The Staff Amenities Fund (SAF) Committee is willing to consider applications for funds for approved amenities. These include amenities for staff which would not normally be expected to be paid for as part of the building fabric or by local area management; for example, outdoor furniture, barbecues and sporting equipment for social competitions (such as the 'Purple Shin' soccer competition). In addition the Fund has been used to provide equipment and facilities for Child Care Centres, to purchase works of art for public display and to support other activities available for staff such as the ANU Kids Christmas Party and performances at the ANU Arts Centre.
The Staff Amenities Fund was established in 1967 by the University Council.
The SAF Committee normally meets quarterly and notice of each meeting is publicised across campus. Staff groups/social clubs are eligible to apply for funds to provide 'staff amenities and welfare' under guidelines established by the Committee. The proposed expenditure must be one that would benefit the maximum number of staff, not the few – for example, a barbecue, (portable) shade protection for outdoor furniture, outdoor furniture in the form of tables with attached benches, many of which are in evidence around the campus, such as sporting strips, tee shirts etc for inter-departmental lunchtime and other sporting competitions, etc.
The Committee does not believe the Fund should be seen by areas as a substitute source of money for items which should be provided for, say, tea and common rooms (microwave ovens, refrigerators and other electrical goods, or furniture). However, because of increasing requests for items which fall into this category, the Committee has determined that it will consider such applications, (although the policy does state that the Fund will not be expected to provide money for items considered the responsibility of area management and which are expected to be available under the conditions of service award).
The Committee will not provide money for building amenities – for example, blinds, curtains, fly screens, heaters/coolers, and the like. The campus tennis courts upgrade of recent years, which included Mt Stromlo, Old Canberra House and the Law precinct tennis courts, was funded by the SAF, which also contributes annually to the University's Art Collection and more recently to the ANU Arts Centre. Works of art purchased in full, or part, by the SAF are not for individual offices but are intended for areas where they will receive the greatest exposure to staff. The SAF also underwrites the Staff Emergency Fund, an 'avenue of last resort' fund administered by the University’s Adviser to Staff.
Visible evidence of SAF funding across campus appears in the form of the electric barbecues and associated outdoor equipment behind the Law Tennis Courts (adjacent to Sullivan's Creek) and in the Arts Quadrangle; the steel goalposts on the Willows Sports Oval and the upgraded Parcourse fitness trail which traverses the campus. Maintenance costs for the stations on the Parcourse are borne by the Fund, and Facilities & Services provide ground maintenance.
The SAF has long supported the four child care centres by providing funds for indoor and outdoor play equipment and 'portable' sun protection. While some play equipment, such as tricycles, for example, remain the exclusive property of the requesting group, more expensive purchases, such as large, modular plastic shapes, are jointly owned and shared between all.
In past years the SAF has made grants or loans to the former Staff Centre, Sailing Club, Boat Club, Wellness Program, Arts Centre and a Departmental Social Club. The Fund also partially sponsored the Lunch & Listen Concert Series held in the Music Room in the Arts Centre and featuring School of Music students and occasionally, staff. In addition the SAF provided hall hire costs for a fund raising concert for the Campus Big Jazz Band to swell funds for their participation in the Monterey Jazz Festival and contributed towards the cost of uniforms for the staff members of the Band.
Every year the SAF provides generous funding for the ANU Kids’ Christmas Party held at University House and attended by up to 150 kids and many adults.
The SAF commissioned a display cabinet from the Woodwork Department of the School of Art, now in the Chancellery Building ground floor reception area. This cabinet is in itself an art work and is used to display some of the University's Art Collection pieces.
In 1995 the Committee debated whether it would continue to allocate funds for several single projects or whether the accumulated funds should be reserved for a major project. It decided to continue the current practice, largely because the expenditures would potentially benefit a larger number of staff. However, it was agreed to keep this issue under review.
As a result of this examination, it was also decided to adopt a notional annual budget in terms of the following: