ASMOF Takes a Stand Against Sexual Harassment and Violence

The Federal Council of ASMOF, the Doctors Union, has unanimously approved a series of commitments as part of its campaign to establish workplaces devoid of harassment and violence for all doctors.

Dr. Tony Sara, the Union's Federal president, stated, "We recognise the profound impact of sexual harassment and violence on the lives of our members and the broader medical profession. We acknowledge that sexual harassment is not just an individual issue, but a systemic problem deeply rooted in power imbalances and gender inequality, disproportionately affecting women."

ASMOF remains steadfast in its dedication to eliminating all forms of sexual harassment and violence within the workplace, and to supporting employees exposed to it. This commitment demands a comprehensive approach encompassing prevention, education, and enforcement so that every employed doctor, our member, feels secure, respected and valued, free from the threat of harassment or violence.

Key features of ASMOF's Commitment:

  • Holding employers to account by ensuring they meet their obligations under the existing federal and state legislation This involves fostering workplaces that are not only devoid of sexual harassment but also actively cultivate transparency and accountability in addressing such concerns.
  • Bargaining for mandatory sexual harassment prevention and response training: ASMOF will bargain for mandatory sexual harassment prevention and response training within all Industrial Awards and Agreements. This sends a clear message to employees that the Union is committed to fighting sexual harassment as a fundamental matter of union policy.
  • Encouraging male leaders to step up: ASMOF will encourage male leaders to step up, speak out, and create standards of behaviour that foster collegial support and allow women to feel safe in the workplace. Men have an important role to play in showing other men that harassment is wrong, in raising consciousness, setting expectations, and fostering accountability for harassers and support for victims/survivors.

In addition, ASMOF will apply the above principles to:

  • Conducting a review of policies and procedures: ASMOF will conduct a review of the State Union, ASMOF Branch and Federal policies and procedures to identify and address any structural barriers that hinder women's participation in the democratic structures of ASMOF.
  • Ensuring comprehensive training for ASMOF staff and elected officers: ASMOF will provide comprehensive training for all ASMOF staff and elected officers, focusing on eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace. Leadership development should include eradicating sexual harassment.
  • Encouraging diversity in leadership: ASMOF will recommend that the Federal Executive email all ASMOF members in February 2024 to encourage them to nominate for positions on their Branch Council to increase diversity.

Additional Commitments:

ASMOF has endorsed a campaign to prevent the misuse of non-disclosure agreements and is opposed to similar practices that may silence the voices of survivors, and contribute to a culture of secrecy.

ASMOF is also proud to announce a donation of $5000 to support the work undertaken by A/Prof Dr. Louise Stone of the ANU to support her important work in sexual safety in medicine.

ASMOF is committed to creating a safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace for all employed doctors. We will continue to work tirelessly to eradicate sexual harassment and violence from the practice of medicine.