The ANUSA election just entered a new phase with Labor announcing its full ticket. Adding to the already announced executive, Action! For ANUSA has unveiled its candidates for General Representative and College Representative positions. 

However, the real substance of the hard launch is the policy announcements, of which there are many. 

As the first ticket to announce their full policy brief, Action! For ANUSA has claimed some key policies, such as unionising SRs, supporting the Night Cafe, and creating a central social calendar. Outlined below are the three main policies of the ticket, along with some interesting new announcements. For a full run-down, see their website

Policy 1 – Rights for Residents 

Action! For ANUSA argues that the lack of tenancy rights for students on campus “causes significant problems – usually ones that strain the mental health of ANU students.”

The ticket’s solution is to unionise the SRs, forming a Senior Residents Advisory Council (SRAC)  to “improve working conditions for [on campus students and] other students under residential college-related scholarships.” 

Presidential candidate, Azraa Hussain, “wholeheartedly believes in the power of unions and what they can do for workers’ rights.” They want a union to “assess the core issues such as under-payment, lack of training and lack of support for pastoral care teams across ANU residences.” 

Vice Presidential candidate, Gigi Mouawad, argues the policy “benefits everyone.” SRs are a key aspect of the ANU’s residential system, providing pastoral care to residential students. In 2021, a number of issues came to light, including exploitation, and safety concerns.

Hussain and candidates for Education and Welfare, Harry Danton-Jack and Isabella Harding, aim to educate “incoming and current students on what their rights are” and “conduct an investigation into what meaningful changes students would like to see implemented within the Agreement.” 


SRs and on-campus students will likely support the Rights for Residents policy. There is already an appetite for collective action from SRs, around COVID and safety-related issues, which the proposed SRAC could achieve. Existing SRs have a significant workload managing many student’s issues and their unionisation could provide an achievable way to address such concerns.   

The education of students on their current and ongoing rights while living at ANU is feasible.  The focus on student’s health and their main channels of pastoral care may be well received, with students eager to support processes that address safety and wellbeing on campus. 


One challenge is that overworked SRs may not want to join a union if it means they must run the union. ANUSA could field most of the organisational work, but the ticket has yet to promise that. If ANUSA did organise the union, it is unclear who exactly would be responsible for this. Executives already work a lot, but general representatives may not have the experience nor dedication. 

Educating students on their existing rights, and the differences between occupancy and tenancy agreements is possible, but it remains unclear what this achieves. The tenancy rights issue is potentially not concerning for many students, who only live on campus for a short period of time, live off campus, or who don’t pay for their own accommodation.

Policy 2 – Fight for Funding

Treasurer candidate, Jimmy Jackson, plans to “…shift the motive of the Night Cafe from profitability to affordability.” The current Treasurer, Jaya Ryan, wants the Night Cafe to be an alternative revenue source for ANUSA, limiting its dependence on SSAF funding. However, Jackson disagrees, and instead thinks that “…students’ accessibility to affordable food options…” should be the priority. 

The ticket is also running on a policy of operating vending machines. Action! For ANUSA feels it can compete with other businesses for the ANU contract. These vending machines would offer some of the cheapest foods on campus, with lunch options sold at-cost, and other snacks sold at “…more typical prices.”

Lastly, Jackson, along with Hussain, promises “experienced negotiators” to bargain for ANUSA to receive not only its normal SSAF allocation but also that of the defunded postgraduates’ union (PARSA).


By arguing for an affordable Night Cafe, Jackson has framed the debate and put himself on the voter-winning side. Moreover, the current ANUSA (both executive and SRC) has already pitched the Night Cafe to the ANU, as well as drafting up a business prospectus. Action! For ANUSA will be able to build off this work. 

Students will likely support the vending machine proposal. The ticket has already outlined the finances of such an endeavour, with logistics that do not appear overwhelming. 

Negotiating for sixty percent of the SSAF pool is a lofty ideal. The ANU has not announced where PARSA’s funding will go next year. However, if other tickets also vie for PARSA’s money, the policy may become a non-issue. 


It appears that Jackson assumes that Yates’ ticket will continue to pitch the Night Cafe as an alternative revenue source. Most of that ticket ran with Ryan last year, so this is not unreasonable. However, it is also not guaranteed. Yates’ unnamed ticket may forgo the policy entirely. This would leave Labor committed to the Night Cafe idea and open to attacks on its overall viability, not just as a profitable enterprise. 

While Action! For ANUSA promises “experienced negotiators” it has yet to actually name them. Presumably, these negotiators include its executive candidates, specifically Presidential Candidate Hussain. If this is the case, the contenders will have to prove their experience to the students. Countless other past candidates have also promised more SSAF for ANUSA, and countless others have not made substantial gains. It remains to be seen how the ticket will differentiate itself from previous candidates. 

Policy 3 – Save our Social Scene 

Clubs Officer candidate, Milli McDonald, believes that “The reality is that the ANUSA social scene is quite limited”, a veiled criticism of Phoenix O’Neill, the current Clubs Officer running for General-Secretary on another ticket. Nonetheless, McDonald has a number of clear steps which she believes will re-invigorate ANU’s social life. 

McDonald wants to move “outside” of events like O-Week, Bush Week and Friday Night Party, and instead to reclaim Kambri as “our [students’] space.” 

Expanding ANU’s social scene involves increasing the equity ticketing system. Equity tickets are given to people who, due to disadvantage, cannot, or should not, pay. This includes First Nations peoples, those from low-SES backgrounds, or those with financial hardships. 

The other policy is “Centralised Communication”, that is, creating a centralised calendar for “every social event” run by “ANUSA events, ANU Clubs, [and] ANU Sports”. 


The bulk of McDonald’s policies are mostly achievable. Changing how events work relies largely on the Clubs Officer. If McDonald is elected, then she could action these policies in the Clubs portfolio.

Equity tickets for First Nations students for Club events are already part of ANUSA Clubs policy, passed last year. Hence, it wouldn’t be a stretch to expand equity tickets to ANUSA’s own events, nor would it be difficult to mandate equity tickets for other disadvantaged groups. 

The calendar is an actionable idea, and could definitely benefit first years lost in the maze of O-Week and Bush Week. If it doesn’t include ANU events it could also redirect more students towards student-run events. This could give grounds for more SSAF and create a student culture based more around the union. However, this impact would only be minor. 


Events cost money, time and energy. O-Week alone cost ANUSA $25,000 this year, relying on sponsors offsetting the gross cost (around $45,000). Action! For ANUSA could cut funding to the big three events – O-Week, Bush Week and Friday Night Party. However, this is unlikely to be popular with students. To fund more events, Action! For ANUSA may propose cutting spending elsewhere. However, the hard launch does not include information about potential funding redirection.

ANUSA could run events to make a profit or to breakeven, but this would contradict McDonald’s emphasis on equitable access. Part of the ticket’s financial policy is to invest in vending machines, providing cheap food and revenue. 

There is also the question of what kind of events ANUSA should put on. The post-pandemic world has seen some people turn away from parties and dancing, and towards more close-knit social events. While this hasn’t seemed to damage turnout, some students may want the ticket to promise more non-party style events. 

Miscellaneous Policies

While the above forms the core of Action! For ANUSA’s platform, the hard launch marks the announcement of additional policies. These include:

  • Pill testing kits at the BKSS
  • Restorative justice for SASH
  • Multi-modal ANU (hybrid learning options)
  • A designated on-campus smoking area
  • Introducing questions to the executive before a meeting
  • Live Streaming and liveblogging of ANUSA meetings
  • Campaigning alongside ANU workers against course cuts
  • Supporting the NUS

The sheer breadth of policies on offer comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Students will see that a lot is being planned and offered to them if they vote for Action! For ANUSA. However, there is also the risk of over-promising, and students may feel the ticket’s policies are unachievable if it aims for everything at once. 

We will have to wait until the election to see what students think. Voting opens 9am Monday 26 September and closes 12pm Thursday 29 September. 

The ticket’s general representative candidates are:

  • Brandone Lee (he/him)
  • Liam Bessel-Koprek (he/him)
  • Lux Strugar (she/her)
  • Max Marland (he/him)
  • Myka Davis (she/they)
  • Noor Shah (she/her)
  • Oliver O’Kane (he/him)
  • Sophie McDowall (she/her)

Their college representative candidates are:

  • Deanna Athanasos (any pronouns) for College of Law
  • Will Burfoot (he/him) for College of Business and Economics
  • Lara Johnson (she/her) for College of Arts and Social Scenes
  • Ioan Hastie (he/him) for College of Asia Pacific

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