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.
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.
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 Prevention and Response Policy
The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy includes a number of objectives, including making it clear that sexual misconduct will not be tolerated, and has no place in our University community, and commits the University to taking positive action to prevent sexual misconduct in all its forms, and to take timely and appropriate action in response to sexual misconduct.
The Student Charter embodies the key principles underpinning the partnership between students and the University community, which includes staff, students, alumni, visitors and guests of the University.
Student Conduct Policy
The Student Conduct Policy ensures that student behavioural standards and expectations are defined and met, including the expectations of students with regard to how they treat others. The Policy applies to students while on University premises, using University facilities and services, or engaging in University activities.
Appropriate behaviour on social media
Everyone has the right to feel safe: this includes when using social media. We also all have a responsibility to promote safety and to behave online in ways that do not bring the University into disrepute.
Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy
The Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy sets out the standards, values and expectations for appropriate behaviour in the workplace, and the consequences for not doing so. The policy also demonstrates the University’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A range of local and University-wide embedding initiatives to ensure ongoing education and commitment for sustained cultural change will follow.