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Curtin University
Ethics Equity and Social Justice

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find some answers to some common questions about equity in employment and education. If the answer you're looking for is not here, you can contact eesj@curtin.edu.au for further information.

Family Responsibilities

Religious and Cultural Considerations

Disabilities and Medical Conditions

Conflict of Interest

Harassment and Discrimination

Equity in Employment

Research Ethics


Can I bring my child/children onto Curtin campuses?

The University acknowledges the special needs of students and staff with family responsibilities, and therefore has provided the capacity to bring a child/children onto campus in line with the Child/Children on Campus Procedures. However, lecturers and supervisors have the responsibility to ask the parent/guardian to remove the child/children in the event that the child/children are not behaving responsibly and safely on campus, are disrupting normal study and work practices, or in the event that safety and health standards would be compromised, for example, room capacity is exceeded.

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Where can I find information on parental leave?

Curtin staff are eligible for parental leave in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement.

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Where are the parenting facilities on Bentley Campus?

A multipurpose room incorporating parenting facilities is located on level 2 of the University Library (Building 105). This room has a range of breastfeeding and child-friendly equipment, and allows complete privacy for up to an hour at a time. To access the parenting room in the library, please speak to the library enquiries staff.

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Where are the nappy change facilities on Bentley Campus?

Hygienic nappy change facilities are available at the following convenient locations:

  • Building 100, room 310
  • Building 200, toilet adjacent to the Bookshop and Cafe
  • Building 210, room 110
  • Building 408, room 2001

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Can I participate in fieldwork if I am pregnant?

Pregnancy will not preclude you from undertaking fieldwork if you meet the requirements for the fieldwork and it is safe for you to do so.

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As a single parent, I am unable to secure childcare for my 8 month old baby at the time my exam is scheduled. What can I do about this?

If you believe you would be unfairly disadvantaged by participating in the scheduled exam, you can apply for an equity examination on other (non-disability/medical or religious) grounds. For more information, see the Equity Examinations page, or contact eesj@curtin.edu.au.

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I have a class on at the same time as when I have to go to the Mosque to pray. Can I do anything about this?

You can speak to your lecturer and ask for special consideration, explaining that you have a religious requirement, and request that you either be allowed to change class (if possible), or that you be able to access the information in another way or format - for example, on the web, or through notes from the lecturer. The University Mulit-Faith Officer may also be able to offer you some advice. More details can be found on the Faith Services and Facilities website.

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In my culture, I am obliged to attend several days of mourning and the funerals for my relatives and extended family. Can I request leave for this?

The University has a special leave allowance for employees of up to five days for urgent family business such as attendance at funerals, etc. You can use this leave for this purpose.

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The examinations this year are at the same time as Ramadan, a time when I fast each day from sunrise to sunset. My five exams are all in three days - I am sure I will be too weak to sit all of these in such a short time. Can anyone help with this?

The University does have special arrangements in place for this situation. You can contact the University Multi-Faith Officer to discuss your needs. You will be required to provide information to verify your membership of your religious group, and then the MFO will organise some changes in the examination schedule for you, if appropriate. More details can be found on the Faith Services and Facilities website.

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Who can I talk to about managing my studies with a medical condition or disability?

Curtin's Disability Services can assist you to manage your disability and/or put strategies in place to minimise the impact of a disability or medical condition on your studies. This may include negotiating alternative assessment conditions. Contact Disability Services for any assistance relating to managing a disability or medical condition while studying.

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Someone in my Department is supervising a postgraduate student to whom they are related. Is this OK?

The academic staff involved should declare this relationship with the student to his or her line manager. It is then up to the line manager to advise the staff member whether it is acceptable to continue to supervise the student or whether changes to the arrangement should be made. One alternative may be to appoint another staff member as a co-supervisor. The University has a Conflict of Interest policy and procedures to overcome situations like this.

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Where do I find information about dealing with harassment or discrimination?

Contact the Professional Standards and Conduct Unit.

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What is an affirmative action search?

An affirmative action search is undertaken at the time of advertising a vacant position. It is a useful strategy to redress the demographics in the School/Area, e.g. gender balance. For senior level positions (i.e. Professor, Assoc Professor, Executive Managers) you can encourage women to apply in an attempt to increase the number of women in senior positions at the University. It is important to understand that by implementing an affirmative action search, you are supporting the University. A affirmative action search goes beyond normal advertising processes and should be implemented at the same time as advertising is occurring.

A search plan does NOT:

  • Imply that anyone encourage to apply through the search plan will be treated other than on merit in the normal selection process.
  • Mean that candidates who have no realistic chance of appointment would be encouraged to apply

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How do I do an affirmative action search?

Some useful strategies include:

  • Contacting other Australian Universities
  • Contacting University in other countries
  • Contracting professional bodies and industry
  • Identifying positions for members of a particular EO Diversity Group
  • Giving preference to applications from a specific group (who also meet selection criteria)  

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Why should I submit an EEO Statement with my application for Academic Promotion?

The Academic Promotions process provides for applicants to advise of any circumstances relating to grounds included in Curtin's Equal Opportunity Policy, which they would like to have taken into consideration during the decision making process. EEO Considerations must relate to the grounds included in the Equal Opportunity Policy (sex, marital status, pregnancy, potential pregnancy, breast feeding, sexual orientation, gender history, race, national or ethnic origin, age, religious or political conviction, impairment or disability, family responsibility or family status). Where an EEO consideration is notified, decision makers are advised by the University that when making an 'on balance' judgement in relation to the application, they should consider whether the achievements identified are 'reasonable' in the circumstances (as compared with an application where such circumstances do not apply). For more information refer to the Academic Promotions website.

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What is the EEO Workplace Census?

Universities are required by law to have programs for putting EEO into practice. These programs focus on eliminating discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, race, colour, national extraction, social origin, age, religious or political conviction, impairment, family responsibilities or family status, gender history and sexual orientation, in relation to recruitment and selection, transfer and promotion, conditional and types of employment and dismissal.

To develop Curtin's EEO Program and measure the results of strategies which are implemented, we need information about all employees at Curtin. Your personal information will contribute to the information needed to help create a picture of our workplace.

This information will NOT be used in any decisions on promotions, secondments or transfers and will not be used on your personal file. Your answers will be used only by people working on EEO programs and will only be accessed in aggregate form. The information you provide in the questionnaire will be kept CONFIDENTIAL.

Staff are asked to update their EEO details by entering the Employee Kiosk and following the links to Equal Employment Opportunity.

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Who do I contact for research ethics approval?

You should contact the Office of Research and Development for information about research ethics approval.

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