Public Statement Procedure


Context and Purpose

Council Policy C-38 Freedom of Speech sets out the University’s commitment to the freedom of speech of its staff and students.

This procedure sets out the responsibilities of University staff, students, officers and title holders when making public comment in their field of academic or professional expertise, as private citizens, or in accordance with a delegated University authority.


The Vice Chancellor is the officer responsible for organisation-wide adherence to this procedure.


Staff and students must maintain the confidentiality and security of University information to which they have access.


This procedure covers three types of public statement. When commenting publicly, staff and students must consider which of the following applies, and make this clear to recipients of the communication:

• Official statements on behalf of the University
• Comment and statements in a field of academic or professional expertise
• Comment made as a private citizen.

A. Official statements on behalf of the University
1. Official statements in the name of the University must be authorised by the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor or other people as nominated by the Vice Chancellor.

B. Comment and statements in a field of academic or professional expertise
2. The University encourages its staff and students to participate in public discussion in areas of their academic and professional expertise.
3. Where the subject matter of public statements relates directly to staff members’ or students’ established expertise, they should establish their credentials and give the title of their University position.
4. When making public comment in the field of their academic or professional expertise University staff and students must adhere to professional standards, such as the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and to University policies and Codes of Conduct.

C. Comment made as a private citizen
5. All staff and students have the right to express their views publicly on any matter as private citizens, provided that it is clear that these are the views of the individual concerned and not the views of the University.
6. Staff and students must not use any material, including their University title, that may suggest that their communication relates to their role at the University, or that they are representing the University.

D. Media liaison and further assistance
7. The Communications and Marketing Unit coordinates media enquiries and official distribution of news about the University.
8. Staff and students who comment publicly in the field of their academic or professional expertise are encouraged to liaise with the Communications and Marketing Unit, so it can assist with coordinating and optimising the media opportunity.
9. Further information is available in the Code of Practice: Marketing the University.

E. Definitions
‘Expertise’ means:
• in the case of academic staff and students, that expertise has been established through the process of peer review
• in the case of professional staff, that expertise has been established through an appropriate process of professional recognition. This could include, for example, leadership of a relevant national body.


  • Related Documentation
    C- 38 Freedom of Speech Policy
  • Officer Responsible for Update and Review: Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
  • Approved by: Council
  • Commencement Date: 3 August 2021
  • Review Date: August 2024
  • History: This procedure supersedes and replaces: Policy C-5: Public statement and representation by members of University staff and students.