Our commitments

Content warning:
This website includes information on sexual harassment and sexual assault and may be distressing for some people. For support, contact the Safer Community Program.

Our commitments to you

The University of Melbourne is committed to a safe, inclusive and respectful community.

If you have experienced or are experiencing any form of sexual assault or harassment, we need to know. We are here to listen to you, to help you, and to support you.

If you have experienced any behaviours that concern you, you can freely and confidentially report incidents, and access support, advice, information, and other specialist services.

We are here to support you.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell on Respect at the University of Melbourne.


The University of Melbourne has implemented two forums to oversee its Respect Action Plans.

Respect at Melbourne Committee

The Respect at Melbourne Committee has been established to oversee and advise on the implementation of the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy and its associated program of work, captured under the new Respect Action Plan.

The Respect Action Plan categorises the University’s Respect activities into primary prevention, early intervention, and response and recovery approaches. The Respect Committee oversees the implementation of this plan, and monitor progress of our work, and its longer-term impact, against this framework.

The Respect at Melbourne Committee is chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (People and Community) and includes senior staff and student leaders from across the University, providing strategic oversight over all our activities and ensuring decision making and responsibility are shared.

The Respect at Melbourne Committee builds on the work of the Respect Taskforce, which developed the University’s first Respect Action Plan in 2017.

Respect at Melbourne Reference Group

This group provides a broad, inclusive and diverse consultative forum for faculties, University services, student organisations and affiliated colleges to provide input and feedback on the Respect Action Plan for eliminating sexual misconduct.

The Respect at Melbourne Reference Group is chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (People and Community) who sits on the Respect at Melbourne Committee, to ensure a co-ordinated University-wide approach.

Respect Action Plan

The Respect Action Plan 2023-24 sets out the work the university has committed to undertake in relation to sexual misconduct prevention, early intervention and response, as endorsed by the Respect Committee.

Access the Respect Action Plan 2023-24 (PDF)

National Student Safety Survey

Provost Professor Nicola Phillips delivers a message to staff and students following the release of the 2021 National Student Safety Survey results.

Policies and principles

There are a number of policies and principles that all members of our University community.

Sexual Misconduct Annual Report

Each year, the University now prepares and publishes a Sexual Misconduct Annual Report.

This report reflects the University’s ongoing efforts to clearly communicate how we’re tackling the issue of sexual misconduct and the progress we’re making. The report also includes outcomes of investigations and consequences that offenders have faced.

Access the 2021 Sexual Misconduct Annual Report (PDF)

Access the 2022 Sexual Misconduct Annual Report (PDF)

Take action

As part of your enrolment, you need to complete the Consent Matters e-learning course and pass the quizzes.

Consent Matters provides practical information about sexual consent, tips for effective communication for safe and respectful relationships, and the skills needed as an active bystander to safely intervene in situations where sexual harassment or assault may occur. It also includes lots of advice on support services available at the University of Melbourne.

Access Consent Matters now

Respect education for staff

The Respect education program is a cornerstone of the University’s commitment to eliminating sexual misconduct from our community.

The comprehensive, University-wide Respect education program is a significant professional development program designed to build capability and confidence in all staff, equipping them with practical tools needed to call out and respond to issues of sexual harassment and assault in our community.

Given the importance of this issue, all staff will be expected to participate in the program, which is being delivered in three phases.

  • Phase 1

    Full-day and two-day workshops have so far been delivered to almost 1,000 people - the University’s most senior leaders, including Council, the Executive, the entire Professoriate as well as HR and other supporting specialists.

  • Phase 2

    Training will be delivered to senior managers, supervisors and other staff throughout 2022, followed by casuals, contractors and honoraries in 2023. Content will be tailored for each cohort based on level of responsibility and will be a combination of online and face-to-face delivery.

  • Phase 3

    A range of local and University-wide embedding initiatives to ensure ongoing education and commitment for sustained cultural change will follow.

SafeZone: A free safety app

Get help, always

Download SafeZone. Quickly share your location and details with the University Security team, who can assist you.

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