VC's Update - Welcome to semester two 2017

21 July 2017

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the beginning of a new semester at ANU.

As many of you know, on 1 August the results of a nation-wide survey to assess the extent of sexual assault and sexual harassment of university students will be released.

As a result of the survey and thanks to the many students who have shared their stories we hope to form a more detailed picture of what we need to do to better prevent and address sexual assault and sexual harassment on our campus.

The greatest concern for me is that our university provides a safe and secure environment for our students and staff.

This week I wrote an open letter to our community about what it means to be part of ANU. I talked about our values and the right everyone has to be treated with respect. Over the coming weeks we'll continue to talk a lot more about respectful relationships, sexual consent, boundaries, communication, and the support available for survivors of sexual assault and harassment.

Why? Because ANU will always be a community that supports and encourages everyone to fully participate in the life of the University. We must be a community where people feel safe, whether they are visiting campus, living on campus or working on campus. We must be a community where each and every one of us takes responsibilities for our behaviour and actions.

I urge you to visit The Respectful Relationships at ANU webpage. It contains important information about our values and what it means to be part of our community. Importantly there are also links to help and support you if you have been sexually assaulted and what do if someone discloses an allegation of sexual assault to you.

ANU student representatives from both PARSA and ANUSA have been working tirelessly to provide advice and leadership on these issues and I would like to thank them for their commitment to making our campus safer.

There will never be a place for sexual assault and harassment on the ANU campus. We all have a responsibility for our own actions and behaviours. We also have a responsibility to call out inappropriate conduct when we see it.

This weekend I will be heading off to the UK for a week. During the visit I'll be meeting with a number of people and institutions to discuss and explore ideas for our policy hub. I'm also really looking forward to meeting up with our ANU alumni in London where we'll hear from our Indigenous Alumni of the Year - Dr Gay Sculthorpe.

I hope you all have a great week back.