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2017 Chancellor’s Young Alumni Award

Skye Saunders, a passionate advocate for gender equality and a two-time graduate of the University of Canberra, received the Chancellor’s Young Alumni Award.

Dr Saunders graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (2004) and a PhD in Law (2015) with her research – the first of its kind in Australia – uncovering a ‘cultural epidemic’ of sexual harassment in traditionally male-dominated, rural Australian workplaces.

The Victorian Women’s Trust recently produced a short documentary based on her work called Grace Under Fire which has sparked further discussion about the issue around Australia. Dr Saunders is a Senior Law Lecturer at the Australian National University, a regular media commentator on gender equality issues and is working on her second book titled Defying Gravity in the Workplace- Rising Above Sex Discrimination.

“I am inspired by, and inwardly celebrate, Australian women who have the courage to report workplace sexual harassment, particularly where there is a lot at stake in their circumstances, such as small town gossip or fear of losing their job. Having the courage to move so far outside of one’s comfort zone takes strength and guts, but it is critical to broader cultural change,” she said.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award. It is incredibly special to me because so much of who I am as a person now is wrapped up in the memorable years that I have spent as a student at the University of Canberra, at both undergraduate and post-graduate level.”