Respect. Now. Always.

Respect. Now. Always.

Photograph from the launch of the Respect. Now. Always. Action Plan 2018-20

Respect. Now. Always. at Macquarie

Sexual assault and sexual harassment are against the law. The impact on survivors can be long-lasting and devastating.  Macquarie University is committed to preventing and responding to sexual assault and harassment at the University, creating a culture of safety and respect for all students and staff.

In 2017, the Australian Human Rights Commission published a report into sexual violence in Australian universities: Change the Course. The Report identified that 51% of students taking part had experienced sexual harassment in 2016, and 7% reported being sexual assaulted in 2015/2016.

The Respect. Now. Always. (RNA) project at Macquarie aims to change our community culture, to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment, and to improve responses to sexual violence. It is led by the Vice-Chancellor Professor S. Bruce Dowton and executive sponsors Professor Kevin Jameson (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic) and Nicole Gower (Director, Human Resources).

RNA’s priorities and initiatives are overseen by an Implementation Committee, supported by a student advisory group and a staff advisory group. Each of these governance groups is guided by a Terms of Reference framework. To view a PDF copy of the Terms of Reference for each group, please visit one of the links below:

The RNA team works to develop and implement these initiatives.

12-Month RNA Action Plan Update

Since the August 2018 release of the Respect. Now. Always. Action Plan 2018-20, the Respect. Now. Always. team has been working with stakeholders and community across, and at all levels of, the University, as well as external agencies and services, to drive progress.

A 12-month progress report is now available - you can access the progress report in either Microsoft Word or PDF formats, per the links below:

If you have any questions or concerns in relation to the 12-month progress report, you can contact the Respect. Now. Always. team via e-mail at

Current initiatives

RNA Action Plan (2018-2020)

The Action Plan outlines Macquarie University’s response to the AHRC Report, as well as other sector reports, and has been developed through consultations with students and staff. It describes the priorities and actions which comprise RNA.

To view a PDF copy of the Action Plan, please click here.

To view an accessible, Microsoft Word format copy of the Action Plan, please click here.

RNA Education with StudentsRNA education for students is available online and face-to-face.

Online content is available via iLearn in the MQ Respect. Now. Always. community site. This includes the Consent Matters online course, which focuses on skills related to affirmative consent and taking action. It is expected that students will complete Consent Matters during their studies. To access and complete Consent Matters, please download the registration guide and follow the instructions.

RNA education for students also includes face-to-face workshops that run during Sessions 1 and 2. These workshops foster enhanced knowledge and skills regarding respectful relationships. You can find out more about workshops, and register, via the MQ Respect. Now. Always. community site on iLearn.

In August 2018, additional workshops are being delivered for students. These will focus on responding to disclosures of sexual assault or harassment, and advocacy and activism related to sexual violence.
RNA Education with Staff

RNA education for staff includes:

  • Developing skills regarding responding to disclosures of sexual assault and harassment;
  • Tailored training for University groups about the project, and ways that staff can be involved, in response to specific requests;
  • Universities Australia, working with the Australian Psychological Society, will also implement training for counselling staff who work most closely with students affected by sexual violence.
Partnerships. Now. Always.In partnership with the Widening Participation Unit at Macquarie, this project seeks to empower students from low socio-economic and other equity backgrounds as partners and co-facilitators in sexual violence prevention education efforts across our campus community.
Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy

The Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy removes some of the barriers students face in reporting and seeking support, with the introduction of reporting, including anonymous reporting via a simple online report form. This form can be used by any student or staff member to report incidents of sexual harassment or sexual harassment which involve students.

The Student Policy outlines behaviours which are not accepted by Macquarie University; what consent means in relation to those behaviours; how reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment concerning Macquarie University students can be made to the University; and how the University will respond to a report about sexual assault or sexual harassment committed by a student.

Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy

The Staff Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy brings our community’s attention to the important society issue of workplace sexual harassment.

The Staff Policy details what workplace sexual harassment is and how it might show up in our community. It articulates the rights, role and responsibilities of all staff and affiliates, and the part we all play in challenging problematic behaviours and building a culture of respect.

The Staff Policy also explains how staff can seek support and report sexual harassment.

Accommodation PartnersWorking with University accommodation providers, RNA aims to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment occurring in those settings, and improve responses. Accommodation providers are currently working on improved processes related to responding to reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and evaluating cultural factors which may need to be addressed as a part of prevention.

Content owner: Office of the Vice Chancellor Last updated: 29 Jun 2020 2:46pm

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