You might think this is an odd question for me to be asking - if anyone should know the value and purpose of an organisation, it should be the President - right? No - this kind of critical reflection is vital for all organisations. Groups become stagnant, out-of-touch, unresponsive, and cliquey when the people involved fail to consider and talk about the purpose of that group regularly.
So what conclusions have I come up with thus far? That the purpose of the PSA is to foster and continue an inclusive postgraduate community at UWA. Not a vague sense of community, not a clique of the same people all the time. But to make sure there is a genuine group of peers who help each other through difficulties, prevent feelings of isolation, and who talk about the shared experience of being a postgraduate. We are stronger as a community than we are as disjointed groups.
This is why I love Connect. Connect is a chance for us to see our community, in all its diversity. To occupy a space together, talk about our lives, and welcome new members. I love Connect, because you're a friendly, interesting, fun group of people. The chance to come together and talk to each other, and to the Committee, is what keeps the PSA in touch with UWA postgrads. For some people, Connect is a once-a-month chance to have a couple of free drinks. For others, it is an opportunity to meet people in Perth for the first time. Still again, it represents a chance to forget the stress of the previous weeks, and unwind. I have to say, I enjoyed seeing how much fun people had in photos with the crocodile!
It's not a perfect event, but it's a great base from which to build. This is why I'll keep promoting it, and when I leave the Committee, I'll keep coming. If you get something out of Connect, I hope you encourage more people to come along. If you can see a way to improve Connect, or if you think think the purpose of the PSA is something else - let me know! I'd love your feedback.
Until next time!