Broken Promises 2021


On Monday August 2nd 2021, the ANU Women’s Department alongside ANUSA, PARSA and the IHC organised a protest and 500 students gathered to mark the fourth year since the release of the AHRC’s Change the Course report.

On August 1st 2017, the Australian Human Rights Commission released the Change the Course report detailing the sexual violence and sexism rampant in Australian universities. The survey results revealed that ANU ranked 1st in the country for incidents of sexual harassment and 2nd for sexual assault. Women with disabilities, international students, queer women, transgender women, BIPOC women and gender diverse people were disproportionately victimised and faced additional barriers to accessing support.

Following the release of the report, the ANU committed to implementing recommendations to improve safety on campus, properly handle complaints and improve community culture to protect students. They have since made many more commitments from following reports. So far they have broken almost all the promises made. In response we compiled the Broken Promises 2021 Report.

In an attempt to undermine and distract from the annual protest and student distress, the university scheduled their birthday celebration on August 1st and release of their new strategic plan on August 2nd. This was yet another instance of complete disregard for student wellbeing and safety. They continue to prioritise public image over the protection of our students. Yet another instance of institutional betrayal, yet another broken promise. But students have had enough, the community has had enough – in fact over 800 community members signed on to our ANU Sexual Violence Call to Action.

We keenly await the university’s response to the protest and report, and working together towards a safer campus that takes a zero tolerance approach to sexual violence and stands with survivors.

You can read some of our media coverage VIDEO: ANU students protest ‘inaction’ over sexual assaultCanberra Times – An Open Letter to the ANU about Sexual Violence, and see footage from the protest here – VIDEO: ANU students protest ‘inaction’ over sexual assault.

If you need help there is support available for you:

  • Student Safety Team (+ ANU SASH Case Managers)
  • Canberra Rape Crisis Centre: (02) 6247 2525
  • 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732
  • ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Service: 02 6280 0900
  • ANU Counselling appointments: 02 6178 0455 or email
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • The ANU Women’s Officer Avan Daruwalla can be reached at sa.womens@anuwomensdept