The Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), in collaboration with a diverse group of students and staff and with support from UNSW Governance, has updated the Anti-Racism Policy.

The draft policy is currently in the consultation phase and feedback is actively encouraged.

EDI took ownership of the Anti-Racism Policy in late 2019 and were conscious of the need for a full review, and mindful that it be done carefully and thoroughly in a collaborative way with students and staff with lived experience.

Policy review can be a lengthy process, so other resources to combat racism on campus and online were launched in 2020 to be immediately responsive, including the guideline for staff to support students experiencing racism, and work with Arc on Be a Better Human initiatives, including the Division’s inaugural Anti-Racism grants program for student clubs and collectives.

Prior to commencing the review of the policy, EDI ran a think tank with students and staff to gather ideas on actions UNSW Sydney could take to prevent and respond to racism at the University. This enabled direct feedback on how racism has impacted UNSW community members and provided valuable direction on how to conduct the policy review. There was strong support for updating the policy and bringing this in line with procedures for reporting disrespectful behaviour.

EDI is now proud to present the draft policy, which is the result of extensive collaboration with a working group of students from diverse backgrounds including Student Representative Council (SRC) Indigenous representatives, Ethnocultural Officers and the Postgraduate Council Equity Officers, as well as staff, many with lived experience of racism.

The main changes include:

  • Establishing clear principles of respect and inclusion
  • Encouraging reporting of racism
  • Being active bystanders
  • Expanding on the language and definitions of the older policy.

Both EDI and the working group recognise that racism can be challenging to identify as it doesn’t always take the form of overt, unlawful discrimination – microaggressions, racist jokes, and casual everyday derogatory comments or mockery also cause harm, regardless of how they might have been intended. Furthermore, it is recognised that many of these incidents go unreported. As such, the draft includes information on making a complaint of racism to the University, clearly referencing existing processes and how these can be used to report an incident anonymously.

The Anti-Racism Policy consultation period is open to 9 July 2021. The draft can be accessed here, and feedback — which is encouraged from all students and staff — can be sent to Farhana Laffernis, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Officer, at

To see how EDI is making UNSW a better place for all, visit their website here.


Image credit: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash