A safeguarding and student safety update

The Safeguarding and Student Safety Advisory Committee held its first meeting of the year on 17 April. The committee meets three times a year to oversee the implementation of activities and projects across the university in relation to sexual assault, sexual harassment and child protection.

Action plan addressing gender-based violence in higher education

A key focus of the April meeting was the Action Plan for Addressing Gender-based Violence in Higher Education. This plan is an extension of the government’s National Plan to end Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032. The plan indicates higher education providers’ potential and responsibilities in driving broader social change, and in creating safe study, work, social and living environments.

The proposed action plan will be operational on 1 January 2025, with compliance requirements starting from 1 January 2026. ACU’s Safeguarding and Student Safety team have already implemented many initiatives to address gender-based violence and to support students, but this plan will necessitate the implementation of a whole-of-institution approach.

The plan includes seven key actions:

  • A national student ombudsman with investigative and dispute resolution powers to which domestic and international students may have recourse if they are not satisfied with their university’s response.
  • Whole-of-organisation approach to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, led by senior executives and governance boards.
  • National Higher Education Code of Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence with which all universities will have to comply.
  • Enhanced oversight and accountability of student accommodation so that students feel safe where they live.
  • Ensure legislation and policies prioritise safety of victim-survivors in responding to disclosures and reports of sexual harm.
  • Increase data transparency and scrutiny.
  • Governments will conduct regular reviews of progress against the action plan.
Compulsory modules
In 2024, the Respectful Relationships module and newly launched Protecting Our Children: Recognising and Responding to Child Maltreatment module became compulsory for all students. To date, more than 50 per cent of students have completed the modules. However, we anticipate that approximately 5000-10,000 students will have their Semester 1 academic results withheld due to non-completion of the modules before result release date. Please encourage students to complete their compulsory modules to help minimise the impact on them and on staff.
SafeZone App update
The SafeZone App is fully operational and available to all students and staff. The app is a useful resource for students and staff in need of emergency assistance, first aid support or connection directly with local ACU security. Download the SafeZone app for free from the App Store or Google Play.
Respect @ Uni Week 2024
Staff and students provided positive feedback on this year’s Respect @ Uni week events. The campaign is in its infancy, but students’ engagement demonstrated a willingness to have important conversations about respectful relationships. The learnings from the 2024 event will help us to grow and strengthen future campaigns.

The following slideshow controls change the content above and below. Information is displayed below the controls while video content plays above the video controls.

Service Central

Visit Service Central to access Corporate Services.

Other service contacts

Learning and Teaching
Request Something

Make a request for services provided by Corporate Services.

Request something
Knowledge base

Find answers to frequently asked questions 24/7.

See Knowledge Base