Blake Iafeta ALSO Contests Treasurer Against Gen Rep Jaya Ryan
By India Kazakoff
ANUSA Treasurer is a demanding position in student governance. They work to allocate ANUSA’s funding to best suit students’ needs, bid for funding, and assure that ANUSA’s spending is ‘professionally audited’. The Treasurer for 2021, Siang Jin Law, spent her term building the foundations for an ANUSA-run business in the Kambri Precinct, which the next Treasurer will inherit and potentially see come to fruition in 2022.
Jaya Ryan – Grassroots ANUSA
Ryan is a current ANUSA General Representative who is running under Grassroots ANUSA’s ticket. According to the Grassroots ANUSA website, his time at ANUSA has taught him the importance of proposing feasible policies.
“I’ve held the belief that it’s very important that the policy candidates put forward at election time is within the scope of the role and achievable”, Ryan said.
Predicating his platform on this belief, Ryan proposes three core policies. He recognised they are ‘ambitious, but they’re not beyond what a Treasurer can do in a year’.
His three core policies are:
- ‘Working with the ANU Foundation to expand student assistance grants’. The ANU Foundation is a charity run by the university which seeks out alumni donations to go towards scholarships, student support and select campus maintenance. Ryan plans on partnering with the Foundation to ‘create a partnership to increase student assistance funding on campus’.
- ‘Setting up a business run and led by ANUSA in Kambri’, as a continuation of the current Treasurer’s project. Ryan describes this project as ‘a night cafe, preferably in the unoccupied space under Fenner’. He describes the biggest benefit as being ‘revenue diversification for the association’ as an alternative to SSAF funds.
- ‘Establishing an Ethical Finances Committee’ in order to oversee the student-run night cafe, to make sure the business ‘reflects the values of the student body’. Ryan says ‘I wouldn’t be comfortable putting student money towards the business without knowing that the suppliers we work with… did not meet certain minimum ethical standards’.
Ryan goes into further detail on his policies and the steps he will take to achieve them on his Treasurer page on the Grassroots ANUSA website.
Blake Iafeta – Do Better! (Unaffiliated Candidate)
Blake Iafeta is well-known for having contested 11 positions this election alone. His candidate statement details his experience of growing up in a ‘low income household located in regional Queensland’, which he says, amongst other factors, have influenced his choices of policy. He pays specific attention to financial literacy amongst students from low-income families as being a problem.
Blake’s policies for Treasurer are:
- Focusing on finding alternative revenue streams other than SSAF payments. Iafeta believes that ‘it is extremely unfair to rely on the students to contribute such a large portion of the ANUSA funding’. He also believes that ‘it is unreasonable to award the [ANUSA] Executive with considerably large pay’.
- Increasing funding allocated to mental health services. Iafeta considers this to be ‘critical, especially after the repercussions of ACT’s lockdown on many students’ mental health’.
For further detail in Blake’s policies and background, his General Manifesto is available.
Graphics by Joseph Oh
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