Australian Human Rights Commission Report

In early 2016, Universities Australia (UA) launched the whole-of-sector Respect. Now. Always. initiative to raise awareness and lift the visibility of support services, to guide improvements in policy and practice in sexual harassment and sexual violence, and to share best practice and resources among member universities.  As part of the initiative, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) conducted a large-scale survey of students across Australia to ensure universities’ efforts and resources are focussed on the areas of greatest need and impact and to inform next steps to prevent and address sexual assault and harassment.  

UniSA was on board with this initiative throughout and we are committed to doing everything we can to provide a culturally and physically safe environment for our students and staff; safety is paramount and we will always be open to feedback about what we can do to ensure experiences at UniSA are about growth, wellbeing and learning.

In the context of the Respect. Now. Always. Campaign and the recommendations of the End Rape on Campus submission to the AHRC, Connecting the dots: Understanding Sexual Assault in University Communities, the Vice Chancellor initiated a review to ensure that our university has in place the appropriate policies, structures, supports and culture to provide a safe, positive and nurturing environment for students. Following a period of extensive consultation, a range of recommendations was presented to the Senior Management Group for consideration and these were approved on 26 July 2017.

The AHRC’s National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities was released on 1 August 2017 and outlined the Commission’s findings on the prevalence and nature of sexual assault and sexual harassment at all Australian universities.  The report includes a series of recommendations to assist universities to deal with the challenges that currently exist and to contribute to changing the national culture to one that does not tolerate sexual assault or sexual harassment in any form.

What we are doing in response to the recommendations

A number of recommendations and actions have been developed, based on the AHRC Report and UniSA’s Policy Review.  We are in the process of implementing these recommendations and actions, and a Senior Leadership Group has been established to oversee this work. 

Please click here for a list of specific actions and our progress to date.


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