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Terms of Reference (Vice-Chancellor approved) - Diversity Advisory Committee

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Section 1 - Overview


(1) The Diversity Advisory Group provides oversight and advice to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer on all aspects of diversity as it relates to students, staff and community stakeholders.

(2) UNE recognises that focusing more on diversity creates more tolerance and understanding of differences, and reduces fear and ignorance ensuring UNE becomes a better place to study and work.

(3) The intention is not for this to be a management driven Committee but a Committee which calls upon the interest and expertise of staff and students with strong connection and experience in varying diversity related issues.

Objectives of the Committee

(4) The primary aim is for the advisory group to assist in creating an environment characterized by equal access and respected participation of all groups and individuals regardless of cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, age, religious differences, abilities and disabilities, and sexual orientation.

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Section 2 - Committee Membership


(5) The members of the advisory group are both staff and students from across UNE who have relevant exposure or experience within the aspects of diversity. The members of the Committee are as follows:

  1. Ron McCallum (External Chair)
  2. Peter Creamer (Chief Operating Officer)
  3. Cary Bennett  (Lecturer, Sociology)
  4. Ann Geake (Office Manager, Duval)
  5. Mirela Suciu (Special Needs and Equity Unit) 
  6. Tim Harris (Educational Support Officer, Humanities)
  7. Polly Wong (Overseas Student Ministry)
  8. Theresa Smith-Ruig (Lecturer, UNE Business School)
  9. Dunya Alruhaimi (Project Officer, International/PhD student)
  10. Jay Westfold (Advancement)    
  11. Sophia Doran (Administrative Assistant, UNE Business School)
  12. Lee Atkinson-Barrett (Learning and Development Officer, HRS)
  13. David Thorsen (Director, HRS)
  14. Oliver Knox (Senior Lecturer, ERS)
  15. Lynda Creedy (Marketing and Public Affairs)
  16. Kate Pardy (SAS, Student)
  17. Peter Hall (Student)
  18. Chandra Sluggett (Student)
  19. Lorina Barker (Lecturer, School of Humanities)

In Attendance

(6) The Advisory Group may seek input from any other members of the University community from time to time, or invite University officials and representatives of various stakeholder groups to meetings depending on the need.

Term of Office

(7) Members shall serve a term of 12 months, with the possibility of extension for a further 12 months or more, depending on the continuing requirement of the Advisory Group.


(8) The Chair is external to UNE.  If Professor Ron McCallum is unavailable to act as Chair, then David Thorsen will act as Chair.

Gender Representative Objectives

(9) The objective will be to ensure, so far as is practicable, that the membership of the Committee includes the following gender representation:

  1. Where the Committee has five or more members, at least two of each gender; and
  2. Where the Committee has four or less members, at least one of each gender.
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Section 3 - Terms of Reference

(10) In supporting the UNE Strategic Plan, the Advisory Group will review and recommend strategies to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer broadly encompassing gender, race, sexual orientation, multiculturalism, aboriginality, age, disability, social inclusion and any other matters as it relates to diversity.  Specifically the Advisory Group will:

  1. Review existing diversity related initiatives (diversity initiatives are generally broad activities. Examples of such initiatives that are already in place or are in development include: student support services, multicultural plan, disability plans etc.).  Any proposed new diversity initiative needs to reflect the needs of students and/or staff (and be practical in relation to the capacity to resource and administer) that UNE has in place, and identify any areas of improvement and gaps to support diversity.
  2. Provide recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer on pro-active initiatives that may be introduced to ensure UNE becomes a more inclusive and diverse learning environment and workplace.  This includes prioritising recommended initiatives based on greatest need.
  3. Identify and ensure appropriate consultative mechanisms are in place to obtain input from staff, students and community stakeholders in relation to diversity issues.
  4. Recommend to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, consultative arrangements that effectively support ongoing focus on diversity across the University.
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Section 4 - Conduct of Committee Business


(11) The Committee will meet three (3) times per annum (or otherwise as required) in order to perform its functions. Committee members should be given at least four (4) months notice in advance of the next meeting, or such shorter notice period as is practicable where the matter is urgent.

Business Papers

(12) Unless the Chair directs otherwise, Committee business papers, or "flying minutes" and explanatory documents accompanying them, will be distributed to Committee members not less than seven (7) days before the next meeting. Disclosure of business papers, minutes and other information received by the Committee should be made via the Secretary to the Committee.


(13) A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the members of the Committee at the time the meeting is held.

Use of Technology

(14) For its business papers, meetings and otherwise to conduct its business the Committee and its members may use technology including telephone, video-conferencing, telepresence, email and internet as arranged by the Chair and/or Committee Secretary.


(15) The Committee may pass a resolution by "flying minute" provided that the resolution has been approved by a simple majority of the Committee members at the time the resolution is made.


(16) Meeting notes will be kept to a minimum and circulated promptly following the meeting, including all action items. These will not require formal endorsement by the Committee.


(17) A review of the Advisory Group will be conducted following the initial three meetings to ascertain the continuing requirement of the Advisory Group.

Secretary to Committee

(18) The Director Human Resource Services and/or nominee will act as Secretary and provide administrative support to the Committee.