Safety on Campus

Every staff member and student has the right to feel safe and be treated in a respectful way. CHC is committed to providing a safe campus.

We have zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment (including sexual) and bullying.

We expect all of our staff and students to behave in a manner that is respectful, inclusive and fair. On campus, at all times. Our Code of Conduct together with policies clearly outline staff and student responsibilities.

To assist with keeping our campus safe, we have joined with other universities to promote the “Respect. Now. Always.” Campaign. This initiative of Universities Australia in collaboration with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) seeks to increase awareness of the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) at Australian universities.

The campaign, launched in February 2016, aims to:

  • Raising awareness of SASH issues
  • Assist with prevention of SASH
  • Improve how universities respond to SASH issues
  • Support those who have been affected, and
  • Highlights the support avenues available to prevent and manage incidents.

CHC as a Higher Education Institution, recognises the value and importance of this campaign. Further information about the definition of sexual assault and harassment is available on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.

CHC has developed resources and implemented strategies to ensure that all students and staff are valued by:

  • Raising awareness (promotional materials and compulsory online modules)
  • Working to prevent these issues (Bystander and First Responder training)
  • Providing support for those who have been affected, and
  • Regularly reviewing practices to ensure their effectiveness

TEQSA, the Tertiary Education regulator, has provided a number of recommendations for Higher Education Providers to work towards.  Below is a list of the recommendations along with CHC’s action to meet the recommendations.  CHC regularly reviews these actions and will update these accordingly.

  1. Get to a safe place and seek support
  2. In an emergency, dial triple zero (000) to contact the state Emergency Services (Police, Fire, and Ambulance). In non-emergency situations, you can also contact the Police on 131 444. If you do not require emergency treatment, it is best not to call an ambulance.
  3. Contact any of CHC’s safe zone staff by going to the library or by calling 0428 078 935.

Click here for information on further support services and resources options.

Call 1800 737 732 (1800RESPECT) – National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service. This line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.

CHC supports individuals who have been affected by sexual assault and/or sexual harassment to manage their response on their own terms – choosing the course of action that is best for them at the time depending on their own circumstances, and whether they feel safe and confident to do so.

 Students can report sexual assault, harassment or misconduct to:

  •          CHC verbally (to a First Responder or Safe Zone Staff member)
  •          CHC via an online form
  •          The police

 If reporting to CHC, there are two options: 

  •       A formal complaint – this will always result in an investigation and specific action in response to the incident. 
  •       An informal disclosure – informs CHC of risks and events and will not result in an investigation. 

 N.B. Students under the age of 18

 Where the victim is under the age of 18, the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) requires mandatory reporting sexual abuse to Child Safety on 1300 682 254. CHC will contact Child Safety in all cases where a person is under the age of 18.

 In addition, when an individual (under the age of 18) discloses an incident, an investigation for the purpose of determining the action to be taken will be instigated by CHC.

 At any time, an individual may seek assistance from a staff member or fellow student to understand their options. The following resources are available to provide support and information to individuals and/or to those to whom they have disclosed:

  • Counselling – supports individuals when personal violence, including sexual assault and/or sexual harassment, may have occurred.
  •  First Responders – support individuals when sexual assault and/or sexual harassment may have occurred. First Responders can assist with providing information about CHC Policy, reporting options and other support options. All library staff and members of the Student Representative Council are designated First Responders.
  • Online Informationfound on Moodle

You can access counselling services and information, either through CHC’s Counselling centre by phoning 3347 7972 or emailing counselling@chc.edu.au.  

CHC’s counsellors will listen without judgement and work with you on strategies to meet your needs. They can also discuss your options and refer you to appropriate community-based services to provide on-going specialist help, in areas such as overcoming trauma. There are two clinical professional counsellors on staff who can provide assistance, or you can select to see a student counsellor. Our student counsellors are well into their degree and have successfully met the requirements to be able to counsel in the CHC counselling facilities. If you opt to see a student counsellor and want to change to a staff member or you would like to be referred out to another service, our counsellors can assist with this. Generally, we refer out to Gateway Counselling and Wholeness Centre – Ph. 3291 5963.

If you wish to speak with someone outside of CHC, the following organisations can help: 

Recommendations and Actions

Recommendation Summary

CHC should take direct responsibility for the implementation of these recommendations, including decision making and monitoring and evaluation of actions taken.

To assist and advise them in CHC should have an advisory body within their institution which has responsibility for guiding the implementation of the recommendations made in this report.

The advisory body should report directly to the President and include representatives from:

  • The university’s senior leadership
  • The student body
  • Academic staff
  • Student services

The advisory body should be responsible for developing an action plan for the implementation of these recommendations.

The advisory body should also seek independent expertise where relevant and draw on existing research and best practice.

The advisory body should assess and publicly report on CHC’s progress towards implementation of these recommendations within 18 months of the release of this report. From then on, public reporting on progress should occur on an annual basis.

Actions CHC has taken to date

In 2018, CHC established the SASH working group. Members of the group include students, academic staff, administrative staff and senior leadership.

The group meets regularly to address needs and action plans in this area.

Future plans: In early 2019 a review of the current action plan will be undertake.

Recommendation Summary

CHC develop a plan for addressing the drivers of sexual assault and sexual harassment that:

  • provides students and staff with education about SASH
  • identifies existing resources and communications campaigns that reinforce key messages of education programs for dissemination to staff and students.

Actions CHC has taken to date

Initially a SASH info Moodle page was created together with a compulsory module for staff.

It was recently determined that a better approach was to create a module for all staff and students.

A SASH Prevention Module was created for both staff and students. The module is compulsory for all staff and all new students, however it is optional for existing students, though strongly recommended.
Face to face training is also offered each semester to staff and students. It is compulsory for all staff to do the training once a year, but optional for students.

Future plans: Review of the module and continued requirement for new students to complete. Further in person training and possible live online sessions.

Recommendation Summary
Disseminate information about reporting avenues and internal and external services to staff and students (including people with a disability and those from CALD backgrounds) including new staff as part of induction.

Develop relationships with external services to enable referral where necessary
.

Actions CHC has taken to date
Current action:

  • Advertising around campus in strategic locations
  • Dedicated Moodle info page
  • Trained specific staff and students as First Responders
  • Campus Safe Zone
  • Orientation sessions that cover this topic
  • Maintaining a relationship with Gateway Counselling and Wholeness Centre
  • Participate in HEP-QN Survey

Future plans:

  • New procedure to be approved
  • Dedicated webpage that includes external reporting of incidents.
  • Info disseminated via The Buzz (student newsletter), email, social media and campus meetings
  • Include info at staff meetings
  • Maintain relationship with Gateway Counselling and Wholeness Centre
  • Review findings of HEP-QN survey to make additional recommendations for changes/improvements

Recommendation Summary

In order to ensure that actions taken by universities to prevent and respond to sexual assault and sexual harassment are appropriate, within a year of the release of this report, universities should commission an independent, expert led review of existing university policies and response pathways in relation to sexual assault and sexual harassment. This review should assess the effectiveness of existing university policies and pathways and make specific recommendations to universities about best practice responses to sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Actions CHC has taken to date

In 2019 CHC’s policies in relation to this matter have been reviewed and benchmarked against other Higher Education institutions.

Future plans: A review of the effectiveness of the policy and new procedures is scheduled for late 2020. CHC will ensure that an external expert is on the review panel.

Recommendation Summary

CHC should conduct an assessment to identify staff members and student representatives within their institution most likely to receive disclosures of sexual assault and sexual harassment. CHC should ensure that these staff members and student representatives receive training in responding to disclosures of sexual assault and sexual harassment, delivered by an organisation with specialist expertise in this area.

Actions CHC has taken to date

All staff receive online and face to face training.

Future plans: Continued training every year.

Recommendation Summary

CHC should ensure that information about individual disclosures and reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment is collected and stored confidentially and used for continuous improvement of processes

Access to this information should be limited to staff members with responsibility for responding to disclosures and reports and those responsible for improving university responses to disclosures and reports.

Actions CHC has taken to date

Online reporting or disclosing of an incident is confidential. Procedures for incidents are available and have been disseminated. They are actioned immediately.

Access to complainant and respondent information is limited to the WHS Officer, and senior staff with responsibilities for this area. Procedures have set response times.

Future plans: Privacy plays a key role in providing secure, reliable and trusted services for our staff and students. It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that we maintain good security practices in every area of our business, through constant vigilance, security training and awareness. Privacy and information security awareness training will be mandatory for all staff at induction and yearly throughout their employment by 2020.

Current procedures will be reviewed in 2020.
Statistical reports (de-identified) in relation to incidents and outcomes are provided to appropriate boards and sub committees consistent with policy requirements.

Recommendation Summary
CHC should conduct an audit of counselling services to assess:

  • the capacity of counselling services to respond to students’ requests for counselling in an appropriately timely manner, and
  • how many counselling staff have received training in working with sexual assault survivors.

As part of this audit, data should be collected on the average length of time students are required to wait to see a counsellor, and the number of urgent/crisis requests for counselling received.
This data should be assessed to determine whether additional counselling services are required to meet the urgent needs of students who have experienced sexual assault or harassment.

Actions CHC has taken to date

The CHC counselling centre is currently under review.

Future plans: a report is to be tabled and recommendations will be reviewed and implemented as required.