Release type: Media Release


Expert appointed to support safer university campuses


The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education

I have appointed Patty Kinnersly to a Working Group that will provide advice on how universities can create safer campuses for students and staff.

Ms Kinnersly is currently the CEO of Our Watch, a national leader in the primary prevention of violence against women and children in Australia.

The Working Group is part of the Albanese Government’s response to the Universities Accord Interim Report.

In 2021 the National Student Safety Survey found that one in 20 students had been sexually assaulted since starting university. One in six reported being sexually harassed.

The Working Group will provide advice to Education Ministers on the immediate actions we should take to improve university governance.

The Working Group will consult with advocacy groups like STOP, End Rape on Campus and Fair Agenda, and develop an action plan on the immediate steps needed to improve the safety of students and staff.

Each State and Territory will be represented on the Working Group. The first meeting is scheduled for next week.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, Jason Clare:

“The actions universities have taken to address sexual assault and harassment on campuses to date have not been good enough.

“We have the research. We have the evidence. We have to act.

“It is clear that university governing bodies must do more.

“The Working Group will provide advice on concrete actions that are aimed squarely at strengthening university governance and keeping students safe.”

If you or someone you know is impacted by family, domestic or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit