Who’s Who of Old Hacks

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines “hack” as “a horse for ordinary riding”. But the hacks profiled in this article are far from ordinary – they are the jockeys riding the ANUSA tickets in this year’s elections.

First up we have Megan (Meg) Lane. Meg has her fingers in many campus pies – she was General Secretary on ANUSA until June this year, and is the current chair of the Union Board. She is also the National Union of Students (NUS) Womens’ Officer for the ACT, and is heavily involved in the Labor Unity faction (which is Labor Right on campus). This year, she is involved in the Ready for ANUSA campaign as a general advisor and old hack. However, Lane is not running for a position because of her looming graduation at the end of this year.

Jack Gaudie is the next hack under the spotlight, and one whose name you have probably already heard (or seen, thanks to his eager participation on ANU Stalkerspace). Jack is currently the Social Officer on ANUSA, and is running for President with Ready for ANUSA this year. Jack is the anointed candidate of Labor Unity on campus, and their member who is most likely to succeed in the elections this year. He is also a Senior Resident (SR) at UniLodge, and was previously the UniLodge Social Officer.

Our next hack is in fact the current ANUSA President. Ben Gill won the position last year on the Connect ticket. By all accounts he has done a very competent job of working with the departments and collectives, and also publicising the services ANUSA has on offer. Ben has apparently enjoyed his time on ANUSA and has achieved a lot in his term, and for this reason he is running for President again this year with Let’s ANUSA. This is an unusual decision; no other ANUSA President has ever run for two terms before. Ben ran for ANUSA last year on a platform promoting better funding for departments, and has had a positive relationship with all the departments this year. It is therefore interesting to note all the current department heads have come together to run the Open ticket opposing Ben in this year’s elections.

Josh Orchard may not be an ANU student any more, but he still deserves his reputation as a hack, largely thanks to his Brodburger references on Stalkerspace. For all the first years out there who don’t appreciate this running in-joke, Orchard ran for Union Board in 2014 and promised to bring Brodburger to the ANU campus if he was successful. He is currently the convenor of Labor Unity, and was chair of the Union board until this year. Along with Jack Gaudie, Orchard is the public face of Labor on campus. Orchard is also heavily involved with NUS (the National Union of Students) – he is the current President of NUS in the ACT, and he sits on the national executive of the NUS as well. Orchard is still quite involved in terms of the political discussion around campus, although it is unclear how much longer he can participate actively in the election seeing as he has already graduated.

Clodagh O’Doherty is one of the managers of Ben Gill’s campaign, and is running as VP with Let’s ANUSA. She was a part of the Fling campaign last year, and came third for the position of VP after Waugh and Dhamija. O’Doherty is also the manager of the Brian Kenyon Student Space, was an SR at Burgmann last year and has historically been involved in debating. Although she faces a tough race against Albert Patajo, O’Doherty is a strong candidate for the VP position.

While she may not be a well-known hack on campus, Elsa Merrick is running for President with the Open campaign this year, and is a new face to student politics. She is currently one of the Environment Officers on ANUSA, and is backed by the collectives and departments. Not much is known about Merrick, so it will be interesting to see how her campaign goes this year, and also what role she could play as a future hack.

And finally, to our last hack ‒ Albert Patajo himself. Patajo is running against O’Doherty for the position of VP with Ready for ANUSA. At the moment, he is the Vice-President (Education) for the Law Students’ Society and is a Science Rep on ANUSA (a position he won last year on the Fetch ticket). Patajo is well known among the colleges, having been a member of Griffin and now Fenner.

Ready for ANUSA, Let’s ANUSA and Open don’t just drive themselves. They are run by ambitious and motivated students, such as the ones above. Hopefully next time you find yourself on Stalkerspace, their posts and obscure Brodburger jokes make a little more sense.