I’m no longer President! Bye-bye everyone! And screw you pelicans!

In case you have been hiding under a rock, holed up in your home, or plain unaware of what was going on, I’m no longer President of Unimates.

Effective on 1st June 2012 (last Friday), Patrick Ward is now President of Unimates.

Yeah, I was just as shocked when I received my retrenchment letter.





Here’s me about to bitch-slap Patrick:


Heeeelllllll no



I’m kidding. 

No firing or bitch-slapping ever took place. What actually took place was that Patrick was elected as President at the Unimates AGM on 14th May 2012. I wrote about it here. On 31st May 2012, my term officially ended and all Presidential superpower was transferred to Patrick. As for that photo above? I was just asking Patrick to say a few words during dinner at Unimates Night. No bitch-slap ever took place! Honest! 

If you’re thinking, “Wow, this guy has such a short term. Only 6 months as President.” That’s because I was supposed to finished my 1 year term as Vice-President. But due to circumstantial situations, I was elected as President and took over last year November. 

Anyway, now that I reflect and look back, I’m pretty amazed about how far I’ve came. I can say that I spent close to two-thirds of my university life with Unimates. Sure, I joined various other clubs and societies over the course of my university career, but Unimates always remained the focal point.

But, it wasn’t always this way.

When I first came to USYD as a fresh-eyed undergraduate in July 2009, I joined Unimates and only turned up for the Welcome BBQ. My reaction to Unimates back then was:


I wasn’t too impressed with Unimates (“For Fantastic Fun and Friendship”? Come on. That’s kitschy). This went on for my entire first semester. It wasn’t until the next semester, in the beginning of 2010, that I decided to give Unimates a try. I wanted to put their motto to test. 

It turned out that Unimates wasn’t too bad. The events allowed me to explore of  Australian culture while at the same time widening up my social circle. It’s an understatement to to just say that Unimates has many people from different cultural backgrounds. Unimates is so diverse that at any event, I can always count on meeting someone from a new country. It that sense, my attitude to Unimates changed.

So at the end of Semester 1 2010, when Unimates held the Annual General Meeting (AGM), I decided to run for 4 committee positions and spectacularly failed to get elected at all. 

Yu Heng, the outgoing President at that time, told me I could still be a General Committee member. So I thought, why not? It’ll offer me a good chance to learn the ropes.

Even then, I didn’t got off a good start. At my first official event, the City Tour, I lost my entire group and got shitted on by a pelican at Fish Market.




Yes, that’s me two years ago. Now stop gawking.

Bloody pelican.

Anyway, one more semester rolled by and Unimates held a General Meeting because some of the committee members were leaving. Joyce (who was to be Treasurer later) and I got elected as Coffee and Cakes Officers. Or as the Constitution now states: Coffee and Cakes Coordinators

So as Coffee and Cakes Coordinators, Joyce and I were essentially controlling the backbone event of Unimates. We had to power to make or break Unimates. Furthermore, I realized that this was my chance to capture power in Unimates! 


Joyce and I scheming


Dave Ball approves



So I planned, schemed and began laying out my course of action. Soon, I realized that having one ally was not enough. I needed one more ally to complete the trinity of power that will dominate the Committee and steamroll any opposition.

Hmm…. who shall it be? Turned out the answer was sitting right beside me:


Thea laughs while I brood over her future.



So another semester passed by, and Unimates held the next AGM. Joyce was elected as Treasurer, Thea elected as Secretary and I was elected as Vice-President. Once I became Vice-President, I realized I need a makeover if I wanted people to take me seriously. No more looking like a hobo. Gone was the fedora, gone was the shaggy hair, gone was the facial hair. I got a haircut, shaved and started dressing more appropriately:


I laugh as someone confronts my evil plans



And the rest was history. After six months as VP, I took over as President and from the Iron Throne, ruled with an iron first and iron heart. Forever shall my name be spoken in fear and awe. 


Bow before me, pelicans



So there you have, the history of my rise to power*

Aside from that, I had the one of the best times of my university life with Unimates. I would like to thank the outgoing committee members for all their hard work and effort. Without their dedication, Unimates would never been where it is today. I would also like to thank everyone from the previous Committees for letting me have a chance to develop personally, and for providing one of the strongest bonds of friendship I ever had. You people were truly awesome.

I would also like to thank Ben Yan, Danny Wang, and George Hwang for mentoring me when I first became Vice-President. Without their patient tutelage, I would probably cause a colossal fuck-up.

I would like to thank the two Presidents of SUAMS (Sydney University Association of Malaysian Students) for working so closely with Unimates during the past year. Thanks, Andrew and Wei Ming, for Sharing the Malaysian Love, especially after my fellow Singaporeans called me a traitor (okay, okay, I should have joined the Singaporean Society). But seriously, you guys are top blokes.


Fist bumping Andrew


BFF Wei Ming



And I would also like to thank Sarah from TCA (USYD Teochew Association). If she didn’t inform me about the Masked Murder on the Dancefloor Cruise Party (quite a mouthful), Unimates would not have taken part in this awesome, awesome event. So many thanks to her! From one Teochew nang to another: jiatbẹung (Sorry, that’s the only phrase I know). 

And many thanks to both Joyce and Thea for being the rock and the hard place. With their firm support, their complete dedication and their tireless efforts, I probably wouldn’t be able to achieve anything. I was basically standing on the shoulder of giants. 

Once again, thanks everyone, for the great memories and the great friendships. Especially you, the Unimates member. Thank you for your support! And thanks for reading my ramblings during this semester. 

I wish everyone the best for the exams. Without further ado, I bid you good night, and good luck:


To all Singaporean naysayers!


Zareth Lim

VP S2 2011/ President S1 2012

For Fun, For Friendship, Forever


*60% of the story is fictional. The author takes no responsibility. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


The Game of Votes is over. Unimates AGM 2012 Result

So the Game of Votes is over, and once again, Unimates have elected the 2012/2013 Committee who will be taking over at the end of Semester 1, 2012 (08/06/2012). 


The results:

President: Patrick Ward

External Vice-President: Tom Dominic De Guzman

Internal Vice-President: Andrew Song

Treasurer: Andrew (Andy) Jung

Secretary: Yasutoshi (Yasu) Park

Public Relations Director: Esther Li

Marketing Directors: Rachel Wong and Sarah Ruchikhachorn

IT Officer: Kevin Nguyen

Event Coordinators: Adam Nguyen and Cecilia Hidajat

Major Event Organizers: Al-Karim Madhavji


If you’re still interested in joining, don’t hesitate to let us know. The available positions are:

Welfare Officers (1 male and 1 female)

1 Cumberland Representative

1 International House Representative

2 Event Coordinators

2 Coffee and Cakes Coordinators

2 Major Events Organizers


Congratulations to the new Committee! And a round of applause for the nominees who did not win any positions but gave their very best. It was definitely one of the most intense AGM I ever had, especially for the President role.

I look forward to meeting all the new committee during the official handover meeting. 

Good luck to the next Committee!


Zareth Lim

President of Unimates

For Fun, For Friendship, Forever


Mid-Semester Break: What are you up to?

The long Easter weekend is coming to an end and I trust that most of you had actually retained some memories from the past 3 days.


If your response is a “Gaaaa … what day is it?”, it’s okay, I understand. Go back to bed. But before you close the curtains and heed the call of the pillow, I’ll advise you to drink at least 1 litre of water. Your liver needs some tender loving too.


And sleep on your side.


So the Easter weekend is coming to a close and the next 6 days of the mid-semester break stretches out across the temporal horizon. You stand at the cliff’s edge of the Easter break and stare at it, basking in the glory and wonder of the 6 days mid-semester break. Until you realized that University of Melbourne get a 14 days mid-semester break.


So, 6 days. How are you going to spend it?


But first thing first, how was your Easter weekend? The ones who are suffering from alcohol-induced amnesia, go back to sleep. You obviously had a good time and are now suffering from the consequences. For the rest, I hope you had an enjoyable Easter weekend, especially with the great weather we had in the past few days, with Sunday as an exception.


My Easter weekend went pretty well. I started it with a bang at SUAMS (Sydney Univeristy Association of Malaysian Students) Traffic Light Party on Thursday night. You know, the party where the traffic colours denote your dating availability. I saw a lot of red and yellows, but no green though. Most guys, including me, decided to pussy out and wear the usual blues, purples, greys, whites and blacks. One thing has always bothered me though, how do people with colour blindness differentiate the singles from the complicated and the taken? Especially in dark environments like pubs and clubs?


Hmmm…. a food for thought.


But the Traffic Light Party was awesome and there were close to 600 or 700 people at the Bristol Arms Retro Hotel. It was a menagerie of Malaysian students from the four Sydney universities: USYD (we get first mention!), UTS, UNSW and Macquire. Of course, my fellow Singaporeans, always up for a good time, decided to gate crash the party. It later led to an all-out pub brawl that spilt onto the streets of Sussex.


Just kidding. Everyone had a great time with no bloodshed.


Friday was spent recuperating. And drinking lots of water.


On Saturday, I went kayaking at Mosman (near Manly Beach) with 24 Unimates people. By 11 o’clock, the sun hot and bright. But the salty sea breeze was cooling and the waters were inviting. I would have taken a quick dip if I wasn’t battling the waves as my friend and I paddled out to the mouth of the harbour where the ocean beckoned to us. We would have gone further if the guy from the kayaking company had not sped to us on his jet ski and told us to turn back.


After two hours, I was suffering from sore arms and shoulders and a cramped back. But it was good. I loved the solitude, the peaceful, monotonous motions of propelling the little kayak foward, and the strenuous physical workout it gave. It gave me time to quietly contemplate and to release some stress.


At the same time, I love the thrill of paddling against the waves, winds, and currents that threaten to dash me against the murderous rocks or someone’s yacht. I also love the thrill when some big yacht is bearing down on me while I furiously try to paddle out of their way.


So yeah, the Unimates kayaking event was bloody awesome. And according to tradition, we took a group photo after the kayaking event:



You must be wondering why the guy on the far left is circled.


Well, you see, he’s a photobomber. A very efficient one. We had people photobombing Unimates group shots before. So it’s nothing new. But what drew my attention to him is that he’s holding a towel from the University of Sydney Union. The first thing that came to my mind was: damn it, I want that towel. The second thing was: he’s most likely from USYD. The third thing? I actually bumped into him while kayaking (I’m using the word ‘bump’ metaphorically). He called to me across the harbour but I couldn’t hear him. From the way he behaved, it seemed like he recognized me. But I couldn’t remember where I met him, so I continued my blissful paddling across the ocean.


So what’s so interesting about him?


At first, I thought he was with the group. But one of the event leaders, Andrew, told me that he wasn’t part of the group. So maybe he was just a USYD student that happened to be there on the same day, same time with Unimates. Just coincidence.


And big deal, any person can end up with a USU towel.


But… it’s too coincidental. He seemed to know who I was and that Unimates was there. I mean, he was trying to paddle towards me while I was paddling furiously away from him (I need my space, even on water). And that photobomb, that shot, it’s just too perfect. It’s as if he was waiting there, silently biding his time until he could stand behind us with the glory of the lion unfold.


Therefore, the mystery of the USU Towel guy deepens. Who he is, I know not. What he wants, I guess not.


I spent Sunday recuperating from kayaking.


So basically, that’s how I spent my Easter. Right now, like you, I have six days of mid-semester break spread out before me. And I’ve decided what to do with those six days:


Eating bacon for breakfast. Every, single day.

What? I’m going to hunker down and spend the rest of my break doing assignments and essays, considering how the professors from the Arts Faculty love scheduling all the due dates after the break. I need some brain food! And bacon is the best way to go about that.

But it doesn’t always have to be all study and no play. Right now, a group of Unimates people is having fun at Adelaide. Tomorrow, another group will be going off for a 2 days surf camp (organized by Unimates PR Officer).

So go out, take a breather from your studies. According to Sydney’s schizophrenic weather patterns, we’re looking at a week of sun. However, do expect some rain on Wednesday.

Last but not least, in the next coming weeks, we will be having our AGM (Annual General Meeting). All committee positions will be open to all Unimates members with Access cards and all positions have a one-year term (June to May). Yep, that’s right, even the President position will be open. Fret not, I’m stepping down anyway. But I’ll still be around to help out from time to time.

So if you want to bring Unimates to greater heights (and help win the Best Club Award since 2008), and organize more awesome events for International and Exchange students, do consider in running for a position. Honestly, it’ll be the best time of your life. That’s why I’ve been trapped in the committee for 2 years (ahem, against my will, actually).

More information and details about the AGM and the specifics of each position will be out sometime in April. So watch this space, and the Facebook group, and check your email regularly for our newsletter and check Twitter (if you have an account).

I hope you’ll have an enjoyable Easter weekend and mid-semester break.

For Fun, For Friendship, Forever

Zareth Lim

President of Unimates

25 Mar 2012: You’re invited to International Week



Oh boy, in approximately 1 hour, it’s going to be Week 4 of the semester. Are you starting to feel the pressure from all your assignments and quizzes? You know what I’m talking about, the ones that you put off since Day 1, thinking you have plenty of time. Now Time is here and there’s nothing you can do except burn the midnight oil (and add to your crushing student debt) while imbibing copious amount of caffeine that is way over the legal limit.

Then you have a nervous breakdown like Jessie Spano from the television series Saved by the Bell:





But there’s something you should be excited about!

Next week is International Week and it’s going to be an amazing experience!

But what is International Week?

Yun Liu, the External Vice-President, describes it in the most awesome way:


International Week is a new initiative by the USU to promote the amazing cultural diversity we have on campus. It’s a three-day showcase of the unique customs, languages and costumes from the many different nationalities and ethnic groups here at Sydney University. It’s all about bringing everyone together to enjoy!

There will be a heap of fun and interesting activities for culture-hungry students. We have a surf simulator, interactive games, language corners, foreign language calligraphy, prize giveaways as well as world music and international film screenings. Oh, and don’t miss your chance to try as many cultural costumes as possible on the 29th March!

In addition, there will be talks and workshops designed especially for international students. The first talk will provide helpful information and tips to succeed the IELTS test, held on 27th March 4-5pm on Level 5, Wentworth Building. The second workshop, in collaboration with the Careers Centre, will provide useful insights for international students to find casual or part time employment in Australia, including tips for finding jobs and interviews. It will be held on 28th March 4-5pm in the New Law School Lecture Theatre 104.


Check out the full program here. And mark your attendance here.

So why should you bother? Well, University of Sydney has almost 11,000 International students (I made that number up, but I’m sure the figure is somewhere around there) and we all come from diverse cultural backgrounds. And what’s more awesome than interacting with and learning about new cultures within University of Sydney?

And most importantly… it’s FREE!

So see you there, Unimates people. In the meantime, keep your chin up and don’t break down like Jessie Spano.


For Fun, For Friendship, Forever

Zareth Lim

President of Unimates.


P.S. Didn’t mean to look so darn fierce in the photo.

17 Mar 2012: Have you done your readings?

Week 2 is over. The heady, exciting days of O-Week and Week 1 are now over. Readings, assignments, and quizzes are starting to pour in and you’ve realized that you have no time for the 22 societies you’ve signed up with during O-Week (pssst, do make time for Unimates though).

You feel like screaming, don’t you?



Actually, I wasn’t screaming about not having a fantastic university life. Rather, I was screaming to the heavens since most of my group members decided to abandon me during last week’s City Tour. For some reason, I have a knack of losing people. During my first City Tour, I managed to lose my entire group. Don’t worry, they somehow managed to make it to the Opera House on their own. And they got there before me.

Anyway, I don’t blame my group members, the City Tour can be a rather tiring walk. Check out the before and after photos:

I think we had a 30% casualty rate. 

You feel like screaming, don’t you?

Ranting aside, I hope you’ve settled down in Sydney, that you’ve finally managed to get that elusive, perfect timetable (no timetable clashes with a 4 days weekend), that your lecturers don’t read off from the Powerpoint slides (and record the lectures), that your tutors are interesting people, and you have managed to make friends with people in your tutorials. 

Doesn’t always happens though.

But don’t despair, you still got Unimates!

Next weekend, we’re going to an Australian Football League (AFL) game. This will be one of the most exciting games of the season as it marks the entry of the new AFL team: the Greater Western Sydney Giants. More details will be out soon in our newsletter at the end of this week. I’ve been to two AFL games and I still don’t really understand the rules. But trust me, the atmosphere will be electrifying and you’ll be cheering along with the rest of the stadiums.

And in Week 4 (29th March, Thursday), we have the massive intersociety cruise party: Masked Murder on the Dancefloor Cruise. This is a joint major event with five other societies and there’ll be lots of partying and drinking. I don’t think I’m going to make it to my Friday tutorial alive. But sometimes, you got to live life on the wild side. So come and grab your tickets, we’ll be at Jane Foss Russell building, outside the Uni Shop and opposite EasyWay. If you want more details, just shoot us an email at usyd.unimates@gmail.com. And check out the awesome poster designed by KSA (Korean Students Association):

So I hope you have a great weekend! I hope to see you at one of our Coffee and Cakes session, and if I don’t, I’ll see you at one of our weekend events. Now, I need to stop procrastinating and get back to my readings. Oh yeah, and check out the new Unimates video!

For Fun, For Friendship, Forever

Zareth Lim

President for (of?) Unimates.

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