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Student Hub: Respect. Now. Always.

Respect. Now. Always.

We are committed to creating a healthy, safe and respectful culture that embraces and celebrates the diversity of our community of students and staff.

This means we strive to ensure our learning environments (on campus and online) are free from bullying, discrimination, harassment and sexual violence, instead working together to deliver an inclusive environment where every individual can succeed in their study or work.

Sexual Harassment is never OK.

If you, or someone you know, has been affected by an incident of sexual assault or harassment, support is available.


Consent Matters

To assist our students and staff in identifying consent and how to seek it, we are pleased to introduce Consent Mattera new, fully interactive one-hour online course.  Visit your BlackBoard site to access this course. Everyone is encouraged to complete this course as a means of assisting in recognising and avoiding difficult situations.

As a student you have the right to feel safe and secure at all times and to be able to fully participate in all aspects of uni life. We will support students who report sexual harassment or sexual assault. There are internal and external options available. You will find some suggestions and resources to assist listed on this page.

Our Counselling team are ready to talk to you about any aspect of sexual assault, sexual harassment or family violence. Keep in mind you can report past incidents, online incidents, on behalf of someone else and anonymously.

We will work with you to identify the specific support you need. This may include counselling and support with academic matters such as applying for special consideration. We can also connect you with additional services such as health, housing and legal assistance.

When you report sexual assault or harassment we will take a person-centred approach, which means we will respect your privacy and how you want to deal with the matter. If we believe there is a risk to the broader community, we may need to use the specific information you provide to protect others. At all times, we will inform you how we use the information you provide. To report an incident anonymously, you may use to reporting button below:

Report an incident here

  • If you prefer to speak directly with someone about the incident, contact a Torrens / Think First Responder. 
  • Keep in mind you can report past incidents, online incidents, on behalf of someone else and anonymously.
  • Detailed information about reporting an incident is available in the Frequently asked questions tab above.

Torrens / Think First Responders by Campus:

Adelaide

Campus Director: Eloise Pascoe

Manager, Contact Centre: Saki Likouresis

Counsellor:  Rebecca Schulz

 

Flinders St.

Campus Director:  Terese McAleese

Counsellor:  Vanessa Bryden

Fitzroy

Campus Director:  Karen Scott

Counsellor:  Vanessa Bryden

Brisbane (Gotha & Bowen Terrace)

Acting Campus Director:  Sharon Toso

Auckland

Campus Director:  Eric Thompson

Counsellor:  Flora Sta Ana

Kent St.

Campus Director: Kim Sabey

Student Services Advisor:  Erin Lu

Counsellor: Miriam Holder

The Rocks

Campus Director: David Whyte

Academic Skills Facilitator:  Caroline Spaans

Counsellor:  Miraa Best

Pyrmont

Campus Director:  Georgie Bellas

Lecturer, Health Sciences: Helen Hodgson

Program Director, School of Health Sciences:  Lisa Walsh

Counsellor:  Miriam Holder

Ultimo

Campus Director:  Rebecca Murphy

Head Librarian:  Holly Radunz

Counsellor:  Miraa Best

William Blue Dining

Restaurant Operations Manager: Najwa Haddad

Blue Mountains, Town Hall Campus

Campus Director:  Darren O’Connell

Library and Learning Advisor: Bec Gurney

Counsellors:  Rosita Inghamn; Paula Owen

Blue Mountains, Leura Campus

Campus Director:  Melinda McLeod

Student Life Coordinator:  Adriana Glackin

Counsellors:  Rosita Inghamn; Paula Owen

Definitions: What is assault, harassment...?

Sexual misconduct is a term used by Torrens / Think to describe behaviour of a sexual nature which is unacceptable. Sexual misconduct is a broad term, encompassing various types of conduct. Sexual misconduct can involve behaviour by a person of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different genders.

Read more detailed definitions of sexual misconduct, assault, harassment as outlined in our policy.

How is privacy maintained?

The personal information about you and any other person mentioned in your report will be held, stored, used and disclosed by us solely for the following purposes and in the following ways:

  • To keep a record of your report
  • To enable us to contact you to acknowledge your report and to provide information and possible referrals to support services
  • Where appropriate, to enable us to commence a misconduct assessment and investigation under a Torrens / Think Procedure in relation to a current Torrens / Think staff member or student
  • Where appropriate and necessary, to report to the Police or to a NSW Government agency such as the Department of Family & Community Services
  • To enable us to understand and respond to the risk of sexual misconduct at Torrens / Think

By "personal information" we mean information that names a person, or from which the identity of a person can be determined.

Data collected through the portal will also be aggregated and may be published by Torrens / Think in internal reports to assist Torrens / Think to identify areas or activities of heightened risk and take measures to reduce the incidence of sexual misconduct at Torrens / Think. Aggregated information does not identify individuals and does not include personal information.

PRIVACY COLLECTION NOTICE

Where you have provided your name or names of other individuals in this report, all information concerning yourself and the named individuals is personal information for the purposes of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW).

The University is collecting this personal information from you for the purpose of providing support services, letting you know what options are available, and for taking such actions as it considers necessary.  The privacy and confidentiality of the personal information collected will be respected; however, the University may disclose personal information to lessen or prevent a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of any individual.  In addition, where the University has reasonable grounds to believe a criminal offence has been committed, then personal information may be disclosed to the appropriate law enforcement agency.  Personal information may also be disclosed when the University is authorised or required by law to disclose such information: e.g. if the University becomes aware of a serious crime, or receives a Court order requiring disclosure.

Personal information collected about individuals other than yourself and without their consent can only be used by the University in accordance with University policies or procedures (e.g. Student Misconduct Procedure, Student Complaint Procedure etc.).

The following Torrens / Think staff will have access to the information provided in your report:

  • selected staff within the Student Support team and
  • Torrens / Think Response team members who provide triaging for the reports.

Depending on the nature of the incident the report may be directed to a responsible business unit contact for follow up. Such other business unit contacts include:

  • Director of Student Administration and Campus Operations,
  • Employee Relations Manager in HR

The supply of your personal information is voluntary; however, the University may not be able to provide the appropriate service, or take the any actions, unless you supply this personal information.

All individuals named in a report submitted to this portal will have the right of access to personal information held about them by the University and the right to request correction and amendment of it.

The University handles personal information in accordance with the Torrens / Think Privacy Policy.

Frequently Asked Questions on Reporting an incident of Sexual Misconduct

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about using the sexual misconduct portal to make an incident report. If you have a specific query, or if your question is not answered below, you can also email reportsexualmisconduct@laureate.edu.a

1. How can I report sexual misconduct at Torrens / Think?

Torrens / Think has established an online reporting portal to allow staff and students of Torrens / Think to report an incident of sexual misconduct to them. The portal can also be used to report an incident which has happened to someone else (for example, where you have witnessed an incident, or you are reporting on behalf of a friend or colleague). If you are reporting on behalf of another person, you must have their consent before you do so. However, if you have witnessed an incident and you don’t know the name of the person involved so you can’t seek their consent, you may report the incident.

2. Can I make an anonymous report to the Portal?

YES. You control what information you provide to us. You can use the portal in order to ensure that the University is aware of an incident, but you don’t want to share your name. If you choose to make an anonymous report, we are limited in the follow-up action we can take. For example, the University is unlikely to commence a formal investigation based upon an anonymous report. However, if a number of anonymous reports highlight particular activities or areas of risk, the University may take steps to reduce the risk of further incidents occurring.

3. Who can report?

You don't have to be a Torrens / Think student or staff member to make a report on the portal. A person making a report might be a victim of an incident, a witness to an incident or a support person, family member or friend of a victim or witness. However, where you are reporting something which happened to another person whom you identify in the report, you must have the consent of that person before you report an incident about them on their behalf.

4. What is the benefit in reporting a 'past' incident and what does 'past' mean?

The portal may be used to report incidents which are not recent. There is no uniformly accepted “normal” reaction to having experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct.  Each person’s reaction is an individual one.  Many people wait for years before they feel able to disclose an incident to someone.

Torrens / Think cannot investigate incidents which are not connected to Torrens / Think and there may be limits on our ability to investigate if the incident occurred in the past. However, even where Torrens / Think cannot investigate, we will do our best to assist with referrals and information to help our students and staff.

5. Where do portal reports go?

Reports made to this portal are delivered into a confidential mailbox that is administered by the National Student Support Manager. All reports are treated as confidential and will be managed as set out at Question 6 and Question 9 (below).

6. How will portal reports be managed by Torrens / Think?

Once the submit button is pressed, every report, including those submitted anonymously, will receive an immediate automatic acknowledgement which includes a unique submission ID. This ID number should be used in any further follow up queries. This is the only response a person who submitted an anonymous report will receive; the system has no way of identifying you or contacting you through this submission ID number alone.

If you DO identify yourself in the report and supply contact details, you will receive follow up communication from the Torrens / Think response team by the next working day by the preferred method you have indicated on the report (e.g. email or phone call).

After consultation with the person making the report, the Torrens / Think response team may provide you with referral details to other appropriate areas within Torrens / Think e.g. Counselling, Student Support Services, or HR. We may also suggest contacting external specialist support services like sexual assault services, external medical services and counsellors.

In some circumstances, a legal duty to inform the Police about a report concerning a serious indictable offence (meaning a crime punishable by a prison term of at least 5 years) will arise.  Under the Crimes Act (NSW) when a person knows or believes that the offence has been committed and has information which might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension of the offender or the prosecution or conviction of the offender they must not, without reasonable excuse, fail to bring it to the attention of the Police.  You will be consulted wherever possible prior to any notification in relation to your report being made.

Complaints or allegations of sexual misconduct against students of Torrens / Think will be addressed in accordance with the Torrens / Think Student Misconduct Policy. Complaints or allegations against Torrens / Think staff will be addressed in accordance with the Torrens / Think Staff Misconduct Policy. 

7. Can I contact someone at Torrens / Think rather than using the portal?

YES. There are a number of services and people who can support you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or you are unwell, and need to speak with someone immediately, you can contact your Campus Counsellor, and if you are a staff member, you can contact the Employee Assistance Program.

8. How can I make contact with a ‘First Responder’?

First Responders are staff of Torrens / Think who have been trained in acting as first responders in cases of sexual misconduct. If you email reportsexualmisconduct@laureate.edu.au you can enquire as to who would be the most relevant first responder for your case. A response with the contact details of the most appropriate first responder for you, will be provided. This email exchange can occur anonymously. Initial contact with a first responder can be by email, by phone or in person. We will include a link to trained first responders who have: volunteered their services; received first responder training; and have provided their contact details and permission on this webpage as more staff and students receive this training.

9. When will I get a response to my portal report?

Our aim is to provide a response by the preferred method you have indicated on the report (provided you have supplied your contact details) within 24 hours.  Sometimes that will not be possible: for example, if a report is made on a Friday, or during the University shut down period in December.

If you have made a report but you have not received an email acknowledgement within 72 hours, please email: reportsexualmisconduct@laureate.edu.au

(Please quote the submission ID you received when making the report through the portal).

It is very important that, where urgent medical or other help is needed, you do not wait for a response to a report made to the portal.  It may, for example, be important to contact the Police, or an ambulance, immediately after a serious incident occurs.  See ‘support services' on the Student Hub.

10. What are some of the potential outcomes from reporting?

What happens after you report an incident of sexual misconduct to Torrens / Think depends on a few things:

  • Whether the person reporting has supplied contact details
  • The nature of the incident
  • What action or support the person reporting the incident is seeking

Some examples of potential outcomes that could occur (as long as we have your contact details) are listed below.

Examples where complainant is a student

Outcomes: Provide support

  • A confidential discussion with a first responder
  • Contact from a Torrens / Think Counsellor
  • Advice to consult a Doctor (who could be the person’s  own Doctor (GP), or a local hospital accident and emergency service)
  • Conversation about accessing a specialist sexual assault service and what that would involve
  • Where there are concerns about academic matters such as assessments or exams, advice about how to seek special consideration (if applicable)
  • Where the other person involved in the incident is a Torrens / Think student or staff member, ways to manage activities at the University while any investigation takes place

Examples where complainant is either student or staff member

Outcomes: Dealing with alleged misconduct

  • Further discussion and investigation will be required to establish what happened
  • No Torrens / Think misconduct procedure can be commenced if the person said to be responsible is not identified.  Where the person said to be responsible for sexual misconduct is identified (as a student or staff member of Torrens / Think), the appropriate Torrens / Think staff member will consider what the next steps should be.  This may involve contacting the Police. If the Police commence an investigation, Torrens / Think will ordinarily not proceed with its own separate investigation until the outcome of the Police investigation (and, where applicable, any prosecution) is known.  This situation will not prevent Torrens / Think from providing support as described above.
  • If the conduct is investigated and found to be misconduct or serious misconduct, there are a range of possible outcomes, depending on the seriousness of the conduct.  Proven conduct of the most serious kind would involve consideration of exclusion of a student from Torrens / Think or termination of employment of a staff member.  Where a student in these circumstances is an overseas student, Torrens / Think will have reporting obligations to the Australian Government Office.

See the following Torrens / Think procedures for more information:

  • Student Complaint Policy
  • Student Misconduct Policy
  • Staff Conduct Policy
  • Student Conduct Policy

11. Can a report be made directly to the police?

Yes. There are 2 ways to make a report of sexual misconduct to the police.

1. Contact your nearest police station and make a formal complaint

In an emergency dial 000.

The police can also be contacted on the Police Assistance Line:

2. Complete a sexual assault reporting option questionnaire

The purpose of completing a questionnaire is not to enable a criminal investigation to take place but it can help police to take measures to protect the community and reduce repeat offending.  Read information on the questionnaire here: Sexual Assault Reporting Options. It is important to note that the questionnaire does ask for detail about the incident.  If you decide to complete the questionnaire, it is highly recommended that you have a friend with you to help you.  Completing the questionnaire may be very distressing for you. 

12. Can I report to both Torrens / Think AND to the police?

YES. You can report to both the police and to Torrens / Think (whether via the portal or through contacting a First Responder, other staff member or student leader etc.).

13. If I make a report to the Portal will the University report my situation to anyone else?

There may be occasional situations where Torrens / Think has a duty to inform the Police about a serious incident reported to it (See item 6 above). Where the Police commence an investigation, the University may need to wait to carry out any investigation, pending the outcome of police inquiries.  However, providing appropriate support, referrals and ensuring the safety of the person(s) affected will remain a priority for the University in all circumstances.

If the matter needs to be investigated under one of Torrens / Think’s Procedures (e.g. the Student Complaint Procedure), all parties to the matter including the person alleged to be responsible for the sexual misconduct will be advised that the matter is being investigated.

While most of our students are over the age of 16, in exceptional cases there may be Torrens / Think students who are under 16 years of age, and who are therefore considered to be children under the law. There may also be children on a Torrens / Think campus who are not students – for example, children attending a Torrens / Think campus with a parent who has obtained permission for their visit.  Under the law, there are obligations imposed upon certain types of professionals (for example, doctors, counsellors and child care workers) to notify relevant Government Departments and/or the Police where there are concerns that a child is experiencing, or is at risk of, sexual abuse.

More information is available on this Fact Sheet from the Australian Government: Child Family Community Australia for further information.

Where a staff member is accused of an incident of a more serious and/or unlawful nature it would be likely that the process outlined in the Staff Misconduct Policy for dealing with allegations of misconduct/serious misconduct would be activated.

14. Do I have to report to the police?

The University respects the right of individuals to decide for themselves whether to make a report to the police or not. In particular, Torrens / Think acknowledges and supports the NSW Health Policy Directive: Sexual Assault Services Policy and Procedure Manual (Adult) and Rights of the Client 'to make choices about proceeding with legal action' (2005, Page 16)

However, it is important to point out that under New South Wales law, if you have useful information about a serious criminal offence and you, without a reasonable excuse, don’t tell the Police, you may be committing an offence.  There may be a good reason why you do not want to make a report to the Police and where possible, this decision will be respected by Torrens / Think.

If you find yourself in this dilemma, Torrens / Think encourages you to seek legal advice. Students and staff can seek advice from any community legal centre or private legal practice.  (Please note that a private legal practice would ordinarily charge you fees for advice).

15. If I have already made a portal report can I add more information later?

Yes. But instead of going through the portal again all you need to do is send an email with the updated information to: reportsexualmisconduct@laureate.edu.au

Make sure you include in the email the submission ID you received when you submitted your original report to the portal.

16. Do you need a student ID number to make a report on the portal?

No.  However if you are making a report on behalf of a student, privacy laws provide that you must have their consent to make the report.

17. What happens if someone makes a false report?

Deliberately making a false report is a very serious matter. It is important to recognise the immense harm which a false report might cause; not only to the person wrongly accused of sexual misconduct, but also to that person’s family, friends and community. Deliberately making a false report is also potentially damaging to those who have in fact experienced sexual misconduct, and who may fear that they will not be believed because of the occurrence of false reports.

If the person found to have deliberately made a false report is a Torrens / Think staff member or student, this would amount to a breach of the Staff or Student Code of Conduct, and may result in a disciplinary outcome.

If you are not the person making a false report, but you are aware that someone has deliberately made a false report, you should email reportsexualmisconduct@laureate.edu.au as soon as possible. The Torrens / Think response team will be able to contact the appropriate Torrens / Think staff and take the matter further.

Consent, in this context, means freely and voluntarily agreeing to sexual activity. It also means taking responsibility for ensuring the other person is comfortable and agrees to engage in sexual activity with you. If someone is manipulated, threatened or forced into sex, or any sexual activity, or they are so intoxicated that they don’t know what is going on, then they are NOT consenting. 

Each and every time you engage in any kind of sexual activity, you must have the other person's consent. Never assume that a person is consenting because they have previously said yes, because of the way they act or dress, or for any other reason. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during a sexual encounter.

Resources:


Consent Matters

To assist our students and staff in identifying consent and how to seek it, we are pleased to introduce Consent Matters a new, fully interactive one-hour online course.  Everyone is encouraged to complete this course as a means of assisting in recognising and avoiding difficult situations.

As well as reporting an incident, you can choose to make a complaint about sexual assault or harassment at any time following the Student Complaints Policy for Think or Torrens.

We will investigate the complaint but we cannot make decisions about whether a crime has occurred. Instead we might determine that the Student or Staff Code of Conduct has been breached. Sometimes, if you have also made a report to the Police, we will be asked to suspend an internal investigation so as not jeopardise any criminal investigation. If this happens, we will let you know.

If you are 18 or over, we cannot report the matter to police on your behalf. If you decide to report the incident to the police, we can support you. The police have specialist staff who are trained to deal with reported sexual offences.

If you are under 18 years of age, we must report sexual offences and misconduct to the police.

Remember, if you’re in immediate danger, call 000.

1800 RESPECT

Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence counselling phone and webchat. Free 24/7

1800respect.org.au or 1800 737 732

Sexual Assault Counselling Australia 1800 211 028

Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia 1800 424 017

http://www.rape-dvservices.org.au/

Living Well

Online support for male survivors of sexual assault

livingwell.org.au

Lifeline:  13 11 14

Lifeline is a national charity providing anyone experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

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More information

  • Respect Now Always
    Find out more about the Universities Australia initiative to prevent and address sexual assault and harassment across the sector:
  • AHRC 'Change the Course' Report
    Read the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Report and recommendations on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities
  • Read our updated policy and procedure documents that are accessible through our Policy page to learn all about how we respond to and manage incidences of sexual assault and harassment.