What is discrimination?

Discrimination can be described as:

  • Direct discrimination: treating, or proposing to treat, someone unfavourably because of a personal characteristic.
  • Indirect discrimination: when an unreasonable requirement, condition or practice is imposed that disadvantages a person or group because of a personal characteristic.

In Victoria, it is unlawful to discriminate against someone based on:

  • Age
  • Employment activity
  • Carer or parental status
  • Disability
  • Gender identity
  • Physical features
  • Industrial activity
  • Marital status
  • Political beliefs or activity
  • Religious beliefs or activity
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Race
  • Sexual orientation
  • Expunged homosexual conviction
  • Lawful sexual activity
  • Personal association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, one of these personal characteristics.

Source: Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

The University does not accept 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 discrimination.

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.

Student Equity and Disability support
Student Equity and Disability Support provides services for students who need ongoing support with their studies. We understand that adjustments to learning and assessment are sometimes required to allow all students to reach their full potential.

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.

University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) Legal Service
The UMSU Legal Service is a specialist community legal centre that provides free and confidential legal advice to all currently enrolled students of the University of Melbourne.

Australian Human Rights Commission
The Australian Human Rights Commission leads the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia, and resolves complaints of discrimination or breaches of human rights under federal laws.

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission provides free information about discrimination and a dispute resolution service to deal with complaints.

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.