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Respect. Now. Always. Resources

In February 2016, Australia's universities launched a groundbreaking initiative to prevent and address sexual assault and harassment across the sector.

Respect. Now. Always. highlights the determination of Australia’s universities to ensure that our universities are places of safety and respect.

It builds on work done by individual universities in Australia over many years to develop policies, reporting procedures and support services.

The campaign aims to:

  • raise awareness of sexual assault and sexual harassment and lift the visibility of support services for students;
  • obtain data to guide further improvement in university policies and services;
  • and assist universities in sharing global best practice resources across the sector​​.

For more information about the Respect. Now. Always. initiative, including information about the National university student survey and subsequent action plan, please visit the Universities Australia site.


As a part of the initiative, several resources have been created to aid universities in fostering a respectful and safe environment for staff and students. This includes specific resources around supervision of higher degree by research students.

Principles for Respectful Supervisory Relationships

In 2018, Universities Australia (UA) has also released the Principles for Respectful Supervisory Relationships  which were developed jointly by UA, Australian Council for Graduate Research (ACGR), National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA).

The  Principles make it clear that on the basis of the power imbalance that exists between supervisors and candidates, any sexual or romantic relationship that develops raises questions about capacity for consent and academic integrity and is therefore never appropriate. They also emphasise that a safe and supportive research training environment for all must be built on a culture of mutual respect and trust.

The Principles can be found here.

Respectful Research Training - Videos

The Australian Council of Graduate Research Inc has created a suite of videos that tackle a range of specific scenarios, including:

  • Respectful boundaries
  • Respectful teamwork and bullying
  • Research group relationships
  • Gender role expectations
  • Cultural differences

These videos, as well as an instruction manual, can be downloaded here and can be used to facilitate further training and discussion on these issues.

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