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.