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Monash University Policy Bank

Equal Opportunity Policy


This policy demonstrates Monash University’s commitment to promoting equal opportunity in employment, education and service delivery in accordance with universal principles of equity, fairness and social justice.


Staff, students, visitors and contractors at the Australian and international campuses, sites and centres of Monash University.

The Equal Opportunity Policy applies to the activities of Monash University and to Monash controlled entities who adopt the policy.

Policy Statement

Monash as a leading Australian university with an international reputation for innovation and excellence in teaching and research, recognises that honesty, fairness, mutual respect and the responsible exercise of power are fundamental to achieving equity for all.

The University strives, through a process of continuous improvement, to fully integrate equal opportunity into all aspects of its activities through its decision-making and planning processes. 


Monash University is committed to providing staff, students, contractors and visitors with an environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment, vilification and victimisation.  This will be achieved by:

  • requiring all staff, students, contractors and visitors to ensure their conduct complies with the equity principles outlined in this policy and the University's Ethics Statement;
  • providing an inclusive and flexible environment for students and staff by identifying and removing any remaining systemic barriers to equitable access and participation; 
  • using non-discriminatory, inclusive language and practices;
  • developing plans and facilitating programs to successfully increase access and promote success in education and employment for designated under-represented groups in order to overcome disadvantage;
  • ensuring that all Monash University students and staff have access to benefits and services in an equitable manner, including assistance to reasonably accommodate a person’s disability;
  • developing and promoting processes that support the systematic implementation, monitoring, reporting and management of equal opportunity; and
  • providing effective mechanisms to resolve complaints of unlawful discrimination, harassment, vilification and victimisation.

Staff, students, contractors and visitors are required to comply with all procedures made under this policy applicable to their position.

Supporting procedures

Gender Representation on Decision-Making Bodies Procedures (Australia Only)

Supporting guidelines

Responsibility for implementation

Vice-Chancellor and President, who will delegate responsibility for implementation to the appropriate areas of the University.



Key Stakeholders

Vice-Chancellor's Executive Committee
Academic Board

Approval body

Name: Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice-President (Administration)
Meeting: n/a
Date: 07-July-2015
Agenda item: n/a

Endorsement body

Name: N/A
Meeting: N/A
Date: 07-July-2015
Agenda item: N/A


Discrimination: is treating or proposing to treat, an individual unfavourably because of a personal attribute that is protected under discrimination law, such as: a disability, disease or injury, including work-related injury; race, colour, descent, national origin, or ethnic background; age; parental status or status as a carer; pregnancy or potential pregnancy and breastfeeding; marital status or relationship status; political belief or industrial activity, such as being a member of a trade union or student association, or lack of activity; religious belief; sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, lawful sexual activity or intersex status, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer and heterosexual; an association with someone who has, or is assumed to have, one of these characteristics; employment activity (meaning a reasonable request for information about, or an expression of concern about, the provision of employment entitlements).

Direct Discrimination: can occur when a person or group is treated less favourably than another person or group in a similar situation, because of a protected attribute.

Indirect Discrimination: involves imposing a requirement, condition or practice that operates to disadvantage a person with a protected attribute, and it is not reasonable.

Harassment: is unwelcome conduct that might reasonably cause a person to be offended, humiliated or intimidated because of their 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 under human rights legislation. Harassment can also happen if someone is working in a 'hostile' - or intimidating - environment. The behaviours can be overt or subtle, verbal, non-verbal or physical.

Vilification: is any form of conduct that incites hatred against, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of a person or group of people because of their race or religion. Such conduct can be a single event or series of events over a period. It may include the use of internet, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail to publish or transmit statements.

Victimisation: is any detriment suffered because a person has made or been involved in the expression of a concern or making of a complaint about conduct covered by these procedures.

Legislation Mandating Compliance

All relevant legislative instruments that stipulate requirements with which members of the Monash community (all of whom are subject to the law) are obligated to comply.

Students and staff need to be aware that conduct in breach of this policy andits related procedures may also breach laws in the jurisdiction and lead to criminal or civil legal proceedings and remedies or penalties for which they may be personally liable.

Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Victoria)
Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act (2006) (Victoria)
Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (Victoria)
Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Commonwealth)
Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Commonwealth)
Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Commonwealth)
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth)
Age Discrimination Act (2004) (Commonwealth)
Fair Work Act 2009 (Commonwealth) 
Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Commonwealth)

Employment Act 1955 
Industrial Relations Act 1967 
Persons with Disabilities Act 2008

Related policies

Wellbeing and Support Procedure - Staff with Disability: Requesting Reasonable Workplace Adjustments
Conduct and Compliance Procedure – Resolution of Unacceptable Behaviour in the Workplace

Related documents

Date Effective


Review Date



Executive Director, Monash HR Executive Director, Campus Community


Director, Workplace Relations, Monash HR

Content Enquiries

University Policy Use

Version Number: 2.0


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