ANU Chancellor, The Hon Julie Bishop. Photo: Jamie Kidston

Note from the Chancellor

Earlier this year thousands of women converged on Canberra, and more women across the nation marched in a campaign in response to allegations of sexual assault in Parliament House, and gender inequality more broadly.  

The March4Justice has initiated an important conversation for our nation about the treatment of women – in parliaments, workplaces, university campuses, and in our communities.  

Increasing the representation of women is a step forward, and it will go some way to ensuring better behaviour and a more inclusive culture in our national institutions.   

When there is a critical mass of women putting forward their views, there will be change.   

Eradicating gender inequality and sexual violence are intractable global issues, and the research carried out at ANU is invaluable to help find solutions.   

For example, our Professor Kate Henne is exploring how the rise in mobile apps to counter sexual violence and communicate consent is a problem.   

In another example, our Professor Lorana Bartels is finding solutions to ensure the voices of sexual assault survivors are better heard within the criminal justice system.   

We must also address inequality among women and minority groups. Our Associate Professor Lisa Whop is lobbying to increase cervical cancer screening rates for Indigenous women, who are affected by the disease at more than twice the rate of the overall population. PhD researcher Renee Dixson is developing the world’s first archive of oral histories of LGBTIQ people who have been forcibly displaced.  

This vital work and thinking, and many other examples, are featured in this special edition of ANU Reporter. These examples capture just some of the important work we do in this space every single day.   

Taking the March4Justice as a launching pad, this issue highlights how the work of our scholars and graduates is helping to increase representation, force change and drive better outcomes for all. I am inspired by their stories and insights.  

At ANU there is much more to do. We have worked hard to increase representation, eliminate gender bias and develop an inclusive culture that values all staff — efforts recognised with a SAGE Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in 2019.   

More steps need to be, and will be, taken. Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt and I are committed to continued improvement, and we invite you to join us.   

The Hon Julie Bishop 

Chancellor 

The Australian National University