Media release:

GSA again condemns sexual assault in university community

Wednesday 13 April 2020

Media release (PDF)

GSA condemns sexual harassment and assault of any nature, including online, in light of a new report.

In recent days it has come to light that a current University of Melbourne graduate student and Australian Awards Scholar has been accused of over 30 cases of sexual harassment before and during his time in Melbourne. We understand there are ongoing investigations both here and overseas, and GSA is shocked by the alleged incidents of sexual harassment and assault and their impact on survivors.

GSA Women’s Officer, Eliza Colgrave writes: “GSA stands with the survivors, including the University of Melbourne students, who have bravely reported such allegations, and would like to ensure all proper investigations are conducted to deal with these serious complaints. We also look forward to a review to be undertaken by the Department of Foreign Affairs to that ensure their response aligns with their code of conduct policy of Australian Awards Scholarship recipients.”

GSA Education and Research Officer, Fia Hamid-Walker, adds: “All students should have the right to safety in classrooms, accommodation, and events online or in person. Sexual abuse is a serious issue that has long-term impact on survivors. We acknowledge the bravery of those who have brought forward their concerns in a cross-cultural environment and the complexities of multiple legal jurisdictions at play.”

GSA President Emily Roberts writes: “The trust that students place in those who occupy positions of power should never be abused, regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity. GSA looks forward to continuing to work with the University through the Respect Taskforce, Safer Communities Program and similar initiatives to ensure all students can study without being sexually harassed or assaulted. It is our fundamental right to feel safe.”


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