Discrimination is unfavourable treatment or an unreasonable demand – whether direct or indirect – because of a personal characteristic protected by law. Even assuming that the person might have this characteristic, or may have it in the future, can count as discrimination. Either way, it’s against the law.

Personal characteristics protected by law include:

  • race, colour and national or social origin
  • sex, gender identity or sexual orientation
  • age
  • physical, intellectual, mental or psychiatric disability
  • pregnancy or potential pregnancy
  • marital status, relationship status and family or carer’s responsibilities
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • trade union activity.

What to do

If you feel safe and comfortable enough to do so, tell the person you find their discriminatory behaviour offensive and inappropriate.

If the situation becomes threatening or potentially dangerous, call:

  • Monash Security on 03 9905 3333 (for immediate help on campus)
  • 000 (for immediate help on or off campus).

If you experience, see or hear about any discriminatory behaviour, we encourage you to make a report online to the Safer Community Unit.

Discriminatory attitudes and behaviours poison the work and study environment, and won't change unless we challenge them.

Getting support

If speaking to the person about their behaviour has not stopped the discriminatory behaviour, ask the Safer Community Unit for help. Or you may prefer to talk to a trusted supervisor, colleague or the head of department – someone you know who will listen and offer constructive support. You might also wish to contact respectful-communities@monash.edu.

If someone you know is experiencing discrimination, encourage them to contact the Safer Community Unit or email respectful-communities@monash.edu.

For more information, see getting help and support.

More information