The Respect Taskforce

The Respect Taskforce is responsible for defining and prioritising the goals of the University in eliminating sexual assault and sexual harassment in its community. The Taskforce is overseen by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Life) and the Vice President (Strategy and Culture).

We work with partners on initiatives to prevent and respond to sexual harm in our community. Our initiatives and activities to date include the following:


In 2021, we are partnering with the eSafety Commissioner and Universities Australia on a pilot program to develop whole-of-institution approaches to preventing and responding to online harms. This program will build on the Online Safety toolkit already developed.

Active bystanders

Taking action when you witness inappropriate behaviour can make the University a safer place.

  • In 2017, members of the Academic Women in Leadership Program investigated the potential for bystander intervention. Read their report or brief or watch the video.
  • In 2018, the University partnered with VicHealth, the Office for Women, Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the Behavioural Insights Team to develop an evidence-based intervention to encourage active bystander behaviour. A series of emails encourages staff and students who witness sexist behaviours and sexual harassment to take action.

Anonymous Register for Inappropriate Behaviour

In 2019 we introduced an anonymous register for people who want to let us know about instances of inappropriate behaviour, but do not wish to make a formal report.

We use the information to better understand the scope and nature of inappropriate behaviours in our community, and develop solutions to prevent them from occurring. Here is what we've learned.

Respect. Now. Always.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released Change The Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities on 1 August 2017.

Access the University of Melbourne results, analysis report and press release.
The AHRC provided advice on how to read the institutional data.

The University committed to all nine recommendations in the report. Read about our progress.


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