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Press Release - Universities Accord Report & Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence

University Colleges Australia supports without reservation the vision articulated in the federal government’s Universities Accord Report and Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence. We are pleased about the imminent creation of a National Student Ombudsman to provide a trauma-informed complaints mechanism for students, as well as a National Code that will fill gaps in the regulatory architecture for staff and student safety.

We will continue to work with the Department of Education, partner associations, affiliated universities, and students to create a more equitable and innovative university sector, and one in which students and staff are safe on campus.

Our top priority will be helping our members implement the Action Plan. This starts with identifying points of inconsistency with best practice, which robust data – collected as part of our 2023-24 National Census – will enable us to do.

We will then focus on helping members:

1.    make improvements to their policies;

2.    develop robust procedures for reporting to the new National Student Ombudsman; and

3.    build the organisational capabilities – through training and the provision of resources – needed to comply with the new Code.

We will also encourage and support our members to increase the access, participation, and retention of students by growing support programs and means-tested scholarship funds.

Earlier this week, UCA President Lisa Sutherland responded to the release of the Universities Accord Report and Action Plan.

‘As the peak body for residential colleges and halls in Australia, University Colleges Australia is well-placed to guide its members through this exciting period of change. We want to be at the vanguard of reform, and to work tirelessly to ensure student safety across Australia.’

‘It has been a pleasure working with the Department of Education on the development of the Action Plan, and I hope to see the hard work of the many contributors translate into safer campuses for students and staff’.

‘UCA is grateful to the Honourable Jason Clare MP and other government leaders for the opportunity to collaborate on this project. We look forward to working towards our shared goal of making Australia’s higher education sector safer, more equitable, and more innovative’.

Contact UCA:

Will Cesta

Executive Manager – University Colleges Australia


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