UC staff member charged for offences against students

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THE University of Canberra advised on 21 July that an academic staff member had been suspended without pay for alleged serious misconduct following reports from students. The matter had been referred by the University to ACT Policing.

A spokesperson for the University says that following an internal investigation and report from a Review Committee under the University’s Enterprise Agreement, the staff member was dismissed for serious misconduct, based on the provisions of the Agreement and the standard of proof applicable to such proceedings. There is a matter in relation to that before the Fair Work Commission.

“Today, the police have laid charges against the former staff member for alleged offences committed against students,” the spokesperson said.

“The University’s first and paramount consideration is the welfare and safety of its students and is committed to ensuring a safe campus for all students and staff. As is demonstrated by our actions to date, we take any allegation of inappropriate behaviour amongst our community very seriously and act promptly to provide support to those affected.

“A range of support services for the affected students has been put into place, including medical support and counselling at the Medical and Counselling Centre, support through Inclusion & Welfare and access to pastoral and spiritual support.

“If any current or former student of the University has concerns, we encourage them to come forward and contact the University’s Acting Dean of Students Associate Professor Sally Burford or contact ACT Policing on 131444. Staff members may consult the Director of Human Resources, Ms Kirsty Dwyer.

“The University will not be making any further comment at this stage. These are proceedings between the police and the former staff member. There is a presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings and the University will now let justice take its course.”

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