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Equal Opportunity Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy outlines Charles Sturt University's commitment to equal opportunity in education and employment.

Scope

(2) This policy applies to all persons associated with Charles Sturt University (the University), including current and prospective staff and students, visitors and community stakeholders.

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Section 2 - Policy

Principles

(3) The principles of justice, fairness and equity, the pursuit of excellence and the application of the merit principle underpin this policy.

Responsibilities

(4) The University expects all staff and students to observe their obligations under relevant state and federal laws, to respect the rights and diversity of others and to ensure that their own conduct contributes to a work and study environment free of bullying, discrimination and harassment.

(5) Managers are responsible for implementing this policy, managing staff fairly, taking action to prevent bullying, discrimination and harassment and furthering the objectives of the University's employment and education equity plans in their operational areas.

Statement of commitment

(6) The University is committed to achieving equitable opportunity in employment and education, seeking to create a work and study environment that is responsive to, and inclusive of, the social and cultural diversity of the communities the University serves.

(7) To fulfil this commitment, the University will:

  1. take action to prevent unlawful discrimination against staff or students and identify and address any systemic barriers to equitable access and participation
  2. provide a place of employment and learning that is free of harassment and that supports the dignity and self-esteem of every student and staff member
  3. foster an organisational culture that values and is responsive to the diversity of the University's staff and students
  4. implement fair and inclusive management and administrative practices that enable a broader and more diverse level of participation in employment and education
  5. enhance the quality of student learning through the provision of culturally and socially inclusive curricula and teaching methods
  6. develop programs, in keeping with the principle of advancement by merit, that actively address the effects of past discrimination or disadvantage in the community and increase the participation and success of designated under-represented groups.

Equal opportunity programs

Equal opportunity in employment

(8) In accordance with its commitment to equal opportunity in employment and in order to comply with state and federal legislation, the University will continue to implement programs aimed at achieving:

  1. a diverse and skilled workforce
  2. a workplace culture based on inclusivity, fair practices and behaviour
  3. improved employment access and participation for under-represented groups including: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people with disability; people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, and women (in senior positions).

(9) The University's Workplace Gender Equity Strategy, Indigenous Australian Employment Strategy and the Accessibility Action Plan outline the key priorities, strategies, performance indicators and responsibilities for advancing equal employment opportunity through each University planning cycle.

Equal opportunity in education

(10) The University supports national goals to improve education opportunities, participation and outcomes for groups under-represented in higher education in Australia, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, people from rural and isolated areas, people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and to encourage participation in non-traditional courses of study:

  1. The University's Student strategy and First Nations strategy promote student pathways and engagement, and seek to grow on-campus student numbers and specialist support for international, equity and First Nations student groups.
  2. The Admissions Policy and Admissions Procedure set out the admissions equity and access schemes intended to promote access for under-represented groups and individuals who have experienced disadvantage in their preparation for university study.
  3. Plans and frameworks such as the Charles Sturt Retention Framework, Accessibility Action Plan and LGBTIQA+ Ally program set strategies and mechanisms to promote equitable access to education and university life.
  4. The University’s Student specialist support services website provides information for students seeking support.
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Section 3 - Procedure

(11) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(12) Nil.

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Section 5 - Glossary

(13) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. Equal opportunity - refers to the application of fair policies and processes that prevent unjustifiable discrimination and facilitate equitable outcomes.
  2. Discrimination – see the Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy and Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Procedure.
  3. Harassment – see the Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy and Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Procedure.