We are committed to transforming our culture, and ensuring that our community are supported to work, study and volunteer in a safe environment.
In August 2020 the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption released a Public Statement about an investigation into allegations of misconduct by the former Vice-Chancellor. The statement contained eight recommendations and the University committed to implementing all of them. To develop a detailed response to the recommendations, the University formed the ICAC Response Steering Committee, and KPMG Australia was appointed as an independent, external group to assist.
KPMG Australia conducted a review of relevant policies and procedures and facilitated a consultation program 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.
KPMG Australia delivered its final report in June 2021, which the University released in full. The report contains 22 recommendations, and the University has accepted all of them.
Transforming Culture Implementation Team
The Transforming Culture Implementation Team has been created to oversee implementation of the 22 recommendations. Chaired by Professor Katrina Falkner, the group includes:
- Executive Director, HR
- Acting Provost
- General Counsel and Executive Director, Legal and Risk
- Chief Information Officer
- Manager, Student Affairs
- An undergraduate student
- A Higher Degree by Research or Post Graduate Course Work student
- An early career academic
- A professor
- An external member with expertise in risk management
The Transforming Culture Implementation Team is responsible for preparing an implementation timeframe for the recommendations in two phases. The first phase is focused on five priority areas identified for immediate action:
- Recommendation 1: Developing leadership capabilities to lead change
- Recommendation 9: Introduce recurring Ethics and Integrity training
- Recommendation 15: Establish an independent Integrity Unit
- Recommendation 17: Review of the HR function and core enabling capabilities
- Recommendation 18: Streamline and refresh the University's Policy Framework as it relates to SASH and misconduct
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.
You can access confidential support through the University's Employee Assistance Program.
Students can call 1300 167 654 or text +61 488 884 197 for support 24/7.
For staff and students
Staff and students are encouraged to raise concerns and report incidents through existing channels.
For the broader community
In a statement released on 26 August 2020, ICAC made the following recommendations:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- Ensure the University's policy on sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual contact between staff members is easily accessible to staff online;
- As part of its review, the University should consider:
- 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
- mandating that complainants be formally advised, in writing, of the outcome of an investigation or process.
- All reports of substantiated misconduct, irrespective of the seniority of the staff member, should be included in the University's records management system;
- 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
- The University review its education of staff about conflicts of interest.
You can also read the full ICAC statement.
The KPMG Australia report made 22 recommendations:
|R1||Developing leadership capabilities to lead change|
|R1a||The Vice-Chancellor's Executive (VCE) to hold Values and Behaviours Workshops|
|R1b||Design and undertake a restorative engagement process|
|R2||Seek regular feedback from members of the University environment on culture, values and behaviours|
|R3||Embed the Values and Behaviours Framework|
|R4||Expand the Safer Campus Community initiative to incorporate staff safety|
|R5||Clearly communicate reporting options|
|R6||All reports of substantiated misconduct should be attached to staff files as standard practice, without exclusions, and access to staff files should be reviewed for appropriateness|
|R7||Ensure all reports related to SASH are recorded in a central database|
|R8||Risk management framework should be updated to reflect controls related to SASH and diversity and inclusion|
|R9||Introduce recurring Ethics and Integrity training|
|R10||Conflict of Interest training to be updated for the University's specific environment and mandated as part of induction and Ethics and Integrity training|
|R11||Develop and introduce a mandatory training program to educate staff on behavioural expectations and inappropriate behaviours in the University's context, with specific reference to sexual assault and sexual harassment|
|R12||Develop and introduce a role specific People Leaders training program|
|R13||Use role specific training for Fair Treatment Contact Officers (FTCO) to reinvigorate the FTCO network|
|R14||Enhance the training offering available to students on SASH topics|
|R15||Establish a University-wide independent Integrity Unit|
|R16||Develop a more rigorous approach to managing the safety and wellbeing of staff and students involved in a report or investigations process|
|R17||Review of the Human Resources (HR) function and core enabling capabilities|
|R18||Streamline and refresh the University Policy Framework as it relates to SASH and misconduct|
|R19||Introduce a standalone Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment policy for staff|
|R20||Expand the Student Policy Framework scope|
|R21||Redesign and standardise the Conflict of Interest Management process|
|R22||The Office of General Counsel draft a Governance Policy that relates to the treatment of legal advices|
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:
- The ICAC University Integrity Survey 2020 (includes feedback from more than 3,200 respondents across all three South Australian Universities)
- Survey results that relate specifically to the University of Adelaide
To acknowledge and respond to these concerns, and to identify where improvements can be made, the University has undertaken a review of its current policies and procedures. The findings of this exercise are documented in the The University of Adelaide Response to the 2020 ICAC University Integrity Survey.
Given the convergence on findings with the KPMG Australia report, many of the issues identified by the Integrity Survey will be addressed by the Transforming Culture Implementation Team.
Get in touch
If you have a comment or query about the University's Transforming Culture Implementation project, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need to report sexual assault, sexual harassment or other inappropriate behaviour, you can email email@example.com.