Respectful Behaviours

It is a legal obligation to prevent discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation in all areas of employment and public life, including education, provision of goods and services, and clubs and associations. This applies to the arts and cultural sector, as much as to business, government and the wider community.

The safety and wellbeing of everyone working in, and engaging with, the South Australian arts and cultural sector is of paramount importance. Arts South Australia is committed to a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of victimisation, bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment.

Arts South Australia has taken a proactive, leadership approach to this serious issue, announcing that from 1 March 2018 it is a condition of all Arts South Australia funding and grants that recipients must adopt and implement a Respectful Behaviours policy and procedures.

Arts South Australia has collated information and resources to help individual practitioners and organisations with this process. However, we are not one of the Government agencies tasked with responding to incidents and complaints or providing professional support. These are listed below.

Victimisation, bullying and harassment can include behaviour that:

  • is repeated and systematic
  • a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would expect that it would victimise humiliate, undermine or threaten the employee or employees to whom the behaviour is directed
  • creates a risk to health or safety.

Examples of behaviour, whether intentional or unintentional, that may be considered to be bullying if it is repeated, unreasonable and creates a risk to health and safety includes, but is not limited to:

  • abusive, insulting or offensive language or comments
  • unjustified criticism or complaints
  • continuously and deliberately excluding someone from workplace activities
  • withholding information that is vital for effective performance, setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines
  • setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond a person’s skill level
  • denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources
  • spreading misinformation or malicious rumours.

Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour, which a reasonable person having regard to all the circumstances would anticipate that the person would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.

The Sex Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for a person to sexually harass another person in a number of areas including employment, education, the provision of goods and services and accommodation.

With sexual harassment, what is important is how the behaviour is perceived, not necessarily how it is intended.

Behaviour that qualifies as sexual harassment can be verbal, written, visual or physical. Sexual harassment can take many forms, including, but not limited to, unwelcome:

  • touching or kissing in a sexual way
  • comments or behaviours such as leering or staring, that is sexually suggestive
  • sexually explicit pictures, objects or reading matter
  • direct or implied sexual propositions, or requests for dates
  • intrusive questions about sexual activity.

Information and resources

The following information and resources have been compiled to assist you to comply with this condition. The list is not exhaustive and will be updated from time to time as new material becomes available. If you find or develop other materials that you think will be useful, we invite you to share them with us by emailing

The Department of State Development (DSD) is committed to promoting a positive work environment which supports the wellbeing of our people by adopting appropriate practices which result in improved workforce and business outcomes, and that are underpinned by legislation and policy.

It is an expectation that public sector employees will, at all times, treat other persons with respect and courtesy. DSD is committed to zero tolerance towards unfair discrimination, bullying, and harassment and will take an active approach to address and eliminate such behaviours.

The DSD Respectful Behaviours Policy applies to employees, staff and volunteers of all areas of DSD (including Arts South Australia and Artlab Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, South Australian Museum, State Library of South Australia, Carrick Hill and History Trust of South Australia). The Policy, and related policies and procedures, are available on the DSD Intranet. A copy of the Policy is available here.

The Equal Opportunity Commission provides three main services in South Australia: information, education, and assessing and resolving complaints.

Equal Opportunity at Work: A Handbook for Employers in South Australia is a practical guide that includes action checklists and templates for policy, procedure and Code of Conduct documents.

You can download the Handbook here and the templates below:

Equal Opportunity Policy template
Code of Conduct template
Complaint Procedure template

The Australian Human Rights Commission aims to foster greater understanding and protection of human rights in Australia and to address the human rights concerns of a broad range of individuals and groups. The Commission investigates alleged infringements under federal legislation

The Commission’s website includes an extensive range of publications and guides.

In response to incidents and allegations in the broader entertainment industry both here and overseas, a number of agencies, organisations and groups in the arts and cultural sector have developed or updated their Codes of Conduct and Codes of Behaviour with the aim of preventing sexual harassment and abuse.

Confederation of Australian State Theatres (CAST) National Code of Behaviour

Theatre Network NSW CODE OF BEHAVIOUR to prevent sexual harassment and abuses of power in our industry (endorsed by Theatre Network Australia)

The Association of Artist Managers - the peak body for managers of contemporary music - has updated its Code of Conduct to include a clause on sexual harassment - download it here.

Screen Australia Code of Conduct to Prevent Sexual Harassment
It is proposed that Screen Australia productions approved for funding from 2 April 2018 will be required to use the above Code for their project. This will be a condition of their funding contract.
For more information about the proposed Code please view the accompanying media release.

Live Performance Australia Australian Live Performance Industry Code of Practice: Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Bullying
Live Performance Australia (LPA) has released a draft Industry Code of Practice for consultation with its members and the broader Australian live performance industry. The Code aims to provide comprehensive, best practice standards to prevent discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying in workplaces. The Code will be mandatory for LPA Members. Work on the draft Code commenced during 2017 and is now being released to members and industry stakeholders for consultation. The consultation period closes on 26 March 2018.


Arts South Australia is currently investigating options for face-to-face and online training to be delivered to our funded organisations and the wider arts and cultural sector.
Further information will be available in the near future.


The Equal Opportunity Commission has recently launched a free legal advice clinic for people facing discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation, in partnership with the University of Adelaide.

The service provides legal advice on areas of Equal Opportunity law and in drafting legal documentation, statements and preparation for conciliation and Tribunal hearings.
The service is operated by final year Law students under the supervision of fully qualified legal practitioners. It is a confidential service that is open to anyone in need of legal support.

The clinic will operate each Monday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm, during Semester 1 and 2, at the Office of the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity at Level 17, 45 Pirie Street, Adelaide.
You can make an appointment via the Adelaide University booking system, on (08) 8207 1977 (between 10.00am – 3.00pm), or at

You can also access immediate support on the numbers below:

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Police Assistance Line - 131 444

National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service - 1800 737 732 (1800 RESPECT)

No to Violence Men's Referral Service - 1300 766 491 (No To Violence)