About the Collective

If you’re keen to get involved or learn more about us, we’ve collected information about how we operate, including how voting works, how our funding and financial processes work, and how we operate within the larger organization of ANUSA.                      

Our History

We’ve been hopping for decades!

The ANU Environment Collective has existed in one form or another for many decades. Details archived over the last few decades paint a proud history within our collective of action on sustainability across many fronts. That’s a tradition we want to uphold – and, if possible, learn more about!

How we work

A quick guide to what we do and how to get involved! 

A more detailed guide will hopefully be available later in the year – it’s one of our projects for 2019! In the meantime, here are the essentials:

  • We hold regular meetings, usually every week during semester. At meetings we enjoy a meal, propose and workshop project ideas together, and then vote on funding them. Learn more about projects here.
  • We use Facebook and Slack as official communcation channels. All members are free and encouraged to use them to give notice of meetings, advertise events, and provide other useful or important information.
  • To get involved: Join our Facebook group, Like our Facebook page and Hop on Slack!
  • You can contact us in a variety of ways if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions!

Our structure

Where we sit in the ANU community

Officially, we are known as the ANU Environment Department. We operate as a smaller organization within the ANU Student Association (ANUSA), serving alongside six other departments. Departments exist to advocate for marginalized groups. In our case, we advocate for the environment and sustainability more broadly. Although we’re part of ANUSA, we also operate independently from them in some important ways such as finances and decision-making.

The department is administered by the Environment Officer, who facilitates meetings, acts a point of contact on behalf of the collective, and otherwise helps administer the daily functioning of the group. The officer also provides regular reports to the ANUSA Student Representative Council (SRC). The officer is typically assisted by members across a range of roles: Learn more about the different roles here.

Elections and appointments of the 2019 executives will be announced early next year, with ample time for first-year students to express interest and get involved too!

Although we are known as the Environment Department in official terms, we typically refer to ourselves instead as the Environment Collective to emphasize the collective-based approach to governance.

Key Processes

Meetings, voting, membership, constitution. 

Important requirements on how we operate are outlined in our Constitution, available here.

All undergraduate students are members of ANUSA, and through that, are also automatically made members of the ANU Environment Collective. Members have voting rights at meetings, can call meetings on the collective’s behalf, and can add items of discussion to a meeting’s agenda (the “to-do list”).

We hold regular meetings, usually once a week during semester. These are known as “Ordinary General Meetings” (OGMs). At an OGM members can vote in executives to vacant positions, and vote on spending or proposed changes to the budget. There is a required attendance of 8 members to have “quorum” at the meeting and for the votes to be considered valid.

We vote and take ownership of ideas as a non-hierarchical and democratic collective that prioritizes opennes and inclusivity. This idea is explored further here, but these are some important features about the way we try to run things.

  • Democratic decision-making: Everyone gets a say. 
  • Member autonomy and empowerment: Anyone can lead. 
  • Transparency: Open processess and information sharing
  • Accessibility: Making it easier for members to contribute

Department Funding

Budgets, project funding, and related matters.

More details on department funding works are available here. Important details and key terms are summarized below.

  • The Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF): Paid by students each year. It’s where ANUSA (and the collective) draws most of its funding from.  
  • 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, so we can support a broad range of projects.
  • 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.
  • Honoraria: At the end of the year, each department is given approximately $5,000 in honoraria (money payments to distribute to members). This is a thank you present for people who’ve done work for the collective.
  • External funding: We’re free and encouraged to look for ways to fund our projects outside of our own internal budgets. Partnering with sustainable businesses makes sense and can help us achieve even more.  

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