SAGE is delighted to announce that the Australian Catholic University have received an Athena Swan Bronze Award.

This makes them the latest Australian institution to be accredited through our internationally recognised equity, diversity and inclusion framework.

The Bronze Award recognises the university’s deep commitment to building a more equitable workplace, and positions ACU amongst global peers who are using best-practice program design.

An important milestone

SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredehoeft congratulated ACU on reaching this milestone in their equity, diversity and inclusion journey.

“It’s important to appreciate how much commitment is required of an institution before it can earn an Athena Swan Bronze Award. This Award recognises the first major step has been taken in a difficult and ongoing process of improvement. It shows ACU’s leadership and staff are determined to improve their workplace culture and make the organisation a place where everyone can thrive.”

“The Athena Swan Bronze Award recognises that ACU has done deep work to assess the barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion that staff are facing, and have put in place a workable plan to dismantle those barriers. This means much more than giving underrepresented people a ‘leg-up’ – it means working to change the systems, not the people.”

“My huge congratulations to the team who led this work, and all at ACU for their achievement.”

The foundations for future change

The Athena Swan Bronze Award is the first, foundational level of accreditation in SAGE’s equity, diversity and inclusion framework, recognising ACU’s successful analysis of the barriers preventing equity, diversity and inclusion, and the creation of an action plan to tackle and dismantle these barriers.

ACU has identified 5 key barriers that require priority action:

  1. Support for career development and progression through professional development and performance appraisal
  2. Support for parents and carers (including childcare)
  3. Embedding inclusiveness in the university’s culture
  4. Understanding and improving the experience of staff who experience bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, and discrimination in the workplace
  5. Ensuring the availability of flexible work for all staff members and managing potential impact on career opportunities

The University has made a commitment to track their progress against these barriers and report back to the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Committee and Senate.

Read more about their work

ACU’s Bronze Award application has been made available in full on SAGE’s website. The document details their action plan for tackling the five barriers above.