18 month update

Implementation of recommendations from Change the Course: National report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities

Download Change the Course - 18 month Progress Update   (PDF, 369.85 KB)

University of New England

Recommendation no.Action already taken Planned/Future Action


The Vice-Chancellor Provides regular updates to the University Council on the progress of the RNA initiative.

The dedicated project manager continues to meet with the Vice-Chancellor monthly.

The university engaged the Human Rights Commission to address recommendation 9 of the Change the Course report. The university is currently in the process of implementing a working group party which will address the recommendations outlined in the independent lead review once completed.


The university continues to offer the two online modules Consent Matters and Responding to disclosures. This year both modules were offered through the online orientation module for all students, these will continue to be offered through online orientation for all students who choose to study at UNE.

Staff are encouraged to participate in the online modules, which are promoted by the university organisational development team through their web page and staff emails.

Throughout Wellness Week and Orientation 2019, the Be A Better Human initiative (developed by the Flinders University Student Association, in response to the Change the Course report) was rolled out at UNE through student information sessions, promotional materials, posters, web page which includes links to reporting and the RNA page and at the welcoming ceremony attended by all new residential students. A presentation was also given to members of the senior executive with a copy of promotional materials.

Student Leaders training continues to focus primary prevention and support for all students. During this year’s Wellness Week program, the 2019 student leaders participated in the Understanding Consent and Preventing Sexual Violence training delivered by the Full Stop Foundation.

In 2019 the Living in a College Community online portal was implemented for all new incoming Residential students. Students were expected to complete this pre education platform prior to arrival. It focuses on the three pillars and covers training and education on consent, primary prevention, wellbeing, safety and the residential code of conduct. This introduces students to a blended training program that will be delivered throughout their time at UNE.

Changes have been made to student event protocols in an attempt to reduce the role of alcohol in on-campus activities. Alcohol educational programs were also run through wellness week and will continue throughout the year.

A revised approach to the Hazing Education was delivered to the new residential students. The approach was college focused and delivered by the Head of College with student leaders and a member of the UNE Student Counselling & Psychology Services present.

The free student shuttle bus initiative that enables students to travel from the colleges to town, has been implemented as an ongoing initiative from the university and has been received extremely well from students with a large take up of users. This services is promoted widely across the university and is run from the UNE Safety App, students also have the capability to monitor the busses location through the app.

In late 2018, the university made a decision to move away from alcohol-related sponsorships for all UNE entities including staff departments, sporting clubs and JCR's of UNE's residential college system from 1st January 2019. This decision was made to promote a healthy and inclusive campus life, as well as address the often untenable obligation to consume alcohol to fulfil sponsorship requirements. To enable clubs who were affected by these changes and ensure there was no impact on any clubs ability to continue delivering an excellent student experience, the university implemented the Sports & Cultural fund.

The universities is currently in discussion with Full Stop Foundation to deliver its leadership training to staff; The Ethical Workplace: Leaders in Action. This will be delivered to the senior staff of the university and will include the UNE Senior Executives, Deans, Heads of College, Heads of School and other key staff. We are aiming to have sixty senior staff trained by the end June 2019. We will also look at running this annually for all new staff leaders.

The university will continue to work with UNELife and the students on the awareness of the Be A Better Human campaign targeting both students and staff.

The RNA Project Manager continues to work with the residential support office to continually review and improve training and educational programs that are delivered throughout a student’s time within the residential system. We are also working closely with the international office on appropriate training and education programs.

Recent consolation has taken place with key student representatives within the residential system, on the 2019 residential education programs to gather feedback from the students which will help guide our programing for 2019.

At the completion of Wellness Week all students who attended were requested to participate in a voluntary, anonymous online survey. This survey has provide key information and insight around the effectiveness of the programs and educational sessions that were delivered throughout the week. We are currently reviewing the student feedback and will present the findings to the Vice-Chancellor and members of the Senior Executive. This will also provide us with key information for the 2020 Wellness Week program.

The UNE Safe App is continually promoted to all incoming and current students and staff.


Emergency contact posters were placed in each room of the residential colleges to increase and promote the awareness of support services both internally and externally.

All training and information sessions held continue to focus on support services available both internally and externally to UNE staff and students.

All incoming residential students this year were presented with the UNE Student Counselling & Psychological Services contact card, this also includes the UNE after hour’s crisis support line – which is free and confidential for all students.

The UNE Respect. Now. Always web page is currently under a refresh, the RNA Project manager is working closely with the UNE Web team to update the page and its contents to ensure it is meets its audience’s needs.

Consultation with the Residential Support office is under way to investigate ways we can improve on student engagement and promotion in this space through social media platforms.

Support services will continue to be advertised during university events with posters, stalls, banners, stickers and other media.


The University is internal audit of existing policies and response pathways in relation to sexual assault and harassment has been completed.  This audit will supplement an external and independent review.

The RNA project manager is currently working with key stakeholders to implement the recommendations from the internal review of the existing universities policies and procedures.

Once these recommendations have been implemented the university will then engage an external expert to conduct an independent review which will encompass the changes implemented and ensure Policies and Procedures in the final form are correct. The university is also waiting on the findings of the independent lead review into the colleges, this report may contain recommendations in relation to the current UNE policies and procedures in relation to sexual assault and harassment.


The online delivery of the responding to disclosure training has be made available to all staff and students to undertake at their own pace. This is an ongoing service promoted by the university, and we encourage all staff and students to participate.

This year Students were expected to complete the online training prior to arrival as part of the Living in a College Community pre education platform. Staff are also encourage to participate through the organisational and development unit.

The RNA project manager is currently working with the university recruitment team to implement the Responding to Disclosure as part of the all new staff on boarding process.

The university is currently in discussion with Full Stop Foundation to deliver its preventative training The Ethical Workplace: Leaders in Action to the senior staff of the university. This training is face to face and will included how to respond to disclosures.

Responding to disclosure training will continue this year for those staff members and students representatives who are most likely to respond to a disclosure. We will also facilitate refresher training for previously identified first responders. Contact information for trained first responders is being collected for publication on the UNE web page.


The university continues to promote and receive anonymous reporting of incidents both past and present through the anonymous reporting form which been established on the university’s Respect. Now. Always. web page.

The anonymous reporting form will continue to be monitored daily, and submissions will continue to be stored confidentially. De- identified data is exported and presented to the Vice-Chancellor regularly.

The university is reviewing its current reporting mechanisms of all incidents across the university residential system, security and student grievance to allow for the improved quality information needed to make informed decisions from further analysis, study, and research.


The University engaged an external expert to undertake an audit of university counselling services, with the support of the University Audit and Risk Unit.  The audit’s recommendations have been adopted by the University, and some actions have already been implemented in response. For example, extra counselling resources have been recruited, and the physical location of the counselling services has been moved to increase access and anonymity.

The University is monitoring implementation of the internal audit’s recommendations, and will consider some of them more comprehensively upon completion of the independent audit of residential colleges later in 2018.

The counselling service has also increased staffing numbers, by employing one casual counsellor and another counsellor on a 6 month fixed contract. The future staffing levels of the University’s counselling services will be reassessed after the audit into residential colleges is completed and recommendations are made.

An online booking system is being developed to help students access counselling services without calling a phone number.


Universities Australia has committed to repeating the survey and the University of New England will again support this effort.

The University has agreed to support the undertaking of this survey.


The Australian Human Rights Commission was engaged in 2018 to conduct the independent audit of the UNE residential system.

The audit report will include findings from focus groups with current college residents, online submission, a confidential survey, physical inspection of residential colleges and a desktop review of policies and procedures, as well as incident reports from each college.

The University is currently working with The Australian Human Rights Commission. UNE is committed to working through the findings of the final report with the AHRC and successfully acting on and implementing the recommendations provided in the final publication.