As you are aware, the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey will take place during September and October to seek the views of all eligible Australians on changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry.
I encourage all La Trobe University students and staff who are eligible to participate in the survey. I also ask that members of our community conduct discussions about the survey and the issues it raises in a respectful manner. While our democracy gives us all the right to have our say on the direction we think our country should take, the issue of marriage equality has shown itself to be an emotive issue on which members of the community have very strong views. There is widespread publicity about the vote, and some of the material and commentary we have seen to date has the potential to cause distress to members of our community, particularly for LGBTI students and staff.
La Trobe is a diverse and inclusive community, and we have a higher proportion of LGBTI students than many universities across Australia. We value and respect the contribution made by all members of our community, and we believe in everyone’s right to feel safe and secure and go about their lives free from prejudice and discrimination.
I would like to express my personal support of LGBTI students and staff, and I remind members of the La Trobe community that we will not tolerate discrimination or harassment in any form. I am proud of La Trobe’s commitment to creating a safe, respectful community, and during the debate over the coming months I ask you all to treat each other with the respect and decency we each deserve.
If you witness or experience inappropriate behaviour, you can contact our Speak Up service between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on (03) 9479 8988.
If you need support, you can also contact Counselling Services on your campus on the numbers below:
- Albury Wodonga (02) 6024 9627
- Bendigo (03) 5444 7223
- City (Collins Street) (03) 9479 2956
- Melbourne (Bundoora) (03) 9479 2956
- Mildura (03) 5051 4083
- Online (03) 9479 2956
- Shepparton (03) 5820 8631
- Sydney (02) 9397 7600
Professor John Dewar