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6 March 2018

Our Deakin values. Your community. Your safety.

Last week, we welcomed more than 12,000 new students to our Deakin community during OWeek. OWeek is a key part of the student experience. We hope all of our new students have enjoyed learning about their course and our services and supports, along with participating in the fun events and activities throughout the week. It is wonderful to see so many students actively involved in OWeek and creating many positive and memorable experiences again this year. However, this is not always the case. 

You may have seen recent media coverage highlighting hazing rituals occurring at other Australian universities, particularly during the Orientation period. This behaviour is deplorable and in many cases illegal. 

As a community we will remain vigilant and resolute in our response to any instances of assault, harassment, bullying or inappropriate behaviour. We want you to enjoy studying at Deakin and be proud Deakin graduates at the end of your journey. 

Our values

It is important to Deakin that you study in an environment where you can succeed personally and academically. At Deakin, safety, inclusion and respect are central to our university culture. We pride ourselves on our values and we celebrate diversity. It’s important to us that you feel protected and supported as a Deakin student and that you study in an environment where you can succeed personally and academically. Every member of the Deakin community has a role to play in living the values, including you. 

A respectful community 

We promote a culture and environment based on safety and respect to ensure all students and staff are protected and supported. We expect you to role model appropriate behaviour and treat others with respect and inclusion. We run a number of campus initiatives such as the MATE program that you can get involved in to combat harassment and disrespectful behaviour, and we recognise the rights of our LGBTIQ+ students and staff to live free of prejudice and discrimination with initiatives such as our rainbow lanyards.

A commitment to change attitudes and behaviours

Through education and leadership, we aspire to create a culture that prevents inappropriate behaviour. We encourage you to speak up and act if an incident occurs. Our Safer Community team works to keep our campuses safe and support students confronted by difficult, inappropriate or violent behaviour – if you need to report something, you should reach out to them first. 

Our responsibility

Every member of our community is expected to abide by our standards of behaviour to ensure our working, learning and residential environments are free from sexual and interpersonal violence and harassment, bullying or other anti-social behaviour. The Student Code of Conduct and your Student Rights and Responsibilities outline the expectations we have of you and explain core behaviours of cooperation, honesty and integrity. If you should witness any behaviour that does not align with our values, policies and procedures, or is outside the student or staff code of conduct, we implore you to speak up.

Consent Matters

Training and education is key to establishing a strong, informed and respectful Deakin culture. We encourage all students and staff to complete the Consent Matters online training course that covers sexual consent, bystander intervention, communication and relationships. The course will help all students to seek consent, recognise what consent looks like and identify situations where it can’t be or isn’t given. Further, the course aims to assist staff and students understand bystander intervention: how to recognise difficult situations and possible ways of stepping in if others need help. Every Deakin student is enrolled in the Consent Matters course and we strongly recommend you to complete this online training. 

Your safety

The safety of our students, staff and visitors is our highest priority. Every day, our security team works tirelessly in the background to keep all our campuses safe, especially during busy times such as the start of trimester when there are lots of new people on campus. We encourage you to download the free SafeZone App to connect you directly with campus security services when you need them. You can read more about staying safe on campus here.

Where to get assistance

For urgent or immediate help with problem behaviour including drinking on campus, bullying or disrespectful behaviours, or if someone is in imminent danger contact Deakin Security on 1800 062 579 or Victoria Police on 000. For enquiries or disclosures about sexual assault, sexual harassment, family or domestic violence (recent, historical and either on or off-campus) contact Safer Community (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm) by phone on +61 3 9244 3734 or email at [email protected].

Off-campus specialist services are also available:

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