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The Right Stuff Indeed. It’s the Vibe! By James Reed

     As was said in the iconic Aussie movie, The Castle, “it’s the vibe.”

“A student activist, facing expulsion from the University of Queensland over his activism criticising Chinese influence on campus, has walked out of a disciplinary hearing at the university. Drew Pavlou faced a disciplinary hearing Wednesday morning following his protests and social media posts last year criticising UQ’s ties with Chinese -government institutions and of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s record on human rights. The 20-year-old philosophy student, who organised a campus protest last July in support of the Hong Kong independence movement, attended the hearing with his barrister Tony Morris QC, a well-known advocate of freedom of speech. After walking out, Mr Morris said the disciplinary panel had denied a request that Mr Pavlou be allowed access to certain internal documents he sought for his defence. Mr Morris also questioned the integrity of the disciplinary process, saying two of three panellists were paid employees of the university. Before the hearing, Mr Pavlou said he expected to be expelled from the university and would appeal the case in Brisbane’s Supreme Court and the High Court, if needed.  “I’m confident, it’s Mabo – it’s the vibe,” Mr Pavlou said, quoting the famous line from the Australian movie The Castle about a suburban family who successfully fought the forced resumption of their home in the High Court. After the hearing, Mr Pavlou said UQ was “demonstrably carrying out a political vendetta against me”.

     We all wish him well! Let us hope that if it goes to the High Court, that there is the same result as in The Castle.



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Sunday, 31 May 2020
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