The coming year presents many unique opportunities. Learn more about the year ahead from the incoming Environment Officer, including current and upcoming projects, collaborations, and other good things!
2019 looks to be full of opportunity. We have various projects already underway, big plans for O-Week in the new year, and much more! Here’s the highlights of what’s in store.
Summer activism and campaigns: I’ve reached out to various campaigns and student-led activism to offer support. I’ve encouraged them to hold on to receipts and bring funding proposals to us in the new year.
Kambri and other potential meeting spaces: The construction on campus should – ideally – be finished in time for the new year. This means that there will be brand new spaces for student organizations, including ANUSA. This may provide us a new space to host meetings and events. At the same time we can also explore the idea of using the Frank Fenner Seminar Room – a six green star facility that comes with its own kitchen and recycling, is set up to cater social and seminar-type events, has whiteboards for brainstorming, and is quite cosy!
O-Week Preparations: As part of O-Week there will be a Department Fete, where we share a space with the other departments and do something fun and creative. I suggested that we pair students with a plant buddy for the incoming year! If that interests you, check out the project here. If you’re available to get involved with O-week in any way though, please get in touch!
ANU Good Food Guide: Designed for launch in O-Week, the goal is to create a sustainable food guide to Canberra and surrounding areas. This will be a resource for students and the broader ANU community, including ANUSA. People can use it for personal dining and shopping, but it can also be a useful resource for the ANU community when looking for sustainable catering and venue hire options. You can learn more about the project here.
ANUSA Retreat: I recently returned from a SSAF-funded student retreat, designed to teach incoming ANUSA representatives about their responsibilities and how procedures work, but also for us to network. I’ve already met with most of the other departments, and am super keen to work collaboratively with them next year!
Hello World! We’re online again! Part of my campaign involved the development of a website to get us back onto the internet and here we are for better or worse! Although this website can surely be improved, it has plenty of functionality to get us started and will allow us to grow our online presence, enabling people outside of the traditional channels to discover us and get involved. If you’re interested in helping us tidy this place up, please reach out!
The following is a little further down the line, but worth flagging now to start geting people interested and involved!
ANU Sustainability Hub: There are around 30 different student organizations operating within the broader sustainability space. Keeping track of those can be difficult for an individual student. The aim of the hub is to centralize information and help people stay on track of different-but-related organizations, their events, and other opportunities to learn and develop. For more information check the Sustainability Hub project page.
Conservation Council: In the past we’ve worked with local community groups including the ACT branch of the Conservation Council. They’re located just around the corner from the Food Co-Op where we often meet and could provide us with a board room for meetings if needed. They also wanted to act as a go-to point for ANU students interested in sustainability, so please follow their Facebook page! I’ve already begun working with them and hope to continue that in the new year.
ANUSA General Representative – Ailsa the Ally! One of the incoming ANUSA General Representatives is focused heavily on sustainability initiatives within ANUSA and beyond! How awesome is that?! Ailsa has suggested a plastic-free initiative for the O-Week Friday Night Party, as well as promoting the Brian Kenyon Student Space (BKSS) as a physical hub for sustainability-related activity. I’m keen to support both initiatives and encourage others to learn more and get involved on our project page.
A note regarding meetings at the Food Co-Op: If we do begin hosting regular meetings elsewhere, I would urge us to continue to use the Food Co-Op for meetings, but preferably shift them to hosted events where we can provide a meal, a more social vibe, and do business more informally (perhaps once a month, to spread costs?). Not only is the Co-Op an ANU institution, but it’s also our home, so we want to continue the tradition of meeting there. We also want to provide greater financial support to them in return for what they’ve done for us. We also must consider accessibility. As meeting attendance grows (something we want to happen) it becomes harder for everyone to hear everything while the Co-Op is still operating as a grocer/café. We can only take over the place for a meeting if we hire it out, and that has costs, hence this idea of using it more sparsely, but as a hired venue!
Written by Nick – November 2018