Diversity and Inclusion
La Trobe University makes a positive difference in the lives of our students, employees and partner organisations. We have a large impact on the communities where our campuses are located, particularly in regional areas. In addition to this, La Trobe is in the top 350 universities globally as listed in the QS World University Rankings and this success can be attributed to our culture of community and belonging.
Through La Trobe’s strong sense of social justice and public engagement strives to provide a workplace where all employees of diverse backgrounds, sexuality, gender, religion, and disability feel valued, respected and one that is representative of our community. We pride ourselves on being able to work with our sector-leading researchers and use this information to advocate for our community. We do this by demonstrating our cultural qualities, we hold ourselves accountable and create a culture of trust and innovation while genuinely caring for one another.
Whilst we have many programs, initiatives and facilities aimed at promoting equity, diversity and inclusion, we recognise there is much work to do across all parts of our community. Our key focus areas are outlined below.
Multifaith & Spiritual Wellbeing Service
Our student and staff populations represent a variety of different religions and beliefs. As a University, we embrace and celebrate each other’s different cultural identities and look for ways to learn from each other.
La Trobe University has a Multifaith and Spiritual Wellbeing Service, including multifaith spiritual advisors who listen, encourage and aid in developing each person's unique faith journey. They can help with understanding meaning, purpose, and identity. Multifaith Spiritual Advisors provide a safe space for retreat and can provide practical assistance with welfare needs, life skills and daily routines.
Multifaith worship and prayer locations
La Trobe provides a number of religious facilities across our campuses.
There is a chapel on our Bundoora campus and each of our campuses provides Chaplains. The La Trobe Chaplaincy can help students and employees to contact and join local churches and meetings, clubs and groups on campus. Chaplains can also assist with Christian marriage preparation and weddings.
Muslim prayer facilities
All of our campuses provide Muslim prayer facilities. In particular, our Melbourne (Bundoora) campus has separate prayer rooms, ablution facilities, and congregational prayers are conducted on Friday lunchtimes.
We are committed to creating a workplace where different abilities are recognised, valued and celebrated. We care about providing a workplace where people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities, carers of people with a disability, and people experiencing and managing mental health issues are supported to thrive.
Physical access and maps
La Trobe aims to develop and maintain an inclusive and accessible environment that eliminates barriers to participate in work and study. Our campuses provide employees and students with accessible parking and access to buildings and restrooms.
SAGE Athena Swan Bronze Accreditation
Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) is a transformational accreditation and improvement program for higher education and research organisations focusing on gender equity, diversity and inclusion.
The program was developed in response to the under-representation of women in STEM leadership. In 2019, La Trobe was proud to receive Bronze Accreditation in recognition of progress made in advancing gender equity, diversity and inclusion. To continue to be at the forefront of gender equality in Australia, La Trobe is working towards achieving SAGE Silver Accreditation, which involves addressing five persistent key structural and systemic barriers in attraction, retention and progression for staff and students.
Women’s Academic Promotion Support Program
The Women’s Academic Promotions support program, launched 2018, seeks to address the gender imbalance in senior academic positions by encouraging academic women to apply for promotion.
The program includes three components: professional development in the form of workshops run by La Trobe colleagues, and group mentoring of potential applicants by more senior academics and a dedicated site for discussion and resources. To date, 238 women have taken part in the WAPS Program and 90 have been promoted with a 98% success rate.
La Trobe participates in the WATTLE (Women ATTaining LEadership) program. The program is designed and run by professional and academic women in the sector. The program aims to address the severe underrepresentation of women in senior levels of leadership in the university sector, strengthening the pipeline of women for leadership in senior academic and managerial positions. WATTLE directly contributes to the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program, which is dedicated to improving gender representation in STEMM disciplines.
VESKI STEM sidebyside Program
La Trobe University participates in the inaugural VESKI inspiring women STEM sidebyside program. With women continuing to be under-represented at leadership levels across Australia, the VESKI inspiring women STEM sidebyside mid-career emerging leaders program is designed to support women wanting to progress or extend into leadership positions within a STEM industry. The program aims to enable women to better foster and generate organisational cultural change and pave the way for future generations.
La Trobe Violence Against Women Research Network (LAVAWN)
Violence against women is a public health and human rights issue affecting the health and well-being of women across the globe. The La Trobe Violence Against Women Research Network (LAVAWN) draws together the breadth of expertise across La Trobe University working on this important issue. The network is supported by researchers from the Judith Lumley Centre.
Square the Ledger
Women, trans and gender diverse people make an immeasurable contribution to our economy and society, and yet their achievements are still not adequately acknowledged by the conventional history or the wider public record. In its 50th year, La Trobe partnered with the Victorian Women’s Trust to embark on a project to ‘Square the ledger’ by documenting and celebrating the ordinary and extraordinary lives of women who have walked the halls of the University — as students, educators, and administrators.
We proudly acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands where its campuses are located in Victoria. We recognise that Indigenous Australians have an ongoing connection to the land and the University values their unique contribution to both the University and the wider Australian society
- Indigenous Employment
We are committed to providing ongoing employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across all campuses and across all levels, both academic and professional. The University is currently updating its Indigenous Employment Strategy to help ‘close the gap’ in employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
- Teaching, learning and research
We have a long-standing commitment to teaching, learning and research within the area of Indigenous Australian studies. The area is multi-disciplinary and incorporates activities across all faculties. The Indigenous Strategy and Education Group acts as a focus for teaching and research activities and brings academics, researchers, students and Indigenous communities together with the primary goal of increasing interest and scholarly exploration of the historical and contemporary cultures, issues and stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We are proud to foster a culture where all staff can bring their whole and authentic selves to work. For our LGBTIQA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Asexual) students and staff this means not having to worry that they won’t be accepted due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS)
The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) conducts world-class research and education on the social dimensions of sexuality, gender, health and human relationships. The centre works collaboratively with other researchers, communities, community-based organisations, government and professionals to advance knowledge and promote positive change in policy, practice and people’s lives.
LGBTIQA+ Resource Hub
At La Trobe, We have a large LGBTIQA+ community, and to ensure they feel safe, celebrated and supported, specific resources for LGBTQIA+ employees and students can be found on the LGBTIQA+ Resource Hub.
PRIDE Academic Promotion Support Program
The PRIDE Academic Promotions support program was launched in 2022 in as part of the University’s involvement in SAGE Athena SWAN. It seeks to address the promote diversity across senior academic positions by encouraging LGBTIQA+ academics to apply for promotion.
The program includes three components: professional development in the form of workshops run by La Trobe colleagues, group mentoring of potential applicants with senior academics and a dedicated site for discussion and resources.
Support for Transgender and Gender Diverse Staff
We recognise the experiences of transgender and gender diverse people within the LGBTQIA+ community, and so La Trobe has robust policies and procedures to support employees affirming their gender; including a comprehensive gender affirmation plan and gender affirmation leave offering.
Gender Neutral Toilet Facilities
As a community, we want to support our employees and students who are transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming and providing appropriate facilities is an important step. We have 84 gender neutral or shared toilets across all campuses.
We recognise employee needs grow and change through the course of their lives, and to ensure we provide a workplace that is flexible and supportive of these needs, We have a wide range of initiatives to support our employees and students depending on their life stages, including childcare centres, breastfeeding spaces on all campuses, support for those affected by domestic violence and generous employee benefits, including paid parental leave and a workplace that champions flexible work practices.
We are committed to assisting employees with flexible work arrangements to help balance work, health, family, professional, study or other responsibilities. We b offer a range of different flexible working arrangements that enable employees to successfully balance their work commitments with their personal priorities. This can include arrangements such as working from home or on-site and flexible working hours.
La Trobe University supports and values the importance of parents having the time and space to provide food for their babies, whether this be by expressing milk or breastfeeding. We aim to provide a breastfeeding-friendly environment and have breastfeeding rooms to support parents in their return to work and study.
Each of our campuses has a team that supports the operation of a breastfeeding room, accredited by the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Each room is a private space equipped with a lockable door, comfortable chair or bed, a table within reach, power points and a nearby kitchen or sink and fridge.
The Children's Centre, located at Bundoora campus, provides childcare options for students, employees and community. The centre includes all day and sessional care, as well as an Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre.
Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellowships
La Trobe established the Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellowships, a three-year Fellowship named in honour of an esteemed member of the Department of Archaeology and History, who passed away in 2017.
The Fellowships were established in 2018 to ensure that staff who have demonstrated potential to be a future leader and who have major caring responsibilities are able to maintain their career momentum and be supported to fulfil their potential. The Fellowships aim to reduce the impact of career breaks or intense caregiving responsibilities on research productivity.
Carers Travel Support Fund
The Office of the DVC(RIE) administers the Carers Travel Support Fund as part of the SAGE Athena SWAN initiative. The Fund provides support to researchers who are primary carers with the cost of childcare or other care cost while presenting at a national or international conference or undertaking research interstate or abroad.
We are committed to creating a work and study space where all human neurotypes (e.g., autism, ADHD) are recognised, valued, supported, and celebrated. We recognise that stigma, ableism, and inequality can create barriers to inclusion within neurodiverse populations. La Trobe is the only university in Australia with a dedicated Neurodiversity Project.
La Trobe University has a number of initiatives that support Neurodiversity, including:
Neurodiversity at La Trobe Resource Hub
The Neurodiversity at La Trobe Resource Hub contains specific information for students with minority neurotypes (Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, etc.). Resources in this hub include campus maps, a neurodiversity toolkit, as well as neurodiversity blogs.
La Trobe is the only university in Australia with a Neurodiversity Project. The project aims to address cultural and institutional barriers to inclusion for Neurominority staff and students.
La Trobe has a Neurodiversity Network with both staff and student branches. We welcome all staff/students who identify as Neurominorities/Neurodivergent (i.e. Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and beyond). The network is led by staff with lived experience. It offers professional development and study/work skills seminars, networking events, advocacy, access to a sensory room on our Bundoora campus, and a social community.
The Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC)
OTARC is Australia's first centre dedicated to autism research. It has a strong focus on research translation through the development of evidence-based tools. It collaborates with autistic people, other autism research centres and institutes both in Australia and internationally.