We have a strong prevention-focussed strategy, with firm policies, procedures and training programs in place to prevent discrimination, harassment and bullying from occurring in the workplace.

Discrimination, harassment and bullying will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and may be unlawful under State or Commonwealth legislation. All staff have a responsibility to behave in a respectful and inclusive manner towards other staff, students and members of the community, as detailed in the Staff Code of Conduct Policy.

We are committed to developing and maintaining an inclusive and harmonious workplace for all people that is free from discrimination, harassment and bullying.

What it is

Discrimination occurs when a person, or group of people, is treated less favourably than another person or group because of their background or certain personal characteristics. Discrimination may be direct or indirect.

Harassment includes behaviour that intimidates, offends or humiliates another person. It may or may not be on the basis of particular protected personal attributes. It is important to understand that a one-off incident can constitute harassment. There are specific laws relating to sexual harassment, racial hatred or disability harassment.

Workplace bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety. Bullying behaviour can range from obvious verbal or physical assault to subtle psychological abuse.

Behaviour may be discrimination, harassment and bullying if it is covered by any of the definitions in the:

Examples include:

  • Making repeated negative comments about a person’s appearance, lifestyle, sexual orientation, gender identity or culture
  • Unwarranted personal questions regading one's personal life, orientation or gender identity
  • Making loud and repeated comments about the lunch choices of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) staff members
  • Sending sexually explicit emails, texts or messages
  • Sexual innuendo, which may target orientation or gender identity
  • Spreading rude and/or inaccurate rumours about an individual, including about their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, Intersex status or disability status (either real or perceived)
  • Displaying inappropriate materials designed to humiliate or intimitated colleagues
  • Using aggressive language or ridiculing another’s opinions
  • Excluding a person from a work team.

What it’s not

Legitimate comment and advice from managers and supervisors on work performance or work-related behaviour, including relevant negative feedback, should not be confused with bullying, harassment or discrimination.

It is not harassment to:

  • give appropriate guidance
  • conduct performance counselling
  • invoke diminished performance procedures or misconduct procedures
  • have occasional disagreements or differences of opinion
  • set reasonable performance goals and standards
  • give constructive feedback on a team member’s performance.

Who to contact

There are a variety of people you can contact for support, advice or information about discrimination, harassment and bullying.

Who is most appropriate for you to contact will depend on the circumstances. It should be someone you feel comfortable talking to.

At UQ, you can talk to:

You can submit a complaint:

You can contact external agencies, such as:

Students should see the student grievance resolution process for contacts and procedures.


We are committed to providing ongoing equity and diversity training that builds a more informed staff community.


UQ is governed by the University of Queensland Act 1998. A number of university policies, which are approved by Senate, ensure our operations comply to this act and other legislation: