Published 21 November 20234 December 2023 · The university Transforming the Institute of Postcolonial Studies into a project that builds anticolonial and antiracist solidarities Transform IPCS Working Group As we bear witness to Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza, as white supremacy is emboldened after the Voice referendum, and as institutional racism undermines Australian universities, the importance of creating spaces to strengthen anticolonial and antiracist solidarities has never been more urgent. As members and friends of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies (IPCS), we write to express the urgent need to transform IPCS, into an Institute that takes up antiracist and anticolonial work in the Australian colony and transnationally. Building on earlier histories of activism and scholarship at IPCS, we put forward our proposal to shift the current composition of the IPCS Board at the 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM). We believe this may be a first step towards transforming IPCS into an Institute that is accountable to its members and its stated commitment to “interrogat[e] colonial relations and their consequences in the past, present, and future in Australia and globally”. Since its establishment 25 years ago, and despite growing membership, from approximately 40 members in 2018 to over 200 members in 2023, IPCS has not moved beyond its founding model of governance where a self-appointed Board is largely unaccountable to membership. The Institute of Postcolonial Studies is currently led by white settler academics. At present IPCS fails to use its resources in service of the self-determined aspirations of Aboriginal communities. For the past five years, there has only been a single Aboriginal director on the IPCS Board, who resigned earlier this year, and two People of Colour (POC) who have also resigned. This is not a condemnation of individual directors. However, an organisation committed to interrogating colonial relations must embody a diverse governance structure, which includes directors of the Board with a lived experience of colonisation. In late 2022 an IPCS Working Group was formed by members to activate change at the Institute. In early 2023, a number of actions by the Board, relating to activities, projects and staff, created an environment where members no longer felt comfortable contributing to or collaborating with the Institute. Today, the Institute’s building on Curzon Street in North Melbourne is no longer the vibrant space it once was. It has since reduced its opening hours and the building is at most times completely absent of members. On 18 October, in line with the IPCS Constitution, a group of members submitted a set of resolutions to the Chair of the Board to be voted on at the upcoming 2023 AGM. These resolutions seek the appointment of Aboriginal and POC scholar-activists to serve as directors on the Board. The new directors would serve in addition to the current self-appointed directors. So far, the IPCS Board has ignored the proposal and our correspondance. On 23 October, under the current IPCS Board, the membership sign-up form was removed from the IPCS website. This is a worrying move that creates further barriers for community participation in the Institute. Our call for a transformed IPCS We believe that a democratically elected Board that includes Aboriginal and POC directors is required to bring about an IPCS that is: accountable to its membership and the communities that are actively interrogating and resisting colonialism as a matter of survival; committed to undertaking intellectual work that takes up antiracist and anticolonial struggles in the Australian colony and abroad; and coherent and visionary in its goals, projects, initiatives and governing practices. Our calls to action We encourage all current members of IPCS who are interested in supporting a transformed IPCS to join us at the AGM on 19 December 2023. Community members who believe in our vision for IPCS can take up membership by emailing email@example.com When sharing on socials please use the hashtag #transformIPCS. You can sign this statement here. Update Since the Transform IPCS Working Group began circulating this open letter roughly a fortnight ago, we have learnt that the current Board of IPCS is seeking to dissolve the IPCS project and sell the building on Curzon Street. None of the over 200 members of IPCS were told about these plans, let alone offered an opportunity to vote on them. In order to prevent the Board’s intentions coming to fruition, we have launched an urgent campaign to #SaveIPCS. Please support us by telling the Board to stop their undemocratic and unethical plans immediately. IPCS Working Group and supporting IPCS members Professor Gary Foley, Victoria University Dr Evelyn Araluen, Deakin University Natalie Ironfield, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne Jasmine Barzani, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne, and IPCS Visiting Fellow Muhib Nabulsi, organiser & writer, and IPCS Convenor Tasnim Sammak, PhD Candidate, Monash University Eda Seyhan, lawyer & researcher, and IPCS Visiting Fellow Idil Ali, community organiser Ahmed Barakat, activist Scheherazade Bloul, PhD candidate, Deakin University Tim Gentles, PhD Candidate, University of Newcastle Dr Sahar Ghumkhor, Lecturer, University of Melbourne Dr Aitor Jimenez, Research Fellow, University of Melbourne Dr Jack Kirne, National Tertiary Education Union, and IPCS Visiting Fellow Loukas Kakogiannis, RAFWU Dr Lina Koleilat, Academic Fellow, Australian National University Dr Laura Rodriguez Castro, Senior Research Fellow, Southern Cross University Dr Paula Muraca, Deakin University Beth Muldoon, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne Lia Hills, writer, PhD candidate, Deakin University John Henry Porter, activist Anita Thomasson, community member Khalid Warsame, writer and arts producer Dr Carlos Morreo, Lecturer, Trinity College, University of Melbourne Lauren Bull, Barrister, Victorian Bar Emily Clarke, Barrister, Victorian Bar Tori Ball, activist Javed de Costa, University of Melbourne Juan-Camilo Riano-Rodriguez, PhD candidate, Victoria University Sista-Zai Zanda, PhD candidate and poet, University of Melbourne Jim Power, plumber activist Kara Kupe, business owner Darcy Hytt, community member Neika Lehman, Vice Chancellor’s predoctoral fellow, RMIT Matthew Rogers, social worker Associate Professor Suzi Hutchings, RMIT University Associate Professor Anitra Nelson, Honorary Principal Fellow, Informal Urbanism Research Hub, University of Melbourne Associate Professor Diana Johns, Chair of Criminology, University of Melbourne Dr Jordana Silverstein, Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne Kavita Peterson, Deakin University, Emerging Museums Professional Justyna Muśko, noborders organiser Dr Azza Zein, artist and sessional academic Dr Jimmy Wintermute, writer and activist Sofia Sabbagh, community member and artist Alice Wighton, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne Salma Warsame, PhD Candidate, La Trobe University Emma Hartley, writer and artist Nish Morris, community organiser Dr Serveh Naghshbandi, Teaching Associate, Monash University, and IPCS Visiting Fellow Dr Elese Dowden, Lecturer, Trinity College, University of Melbourne Xan Coppinger, community member María Paula Hernández, PhD Candidate, La Trobe University Mr Davies (aka Riga), teacher Holly Regan, Juris Doctor Graduate, ABSTARR Consulting Junior Consultant Yaseera Moosa, Sessional Academic, University of Melbourne Dr Giles Fielke, Monash College, Teacher & NTEU National Councillor Massimo Amerena, community member Panos Karanikolas, community member Dr Hailegabriel Feyissa, Western Sydney University Daphne Arapakis, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne Dr Kristie Flannery, Research Fellow, Australian Catholic University Dr Ariel Salleh, writer and activist, Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Queen Mary University of London and Visiting Professor, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa Dr Nesam McMillan, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne Dr Elnaz Sheshgelani, Victoria University, educator and researcher, and IPCS Visiting Fellow Dr Kristie Flannery, Research Fellow, Australian Catholic University Dr Nesam McMillan, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne Kokoda O’Bryan, Proud Kooma and Celtic woman, Charles Sturt University, and Resident Scholar at IPCS Dr Elnaz Sheshgelani, Victoria University, educator and researcher, and IPCS Visiting Fellow Safa El Samad, artist and Masters Student, Monash University Ahmed Ali Barakat, historian and activist Aamon Sayed, community member Mehmood Irfan, PhD Candidate, RMIT University Associate Professor Juliet Rogers, University of Melbourne Dr Glenda Mejía, Senior Lecturer, RMIT University Dr Marcelo Svirsky, Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong Yael Leah, artist & community organiser Dr Zuleika Arashiro, community member Liz Grandmaison, PhD Candidate, Flinders University Dr Gemma Sou, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester Apsara Sabaratnam, University Lecturer & Community Organiser Moses Iten, PhD candidate RMIT University & Research Assistant, University of Sydney Vik Nithy, Community Member Friends of IPCS Associate Professor Crystal McKinnon, University of Melbourne Professor Tony Birch, writer, University of Melbourne Professor Chelsea Watego, Queensland University of Technology, and Director of the Institute of Collaborative Race Relations Distinguished Professor Bronwyn Carlson, Macquarie University Professor Greg Lehman, PVC Aboriginal Leadership, University of Tasmania Associate Professor Juan Tauri, Macquarie University Associate Professor Jeanine Leane, University of Melbourne Associate Professor Amanda Porter, Criminal Law and Criminology, University of Melbourne Debbie Kilroy, Sisters Inside Professor Barbara Pini, Griffith University Professor Sarah Maddison, University of Melbourne Professor Libby Porter, RMIT University Dr Liz Strakosch, University of Melbourne, and Director of the Institute of Collaborative Race Relations Dr Bree Carlton, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne Dr Priya Kunjan, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, RMIT University Dr Paula Satizábal, Honorary Fellow, University of Melbourne Dr Elly Scrine, Sessional Lecturer and Children’s Trauma Counsellor Dr David Kelly, Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow, RMIT University Dr Micaela Sahhar, Subject Leader & Lecturer, Trinity College, University of Melbourne Maeve Powell, ANU Research Associate and PhD Candidate Will Bracks, Research Archivist, Aboriginal History Archive Tobias Barnfield, playwright Dr Rusaila Bazlamit, Teaching Associate, University of Melbourne Dr Tania Cañas, University of Melbourne Srishti Chatterjee, Graduate, School of Culture and Communications, University of Melbourne Sherine Al Shallah, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales Gurmeet Kaur, writer, producer and educator Eva Birch, president, Melbourne School of Literature Dr Charlotte Mertens, University of Melbourne Liyan Gao, organiser, Masters Graduate, Monash University Dr Carolyn D’Cruz, Senior Lecturer, La Trobe University Anu Algama, community member Dr Anastasia Kanjere, Honorary Associate, La Trobe University Hussein Mohamud, PhD Candidate Dr Liam Gillespie, University of Melbourne Dr D’Arcy Molan, Deakin University Dr Tarek Makhlouf, Subject Coordinator Arabic Studies, University of Melbourne Dr Sarah Schwartz, Senior Fellow, Melbourne Law School Angie Sassano, PhD Candidate, Deakin University Eva Lazzaro, Juris Doctor student, RMIT University Michael Graham, Organiser, National Tertiary Education Union Simon Farley, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne Nur Shkembi, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne Rasheeda Wilson, PhD Candidate Dr Umber Rind, General Practitioner Yasmin Hassen, PhD Candidate, Australian National University Flynn Pervan, PhD Candidate, The University of Melbourne Abigail Fisher, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne Sorcha Yelland, Masters Graduate, La Trobe University Peter Craig, activist Yowhans Kidane, MA Candidate and archivist Dr Catriona Sinclair, retired scientist James Hogg, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne Catherine Gay, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne Lachlan Brown, Business Analyst Soo-Min Shim, PhD Candidate, Australian National University Madeleine Harris, Researcher John Ishak, Juris Doctor Student, RMIT University Dr Sophie Rudolph, Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne Dr Alissa Macoun, Institute for Collaborative Race Research Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya, University of the Arts Dr Jonah Lipton, Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics Oliver Eagleton, Associate Editor, New Left Review Mikal Fikaris, community member and former IPCS Visiting Fellow Angela Paredes Castro, PhD Candidate Dr Erin O’Donnell, Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Law School Kylie Moppert Emmeline Kildea, PhD Candidate, RMIT University Douglas Nightingale, Research Officer, The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne Dr Helen Ngo, Deakin University Daniel Wilson, Architect Ilo Díaz, community organiser Dr Fran Edmonds, Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne Dr Lobna Yassine, Lecturer, University of Sydney Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah, Macquarie University Dennis Grauel, Designer Jannah Wilson, Criminology Student, Flinders University Associate Professor Jane Carey, University of Wollongong Suzannah Henty, University of Melbourne Joel Rodrigues, PhD student, Stockholm University Amar Mustafa, Masters Student, Monash University Dr Dana Francisco Miranda, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Boston Megan Payne, artist Meyrnah Khodr, teacher Barry McGinn, Postgraduate Student, Gestalt Therapy Australia Catriona Elder, Honorary Associate, University of Sydney Tomasi Tikiger, community member Dr Shannon Woodcock, University of Mebourne Dr Dave Pollock, Lecturer, University of Melbourne Thao Ly, community member Natalie Calleja, Graduate Researcher, University of Melbourne Aife Larkin, alumni, University of Melbourne Casey Nicholls-Bull, University of Melbourne Yashna Seethiah, community member Sarah Hardiman Paul Mylecharane, publisher, Common Room Editions Tarneen Onus Browne, Community Organiser, Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance Carmen-Sibha Keiso, Read the Room, University of Melbourne Vasiliki Franco-Klothos, Sessional Academic, PhD Candidate Arundhathi Lekshmi, community member Madeleine Churchill, community member Friday Saarelaht, student, Deakin University Bede McCartney-Kemp, Offpressbooks Lucy Myers, Coordinator, New International Book Shop Dylan Asafo, PhD Student, University of Melbourne Kristin O’Connell, Co-coordinator, Antipoverty Centre Imogen Senior, student University of Melbourne Frances Waite, community member Bonnie Crowe, artist Dawoud AlMekhled, MD Candidate, University of Melbourne Lilly Quzag, community member Fin Healy, Sessional Academic, University of Melbourne Chloe Sinclair, University of Technology Sydney Phoebe Gawin, Law Student and Researcher Penny Campton, community member Yolande Turnbull, activist Tess Ó Broin, Publisher, Slingshot Books Ben Hjorth, University of Toronto Dr Lilly Brown, CEO, Magabala Books Melissa O’Donnell, Human Rights Lawyer Angelita Biscotti, critic, artist, Sessional Academic, University of Melbourne Bridget Webster, University of Melbourne Aditi Singh, Masters Student, Deakin University Dr Felicity Gray, Australian National University Kate Stodart, La Trobe University Blossom Ah Ket, University of Melbourne and RMIT University Nur Shkembi, art historian Ivan Kotzur, PhD candidate, WSU Mr Django Nicol, seamstress and tailor Dr David Singh, Director Institute of Collaborative Race Research Mibu Fischer, PhD Candidate, University of Tasmania Azja Kulpinska, community member Corina Backhouse, community member James Tran, filmmaker and former IPCS Media Collaborator Emily Kaji, professional staff, University of Melbourne Jade Donnison, Social Work Student, Deakin University Ekaterina Heath, Art History, Sydney University Andrew Brooks, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW Grace Dulawan, writer Dr Eugenia Flynn, Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow, RMIT University Charlotte Feakins, University of Sydney Terri Ann Quan Sing, PhD Candidate, La Trobe University Dr Ben Silverstein, Lecturer, Australian National University Mahad Barkad, Student Activist and Community Organiser Dr Ioana A. Dumitru, Associate Lecturer, University of Sydney Dr Oishik Sircar, Professor, Jindal Global Law School Dr Sary Zananiri, CPNC Dr Jaya Keaney, Lecturer, University of Melbourne Jessica Sherlock, community member Tess Ritchie, Professional staff University of Melbourne Dr Bianca Hennessy, unionist and researcher Isabelle Moreton, Community member Anna Cerreto, Research and Communications Manager Asad Kasim-Khan, activist and community member Transform IPCS Working Group The Transform IPCS Working Group is majoritively comprised of POC and Aboriginal active members of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies (IPCS). The Working Group was formed in late 2022 but has since expanded to include a larger number of IPCS members. The Transform IPCS Working Group is seeking to elect 7 Board Directors at the upcoming 2023 IPCS AGM. To get in contact email Working.firstname.lastname@example.org More by Transform IPCS Working Group › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 1 November 20233 November 2023 · The university In our universities, green is not always good Samuel Holleran The University of Melbourne’s master plan is a magnificent vision presented with alluring images, but their Central Park will be the result of a subtractive process — demolishing the workaday red brick and Brutalist buildings that encase the Parkville campus to expose the Neo Gothic structures that they see as ‘trapped’ inside. First published in Overland Issue 228 25 September 20234 October 2023 · The university Solidarity but only among managers, or the future of the university sector Hannah Forsyth The process continued during Covid. Jobs were being cut due to the threats posed by the pandemic, yet more scholars were being recruited. Nice people, good at their job. But why are we doing this, we kept asking. Management kept telling us we have a funding crisis (which often turned to a surplus in the end), so why are we also on a hiring spree? All along it looked like it could end badly, for all of us.