In 2018, the Australian Human Rights Commission launched a national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. WIFT Australia attended consultation sessions regarding the inquiry and has submitted an official written response. Individuals and organisations were encouraged to make written submissions up until 28 February 2019.
WIFT Australia welcome the Australian Human Rights Commission's Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces. The Inquiry is believed to be a world first and marks a clear step towards addressing an issue that 85% of Australian's will experience in their lifetime.
Kate Jenkins, Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner, credits the recent wave of global stories in bringing heightened awareness of the problem. "This spotlight on sexual harassment has turned the tide and created a clear and unprecedented appetite for change."
Although sexual harassment affects all people, harassers disproportionately target women. The effects can be devastating on many levels, including mental and economical. The AHRC's 2018 fourth national survey, Everybody's Business, reveals that the nature and type of harassment differs according to age, disability, sexual orientation and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status.
Power inequality, including gender disparity, is a key driver of sexual harassment.
WIFT have endorsed the NOW Australia submission to the Inquiry. NOW Australia is a not for profit organisation dedicated to stopping sexual harassment in all Australian workplaces. Katrina Irawati Graham, WIFT Australia Chair and Queensland Board Member and NOW Australia Board Director, has been involved with NOW Australia's submission to the AHRC Inquiry.
You can read the full NOW Australia submission and WIFT Australia's letter of endorsement in our resource section.
Codes of Conduct
Screen Producers Australia (SPA) and the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) have jointly developed and released the Australian Screen Industry Code of Practice: Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Bullying. Screen Australia will require projects approved for production funding from 1 July 2019 onwards to implement this new code.
This Code clarifies the responsibility of Producers to ensure their work places are free of harassment and assault.
This Screen Industry Code of Practice replaces the Screen Australia Code of Conduct that was released in 2018. WIFT Australia gave extensive feed back at the time and will continue to advocate for positive conduct for safe workplaces.
Live Performance Australia also has a code of conduct for the live performance industry