Racism: It stops with everyone

Published: Wednesday 2nd July 2014

ACU has thrown its support behind the Australian Human Rights Commission’s anti-racism campaign as a Community Supporter.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) Professor Anne Cummins, and Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr Stephen Weller, signed a statement of agreement with Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane at the North Sydney Campus on Monday, June 7.

Professor Cummins said the agreement was an acknowledgement that ACU’s own values were aligned with those of the Human Rights Commission.

"Our mission positively states our commitment to the dignity of the human person and the common good," she said.

Dr Weller said the University’s proactive approach to equality and fairness was fundamental to the philosophy that "cultural diversity be embraced and the University is a safe and respectful community where racism is not tolerated".

Initiatives in place to support the agreement include:

  • A Discrimination and Harassment Policy which reinforces that race-based discrimination and harassment are not tolerated – support is available for staff and students to deal with their concerns;
  • A proactive approach to enhancing inclusiveness and respect – staff are encouraged to come together in a safe environment to share their knowledge and increase understanding of various cultural perspectives;
  • An Indigenous Employment Framework provides opportunities for staff to build their cultural competency regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, including Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training and Indigenous Perspectives Workshops presented by Indigenous staff throughout the year;
  • Staff and students are encouraged to support Harmony Day.
ACU’s National Student Association (ACUNSA) has developed a statement opposing offensive behaviour based on race, colour or national or ethnic origin. They will make this statement at all events, conferences and meetings along with Acknowledgment of the Traditional Custodians of our land and the University Prayer. Members of ACUNSA will promote the statement through social medial, email signatures, and will encourage colleagues to share the message in lectures and with new students during Orientation Week.