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    Attila Brungs
    Vice-Chancellor and President

    At UTS, we fundamentally believe that everyone has the right to live, to work, to study in a safe and respectful environment. We want to create a workplace, a community where everyone is safe, secure and happy. But at a university, we actually have an additional responsibility. We graduate 10,000 wonderful people every year. And if we create that mindset, that culture here that eradicates sexual harassment and sexual assault, those 10,000 wonderful people will take out into society and they will create the change and make Australian society the place we truly want it to be.

     

    Izanda Ford
    Head Internal Communication

    So everyday respect I think is pretty simple when you boil it down, it’s just being about a decent human being. And for me professionally and personally at UTS, I am one of the few female leaders in a female dominant space. And there’s a real sense of responsibility of role modelling what that effective leadership can look like. Bringing in those skills of compassion and empathy and thinking about them not as “female skills” but as actually great leadership skills full stop. And for me the idea, that there is this different kind of narrative coming through especially around female leadership or leadership in general, just makes for a stronger workplace you know, inclusion of different opinions, different genders, different backgrounds, different abilities. It just means that you’re actually getting strength in your diversity.

     

    Carl Rhodes
    Deputy Dean, UTS Business School

    Yeah, I mean we need to face it. Someone like me, I’m a man, I’m a white man of a certain age you know in a management position. I am not of a demographic that is likely to face issues of sexual assault or abuse. So, this isn’t that much an issue so much about me. So it’s really important I think for people, such as myself, to be able to empathise with the issues and with the people and really to listen and to learn and to incorporate that there is a basic dimension of fairness and justice for students and staff in the university that people should be able to come to the university to feel safe, not to be victimised by sexual assault or sexual harassment. And again, in the event that they are, we have things in place where that can be dealt with swiftly and definitively.

     

    Megan Cassidy
    Senior Advisor, Student Complaints

    As an adviser in the student complaints resolution office, we have to apologise a lot. And that’s not a bad thing to do. There’s a bit of a stigma attached to apologising and having that as a meaningful conversation as part of bringing respectful apologies into managing complaints at the university. We do get it wrong and it’s there’s no shame in saying that we get it wrong sometimes and there’s no shame in apologising for that in a meaningful and respectful way. It’s not an easy conversation to have because it’s not easy to admit that you’ve done something wrong. Sometimes I’ve been the person doing something wrong, sometimes it’s been the university, either way part of my role as a student complaints adviser and adviser on student complaints for the university rather is to make sure that when an apology is warranted it’s given sincerely and as part of a conversation that aims to repair or rebuild a relationship with a student.

     

    Attila Brungs
    Vice-Chancellor and President

    Despite how critical RNA [Respect.Now.Always] is it will take us time to get to where we want to be and it’ll take the actions of each and every one of us to get to the endpoint we desire. Change is hard. To think differently. To act differently. To demonstrate different leadership behaviours requires courage. It requires vulnerability. It requires risk-taking. Calling out other people’s behaviour is not easy. Even if you think that behaviour is wrong. But unless each and every one of us do this, unless each and every one of us in our day to day, make the commitment to change the way that UTS is approaching things now, we’ll never create a culture that we want at UTS. But if we get it right, UTS will be the seed through our students going out into society to make all of society become the place we really want it to be.

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