On Monday 10th October, ANUSA’s Bla(c)k, Indigenous and People of Color Department (BIPOC) organized a demonstration to continue the demands of the Racism Report published by the BIPOC Department in 2021. ANUSA’s Indigenous Department, Women’s Department and International Students Department all helped to organise, and speak at, the protest.

The departments protested the lack of accountability and an inadequate response from University administration.

Speakers criticised the lack of adequate resources put in place by the ANU to support students and staff who experience racism on campus. Members of the departments highlighted the strain that these reports have on their mental health, and social lives, stating that they were overworked and underqualified to take on such heavy topics.

Chanel Nguyen, the current BIPOC officer stated that “The ANU has resources and the responsibility to implement key demands of the 2021 Racism Report.”

The speakers demanded that the ANU meet the recommendations in the 2021 Racism Report, create a formal and efficient means to disclose racism and establish a fully-resourced anti-racist specialist body at the university to handle racism incidents on campus.

Paria Najafzadeh, the newly-elected BIPOC Officer for 2023, holding a sign reading "How many weren't reported". One of the demands of the 2021 Racism Report was that the ANU research and publish statistics on racism at the ANU. Photography by Oskah Dunnin.

In 2021, the Racism Report highlighted serious and concerning cases of racism that BIPOC students face on campus. The report detailed that 54.4% of the racist incidents were perpetuated by students while 33.3% of racist incidents occurred in outdoor, public settings.

The compilation of submissions in the 2021 Racism Report detailed 70 cases of racism faced by students, staff and admin at the ANU. Since the report’s release, the ANU has yet to respond to all recommendations made in the report.

In August, the University responded to two demands from the report. An ANU Spokesperson confirmed that “The ANU IDEA Governance Committee is currently establishing an anti-racism taskforce to continue to address these challenges.” The ANU has also become an official supporter of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ initiative and credited the BIPOC Department as “…catalysts in bringing this initiative to ANU.” The ANU has also committed to creating a safe space for BIPOC students on campus.

In a public letter to ANUSA, and the BIPOC Officer, the ANU cited the creation of the Student Safety Wellbeing Team as part of its response to the report. The Student Safety and Wellbeing Team assists students with a range of issues, and was not one of the report’s recommendations. The report made 14 recommendations in total, and the ANU has yet to respond to the other 12.

Katchmirr Russel, the Indigenous Officer, speaking to protestors. In the background, on Kambri bridge, a banner reads "The ANU is fucking racist." Photography by Oskah Dunnin.

Commenting on the protests, an ANU Spokesperson claimed that “Racism has no place within our community” while also commending the “…courage and dedication to change shown by our students who are advocating on this important issue.”

When speaking to BIPOC students at the protests, the common reason for supporting the demonstration was the disappointment they felt in the ANU for forcing students to take such a serious matter into their own hands, given that the University has the resources to enact change.

The International Students Department (ISD) Welfare Officer, speaking at the protest, stated that “international students feel like cash cows, no HECS, no Medicare with fears of falling sick or dealing with mental health issues and adding racism and homophobia makes them feel unsafe”.

The BIPOC Department is currently working to finalise the 2022 Racism Report, set to be published in the coming weeks.


If you have found the contents of this article distressing, the following resources are available:

ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing

(02) 6125 2211

ANU BIPOC Department


ANU Indigenous Department


ANU Counselling

(02) 6125 2442


1800 737 732

ANU Women’s Department


ANU Queer* Department


ANU Respectful Relationships Unit


We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.