Respectful Relationships

Ormond College welcomes the Human Rights Commission Report on sexual harassment and sexual assault in universities.

Zero incidences of sexual assault is the only acceptable goal for our society. Everyone in educational communities should be safe and feel safe.

Ormond is committed to being a community characterised by respectful relationships. Foundational to such a community is that it is safe and free of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Our goal is zero incidents of sexual harassment or assault.

The College has a clear and sustained approach to achieve these objectives through a holistic strategy to create a culture of respectful relationships, ensuring students and staff are informed and capable to maintain respectful relationships and a well organised and resourced model to respond and provide support if a member of the College ever experiences sexual harassment or assault.

We continue to work together as a community to improve our practices so they are subject to regular review. We welcome the Human Rights Commission Report and Human Rights Centre Report as an opportunity to ensure we are utilising globally best practice approaches characterised by deep respect.

Our strategy to realise this commitment is to:

1. Create a culture of respectful relationships

We do this by:

Creating an overall culture that has respectful relationships as an integral part of it

  a. We operate on the basis of a values based community model that focuses on every person            taking responsibility for living in the community on the basis of the College’s values and                  embrace their role to work actively to sustain the community built on those values. Integral          to values of Community and Integrity are respectful relationships.

  b. We work to maintain a culture that is supportive of respectful relationships through                        focusing on creating an Orientation Week that is a week of genuine welcome, celebrating              diversity of all kinds, support a student culture where all students regard each other as                  peers without hierarchy, nurturing a culture of mutual care for physical and mental well-                being and focusing on responsible management of alcohol.

Encouraging all students to engage in ongoing discussions and activities that support an               environment of respectful relationships

    a. Over the course of the year, there is a program of educational events featuring guest                     speakers and experts – issues addressed include: respect for sexual diversity, healthy                     relationships, pornography, and other relevant topics.

    b. Participation in gender focus groups and activities, such as OrMa’am, OrMan, Ladies of                  Leadership, and related off-campus programs are encouraged.

    c. We maintain an internet pornography filter to emphasise institutional commitment to                   promoting healthy sexuality.

Developing leaders with the skills to support a culture of respectful relationships.

    a. Student leaders are trained by the Full Stop Foundation on “Understanding Sexual Consent           and Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus” and there is a promotion of a culture of                       helping anyone at risk.

    b. Senior staff mentor student leaders, encouraging them to be positive role models and                   honour the responsibilities that leadership entails.

2. Ensure all students have clear information about the College’s approach to respectful relationships and what to do if sexual harassment or assault ever occurs

  • During orientation programs, students are informed about the College’s values regarding respect for others and self, sexual diversity, consent, and safe sex and the importance to never be a bystander.
  • The College’s Fair Treatment policy with its clear standards and processes if a student wants to make a complaint is communicated to all students at the start of the year and this is repeated at specific times during the year.
  • The College Fair Treatment policy and procedures are made readily available on the College’s intranet.

3. Ensure students have an active understanding and the skills to maintain respectful relationships.

    a. New students undertake the Epigeum (Oxford University Press) “Consent Matters:                           Boundaries, Respect and Positive Intervention” online training, which is blended with face to         face workshops.

    b. For returning students we run sessions to build on these skills and reinforce them such as            bystander prevention training.

4. Provide Professional Support and Response

If a student has an inquiry or complaint they are able to gain ready access to a range of trained personnel for support and to access a clear and professionally resourced approach to deal with complaints.

  • Trained professional support and access to advice
  • For relationship related matters the College has professional male and female counsellors to provide advice and pastoral support. The College also provides access to an external psychologist for any student wanting support or advice from someone unconnected with the College. The College also provides all staff access to external counsellors through its Employee Assistance Program.
  • The College counsellors are trained by CASA in responding to disclosures of sexual assault.Counsellors are available to provide support to any students who initiate, or are responding to, a Fair Treatment Complaint
  • The College’s intranet has a Help page with resources and details of support for victims of sexual harassment and assault if a student does not want to see a counsellor.
  • If a student has been a victim of sexual harassment or assault and needs professional assistance by other staff the College will assist in finding and organising such help and provide financial assistance to ensure such help can be accessed.

A clear and professionally resourced approach to deal with complaints

  • The College has a very clear Fair Treatment Policy, which sets out in detail what constitutes sexual assault and harassment and the process to make a complaint. Students are introduced to the policy when they arrive, all students are sent the policy each year and it accessible on the College’s intranet.
  • The College’s Vice-Master has the responsibility to ensure the Fair Treatment process is well understood, resourced and managed.
  • Through this process the College provides access to internal and external professionals trained in Fair Treatment advising.
  • Any student who wishes to go to the Police to make a complaint, or who wants to contact an external body for help or advice, will be given the full support of the College.
  • All complaints will be thoroughly investigated in accordance with College policies, and any student deemed unable to live within the Colleges values and its Fair Treatment policies will be required to leave.

5. Ongoing development – Strategy Review

The College regularly reviews its strategy, seeking input from students and staff from across the College, and it consults with external bodies and experts to help keep Ormond up to date with current best practice.

Download a copy of The Residential Colleges and Halls of The University of Melbourne Fair Treatment Policy and Procedures document below.



Fair Treatment Policy and Procedures

The Residential Colleges and Halls of The University of Melbourne Fair Treatment Policy and Procedures

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