Our Vice-Chancellor and President, Peter Dawkins, on behalf of VU, has made a statement on systemic racism, acknowledging the grief and pain this has caused to our First Peoples. 

Vice-Chancellor's statement, on behalf of VU

Victoria University condemns systemic racism.

At the same time, we accept that VU, like most institutions, is shaped by the history of this land and its people. Therefore, our work to undo systemic racism needs to be ongoing.

Racism is a harmful and shameful blight on our society.

The current events around the world, and in our own country, demonstrate that racism exists, and we must be bold and play our role to end it. 

We join in solidarity to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel safe in engaging in university spaces.

We recognise that the events that are unfolding are causing our students, staff and community considerable distress and grief. Through our work at VU, we are united in continuing to address the underlying social issues that have given rise to systemic responses to Aboriginal people and marginalised cultural groups.

VU is proud of its multicultural makeup as well as its cultural diversity engagement through our academic programs, research, partnerships with community and industry and our multicultural workplace.

We take up our collective commitment to being accountable, to empower rather than to marginalise. Together with our community we work to ensure that human dignity and human rights are upheld, educational and vocational opportunities and participation are equal for all.

Our moral purpose is to transform lives by providing outstanding opportunities to any student from any background in a university without boundaries.

We demonstrate this commitment through:

  • our Bathelmun Yalingwa Strategy, which consists of three key aspirations - gamadji (grow), dambunmon (share), jerrboongun (connect) - connecting our institution and people to Aboriginal culture in meaningful ways, sharing Aboriginal knowledge, and to build and grow our relationships with the Aboriginal community in the west of Melbourne.
  • the VU Cultural Diversity Strategy and Cultural Diversity Principles, which are a clear articulation of our mission to provide an equitable and empowering experience for all those who interact with VU - our students, staff, researchers, community and industry partners. The strategy evidences VU’s strong moral purpose and social justice agenda and the principles outline the spirit of cultural inclusion in its broadest sense.

VU is committed to taking further steps to engage our community and our partners in introspection, dialogue and action to ensure we enact our shared responsibility to shape a socially cohesive community and end racism.

Support services

Support services for staff

If you feel distressed and need support, you can access free, confidential counselling through VU’s Employee Assistance Program provider:

Support services for students

If you are a student who needs support you can contact us via:

You can also access VU's free, confidential counselling services:

Phone: +61 3 9919 5400 (9am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday).

We also have a range of counselling and wellbeing resources for online support.