Respect. Now. Always. - Campaign Launch

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
12 Feb 2016

Prof Celia Hammond

The University of Notre Dame Australia is joining with all other Australian universities in a new national initiative driven by Universities Australia to ensure all students and staff continue to promote a culture of safety and respect in their university community.

The Respect. Now. Always. campaign, launched today, seeks to raise awareness among university students and staff that sexual assault and sexual harassment are unacceptable, and to ensure that avenues of support are available, appropriate and easily accessible. The campaign coincides with the Australian release of the US documentary The Hunting Ground.

The campaign also seeks to examine best practice approaches to cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment in Australia and around the world to ensure responses by the higher education sector are well informed and improved.

Professor Celia Hammond, Notre Dame Vice Chancellor, said the campaign reflected the longstanding work of the University in establishing a learning environment built on Catholic faith and values and the ongoing commitment to pastoral care of all students.

"Notre Dame supports this campaign and further reinforces the message that sexual assault and sexual harassment are unacceptable," Professor Hammond said.

"Our shared task as a University community is to strengthen a culture of awareness, prevention and support across all of its Campuses to encourage the safest environment in which to study, socialise and flourish in university life."

The University has a number of on-Campus support services available to students, including a confidential counselling service and grievance officers trusted with discussing many issues affecting a student's academic or personal life.

Student and staff seminars on the topic of on-Campus security and safety are held each semester. Notre Dame also has 24-hour security who work hard to ensure students have access to a safe university environment at all times.

"Notre Dame is committed to the safety and security of both students and staff on Campus, and we encourage those in our community to step in, speak up or seek help if needed. Notre Dame continues to build a strong culture of respect, safety and tolerance to ensure all students and staff have the best possible opportunity to grow personally and professionally in order to serve the common good," Professor Hammond said.