Media release
GSA asserts right to safety for all university students in their study, work and communities

Friday 26th February 2021

In the recent weeks there have been multiple media reports relating to allegations of sexual harassment and assault in both the Federal Parliament and Australian schooling systems. Sexual harassment and assault are addressed in reports such as Respect Now, Always 2017, Respect at Work 2020 and in the Victorian Gender Equality Act 2020.

Dr Catherine Allingham, GSA Women’s Officer states – “Much work has been done in recent years to address the drivers of gendered based violence and affirmative actions to prevent violence such as those outlined in the “Change the Story, 2017” framework. However, GSA recognises that there is still work to be done and safety in all aspects of University life is a requisite for successful learning and work engagement. We would like to reiterate our support for the University’s work towards building a culture of safety and respect for all. GSA will endeavour to work with all key stakeholders to support the development of policies and practices that actively address gender-based violence, harassment and assault.  This work includes, but is not limited to, supporting the 2021 Respect Now, Always University Survey, the work of the Respect Community of Practice and GSA’s Safety on Placement project”.

GSA President Jeremy Waite emphasises the importance of addressing safety for students on campus, at placements, and workplaces collaboratively and adds- “GSA strongly condemns the recently reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault and demands that universities redouble their efforts to stamp out this pervasive culture throughout their institutions”.

GSA recognises that these reports may be confronting for members of the University community, especially for those members who have been affected by gendered based violence, harassment and assault. GSA unequivocally stands with survivors.

Please ensure you access the appropriate support.

CASA https://www.casa.org.au

https://services.unimelb.edu.au/counsel/resources/trauma/sexual-assault

Safe communities’ program: https://safercommunity.unimelb.edu.au

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