Forum on the Government’s Draft Action Plan to Address Gender-based violence in Higher Education

NTEU’s latest report on sexual harassment in higher education found that sexual harassment in the workplace has jumped more that 52% and that almost one in three (29%) respondents reported personal experiences of sexual harassment, up from 19% in 2018 - a rise of almost 53%.

Sexual harassment in universities has also been identified as a major concern in the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report, which prioritised it for immediate attention.  

In response, the Federal Government along with States and Territories officials has established a Working Group to advise on options to improve university governance, including the safety of staff and students. 

The NTEU is currently working with the Working Group as one of the key stakeholders being consulted on ways to address sexual harassment, sexism and gender-based bias in higher education.  

As a result of consultations, the Working Group has now developed a Draft Action Plan to address gender-based violence in higher education. 

The draft Action Plan recognises the leading role the higher education sector can and should play to prevent gender-based violence and set the example for appropriate, trauma-informed responses to victim-survivors.

It outlines seven actions to address and reduce the prevalence of gender-based violence in universities and higher education and student accommodation providers.

Read the Draft Action Plan addressing gender-based violence in higher education.

The Department of Education is now consulting on the Draft Action Plan and the NTEU has organised an opportunity for members to provide direct feedback to the Government on the Draft Action Plan.

NTEU Members Online Meeting to provide feedback to Government on Draft Action Plan to Address Gender-based violence in Higher Education
Date: Wednesday 20th
Time: 2pm
Register here

Questions to consider
The Department of Education is asking NTEU members for their feedback and recommendations in relation to the Draft Action Plan to Address Gender-based violence in Higher Education.

To assist with this, the Department is asking a series of questions:

  1. What is missing from the Draft Action Plan?
  2. Do you agree with the contextual framing and principles of the Action Plan? Is there anything additional that would strengthen the framing of the action plan? 
  3. What are key things for us to consider in relation to staff? How could these be reflected in the National Code?
  4. What do you see as key considerations for the proposed new unit and how it could build capability in the sector?
  5. What are your suggestions on how we ensure any future work complements existing obligations, such as the positive duty obligation?

While these questions will be asked in the online meeting, the NTEU also invites members to provide written feedback on these questions if you are unable to attend the meeting or if you simply want to ensure that your views are heard directly by the Department. 

You can provide written feedback on the draft report to [email protected].

For information, support and advice about domestic, family and sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit the 1800RESPECT website. This is a free, confidential service available 24/7.

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