James Cook University has engaged former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick AO in an independent and comprehensive review of the university’s sexual harassment and sexual assault policies, and the cultural environment in which those policies are implemented.
Ms Broderick’s review will be the second phase of a two part process. Phase one is a separate, external and independent investigation of JCU’s handling of the Douglas Steele matter, with investigators confirming the timeline of events and what actions were taken within the University.
Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Cocklin said Ms Broderick is an independent expert who brings an impressive track record to the task of reforming JCU’s approach to sexual harassment and sexual assault.
“Elizabeth Broderick is a leading expert on gender equality and organisational culture, and is highly skilled at analysing large, complex organisations.
“The Broderick Review will follow closely on the back of the University’s investigation into the Douglas Steele matter,” Prof. Cocklin said.
As Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Broderick led a ground-breaking review into the treatment of women in the Australian Defence Force. More recently, as an independent expert , Ms Broderick led a comprehensive report into diversity and inclusion in the Australian Federal Police.
“I look forward to collaborating with JCU on this important review. We will examine the University’s policies and engage with key stakeholders to ensure JCU is implementing strong and effective responses to sexual harassment and sexual assault, and fostering a culture of respect, inclusion and safety for all,” Ms Broderick said.
The Broderick Review will commence in March. JCU understands the intense public interest in this matter and the University will make the findings public to the extent it is permitted under privacy provisions.
James Cook University is also partnering with other Australian universities in a national initiative led by Universities Australia. The Respect. Now. Always.campaign highlights the determination of Australia's universities to ensure students and staff are safe from sexual assault and sexual harassment.
“The Respect. Now. Always. work that we have been undertaking, combined with the outcomes of the Broderick Review, will strengthen JCU’s approach to responding to sexual assault and sexual harassment,” Prof. Cocklin said.
Head of Media and Communications, JCU
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