New partnership aims to help eliminate gendered violence


Charles Darwin University (CDU) has announced a new partnership with national violence prevention organisation Our Watch to take action in preventing gendered violence.

On Friday’s International Women’s Day, 8 March, the two organisations signed an agreement in Alice Springs, which will see the see dual-sector University take part in a framework aimed at building gender equality in the university, TAFE and broader NT community.

The framework, Respect and Equality in TAFE, developed by Our Watch, includes leadership championing change, breaking down gender stereotypes, training staff, new curriculum content, updating university policies and engaging with partners and community.

Nurturing a respectful environment for students and staff

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman AO says the framework was designed to foster a safe and respectful environment on campus and within the communities CDU works in, with a goal to challenge harmful norms and promote inclusivity.

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“CDU is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all students and staff,” Professor Bowman says.

“This partnership aims to shift cultural norms that perpetuate violence by challenging stereotypes and promoting respectful relationships so that, as a community, we can create lasting change.”

This partnership will also help CDU to meet the requirements within the University Accord recommendations to introduce a whole of institution approach to reducing gendered-based violence in universities.

Expertise and education are key factors in improving harm prevention

“By partnering with Our Watch, CDU can ensure we are supported to achieve a whole of university approach to the prevention of harm on our campuses,” Professor Bowman says.

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“Our Watch is a national leader in the primary prevention of violence against women and CDU will benefit from their expertise, training and resources.”

Acting Our Watch CEO Cara Gleeson welcomes the new partnership and the commitment from the institute.

“Violence does not occur out of the blue; it is due to disrespect and sexism that exists within our culture – but this violence is preventable, and our education institutions can lead the change,” Ms Gleeson says.

Challenging gender stereotypes

This change, she says, “happens through challenging gender stereotypes – such as encouraging more women into trade roles and men into caring roles – and also making structural changes such as increasing women in leadership and decision-making roles within an educational workplace”.

The first step of the agreement will see CDU adopt the new Respect and Equality guide within CDU TAFE.

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“We look forward to supporting CDU to take strides towards equality and play their part in creating a society where everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, ability or cultural background, can live free from violence,” Ms Gleeson says.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency, call 000.

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