The Voice to Parliament - Support available
The University recognises that The Voice referendum may raise issues for many people in our community.
If discussions around The Voice referendum raise concerns, or if staff experience or witness racism, they can seek assistance from either their manager or a member of the Human Resources team in the first instance.
In addition, there are number of other support services available that offer a range of confidential support and advice. These include:
- Safer Community Program : University of Melbourne (unimelb.edu.au)
- Counselling & Psychological Services
Employee Assistance Program (incl specialist counselling and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people provided by a team of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clinicians)
- Aboriginal Counselling
- Victorian Aboriginal Health Service
The University encourages all staff and students to take the time to understand the significance of The Voice referendum in 2023.
The following information provides guidance on how staff can foster robust debate while protecting individuals or groups from being targeted in harmful ways.
Staff are encouraged to keep the following high-level principles in mind when engaging in respectful discussion and debate on The Voice referendum:
- Freedom of inquiry and the free expression of ideas are fundamental to the mission of the university.
- In addition to supporting the free expression of ideas, we are committed to fostering an inclusive campus culture in which all community members feel they belong.
- Discussion and debate become unacceptable if the purpose or effect is to attack vulnerable individuals or groups such that it impedes their ability to participate fully in University life.
- The University is strongly committed to protecting those who are negatively affected by speech (including in news commentary, social media or email communications).
The existing Guidelines for the Appropriate Exercise of Freedom of Speech should be referenced including Section 5, 6 and 7.
The following university policies and documents provide relevant information on the university’s expectations in relation to respectful debate and advice on taking action when staff or student behaviour falls below expectations.
Academic Freedom of Expression Policy (MPF1224)
Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy (MPF1328)
Freedom of Speech Policy (MPF1342)