This document outlines the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) guidelines and expectations regarding the behaviour of all School members and visitors; it supplements, but does not supersede, the ANU Code of Conduct and applies unless superseded by ANU Rules, Policies and Procedures. It also outlines the disciplinary procedures that may be taken if the guidelines are breached. If a breach of the guidelines is reported, the School, through its representatives, will work to resolve the conflict internally using the procedures described here. In all instances, the School will prioritise the safety and well-being of any victim or any person reporting a breach of the guidelines. The victim and/or reporter will be consulted as to the desired resolution of a reported breach. These Guidelines and Procedure will be reviewed annually by the IDEA Committee and the RSAA Executive.
The RSAA Behaviour Guidelines are based on the RSAA Values Statement. The Guidelines apply to all School members* and any visitors† to Mount Stromlo Observatory or Siding Spring Observatory.
All School members and visitors should be able to enjoy an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, and School members and visitors should conduct themselves appropriately during all professional activities. RSAA is committed to making the School an inclusive, productive and enjoyable work, study and research environment for everyone, regardless of age, caring responsibilities, cultural and linguistic diversity, disability, gender identity, Indigeneity, physical appearance, religion or sexual orientation. RSAA will not tolerate harassment, in any form, by its members or visitors. Specifically…
- RSAA members and visitors must behave professionally at all times. Harassment and sexist, racist, ableist, or otherwise exclusionary comments or jokes will not be tolerated. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, inappropriate physical contact, sexual attention or innuendo, deliberate intimidation, or disruption of talks or other events. It also includes offensive written or verbal comments related to issues including age, caring responsibilities, cultural and linguistic diversity, disability, gender identity, Indigeneity, physical appearance, religion or sexual orientation.
- RSAA members and visitors must facilitate open, honest, and transparent professional communication wherever this is not superseded by legitimate privacy or confidentiality requirements. All verbal and written communication should be inclusive and appropriate for a diverse professional audience.
- RSAA members and visitors must be considerate and respectful to others. Do not insult or denigrate other RSAA members or visitors – critique ideas, not individuals.
- RSAA members and visitors must promote equity of opportunity and treatment for all their colleagues, regardless of age, caring responsibilities, cultural and linguistic diversity, disability, gender identity, Indigeneity, physical appearance, religion, sexual orientation or any other reason not related to merit.
- More senior members of the School, especially supervisors and line managers, have a special responsibility to facilitate the research, educational and professional development of more junior members. More senior members must be aware of and sensitive to power dynamics and imbalances, and provide more junior members with safe, supportive working environments, appropriate opportunities, and appropriate acknowledgment of contributions to any research results. Supervisors should also encourage timely advance of graduate students, early career researchers and young professional staff in their career aspirations.
- RSAA members must be responsible for informing themselves of the School’s values and behaviour guidelines. It is a key responsibility of more senior members of the School to inform more junior members of these values and guidelines; also ethical expectations, and institutional and government guidelines, policies, and procedures related to the oversight and maintenance of standards relevant to the School’s activities.
* RSAA academic and professional staff and RSAA students
† Visitors include non-RSAA students
- Individuals engaging in behaviour that breaches the Guidelines will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in this Breaches Procedure, up to and including commencement of formal misconduct proceedings according to ANU rules, policies and procedures and the ANU Enterprise Agreement. Though rare, it is also a breach of the Guidelines to make an intentionally false or misleading allegation of a breach. Any RSAA member or visitor who has concerns about particular behaviour and is unsure if it constitutes a breach of the Behaviour Guidelines should contact the School Director or School Manager for advice.
- A RSAA member or visitor who is the subject of, or witnesses, a breach of the Behaviour Guidelines (the ‘Complainant’) should, in the first instance and if they are comfortable doing so, raise the matter directly with the person they believe is responsible for the apparent breach (the ‘Respondent’). In this case the Complainant should approach the Respondent, either on their own or with another person as a support person, and (a) tell them what actions they consider in breach of the Behaviour Guidelines; (b) ask them to behave in accord with the Guidelines; and (c) keep a written record of this action.
- If that does not resolve the matter, or if the Complainant is not comfortable raising the matter directly, then the Complainant may choose to report a breach of the Behaviour Guidelines, in confidence, by speaking to the School Director or School Manager. School members may choose to speak first to their supervisor or another trusted person within the School, who may report their matter to the School Director or School Manager. The School can only take action on breaches that have been non-anonymously reported to the School Director or School Manager; however, any breach so reported will be acted on (see below).
- RSAA members or visitors who have concerns about, or become aware of, behaviour that may constitute bullying, harassment or discrimination, have an obligation to actively intervene to prevent such conduct continuing and may seek to resolve any concerns directly with the parties under this clause, if appropriate and provided this does not pose a threat to their physical and mental wellbeing.
- RSAA members dealing with a breach of the Guidelines will keep information about the Complainant confidential unless they specifically request otherwise. Information about the Respondent will be kept confidential if they are found not to have breached the Guidelines unless they specifically request otherwise; if they have breached the Guidelines, some information about the Respondent may need to be shared with others.
- Once an alleged breach of the Behaviour Guidelines has been brought to the attention of the School Director or School Manager, the following actions will be taken:
- The School Director or School Manager will (a) initiate discussions with the Complainant to determine whether a genuine breach of the Guidelines exists; (b) gather information as required to assist with the resolution of the breach; and (c) either resolve the breach directly with the Respondent, or arrange mediation or conciliation between Complainant and Respondent to resolve the breach.
- It is anticipated that effective local action focussed on early intervention and conciliation will prevent the need for more formal processes to resolve breaches of the Behaviour Guidelines.
- One potential sanction for serious or repeated breaches of the Guidelines may result in a note in a staff member’s Performance and Development Review or a student’s Annual Report.
- Where a School member or visitor brings a serious issue to the notice of the School Director or School Manager, even if not lodging a complaint, the School Director or School Manager is required to clarify the issue and follow up to resolve the matter effectively. It is not necessary for the member or visitor to formally complain to prompt action where a concern is serious in nature and warrants intervention.
- Any School member or visitor who feels that their complaint has not been resolved through these procedures may initiate a formal complaint in accordance with ANU procedures listed below
This Breaches Procedure does not apply to complaints concerning alleged conduct that is criminal or that breaches the ANU Code of Conduct or other ANU Rules, Policies and Procedures, for which there are separate procedures:
- ANU Code of Conduct: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_000388
- ANU Student Code of Conduct: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_6097481
- ANU Prevention of Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Procedure: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_000623
- ANU Staff Grievance Resolution: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_000500
- ANU Student Complaint Resolution: https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_000540
The RSAA Behaviour Guidelines were written collaboratively by the RSAA Director (M. Colless), RSAA School Manager (R. Alam), student representatives (P. Sharda & S. Monty), ECR representative (N. Martinez-Rey) and RSAA Senior Student Administrator (A. Bardelang). A draft of both the Values Statement and Guidelines were circulated to the School prior to finalisation to receive feedback from the RSAA community. These documents will be reviewed annually with the next review taking place December 2021.