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University Contact Officers (UCOs)

University Contact Officers (UCOs) perform an important role by acting as an alternative support contact on matters related to harassment, discrimination and/or victimisation.

Trained UCOs are located on each campus and are available to provide assistance to students and staff who are, or feel that they may have been, the subject of bullying, harassment or discrimination at ECU. The role of the UCO is to listen to concerns, explain University policies and procedures and provide information regarding complaint options and services available to assist in resolving the issues of concern.

A UCO will maintain appropriate confidentiality and may:

  • Provide information to the staff/student to enable them to make an informed choice as to how to deal with their complaint
  • Provide information about the options available to resolve an individual's concerns
  • Note possible strategies an individual can use to discuss a situation directly with another person
  • Provide the individual with information relating to counselling and/or other support services that they are able to access
  • If the individual wishes to make a formal complaint the UCO will provide them with the appropriate information of how this can be completed
  • Document the person's concern in conjunction with the advice and information provided by the UCO

A UCO cannot:

  • Advocate for a complainant or respondent;
  • Provide counselling;
  • Investigate, conciliate or mediate complaints; or
  • Provide support on matters other than harassment, discrimination, or victimisation
Image of Michelle Austin

Michelle Austin

School of Science

What interested you in becoming at UCO?

I have worked within the Tertiary sector for the past 20 years, both in the UK and in Australia, mainly in roles focused on social inclusion, widening participation and community engagement. My experiences have shown me that during times of uncertainty or challenge, sometimes all it needs to support someone is to stop, take a breath and listen.I was interested in becoming a The University Contact Officer because this would give me the opportunity to support and hopefully enable someone that needs a listening ear to find the necessary and relevant support they may need.

Image of Associate Professor Kathryn McMahon

Associate Professor Kathryn McMahon

School of Science

What interested you in becoming a UCO?

To be able to take part in some way to provide a supportive environment for staff and students at ECU

Image of Dr Geoff Swan

Dr Geoff Swan

School of Education

What interested you in becoming a UCO?

I was happy to volunteer as a University Contact Officer at ECU many years ago. I liked the informality of the program and it’s nice to be able to help people out when things are not going so well.

If you are an ECU student or staff member and would like the assistance of a UCO please refer to our current list of UCOs below.


University Contact Officer resources

For more information about resources and supports available, you can visit the equity resources and support page or contact the Equity Projects Team by emailing or calling (08) 6304 6170.

We would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the Noongar people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which ECU's campuses stand and programs operate.

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