Consent matters – a message from the Vice-Chancellor

This month I would like to tell you how La Trobe University is committed to providing you with a safe, inclusive and respectful environment. We are working on a range of initiatives to prevent and respond to sexual harassment, sexual assault and other forms of unacceptable behaviour.

This year we have introduced Consent Matters: Boundaries, Respect and Positive Intervention, an online training module about the importance of respect and communication that provides information on boundaries and positive bystander action.

So far, more than 8,435 of you have completed the module, and I encourage all of you to complete the program which is accessible via the LMS home page. If everyone can learn more about consent and boundaries, then La Trobe will be a safer place for all.

This is just one element of our work to create a safe, supportive and positive environment for you. Other initiatives include:

  • Speak Up – for those who witness inappropriate or concerning behaviour.
  • Counselling and mental health support – providing caring and effective psychological, social, and emotional support to enhance academic and personal success.
  • Indigenous Student Services – delivering the highest quality services to Indigenous Australians as prospective and current students as well as alumni, within the higher education sector.
  • Studying with a disability – we are committed to providing equitable access to education to ensure those with disabilities can access and participate in education on the same basis as other students.
  • LGBTIQ+ – we have a vibrant Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+) community.
  • Support for those with a refugee background – students from a refugee background who hold a Permanent Humanitarian Visa or Australian Citizenship have a dedicated Support Officer on each campus.

We all have a role in creating and maintaining a respectful, safe and inclusive University.

I encourage you to support each other, be positive bystanders and call out or report unacceptable behaviours in an appropriate and safe manner.

Professor John Dewar