Australian National University Students' Association

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Australian National University Students' Association
InstitutionAustralian National University
LocationLevel 2, Di Riddell Student Centre, University Avenue, ANU, Acton Canberra, 2601
Membersc. 12,000

Australian National University Students' Association is the student's union of the Australian National University (ANU). It is better known by its acronym, ANUSA. ANUSA acts as a representative body for the undergraduate students of the The Australian National University, while also providing a number of goods and services to those students.

Not to be confused with ANU Union, a not-for-profit association that once managed retail operations in the former ANU Union Building.

The Postgraduate and Research Students' Association acts in an equal capacity to ANUSA at the The Australian National University as a representative body for graduate students.


The declared objectives of the Australian National University Student Association are:

  • To promote the welfare of, and further the interests of, Undergraduate Students;
  • To work for quality and equity in higher education;
  • To afford a recognised means of representation for Undergraduate Students within the University and the wider community; and
  • To foster community, equity and diversity within the University [1]

As a recipient of a Student Services and Amenities Fee the ANU utalizes ANUSA under its formal process of student consultation as required by the Student Services, Amenities, Representation and Advocacy Guidelines (Representation Guidelines).[2]


Key events[edit]


The 1996 ANUSA elections saw the losing "Rage" ticket embroiled in scandal. 146 votes for the "Rage" presidential candidate Daniel Jenkins were excluded by the Returning Officer after allegations of ballot stuffing.[3] The fraud was discovered when a student sitting in a cafe saw a voter attempt to stuff a wad of ballots into the ballot box. When the Returning Officer opened the ballot box, five wads of ballots were found, all of which gave their first preference to Jenkins.

The scandal was dubbed "Wadgate" by the student newspaper Woroni and was subsequently reported on the front page of the Canberra Times (05/02/97) and elsewhere. It was also raised at least three times in the Australian Senate by Sen. Eric Abetz (Senate Hansard: 30/10/96, pp.4747-4750; 05/02/97, pp.125-127; and 23/06/97, pp.4929-31).

The winning presidential candidate, Matt Tinning from the "Counter Attack" ticket, secured enough votes to win even if fraudulent votes had not been excluded.[citation needed]

Facilities and Services[edit]

ANUSA moved into premises in the Concessions Building in Union Court in 1999, following a major refurbishment. The Brian Kenyon Student Space was opened in 2011, named after Brian Kenyon, who drove ANU's late night bus for 26 years until 2014.[4]

As part of the Union Court redevelopment, the Concessions Building was demolished in 2017. ANUSA and the Brian Kenyon Student Space are now located in the Di Riddell Student Centre.

Recent History[edit]

Independence of Woroni[edit]

In 2011, ANUSA was incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 (ACT). The ANU Student Newspaper, Woroni, was previously published by ANUSA, however, the successful 2009 Stand Up! ticket ran on a platform to deliver an independent student newspaper, similar to student publications at North American universities. As a result, ANU Student Media was formed in 2010 as an independent association, and became incorporated in 2012.

Student Services and Amenities Fee Introduction[edit]

2012 saw the introduction of the Student Services and Amenities Fee by the Gillard Government, leading to a doubling of the ANUSA budget. This was a catalyst for a new phase of growth for the Association, most apparent in the significant increase in staffing that has occurred.


Key campaigns in recent years have included 'Save the School of Music' in 2012, an attempt to prevent structural changes to ANU School of Music proposed by the University. The campaign attracted national media attention, and was featured on the ABC's 7:30 Report. A petition was signed by over 24,000 people. In 2014, an anti-fee deregulation campaign was spearheaded by Education Officer Laura Wey, also achieving national media coverage. One of the protest marches was comically featured on Channel 9's The Footy Show. In 2017, the 'Month of Strength and Solidarity' campaign was conducted in order to advocate for the changes regarding sexual assault and harassment on campus.

List of Presidents of The Association[edit]

The following students served as President of the ANU Students' Association[5]

  • 1962 Don Brewster
  • 1963 Chris Higgins
  • 1964 Tony Hartnell
  • 1965 John Yocklunn, Peter Paterson
  • 1966 Keith Baker - SRC/ John Yocklunn - ANUSA
  • 1967 Alan Brooks
  • 1968 Alan Brooks
  • 1969 Bob Erwin
  • 1970 Mark Cunliffe
  • 1971 Michael Wright
  • 1972 Richard Refshauge
  • 1973
  • 1974 Michael Dunn
  • 1975 Julius Roe
  • 1976 Liz O'Brien
  • 1977 Jon Nicholson
  • 1978 Peter Cardwell
  • 1979 Stephen Bartos
  • 1980 Louise Tarrant
  • 1981 Jeffrey Dalton
  • 1982 Gary Humphries
  • 1983 Bill Redpath
  • 1984 Peter Taylor
  • 1985 Lesley Ward
  • 1986 Neil McFarlane
  • 1987
  • 1988 Andrew Major
  • 1989
  • 1990 Jon Coroneos
  • 1991 Elizabeth O'Leary
  • 1992 Amanda Chadwick
  • 1993 Kath Cummins
  • 1994 Caitlin Wyndham
  • 1995 Hamish McPherson, Craig Cook, Pip Bolding
  • 1996 Cam Filthson
  • 1997 Matt Tinning
  • 1998 Harry Greenwell
  • 1999 Helen Stitt
  • 2000 Russell Egan
  • 2001 Maciej Wasilewicz
  • 2002 Joanne Yin
  • 2003 Steve Michelson
  • 2004 Max Jeganathan
  • 2005 Aparna Rao
  • 2006 Laura Crespo
  • 2007 Claudia Newman-Martin
  • 2008 Jamila Rizvi
  • 2009 Sham Sara
  • 2010 Tully Fletcher
  • 2011 Leah Ginnivan
  • 2012 Fleur Hawes, resigned, Dallas Proctor
  • 2013 Aleks Sladojevic
  • 2014 Cameron Wilson
  • 2015 Ben Gill
  • 2016 Ben Gill
  • 2017 James Connolly
  • 2018 Eleanor Kay
  • 2019 Eden Lim
  • 2020 Lachlan Day



ANUSA is an association of ANU's more than 10,000 undergraduate students. There is only a single class of membership. A person is a member of ANUSA provided that they:

  • Is a currently enrolled Undergraduate Student at the Australian National University; or
  • Is a student enrolled in an ANU Pathway Program (including ANU College and ANU Preparatory Program), and
  • Has not written to the General Secretary of the Association specifically stating that they do not wish to be a member of the Association

The provision to opt out of membership is rarely exercised.[6]


ANUSA is financed by a block grant from the University, using revenue collected from the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). In 2016 ANUSA was allocated $1,681,535 by the University, or 32.6% of the total SSAF revenue collected.[7]


ANUSA is led by a 39-member Student Representative Council, which includes a 6-member Executive, 7 Department Officers, 12 College Representatives and 14 General Representatives. Also elected are the Undergraduate Representative to ANU Council and 5 delegates to the National Union of Students Conference. The day-to-day operations of the Association are managed by approximately 13 paid staff members.


  • President
  • Vice-President
  • General Secretary
  • Education Officer
  • Treasurer
  • Social Officer

College Representatives[edit]

  • College of Arts & Social Sciences Representative (*2)
  • College of Asia & the Pacific Representative (*2)
  • College of Engineering & Computer Sciences Representative (*2)
  • College of Sciences Representative (*2)
  • College of Law Representative (*2)
  • College of Business & Economics Representative (*2)

Department Officers[edit]

  • Disabilities Officer
  • Environment Officer
  • International Students' Officer
  • Queer* Officer
  • Women's Officer
  • Indigenous Officer
  • Ethnocultural Officer


The ANUSA Constitution establishes and funds seven autonomous departments to represent and advocate for students from marginalised groups in the community. These include:

  • Disabilities Department (also known as ANU Disabilities Students Association)
  • Environment Department (also known as ANU Environment Collective)
  • International Students' Department (ISD)
  • Queer* Department (also known as ANU Queer* Collective)
  • Women's Department (also known as ANU Women's Collective)
  • Ethnocultural Department
  • Indigenous Department (also known as ANU Indigenous Department)


The ANUSA Constitution establishes a number of committees with various purposes:

  • Education Committee, chaired by the Education Officer
  • Social Committee
  • Mental Health Committee
  • Safety on Campus Committee
  • Disputes Committee
  • Financial Review Committee


Student Assistance Unit[edit]

The Student Assistance Unit (SAU) provides support, advice and assistance to students in a range of areas, including: Centrelink payments; bursaries and scholarships; academic appeals; and legal advice. The SAU is staffed by 2 Student Assistance Officers, including 1 qualified lawyers.

The SAU also administers several grants schemes, which provide meals, grants and grocery vouchers to students facing financial difficulty.

Brian Kenyon Student Space[edit]

The Brian Kenyon Student Space (BKSS) is the student lounge for ANUSA, located in the Di Riddell Student Centre in the Kambri Precinct. Opened in 2011 in its original location of Union Court, the BKSS offers a place for students to relax and socialise between classes, boasting comforts such as a complimentary daily breakfast, and affordable coffee and snacks throughout the day. The Student Space also hires out AV equipment and BBQ's for student clubs and societies to use.


ANUSA operated an online secondhand bookshop until 2016. It allowed students to buy and sell textbooks at discounted prices.

Clubs and Societies Programme[edit]

ANUSA's Clubs and Societies Council administers the University's clubs and societies programme. Currently there are approximately 150 affiliated clubs, offering unique educational, sporting, culture and social opportunities to members. Each year, the programme culminates in the ANUSA Clubs and Societies Ball, considered a highlight of the Association's social calendar.

Social Programme[edit]

ANUSA's Social Committee coordinates a lively programme of social events throughout the year, including Orientation Week, Bush Week, Sex & Consent Week and Universal Lunch Hour each Thursday. Each year, ANUSA hosts an open air concert on the final day of Orientation Week, which has attracted acts including The Presets, Kimbra, Miami Horror, Rüfüs Du Sol, Bluejuice and British India.

Student Advocacy[edit]

Student Representation[edit]

ANUSA represents ANU undergraduate students on a number of high-level University committees, including:

  • University Council
  • Academic Board
  • University Education Committee
  • Student Experience Committee

The ANUSA President meets regularly with the University Executive to discuss issues pertaining to the welfare of undergraduate students.

Political Affiliations[edit]

ANUSA is somewhat unusual among Australian student unions in that its Executive has remained independent of any political party since 2011.

Whilst ANUSA is affiliated with the National Union of Students (NUS), it did not pay accreditation fees in 2016 due to concerns about the efficacy of NUS and issues relating to student wellbeing at the NUS National Conference. This resulted in its voting rights being suspended at the NUS National Conference that year. In 2017, the body reaccredited to the NUS,[8] however failed to accredit in 2018 again after the NUS did not meet a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) passed by the ANUSA SRC.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Martin Iltis (2 October 1996). "ANU student election results". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  4. ^ "Brian's now open in Union Court | Woroni". Archived from the original on 25 February 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Services & amenities fee". ANU. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  8. ^

External links[edit]