Student Policies

Anti Discrimination & Harassment Policy


Catholic Institute of Sydney emphasises the truths and values of Jesus Christ as expressed in the Gospels, especially the truths and values of love and respect for others and oneself, justice, honesty, freedom, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance.

Discrimination and harassment in any form are against these Gospel values.

Catholic Institute of Sydney regards any form of discrimination and harassment involving staff, students or visitors to the Institute as unacceptable.



  1. Catholic Institute of Sydney is committed:

a)    To ensuring that complaints of discrimination or harassment made by members of the faculty, staff, students or visitors are taken seriously, investigated, and appropriate action taken.

b)    To ensuring those persons bringing the complaint are treated sympathetically and those responsible for the alleged harassment are dealt with fairly.

c)    To providing guidelines for dealing with complaints and settling them with justice and in the most appropriate and sensitive way.

2.     The principles and standards upon which the college operates are based on:

a)     Integrity in Ministry: A document of Principles and Standards approved by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference as Official Guidelines on Professional Standards for Clergy and Members of Religious Institutes of Consecrated Life in the Dioceses of Australia.

b)     Integrity in the Service of the Church: A resource document of principles and standards for lay workers in the Catholic Church in Australia.  This is a document of the National Committee for Professional Standards (2011) and has been approved by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

3.     The Institute operates within relevant Federal & State Legislation on workplace relations, anti-discrimination and privacy, which outlines personal grievance provisions available to a staff member on the grounds of discrimination or harassment in their workplace. The Institute also operates within the provisions of Towards Healing: Principles and procedures in responding to complaints of abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church in Australia January 2010. Towards Healing Contact Line phone number: 1300 36 9977.




Unlawful discrimination occurs when someone, or a group of people, is treated less favourably than another person or group due to their:

  1. Race, colour, national or ethnic origin;
  2. Sex, pregnancy or marital status;
  3. Age
  4. Disability
  5. Religion
  6. Or some other characteristic specified under the legislation.



1.     Harassment is conduct which:

a)    is of a serious and/or persistent nature;  and

b)    is unwelcome and/or inappropriate;  and

c)    may reasonably be perceived as creating a negative psychological and emotional environment for work or study, or as interfering with or affecting employment or academic performance.

2.     It does not encompass social interaction or relationships freely entered into. Harassment encompasses a broad range of behaviours, including but not limited to:

  • physical, verbal, written or psychological abuse
  • bullying
  • racial and religious insults
  • derogatory ethnic slurs
  • unwelcome touching and inappropriate behaviour
  • sexual jokes and comments
  • requests for sexual favours
  • display of pornographic materials
  • intrusive or suggestive behaviour
  • abuse of power or position

Harassment can occur as a result of a single incident or a pattern of behaviour where the purpose or effect is to create a hostile, offensive humiliating or intimidating environment.



1.     Self Help

a)     The student or staff member may:

§  Tell the person, or persons, in private that their behaviour is offensive, and request that it stop.

§  Write to the person, or persons, about their behaviour, sealing and marking the letter 'personal and confidential'.

§  Speak to the person, or persons, in private in the presence of a contact person.

b)     Since allegations of discrimination or harassment are serious it is important to keep any information confidential to those directly involved.

2.     Informal Intervention

The student or staff member may approach a nominated contact person to intervene.  It is the role of the contact person to explain relevant procedures to the complainant, and allow the complainant to choose whether or not to proceed with this option.  It should be made clear to the complainant that all investigations are conducted in strictest confidence and according to the procedures laid down.

3.     Formal Complaint

Such complaints may initially follow the procedures set down in the Catholic Institute of Sydney's Staff Grievance Policy and Procedures and the Student Grievance Policy and Procedures of the Sydney College of Divinity. Should these procedures not lead to the complainant's satisfaction, recourse may be had to Towards Healing: Principles and procedures in responding to complaints of abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church in Australia January 2010. Towards Healing Contact Line phone number: 1300 36 9977.


Approved by the Senate and issued by the President:           30 March 2012.