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The University of Adelaide has committed to adopting all of the recommendations made by ICAC. As a result, the University has established the ICAC Response Steering Committee.

The committee is responsible for shaping the University's response to the ICAC recommendations. This process will be supported by an independent consultancy. Stakeholders will have formal and informal opportunities to provide feedback and share their experiences. The committee will hear from the University community and be transparent about its work.

The committee will examine the ICAC recommendations and the Values and Behaviour Framework developed over the past 18 months at the University.

The committee is chaired by Professor Katrina Falkner, Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. The committee is comprised of:

  • Chief Operating Officer (Secretary)
  • an undergraduate student
  • a postgraduate student
  • an alumni member
  • a Gender Equity Committee member
  • two professional staff members
  • an early career academic
  • a professor
  • two external, independent members

The University's response to the ICAC recommendations will be a robust examination of how we respond to sexual harassment and sexual assault complaints and other poor behaviour. The wellbeing of our community is paramount, and we are committed to a culture of trust and respect.

We acknowledge that the impacts and experience of sexual assault and sexual harassment can be far reaching. Please be assured that support is available to assist.

For staff

You can access confidential support through the University's Employee Assistance Program.

For students

You can access support through the University's Counselling Services. Students can also speak to a dedicated experienced sexual violence counsellor.

Crisis support is available, including the University's Crisis Line which offers out of hours phone support:

  • Weekdays - 5pm to 9am
  • Weekends and public holidays - 24 hours
  • Call 1300 167 654 or text +61 488 884 197

Students can always report an incident via the Safer Campus Community website.

For staff and students

Staff and students can report sexual assault or sexual harassment to complaints@adelaide.edu.au.

For the broader community

Lifeline and BeyondBlue offer 24/7 crisis support by phone, text and online chat.

In a statement released on 26 August 2020, ICAC made the following recommendations:

  1. The University should consider introducing a policy on the briefing of external lawyers. Such a policy should require that the General Counsel receives a copy of advices from external lawyers through the Legal Advices Register and that such matters are not excluded from monthly reports to General Counsel;
  2. The University review its three-tiered system of policies, procedures and guidelines on inappropriate sexual contact and sexual harassment with a view to introducing a policy or policies that are understandable;
  3. The University should consider an education program for all existing members of staff and for future employees about sexual harassment and the policy process to be followed;
  4. Ensure the University's policy on sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual contact between staff members is easily accessible to staff online;
  5. As part of its review, the University should consider:
    1. assigning an independent support person to any staff member who reports unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment that is substantiated. The support should not cease at the end of an investigation, but be made available to a victim beyond the resolution of the matter and for as long as necessary; and
    2. mandating that complainants be formally advised, in writing, of the outcome of an investigation or process.
  6. All reports of substantiated misconduct, irrespective of the seniority of the staff member, should be included in the University's records management system;
  7. The University review its education of staff to ensure that there is a program with respect to the reporting obligations to the OPI and in particular, those obligations with respect to conduct which is not corruption. This review should also extend to the University's induction program to ensure it includes reference to the ICAC's jurisdiction on serious or systemic misconduct and maladministration in public administration; and
  8. The University review its education of staff about conflicts of interest.

You can also read the full ICAC statement.

The University appointed KPMG as an independent consultant to support our response to the ICAC recommendations. The Steering Committee worked closely with KPMG to design an engagement program that gave our staff, students and alumni the opportunity to share their feedback and experiences. This consultation period has now closed.

Consultation was focused on gaining insight into how the University's policies, procedures and processes relating to sexual assault and sexual harassment are applied, and the lived experience of interacting with them. Staff, students and alumni had access to formal and informal feedback channels, with consultation tailored to each group. Opportunities included workshops, one-on-one interviews, short online surveys, and access to an independently monitored mailbox.

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  • Who is on the ICAC Response Steering Committee, and how were they selected?

    The committee is chaired by Professor Katrina Falkner, Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, and is made up of a broad range of stakeholders from the University, including:

    • Chief Operating Officer (Secretary)
    • an undergraduate student
    • a postgraduate student
    • an alumni member
    • a Gender Equity Committee member
    • two professional staff members
    • an early career academic
    • a professor
    • two external, independent members

    The committee members represent a gender-balanced and diverse group of individuals. Given the sensitivity of the committee’s work, the committee has chosen not to publish individual committee members’ names on the website.

    Committee members were identified by seeking recommendations from across the University community and had regard for disciplinary background, different levels of seniority, and campus location. The two external independent committee members were selected for their expertise in governance, diversity and inclusion.

  • Why was KPMG selected to support the University with its response to the ICAC recommendations?

    Following a competitive tender process, KPMG was selected as the independent consulting group on this project.

    KPMG have broad experience in driving organisational, cultural and behavioural change in response to sexual assault and sexual harassment across a number of industries, including higher education. KPMG demonstrate the organisational values that align with our goals, including promoting a constructive and respectful culture, a strong commitment to providing a safe working environment free from harassment, bullying, victimisation and discrimination.

    Appointing an independent consulting group also gives our community confidence in their ability to engage with this review in a full and frank manner.

  • Will the University release any findings or reports from KPMG’s independent review?

    We are committed to keeping our staff, students, alumni and other key stakeholders informed about what we are doing to ensure a safe, respectful and inclusive environment. As we work to address and implement the recommendations in the coming months we will continue to share progress updates, and opportunities for getting involved through weekly Staff News and Student News email bulletins, monthly Alumni E-news bulletins, and updates to this website.

    In addition to progress reports, we will also report back on key issues identified, areas for action, and the steps we will take to address them.

  • What is in the scope of this work?

    The University has committed to implementing all of the ICAC recommendations. In addition, we have engaged KPMG to provide an independent review of our current approach to sexual assault and sexual harassment. KPMG has developed an assessment framework which considers issues including the broader inclusion and diversity environment, leadership, education and training, governance, accountability and risk management in our prevention of and response to sexual assault and sexual harassment.

    KPMG will work with us to design a consultation process that allows us to engage meaningfully with staff, students and alumni about the issues that affect them.

    Phase

    Timing

    Information

    Initiate

    Nov 2020

    Agreeing project scope, governance and outcomes

    Analyse

    Nov – Dec 2020

    Independent review of current policies, procedures, training/education materials for staff and students, governance and reporting against ICAC recommendations and leading practice on sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention and response.

    Targeted consultation

    Nov – Dec 2020

    Early engagement with a sample of leaders and staff to understand implementation of current practices and to complement the desktop review.

     

    Leadership engagement (including Vice-Chancellor’s Executive and Convenor’s Committee) to explore the role of leaders in shaping culture, behaviour and institutional response.

    Co-design

    Jan 2021

    Co-design of a broad consultation approach to engage across the University community, focusing on understanding lived experiences and hearing from diverse voices

    Engage

    From Feb 2021

    Broad and diverse stakeholder engagement, utilising a range of different means. Engagement will be focused on understanding different experiences across the University community, identifying any additional issues and developing an effective and appropriate response.

    Implement

    Across 2021

    Reporting back to stakeholders about agreed next steps.

     

    Implementing agreed actions and interventions, based on ICAC recommendations and engagement with the University community.

     

In early 2020, the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) undertook a survey available to all staff at the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia. The purpose of the survey was to better understand the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of staff at the three universities in relation to matters of integrity.

As part of our commitment to transparency, we have published the following survey findings provided by ICAC:

There are some issues raised in the survey findings that overlap with the scope of the ICAC Response Steering Committee. However, the key focus for the Steering Committee is in responding to the issues raised by ICAC as part of its investigation into the former Vice-Chancellor of the University.

Where the survey findings relate to other matters, the University will prepare a separate response. Further information about that response will be provided in 2021.

Get in touch

If you have a comment or query about the University's ICAC Response project, you can email icac_response@adelaide.edu.au.

All media enquiries are to be directed to the Media Office on +61 8 8313 0814 or media@adelaide.edu.au.