SRC: Shake Up Tops Lift, Except on Exec
Michael Turvey, Valerie Ng, Jason Pover, Taz Hudson and Skanda Panditharatne
Eleanor Kay will be ANUSA’s next President, but she will preside over a split Executive and SRC. Shake Up candidates have been elected as Treasurer and Social Officer, while all other Executive positions have gone to Lift. The Gen Reps are similarly divided, with seven Shake Up representatives, five Lift representatives, and one each from Stand Apart and Activate. The College Reps were broadly split, with one from each of the major tickets in every college other than CECS, where both positions went to Shake Up. In total, there will be 16 Shake Up representatives, 14 from Lift, and one each from Activate and Stand Apart, as well as seven independent Department representatives.
Tess Masters from Lift will be next year’s Vice President. Masters is a Senior Resident at Burton and Garran Hall and a former Deputy Women’s Officer. She’s suggested that her commitments in this position will be towards helping future low-SES and high risk students following the ATAR changes, and a more qualitative approach to students in residential halls. She will likely oversee a greater focus on the mental health of and support for international students, through compulsory induction sessions at the start of each semester. She also wants to produce a range of infographics and videos to communicate information about services.
Lift’s Eden Lim has won General Secretary. Lim, a law student with a background in the Law Students’ Society, described herself as a “newbie” to ANUSA. Lim has said she’ll engage more students with ANUSA by significantly shortening time for questions and reports, and has also said she’ll be harsher on penalties for students “stirring the pot” at SRCs.
On governance, Lim has not offered specific changes, and instead promising a professional review of ANUSA by a consultant. Lim has argued that this will provide external perspectives on the Association and its organisation. Lim supports the actions of current General Secretary Kat Reed in having Working Groups for SRC and Gen Reps, but plans to “take this review further” to engage people “without that same depth of ANUSA knowledge”.
Lim has also promised a “decision making guide”, laying out the factors and processes that will be considered for decisions made by Executives. She says that this will allow for greater accountability, ensuring they consider the reasons behind their decisions before they make them – instead of providing justification after.
Shake Up’s Mariah Chang has won Treasurer. Chang, a Law/Economics student, has experience as the Firm Relations VP of the Actuarial Finance Economics Commerce Students’ Society (AFEC), and is also a trainee accountant in a Canberra accounting firm.
Chang does not think it likely that the federal government will cut the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), and instead wants to focus on showing ANU that ANUSA “can spend money responsibly”. Students can expect her to move forward with centralised merchandise procurement for student institutions; investment in commercial grade appliances for ANUSA, the BKSS and clubs; a centralised storage system for club equipment; and expanding ANUSA’s sponsorship base beyond current partners Murray and Qpay.
Shake Up’s Anya Bonan has won Social Officer. Bonan, a current Gen Rep, President of the B&G Residents’ Committee (BAGMA), and Chair of the Interhall Council of Presidents, has significant experience in event management and residential policy.
Bonan’s policies address international students and off-campus students. She aims to help international students adjust to life in Australia, working with the Interhall International Committee (IIC) and the International Students’ Department (ISD), and having a six week “Welcome to Australia” programme each semester. Bonan also plans on strengthening ties and increasing student engagement with Griffin Hall, host events around Canberra, and create a non-ressie ANU Facebook page.
Bonan also emphasises accessibility, advertising, and feedback opportunities in her policies. She emphasises accessibility for events, and plans on finishing the Inclusivity Guide started by the Disability Students’ Association and current Social Officer Cameron Allan. Bonan also promises to provide O-Week and Bush week feedback forms, and create a “calendar app” to display campus events.
Lift’s Harry Needham has been elected to Education Officer. Needham is currently an ANUSA General Representative, Education Officer of the CAP Students’ Society, and President of the Regional, Rural and Remote Students’ Society.
Needham’s policies include focuses on activism, the student housing crisis, and welfare. He describes current activism efforts as often “inaccessible, intimidating or just plain confusing”, proposing an “Education Week” and promotional materials in different languages. He also promises to lobby the state and federal government about housing affordability, and promote active campaigns by students. Needham intends on addressing the stigmatisation of welfare recipients with a photo campaign, protests, and a petition to the House of Representatives.
Needham also plans to support Indigenous students, and regional, rural and remote students. He has publically supported Shake Up’s policies of working with the Indigenous Department to acknowledge Indigenous content and methodology, and introducing a compulsory Indigenous course for each degree. Needham also intends to lobby the government for a “Tertiary Access Allowance”, and wants the government’s Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarship to be expanded to all disciplines.
56 candidates ran for the 14 General Representative spots on SRC this election, with Lift, Activate, Stand Apart and three independents all contesting the spots. Shake Up took half the positions with seven candidates elected, with Lift not far behind with five. Activate’s Nick Douros and Stand Apart’s Ashish Nagesh have also been elected.
Activate, the ticket associated with Labor Right, managed to secure a sole General Representative in ticket convener Nick Douros. Douros, the President of the ACT’s NUS branch, will likely be a strong voice favouring unions, the NUS, and more active political campaigning. Douros has also promised to hold the executive to account, claiming that current General Representatives haven’t been doing enough in that regards. Students can expect Douros to be a vocal Exec critic in an SRC dominated by candidates the Executive chose to run.
This is undoubtedly a success for Douros and for Labor on campus. However, it’s a far cry from previous victories, and a lot less than the ticket likely wanted. The Labor Students Club in past years ran full executive tickets and was frequently elected, but has not enjoyed electoral success in ANUSA since 2015’s ill-fated Ready for ANUSA, which collapsed after revelations of bullying by the ticket executives. This election marks a small victory for the faction in its attempts to return to ANUSA politics.
Stand Apart’s Ashish Nagesh has secured a position as General Representative. Stand Apart, funded entirely by the ANU Liberal Club, is strongly opposed to the NUS and supports an increased focus on low SES students. Ashish personally supports increased involvement of international students through increased executive positions and roles within clubs and societies. Ashish is likely to be a vocal member of the SRC, and is expected to retain policies that contradict those of the other tickets. This marks a success for the ANU Liberal Club after their 2015 loss in the ‘Axe the SSAF’ campaign.
No independents have been elected. Sebastian Rossi, the former Stand Apart candidate who also ran for NUS and Vice President, was unsuccessful. James Howarth, running on an anti-factional and Executive-scrutinising campaign, was also eliminate.
The newly elected reps will now spend the remainder of the year learning from current office-holders and preparing for the job. They will formally take over the positions on December 1st, the end of the academic year.
Full list of Gen Reps elected:
Petal Wang (Shake Up)
Gaia Ewing (Shake Up)
Ashish Nagesh (Stand Apart)
Sam Cass (Lift)
Nick Douros (Activate)
Isabelle Lee (Shake Up)
Lachy Day (Shake Up)
Annabelle Nshuti (Lift)
Kathryn Lee (Shake Up)
Georgie Sheridan (Shake Up)
Edan Habel (Lift)
Antonia Wayne-Boyle (Shake Up)
Chloe Wong (Lift)
Lily Pang (Lift)
Students from each College are represented on SRC by two college Reps. The major tickets, Shake Up and Lift, split each college’s representation for the most part.
The exception to the rule were the CECS reps, Jess Kennedy and Yaya Lu, who are both from the Shake Up ticket. This continues the strong trend in past SRCs of having one representative each from the computing and engineering faculties.
Full list of College Reps elected:
College of Business and Economics:
Palak Bhatia (Lift)
Kezia Kartika (Shake Up)
College of Arts and Social Sciences:
Amel Saeed (Shake Up)
Julia Beard (Lift)
College of Asia and the Pacific:
Evie Sharman (Shake Up)
Mali Walker (Lift)
College of Law:
Angela Chen (Shake Up)
Campbell Clapp (Lift)
Joint Colleges of Sciences:
Janet Zhong (Lift)
Shoshana Rapley (Shake Up)
College of Engineering and Computer Science:
Jess Kennedy (Shake Up)
Yaya Lu (Shake Up)