New Chair, new Action Plan

 

St Mark’s College’s new independent Chair, Ms Linda Matthews, has launched an Action Plan to support continued cultural renewal at the College.

Ms Matthews has recently been appointed as College Chair and will lead the Plan’s implementation.

Linda brings more than twenty-five years’ experience leading change in the not-for-profit sector. Her previous roles include South Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity, Director of Funding and Advocacy at the SA Intellectual Disability Services Council. Linda has also managed a number of not-for-profit organisations including The Parks Community Legal Service, the SA Domestic Violence Prevention Unit and the SA Rape and Sexual Assault Service. As Executive Director of Women NSW she led reforms for victims of family and domestic violence. She was also Queensland’s first Privacy Commissioner.  

Linda currently serves as a Board member of Catherine House and is President of Scosa.

The St Mark’s College Action Plan for Cultural Renewal is designed to retain the positive aspects of College life, making changes to ensure the College provides an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students.

The Action Plan is a series of practical actions informed by the findings of the Cultural Renewal at the University of Sydney Residential Colleges Report by Elizabeth Broderick, the work of Universities Australia through the AHRC Report Change the Course, the UNSW Report On Safe Ground, and the University of Adelaide: Review of Student Residential Colleges Report prepared by the South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission. It has also been informed by the research undertaken by KPMG for the College Board.

Key actions include:

  • Ensuring greater controls are in place for College events to reduce harmful drinking and reduce the likelihood of unacceptable activities and behaviour;
  • Planning for a new Welcome Week to replace Orientation Week. Welcome Week focuses on building an inclusive and diverse student body. Unacceptable past traditions and activities will not be tolerated;
  • Strengthen existing training for all students and staff on the College’s Values, sexual assault and harassment, consent, bystander awareness, drug and alcohol harm minimisation, mental and sexual health by increasing its frequency throughout the year and introducing cultural sensitivity training;
  • Monitoring and reviewing progress to ensure the Action Plan achieves its targets and adapts to leading evidence-based practice and feedback.

More detail is contained in the College Statement of Cultural Renewal and the Action Plan for Cultural Renewal on a page.

Further information about student well-being at St Mark’s can be accessed here.

The College will consult and report regularly on progress to the St Mark’s community and our key stakeholders on the implementation of this Plan.

If you have any feedback on the Plan, please email chair@stmarkscollege.com.au.

A copy of the news release is available here.