CW: AHRC Report

ANUSA Women’s Officer Priyanka Tomar has resigned, ending her eight-month tenure.

Citing “ongoing personal reasons” as her cause for departure, Tomar announced her decision to step down in a resignation letter included in the agenda for Student Representative Council (SRC) 5. 

During her term, she spearheaded a strong department and has represented, supported and advocated for all undergraduate women at ANU. 

“During my university experience, the Women’s Department has been one of the most rewarding spaces I have been engaged in. I feel incredibly privileged to have been given the opportunity to lead such an inspiring group of people,” Tomar wrote in her letter of resignation. 

“With Jin and Nupur alongside me as unwavering pillars of support, I am so proud of all that we have achieved as a department.”

Current deputies Siang Jin Law and Nupur Apte will jointly fill the Women’s Officer position until the end of the year.

“This work has taken a lot out of me”

Tomar noted that while it has been rewarding, her tenure has not been trouble-free. 

“This work has taken a lot out of me,” Tomar said.

“Unfortunately, constantly engaging with frustrating roadblocks, feeling overburdened, overworked and isolated as well as dealing with vicarious trauma became a regular aspect of my role.”

Nevertheless, she reflected fondly on her time as Women’s Officer. 

“I have been incredibly lucky to work with exceptionally dedicated, progressive and compassionate student advocates some of whom have also become my closest friends. Being surrounded by people driven with a resolute passion for change in my day to day work is something I will always feel blessed to have experienced,” Tomar said. 

Tomar used her final SRC report to flag her frustration with the ANU’s response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) Change the Course’ report, for which August 1 marks the second anniversary. 

“I am personally upset that my term as Women’s Officer has been marked by such little movement in the space,” Tomar said. She highlighted that “advocacy has been hindered by a stagnant, unengaged and sometimes unwilling university administration.”

Specifically, Tomar outlined that “The RR (respectful relationships) Advisory group has met only once this year, there has been continued lack of student consultation.”

To coincide with the ‘Change the Course’s’ second anniversary, The Women’s Department, ANUSA and PARSA are holding “a sit-in outside the Foundation Day lecture to protest the university’s lack of continued engagement”.