Australian National University Union

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ANU Union Inc.
ANU Union logo.png
Motto live uni life
Institution Australian National University
Location ANU Union, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200
Established 1965
Members c. 14000
Affiliations Australasian Campus Union Managers' Association

The Australian National University Union Incorporated (ANU Union), established in 1965, is a student-run amenities provider at The Australian National University. This is not to be confused with the Australian National University Student Association, which despite its name, is recognised as the University's Students' Union.


ANU Union's sole activity is to run catering and retail operations in the ANU Union building. Unlike its equivalents at other Australian universities, the Union is not involved in Orientation Week activities, administering a clubs and societies programme or coordinating social events.


All students of the University are automatically ANU Union members. Membership is also open to ANU staff and graduates.[1]


The objects of the Union are:

  1. to provide a recognised meeting place and social centre for its members;
  2. to promote the intellectual, social and general welfare of the University community, and
  3. actively to encourage and support all ANU clubs and societies which include members of the Union.[2]

Union Business Operations[edit]

The ANU Union's catering and retail operations are managed by its General Manager Rod Thomas. Union run businesses include:[1]

  • The ANU Bar
  • Subway
  • Pajenka's
  • Cafe Peppercorn
  • Rosie's
  • Mee's Sushi (formerly Cucina De Pasta)
  • Organix
  • The Union Shop (newsagency, supermarket and Post-Office)
  • Union Functions

Board of Directors[edit]

The Union Board is the governing body of the ANU Union.[3]

Former Members of the Board[edit]

Prominent former members of the ANU Union's Board of Directors include:

Policy issues[edit]

Acton Supermarket closure[edit]

In October 2007 the Board of Directors made a decision not to renew the licence of the Acton Supermarket owned by Pijpers Holdings Pty Ltd. Board Chair Chris Steel claimed the decision was made on the basis of the continued viability of the Union's business operations which had suffered as a result of the Federal Government's Higher Education (Abolition of Upfront Student Union Fees) Amendment Act 2005 that had cut the Union's revenue by around $213 000 per annum. Under an alternative business model it was proposed that the ANU Union would incorporate a supermarket into its own retail operations.[4]

The closure resulted in a Facebook group called 'Keep the ANU Supermarket' with over 1000 members.[5] A petition with over 1500 signatures was also raised by the supermarket owners and made to ANU Vice-Chancellor Ian Chubb. The protesters claimed that the ANU Union would sell stock at higher prices than the independently run Acton Supermarket.[4]

In May 2008 a new licensee of the Union opened a 3 store in the previous location of the Acton Supermarket and the ANU Union refurbished part of its own Union Shop to accommodate a new supermarket.

Governance concerns[edit]

In recent years, students have expressed significant dissatisfaction over the governance of the Union. The Union operates at a loss, and elections are dominated by students who are affiliated with political parties and without the necessary retail or hospitality experience to run the organisation effectively.

Union Court Redevelopment[edit]

The Union Building is scheduled to be demolished with the Union Court Redevelopment. As the University has announced an intention to directly manage all commercial tenancies in the redeveloped buildings, ANU Union may be dissolved in coming years.


  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  4. ^ a b Emma MacDonald, 'ANU students protest against closure of campus supermarket', The Canberra Times (Wed 24 Oct 2007) p.5
  5. ^ [2]

External links[edit]