Twenty (one); Response to Ormond College Essay

NAAUC would like to thank a resident of Ormond College, known publicly only as Ellie, for having the courage to share her experience of rape on campus. Ellie’s determination and bravery in publicly responding to her experience should be an inspiration to everyone, and we are incredibly grateful to her. We hope that her essay will incite a bigger movement towards a real, lasting change in residential communities around Australia. You can read her essay here.

We also want to acknowledge the response of the college’s Master, Lara McKay, who not only supported Ellie’s decision to publish her essay, but also embraces ‘frank and fearless conversations about issues that are difficult to talk about’. NAAUC will always support students and staff leadership teams who work hard to improve the safety, health and happiness of their residents. The residential experience has the capacity to be a wholly enriching environment for students. Through Ellie and Lara’s leadership, we hope that they are one step closer to ensuring that their college is a safe and enriching experience for everyone.

However, we know that sadly Ellie is not alone in her experience. While Ellie has done an incredible job in keeping her residence accountable, this issue is still not going away. NAAUC strongly believes that this is an opportunity for Australian residences to stand up and work together to create lasting change. Residential communities have so much power to be a force for good in every single resident’s life, and while some are working exceptionally hard to ensure that they provide an enriching student experience, there is far more work to be done. We want to work with residences to ensure that this behaviour is actively not tolerated. As Ellie and Lara made clear, it is imperative to listen to your residents, listen to their stories, and listen to their ideas. If NAAUC can be of any assistance to you or your residence, please reach out to us.

To other survivors, we stand with you, we believe you and you do not stand alone. We want to support and assist you however we can.  If you require support, there are many support services which are available within your state and university, details of which can be found here.

 If you would like to contact NAAUC please do not hesitate to email the NAAUC President, Jonty Boshier