The following is an introductory guide to some key terms and important processes related to our department’s finances, including how much money we get and where we get it from, how we can spend it, and other important details.
The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF): This is where ANUSA draws most of its funding from, and hence, where the collective gets its funding from. The SSAF is a government-enforced fee paid by each ANU student, which is then pooled together shared between various organizations including ANUSA, the postgraduate equivalent (PARSA), the student media outlets Woroni and ANU Observer, and other organizations like ANU Sport.
Department Funding: The collective receives a baseline of $10,000 each year from ANUSA. We enjoy a great deal of autonomy in what we can use this money to fund, and thus can support a broad range of projects. Any unspent funds from this allocation are returned to ANUSA at the end of the year, typically around December 1st.
Shared Department Funding: The seven departments also have access to a second shared pool of funds. Totalling $40,000, this money can be spent if 4/7 departments approve the funding. Access for the collective to this money is not certain, but it does seem particularly useful for cross-departmental collaboration on shared projects, in alignment with our own intersectional approach.
Honoraria: At the end of the year, each department is given approximately $5,000 in honoraria (money payments to distribute to members). Since the collective cannot afford paid staff, the purpose of honoraria is to say thanks to members for any time and other resources they have contributed to the collective throughout the year. Honoraria is typically given to members who have lead events and other projects, assisted in executive and administrative roles, and otherwise assisted the collective.
External funding: Our financial autonomy extends to collaboration with other groups. Given that the future of SSAF is uncertain and we could potentially lose our funding in the long-term, we should look to establish projects and relationships that can achieve our goals without requiring significant financial commitments. Partnerships with business, ANU and external grants, as well as other sources of funding can not only build resilience in the long-term, but also amplify our short-term capabilities too.