Charles Sturt University (CSU) has appointed Ms Kim Copeland as Director, Student Safety and Wellbeing, to lead a new team committed to improving student safety.
The appointment supports CSU’s ongoing implementation of recommendations made by the Respect. Now. Always external review and the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Change the Course: national report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian Universities.
This included developing resources, implementing training programs for staff and students, and establishing a dedicated hotline for students.
The University considered all aspects of awareness and prevention, improving support and regularly reviewing progress.
CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Students Ms Jenny Roberts said CSU had made significant changes to improve reporting and safety for students.
“We’ve increased staff and student training, including developing tailored resources on how to respond to student disclosures of sexual violence,” Ms Roberts said.
“We rolled out two unique training programs for our students, Playing Right and Consent Matters.
“More than 2000 students and student leaders have completed Consent Matters or Playing Right.”
Ms Roberts said Ms Copeland’s appointment increased visibility of the need for continued work to ensure student safety and would enable further initiatives to be delivered.
“We welcome Kim Copeland as Director, Student Safety and Wellbeing in a critical and necessary role.
“Ms Copeland will be focused on prevention, response and education initiatives.
“Student safety and wellbeing is an absolute priority at Charles Sturt University.”
Ms Copeland said the University environment is one where students are part of a close community and that safety initiatives must commence from the moment students begin.
“From the moment a student starts at Charles Sturt with orientation on campus, initiatives such as campus tours, course familiarisation sessions, and dedicated student orientation leaders provide information and advice on support and wellbeing services provided by the University and the community,” Ms Copeland said.
Ms Copeland’s role will lead a new Student Safety and Wellbeing team and is focused on delivering best practice policy, processes and ongoing training initiatives to ensure the University is providing the safest environment possible for students.
“Charles Sturt University is committed to the Respect. Now. Always campaign to prevent and address sexual harassment and sexual assault,” Ms Copeland said.
“We have delivered training to our staff and students, online resources, and have provided 24/7 access to a sexual assault hotline.
“As we move forward however, we are going to take decisive action to change the underlying culture that enables sexual assault to occur and prevent it from happening at our campuses.”