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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy specifies the University's commitment to providing an accessible and inclusive learning and work environment for students, staff, and the University community.

(2) It sets out the accountabilities and responsibilities for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) across the University and its Controlled Entities.

Background

(3) Equity, diversity, and inclusion are clear priorities that are essential for the University to achieve its strategic aims. The University's teaching, service, and research must reflect and meet diverse needs, and be open and accessible to all.

(4) The University has a strong support structure in place to advocate, support and action EDI principles and priorities, including Walanga Muru, the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy), MQ Inclusion, Faculty and Office Diversity and Inclusion Committees, the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Team, the Student Diversity and Inclusion Team, and the Widening Participation Team.

(5) Information for students and staff seeking to learn more, get involved, or join a committee or network can be found at:

  1. Diversity and Inclusion - Students
  2. Widening Participation Unit
  3. Engage with Walanga Muru
  4. Diversity and Inclusion - Staff

Scope

(6) This Policy applies to all students, staff, and affiliates of the University and its Controlled Entities.

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Section 2 - Policy

(7) The University is committed to ensuring that the study and work environments it provides are equitable, accessible, and inclusive. A community that represents diverse perspectives, backgrounds and identities is a strength to be developed and celebrated.

Part A - EDI Principles

(8) The University's commitment and action on EDI are underpinned by the following principles:

  1. Education is fundamental to the human experience and is recognised under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  2. All students, staff, and other members of the University community are expected to treat others with respect, and consideration of their dignity. Bullying, unlawful discrimination, or harassment are not acceptable behaviours (see the Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy: Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy: Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy). Unlawful discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of age; disability; race, ethnicity or religion (including antisemitism); sexual identity; or sexual orientation.
  3. All students, staff, and other members of the University community should work together to create learning and workplace cultures where they are supported, welcomed and valued.
  4. The University promotes policies, processes and cultures that reflect the University's commitment and action on equity, diversity, and inclusion, reflecting the needs of a diverse University community. The University strives to remove barriers to access, achievement, and progression for students and staff.
  5. EDI requires deliberate action and intent. All members of the University community are responsible for contributing to a positive and inclusive culture.

Part B - EDI Priorities

(9) The University's EDI priorities for students and staff are to:

  1. meet its legal obligations to provide equitable, inclusive, and accessible learning and work environments, including online, virtual, and physical environments;
  2. design institutional policies, procedures, processes, practices, and approaches that are equitable, inclusive, and meet diverse needs;
  3. build student and staff capability to co-create inclusive work and learning cultures and service provision;
  4. provide reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of students and staff with a disability so that they have the opportunity to meet inherent requirements;
  5. improve educational access, participation, and success for underrepresented or disadvantaged student groups via widening participation initiatives;
  6. provide staff with development, training, and career progression opportunities that are inclusive and accessible;
  7. ensure that curricula and teaching approaches and practices represent diverse knowledge and experiences;
  8. ensure that research methodologies and practices are inclusive and consider diversity impacts and outcomes;
  9. take a preventative and responsive approach to addressing bullying, harassment, or discrimination; any instances of bullying, harassment, or discrimination will be addressed; and
  10. implement accountabilities for EDI with tangible and trackable success measures.

Part C - EDI Accountabilities and Responsibilities

(10) The University Executive Group is responsible and accountable for the progress of EDI strategies and the implementation of priority actions.

(11) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is responsible for student EDI progress and actions, and the Vice-President, People and Services is responsible for workforce EDI progress and actions.

(12) The University may identify Executive Group sponsors to lead and oversee progress on specific EDI strategies and priorities.

(13) The University may establish committees to progress and implement EDI strategies and priorities.

(14) Faculties, departments, and portfolios / offices may also establish committees to take responsibility for local level action plans and to support the progress of University-wide priorities.

(15) University leaders and managers / supervisors are responsible for applying policies and processes equitably and fostering an inclusive culture in their faculty, department portfolio / office or team.

(16) All staff engaged in developing University activities are responsible for ensuring that the activities are inclusive. This applies to the design and provision of curricula, teaching practices, and learning culture.

(17) All staff and students are responsible for creating and sustaining an inclusive culture. This requires staff and students to be accountable for their actions and behaviours.

(18) Where disagreement arises in relation to provisions designed to create study and work environments that are equitable, accessible, and inclusive, these disagreements may be resolved by the relevant student and staff complaints processes (see the Complaint Management Procedure for StaffComplaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public, English Language Centre (ELC) Complaints and Appeals Policy).

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Section 3 - Procedures

(19) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(20) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(21) Commonly defined terms are available in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purposes of this Policy:

  1. Accessible means having equitable access for all individuals to participate and engage in the University learning and community environment. It includes, but is not limited to, enabling physical, digital, linguistic, cultural, technological, and socio-economic access to educational resources and spaces associated with learning.
  2. Affiliate means persons holding Honorary titles with the University, consultants and contractors, and volunteers working for the University.
  3. Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.
  4. Diversity means the representation of people from different backgrounds, social groups or identities. These may include gender, age, ethnicity, race, cultural background, socio-economic background, disability,  religion, and sexual orientation.
  5. Equitable participation means empowering individuals to participate by accommodating areas where they may lack equal access to resources, information and opportunity that enable them to participate in equal measure.
  6. Equity means recognising and responding to individual differences and needs when providing services, support, learning, and teaching.
  7. Inclusion means the removal of any structural and cultural barriers to full participation and access, and empowering students and staff to use all information and resources available to them. An inclusive culture, learning and workplace environment requires continuous and mindful practice to ensure barriers that exclude are removed to enable individuals to feel valued and respected, to contribute, engage, and express themselves.
  8. Inherent requirements are in the case of students, the essential activities, capacities and academic requirements that are necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes or for participation  in a course, unit or University activity. In the case of staff, inherent requirements are the ability to perform the essential elements of the person's job.
  9. Reasonable adjustments are adjustments which enable students or staff with disability to meet inherent requirements without unreasonable hardship to the University.
  10. Staff means all persons employed by the University, including continuing, fixed term, and casual staff members.
  11. Student includes all those who have been admitted or are enrolled or auditing a course or unit of study or research provided by the University or an educational institution affiliated with the University which is approved by the University, including those who have completed a course or unit of study or research but for which the applicable award has not yet been given.
  12. Widening Participation means increasing access to learning and providing equitable opportunities for success and progression for all students across society.