“Australia’s universities are wholly supportive of Ms Kinnersly’s appointment as a pre-eminent expert in preventing sexual harm across society,” Universities Australia Chair Professor David Lloyd said.
“This is an area where we have work to do, to build on our efforts to date.
“We are committed to working with Ms Kinnersly and the government to stop the scourge of sexual harm at universities and in the community.
“It is a shared responsibility and one which we don’t – and won’t – shy away from.
“Universities Australia and individual member universities have a strong track record of working with Ms Kinnersly in her capacity as chief executive officer of Our Watch. She is a leading health, welfare and education professional with extensive experience in this field.
“We have an ongoing partnership with Our Watch and continue to work closely on various initiatives aimed at preventing sexual harm in university settings. This includes the development of toolkits and frameworks on primary prevention, and hands-on work on campus to drive change.
“A single instance of sexual harm is one too many. Sadly, and regrettably, the statistics are far higher than that.
“This is an issue we must confront – as a sector and as a society.
“We can and must do better by our students. We can and must do better by our staff – because everyone deserves to feel and be safe at the place they study and work.”