CONFEDERATION OF AUSTRALIAN STATE THEATRES (CAST)
We all have a role to play.
CAST companies recognise our leadership role in ensuring that the culture of our theatres and creative spaces are safe for everyone, free from harassment or abuses of power – sexual or otherwise. The well-being of those who work and create with us is of utmost importance, now and in the future. We will not tolerate sexual harassment, intimidation, or any abuse of power in our companies or work places. We offer support structures and a workplace culture that empowers people to uphold a safe place, and report inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour. We are committed to continually improving the physical and emotional safety of our employees in our organisations, by empowering those who work with us to question and report inappropriate behaviours.
As employers, our responsibility is to create a working environment that is safe and respectful. Each company has its own policies and procedures in place to support its employees in relation to sexual harassment and bullying. It is the responsibility of employers to make these policies known to, and explain them, to their employees. It is also the responsibility of employers to investigate any formal complaints that are made by their employees – this includes contractors, freelancers, interns and volunteers. As an employee (including contractors, freelancers, interns and volunteers), your responsibility is to ensure your own behaviour is always respectful and to question and report any offensive behaviour directed either to yourself, or witnessed. If at any time you feel unsafe or intimidated, or if you witness inappropriate behaviour, we encourage you, with confidence, to report this immediately so that action may be taken. It is your right as an employee to be provided with the company’s policies and for them to be explained to you. It is also your right to ask for progress updates on any formal complaint that you have made. Your employer will have a clear policy for reporting inappropriate behaviours and you should familiarise yourself with these reporting structures upon commencement of employment.
WHAT BEHAVIOURS CONSTITUTE SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. If a reasonable person would anticipate this behaviour might make you feel offended, humiliated or intimidated, it may be sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is unlawful under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). For behaviour to be sexual harassment, it must be unwelcome. That means that you don’t want it to happen. Sexual harassment can happen to anyone in the workplace. It may be a continuous pattern of behaviour, or a one-off act.
CAST is committed to cultural change for the betterment of our industry. We are introducing a national code of behaviour, and we are committed to a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual harassment or bullying in the workplace. We are also committed to empowering those working with us to report inappropriate behaviours. By upholding a consistent industry-wide standard, we can work together to eradicate sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace and ensure we move forward as a collective, safe and supportive industry.