A culture of respect, welcome and safety

A message from Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis:

We are all responsible for ensuring that ACU is a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment, where every member of our community can flourish.

In times of challenge and uncertainty, the principles of safety, respect, and dignity become even more crucial in maintaining cohesion and resilience.

Many in our community are closely affected by external conflicts. War and disharmony beyond our shores and fractured public debate more locally have an impact on us all. University campuses are uniquely positioned as places where battles of ideas can be tested in a robust and respectful manner. Constructive scholarship, debate, innovation and development all contribute to providing constructive solutions for stronger communities.

A safe, respectful, and welcoming environment

The foundation of any productive and sustainable environment is safety. Physical safety is paramount, encompassing everything from ensuring proper infrastructure and protocols to prevent accidents, to creating a culture where employees feel safe expressing concerns about their wellbeing. Equally important are both psychological safety (the assurance that people can voice their opinions, share ideas, and challenge the status quo regardless of background or belief), and cultural safety (where shared respect of identity, experience and meaning is supported). During challenging times, reassessing and reinforcing safety measures demonstrates a commitment to wellbeing and fosters trust.

Now more than ever, our collaborative efforts are crucial in fostering a culture of safety across all campuses. We welcome our regulator TEQSA’s focus on campus safety and the Department of Education's efforts to establish standards for responding to gender-based violence. Our commitment to campus safety is rooted not merely in compliance but in our ethical responsibility and core values.

The senior leadership team and I are steadfast in our commitment to safeguarding the wellbeing of our entire university community.

Let us all work collaboratively to ensure that ACU remains a safe, respectful, and nurturing environment for all. These principles are at the core of our mission on which we can build enduring success and resilience.

By prioritising the wellbeing of our staff and students, fostering a culture of mutual respect, and honouring the dignity of every individual, we not only weather any storms but emerge stronger, more united, and better prepared for the future.

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