Skip to main content

Emergency assistance:

Non-emergency assistance:

National Student Safety Survey

Change starts here. We are working across our university community with staff and students to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault and ensure a safe place where everyone is treated with respect.

The National Student Safety Survey (NSSS) ran across the Australian university sector in late 2021. The survey collected data on the scale and nature of university student experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault. It was funded by Universities Australia and conducted by the Social Research Centre (SRC) in partnership with leading violence prevention expert Associate Professor Anastasia Powell of RMIT University.

Student safety and respectful behaviour is paramount at Federation University. We want to thank every student who responded to the survey and those who shared their personal stories. Their contribution helps us to continue to work with our students and staff to ensure a safe campus, recognise where improvements are required and see where there are meaningful signs of progress and change.

Results and analysis were conducted and compiled by the SRC into a quantitative and qualitative national report, as well as individual infographic reports for each university. See below for the infographic of Federation University’s NSSS findings.

We know what we are sharing may be distressing and potentially retraumatising for students, staff or others in our community. If you would like to speak to somebody for support, we encourage you to reach out to our support services or one of the national referral services listed on our find support page.

The national survey results are part of a growing body of evidence in Australia, which shows that sexual harassment and sexual assault are pervasive in all corners of our society. Sexual harassment and sexual assault are common experiences for Australian university students. While not all of these experiences occur in university contexts, the combined findings of the NSSS accompanying qualitative research demonstrate the profound impacts of sexual harassment and sexual assault on students.

The national qualitative research report will help universities to understand the context in which these behaviours occur, understand help-seeking and reporting behaviours, and inform universities’ services and enhance responses for student safety and wellbeing.

The findings show that there is a desire among students and victim-survivors for universities to continue playing a role in the prevention of sexual violence and the building of a more equal society.

Everyone who attends university has the right to be safe and feel safe, and the right to believe they will be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.

At Federation University we have been working in making practical changes, including:

  • Training and briefing sessions at orientations across all campuses. First responder training for student leaders
  • Refreshed Equal Rights are Your Rights training module on Moodle for all students
  • Face-to-face training on respectful behaviours for students on residence and international students
  • A newly appointed Respectful Communities Coordinator within the Student Equity & Inclusion team to support the implementation of preventative actions and as a first point of contact for reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault
  • Improved and refreshed Safer Campuses webpage as a resource for students and staff who may have experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault
  • Training and briefings for staff, including email being circulated with guidelines on how to respond and support services for our students.

Your contributions help us to reinforce and improve our actions and strategies. We will undertake a detailed analysis of the findings in the national and Federation University reports and assess our current and future programs to address the findings. As part of this we will develop a whole of university action plan Towards an Inclusive and Respectful Community. The development of this action plan will include workshops and forums with students, staff, community stakeholders and experts in the field in the first half of 2022.

View the reports

Content warning. We understand that conversations around sexual harassment and sexual assault can be distressing for members of our university and wider community. The reports will contain discussion and descriptions of sexual harassment and sexual assault. They will also contain mentions of self harm, drug use and suicide ideation.

If you would like to speak to somebody for support, a range of confidential resources are available on our find support page.

If you would like to disclose or report an incident of sexual harassment or sexual assault to Federation University, information is available on our How to disclose or report page.

Change the Course report 2017

In 2017, the Australian Human Rights Commission released the Change the Course - the first national report on sexual harassment and sexual assault at Australian universities. The work we have undertaken on all nine recommendations is detailed in our 2020 Respect Now Always report.