Skip to main content
A photo of steps at the University of Sydney
News_

University asks residential colleges to improve culture

20 May 2016
Invitation to work with former sex discrimination commissioner.

The Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor have invited independent colleges affiliated with the University to work with former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick AO to address concerns about their culture.

The move follows recent media reports about University students being involved in incidents of sexual harassment and assault in some of the colleges.

It is deeply concerning and saddening to hear of these accounts and I wanted to keep you informed of the University’s action to address these problems.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence wrote in a message to members of the University community

“The Chancellor and I have invited some of the independent colleges affiliated with the University to work with us and with former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick AO on how to respond to concerns that have been raised about their culture. The colleges have welcomed this move."

As Australia’s sex discrimination commissioner from 2007 to 2015, Elizabeth Broderick led several investigations into gender discrimination in the Australian Defence Force, including in a residential training college. Her involvement follows other recent steps by the University to improve campus culture, including the publication earlier this month of the results of a survey to gauge our students’ experiences of sexual harassment and assault, and the actions underway to effect change.
 
“These are important first steps, however there is much more to be done,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

Any behaviour that is intimidating, abusive, disrespectful, or threatening is absolutely unacceptable within our community or on our campuses. We are committed to creating an inclusive campus where all our community feels safe and supported.
Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence

Kirsten Andrews

Head, Media and Government Relations
Address
  • Services Building G12