Inclusion at Swinburne

We are committed to an inclusive culture at Swinburne. Our vision is 'people and technology working together to build a better world'. To achieve this, we need a culture of inclusion where students and staff can bring their whole selves to Swinburne and be celebrated for who they are and the contribution they make.

This diversity and inclusion framework applies to all our Swinburne community; staff, students, alumni and the broader community and partners we engage with. Our aim is to ensure inclusion for all current and prospective members of our Swinburne community. 

Our commitment to being diverse and inclusive is a cornerstone for how we will remain an innovative enterprise that is agile, flexible and connected.

Intersectionality approach

Our diversity and inclusion framework recognises that identity is an intersection of many factors, and that for some of our staff and students one or more components of their identity can lead to disadvantage and exclusion, unless we implement proactive actions that ensure access to equitable and culturally appropriate services, support and development.

With this in mind, our framework incorporates an intersectionality approach that aims to enable and improve access to employment and education, whilst supporting all of staff and students to thrive.

Working together to create an inclusive culture

We are all responsible for creating an inclusive culture that respects and recognises the rights and responsibilities of all who make up our Swinburne community. Where we all work together to understand alternative worldviews and grow in our ability to understand and respond to the needs of our staff, our students, and our community.

With our ability to think differently and to consider a range of perspectives, we know that our effectiveness, our engagement and our innovation increase. This benefits our Swinburne community and our ability to achieve our 2025 strategic vision for Swinburne.

Diversity and inclusion principles

  • We provide an inclusive, safe and supportive culture and environment for everyone in our Swinburne community to thrive.
  • We respect and celebrate the diversity of the Swinburne community and value the benefits this diversity brings.
  • We have zero tolerance for any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying.
  • We embed diversity and inclusion best practice in our policies, procedures, services and facilities.
  • We acknowledge key diversity dates of significance, marked with events and/or communications to visibly represent our commitment.
  • We encourage everyone in the Swinburne community to champion diversity and inclusion.
  • We embrace diverse cultural perspectives and we work and study in a culturally safe and appropriate way.
  • We create respectful spaces where people share their ideas, stories and lived experiences.
  • We recognise that our staff, students and community have rich and complex life experiences, orientations and backgrounds. We value this diversity and are committed to understanding and supporting the unique needs that intersectional diversity brings.
  • Our intersectional approach seeks to understand the impact of and actively redressing different forms of inequality, discrimination and disadvantage.
  • We maintain, analyse and report on diversity and inclusion data to gain insights and identify opportunities to improve equity and inclusiveness.
  • We consult with and incorporate the perspectives of our diverse Swinburne community and engage with the broader community in the design, implementation and review of our diversity and inclusion plans and programs.
  • We incorporate the principles and practices of equity, accessibility, universal design, allyship and cultural competency to ensure Swinburne is welcoming, accessible, inclusive and culturally safe.
  • We continually improve and evolve our diversity and inclusion programs through benchmarking and accreditation, establishing Swinburne as a trusted leader in diversity and inclusion practices.
  • We are at the forefront of innovative and impactful diversity and inclusion initiatives in the higher education sector.
  • We regularly review our policies, procedures, services and facilities to identify and eliminate barriers.
  • We identify pathways, design programs and implement plans that enable under-represented groups to participate in our employment and education opportunities.

Our diversity areas of focus

Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is universal and applies to all who engage with Swinburne and anyone who joins the Swinburne community.

To improve participation in our employment and education opportunities, our diversity and inclusion framework includes specific programs and plans for priority focus:

Our approach

Central to our framework and focus areas is an intersectionality approach. We recognise identity is complex, with many factors contributing to a person’s identity and experiences.

Different aspects of a person’s identity such as age, disability, gender, ethnicity, cultural background, faith and religion, sexual orientation and class may intersect, causing multiple forms of disadvantage and discrimination.

Our overarching approach across all our focus areas involves acknowledging and understanding this complexity, enabling us to be more responsive to diverse groups.

Our governance framework

The governance structure overseeing our diversity and inclusion framework comprises a Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee (DISC), executive diversity champions and diversity working groups that align with our diversity focus areas. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters are governed through a separate framework.

Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and Framework

Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and Framework

You can download and read Swinburne’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and Framework

What inclusion looks like at Swinburne

To help achieve our diversity and inclusion outcomes, we have articulated what inclusion looks like at Swinburne. This is aligned with our diversity focus areas and incorporates wellbeing and safety to benefit everyone in our Swinburne community. 

Our culture is welcoming, supportive and inclusive.

Our people embrace a variety of ideas, knowledge, perspectives and approaches and can bring their ‘whole selves’ to Swinburne as a valued and valuable member of the Swinburne community

Under our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and the leadership of the Moondani Toombadool Centre, Swinburne continues to be a national leader in the tertiary education sector in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters.

Our 2020 – 2023 RAP’s Vision for Reconciliation prioritises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, and cultural safety for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students, alumni, and partners.

Swinburne is a culturally competent university where all staff and students embrace the principles of our Cultural Diversity Charter and recognise the critical role multiculturalism plays in Swinburne’s ongoing success.

This competence translates into a globally savvy university, where staff and students of different cultures, faith, spiritual and religious beliefs and linguistic backgrounds have the facilities, support and information they need to feel included. They are encouraged to express their cultural, religious and spiritual identity while pursuing education and careers at Swinburne. 

We strive to be an employer and educator of choice for people living with disability and carers of people with disability. We routinely consider the needs of people living with disability and carers of people with disability, are committed to removing barriers and enabling access to our education and employment opportunities. Find about more about our AccessAbility Action Plan.

We are recognised as a leader in LGBTIQA+ inclusion.

Staff and students of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities continue to be welcomed at Swinburne and are supported and encouraged to bring their whole selves to work and study. Processes, tools and supports are in place to create inclusive and welcoming work and study spaces and experiences. 

We continue to be recognised as an employer of choice for women. We achieve our targets of pay equity, women in leadership and advancing women in STEMM. We are known for the flexibility and support all genders in managing work-life balance.

We recognise that sex and gender are non-binary, and that equity requires supporting and championing all gender identities to feel welcome and included. Equity also requires having access to Swinburne services and facilities that enable people to thrive.

Find out more about our Gender Equality Action Plan.

Generational diversity is a business asset. Our age-inclusive teams are innovative and all our staff and students at their various life stages are supported, nurtured and developed to succeed and thrive. 

Swinburne continues to provide a respectful, harmonious and safe study and workplace for our staff and students to thrive.

We will continue to evolve our support for staff and students experiencing domestic and family violence.

Our preventative safety and wellbeing programs prevent unacceptable behaviour and maintain a safe and respectful university for all. Our cultural awareness and competency programs will continue to build a culturally supported and safe environment for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally diverse staff and students.

Contact us

If you have any feedback or questions about our diversity and inclusion approach, please email us at

Contact us