Safety and Wellbeing JCU Respect Now Always, Commitment and Reviews

JCU Respect Now Always, Commitment and Reviews

JCU has a comprehensive suite of initiatives involving staff and student communities designed to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and sexual assault. This work is led by the Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding through the Chief of Staff, Vanessa Cannon, and is operationalised university-wide.

In July 2018 the JCU Council, Executive and University Community launched an enduring Statement of Commitment

Statement of Commitment to the Elimination of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

James Cook University is committed to fostering a community that features, at its core, respect, inclusion and safety for all. We support gender equality as a foundation for respectful relationships and an underpinning principle for change. This means a strong and enduring commitment to the elimination of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

The urgent need to foster safe, respectful communities free of discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault, has gained momentum world wide. Our University recognises that need and is determined to do all we can in our community and in the communities we serve.

As an institution dedicated to education and research, and committed to the communities we serve, we have a special responsibility to critically reflect, and create the change that is required, in order that men and women enjoy equal respect free from sexual violence in all its forms.

We recognise that our values of Excellence; Authenticity; Integrity; Sustainability; Mutual Respect and Discovery can only be fully realised when the contributions of all in our community are recognised, supported and respected.

We recognise that institutional structures and individual behaviours within society, and within our own University, need to change and that change can be immensely challenging. Change requires examining deeply held beliefs and assumptions, and sustained effort.

We recognise the material circumstances of peoples’ lives matter, and that the institutions of our society need constant attention to ensure just and equitable outcomes. Without vigilance, there is risk that some people – by virtue of their identity, ethnicity, sex, abilities, resources or age – are routinely believed, supported and served whilst others are routinely marginalised, disbelieved and forgotten.

In 2017, JCU appointed Elizabeth Broderick AO, former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, to review our University's response to sexual harassment and sexual assault. We are committed to strengthening our University by implementing every recommendation of the Broderick Review.

We know that the progress we have made to date, and the progress we need to make, is not possible without the generous and courageous sharing from those who have experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault, and the commitment of all members of our community.

We are committed to strengthening gender equality and playing our part to create the safe and respectful environment that our community deserves, and look to a future when the scourge of sexual violence is comprehensively defeated.

Statement of Commitment to the Elimination of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault - PDF

Reviews and Reports

In February 2017, JCU engaged former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick AO to comprehensively review the University’s sexual harassment and sexual assault policies and procedures, as well as the University’s culture.

Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding released the review in September 2017 and affirmed JCU's commitment to implementing strong and effective responses to sexual harassment and sexual assault, and fostering a community that features, at its core, respect, inclusion, and safety for all.

The Broderick Review Implementation Working Group was established in late 2017 and worked throughout 2018 to support JCU's response to the report. The Working Group was chaired by Distinguished Professor Helene Marsh.

Effectively Responding to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault at James Cook University 2017 - The Broderick Review

Broderick Review Implementation Working Group Membership

Broderick Review Implementation Working Group Terms of Reference

Chair's Communique 1 - 15 February 2018

Chair's Communique 2 - 10 April 2018

Chair's Communique 3 - 27 April 2018

Chair's Communique 4 - 20 June 2018

Chair's Communique 5 - 27 August 2018

Chair's Communique 6 - 23 October 2018

Chair's Communique 7 - 14 December 2018

As part of its Respect. Now. Always initiative, Universities Australia commissioned the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to undertake the first national university student survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment.

The national survey results can be found on the AHRC website.  Download the JCU specific survey data and the AHRC survey methodology here.

James Cook University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding, has responded to the findings, and has discussed the wide range of measures the University's taken to keep students and staff safe.