Statement on ANU encampment

27 May 2024

The Australian National University (ANU) has today directed the small number of remaining participants in the encampment in the University’s Kambri precinct to immediately vacate the site as it poses an unacceptable safety risk. 

The encampment is currently occupying the primary emergency evacuation site for the large number of people living in, visiting and using Kambri and the surrounding area. ANU identified an alternative evacuation point to service this highly used and heavily-populated area of campus at the encampment’s inception.

However, during a fire alarm and related evacuation of the residential hall and the cultural centre in Kambri, the alternate assembly area failed. This failure and unacceptable risk to health and safety was immediately reported by relevant University authorities and an investigation identified an intolerable risk to students, staff and wider public.  

The University has given the small number of encampment participants a reasonable and non-negotiable direction, on the basis of safety and wellbeing for the ANU community, to immediately remove their belongings and vacate the site. ANU expects the remaining encampment participants will follow today’s direction. Failure to comply with this direction, issued to ensure safety and wellbeing, will result in disciplinary action.

Everyone at ANU shares the same sense of responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of our community. This directive is made to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all staff, students, residents and visitors using the Kambri precinct.

Kambri is a central, busy and frequently visited area of campus with a significant volume of foot traffic. This includes a student residence for 400 students, major teaching and study areas, a medical centre, a gym and swimming pool, a cultural centre accommodating 1,000 visitors, and businesses open to the public.

To be clear, as has been the case since the encampment commenced, we have not directed any of our students to stop protesting. They may continue to do so as long as it is respectful, peaceful and abides by our codes of conduct.  

The University thanks participants for their cooperation and for working with the University to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone at ANU. 

Read more about the University’s response to the encampment in Kambri at our dedicated website.