Deakin University commends action plan on gender-based violence

Media release

24 February 2024

Deakin commends the Federal Government on its release of the Action Plan Addressing Gender-based Violence in Higher Education.

The principles of the action plan reflect and build on those of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2023.

The plan is the culmination of extensive work informed by contributions from the Department of Education, higher education sector, peak bodies, community organisations, subject matter experts and student representatives.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said university communities have a responsibility to address unacceptable attitudes and behaviours and that this action plan recognises the unique role we can and must play.

‘Deakin has a comprehensive suite of prevention and response initiatives and will continue to lead and engage in sector-wide efforts by partnering with the external community, government, specialist agencies and other tertiary institutions.

'Everyone has the right to live, work and study in a safe and supportive environment,' Professor Martin said.

'Deakin is committed to maintaining a strong culture of safety, mutual respect and inclusion both on and off campus.

'We take a proactive approach to fostering a connected, safe, inclusive, and respectful work and study environment.'

Our commitment extends to our physical campuses, and all online and workplace environments, including those accessed by Deakin students through their internships or placements.

A team of dedicated prevention, response (Safer Community) and conduct staff are responsible for our comprehensive and sustained program of work, publicly outlined in our Respect and Sexual Harm Strategy and annual Action Plans.

We are also committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement and make available publication of our sexual harm data and prevention work annually via our Respect and Sexual Harm Prevention reports.

Deakin continues to drive collaboration with other universities in the state to support this critical program of work, including via the Victorian Tertiary Primary Prevention Network.

In March, along with other universities across Victoria, we will deliver a range of free activities and events for staff as part of the Respect at Uni Campaign.

We will continue to work collaboratively to educate all members of our University community, building our capacity and working with government, experts, and other tertiary institutions to explore ongoing opportunities to share good practice.

We look forward to continuing to engage with the Government and the sector as part of the implementation of the plan and the development of the proposed National Code.

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