What is bullying?

Bullying can be described as repeated, unreasonable behaviour that creates a risk to a person’s physical or psychological health.

Bullying can take place in person or using technology (cyberbullying). It includes a range of behaviours such as:

  • Physical or verbal abuse
  • Yelling, screaming or offensive language
  • Excluding or isolating someone
  • Deliberately withholding information that is vital for effective performance
  • Spreading rumours or innuendo about someone
  • Psychological harassment
  • Unjustified criticism or complaints
  • Intimidation
  • Interfering with personal property or equipment
  • Teasing or making someone the brunt of pranks or practical jokes.

Bullying can also be considered discrimination when a person is treated unfavourably because of a personal characteristic. For more information on bullying, see the WorkSafe Victoria website.

The University of Melbourne does not accept bullying or unlawful discrimination. Differences enrich and diversify our community. If anything happens that makes you feel unwelcome or unsafe, the University is here to help you.

The Safer Community Program

The Safer Community Program is the University's support service for people who have experienced inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour, including bullying.

If you choose to make a report to the University, we can support you to do so. We can also refer you to other specialist support services and help you to deal with any impact on your studies.

Contact the Safer Community Program

Other support services

The following University services can also provide confidential support.

Counselling and Psychological Services
The University of Melbourne Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides free, confidential, short-term professional counselling to currently enrolled students and staff.

Chaplains are representatives of different faith groups in the wider community, who are placed in the University by their respective faith group with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

Lifeline provides anyone experiencing a personal crisis with access to online, phone, and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.

SuicideLine Victoria is a free 24/7 telephone, video and online counselling service offering professional support to people at risk of suicide, people concerned about someone else’s risk of suicide, and people bereaved by suicide.

University policies and information

Student Conduct Policy
Provides guidance on matters concerning behavioural standards and expectations for students.

Student Charter
Sets out what students are responsible for and what they are entitled to expect.

Appropriate behaviour on social media
Outlines the University's expectations of students and staff when using social media.

Child Safety Policy
Outlines the University’s commitment to child safety and appropriate standards of behaviour towards children. It also guides the development of systems and processes that support the prevention and management of child abuse risks.

Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy
Outlines the standards, values and expectations for appropriate behaviour in the workplace.

Respect at the University
Outlines the University's commitment to a safe, inclusive and respectful community.

Student complaints and grievances
Guides you through the student complaints and grievances process.