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Equity and Diversity Rule

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) This Rule provides an overarching statement of the University of New England's commitment to equity and diversity for UNE Representatives, Students, and the wider community. It articulates the University's commitment to providing an accessible and inclusive learning and work environment free from discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and vilification.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Rule applies to all UNE Representatives and Students of the University of New England.

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Section 3 - Rule

(3) The University of New England respects and acknowledges that its people, programs and facilities are built on land, and surrounded by a sense of belonging, both ancient and contemporary, of the world's oldest living culture. In doing so, UNE values and respects Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems as a vital part of the knowledge capital of Australia.

(4) The University aims to:

  1. have a Student and UNE Representative profile that represents the diversity in the Australian community;
  2. build a University community in which all members of the University are able to realise their full potential and participate in all aspects of University life;
  3. foster an inclusive and vibrant culture that respects and values diversity;
  4. implement accessible and inclusive policy, practices and programs in all its activities, including services, facilities, and communications;
  5. provide digital content, services, and systems that are as accessible to as many people as possible by adhering to digital accessibility guidelines;
  6. foster and develop curricula and research programs that are inclusive and draw on, and advance, diverse knowledge and experiences;
  7. promote social inclusion, for example, by partnering with other sectors and community-based organisations, to increase access to and promote success in learning and employment;
  8. ensure that the University's publications and official documents use inclusive and non-discriminatory language; and
  9. provide an environment free from discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and vilification.

(5) The University will not tolerate or condone unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation or vilification. It will provide avenues for resolving complaints of this nature by informal resolution or formal investigation. University policy and procedure will encourage informal resolution of complaints wherever possible and appropriate. Resolution processes will be fair, consistent, transparent and timely.

(6) The University is committed to preventing sexual assault and provides a framework to effectively respond to reports of sexual assault in accordance with Respect. Now. Always campaign, and highlights that the University will not tolerate sexual assault or harassment in respect of Students or UNE Representatives.

(7) The University has established a Diversity Advisory Committee to provide oversight and advice to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer on all aspects of equity and diversity for the University.The primary aim is for the Committee to assist in creating an environment characterised 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.

(8) Equity and Diversity Planning - The University of New England Strategic Plan is the key document in the University's cycle of planning and accountability. The University's key priorities in regards to equity, diversity, and inclusion are embedded in the University of New England Strategic Plan and associated Operational Plans.

(9) The University will operationalise the objectives identified in the Rule through specific plans and actions to address various aspects of diversity. These include:

  1. Multicultural Action Plan 
  2. Accessibility Access Plan 2019 - 2022
  3. UNE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy
  4. UNE Action Plan to implement University response to Change the Course Recommendations (Respect. Now. Always.)
  5. University of New England Workforce Plan 2017-2020 (staff username and password required for access).

Authority and Compliance

(10) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act, makes this University Rule.

(11) University Representatives and Students must observe it in relation to University matters.

(12) The Director Human Resource Services (as Rule Administrator) is authorised to make procedures and guidelines for the operation of this University Rule.  The procedures and guidelines must be compatible with the provisions of this Rule.

(13) This Rule operates as and from the Effective Date

(14) Previous policy on Equity and Diversity and related documents are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Rule

(15) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this University Rule, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this Rule where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of the Rule would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome.  Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.