Respect. Now. Always.’: Working together to address sexual violence in university communities

Dr Renee Hamilton1

1Universities Australia,  Deakin, Australia

In February 2016, Universities Australia (UA) – the peak body for the higher education sector – launched the Respect. Now. Always. initiative to address sexual assault and sexual harassment. This initiative is a world-first, bringing together Australia’s 39 universities to address, and ultimately prevent these unacceptable behaviours in university communities. Respect. Now. Always. has three aims: to lift the visibility of support services; to obtain robust data to guide improvements in policies and procedures; and to share best practice.  As part of the Respect. Now. Always. program of work, UA asked the Australian Human Rights Commission to undertake a national survey of students on sexual assault and sexual harassment. The results of this survey will be released on 1 August 2017. In this workshop, Universities Australia will discuss the results of the survey and the program of work the sector is undertaking. UA is keen to work with conference delegates, both within and external to the higher education sector, to explore potential areas of collaboration; identify strategic priorities in the short, medium and long-term; and discuss potential work targeted at particular groups, including international students and the LGBTIQ+ community. This workshop is a unique and valuable opportunity for conference delegates to share their learnings with each other, with the aim of better supporting students affected by sexual assault and harassment.


Renee is the Director of Strategic Initiatives in Universities Australia, the peak body for the higher education sector. She is the policy lead on the sector-wide Respect. Now. Always. initiative that aims to address sexual assault and sexual harassment in universities. Prior to her role in UA, she worked on gender equality policy for the Commonwealth Government, including the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010-2022. Renee’s academic and professional background is in psychology and she has worked with vulenerable children, young people and families, including those who have experienced domestic and family violence.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

For more information, please visit the ISANA website at

Conference Managers

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