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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) The University acknowledges the Indigenous traditional custodians of the lands on which the University campuses are located and the places it conducts its business.

(2) We recognise, value and respect the diversity of our community and we are committed to achieving equal opportunity in education, research and employment.

(3) Our vision is for a fair, safe and inclusive University where every person is respected, valued, treated with dignity and able to thrive.

(4) We acknowledge our responsibility to nurture and sustain an environment where everyone can succeed by:

  1. eliminating discrimination and harassment;
  2. meeting Commonwealth and territory/state anti-discrimination legislative obligations; and
  3. developing leading practice in diversity, equity and inclusion, making a positive impact on key outcomes.
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Section 2 - Purpose

(5) This Policy defines the principles and framework the University will use to drive innovation, improvements and systemic changes, providing physical and virtual learning, work and social environments that enable full and equitable participation.

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Section 3 - Scope

(6) This Policy applies to staff and students of the University in any area and at any time they are undertaking work, research or study related activities, including during field work, placements and external events.

(7) This Policy also applies to other members of the University community, including volunteers, contractors and visitors and those attending University activities or events.

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Section 4 - Policy


(8) Charles Darwin University is committed to principles of access, equity, fairness, social justice and inclusion, and is sensitive to the diverse needs of all staff and students.

(9) These principles will be integrated into University policies and practices, and include provision of opportunities for genuine participation in decision-making and the promotion of a learning, research and work environment that is socially inclusive, values diversity and allows students and staff to realise their full potential without fear of discrimination or harassment.

(10) The University recognises diversity as strength and welcomes differences in Indigenous status, gender identity and expression, cultural background, nationality, age, ability and health status, religious faith and spirituality, sexual orientation and family status.

(11) The University recognises that fairness and equal opportunity does not mean treating everyone in the same way, and that special measures are required to redress the past or current disadvantage experienced by some groups of staff and students.

University Commitments

(12) The University commits to developing leading practice in diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity, integrating these principles in all relevant policies, decisions and operations.

(13) The University commits to tackling the structural and systemic disadvantage faced by some groups of people, deploying special measures to achieve long-term, sustainable improvements in access and inclusion.

(14) The University will provide programs and resources to enable managers to be inclusive leaders in process and practice, supporting them to create diverse teams and accessible and inclusive work, research and study environments, accountable for diversity and inclusion outcomes.

(15) The University will work with students and staff in recognised equity groups, learning from their experiences and co-designing improvements to remove any access or inclusion barriers, including but not limited to:

  1. monitoring and improving recruitment and admission processes, supporting staff to identify and redress bias in hiring and promoting staff and admitting and grading students;
  2. providing access to flexible work and study arrangements;
  3. initiating social inclusion activities in partnership with the community and undertaking proactive programs for designated student equity groups; and
  4. responding appropriately to issues of unlawful discrimination and harassment.

(16) The University will employ effective strategies and special measures to improve opportunities for people from under-represented or disadvantaged groups, including:

  1. making reasonable adjustments to policies, practices and requirements where necessary to provide equal opportunity for individuals; and
  2. targeting particular cohorts for employment, advancement and other aspects of the employment lifecycle, including recruitment, retention, performance management, promotion, remuneration, workforce planning (including succession planning and talent identification) and training and professional development.

Discrimination and Harassment

(17) The University strives to eliminate discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying and vilification in all aspects of its operations and to create an environment where members of the University community can work and study in a culture based on mutual respect, including the use of inclusive language and respectful interpersonal interactions.

(18) The University does not tolerate discrimination based on any of the attributes protected by any state, territory or federal legislation, including but not limited to:

  1. race, ethnicity, nationality, cultural identity or country of origin;
  2. sex, gender identity, gender expression or sexuality;
  3. age, physical appearance, health or medical status (including irrelevant medical record) or ability;
  4. marital or family status, pregnancy, parenthood, breastfeeding, carer or family responsibilities;
  5. trade union or employer association activity or political opinion, affiliation or activity;
  6. religious or spiritual belief or activity;
  7. irrelevant criminal record or identification under section 66M of the Fines and Penalties (Recovery) Act 2001 (NT); and
  8. association with a person who has, or is believed to have, any of these attributes.

(19) The University will use appropriate language to foster inclusion of staff and students from diverse backgrounds, and will be informed in language choices by the expressed preferences of communities and individuals (including the use of individuals' specified gender pronouns).


(20) Information and educational resources regarding this Policy will be included in staff induction and reinforced in annual programs of professional development.

(21) Signposting to this Policy will be included in handbooks, course guides and student diaries, in the Library and Student Central, and on the University's website. Promotion of the Policy to students will be available in a range of languages.

Roles and Responsibilities

(22) The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that the University operates in compliance with the legislation and with the terms of this Policy.

(23) Senior Executives and Senior Managers have the responsibility and authority to implement this Policy in their work areas, creating a socially inclusive learning, research and work environment where:

  1. the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is respected and valued;
  2. students and staff can realise their full potential without fear of discrimination or harassment;
  3. a diverse range of people have genuine participation in decision-making;
  4. people are encouraged to speak up against all forms of discrimination and harassment; and
  5. special measures are implemented to redress past or current disadvantage experienced by some groups.

(24) Senior Executives and Senior Managers will be required to report annually on the various equal opportunity activities undertaken in response to this Policy.

(25) Teams from Student Engagement and Success (SES) and People and Culture (PC) will take a leading role in raising awareness of this Policy and developing, monitoring and evaluating associated programs and plans to ensure that both the legislation and this policy operate in practice.

(26) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor First Nations Leadership will take a leading role in raising awareness of this Policy and developing, monitoring and evaluating associated programs and plans as they relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff.

(27) All members of the University must behave in a respectful, fair and equitable way and must not discriminate, harass, sexually harass, victimise or vilify others or request, instruct, induce, encourage, authorise or assist any other person to discriminate, harass, sexually harass, victimise or vilify others.

(28) Complaints regarding conduct that contravenes the principles of this Policy will be dealt with under the Student or Staff Codes of Conduct.

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Section 5 - Non-compliance

(29) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct - Staff and Code of Conduct - Students and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures.

(30) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.