Australian National University Students' Association

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Australian National University Students' Association
Institution Australian National University
Location Level 1, Student Facilities Building 17a, University Avenue, ANU Canberra, 2601
Members c. 10,000

The Australian National University Students' Association is the student's union of the Australian National University. It is better known by its acronym, ANUSA. It exists to represent The Australian National University undergraduate students in the University's decision-making, to act as the voice for students in the national higher education policy debate, and to provide direct services to the student body. It is not to be confused with ANU Union, which is a not-for-profit association that manages catering and retail operations in the ANU Union Building.



ANUSA is an association of ANU's more than 10,000 undergraduate students. Individual students can opt out of membership, although this right is rarely exercised.


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.[1]


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


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


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 4 Student Assistance Officers, including 2 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 Union Court. Opened in 2011, 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.


ANUSA operates an online secondhand bookshop, allowing 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 180 affiliated clubs, offering unique educational, sporting, culture and social opportunities to members. Each year, the programme culminates in the ANUSA Club and Society Awards Night, 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, Rufus, 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 unique 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 has not paid a subscription since 2012 due to concerns about the efficacy of NUS and issues relating to student wellbeing at the NUS National Conference. This has resulted in its voting rights being suspended at the NUS National Conference, although the Association continues to send its delegates as observers.

List of Presidents of the Association[edit]

Year President Faction Ticket name
1992 Amanda Chadwick
1993 Kath Cummins
1994 Caitlin Wyndham
1995 Hamish McPherson[2][3][4]Craig Cork

Pip Bolding[5]

1996 Cam Filthson
1997 Matt Tinning[6]
1998 Harry Greenwell[7][8]
1999 Helen Stitt[9]
2000 Russell Egan[10]
2001 Maciej Wasilewicz[11]
2002 Joanne Yin[12]
2003 Steve Michelson[13]
2004 Max Jeganathan[14]
2005 Aparna Rao[15][16]
2006 Laura Crespo[17]
2007 Claudia Newman-Martin[18][19]
2008 Jamila Rizvi
2009 Sham Sara[20] Labor Right Energize
2010 Tully Fletcher[21] Labor Left
2011 Leah Ginnivan[22] Independent Engage
2012 Fleur Hawes

Dallas Proctor[23]



Golden Ticket
2013 Aleks Sladojevic Independent Common Thread
2014 Cameron Wilson Independent Bounce
2015 Ben Gill[24] Independent Grow
2016 Ben Gill Independent Grow
2017 James Connolly[25] Amplify


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.[26] 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 its 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.[27]

Recent History[edit]

In 2011, ANUSA was incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 (ACT). Later that year, conflict arose between the ANUSA Executive and the editors of the ANUSA Student Newspaper, Woroni. As a result, ANU Student Media was formed in 2012 as an independent incorporated association.

2012 saw the introduction of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (2012) 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 2014, President Ben Gill became the first President of the Association to be re-elected for a second term.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Services & amenities fee". ANU. 2014-11-09. Retrieved 2016-12-22. 
  2. ^ (Graham Hastings,2003, pp280-285. This provides an accurate history of the 1994 ANU student occupation and struggle against fees which led to the election of the No Fees Campaign candidates to the ANUSA)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Students demand, no fees for Degrees". GReen Left Weekly. 29 March 1995. Retrieved 16 June 2007. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Minutes of ANU council (will need to be an ANU student to log in)". ANUSA. 8 September 1995. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  6. ^ "Campaigning at ANU in 1997". Green Left Weekly. 4 December 1996. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  7. ^ "Join the campaign against the Indonesian dictatorship!". Green Left Weekly. 20 May 1998. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  8. ^ Will Williams (27 May 1998). "Angry ANU students storm dean's office". Green Left Weekly. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  9. ^ "Review of the Careers and Employment Centre" (PDF). ANU Reporter. 30 (1). 17 February 1999. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  10. ^ "Minutes of Meeting: No., 2000". Parking Reference Group, Facilities and Services Division, ANU. 2000. Archived from the original on 11 June 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  11. ^ "Minutes of Meeting: No. 1, 2001". Parking Reference Group, Facilities and Services Division, ANU. 2001. Archived from the original on 11 June 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  12. ^ "Minutes" (PDF). ANU Academic Board. 24 July 2002. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  13. ^ "Students lobby to defeat Govt's tertiary reform plan". ABC. 29 November 2003. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  14. ^ "Minutes: Meeting No. 2, 2004" (PDF). University committee on Information Strategy Policy, ANU. 2004. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  15. ^ "16 March 2005". ANUSA. 16 March 2005. Archived from the original on 21 June 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  16. ^ "Letters". The Australian. 25 May 2005. 
  17. ^ "ANU supporting student union under VSU". ABC. 1 September 2006. 
  18. ^ Emma Macdonald (23 May 2007). "Students shocked at Labor's union policy". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 10 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  19. ^ "Minutes of Meeting No.5, 2006" (PDF). University Education Committee, ANU. 25 September 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  20. ^ Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2 Nov 2009). "ANU students lead the way in carbon fight". 
  21. ^ Phillip Green (26 August 2009). "Australian National University Students' Association - 2009 Annual Elections - Extract from Report by the Electoral Commissioner" (PDF). 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Your Representatives". Australian National University Students' Association Inc. Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  26. ^ Martin Iltis (2 October 1996). "ANU student election results". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007. 
  27. ^ "Brian's now open in Union Court | Woroni". Retrieved 2016-12-23.