Who are we?
We are a non-partisan but not non-political community of friendly and passionate students at the ANU that organise events, social events, and campaigns surrounding the issues that women face in university and the wider world. We acknowledge that different forms of discrimination and oppression overlap, combine and intersect, creating multitudes of different knowledges and experiences. We aim to incorporate these in all that we do. We do not claim to be the authority on feminism on campus, or in any other space, and do not claim to speak for all women and non-binary people – and any one group can never do so. Rather, we are a group of diverse members, opinions, and experiences. We commit to not only consulting, but centreing, the knowledges and experiences of those that are silenced and marginalised, especially within our own communities.
We aim to create a safe and supportive community for our members at the ANU, and all our physical and online spaces operate under a Safer Spaces Policy that defines what we believe is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. This means treating one another with respect – respecting opinions, beliefs, and differing points of view, respecting the physical and emotional boundaries of others, and any limits in understanding one may have. More information can be found in the Policy document which can be found in the description of our autonomous facebook groups.
The ANU Women’s Department is an autonomous space, which means that it is run by members, for members only. The WD runs public events that are not autonomous, which means that anyone can attend, but many spaces and events are not public for various reasons – such as the prospect of being outed as a member, and needing a space to speak freely with others who may share and understand your opinions and experiences.
Our membership is defined in our Constitution. It says that ANU undergraduate students can be a member of the WD if they:
- Identify as a woman or are woman-aligned and/or;
- Have experienced gendered oppression as a result of being perceived as a woman and/or;
- Are trans and gender diverse and find our services useful (regardless of which pronouns they use).
This means that our membership includes cis women, trans women, and non-binary people who identify with the above definitions.
The ANU WD is a Department of ANUSA, the ANU Students Association. There are 6 other Departments that work to represent and advocate for marginalised groups in our community. These are the Disabilities Student Association, Ethnocultural Department, Environment Collective, International Students Department, Queer Collective, and Indigenous Department. We all work closely together, acknowledging that these identities and experiences often intersect. Although we are a Department of ANUSA, we also work with PARSA, the Postgraduate and Research Students Association.
What do we do?
Advocacy and representation
One of the Women’s Officer’s core roles is advocacy within the ANU and wider community. This involves consulting the Department both formally and informally, and bringing the concerns of members to other bodies like ANUSA or the ANU administration when necessary. This advocacy is not limited to the Women’s Officer, and members of the Department are welcome to pursue their own advocacy efforts with the help and support of the Officer and Collective.
Support and referrals
The Women’s Officer also provides support and referrals to professional services that students may need, such as Canberra Rape Crisis Centre or Counselling services. The Women’s Officer can support you or help address any concerns you may have. The Women’s Department also offers support with a variety of issues as a community.