Swinburne students are leading the annual Be a Better Human campaign to promote consent and respectful behaviour. This year, due to the COVID-19 situation the campaign ran digitally, via an interactive social media campaign.
Led by Swinburne Student Union (SSU) and supported by Swinburne Safer Community, the Be a Better Human campaign ran over two weeks on SSU and Swinburne's social media channels. The Be a Better Human campaign sparked honest and open discussions around sexual assault, consent, bystander behaviour, safe sex and reproductive health, while sharing important resources on the topics.
Students from Swinburne's Team Respect shared their thoughts on breaking the cycle, respect, empathy and consent on Swinburne's Instagram, as part of the Be a Better Human Campaign.
As part of the campaign, an interactive series of daily ‘Myth-busting’ quizzes on Instagram sparked excellent engagement and great responses, explains Emma Hegerty, Swinburne Student Union Events and Volunteers.
‘In addition to answering the Myth Busting quizzes, we received a number of submissions from students telling us the many ways they plan on being a better human moving forward’ says Emma Hegerty.
The campaign focusses on self-improvement and awareness for everyone, reflects Emma.
‘Be a Better Human aims to look at cultures and what we think everyone needs to appreciate – consent, respect and empathy. We’re encouraging everyone who is part of our campus community to take a moment and consider how we can ‘better’ our behaviour. It is every student’s right to feel heard, and to feel safe’ says Emma.
Where it all began
The Be a Better Human campaign was started by students at Flinders University in Adelaide, in response to the National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities. Swinburne was the first university in Victoria to launch their own campaign in 2019, with other major universities following suit.
Be a Better Human is linked to the wider Respect.Now.Always campaign that was rolled out in 2017 to prevent sexual assault and harassment.
For advice and support if you, or someone you know at Swinburne, is affected by inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour, contact Safer Community by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or online at swinburne.edu.au/safercommunity Reports can be made anonymously.
If you feel distress related to this story support is also available by calling the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732 or contacting Safer Community.