Ep 18 – SCA here to stay! The fight to save Sydney College of the Arts

In mid-2016, the University of Sydney abruptly announced that it would be closing Sydney College of the Arts, its internationally-renowned arts school. Within the space of a few months, the school, which had produced scores of famous graduates and offered an almost unique education in visual and fine arts, would be closing its doors, its staff would be terminated, and all of its students would be shunted off to another university to finish out their degrees.

Fortunately, students at SCA had completely different ideas about the future of their school. Students responded with explosive fury, howling down university officials and virtually chasing them out of meetings, storming the university senate, holding vibrant mass meetings, and staging a student strike that virtually closed SCA. Then, in a final dramatic culmination, students invaded the SCA administration building, barricaded themselves inside, and vowed that they would not leave until SCA was saved.

In this episode, we chat with Kelton Muir, a historian and Let SCA Stay activist who’s written an honours thesis about the SCA campaign.

You can read Kelton’s thesis here, and you can watch several amazing long-form videos captured during the SCA campaign here and here.

We’re also hosting a party to launch this podcast episode, featuring a panel of SCA activists! It’s on Wednesday 8 May at 6.30pm at Sydney Trades Hall. All welcome! You can find more details and invite others on the Facebook event.

Opening and closing music courtesy of Glitter Rats. People’s History of Australia logo design courtesy of Nissenbaum Design.