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Equal Opportunity Policy

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Section 1 - Background Information

(1) This Policy has been developed to support equal opportunity, diversity and gender equality in employment and education for all staff and students at ACU.

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Section 2 - Policy Statement

(2) Australian Catholic University seeks to foster and promote teaching, research and scholarship in its widest and richest sense in accordance with the principles and traditions of the Church.

(3) The University supports the principles of equal opportunity in employment and education for its staff and students. This is consistent with the University’s mission and values, with its commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, the dignity of the human person and the common good.

(4) This Policy is designed to support the principle that staff are selected or promoted according to merit, staff diversity is embraced and all staff are paid equally for work of equal or comparable value.

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Section 3 - Policy Purpose

(5) Federal and State legislation relating to anti-discrimination and affirmative action imposes certain obligations on both the University and its staff. It is the policy of the University to conform with the obligations which are imposed upon it by all relevant legislation.

(6) The legislation covers a wide range of unlawful discrimination areas, both direct and indirect. Commonly included are:

  1. race;
  2. colour;
  3. national or ethnic origin;
  4. nationality;
  5. religion;
  6. sex or gender;
  7. marital status;
  8. pregnancy; and
  9. intellectual or physical impairment and disability.

(7) The University recognises that its pursuit of equal opportunity principles takes place within an evolving legislative framework.

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Section 4 - Application of Policy

(8) The University will at all times endeavour to:

  1. promote equal opportunity;
  2. prevent unlawful, direct and indirect discrimination, including sexual misconduct;
  3. develop and implement people management policies, procedures and practices in accordance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth);
  4. address, where appropriate and lawful, the effects of education disadvantage or past discriminatory practices within the general community, particularly in respect of disadvantaged groups within the University community;
  5. meet staff gender equality targets that contribute to the achievement of the University’s strategic objectives including gender pay equity across all roles, the implementation of appropriate, transparent and measurable action plans to address any identified gender pay gaps through an annual gender pay gap analysis;
  6. ensure that staff recruitment, selection, promotion, performance review, organisational change and other people management policies, procedures and practices will be free of patronage, bias, unlawful discrimination, promoting diversity and gender equality; and
  7. adopt policies, procedures and programs consistent with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination principles.

(9) In developing policies, procedures and programs to support equal opportunity, diversity and gender equality, the University will consult, as appropriate with staff and students. Procedures and programs will be monitored and evaluated against stated objectives.

(10) Every member of the University community is expected to be aware of such policies and of their own individual obligations under relevant State and Federal laws and to ensure that their actions conform to them. All heads of academic units, managers and supervisors have particular responsibility for programs to be implemented which are consistent with such laws.

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Section 5 - Approvals

(11) All approvals of decisions made in relation to developing and implementing policies, procedures and programs which support this Policy must be in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy and Register.

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Section 6 - Revisions made to this Policy

(12) The revision table includes revisions up until this document was migrated into the new policy system. Any later revisions will show in the Status and Details tab. 

Date Major, Minor or Editorial Description
25 January 2019 Major Updated to incorporate Service Central contact information.
23 January 2020 Minor Updated to incorporate Gender Pay Equity objectives.

(13) The University may make changes to this Policy from time to time to improve the effectiveness of its operation. In this regard, any staff member who wishes to make any comments about this Policy may forward their suggestions to People and Capability.

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Section 7 - Further Assistance

(14) Any staff member who requires assistance in understanding this Policy should first consult their nominated supervisor who is responsible for the implementation and operation of these arrangements in their work area. Should further information or advice be required staff should visit Service Central.

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Section 8 - Associated Information

(15) For related legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines and any supporting resources please refer to the Associated Information tab.