9 November 2018
Bullying and harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, anywhere.
Sydney Theatre Company is actively engaged in challenging and correcting bullying and harassment in the workplace. We have been working alongside many peer companies in Australia to prevent and put an end to sexual harassment, abuse and predatory behaviour in our theatres and in the broader industry.
STC has a number of key policies in place that assist us to provide a safe workplace and the best possible care for all employees. These include the Workplace Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy and the Grievance Procedure Policy. Our Human Resources team carries out inductions for all staff across all departments, and sets out who employees should talk to if they want to discuss an issue.
Our HR team tailors wellness sessions and specialised support initiatives across the organisation. We offer a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program which provides independent, confidential counselling for all STC staff. Mental health training is currently being rolled out companywide at STC.
STC is an organisation of individuals that care deeply about our people and our community. STC has always had safe workplace policies in place that are reviewed and updated on a rolling basis, but in the wake of the #metoo movement we recognise that we could have done better in the past and embrace this time as an opportunity to make further and lasting positive change. We recognised the need for examination to identify areas for improvement. Improvements have been put in place, and our policies and procedures will continue to be evaluated and updated.
We strive to be a place where everyone, especially our staff and artists, feel safe and supported. We want our staff and artists to feel empowered and informed about what to do and who to talk to in case of an incident, and we have clear processes in place to ensure this is the case. We encourage all our employees to speak up about any concerns and to feel confident in doing so.
Earlier this year STC took part in the first Safe Theatres Forum which brought together 47 participants from around Australia, who made a joint commitment to making lasting cultural change within the theatre sector in this country. One of the outcomes of this gathering was an agreement between nine major Australian theatre companies to work together to standardise workplace policies and procedures across the industry. We believe that this will help boost familiarity and comfort with appropriate workplace behaviours, procedures and support services amongst the many freelance artists that work across our industry nationally.
As a major Australian arts organisation, we have a responsibility to our people and our industry. Through this commitment to the wellbeing of our employees, as well as perpetual refinement of our processes, policies and support initiatives, STC seeks to provide a workplace free from harassment.
STC is a member of the Confederation of Australian State Theatres (CAST). Together with our partner organisations we released this statement on Friday 3 November 2017 in regards to this issue our industry is facing: