Reporting an incident at the ANU

Informal reporting

If you don’t want to make a formal report, you can talk to ANU Counselling, the Dean of Students, or Student Assistance Officers at ANUSA and PARSA. They can advise you of your options. Some courses of action are explained below.

Discipline Rule

If you have been victimised by another student, the university can investigate under The Discipline Rule. Once you make an allegation of misconduct, a ‘prescribed authority’ (the Dean, Registrar, or other nominated person) is required to determine whether to hold an inquiry. The procedure is flexible, and an inquiry can be held by the Vice-Chancellor, a prescribed authority, or other panel. If the university is satisfied that misconduct has occurred on the ‘balance of probabilities’, they can impose serious penalties including suspension or exclusion from campus. ANU cannot impose criminal punishments.

For more information, click here.

Other mechanisms

You can also report to the Head of a residential college, who can commence or refer action under the rules of that particular residence.

The ANU Student Complaint Resolution Procedure

If you want to report an incident within the ANU, you can make a complaint through the Student Complaint Resolution Procedure. However, there is no disciplinary action involved and it is not tailored to deal with incidences of sexual assault or harassment.

A student with immediate safety issues can contact ANU Security.

To receive advice on complaints and grievances at any stage of the process, you can contact the Dean of Students, ANUSA, PARSA, Access, Inclusion and Wellbeing, and the Counselling Centre.

Under this procedure, you can seek informal or formal resolution. After gathering information and advice, you can choose to take no further action, make an informal approach to the person concerned with the assistance of the Dean of Students, or proceed directly to the formal complaint resolution process.

To undertake the formal resolution process, you must lodge a written complaint to the ‘responsible officer’, who is the person with responsibility for the area, staff, or student involved. This can be a course convenor, a person’s supervisor or head of department, the Registrar of Student Life, or others. If the responsible officer is not identifiable, students can seek advice from the Dean of Students. The officer will aim to resolve the complaint confidentially and within 10 working days. For more information about what the officer will do and take into account, see the policy here. If the formal resolution process has not resulted in satisfactory resolution, it can be referred to the relevant Dean of an ANU College, Director of a Division, or a nominated mediator.

Some potential outcomes may be an oral or written apology, caution, an agreement to participate in mediation or counselling, and others. Disciplinary action is not part of this process, but the officer or mediator can refer the complaint for consideration under the ANU’s disciplinary provisions.

A review into the ANU’s policies and procedures surrounding sexual assault and harassment was completed in November 2017. In response, the ANU has promised to:
  • Implement a comprehensive framework and strategy to respond to sexual violence
  • Review procedures and mechanisms under which disciplinary action may be taken
  • Improve its communication to make clear its values regarding the rights of all students and staff have to be safe
  • Providing a one-stop unit to support survivors and coordinate responses to assaults on campus
  • Make the complaints process clearer, and easier to understand and navigate
  • Consider implementing mediation and restorative justice mechanisms