ZPLUTO takes over Western Sydney’s Ones To Watch Showcase

Live Nation’s Ones To Watch Showcase hits Parramatta’s Albion Hotel on Thursday 26 August. The showcase will see the works of ZPLUTO, who is bound...
ZPLUTO poses in a green light
ZPLUTO will bring his musical talent to the Ones To Watch showcase this week. Photo: Supplied

Live Nation’s Ones To Watch Showcase hits Parramatta’s Albion Hotel on Thursday 25 August. The showcase is part of the inaugural SOUND WEST festival, a week-long celebration of music and technology, highlighting Western Sydney’s talent. The showcase will see the works of ZPLUTO, who is bound to ignite a flame of excitement from audiences and become moved by his electric mix of music.

ZPLUTO’s laid back energy is mixed with a fiery combination of hip-hop, pop and alternative sounds to deliver a noticeable impact in the Australian music scene. Born in New Zealand, the musical talent is now making waves across Australia with a particularly strong presence in Western Sydney.

ZPLUTO is eager to get back on stage on Thursday night, ready to bring his electric presence into the heart of Parramatta. ZPLUTO will be performing alongside artists Shanae and ESHAAN.

“I can’t wait to reconnect with fans, show them my new tunes, bring that energy to show the people what ZPLUTO is all about,” he says.

“It’s crazy working with Live Nation on this campaign, I feel blessed to be a part of it.”

The SOUND WEST festival is giving an opportunity for the talent of Western Sydney to unite. A region that has been previously bound by stereotypes, the event is a cause for celebration of dynamics and representation of the area.

“I see the stereotype slowly changing to be honest. There’s always more to do in terms of the representation of BIPOC Artists on their come up in Australia, but Western Sydney is so diverse, it’s a melting pot of creatives finding and developing their style,” says ZPLUTO.

“It’s what I’m doing and it’s what Shanae and ESHAAN are doing. We are all just out here trying to better ourselves and the culture. It’s just time for the wider Australian music industry to look inwards at what’s going on under their noses, rather than trying to create carbon copies of what they’ve seen work internationally before. Individuality is everything to me, and it should be for people who care about music too.”

ZPLUTO appreciates the diverse field of artists that the industry brings. Collaboration and support are at the heart of his musical journey, taking the time to recognise fellow artists around him that he sees making changes across the music scene.

“I like what BBGB are doing at the moment. BLESSED, Kwame, BWise, Manu, Spacely – those dudes are fire. Seriously. I’m also a massive fan of what A.GIRL’s doing. She’s a mega talent.”

Ones To Watch showcases have previously been held across the country, an opportunity for music enthusiasts and industry professionals to connect and discover their new favourite artists. As an up-and-coming music scene, ZPLUTO enjoys being immersed in Western Sydney’s rich culture and is grateful for the support he has received particularly in the region.

“I love linking with people after my shows, it’s so revealing. Like, people actually listen to my art. We’ll always find a way to connect.”

The SOUND WEST Music + Tech Festival will see technology, music, creativity and learning come to life in a week-long program from August 20 to 28. Held in vibrant Parramatta, the week is sure to offer something for everyone, where the Ones to Watch showcase is just one of over 35 curated sessions, from keynote addresses to workshops and performances.

ZPLUTO’s performance is not to be missed as Western Sydney comes to life as a powerhouse of diverse musical talent. You can find out more about the SOUNDWEST festival here.


SRC’s $10,000 Secret Santa event takes students (and Christmas) by storm

SRC’s $10,000 Secret Santa event takes students (and Christmas) by storm With over 200 registrations for the cross-campus event, the SRC showed ...

SRC’s $10,000 Secret Santa event takes students (and Christmas) by storm

With over 200 registrations for the cross-campus event, the SRC showed their Christmas spirit again by bringing back the old tradition of Secret Santa. However, while Parramatta made a solid start, Campbelltown ended the year with a bang, bringing students together one last time before the new COVID-19 variant got out of hand (again).

The $10,000 celebration was funded by the SRC alongside the gate money from in the form of $5 entry tickets supported two fun-filled days of fantastic food, gift-giving to attendees, on-campus laser tag, socializing, games and more! So definitely a bang for your buck, considering the gifts alone were $30 each.

Cameron Chesters (VPA of the SRC) was inspired to host the event simply because he wasn’t aware of any other Christmas events happening at Western. WSU Staff and the SRC showed their support, so the team went with the idea, organized and then ran it – literally.

“Tiffany, Rob, Vicky, and myself were probably the biggest contributors from the SRC to the event I would say. But we have at least 6 SRC members contributing to the event at various stages… We gave away about 200 presents to students including putting some aside for the international students arriving on Christmas Eve which was a very nice initiative brought to us by Michelle Gillard from Peer Programs,” said Cameron.

For Bakar Mohamad (newly elected VPU of the SRC), the Secret Santa event allowed students to finally interact with people in the flesh.

“I met people from a range of schools, had some exciting convos and exchanged gifts… Being a little extroverted, that’s kinda my vibe! The food served was pretty good, catering for all different diets plus the desserts! There were some great activities from giant Jenga and connect 4 to laser tag and volleyball,” he said.

“Overall, the event was so refreshing! It brought together students that hadn’t interacted in over a year. It brought rise to a matching game of identifying others based on their zoom profiles, more challenging than you’d think! It helped us, as the SRC, to connect with students and show that we are a student board in the university, there to cater for the students,” said Bakar.

Source: Bakar Mohamad.


Despite highlighting her favorite moments of the event being a never-ending affair, the First Nations Representative, Tiffany Sharpe, said that the moment when the SRC and Student Community team came together, to create a magical Christmas party for the students at Western Sydney University had to be her favorite. After two years of lockdowns and virtual learning, the teams were able to shed light and share joy with the presence of cultural diversity.

“I encountered many students that I’ve only spoken with over zoom and social media. There were a group of ladies, that I made friends with over the year. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to meet them and get to know them more in person,” said Tiffany.


Ladies of the Science Society meets First Nations Representative. Source: Lauren McGregor.


“The moments to remember are the good times of fun, laughter, and friendships that blossomed. These memories were created, and I am glad to be a part of it,” she said.

Finally, for Sharmin Saba (SRC Residential Rep) this was the first face-to-face event after months of lockdown, adding that she also got the opportunities to meet other SRC reps for the first time.

“I would say all the social interactions I had were absolutely amazing…When I was helping out with the event, I had multiple interactions with the attendees. We were talking about our university experiences, our hobbies and interests and so on. But one conversation that stood out to me and became the most memorable experience was when a few attendees mentioned how happy they felt to see me there despite being from a different faith. I could see from their happy expressions that they genuinely meant it. This was the very first Christmas event I ever attended and I felt grateful to the kind and welcoming words I received from the attendees which made me feel inclusive within the community,” said Sharmin.

While the Christmas pudding was a hit or miss, the Secret Santa event was a huge success. SRC have had students ask how they can help and volunteer for next event and look forward to hosting it again next year – possibly with some assistant elves if anyone has costumes!


Jasmine Derbas: “It’s work away from work”

WSU student shares her experience of starting up a business during the pandemic....

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jasmine Derbas established a small art business. Jasmine is a fifth-year law and journalism student and works as a student curriculum partner for the Western Sydney University’s 21C Project. For Jasmine, her business is more than a source of income. It’s an outlet that inspires her creativity and develops her entrepreneur skills. Jasmine shares her experience of starting up a business during the pandemic. Interviewed by W’SUP Editor Shayma Abdellatif. 


Self-taught artist, Jasmine, established her art business in 2020. Photo by Jasmine Derbas.


  1. What type of business do you own and when did you start?

“I have an art business. I focus more on alcohol inks and resin works. I started playing with inks around last year, but I didn’t start the business side until this year. Resin and alcohol ink is really good because I can make a lot of homewares out of them …


“I do everything at home, and I usually post everything out myself. I don’t really have a particular space to work on art at the moment. We’re going to build a studio in my backyard because it’s getting quite overwhelming with all the stuff that I’m bringing in right now. My parents go like, ‘your art is everywhere’.”



  1. What motivated you to start your business? Did you receive any support to establish it?

“I always loved art ever since I was in primary school. My two aunties are high school art teachers and they’re very artistic and I adopted that when I was really young. I never did anything with it until I started a face painting business a few years ago. I really loved the interactions but my studies got in the way, and work got in the way, because I always had to travel out to go do the face painting jobs …


“Now, doing the resin art and alcohol ink art, I can do it all from home and everything is sent here, all my supplies, it’s a lot easier. It’s still time consuming but in a different way. I can work around the clock. My family is very supportive, they always help when I need. It’s more of moral support, I don’t really have them do hands-on stuff, or I’ll go to them for second opinions, friends as well.”

Resin bookmarks from Arts By Jazzd. Photo by Jasmine Derbas.


  1. How did COVID-19 and the lockdown affect your business?

“I think a lot of people are more on social media now, I feel like people are shopping more and looking at pretty things to add to their homes. I don’t think COVID has affected my business in a bad way necessarily. Maybe in getting supplies, it takes a bit longer to get things posted to my house. Because I’m studying and working from home, I get to work on business more. Sometimes I’m in class and doing some art while listening to my lectures. I’ll be able to compare it when COVID is over and the lockdown is over, because I started this during COVID.”


  1. What is it like running a business while studying at university?

“Overwhelming because I don’t have time to really do much, but I also look at my business as an outlet. I’m working setting in my room, and studying setting in my room. Being able to do something practical that I’m passionate about but it’s not as mind-boggling and I get to do it with my hands is good. I think of my business as an outlet more than a stress. My work with the Uni as student partner is flexible, so I don’t know how it’ll be when I get a 9-5 job as a lawyer or whatever I end up doing.”


  1. What are the main benefits and challenges of owning a small business?

“Benefits are that I’m doing what I love, I’m doing it when I want, how I want. I can run on my own timelines. That also runs into a challenge of when do you actually stop working. I am doing something I‘m passionate about, I love making art, I love being creative and I like that it’s something I can do when I feel like doing it instead of something that’s on full-time basis …


“The challenges are more about establishing a name, there’s a lot of competition. I ask myself, do I want to go viral or do I want to stay local. Another challenge is learning to do everything. You are the whole team as one person, you’re dealing with everything. The social media, the business, the packaging, you have to deal with posting, you have to deal with creating the actual product, making sure the quality is fine. You are the whole team and that can be a challenge, because you need to be able to know all these different skills and disciplines to allow your business to function. It’s not just selling a product, you need to establish a relationship online with your customers, build a website, and that takes a lot of time, effort and research…

“But I think it’s still rewarding in the end. It’s work away from work. There are challenges but I feel that overtime you get used to approaching a problem and then learning how to solve it.”


  1. What are new skills that you gained from your business?

“I learned alcohol ink last year. I learned to keep an eye on what customers like, I learned how order products, I learned that you really need a good communication platform and to show people what you’re doing. Moving with trends is also very important and I learned how to build a website.”


  1. Where do you hope to see your business in the future?

“I would like to see it the see it pretty much the same thing. Still working how I want, when I want, creating what I love. I don’t see myself growing into a mass company, that does mass production of artwork. I like to keep it small and local for myself and the people who appreciate my art. I would like to keep it on the side, I don’t want it to take over my studies and other work. I feel like if I do grow it to a point where it’s huge, then I will lose my passion.”

Resin plates from Arts By Jazzd. Photo by Jasmine Derbas.
  1. What advice would you give to other student business owners?

 “Expect to make mistakes. Nothing is perfect and you learn along the way. Believe in yourself, don’t doubt yourself and just start. If you have something in your mind, start it, what are you going to lose?”


Follow Jasmine on @artbtjazzd to view or purchase her products.


What’s on at Western Sydney Uni (and nearby)

What's on at Western Sydney Uni (and nearby)...

Garage sale trail (October 20 – 21)

Throughout the weekend, Parramatta will be hosting a garage sale trail, the largest garage sale event throughout the city. Sellers are encourage to register their location to be part of the trail and shoppers will be given map filled with all the sellers’ location. This is the perfect time to find a bargain.

Click here for more information.

2018 Kings Langley village fair (October 21)

Local sellers will be setting up their stalls for the local village fair in Kings Langley at Pearce Reserve. It’s an event open for everyone as there will be art stalls, local talent, rides, and lots of food. Event is free for everyone.

Click here for more information.

Credo manifesto (Oct 22, 2018 – Monday, Nov 5, 2018)

Join the conversation and discuss your principles and beliefs with other students.

  • Parramatta South – The Hub
  • Campbelltown – In front of Building 4
  • Bankstown – Outside Building 1
  • Kingswood – Outside Building O

Click here for more information

Halloween cruise (November 1)

All aboard the Halloween Cruise, hosted by WSU’s Campus Life. Come celebrate Halloween with your fellow peers on on one of Sydney’s premier  boats. Meeting spot is at King Street Wharf 9 – Lime Street, Sydney. Check in is at 6:30pm and departs on 7:15pm. Entry cost $60. Note, this event is an 18+ years old event and patrons must bring valid I.D.


Oz paranormal and spiritual expo (November 3)

The 7th year of the Oz paranormal and spiritual expo is being held in the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre from 10.00am – 5.00pm. Lots of activities and discussions will made during the day within the theme of the paranormal such as psychics, ghost hunters, and hypnotists. It’s $7 entry.

Click here for more information.

Author: Erielle Sudario