Home | Analysis | Campus Podcast: The vexed question of sexual assault in universities
Dr Allison Henry. Picture: Northern Rivers Community Foundation.

Campus Podcast: The vexed question of sexual assault in universities

The Universities Accord Interim Report released in early January recommended five priorities for action, one of which was the need for better university governance – through state and territory government and university collaboration– to improve student staff and safety on campus.

Last November, education ministers released a draft Action Plan addressing gender-based violence in higher education, which outlined the roles each university stakeholder needs to play to change the culture of sexual assault on university campuses, and recommended seven 'actions' to drive that change.

Expert in campus sexual violence Dr Allison Henry joins Campus Review's education editor Erin Morley to discuss the issue of sexual assault and harassment on campus, and shares the findings of her recent PhD thesis, which investigated regulatory responses to sexual violence on campus.

Her findings reveal the lack of action from regulatory bodies like the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), the effect of fluctuating political interest from different education ministers and federal governments, an absence of independent investigation into reporting processes, and the "performative" nature of anti-sexual violence university's campaigns.

The Universities Accord Final Report is due this month, which along with the draft Action Plan, will drive reform and change to sexual violence in university settings.

Dr Allison Henry is a research fellow and associate with the University of New South Wales Australian Human Rights Institute. She completed her PhD on 'Regulatory responses to sexual assault and sexual harassment in Australian university settings’ in May 2023. Her previous roles include three years as the managing editor of the Australian Journal of Human Rights, five years as a Ministerial advisor in the federal parliament and three years as National Director of the Australian Republican Movement. Dr Henry was also a member of the Department of Education's Gender-based Violence Stakeholder Reference Group.

This episode was hosted, written and produced by Campus Review's education editor, Erin Morley.

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To continue onto Campus Review, please select your institution.