Policy: Equal opportunity
To inform staff and students of the University’s approach to advancing equal opportunity in employment and education within the University community.
The Equal opportunity policy outlines the University’s policy for ensuring equal access to employment, advancement and education opportunities for staff and students.
The University has an obligation to staff and students not to discriminate on the basis of one or more protected attributes: including sex; pregnancy; marital or relationship status; family responsibility; breastfeeding; race, colour, ethnic or ethno-religious background, descent or national identity; age; sexual orientation, gender identity, trans-sexuality or intersex status; disability; union affiliation, political conviction, religious belief or any other characteristic specified.
Discrimination can be direct and can occur by specific exclusion or adverse treatment based on a person’s personal characteristics. Discrimination can also be indirect, and can occur when a requirement or condition is imposed on everyone equally, but persons of a particular group would have difficulty complying with the requirement because of their personal characteristics.
This Policy applies across the University.
- The Australian National University is committed to equal opportunity in education and employment for students and staff, and prospective students and staff. This commitment is consistent with the University's pursuit of excellence as an education-intensive research institute of international distinction, and is underpinned by values of integrity in activities, respect in relationships and collegiality in the building of a community of scholarship and learning.
- The University will continue to integrate the principles of equal opportunity in its planning, policies and practices that advance the distinctive nature and purpose of the University.
- The University will promote inclusive work and study environments that value the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives of the University community. This means that the University will continue to:
- improve access, participation and inclusion of particular equal opportunity groups who have been traditionally under-represented, through review of policy and practices and implementing special measures; and
- eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sex; pregnancy; marital or relationship status; family responsibility; breastfeeding; race, colour, ethnic or ethno-religious background, descent or national identity; age; sexual orientation, gender identity, trans-sexuality or intersex status; disability; union affiliation, political conviction, religious belief or any other characteristic specified.
Equal opportunity at the University
- Equal opportunity means that staff and students experience fairness, impartiality and equal access to opportunities in employment and education at the University. Special measures can be implemented to advance substantive equality.
- Equal opportunity in employment includes the principle of selection and promotion of staff on merit, which excludes consideration of irrelevant personal attributes. Fair and transparent processes are applied in assessing the capacity of a person to perform the inherent requirements of a position, having regard to the person's knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience and their potential for future development.
- Equal opportunity in education includes the principle of selection and assessment of students on merit, which excludes consideration of irrelevant personal attributes. Fair and transparent processes are applied in assessing the capacity of a student against specified requirements to access and participate in educational programs.
Implementation of equal opportunity
- The Vice-Chancellor may from time to time appoint committees to provide advice on matters relating to the University community and, in particular, the equity priorities and activities.
- The Vice Chancellor has designated Pro Vice-Chancellor (University Experience) to coordinate University action on a range of equity issues and reconciliation.
Executive and senior staff
- Executive and senior staff members have accountabilities for the implementation of this policy within their area of responsibility.
- Specific areas with responsibility for supporting inclusion and diversity include: the Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and Disability Services Centre for students with disabilities, The Gender Institute for women and gender diverse staff and the Culture and Development Team (Human Resources Division) for staff.
- The University employs staff to promote equal opportunity in planning, policy and strategies and to work with staff and students in the advancement of equal opportunity in employment and education.
|Printable version (PDF)|
|Purpose||To inform staff and students of the University’s approach to advancing equal opportunity in employment and education within the University community.|
|Topic/ SubTopic||Equity & Diversity - Equity|
|Effective Date||19 Dec 2008|
|Review Date||31 Dec 2017|
|Responsible Officer||Director, Human Resources|
|Contact Area||Human Resources Division|
Age Discrimination Act 2004
Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Discrimination Act 1991
Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012
Fair Work Act 2009