Safe and Respectful Communities

The University of Wollongong is committed to creating a safe and respectful environment for all members of our community. We believe everyone has the right to feel safe and supported on campus, free from violence, abuse and harassment.

What is Safe and Respectful Communities?

The Safe and Respectful Communities (SARC) team is committed to creating a safe and respectful environment across all UOW campuses. SARC is responsible for supporting students who have witnessed or experienced sexual assault, harassment, domestic and family violence, bullying or discrimination. SARC is also leading the university’s prevention work in this space.

Contact SARC

Safe and Respectful Communities at UOW

SARC

The SARC Team works with students, staff and the wider community to educate and inform the university community about respectful relationships.

We promote safety on campus and aim to prevent sexual assault, violence and harassment at the University of Wollongong. 

When incidents do occur, we help manage them with a compassionate, trauma-informed and support focussed approach.

At UOW we encourage you to speak out and seek support if you have experienced or witnessed unacceptable behaviour

Such as...

sexual assault, harassment, violence, domestic violence, bullying, discrimination

So what happens when you contact us?

First, our trained staff will talk to you confidentially about what has happened.

We will listen to you, believe you and talk to you about your options to help you decide what happens next.

We can provide you with information and assistance and can connect you with support services at UOW and in the community who can help.

We can also support you to manage the impacts on your studies at UOW.

If what happened relates to a member of our university community, we will talk to you about whether our rules about behaviour at UOW may have been broken

You can decide if you want to make a formal report about what has happened to the university.

In some situations, UOW may need to take action to keep everyone safe.

Depending on what has happened, you may also decide to report the matter to the police. 

We can help you to do that.

Be assured, we will keep you informed and support you every step of the way. 

If you are an international student, reporting to the university or the police will not affect your visa.

Reach out to Safe and Respectful Communities – SARC – for information, support and advice

You can contact us by email through our website or by phone

Who can I contact?

Talk to us
Image of a student with a backpack Speak about an incident
UOW Security
UOW 24hr Student Wellbeing Support Line

Committed to creating a safe and respectful community.

We believe everyone has the right to feel safe and supported on campus, free from discrimination, harassment and assault.

Creating a culture of respect

At the University of Wollongong, we believe everyone has the right to feel safe, respected and supported on campus, free from discrimination, harassment and assault.

We have adopted all nine recommendations arising from the Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Change the Course’ report to support a safe and respectful environment for all of our students and staff. The critical ‘Change the Course’ report that was released in 2017 was developed based on the survey in 2016 reporting the prevalence of sexual assault and sexual harassment in Australian universities. All Australian universities are getting behind this important initiative.

Since the release, the University of Wollongong has improved governance, education and prevention strategies. The Safe and Respectful Communities Action Plan lays out an action to implement the recommendations that have arisen from that survey. Here at the University of Wollongong, we have a dedicated team to monitor processes to make sure that as a community we've got a very clear plan of action for both immediate and long term strategies that deal with the systemic and deeply distressing societal issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment. However, it is the collective responsibility of the entire university community to deal with these issues. So my plea is anyone who sees behaviour that is threatening, offensive or could be harassing or discriminatory in any way, please speak out, come forward and report it. We also need to be mindful of power relationships and creating environments that are supportive, nurturing and enabling. I urge anyone who has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment to contact formal channels in the university and access the special support services available. 

For our students, these support services are available regardless of where a student is living or where the incident occurred. Our university has adopted a support first model that works with the student to ensure that they are supported on their terms.  With any allegation of a criminal offence, individuals are encouraged and supported in reporting these incidents to the police. I am personally committed to addressing sexual assault and sexual harassment issues 

at our university campuses. Importantly, I want to make sure we are creating safe and supportive environments. We need to collectively commit to working together to ensure that this dark shadow over university life and our society is forever removed. University should be a beacon for hope, respect and dignity. Although I am proud to say that we've made some progress since the development of the Safe and Respectful Communities Action Plan, there is still so much more to be done and none of us can do this alone.

In particular, I need your help to change our culture, develop and refine processes, and to develop a culture of respect.  We also need to appropriately respond by supporting victims of abuse and sanctioning perpetrators through appropriate channels.

Let's commit to ending sexual violence and harassment on our campuses.

A safe and supportive environment

Colourful shoes standing next to a rainbow drawn in chalk on the ground Support for all
A graphic of two people sitting and talking How do YOU ask for sexual consent?

Contact the SARC team


The SARC team is responsible for leading the University’s work to prevent violence, abuse and harassment from occurring on our campuses. They are also responsible for providing a coordinated response and support if it does happen.