On Campus

ANU Student Newsletter

Tuesday 25 July

All the important campus news, events and opportunities for ANU students. In your inbox every Tuesday.

What you need to know

  • Please note that North Road will be closed with traffic management in place to access the childcare and engineering buildings on the following days: Monday 31 July, Thursday 3 August and Thursday 17 August. 

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice: A Dialogue

Wednesday 2 August, 5-6.30pm 

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice: A Dialogue for Students is a special event designed for students and people interested in learning more about the upcoming Voice Referendum.

Hosted by ANU together with our partner universities, this special event at Llewellyn Hall will connect students and the general public from across Australia for an in-depth dialogue, covering diverse perspectives regarding the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice Referendum. 

The Dialogue features a special panel, moderated by Professor Mark Kenny, and will cover key issues and points of contention relating to the Voice and respond directly to questions from students. Our special panel includes: 

- Senator Jana Stewart, Labor Senator for Victoria 

- Senator Andrew Bragg, Liberal Senator for NSW 

- Dean Parkin - Director, From the Heart 

- Sally Scales - Partnership Manager, Uluru Statement from the Heart 

- Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous UNSW and Co-Chair Uluru Statement from the Heart 

The Dialogue is a unique and important opportunity to hear from our national student body as our nation prepares for one of the most crucial referendums in our history. 

Why JFK kept a coconut husk on his desk

The ANU School of Culture, History & Language (CHL) has uncovered a forgotten piece of history.

The date was 2 August 1943. US Navy Lieutenant John F. Kennedy and his crew patrolled the waters of Blackett Strait in the mid-Solomon Islands in his Patrol Torpedo boat PT-109, as was their usual duty. It was an ominously dark night devoid of moonlight or stars. Suddenly, the much larger Japanese destroyer Amagiri rode down the boat, splitting it in two, killing two crew members and injuring Lt. Kennedy and another crew member. 

The story goes that the 11 surviving crew swam to a small, unoccupied island, with Kennedy holding the strap of his injured crewmate’s lifejacket between his teeth, towing him while he swam roughly three-and-a-half miles to the island. 

The crew hid on this deserted island for several days, living on coconuts and rainwater till they could eventually swim to find a bigger island, where they went foraging for food and water. 

This is how they met two Solomon Islanders in a dugout canoe.  Scouts Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana worked with the Coastwatchers, a network of agents based behind enemy lines across the Pacific islands during WWII. Their job was to keep an eye on enemy activity and report this back to Allied forces. 

Few historical accounts focus on the role that Gasa and Kumana played in the rescue of JFK and his crew. They risked their lives out at sea—paddling through Japanese-patrolled waters—to transport Kennedy’s message back to the US base to organise a rescue, a message which he had carved onto a coconut husk—the one he later kept as a memento on his desk. 

While the story of JFK’s heroism is well-known globally, few know about what happened from this Indigenous perspective, given how little is recorded in books or historical documents. Young Solomon Islanders often do not have the opportunity to learn about their own history. Anna Kwai, a Solomon Islander historian and a PhD candidate at the ANU School of Culture, History & Language (CHL) says this was a subject she had to wait until she was at a foreign university to learn about, one that really should get to the local population through schools.

A series of start-up focused events in August

Join us for a series of start-up and innovation focused events in August at ANU. ANU Careers & Employability is bringing together founders and professionals from a diverse range of amazing Australian start-ups.  

Domestic and international students of all disciplines interested in innovation and entrepreneurship are invited to attend. 

Embrace your startup journey: Get Connected, Get Inspired, Get Hired! 

Events & activities

Vinnies and ANU+ Sleepout 

ANU Three Minute Thesis Competition Final 2023

Thursday 27 Juiy, 6-7.30pm  

Imagine condensing hours, days, maybe even years of complex research into a short, dynamic and accessible presentation in front of a packed theatre, while your communication skills are being judged by an expert panel. No pressure, right?!

It is often said that an 80,000-word thesis would take nine hours to read out loud, but our finalists have just three short minutes and a single PowerPoint slide to support them. 

Join us for that rare beast - an evening of intelligent entertainment suitable for the whole family and catch a glimpse of some of the amazing research projects that are being conducted by ANU PhD students. 

Register for the ANU 3MT Competition Final

Vinnies and ANU+ Sleepout 

Australians as International Economic Thinkers

Tuesday 1 August, 6-7.30pm 

The ANU School of History is pleased to host the 2023 Allan Martin Lecture delivered by Professor Glenda Sluga (Joint Chair in International History and Capitalism, in History and the Schuman Centre at the European University Institute).

Through the 20th century, Australians punched above their weight in the invention of the international order, as we have hardly known it. This lecture aims to go deeper into that international past—what we know and don’t know—by investigating Australians as international economic thinkers. 

Register for the 2023 Allan Martin Lecture

Vinnies and ANU+ Sleepout 

ANU Disaster Solutions Update 2023

Thursday 3 August, 3-6pm  

Climate-fuelled disasters continue to devastate communities and ecosystems around the world. Incremental approaches to disaster management cannot keep up with the impacts of our changing climate. We must plan for record-breaking bushfire, record-breaking flood and record-breaking drought.

The 2023 ANU Disaster Solutions Update will explore the latest research developments in transformational solutions to disasters that aim to prepare us for unprecedented scenarios.  

Register for the ANU Disaster Solutions Update


Rights, Relationships and Respect Program Report 

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) portfolio has released the first interim report into Rights, Relationships and Respect (RRR) program, developed by the Respectful Relationships Unit (RRU) and Student Safety and Wellbeing (SSW). There will also be an opportunity to talk about our future plans in the prevention space and the next iteration of the Student Safety and Wellbeing Plan. 

The findings from the evaluation of the online component of the program, which reached close to 3500 students in Semester 1, received overwhelmingly positive feedback. The initial evaluation of the program shows that: 

- Students undertook the course because they saw it as an important part of studying at ANU.

- After completing the program students know where to find help and trust our services to support them.

- The course is more relevant and engaging for students at ANU than previous consent programs.

Moving into 2024, the University will build a specific program for HDR students, introduce more peer led activities and update the RRR program based on initial feedback. We thank all the students who helped us with building the pilot program and look forward to improving our prevention programs as part of the Student Safety and Wellbeing Plan.

Enquiries about the Rights, Relationships and Respect Program or the Student Safety and Wellbeing Plan should be directed to director.university.experience@anu.edu.au.

Read the full preliminary evaluation report


Extenuating Circumstances Application (ECA) | Supporting Coursework Study | Planning and Service Performance 

The new ECA eForm to support extenuating circumstances went live in Orientation Week in ISIS (the previous Special Consideration and Deferred Examination – SCADE - eForm will be retired). 

ECA is a new initiative that supports coursework students where extenuating circumstances have impacted their learning experience. Accepted grounds for an ECA will in most instances be previously unknown and unavoidable incidents that have a demonstrable and significant impact on a student's ability to study or to undertake an assessment item. 

Find out more about ECA 


Immersia 2023 - Call for Participation 

We are excited to announce that planning for the second edition of our multicultural festival, Immersia: Engaging with Asia and the Pacific, has kicked off! Immersia is an annual celebration of the cultures of Asia and the Pacific, diversity, inclusion, wellbeing, and the spirit of community. 

In this context, we are seeking expressions of interest for participation.  

Calling all researchers, academics, students, presenters, artists, dancers, singers, musicians and performers from the Asian, Pacific and Indigenous community. 

Be it a performance, discussion, demonstration, talk, seminar, workshop, or presentation we would love for you to showcase it at our festival. 

Applications are open until Monday 31 July. Interested people should email their proposal to immersia.cap@anu.edu.au.   


Student Experience Survey (SES) - Now open 

Sharing your experience at ANU in the Student Experience Survey (SES) only takes 10 minutes and puts you in the draw to win $1,000! 

Complete the survey by Sunday 27 August for your chance to win. 

Complete the survey 


Student Giveaway   

Meet the Author – Megan Davis and George WIlliams 

We have a special giveaway for the Meet the Author event with Megan Davis and George WIlliams on Monday 7 August. You can win a copy of their new book, Everything You Need to Know about the Voice, and be one of the first in line to have it signed at the event.    

Two copies of Ryan’s book are up for grabs for ANU students (any program level) to win. Follow the instructions in the entry form to go into the draw and you could be one of the lucky winners!    

Competition closes at noon AEDT on Monday 31 July. Terms and conditions apply. 

ANU Vinnies On Campus Sleepout 2023

Wednesday 16 August 

The ANU Sleepout aims to raise awareness around the issues that are affecting young people in our community. 

Participants will also be sleeping out to raise money for the good work done by Vinnies on campus. 

The event will begin with a pop-up fair including relevant services for young people, fun activities, a Vinnies Op-shop and dinner for our participants. The night is capped off by a panel discussion at 7.30pm featuring experts on Youth Issues, prizes and the big sleepout! 

You can join teams correlating to your ANU Residential Hall/College or make your own teams. 

Feel free to contact jordan.thuma@vinnies.org.au for more information. 


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