Content warning

We understand that conversations about the NSSS and its results can be distressing for members of our university and wider community. The NSSS report contains discussion and descriptions of sexual harassment and sexual assault. It also contains 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 to you.

The results of the 2021 the National Student Safety Survey (NSSS) have been released, and represents a difficult day for our university community, particularly for victim-survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

The NSSS was conducted during September last year by Universities Australia to collect information on the prevalence and nature of university student experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault to provide accurate information to universities across Australia about what is happening in our student communities.

Speaking of the results, Professor Pascale Quester, Swinburne University of Technology’s Vice-Chancellor said that more can be done to help keep all students safe.

“Any incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment that occurs in or out of our university is one too many. I want to say that I am deeply sorry to anyone who has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment,” Professor Quester said.

“The NSSS is a crucial step in understanding student experiences and how we can better support our students and make them feel safe. We are determined to take the necessary actions to support our students.“

"I would like to thank each of the 1,054 Swinburne students and all 43,819 students across Australia who responded to the survey. Their contribution helps us make change, recognise where well-intentioned measures may have fallen short and see where there are meaningful signs of progress and change,” she said.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. While we have been working hard to put measures in place to provide anyone who enters our working and learning environments access to appropriate safety and support resources, we must do more to help everyone feel and be safe.

“We’re on a constant mission to ensure that safety and respect are central to our university culture, and we need to continue improving our support initiatives for our students and staff,” Professor Quester said. 

Swinburne has been working hard to improve safety on campus for many years now, making practical changes including:

Expanding the online consent education program, Consent Matters, to all students during 2021 Implementing a new Swinburne social change campaign, Unlearn It, harnessing the power of the student voice

Clear and accessible guidelines for students on incident reporting

24/7 security guard presence at our Hawthorn campus, and fully monitored security control room covering all campuses

Out-of-hours crisis line managed by a trained counsellor

Compulsory consent education program and bystander training for all residential students

Helping staff respond to disclosures of sexual violence with training

On-campus access to doctors, nurses, mental health nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists

Peer-to-peer primary prevention initiatives run by H.Squad

Making the Universities Australia training module ‘Sexual harassment and sexual assault: What are the drivers and how can staff respond?’ available to all staff via ELMO

Staying Safe on the smartphone Swinburne App, providing direct access to safety support services TAFE partnership with the Victorian Government addressing the prevention of family violence

Further information on Swinburne's actions is available at Swinburne's safety through prevention website.

Swinburne’s results 

Need support? Please contact one of the services available to you below.

Swinburne’s support services        

  • Student counselling: 03 9214 8483 or swinburne.edu.au/counselling
  • Crisis line out of hours service - available 24 hours on weekends and public holidays, and outside business hours on weekdays: Call 1300 854 144 or Text 0488 884 145
  • Report any incidences of sexual assault or sexual harassment via our anonymous reporting options

 National referral services:

  • 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732 or 1800respect.org.au
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
  • QLife: 1800 184 527 or qlife.org.au
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78 or mensline.org.au
  • BeyondBlue: 1300 22 4636 or beyondblue.org.au
  • Australia wide university support and safety services: www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/our-universities/student-safety

Related articles

  • Vice-Chancellor Professor Pascale Quester, Chancellor Fellows Renée Roberts and Vi Peterson, and Chancellor Professor John Pollaers OAM stand together
    • University

    Swinburne confers new honorary positions as it turns 30 years young

    Swinburne turns 30 Years Young, as Chancellor Professor John Pollaers OAM confers new honorary Chancellor’s Fellow title on three key outgoing Council members.
    Friday 01 July 2022
    • University
    • Sustainability

    Swinburne travel now entirely carbon neutral

    Swinburne has officially made approved travel – including individual staff flights, student flights, and indirect travel (accommodation and group transport) – carbon neutral, through the purchase of carbon offsets.
    Tuesday 28 June 2022
    • University

    Swinburne launches Australian-first reconciliation centre

    The National Centre for Reconciliation Practice will lead national academic, industry and community understandings of reconciliation, and help drive systemic change.

    Thursday 02 June 2022
  • An aerial view of Swinburne's Hawthorn campus, looking east along Wakefield Street.
    • Social Affairs
    • University

    Swinburne congratulates new Minister for Education

    Swinburne University of Technology welcomes the appointment of Jason Clare as Federal Minister for Education in the newly sworn-in Albanese Ministry.

    Wednesday 01 June 2022
  • Dramatic low angle view of 2 students standing and talking next to the ATC building.
    • University

    Swinburne climbs 25 places to Top 300 globally

    Swinburne University of Technology has climbed 25 places to number 296 in the QS University World Rankings 2023, claiming a coveted Top 300 spot and a place in the Top 1% of universities worldwide.

    Thursday 09 June 2022