A message from the Vice-Chancellor

To the UON community, Vice Chancellor

Great institutions are built on a strong culture – one that respects diversity in thought and experience, and where all members are able to feel safe.

Creating a welcoming and supportive culture based on respect and safety for every member of our University community is a top priority for our leadership team.

Our University’s work is part of the Respect. Now. Always. initiative, led by Universities Australia. In collaboration with students and staff, we are implementing a reform program to improve our education and prevention strategies, and to provide greater support for victims and survivors of sexual assault and harassment.

Initiatives include:

  • Making the online Consent Matters course mandatory for all students as part of their enrolment.
  • Developing new guidelines on interaction between staff and students and providing examples of good practice.
  • Simplifying reporting procedures and processes to make the system clearer and easier to access.
  • Establishing a new counselling triage service provided by trained health care professionals.
  • Identifying staff who are most likely to receive disclosures and providing them with specialist information and training.
  • Engaging with the University residences and sports clubs to establish a pathway to promote respectful and safe behaviours.
  • Developing the student-led [#noroomfor] communication and engagement campaign to promote a respectful and safe culture.

Our University has achieved a great deal to improve awareness of respectful behaviours, and to improve support for victims. I thank the many students and staff who are helping to deliver change.

Despite our progress, challenges remain that must be addressed. We will continue to work with our community – staff, students, alumni and partners – to create a safe and respectful University of Newcastle culture.

Best wishes,