25 September 2023

University’s sex response has appeal

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The University of Canberra (UC) has released a report on sexual harassment and sexual assault at the university following a review by former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick.

In a statement, UC said it had accepted all the recommendations outlined in the report and was committed to implementing them.

Ms Broderick was commissioned by UC in 2017 to undertake a review of campus culture to better understand issues relating to sexual harassment and sexual assault in university life.

“The Broderick Review is part of the university’s engagement with the Respect.Now.Always. campaign, a world first, whole-of-sector initiative launched by Universities Australia,” the statement said.

It said the review acknowledged UC’s zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and sexual assault, and referenced its efforts in making the campus safe and respectful.

“The university acknowledges, however, that there is more to be done,” the statement said, noting that the recommendations outlined the UC’s approach to strengthen and build on its safe, inclusive and respectful community goals.

The university said the review’s recommendations were categorised against three principles: Safety, respect and inclusion at the heart of UC’s future living/learning community; Shifting norms, attitudes and behaviour to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault; and Effective and accessible systems to create a safe and supportive response.

“The university has developed a detailed action plan in response to the recommendations, which focus on improving existing initiatives and implementing new programs to foster a safe and respectful community,” the statement said.

The 50-page Broderick Report can be accessed at this PS News link and the UC’s seven-page action plan can be accessed at this link.

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