Image of group of people sitting around a table on the St Lucia campus

Workplace Diversity and Inclusion supports a number of networks of staff who actively promote the goals diversity and inclusivity of UQ. These networks include:

The DHCOs are trained volunteers who can be contacted by staff and students with enquiries related to discrimination, harassment and bullying.

Members of the UQ Ally Network provide a 'safe zone' for students and staff identifying as LGBTI, and promote the University's commitment to developing a safe and inclusive work and study environment.

The Breastfeeding Network is a support network for breastfeeding mothers or expecting mothers who plan to breastfeed.


Networks section

Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officers

Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officers

Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officers (DHCOs) are trained UQ staff members who can be contacted by staff and students with enquiries related to discrimination, harassment and bullying.

Before contacting a DHCO, please read about their role below:

What is a DHCO?

A Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officer holds a volunteer position that provides students and staff with information relating to real or perceived issues of discrimination, harassment and bullying. The role of a DHCO does not in any way remove responsibility from the designated officer in a University grievance resolution procedure, or other prescribed University processes.

The University of Queensland has an obligation as an employer and educational institution, to provide an environment free of discrimination, harassment and bullying. As volunteer staff DHCOs undertake an important role in assisting UQ to meet this obligation.

DHCOs provide a first-point-of-call for staff and students to receive information about the University policies, grievance resolution procedures and access to support services that are internal and external to UQ.

You can find a DHCO here.

Role of DHCOs

The specific role of a DHCO is to:

  • Provide a ‘first point of contact' for people with enquiries related to discrimination, harassment and bullying.
  • Provide information to people, including complainants, respondents and managers/supervisors about the University's policies and grievance resolution procedures related to harassment, discrimination and bullying, and where to access support or advice, both internal and external to The University.
  • Undertake awareness-raising in the workplace about University policies and procedures in regard to discrimination, harassment and bullying, and the grievance resolution process.
  • Assist parties to work towards a solution of an issue by encouraging them to generate options for dealing with their particular concern.
  • Where possible and as appropriate, encourage parties to utilise the lower level, informal processes available to them.
  • Provide feedback to Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources Division for statistical purposes, and alert them to any issues/problems related to the DHCO role.

Expectations of a DHCO

It is expected that DHCOs will:

  • Have a commitment to, and understanding of, social justice and equal opportunity.
  • Provide accurate information and appropriately refer matters as required.
  • By their own behaviour, act as a role model to other staff and to students.
  • Be proactive in promoting a discrimination, harassment and bullying free environment.
  • Be discreet and maintain confidentiality of the issues raised by persons seeking advice, with the following caveat: A DHCO is required to advise an appropriate senior staff member if they believe a person may be in danger or potentially endanger someone else, or if they believe the issue is or may be potentially extremely serious.

 A DHCO will not:

  • Engage in advocacy on behalf of an individual.
  • Undertake mediation or investigation.
  • In any way become involved in the formal grievance resolution process prescribed by policy other than as described in the role description.
  • Act as a DHCO in situations where they may be a conflict of interest. In such instances, the person is to be referred.

How do I become a DHCO?

You will have a commitment to fairness, a desire to assist people resolve conflict, an interest in supporting the elimination of discrimination, harassment and bullying, the capacity to deal with confidential, often complex interpersonal matters and to be objective.

DHCOs are required to:

  1. Have completed both modules of the EO-Online training program.
  2. Undertake the University’s DHCO training course and be registered with the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Unit before commencing as a DHCO.
  3. Undertake a refresher training program at least once every two years, or as required by Workplace Diversity and Inclusion in response to changes in legislation or University policy which affect procedures.
  4. Keep up to date with any changes in policies and procedures.
  5. Provide Workplace Diversity and Inclusion with feedback, including the return of DHCO Report Forms.

The DHCO's role is voluntary, and undertaken in addition to the person's normal duties.  It is important that supervisors/managers support the work of the DHCO. The role may be recognised as a legitimate aspect of ‘service’ for academic staff. A staff member wishing to take on this role should discuss this with their supervisor/manager prior to undertaking training. Supervisors/managers are welcome to contact the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Unit to discuss the implications of a staff member in their area becoming a DHCO.

Staff members wishing to become a DHCO should register online through the Staff Development site for the next training day.

Enquiries relating to discrimination, harassment and bullying

If you have an enquiry relating to discrimination, harassment and bullying you have the option of contacting:

How do I find a DHCO?

You can contact any of the listed DHCOs across all of our campuses here.


UQ Ally Network

UQ Ally Network

About the UQ Ally Network

The UQ Ally is an award winning program that provides a visible network of well-informed staff who create a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for sex, gender and sexuality diverse people at UQ and the broader community.

Members of the UQ Ally Network are not experts about matters of sexuality and gender – they are people who strongly support the University's stance on making this an environment where all people can safely work and study free of harassment or discrimination.

The University was awarded a Bronze award in the 2017and 2016 Pride in Diversity Australian Workplace Equality Index. Based on the 2017 AWEI results, UQ is the top Queensland university and in the top seven Australian universities in gender and sexuality diversity inclusion. In 2011 UQ was named as one of the top ten most LGBTI friendly Australian employers by Pride in Diversity.

AWEI bronze award logo2016 Bronze award lgo








UQ Ally Executive Champion

Professor Iain Watson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement)

Professor Iain Watson headshotAs the inaugural UQ Ally Executive Champion Professor Iain Watson provides visible leadership of the UQ Ally Network.

Professor Watson’s career has spanned more than 20 years working in academia. Graduating from Ulster University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Professor Watson went on to complete a Master of Science and a PhD, focussing on the use of market and industry data in financial distress modelling.

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement), Professor Iain Watson is responsible for leading the University's overall engagement strategy, with a particular focus on expanding the quality and scale of engagement with prospective students, industry, government, alumni and Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islander communities. The position works collaboratively with all UQ portfolios to develop, articulate and sustain a shared vision of engagement.

Professor Watson is currently a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Immediate Past Chair of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Initial Accreditation Committee, Director of the Australian Ireland Fund and sits on the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM Australia) Council of Governors. He is also a member of the Queensland Male Champions for Change.

How do I become a UQ Ally?

To become a UQ Ally, you must be committed to creating a supportive and inclusive space for people who identify as being sexually and gender diverse. You must also complete the UQ Ally Workshop training program.

UQ Ally Workshop is generally conducted twice a year. For more information about the training and to register for a course, please see the Staff Development page.

UQ Ally members are invited to regular network meetings. The Ally Network meetings provide a forum for conversation, discussion and further education of our Allies to ensure that they remain up-to-date with knowledge of terminology, specific barriers or areas of concern and changes to University policy and procedures and legislation. The Ally Network meeting is also a forum to gather feedback from staff in regards to barriers or challenges present in the organisation, celebrate successes and brainstorm initiatives for the future. To register for the next Ally Network meeting, please see the Staff development page.

A number of useful resources for Allies, and those interested in sexually and gender diversity, please see the Ally Resources page here.

Please contact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion if you would like any more information about the UQ Ally Network.

How do I find a UQ Ally?

A list of our UQ Ally Network Members can be found here, or you can contact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion.

Image of the UQ Ally Network logo

Breastfeeding Network

Breastfeeding Network Program

Are you a breastfeeding mother? Would you like to learn more about the services and support available to you on campus? Would you like to meet and connect with other breastfeeding mothers on campus?

Then the UQ Breastfeeding Network is for you!

The purpose of the UQ Breastfeeding Network is to provide a support network for parents on campus who are breastfeeding, and is open to staff and students. The UQ Breastfeeding Network aims to provide an opportunity for women who are breastfeeding, who have breastfed or have an interest in breastfeeding, to meet other women in the same position. The program aims to provide a network that will support to each other, provide advice and information about breastfeeding and provide feedback on the quality of the services and facilities available for parents who breastfeed on campus. 

For information about the next Breastfeeding Network meeting please see the events page.

Please contact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion if you would like more information or have any ideas about this network you would like to share.