Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officers (DHCOs) are trained UQ staff members. Students and staff can contact them with enquiries related to discrimination, harassment and bullying, including about:

  • UQ policies
  • grievance resolution procedures
  • access to support services that are internal and external to UQ.

DHCOs do not provide legal advice.

Find a DHCO

Role

The role of a DHCO is to:

  • provide a first point of contact for people with enquiries related to discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • provide information to people, including complainants, respondents and managers/supervisors about UQ's policies and grievance resolution procedures related to harassment, discrimination and bullying, and where to access support or advice, both internal and external to UQ
  • raise awareness in the workplace about UQ policies and procedures in regard to discrimination, harassment and bullying, and the grievance resolution process
  • assist parties to work towards a solution of an issue by encouraging them to generate options for dealing with their particular concern
  • where possible and as appropriate, encourage parties to utilise the lower-level, informal processes available to them
  • provide feedback to Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources Division for statistical purposes, and alert them to any issues or problems related to the DHCO role.

The role is voluntary, and performed in addition to your normal duties.

The role of a DHCO does not in any way remove responsibility from the designated officer in a UQ grievance resolution procedure, or other prescribed UQ processes.

Become a DHCO

Requirements

You will have:

  • a commitment to fairness
  • a desire to assist people resolve conflict
  • interest in supporting the elimination of discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • capacity to deal with confidential, often complex interpersonal matters and to be objective.

Training

To become a DHCO, you must:

  1. Talk to your supervisor or manager about your interest in becoming a DHCO.
  2. Complete both modules of the EO Online training.
  3. Complete the DHCO training course and be registered with the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Unit before commencing as a DHCO.

Ongoing responsibilities

While you’re a DHCO, you must:

  • Complete the refresher training program at least once every 2 years, or as required.
  • Keep up to date with any changes in policies and procedures.
  • Provide Workplace Diversity and Inclusion with feedback, including returning DHCO report forms.

Expectations

DHCOs will:

  • maintain a commitment to, and understanding of, social justice and equal opportunity
  • provide accurate information and appropriately refer matters as required
  • act as a role model to other staff and to students by their own behaviour
  • be proactive in promoting an environment free of discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • be discreet and maintain confidentiality of the issues raised by people seeking advice, with this caveat: a DHCO is required to advise an appropriate senior staff member if they believe a person may be in danger or potentially endanger someone else, or if they believe the issue is or may be potentially extremely serious.

DHCOs will not:

  • engage in advocacy on behalf of an individual
  • undertake mediation or investigation
  • become involved in the formal grievance resolution process prescribed by policy in any way other than as described in the role description
  • act as a DHCO in situations where they may have a conflict of interest. In these situations, they are to refer the person to another DHCO.

Supervisor responsibilities

It is important that supervisors and managers support the work of the DHCO. The DHCO's role is voluntary, and undertaken in addition to the person's normal duties. The role may be recognised as a legitimate aspect of ‘service’ for academic staff.

You can contact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion to discuss the implications of a staff member in your area becoming a DHCO.

To learn more about the DHCO role you can attend Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officer and Supervisor Refresher Training.