First ANUSA Election Ticket Soft Launches, Led by Ben Yates

Pictured: Grace King (front left), Luke Harrison (back left), Ben Yates (back), Phoenix O'Neill (back), Dorcas Bugeme (front right), Beatrice Tucker (back right) and Charlotte Carnes (back right)

Current General Secretary of ANUSA, Ben Yates, has soft launched his ticket for the upcoming ANUSA elections, including his candidacy for Presidency.

The ticket, currently unnamed, is the first to announce their candidacy, and is expected to release details of their full policy vision following consultation. The Ticket told Woroni that their policy vision is expected to uphold “left-wing politics and a willingness to fight hard for students”.  Details of the Ticket’s executive candidate are outlined below.

Ben Yates for President and Undergraduate Member on ANU Council

Yates is currently General Secretary and was previously a General Representative on the SRC and co-convenor of the Environment Collective. He plans to use his role as President to fight for an “accessible, equitable, safe and democratic university.”

Grace King for Vice President

King is currently the Welfare Officer and has previously been a General Representative, deputy Education Officer, and Wamburun Hall Vice President. She holds the conviction that a “union is only as strong as its members because it is its members”, and that office bearers must work throughout the year, not just at elections.

Beatrice Tucker for Education Officer

Tucker currently holds the position of Education Officer, and aims to continue their work in this realm, since “building an activist ANUSA would take more than one term”. From their past experience in the Australian Student Environment Network and the National Tertiary Education Union, they have “learnt the limits of ANU’s systems and from this, the pressure points at which to direct collective student power are clear”.

Phoenix O’Neill for General Secretary

O’Neill is the current Clubs Officer, and was a General Representative on the SRC in 2021. They come from an arts background, previously being the President of the Interhall Arts Committee and Art Master at Fenner Hall. If elected, they will focus on “decreasing the level of bureaucratic barriers to the vision of an activist union” and building “structures to engage with students at a community level”.

Katrina Ha for Treasurer

Ha is the current Treasurer for the International Students Department and a General Representative. As ANUSA Treasurer, she aims to focus on raising awareness about the importance of SSAF, improving funding allocation for departments, and on establishing and maintaining a sustainable Night Cafe.

Charlotte Carnes for Clubs Officer

Carnes is currently a College of Arts and Social Sciences Representative for ANUSA’s College Representatives Council. In this office, she will focus on building a clubs program to “meet students in their communities, halls, classes, and clubs to best involve them and represent their interests and needs.”

Luke Harrison for Welfare Officer

Harrison is currently a General Representative and deputy Education Officer. He was previously a Gender and Sexuality Educator and Advocate at Fenner Hall and President of the Queer* Interhall Council. As an office bearer, they will focus on building ANUSA to become a union that “places students at the front of the fight to better the conditions of all students at ANU.”

All executive candidates from this Ticket notably have significant levels of student leadership experience. This is furthered by the fact that four out of seven of the current ANUSA executive members are part of this Ticket, with the remaining three joining with substantive leadership experience in halls of residences, other ANUSA departments and councils, and activist groups.

This could be both a strength and a weakness for the ticket. They will be able to approach ANUSA with experience and insider-knowledge. However, it also means that the ticket may be judged by the successes and failures of this year. Several of the candidates made promises in the last campaign that have yet to be fully realised. Likewise, some of the policies hinted at are ones that, in their roles this year, other members of the ticket have already been in a position to address.

The currently-unnamed ticket is seeking more candidates to join their team, which can be done so through filling out the ANUSA Expression of Interest form or by reaching out to the executive candidates directly.

Woroni will extensively cover the upcoming ANUSA election and related issues. Stay tuned for future content.


UPDATE: This article was amended, Dorcas Bugeme is no longer running for Treasurer, and the article has been updated to include the new candidate, Katrina Ha.

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