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Anti-Racism Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Charles Darwin University (‘the University’, ‘CDU’) celebrates the cultural and linguistic diversity of all staff, students, and the communities we work in. We know that the University benefits from this diversity of experience and thought in many invaluable ways, both culturally, operationally, through our learning and research activities and our community engagement. 

(2) We acknowledge that Australian First Nations Peoples continue to face significant racism both at the individual and institutional level.

(3) The University has no tolerance for racism or racist behaviour. CDU commits to being a community that is confident in effectively addressing racism, however it manifests, overtly and covertly, whenever it occurs. We know that we are all responsible for creating and sustaining an inclusive culture in which all staff, students and visitors feel safe. We understand that being actively anti-racist requires a collective commitment to act. We appreciate that we have work to do, and we welcome this challenge.

(4) This commitment is in accordance with the Anti-Discrimination Act 1992 (NT) and the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Commonwealth).

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Section 2 - Purpose

(5) This policy commits the University to the elimination of all forms of racism and racial discrimination and the ongoing education of students and staff to achieve this.

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Section 3 - Scope

(6) This policy applies to all members of the CDU community including, but not limited to staff, students, board members, volunteers, contractors and consultants. This applies in any area and at any time they are undertaking work, research or study related activities, including during field work, placements and external events. 

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Section 4 - Policy

(7) CDU will consciously structure our university and activities to educate, eliminate racism and better reflect our values. 

(8) The University will ensure internal systems, policies, processes and practices are inclusive and equitable.

(9) CDU will actively lead in affecting change and will invite discussion, challenge, and constructive criticism to create a more inclusive community. We will act with kindness and integrity and communicate and listen openly and respectfully. 

(10) Staff and students of the University will recognise our limitations and strive to understand each other’s differences. We will actively listen to those with lived experience of racism, to better understand how we can be effective anti-racism activists. We will value the knowledge and the experiences of others: we are all leaders, and we are all followers. 

(11) The CDU community will support each other with kindness and honesty, as we grow. We will have the courage to learn from our past, and to hold ourselves, and each other, accountable into the future. We will act on our commitment to combat racism every day.

(12) We will:

  1. maintain a zero-tolerance approach to racism across CDU
  2. promote secure reporting mechanisms to raise concerns
  3. develop the University’s collection of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) metrics, with a view to use the data to inform efforts, establish and achieve EDI outcomes
  4. develop policies and practices that foster equity and inclusion
  5. develop ongoing EDI programs and initiatives
  6. actively attract, recruit, engage and retain staff from under-represented equity cohorts to better reflect contemporary Australian society
  7. appropriately support staff so they can achieve their professional goals at CDU
  8. create and embed mandatory training for all managers and staff to deepen their awareness, responsibility and commitment to EDI; creating a safe and supportive culture defined by our values in action
  9. listen to and amplify the voices of First Nations staff and students
  10. provide a work and study environment that is culturally inclusive and free from racial discrimination
  11. transform curricula and teaching practices to integrate diverse perspectives and voices.
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Section 5 - Definitions

(13) Definitions of key terms can be found in the CDU Glossary:

(14) Anti:

  1. Opposed to; against.

(15) Race:

  1. A social construct used to group people. Race was constructed as a hierarchal human grouping system, generating racial classifications to identify, distinguish and marginalise some groups across nations, regions and the world. Race divides human population into groups often based on physical appearance, social factors and cultural backgrounds.

(16) Racism:

  1. The belief that human races have distinctive characteristics which determine their respective cultures, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule or dominate others
  2. Offensive or aggressive behaviour to members of another race stemming from such a belief
  3. A policy or system of government based on it
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Section 6 - Non-Compliance

(17) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(18) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Complaints and Grievance Policy and Procedure - Employees and Complaints Policy - Students.

(19) 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.