Chioma: A Student Liaison Officer (SLO) in the Safer Communities Office (SCO) supports students who have experienced trauma – specifically from domestic and family voilence (DFV), sexual assault and harassment, bullying and general harassment, as well as students who have been impacted by modern slavery. We provide case management, support sexual misconduct reporting and also assist with delivering preventative education in the University.
Mira: We all have experience working with survivors of trauma. We can help students navigate University processes, refer them to external services, safety plan and we can also provide assistance around reporting both internally to the University or externally. You are welcome to organise a meeting with us, or reach out for an informal chat too.
Rayila: SLOs in SCO offer case work support to students who have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic and family violence and bullying harassment. Our support extends to alumni as well. We offer support to students who are pverseas. On the other hand, Student Counselling Services provide individual counselling to currently enrolled students. Student counselling Service offers short-term treatment to students who have no other counselling in place.
SCO services are case-by-case, we tailor our case work support based on the needs of the students who fits our support categories – it could be short term such as a few weeks, or longer term such as a few months. Unlike Student Counselling Service where students can only access up to six sessions in a calendar year, SCO support doesn’t have limitation on the number of meetings with SLOs, and we coordinate with other services to support students in circumstances listed above.
Janine: I was a trauma specialist counsellor for almost five years and really enjoyed working in the space of sexual assault and domestic violence. I was excited about working for young people, especially providing more support to international students.
Chioma: I have a Social Work background and have always been drawn to trauma work in the sexual assault and DFV space. Prior to this role, I was a Trauma Specialist Counsellor at what was then Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia. I was drawn to this role due to its connection to providing both preventative education as well as response work to mostly young adults, and contributing to changing the culture around safety and respectful relationships in the University community.
Rayila: I have worked as Multicultural Specialist worker in Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services for about five years, where I provide support to women and children who have experienced and impacted by domestic and family violence. I also have a few years’ experience of working with refugees and asylum seekers as case manager. I am a compassionate advocate for the rights of people from vulnerable communities.
Mira: I studied Social Work at the University of Sydney and have worked with people experiencing homelessness as well as in the gendered violence prevention and support space. I am very happy to be back at Sydney Uni again.
Chioma: I have learnt that the University community is huge! But beyond that, I realise that changing the culture around respect and safety needs whole-of-community involvement and there is room for everyone to exercise leadership in being active bystanders and advocates for change, regardless of where they are located in the community. I have also learnt that we do amazing work in the Safer Communities Office!
Rayila: In my role as Student Liaison Officer, I have been humbled with my students’ resilience in their healing process. I also learned that the path to eliminate gender violence, to change rape culture, is a long and difficult process. I have also learned so much from my beautiful team that we could support each other in this process. More practically, I've also learned how University of Sydney's student support team works to make sure our students can seek assistance if they need it at any time during their studies.
Janine: A student should get in touch with us if they’ve experienced issues around sexual assault, harassment or domestic violence. Whether it is recent or something that happened in the past, if a student is feeling distressed and these feelings are impacting their life and studies, then they should definitely connect with us.
Janine: They can get in touch any time through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm on weekdays at 02 8627 6808.