets. As the poster child of wellness and productivity, that girl will never be spotted without a matcha latte or some plant-based drink in her hand. Apart from said drink, her other trustworthy companions might include her $65 yoga mat and a black Moleskine journal for morning reflections.

A slightly blurred, as if to appear three-dimensional, digital artwork of planets and stars. Two pla

The sun brines in a sticky chicken broth / watching one to eight float in her belly

Ordinary Phenomena: Fireflies in the Suburbs
An illustration of a street lamp with a triangular beam of light illuminating a circle on the ground

It's suburban living, the sparks from the blistering street lights competing with nettled crickets

Like a Snake Eating its own Tail: BPD, Non-Binarism and TikTok, a Tarot Reading

Sometimes, we get complacent. Even with things we care about.

A couple of months ago, at twenty years old—already seven years into my gruelling mental health journey—I was diagnosed with ADHD, generalised anxiety disorder, OCD and PTSD by a psychiatrist. As you can imagine, broadcasting this on a platform like Farrago—with a readership that I actually have to interact with—is pretty fucking terrifying.

Films for the Directionless Twenty-Something Year-Old

Film Recommendations from Farrago’s Non-Fiction Staff-Writing Team (and Ivan).

Data in the Dark: a look at COVID corruption

As far as rich, highly vaccinated countries are concerned, Omicron is a relic of yesteryear. With pandemic restrictions fading as cases continue to plummet, for what feels like the hundredth time in the last two years, a select few dare to dream of returning to an almost-forgotten state of interconnectivity "post-Covid." However, the catastrophic moral failures of the pandemic should not slip our collective memory anytime soon.

Grandmother Rose | Blackout Poetry Competition, Second Place
A dark-red-and-white illustration of a teacup in front of a teapot with leaves and flowers coming ou

She bends slow, steady, tense my emotions. She could always read the inevitability of my future.

i | Blackout Poetry Competition, First Place
An illustration of a disembodied torso, with a background of blue glued tinfoil on the left side and

o will my heart ripple as i float in the night, on the wind like everything is u n I

A quick recap of marginal Chisholm

If you are under 25, Chisholm is probably identifiable to you by Zero Mode in the suburb of Box Hill and Glenny Kebabs in Glen Waverley—other than these two joints, there’s really not much else happening there.

“Old umpires just strip and don’t give a shit”: The AFL’s need for systemic gender equality change

To fully realise gender equality, the AFL, local footy leagues and fans must reflect on their contributions to the unsafe culture experienced by report participants.

You’re not that guy pal, trust me: politicians and sports

The sporting field is home to many of Australian politicians’ greatest gaffes. Yet they keep coming back—why?

Farrago’s definitive guide to coffee on campus.

Our campus has a surplus of cafés throughout its buildings and hidden in little pockets. Many of these have changed since 2019, with notable favourites the Brew Sisters (a moment of silence for my triple shot flat white for $3.50

After years of neglect, is Labor’s promise of cultural policy enough to save the Australian arts?

It’s always a good sign when one party announces their cultural policy five days before the election and the other party doesn’t have a cultural policy at all.

Major parties with no plans to fix the housing market this election

Ultimately, until the toxic politics of homeownership are tackled in direct and unabashed fashion, there can be no expectation that this housing crisis will be resolved.

Farrago Policy Comparisons #8: Democracy and Integrity

What do the parties and candidates say about improving democracy and trust in politics?

Growing Up a Misogynist: how I learnt to overcome my internalised misogyny and love Taylor Swift

Then the song comes to a slow fade and your heart rate increases as you anxiously await the next song. Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble. The cute boy’s relaxed nonchalance contorts into a look of disgust, and you panic to ensure he knows you’re not like the other girls singing along. You could never like Taylor Swift and you think it’s stupid that these other girls do.


Social media is brimming with cultural commentary, political movements and aesthetic infographics. The belief is that if you are not up to date, then you don’t care. It is purported that if you are not informed, then you are part of the problem. I want to challenge this misconception. The expectation imposed on us today is that we should all be arriving at some final destination of intellectual enlightenment. This is, of course, a fictional destination. Today, I will provide you with a defence

TikTok on the Historical Clock

To understand the effect TikTok is having on the way pop music is being written, it is worth looking at what a TikTok hit actually is—a more complicated proposition than it might appear. A song that becomes a hit on TikTok often finds subsequent chart success; if the artist is a relative unknown, major label interest is often quick to follow. But all this is happening after the fact of its initial virality—and it isn’t the artist that goes viral, nor even the song itself.

Bedrooms: a reflection of our journey growing up

Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen… ah, crap. It’s 2010. Once again, your nine-year-old self has lost track of how many glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling you've counted in a bleak attempt to fall asleep. Skip to 2022. Your twenty-one-year-old self still counts the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. This time around, most of the stars have fallen off. Your earphones are blaring Royals by Lorde, and you relive the peaceful days of being twelve.

Formula One returns: ‘sometimes it takes removing a mark to leave one’

The black and papaya liveries of the McLaren racing team showcased the sport’s first Indigenous sponsor, DeadlyScience.

Teal Independent Monique Ryan No Longer the Underdog in Kooyong

As the 2022 election draws closer, so too does the contest between the two candidates, in what Frydenberg has admitted will be the "fight of [his] political life".

The “Filipino GBF”: Puzzle Pieces of a Rich Filipino History

Again, the question popped up. If gender fluidity was present in the Tagalog language and the pre-colonial Philippines, why then do the majority of the older generation Filipinos lean towards homophobic mindsets?

It’s simple, really.


Students' Council Round Up: 6(22)

Do people outside UMSU read these?

Review: Anthony Locascio’s ‘Don’t Call me a Wog’!, MICF 2022

It’s opening night. Ten minutes before the show, Andrew Locascio pokes his head through the ruby-velvet curtain. With a cheeky grin to his awaiting audience, he says, “don’t worry guys, the show’s purely rhetorical”. Assured that this wasn’t one of those awkward audience participation situations, the atmosphere felt tangibly at ease. Before even beginning his show, Locascio had managed to dispel discomfort - and he maintained this throughout the evening.

Union House Theatre is back with Nora: A Doll’s House.

Union House Theatre (UHT) returns to campus this week with Stef Smith’s Nora: A Doll’s House, a radical retelling of Henrik Ibsen’s classic A Doll’s House, and a crucial and relevant tale about women’s rights throughout the last century.

Review: Tom Mac at the Gaso

Mac truly knows how to craft a great set and create a beautifully intimate, yet energetic atmosphere. If you have an interest in Australian folk rock, I’d highly recommend checking out his music.

A WIP Around the Workshop: Magical Realism - A Genre of Defiance
A collection of red, green and white outlines of objects on a black background, beside the edge of a

When people find out that I write, their inevitable first question is: “What do you write?”

Pay for a Pandemic
An excerpt from 'Pay for a Pandemic', a found poem, with a beige-orange gradient background. The tex

we’re in another stage / we have to live with this / this virus / it’s a test / someone's always going to pay for it

We, the Fleas
An illustration of a tree and a headstone on a sharp cliff to the right, and roots that become snake

My best cursive sits on a headstone / We wear name tags to bed / As if the death-nurse does not know us

May It Please The Court: What The Law Gets Wrong About Sex

Almost universally, female sexual pleasure is de-centred and depicted as a lesser counterpart to male sexual pleasure. This phenomenon manifests in the orgasm gap between heterosexual women and men—a study found that only 6% of women orgasm every time they have sex, yet it remains the expectation that sex isn’t over until a man cums. A gendered perception of pleasure has leeched into all facets of daily life.

Review: The Duke (2022)

I am calling it: this is the best feel-good film that I have had the pleasure of watching for as long as I can remember.

Olivia Ryan's review of 'The Duke' at Cinema Nova

Students' Council Round Up: 5(22)

I walk... a very lonely road...

Da Budget Breakdown

To dorks like me, the federal budget is like Christmas come early. We all sit around the fireplace and wait for Santa (Josh Frydenberg) to deliver us a ton of goodies.

Satan Wears a Bra
An illustration of a femme person sitting on a tiled floor, placing a cigarette in an ashtray. Their

You are an observer / of calloused hands on brass strings / Crimson plastic, nostrils pierced in backyards

Hocus-Pocus Recipes and Rituals: How to Summon a Demon Friend
An illustration of a purple owl with glowing yellow eyes and outstretched wings, sitting atop a pent

Here I’m going to show you some simple tricks of the trade to summoning a demon to the mortal realm.

A thin, knobbly, twisting tree truck extends from the bottom left side of the image and transitions

now i have moved out for good. / farewell fairy bread, farewell forehead / kisses, farewell mum’s wedding rings

On The Ideology of Diet

We throw the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ around so much that I think we forget that it’s true. Do you ever really think about what it means to eat?—about what happens when you eat? The intimacy of it all? Your food becomes one with you when digestion reduces it to its base components and repurposes them to build your cells. Long before we discovered that science, we were thinking up ways to eat “correctly”.

Column: Reflections on the “Autistic Genius”

Within fiction, the portrayal of autistic characters most often adheres to that of the ‘autistic genius’. While it is a fraught activity to pathologise and diagnose fictional characters, there's value in comparing these famous representations of neurodivergence in fiction by doing just that. 

The first instalment in Ishan Morris-Gray's Column, 'Reflections on the “Autistic Genius”'

Domesticated: Feminism in past and future at the George Paton Gallery

The George Paton Gallery returns this 2022 with upcoming student exhibition Domesticated,.

Review: Her Love Boils Bathwater, Japanese Film Festival 2022

Her Love Boils Bathwater (2016) is a charming Japanese drama by Ryota Nakano. It is a film about the benevolent power of family, womanhood, and most importantly, motherhood.  Equal parts comedy and tragedy, it’s the kind of film that will lift your spirits, only to break your heart, only to lift your spirits once again.

A Love Letter to the Transgender Community

We see so much trans pain and suffering, but I promise you: trans joy exists, and it is there, and it is beautiful

Gaslight, Gatekeep, Greenwash

To nobody’s surprise, #Shein(doesn’t)Care.  

Capitalising on the global push towards sustainability, numerous fast fashion brands have launched marketing campaigns or undertaken attempts to rebrand themselves as eco-warriors. Claiming to be sustainable is a double-edged sword that mega-brands are (un)successfully trying to wield in their favour.

Review: Grief, Art and Chekhov in Drive My Car

Co-written and directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car is a cinematic reconstruction of Haruki Murakami’s original short story of the same title. Hamaguchi is an artisan with ennui, wielding suspended moments of tension effortlessly to dramatic effect. Building on Murakami’s template, he has created a story about the innate human tendency to mindlessly move forward, a secret and often hidden desire to continue living despite feeling like we don’t deserve to.

UMSU Queer Department Pulls Out of Midsumma Pride March

The UMSU Queer Department has announced that they will no longer attend the Midsumma Festival Pride March.

Students' Council Round Up: 2(22)

Giddy Up! Yeehaw! First Council of the new year!

Join the Student Representative Network this year!

Applications to join the Student Representative Network (SRN) are currently open until 31 January.

“What if I just suddenly stop playing?”: On Stella Farnan

Farrago reporter Aeva Milos sits down with local musician Stella Farnan.

Burning Brighter: The La Mama Theatre Returns

After a devastating electrical fire in 2018, the theatre community banded together to rebuild La Mama.

Justin Baré resigns as UMSU CEO

In a statement released today, Justin Baré has resigned from his position as CEO of the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) and will be leaving at the end of this year.