Human Resources

Race, ethnicity, culture and religion

Further information

  • Interfaith calendar
  • Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Practice Toolkit
  • Courageous conversations about race workshop

Religious best practice checklist

Western Australia has increasing cultural and religious diversity, with one quarter of its population born overseas, representing more than 200 countries, 170 languages, and 100 religions.

This diversity is mirrored within UWA as approximately 20 per cent of the student body and academic staff and 12 per cent of professional staff are from culturally diverse backgrounds. There are more than 80 languages represented at UWA.

UWA is committed to produce graduates that, in line with our educational principles, are intellectually and emotionally comfortable with difference, and culturally competent.

Our strong track record in promoting cultural and religious diversity is demonstrated by:

  • a dedicated prayer room for Muslim staff and students and availability of halal food at the UWA refectory
  • recognition of major ethno-religious events and festivals within the UWA calendar
  • developing cultural capacity for both staff and students
  • explicit recognition of the need for cultural and religious leave for staff within the UWA Enterprise Agreements
  • support for multi-religious, multi-ethnic student organisations on campus
  • strategies designed to embed diversity perspectives within the curriculum and support a diverse student population in a manner which is sensitive to the different needs of all individuals
  • developing the University's first Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Action Plan 2013-2015
  1. UWA policies
  2. Courageous conversations about race workshop
  3. Cultural and religious commitments

UWA policies

Courageous conversations about race workshop

The internationally recognised UWA initiative Courageous conversations about race aims to further develop cultural competence and literacy among participants. The workshop strives to engage deeply through translating passion into practical action in both the personal and professional lives of participants. The process engages, sustains and deepens the race/cultural diversity dialogue at all levels.

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Cultural and religious commitments

UWA, recognising the religious and cultural diversity of its community, offers many entitlements to assist staff in managing their work and cultural/religious commitments.

The University adopts an inclusive definition of family which encompasses a wide range of relationships. 'Family responsibilities' includes responsibilities associated with extended families and religious or community structures.

Interfaith calendar

The University has an Interfaith Calendar which details the key dates for the major religious groups on campus.

The calendar will assist those staff required to have an understanding of the cultural and religious obligations of staff and students, especially when these involve an application for cultural or religious leave, deferred exams or alternative arrangements.

Ceremonial and cultural leave

Ceremonial/cultural leave is available to assist staff to meet their customs, traditional law and participation in ceremonial or cultural activities.

Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australian staff are entitled to a further two days ceremonial/cultural leave each calendar year. The University recognises the importance of NAIDOC week to Indigenous Australian staff and supports their participation.

Spiritual life

This area is a gateway for students and staff to a services and groups which support spiritual life at the University.

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