Association of College Unions International

Bill Mosher
Season 20
About this non-profit:

Human beings build things in two distinctly different ways. We alter the environment and the material-world to construct a seemingly unending array of objects, structures and machines. But, we also build Institutions…cultural edifices, constructed out of shared beliefs and common goals. Visionaries travelled to Australia this summer to tell the story of one of the country’s great, yet unheralded, institutions: The University of Sydney Union. The USU grew from a small group of ambitious students, who first gathered in 1874, to become one of the leading college unions in the world. However, this film is also a cautionary tale. While college unions in the United States grow and prosper as an essential component of higher education, in Australia, college unions across the country have closed their doors and the Sidney Union stands as the last surviving, student governed, union in the country. We captured two powerful stories. First, television viewers will discover the profound influence a single organization can have on a city and a nation by providing young people with human experiences that not only complement their university studies, but often form the building blocks of a meaningful life. Through interviews with student leaders, staff and prestigious alumni, a picture will emerge of how Australia’s only remaining student-run union continues to prosper.</p><p>The second piece of the story is about how human societies can and ought to build and support culture entities that contribute to the greater good. The story delves into the origins of the union as a student debating society and the critical decisions that were made by its founders to lay the foundation for survival as a democratic institution that had the ability to grow and prosper by adapting to the changing needs of each generation of students. But also this is the story of how Australian Society fails to appreciate the value of the union and as a result the future of the movement on other college campuses is in decline.

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