Statement of Support for ECCV’s All One Together campaign

I want to begin by paying my respects to the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands, sky and waters where Victoria University and our community live and work, and pay my respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. We are proud to honour Indigenous cultures and our roots in Greater Western Melbourne, and it is our responsibility to respect and listen to Indigenous voices and standpoints, upholding and privileging self-determination, sovereignty and authority.

Victoria University prides itself on being a safe place for our communities. We value our deep diversity as a foundation for collaboration and social progress. We embolden and support our students, colleagues, allies, partners, alumni and friends to shape not only their own futures but also the world in which they live. We are committed to enriching lives underpinned by our values – to be always welcoming, ethical and shaping the future together.

Before any of us can contribute to equitable inclusion, visibility and representation for the diverse communities we serve, we must ensure we are working to do no harm. Doing no harm means acknowledging that significant barriers exist for others which we may not experience ourselves. It means acknowledging racism is real and exists in all spheres of life.

We need to have the courage to look at ourselves and our organisational practices and ask: how can we do better? How can we actively work to prevent and call out racism? How can we constantly improve our policies and processes to remove systemic barriers, racism and bias?

An unwavering commitment to progressive inclusivity means that at VU we will strive to seek out and value lived experience, listen to our community and act on what we learn. This must be reflected in our plans and actions. Equity of representation, access and justice for people of all cultures, backgrounds and faiths is non negotiable.

As a University, we care and we act. We will continue to effect positive social change through learning and teaching experiences, research and partnerships with schools, industry and the community to ensure a safe and inclusive community for all.

Adam Shoemaker, Vice Chancellor