Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.80
Liaison Corey Peterson
Submission Date June 2, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Tasmania
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Sustainability Team
Infrastructure Services and Development
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

University of Tasmania Behaviour Policy (https://www.utas.edu.au/policy/policies/governance-and-accountability/6.4-Behaviour-Policy) states that "the behaviour of all University community members will be considerate of others and consistent with the University’s values – respect and self-respect, fairness and justice, integrity, trust and trustworthiness, responsibility and honesty" and that inappropriate behaviour is not accepted by the University.
Examples of inappropriate behaviour are published in the Behaviour Procedure (https://www.utas.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1368554/Behaviour-Procedure.pdf) and include direct and indirect discrimination, and behaviour which offends, humiliates, or intimidates on the basis of certain attributes (for example, race, age, disability, religion, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation).

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

The University of Tasmania is committed to ensuring that it takes all reasonable steps to provide a study and work environment that is free from inappropriate workplace behaviour, including discrimination (bias).
The University Behaviour Procedure sets out the process and avenues that University community members and others can access to resolve concerns and complaints regarding inappropriate behaviour by a University community member. What constitutes inappropriate behaviour is set out in the University Behaviour Procedure, and includes any form of discrimination, nd behaviour which offends, humiliates, or intimidates on the basis of certain attributes. Discrimination is defined as treating a person or group less favourably on the basis having a particular characteristic or attribute, including (but not limited to): age, race, disability, gender, gender identity, intersex variations of sex characteristics, sexual orientation, religion, association with a person who has or is believed to have any of the mentioned (and other) attributes. The Procedure details how to report inappropriate behaviour, how this behaviour is assessed and resolved, and how to report to an external agency if needed.

Formal written complaints are reported through the Safe and Fair Community Unit (SaFCU). SaFCU (https://www.utas.edu.au/about/safety-security-and-wellbeing/safe-and-fair-community-unit) is a University-wide service providing support, advice and information to assist all University community members to be safe and well. They respond to notifications of sexual assault or sexual harassment, concerns raised in relation to wellbeing or behaviour (including bias), reports of misconduct and the lodgement of general concerns or complaints.
Behaviour Contact Officers (BCOs) are also available to assist university community members as a first point of contact for anyone experiencing perceived adverse behaviour by others, while at work or study. BCOs are trained by the Equal Opportunity Commission and have an understanding of different types of inappropriate behaviour, such as discrimination, harassment, unwanted sexual behaviour and bullying. BCOs provide information (about rights, options and counselling services) and can act as a support person.

Anyone who has experienced or witnessed discrimination at the University, or has concerns regarding this type of behaviour, is encouraged to: seek advice, seek informal resolution, lodge a written complaint or request investigation by the University. Generally, the complainant will direct the progress of the complaint through this procedure sequentially, but they have the right to request the complaint to be progressed to a later stage at any time. Complaints can be lodged online or via direct contact with SaFCU or a BCO. All complaints are documented and managed by SaFCU. After a complaint is submitted, SaFCU contacts the complainant to discuss the incident. Information about rights, procedure options and counselling and other services is provided (or expanded upon if the reporter has already talked to a BCO). The complainant is also notified of any follow up related to the complaint if relevant.

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

There are a number of scholarship specifically designed to recruit student from underrepresented groups. A few examples include:
- Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Scholarship - Up to three scholarships are provided by the University of Tasmania annually to support Tasmanian Asylum seekers to undertake undergraduate tertiary studies
- Campus Community Builders at UTAS Scholarship - Available to a student commencing undergraduate study in any discipline at a Launceston campus of the University of Tasmania. Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial need.
- Gilbertson Family Scholarship: Available to undergraduate, honours and postgraduate students with specific learning difficulties, for example dyslexia, in any field of study at the University of Tasmania.
- Women in Maritime Engineering Scholarship - To increase female participation in maritime engineering programmes, the National Centre for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics, Australian Maritime College offers great scholarships to young women. Scholarships will be awarded to female students who are commencing study in Semester 1 (...) for any maritime engineering courses with specialisations in naval architecture, ocean engineering or marine and offshore engineering.

Several strategies have been implemented to date to assist in promotion and recruitment of Aboriginal people into academic and non-academic positions by the Talent Acquisition Partner, Aboriginal Employment.
- Internship roles – 6 weeks for Aboriginal undergraduate and postgraduate students to participate an intern role in their area of study
- Identified positions – these are roles that allow positive discrimination for Aboriginal people only recruitment. Such roles require inherent tasks that engage with Aboriginal people and communities within the position description.
- Creation of Indigenous Research Fellow positions (Social Work, Education, Sociology and Humanities) for early academic recruitment
- Implementation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment talent register
- Ensuring that the current Aboriginal staff cohort are supported and provision of professional development funding opportunities
- Targeted recruitment – where Aboriginal people with a particular skillset is identified, that area of the University is approached for negotiation of employment
-An Aboriginal Employment Plan 2021-2024 was implemented in 2021. The AEP has four key strategic priority areas, which include: supporting workplace environment and wellbeing by identifying the need for a culturally safe and inclusive workplace; increasing the number of Indigenous staff at the University by 3% by 2024, with a range of key initiatives designed to assist building our Indigenous workforce; to build a connected community to ensure the AEP is successful by engaging with key contributors from within the University network to provide expertise and input; and the provision of resources and funding by delivering a range of functions and roles that will assist in facilitating workforce participation.

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs designed specifically to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs designed specifically to support academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support non-academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

The Ally Network (https://www.utas.edu.au/equity-diversity/ally-network) is formed by staff and students and it has an active role in directly supporting University community members with diverse sexualities and gender identities. A list of Allies is publicly available. The main aims of the Network are to:
- Provide a visible network of identified ALLIES to people of diverse sexualities and gender identities to be agents of change
- Create a safe, nurturing, inclusive, and affirming University environment
- Build a support and advocacy network through education; develop further awareness and visibility of staff and students of diverse sexualities and gender identities and their issues

The SPEERMENT (Specialist Peer Mentor Program) gives students on the autism spectrum support and assistance to help organise and manage their studies. Mentors check that students are on track to meet all of the course assessment requirements. This includes determining if the student with autism understands and has all the information they need to successfully complete tasks. If the assessment involves group work, the mentoring work includes helping the student develop skills to better understand the social aspects of task completion. The weekly check-in also serves to determine if a student is coping OK with their overall workload. Mentors engage in continuous review and reflection of their work to determine how to improve the process of their mentoring to achieve the outcomes needed by the student. The program means that these mentors, too, will leave the university and take the skills and knowledge they have learnt into the wider community for the benefit of all.

The Community of Practice for neurodivergent staff is a place to share knowledge, develop skills and engage with professional development for neurodivergent staff at the University of Tasmania. It has a practical focus on strategies, adjustments, communication and innovation.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

The UTAS 2021-2024 Aboriginal Employment Plan 2021-2024 lists a range of initiatives to meet its objective of increasing the number of Aboriginal Staff at the University to 3% by 2024. It is an ambitious target, as just over 1.27% of our workforce were Aboriginal in 2021, yet the Tasmanian population figure is 4.6%. These initiatives will assist in building our Aboriginal workforce, increasing employment opportunities, enabling career progression initiatives, and supporting our Aboriginal students to participate in employment at the University, including KPI’s and targets for Colleges and Divisions.

The implementation of 'pipeline' programs for Aboriginal students are part of these initiatives, including internal talent support initiatives (developing career pathways, succession planning pathways, identifying internal talent and support their growth) and Aboriginal Students Employment Pathways (including graduate, intern, cadetship, research assistant programs, and more research fellow academic positions to support PhD students). The student intern program has been implemented and takes place each year and our research fellow academic positions continue to grow.

The Aboriginal Student Employment Program is run annually and allows students to complete paid employment in a school or division that aligns with their career goals. This Program provides the University with an opportunity to ‘grow our own’ staff through work experience for eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate and postgraduate students across Colleges and Divisions.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Register is now in place and being promoted. This will allow us to create a talent pool of suitable candidates. We will also be creating a toolkit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants to support them with their applications.

In 2020 the Pro Vice Chancellor of Aboriginal Leadership was established. The Office of the PVC collaborates with the People and Wellbeing portfolio and all Colleges to grow our Indigenous staff cohort across the University while also implementing the initiatives from the Strategic Plan for Aboriginal Engagement 2021-2024. This includes encouraging and providing academic staff with capacity to apply for grants that support creation of higher degree by research opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. This year has seen a multitude of Indigenous Graduate and Fellowship positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and we will continue to promote these opportunities across the University. Through Riawunna and the Aboriginal Leadership office we will be engaging with 3rd / 4th year, honours, and PhD Aboriginal students to build this profile for employment opportunities.

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Alumni group has been created which allows People and Wellbeing and the Aboriginal Leadership office to send out regular bulletins including vacancies, development opportunities, etc. and we are currently working on developing an Aboriginal Alumni engagement strategy (which would potentially include things like a career café, career and capacity conversations).

We will also be implementing a Shared Table working group which will include key stakeholders from across the University and allow members to share expertise and successful practice and monitor progress. Part of this Shared Table will be implementing targets for Colleges and Divisions. There will be discussions around Identified and Targeted opportunities, as well as the need to consider some entry level positions as a start.

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.