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1 August 2018

The University of Queensland has continued its commitment to fostering a safe and respectful environment on all UQ campuses by tackling challenges highlighted in the 2017 Australian Human Rights Commission report.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said he recognises the courage of all participants who were involved in last year’s Respect. Now. Always. campaign to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment at universities.

“Their contributions have informed our progress in providing enhanced support to survivors and employing preventative measures,” Professor Høj said.

“We are encouraged that progress has been made, although we are the first to recognise that our response is still a work in progress.

“A comprehensive UQ Sexual Misconduct Policy and supporting procedures were approved in September 2017 to facilitate reporting of incidents both on and off-campus.

Professor Høj said the University had established a Sexual Misconduct Support Unit, where trained staff provide survivors with advice, psychological support and counselling.

“Its work is trauma-informed, empowering survivors to make choices that feel comfortable to them.”  

The unit is developing strategic prevention techniques in consultation with internal and external stakeholders, including:

  • Improving education campaigns focusing on prevention and appropriate responses to reports of unacceptable behaviour; and
  • Updating training initiatives, such as the Consent Matters online training module, especially for student leaders, vulnerable groups and residential college assistants.

“There is also a First Responder Network of 40 people, mostly university staff, who offer confidential support to allow survivors to disclose their experiences,” Professor Høj said.

“All of these measures provide UQ with an increasing understanding of student and staff concerns, and how best to offer support to survivors of sexual assault or sexual harassment.

“UQ will not tolerate sexual assault or harassment, and we remain committed to eradicating these incidents and prioritising support for survivors.

“I encourage anyone seeking support to contact the UQ Sexual Misconduct Support Unit by emailing sexualmisconductsupport@uq.edu.au or phoning +61 7 3443 1000.”

For further information about reporting sexual assault and sexual harassment, and for sources of support:

Media: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 1120.