ANU Considering New Names for ‘Union Court’ Precinct

ANU is seeking names for every building, street, and area in the Union Court Redevelopment, including the name for the entire precinct, which ANU confirmed may not be called “Union Court”. University staff have expressed a desire to add more names of women and Indigenous Australians, and may name some areas after major donors.

The revitalisation of the heart of the campus includes buildings for teaching, student accommodation, events, and student services. There will also be new streets, a bridge, and various other areas. All these new fixtures require names, and the University has established a “naming committee”, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Marnie Hughes-Warrington confirmed, which includes postgraduate and undergraduate representatives.

Manning Clark, the Australian historian whose name previously graced the main lecture building, will likely have his name re-appear, Hughes-Warrington indicated. Clark has faced criticism in recent years amidst allegations that he was a Soviet spy. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor also indicated that the committee was considering additional female names, noting that “names in Union Court currently” are “very white and male”. Hughes-Warrington also said names in keeping with the Indigenous heritage of the site will be a priority.

Hughes-Warrington would not explicitly confirm any new names, notably including whether the entire precinct would be called “Union Court”. The title, originally adopted in the 1960s when the ANU Union building was built adjacent to the site, has no guarantee of continuation. When pressed, Hughes-Warrington said she could not confirm the title due to concerns for “good governance”, and that this required “engagement with staff and students”.

One title which was more certain is that of the new residence: “it will be Fenner Hall,” said Hughes-Warrington, a confirmation of previous reports that Fenner is moving to Union Court. Hughes-Warrington refused to comment on whether Unilodge would be responsible for management of the residence.

Hughes-Warrington has previously commented that buildings in the precinct may also be named after individuals who make substantial donations to ANU or the redevelopment.
Any student who wishes to provide feedback to the process can contact ANUSA at [email protected], or PARSA at [email protected].

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