Rose Alwyn, UCA President

Australian Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission on National Survey on Sexual Assault

Alcohol Harm Minimisation Committee Update

St Andrew's College Sesquicentenary Lecture

Relationships with Partner Institutions

Welcome to new Members

Save the Date
- NAAUC Conference
- King's College Annual David Williams Lecture
- UCA Forum

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Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report on National Survey on Sexual Assault  
To recap for members, the AHREOC is undertaking a project on sexual assault and sexual harassment of university students as part of the university sector’s Respect. Now. Always. campaign.
The report and recommendations from the survey and submissions are due to be released publicly on August 1st 2017.   In addition to the national report, the Commission will also provide universities with information about the rates of sexual assault and sexual harassment at their individual institutions.
We are aware that it is very different for all residences - many of you have been working hard over recent years and months to ensure improved education and training on (inter alia) consent and bystander training in addition to policies, processes and practices as well as supporting those people who have experienced sexual assault.
I would like to acknowledge in the first instance, the support from the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Ms Kate Jenkins who has provided some information with regard to how we might prepare for the recommendations and issues that may arise from the report and how UCA might be able to provide (non legal) support to Colleges and Halls of Residence. Dr Damian Powell from JCH has also provided UCA with some excellent advice for which I am most appreciative.
Some things that you may wish to consider include but are not limited to:
  • Communication with key stakeholders, for example your own College community, parents, alumni and members of the wider College community;
  • Communicating with your affiliate/host university/ies;
  • Colleges/Halls of residence may need to think about survivors of sexual assault who may contact them to talk of their experience of sexual assault from a distant past;
  • You may wish to prepare statements that apologise to survivors of sexual assault;
  • You will need to develop your own strategy for dealing with potential media enquiries.
The recommendations of the report are not likely to come as a surprise as we acknowledge in most part that the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault are amongst the myriad of issues within our Colleges.
I hold the view that we should welcome the report and see this as an opportunity to rethink and reframe our practices on sexual violence in our Colleges and Halls and work together towards addressing the issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault in our residences.
We will be approaching interested Colleges in each state to work with other Colleges where there are not members of the executive present. If you are interested, please let Deborah or me know.

There are some things that we do particularly well in our residences, and there are some areas for improvement. Sometimes, we just don’t know how to ask for help, or even know if we need assistance in this regard. Some residences do things better than others (for whatever reasons) and it is important to recognise this in order to make progress.

I can recommend, if you have not already read the NUS report “End Rape on Campus” and the ADFA report, in particular because it steps out some good processes.

Epigeum has confirmed a special offer for UCA members for their online course Consent Matters:  Boundaries, Respect and Positive Intervention.   Consent Matters is a fully interactive and evidence-based course covering the areas of sexual consent, communication and relationships, and bystander intervention. It features key findings from the latest NUS Australia ‘Talk about it’ survey and information about the Respect. Now. Always. campaign launched by Universities Australia.  Consent Matters provides a scalable solution that can be part of a blended approach alongside workshops and other initiatives to demonstrate a zero tolerance of sexual violence and inappropriate behaviour, foster a culture of integrity and showing respect for others, and helping to ensure that all students feel confident that their residence is a place of safety and community.

UCA member pricing is banded based on the number of students within any given college or residential hall. The program can be set up and accessed via Epigeum’s online portal. Full technical and implementation support is included as part of the subscription assisting with ongoing rollout to residential students and staff. Please contact Jane Woolnough (Academic Partnerships Manager) for further information.
If you are considering trialling and/or using "Consent Matters", UCA advises to consider seeking advice from leaders in sexual violence prevention in addition to combining any online training with face-to-face training for a range of reasons including the haste at which online training can be undertaken.  
Alcohol Harm Minimisation Commitee
The AHMC, chaired by Prof. Tim Corney met on Tuesday May 30th. The first piece of good news is that we have received positive verbal advice from Vic Health in that we have been invited to upscale the proposal from two sites to four sites (in Victoria).  Our proposed project has come about from the ARC research regarding drinking practices and alcohol policies within university residential colleges and will incorporate use of innovative technology through an app, which is a preventative tool in alcohol management.  The second part of the project involves using narrative pedagogy to co-review processes regarding administrations and students around reviewing and rewriting policy.  The aim of the project is to provide practical and innovative intervention strategies for our residences.

Secondly, Tim and Keith Conley will work on a set of protocols and best practice ideas around alcohol harm minimisation to share amongst members.
St Andrew’s College Sesquicentenary Lecture and Celebrations
At part of St Andrew’s Sesquicentenary celebrations, Associate Professor Rufus Black (Master of Ormond College, University of Melbourne) gave the sesqui lecture entitled “The role of the College in the 21st Century Australian University”.  The lecture was important in the context of Australia’s Higher Education landscape, visionary and challenged the audience’s thinking.  It is in the “not to be missed” category!  UCA will shortly provide a link, courtesy of St Andrew’s and Rufus, to the lecture. 

Relationships with Partner Institutions
AACUHO hosted its annual conference in Hobart at which representatives of the ACUHO-I committee were present.  The conference presented an opportunity for UCA to redesign our partnership agreement on home soil prior to the international conference in Rhode Island in June at which UCA executive member David Segal will attend and sign our agreement on behalf of UCA at the same time that he and his deputy Samantha Schofield will present their paper on mental health.
NAAUCC will host its conference at Mannix College the first week of July. Lachlan Power (President of NAUCC) is delighted to provide a conference registration for a Head or Deputy of College from 2nd – 5th July.  Please contact either Deb or me if you would like to attend.

Welcome to new Members:
We are pleased to welcome Ms Carolyn Mee, Dean of Students at Aquinas College, South Australia as a UCA Associate Member.

Save the Date:
UCA Forum 
28-29 September.  This will be a great opportunity to hear some good speakers, talk to colleagues and share ideas. It’s on at the Brisbane Rydges Hotel.  No cost for the forum, you just need to get yourself there.  More information coming soon.
King's College Annual David Williams Lecture
Kings College (UQ) presents the annual David Williams lecture with guest speaker Ms Elizabeth Broderick "The importance of culture in University Residential Colleges" on Friday, 23 June at 6pm.
The lecture, which was first delivered by Sir Zelman Cowan in 1995, honours a benefactor, the late Dr David Williams, a Welshman who entered King’s College in 1934.  Dr Williams studied at The University of Queensland and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree with First Class Honours in 1955 and Master of Arts in 1957.  For more information, please contact Mr Greg Eddy, Principal, Kings College, UQ. 
Best wishes,
Rose Alwyn

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