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:

  1. Recommendation 1: Developing leadership capabilities to lead change
  2. Recommendation 9: Introduce recurring Ethics and Integrity training
  3. Recommendation 15: Establish an independent Integrity Unit
  4. Recommendation 17: Review of the HR function and core enabling capabilities
  5. Recommendation 18: Streamline and refresh the University's Policy Framework as it relates to SASH and misconduct

Read the Transforming Culture Terms of Reference

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

Students can call 1300 167 654 or text +61 488 884 197 for support 24/7.

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

For staff and students

Staff and students are encouraged to raise concerns and report incidents through existing channels. 

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 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:

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.

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Get in touch

If you have a comment or query about the University's Transforming Culture Implementation project, you can email transforming.culture@adelaide.edu.au.

If you need to report sexual assault, sexual harassment or other inappropriate behaviour, you can email complaints@adelaide.edu.au

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