Respect in the Workplace: A statement from RANZCP President and CEO

RANZCP members may be aware of recent media coverage in Australia regarding the new 'positive duty' for employers to eliminate sexual harassment from the workplace. This legislation has prompted the College to review and further develop our approach to preventing sexual harassment and related inappropriate behaviours to protect our employees and members from harm.

We acknowledge that no workplace is immune to poor or unlawful behaviour. Sexual harassment, among other forms of harassment, can happen to anyone, and is more prevalent than commonly believed. The RANZCP is committed to promoting a safe and healthy workplace. We welcome the new legislation introduced in Australia’s Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Act 2022 - December 2022. We also acknowledge the enhanced powers of the Australian Human Rights Commission to enforce the positive duty, from 12 December 2023.

Our primary focus remains on cultivating a culture that prevents sexual harassment in all forms, and the RANZCP is dedicated to regularly evaluating our effectiveness in achieving this goal. 

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission's 2022 Fifth National Survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces:

  • Approximately 41% of women and 26% of men have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace within the last five years.
  • Sexual harassment is more likely to be experienced by younger individuals (aged 15-29), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, individuals with disabilities, and those with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, or gender expressions.
  • Less than 20% of people reported or filed a formal complaint about sexual harassment.
  • Around 41% of people witnessed or heard about the sexual harassment of others at work, with 35% taking action to prevent or reduce harm. Notably, 61% of those who took action reported that the harassment stopped as a result.

These statistics are not acceptable. We believe that every person should feel safe at work. The RANZCP commits to fostering a work environment for our employees that is free from all forms of sexual harassment, harassment and related inappropriate or unprofessional conduct. We will promote a culture where mutual respect is shown at all times.

The RANZCP aims to establish a zero-harm culture where individuals feel comfortable speaking up without fear of retaliation. In demonstrating this commitment, the College has announced our new RANZCP Sexual Harassment Policy which provides information for anyone who experiences or witnesses sexual harassment in our workplaces. 

If you experience or witness sexual harassment or related inappropriate conduct in our workplaces, we urge you to promptly report these concerns, and College employees should also refer to the RANZCP Sexual Harassment Policy for further information and support. 

The RANZCP commits to regularly reviewing its policies, standards, and reporting data to ensure continuous improvement in eliminating sexual harassment at the RANZCP. We will provide regular refresher training and communications for all staff, and we welcome and encourage RANZCP members to learn more at and complete the Fair Work Commission Sexual Harassment short course.

Creating and maintaining a safe and respectful culture is a collective responsibility. We expect all staff employed at the RANZCP to be treated with kindness and respect at all times and the RANZCP adopts a zero-tolerance policy to disrespect, abuse or aggression.

The RANZCP’s Board and Executive leadership team are committed to creating safe and respectful workplaces where sexual harassment is a matter of the past. We must all work together and embody our commitment to mutual respect.



Sharon McGowan

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Elizabeth Moore

President (2023–2025)

RANZCP members who may require support have access to our Member Support Program and can receive confidential counselling, support or coaching from qualified professionals, through an independent and external service funded by the RANZCP. To access support, make an appointment with a Converge consultant:

  • Book online or use the live chat at 
  • Download the Converge International App and connect using the appointment icon. 
  • Call 1300 687 327 (Aus) or 0800 666 367 (NZ), or +613 8620 5300 (International) 
  • In Aotearoa New Zealand, your call will be answered by an experienced counsellor at partner organisation Vitae.
  • If booking online, you will be prompted for an organisation code. The RANZCP organisation code is THECDLK

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