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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy states The University of Queensland's commitment to ensuring staff, students and visitors to the University are able to work, study and carry out their business in an environment that exemplifies respectful relationships and is free of discrimination and harassment. The policy outlines behaviours that might be potentially defined as racist and provides links to procedures to effect resolution of grievances.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Race - The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) defines Race as:

(a) colour; and

(b) descent or ancestry; and

(c) ethnicity or ethnic origin; and nationality or national origin.

Racial discrimination - treating someone less favourably because of his or her race, colour, descent, national origin or ethnic origin than someone of a different 'race' would be treated in a similar situation, or to impair that person's human rights or fundamental freedom in any field of public life. [Adapted from Australian Human Rights Commission information, and the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)].

Some examples of racial discrimination include restricted access to services and facilities, restrictive personnel practices (e.g. employment procedures, working conditions), or exclusion from work or study activities.

Race-based harassment - Some examples of race-based harassment include ridicule (e.g. name calling, use of derogatory slang, racist jokes), physical or emotional intimidation (e.g. physical threats or abuse, display of threatening or offensive slogans or graffiti).

Direct Discrimination - Direct Discrimination occurs when rules, practices or behaviours specifically exclude people or treat people less favourably on the basis of irrelevant personal characteristics.

Indirect Discrimination - Indirect Discrimination occurs when a rule or condition appears to be neutral and fair but in practice unfairly excludes a person or particular group. Examples of indirect discrimination include:

  • an employer decides to employ people who are over 190cm tall, although height is not pertinent to effective performance of the work. This disadvantages women and people of Asian origin, as there are more men of non-Asian origin who can comply. The discrimination is unlawful because the height requirement is unreasonable, there being no genuine occupational reason to justify it.
  • an employer requires employees to wear a uniform, including a cap, for appearance reasons, not for hygiene or safety reasons. The requirement is not directly discriminatory, but it has a discriminatory effect against people who are required by religious or cultural beliefs to wear particular headdress.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all staff and students of The University of Queensland.

4. Policy Statement

The University of Queensland values and celebrates the diversity of its staff and student body. It is committed to ensuring members of its University community work and study in an environment free of harassment and discrimination.

Racism and its manifestations, including racial prejudice or vilification on the basis of race or ethnicity constitute unacceptable behaviour at The University of Queensland.

The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of all staff and students of the University, however, managers and supervisors have a particular responsibility to take all reasonable steps to prevent the occurrence of racist behaviour and to take appropriate action in a timely manner to address any incidents that might arise.

Procedures to address complaints of discrimination, harassment or bullying on the basis of race are managed through the appropriate University grievance resolution procedures.

The University will not tolerate victimisation of a person who lodges a grievance or who is the subject of a grievance involving race.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Dunne