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Statement on the Consent Matters module

30 January 2018
We're committed to keeping our students, staff and visitors safe
A story in the media today has criticised the University's roll out of a mandatory online consent education module.

Statement from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence

"The University makes no apology for opening up discussion on consent and trying to help our students navigate this difficult area. Sexual assault and harassment are very difficult and confronting issues being faced by all universities as well as the broader community.

The Consent Matters module was developed by Epigeum in collaboration with academics, independent consultants and sexual health professionals in the UK and Australia. The 2018 implementation via Canvas allows us to include important information about support services at the university.

On the recommendations of the Respect. Now. Always. report by the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Broderick review into the culture of residential colleges, we committed to the implementation of a number of initiatives designed to make our students feel safer on campus.

They include: 

  • In person training for student Residential Advisors and students in key leadership positions. 
  • A dedicated helpline service to improve visibility and accessibility of key support units.
  • Improved reporting process through a new complaints handling system that allows for more transparency. 
  • Specialist training programs for key staff members.

We all have a role in making sure our students feel safe in our community and if there is more we can do to help our students, we will."