Student diversity

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Student diversity

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USC is committed to creating a work and study environment which values the rich diversity of its students, facilitates equitable access and full participation for those from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are under-represented, and in which all members of the University community take personal responsibility for working to eliminate discriminatory practices.

Across our campuses and study sites, the USC community is working together to create an inclusive culture which:

  • encourages universal student engagement
  • improves retention; and
  • enhances the overall quality of the student experience.

Access and Diversity grants are available to fund initiatives that celebrate, promote and increase community awareness of the benefits of diversity, and that foster community cohesion and support equal access to opportunities by people from diverse backgrounds. The grants are available to USC staff, students and student associations.

Applications for 2019 funding have now closed.

"Racism. It stops with me"

The University of the Sunshine Coast is a proud signatory to the Australian Human Rights Commission campaign "Racism. It stops with me". The campaign is part of the National Anti-Racism Strategy which encourages us all to work together by taking action against racism, in all its different forms.

USC has a long and proud history of working to make our organisation inclusive and free from racism. Ongoing work in this area includes:

  • NAIDOC Week activities coordinated by the Buranga Centre
  • Cultural awareness programs
  • Student Expectations and Responsibilities awareness-raising campaign
  • C-SALT's work on Indigenous Knowledge and the curriculum
  • An Indigenous Employment Strategy

All initiatives are underpinned by our Equity and Diversity Governing Policy which identifies our commitment to the principles of equity in employment and education, freedom from discrimination and from harassment of all forms.

For more information about the campaign and access to resources go to "Racism. It stops with me"

Sunshine Coast Multicultural Action Plan

USC acknowledges that the recognition of diverse cultures enriches experiences for people from all walks of life. Taking steps to settle and engage new residents and visitors in a manner that makes them welcome and connected to the Sunshine Coast community builds a sense of belonging. Go to Multiculturalism on the Sunshine Coast to find out what programs and events are taking place across our Region. View the current Sunshine Coast Multicultural Action Plan.

Reconciliation

Recognition of the Traditional Custodians of the country on which USC is located is now part of the USC way and, in partnership with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and community, has become standard practice for all university official events. Whether Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander peoples, other Australians or international, this genuine partnership with the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi is something that USC students value greatly. It bodes well for reconciliation both at home and abroad.

USC takes Reconciliation seriously and is proud to have launched the third iteration of the USC Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2017. The USC Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2017-2019 is very much a rite of passage for our university. Built on the initial two Plans, it provides an opportunity for us to reconfirm our commitment to reconciliation and indicates that we, as a university community, are ready to take that next step.

EO Online for Students

EO Online is an equal opportunity training program that raises awareness about discrimination and harassment issues. It has been developed for the higher education community by a consortium of Australian Universities.

It covers theoretical knowledge and a practical understanding of how to apply equal opportunity principles in work and study environments.

In Australia, it is unlawful to discriminate against or harass someone at or in an education facility. The University has an obligation under State and Federal discrimination and human rights legislations to provide a work and educational environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, bullying and vilification.

Students are encouraged to re-visit EO Online periodically to refresh their knowledge, and to use the program as a resource when necessary.

Students are not required to register their completion of EO Online (this applies only to University staff).

Students can gain access to EO Online via the University website, via a University computer without a password.

USC Ally Network: 'Creating safe study and work spaces for LGBTIQ students'

The USC Ally Network is a group of students and staff who have participated in training around working with people with sexual and gender diverse backgrounds and who may or may not identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex or Queer (LGBTIQ). The aim of the Ally Network is to advocate and support cultural change, build and support an advocacy network and help create a safe and inclusive and educational and work environment. More information about training workshops and resources can be found at USC Ally Network.

2020 Dates available soon.

Register at Student Hub

(Via Wellbeing Tab) 

Student Unconscious Bias Training

Today discrimination is no longer acceptable and in many cases, unlawful. As a consequence, we find ourselves concealing our prejudices to the point where we are often not consciously aware of them ourselves. Yet our unconscious biases influence the decisions we make every day.

 This two-hour course covers the following content:

  • what unconscious bias is and where it comes from
  • how unconscious bias affects decision making
  • methods to identify and counteract unconscious bias.

At the completion of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • understand the meaning of unconscious bias and the psychological basis of it
  • identify their own unconscious biases and the underpinning drivers
  • identify bias in decision-making processes and make necessary changes
  • take practical steps to reduce the impact of unconscious bias in the workplace.

2020 Dates available soon.

Register at Student Hub

(Via Wellbeing Tab) 

The University of the Sunshine Coast is proud of the diversity that exists among our students, our staff and our community. Throughout the year, we celebrate the diversity that each of us brings to our workplace, our classrooms, and our community. The Vice-Chancellor and President takes a direct leadership role in ensuring that equity and diversity are key objectives, integrated within all University plans. The support of this commitment by staff, students and community is evidenced through the growing engagement in key events across 2019:

  • International Women's Day 8 March 
  • Close the Gap 21 March 
  • Harmony Day 21 March
  • International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) 17 May
  • NAIDOC Week 7-14 July
  • USC Diversity Week 19-23 August 
Celebrating Cultural Diversity Calendar

The purpose of this online calendar is to celebrate and raise awareness and understanding of significant events for people who may identify with different diversity groups. Developing an effective Diversity and Inclusion culture is an important part of being a world-leading university. Diversity adds value to our problem solving, decision making and creativity. Inclusion fosters collaboration, trust and respect and supports psycho-social safety and well-being.

The Cultural Diversity Calendar (PDF 91KB) is an online resource which acknowledges significant religious and spiritual dates for USC staff and students.

The Calendar is updated annually and focuses on countries' national days, significant multicultural festivals in Australia, and events that are widely celebrated by Australia's major ethnic and religious communities. Please be advised the Calendar is not exhaustive of all events that are celebrated around the world and should be considered a guide only.

Please contact diversity@usc.edu.au with any feedback.

2020 Diversity Week 

Diversity Week is about celebration, conversation and inclusion.

We will have activities running from 17-21 August 2020 across all USC campuses, showcasing the contributions made by students, staff and alumni and encouraging creative conversations about diversity and inclusion.

Students, staff and community will be invited by USC Executive to officially launch the 2020 Diversity Week activities at the annual Diversity Week breakfast, Monday 17 August 2020. The event will feature the presentation of the Vice-Chancellor and President's Diversity and Inclusion Awards.

Further details to be advised.

Vice Chancellor and President’s Equity and Diversity Awards 

The Vice-Chancellor and President's Diversity and Inclusion Awards were established in 2015 to recognise and reward staff, students, and graduates of the University who have made an outstanding and demonstrable commitment to diversity, inclusion and reconciliation within the University and/or its broader community over a sustained period of time.

The Vice-Chancellor and President's Awards presentation, is held the morning of Monday 17 August 2020, at the opening address of USC Diversity Week as part of the annual Diversity Week breakfast.

Dive into Diversity

Do you want to get involved in hosting Diversity events at USC? Do you have an idea for an event that celebrates Diversity? Funding is available to bring your original ideas to life. Fill in the form below and we'll be in touch

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