Rabelais was founded in 1967, 3 years after La Trobe University’s establishment. Editors are elected annually and since its founding, 66 students have served as editors. Michel Lawrence, Rabelais’ foundational editor, notably went on to found and edit Australia’s first skateboard magazine, Slicks, in 1976.
In 1995, a July edition of Rabelais was published that included an article allegedly inciting readers to shoplift as a means of surviving student poverty. Charged with “publishing, distributing and depositing an objectionable publication”, the editors lodged an appeal. Although the appeal was defeated by the full bench of the Federal Court, criminal charges were dropped in 1999.
Physical copies of Rabelais magazine were published for over 50 years. In 2021, funding cuts to the La Trobe Student Union prevented Rabelais from printing publications. Now, student’s articles, art, and other media are hosted on Rabelais’ website. Articles are divided into three categories; Comment and Critique, where opinion pieces and reports are posted, Slice of Life, for stories and culture content, and La Trobe, a category focused on the happenings at La Trobe.
For semester two, Rabelais plans to expand its reach to all La Trobe campuses, encouraging students from all over Victoria to share their stories and experiences. Clubs also play a large role in the experience a student has on campus, so advertising and highlighting La Trobe’s clubs will be a focus of Rabelais’.
Rabelais has writing, artistic, and cinematic opportunities available for students. To get involved, shoot us an email over at firstname.lastname@example.org