Report sexual misconduct

You are encouraged to report any form of sexual misconduct that you may have experienced, seen or heard about. A report refers to making disclosure or making a complaint to the University. You have options for doing this.

  • The Safer Community Program assists students and staff to make an informed choice about how and when they want report sexual misconduct. The Safer Community Program connects students and staff to specialist support services within and external to the University.
  • The Speak Safely portal enables you to report sexual misconduct directly to the right area of the University. The portal has an encrypted chat function to protect your privacy and allow you to report anonymously if you want to. Read more about Speak Safely.

Sometimes just telling someone about an incident of sexual misconduct can help, whether or not you want the person to do anything about it. You might talk to friends or family, for instance, or you can make a disclosure by telling the University about your experience, or what you’ve seen or heard about. The University’s Safer Community Program specialises in providing support to students and staff wanting to make a disclosure.

A disclosure does not automatically result in further action. It may be a first step before you decide whether to make a complaint.

Sometimes the University will have a duty of care to progress the matter whether a complaint is made or not. This may be, for example, if we think there is an immediate risk to someone’s safety. If this is the case, the University will discuss with the person making the disclosure before taking action.

You can make a disclosure via:

  • the Safer Community Program. The Safer Community Program may refer you to specialist agencies for wellbeing and other assistance and provide advice on reporting to Victoria Police. The Safer Community Program can also help you identify the appropriate channel for making a complaint.
  • Human Resources (divisional HR staff or Workplace Relations) and/or your line manager, if you’re a staff member.
  • the Speak Safely portal, which offers the option of anonymity and an encrypted, anonymous chat function. Speak Safely will put you in touch with the right area according to the nature of your disclosure.
  • the independent reporting service where you can make a report online, or you can call 1800MULine (1800 685 463) during business hours (9am to 5.30pm AEST). Both options include the choice to report anonymously.
  • the University’s anonymous register. No personal information is collected through the anonymous register.

You can make a complaint when you want the University to investigate or to take specific action in response to an incident of sexual misconduct.

There is a range of options and choices of people that you can speak to if you want to make a complaint. These include anonymous reporting options, or speaking to staff with expertise in receiving complaints.

  • Complaints by or about students or former students can be made to the Academic Registrar via the online complaint form.
  • The Speak Safely portal, offers the option of anonymity and an encrypted, anonymous chat function.  Speak Safely will direct your complaint to the appropriate area.
  • Complaints about employees and all others (including Council members, emerita staff, honorary appointees, and others engaged in activities connected with the University), can be made by:
  • Every case is unique and the circumstances will determine the course of action.
  • Where an investigation (either internally or externally) is conducted, it will be impartial and grounded in principles of procedural fairness and the investigator will make findings of fact based on the available evidence and a balance of probabilities.
  • Both the complainant and the respondent will have opportunity to provide the investigator with written and verbal submissions and also nominate witnesses who may assist the investigation.
  • The complainant and respondent will be kept informed of the progress of the investigation and provided with the outcome of any investigation.
  • Where there are findings of fact against a staff respondent, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken as permitted by law.
  • Where an allegation of student sexual misconduct has been upheld through disciplinary proceedings, a penalty will be imposed in accordance with Part 6 of the Vice-Chancellor Regulation.
  • Sometimes a complaint can be resolved without an investigation, or there may be insufficient basis to conduct an investigation. In these circumstances, other options will be available to assist in resolving the issue. In some cases, there may not be any action taken. In such situations, support will still be available.

The duration of an investigation depends on the nature and complexity of the complaint, the number of complainants, the number of witnesses to be interviewed, the extent of material requiring review, and the availability of the complainant and respondent to be interviewed . The process could take anything from a matter of days to, in some cases, months.

  • We will provide support, listen to your concerns, validate your experience and respect your choices. If you choose to make a complaint, we will respond in a way that is fair to everyone.
  • We will keep you informed of the progress of the complaint and you will receive a report on its outcomes.
  • We will respect your confidentiality throughout the process.
  • Every case is unique and the circumstances will determine the course of action.
  • Where an investigation (either internally or externally) is conducted, it will be impartial and grounded in principles of procedural fairness and the investigator will make findings of fact based on the available evidence and a balance of probabilities.
  • You and the complainant will have opportunity to provide the investigator with written and verbal submissions and also nominate witnesses who may assist the investigation.
  • You and the complainant will be kept informed of the progress of the investigation and provided with the outcome of any investigation.
  • Where there are findings of fact against a staff respondent, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken as permitted by law.
  • Where an allegation of student sexual misconduct has been upheld through disciplinary proceedings, a penalty will be imposed in accordance with Part 6 of the Vice-Chancellor Regulation.
  • Where there is insufficient basis to conduct an investigation, other options will be available to assist in resolving the issue. In some cases, there may not be any action taken. Even in this situation, support will still be available.
  • A victim-centric approach does not suggest there is any bias against a respondent prior to investigation.

A complaint can be made about a recent incident or one that has occurred at any time in the past. There is no time limit.

  • For incidents outside our jurisdiction, we will support the individual to report to the relevant authority and will provide access to internal and external support services.
  • The University will support anyone who has experienced sexual assault to make a report to Victoria Police if they wish to do so.
  • Complaints against former students or former staff of the University will be considered to determine what action may be taken.