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RESPECT: Our community values

  • Blog
  • 3 min read
  • Posted June 2021


Research demonstrates that shared values play an important role in increasing connectedness, inclusion and belonging within communities. Such values provide community members with a sense of ownership of their own learning and any issues which may arise, help create expectations or norms for appropriate behaviour, and reinforce the belief that every individual has something of value to contribute.

Deakin Res’ RESPECT community values guide behavioural expectations and standards amongst the on-campus residential student cohort. First introduced in 2016, these values were initially introduced as a means of articulating the expectations and ambitions for the residential community, adopting a proactive approach to encouraging appropriate and positive behaviours, and further developing and enhancing the existing sense of belonging and shared ownership amongst the residential cohort. The values were created utilising a students as partners approach, with student leaders in particular playing a critical role. This approach has ensured student buy-in from day one and resulted in a values set which is truly meaningful to the on-campus residential community at Deakin.

Marion Bayley, Geelong General Manager and Head of Operations, highlights that Deakin Res’ RESPECT values...

Have been critical in providing every resident with a happy, healthy and safe environment.  Setting clear expectations and providing an understanding from the time a student applies through to final departure, fosters a sense of belonging that celebrates individuality whilst uniting the community.
Marion Bayley, General Manager, Geelong

Taylah Williams lives in our Geelong Waurn Ponds residence. Feeling welcomed and included was particularly important to Taylah, who completed high school at Hellyer College in Tasmania, and moved interstate to study Biomedical Science at Deakin. Learning more about the values as part of a compulsory pre-arrival induction, she notes that they supported her initial transition by outlining expectations, encouraging all residents to play an active role in contributing to a positive residential culture, and reinforcing Deakin’s commitment to fostering an inclusive community.

The integration of the values throughout residential life as part of events, activities, rules of residence and student leadership further demonstrated their significance, and Taylah highlights, "…they shape our community here on residence and promote the most important aspects of what makes Deakin feel like home.

These values emphasize supporting your fellow residents and staff, feeling safe, secure and comfortable to be yourself, to form new friendships, embrace new experiences and most importantly to ensure everyone feels like they truly belong.”  
Taylah Williams, Waurn Ponds Resident

Interested to know more? The information detailed above is an excerpt from the third in a series of six research papers being released this year highlighting the value of student accommodation and the residential experience.

Access the full paper, and the series here as they are released. 

Written by

Profile photo of author Laura Burge
Laura Burge Student Experience and Engagement Manager

Laura is widely regarded as an industry expert in the theory, planning, and delivery of exceptional student experiences, having honed her skills over the course of a career spanning two decades and multiple higher education institutions.