Message from the Vice-Chancellor

28 Jul 2017

A message from The University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj

Universities Australia’s Respect. Now. Always. campaign was launched last year by Australia’s 39 universities to address and prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault in university student communities.

As part of the campaign, Universities Australia asked the Australian Human Rights Commission to undertake the first national university student survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment, involving more than 30,000 students from all 39 Australian universities.

The survey and individual university reports – including UQ’s – have been released. UQ recognises that this may be a distressing time for our student, staff and alumni communities.

It’s vital that we foster a safe and respectful environment, free from all forms of sexual assault and sexual harassment. We must do more to prevent and address unacceptable behaviour by providing enhanced support to survivors and taking a strong stance on prevention.

To be clear: there is no place for sexual assault or sexual harassment at UQ. Such behaviour is never the victim’s fault, and it will not be tolerated here

Several initiatives have been and are being introduced, including:

  • Working with the UQ Student Union to develop education and awareness campaigns to focus on prevention and appropriate responses to disclosure;
  • Establishing a Sexual Misconduct Support Unit – a specialist-trained unit where staff and students can access support, advice and counselling;
  • Establishing a First Responder Network to facilitate the disclosure of sexual assault and harassment and provide a safe and supportive space for students and staff;
  • Launching a Consent Matters online training module to educate UQ students and staff on sexual assault and sexual harassment; and
  • Introducing a comprehensive new policy and supporting procedures to prevent and address cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment at UQ.

The survey and report will help UQ improve. They will provide information and data to further guide our response and improve policies, services and procedures.

We are proud of our connected and engaged alumni network and recognise that you may wish to assist the University as we establish long-term strategies and tangible initiatives to support this commitment.

We welcome views on this matter; you can provide feedback anonymously via the online form below. However, we encourage you to leave an email address so that we can inform you of the outcomes.

UQ will consider this feedback and use the information to inform strategies for supporting current and future students.

I understand the release of this report may be an extremely difficult time for many people, and I encourage students or staff seeking support and advice to contact the new UQ Sexual Misconduct Support Unit by emailing or by phoning +61 7 3443 1000. 

Further information about reporting sexual harassment or assault and sources of support can be found on this page

Universities Australia has also established a new 24/7 national hotline 1800 572 224, run by specialist trauma counselling service Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia.

A range of community specialist support groups can provide additional support. These include the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) phone line and Lifeline (13 11 14).

UQ Sexual Misconduct Support Unit:
UQ Respect website:
UQ information line: +61 7 3443 1000

Provide feedback anonymously on our online form

Updated 2 August 2017