VC's Update - The community we value

10 May 2024

In recent weeks, our campus has witnessed the encampment protest in Kambri in response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza and student movements around the world.


ANU has a long history of student protests and contested debate, but this cannot come at the expense of respect and inclusion. Our campus must strive to be a place which is safe and welcoming for all members of our community. We must also strive to be a place where we can have hard conversations which do not cause harm or hurt. We cannot be a community that tolerates discrimination of any kind.


I want to be clear that ANU does not support or endorse the terrorist organisation, Hamas. We condemn the atrocities committed on 7 October 2023. 


We also share in the global concern about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. This has affected people from around the world, including here on our campus. To members of our community who are feeling vulnerable or unwelcome in this moment, I see you, I hear you and I hope to find the best ways to support you. 


ANU must be a place where we can hold hard conversations. Where debate has shifted to causing hate and hurt, we are stepping in. I have received multiple reports and complaints about the behaviour of some participants of the encampment at Kambri and there may have been breaches of the student code of conduct. Where we have received formal complaints, we have initiated investigations. 


Today, I have reached out to organisers of the current encampment to discuss ways to enable the protest to continue in more respectful ways. 


Separately, I am also deeply concerned by reports of the conduct of some of our students at the ANUSA Annual General Meeting (AGM) held earlier this week. As I have said, the University takes breaches of our student and staff code of conduct very seriously. We have taken disciplinary action following this event and will continue to take action where it is necessary to ensure our campus remains a safe place to learn and work. In previous years, we have undertaken multiple investigations which have resulted in suspension or exclusion. 


This moment has introduced a wave of emotions and diverse perspectives into our community. ANU is a vibrant center of research, teaching and learning. Everyone in our community has a right to feel supported and welcome here. 




Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell AO FTSE FAHA

Vice-Chancellor and President