Hillsong College Harassment, Unlawful Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy

For someone in immediate danger or requiring immediate medical attention, contact Emergency Assistance:


Open Hours (9am – 5pm): (02) 8853 5200

After Hours: (02) 1300 53 53 53

For immediate help on campus

Off-Campus: 000

For immediate help off-campus

For Support Services available to you, see ‘Appendix 1: Support Available’ and 1.7 of the Procedure.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to provide protection against: discrimination; harassment (including sexual harassment) and bullying; vilification and victimisation; sexual misconduct (including sexual assault/violence and sexual exploitation); and other wrongful, unlawful or inappropriate conduct at Hillsong College.

2. Scope

This policy applies to Hillsong College Ltd (ABN 84 617 111 592) (“College”), and all other related entities in the capacity in which they operate on the College’s behalf (“Hillsong”). The policy applies to all those who are a part of Hillsong College, including but not limited to students, staff, volunteers, whilst participating in College and Hillsong activities and individuals seeking to enrol in a course of study.

3. Policy

Hillsong College is committed to providing safe and secure learning environments for all its workers and students, both enrolled and prospective. To better enable this, Hillsong College will:

• provide a work and study environment that is safe and pleasant for staff and students which is free from harassment, bullying, and unlawful discrimination;

• provide a work and study environment where staff and students are treated with dignity, courtesy, and respect;

• provide an effective procedure for complaints;

• treat all complaints in a sensitive, fair, timely and confidential manner;

• guarantee protection from any victimisation or reprisals;

• encourage the reporting of behaviour which breaches this policy; and

• promote appropriate standards of conduct at all times.

Hillsong College recognises that harassment (including sexual harassment), bullying, unlawful discrimination, and sexual misconduct may involve comments and behaviours that offend some people and not others. Hillsong College accepts that individuals may react differently to comments and behaviour. That is why a minimum standard of behaviour is required of students, staff, and volunteers.

Engaging in harassment, bullying, unlawful discrimination or sexual misconduct constitutes a breach of this policy and may result in disciplinary action up to and including exclusion from the student’s course of study or dismissal. In some instances, this may also amount to a criminal offence or a breach of relevant legislation. If an international student engages in misconduct including but not limited to sexual misconduct, their CoE (confirmation of enrolment) may be cancelled which may lead to their student visa being revoked.

4. Understanding Harassment, Bullying and Unlawful Discrimination

Harassment, bullying, unlawful discrimination and/or sexual misconduct will not be tolerated in any form or under any circumstance at Hillsong College. This includes during ministry placements, whilst on campus, work-related functions, study excursions, and outside of learning hours and campus facilities. Such unlawful actions include but are not limited to the use of carriage services such as phone calls and electronic communications, or behaviours that could be considered stalking such as following someone home from work. What constitutes bullying at work is defined by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Harassment and/or discrimination occurs when a person is harassed or discriminated against in the workplace and in certain areas of public life:

 • because of their race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin, as defined under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth);

• because of their sex, marital status, pregnancy as defined under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth);

• because of a disability as defined under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth); or

• because of age as defined under the Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth).

Hillsong College has a responsibility under Workplace Health and Safety and anti-discrimination laws to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of employees and others in the workplace. Individual employees may be liable to prosecution for failure to provide a safe workplace. Harassment, bullying and/or unlawful discrimination may result in injury to staff, which may be compensable under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1998 (Cth).

5. Understanding Sexual Discrimination

In line with relevant national and international legislation, Hillsong College holds that no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity. Discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault/sexual violence, and sexual exploitation. Sexual discrimination that deprives a person of the ability to participate in or benefit from Hillsong College’s education program or activities is prohibited.

6. Understanding Sexual Misconduct

6.1 Forms of Sexual Misconduct

Sexual harassment is any unwanted, unwelcome, or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature that makes a person feel humiliated, intimidated, or offended. Sexual harassment is against the law and will not be tolerated at Hillsong College. Sexual harassment may take place inside or outside the workplace. Specific examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to:

• staring or leering;

• unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person or unwelcome touching;

• suggestive comments or jokes;

• insults or taunts of a sexual nature;

• intrusive questions or statements about a person’s private life;

• displaying posters, magazines, or screen savers of a sexual nature;

• sending sexually explicit emails or text messages;

• inappropriate advances on social networking sites;

• gestures;

• accessing sexually explicit internet sites;

• requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates; and

• behaviour that may also be considered to be an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking, or obscene communications.

Sexual Exploitation refers to a situation in which a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, and situations in which the conduct does not fall within the definitions of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, or Sexual Violence. Specific examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

• invasion of sexual privacy;

• prostituting another student;

• non-consensual recording, broadcasting sexual activity, including redistribution of pictures, video, or audio;

• going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);

• engaging in voyeurism;

• knowingly exposing another to an STD or HIV;

• exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances or inducing another to expose their genitals; and

• sexually-based stalking and/or bullying, including cyber-stalking and/or cyber-bullying, may also be forms of sexual exploitation.

Sexual Assault or Sexual Violence is a particular type of sexual harassment that includes non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, rape, or other physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual penetration or intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force. Specific examples of sexual assault or sexual violence include, but is not limited to physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as:

• rape;

• sexual assault;

• sexual battery;

• domestic violence;

• dating violence;

• stalking; or

• attempts to commit these acts.

Force refers to the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Specific examples of force include, but is not limited to:

• threats,

• intimidation (implied threats); and

• coercion that overcomes resistance or produces consent.

Hazing is any act likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the Hillsong College community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity.

Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent. This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from a mental or developmental disability, involuntary physical restraint, and/or from the taking of incapacitating drugs.

Indecent Exposure refers to the exposure of the private or intimate parts of the body in a lewd manner in public or in private premises when the accused may be readily observed.

6.2 Consent

Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual agreed to that specific sexual conduct. A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. A person may be incapable of giving consent, where the other party has power over that person, and therefore, a significant power imbalance exists. A person can withdraw consent at any time during sexual activity. A minor below the age of consent according to state law cannot consent to sexual activity.

7. Retaliation

Hillsong College strictly prohibits retaliation against a member of the Hillsong College community who opposes the inappropriate practices that are prohibited by this policy, who brings forth a complaint, against whom a complaint is brought, or who otherwise is a participant in a complaint resolution process. Such prohibited retaliatory conduct includes:

• limiting of opportunity;

• marginalisation within the Hillsong College community;

• reducing a student’s grade;

• an accused person approaching the person making a report with the intent of intimidating, interrogating or threatening them in any way;

• decreasing an employee’s pay; or

• downgrading a person’s performance evaluation.

8. Rights and Responsibilities

8.1 General Hillsong College is responsible to ensure that the wishes of the victim/survivor are respected in relation to reporting harassment, bullying, unlawful discrimination, sexual discrimination or sexual misconduct. The victim/survivor always has the right to contact the police directly. Hillsong College is also responsible for responding promptly and effectively to all reports by taking immediate action to eliminate the harassment, bullying, unlawful discrimination, sexual discrimination or sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. A criminal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence does not relieve Hillsong College of its duty to resolve complaints promptly and equitably.

Hillsong College has an obligation to provide procedural fairness to all individuals involved in an investigatory process.

The victim/survivor also has the right to anonymous or third-party reporting. Where the report is related to Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment, Hillsong College will retain an anonymous report on the Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Incident Register. However, the College may not be able to take further action arising out of anonymous reports, including but not limited to, where limited or no information is available to identify the parties involved or the subject of the report.

Victims/survivors of sexual misconduct should be aware that Hillsong College administrators must report to the police any serious incidents relating to people under the age of 18 and/or that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. Hillsong College will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information are not disclosed, while still providing enough information for relevant stakeholders (internal and external) to make safety decisions in light of the danger. The reports for timely warning purposes include: The local College Workplace Health and Safety team, local police, and any other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities.

8.2 Confidentiality and Privacy

If a person makes a complaint, it will be taken very seriously and will be dealt with sympathetically and in a confidential manner. Staff and student confidential and personal information will only be released with the consent of the person involved, next of kin, or where Hillsong College has a legal obligation to do so.

In accordance with these procedures, an internal investigation will be triggered when there is an allegation of assault, unwanted sexual touching, or conduct where a reasonable person would consider there to be doubt around consent and will involve reports to the relevant authorities which may include the Children’s Guardian or the Police.

8.3 College Health and Safety Officer

The College Health and Safety Officer – appointed by the General Manager of College whose name will be available to students on the student portal – is responsible for monitoring Hillsong College’s compliance with relevant legislation by helping to ensure that the College responds appropriately, effectively, and equitably to sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct.

The College Health and Safety Officer will:

• provide education and training about discrimination, harassment, sexual discrimination, and sexual misconduct to the Hillsong College community;

• identify and address any patterns or systematic problems that arise during the review of such complaints;

• ensure Hillsong College fulfills all legal and statistical reporting obligations; and

• annually assess the overall efforts of Hillsong College’s compliance with this policy.

8.4 First Responders

A Hillsong College First Responder is defined as a Hillsong College staff member on the Hillsong College Register of First Responders who has been trained to be the first person who responds to a report of sexual misconduct. A list of staff who are trained as First Responders can be found in ‘Appendix 2: First Responders’.

8.5 Managers and Supervisors Role

Managers and supervisors must ensure they and their staff understand and adhere to this policy. If a person approaches them with a complaint, they should take appropriate steps to resolve it. If this is not possible or is inappropriate, then the Human Resources Officer, Student Wellbeing Officer, or College Health and Safety Officer should be informed.

The reporting person may bring a support person with them to any meetings.

8.6 Employees Role

Each employee must adhere to this policy and should be aware that they can be held legally responsible for their unlawful acts. Employees who aid, abet, or encourage other persons to harass, bully or unlawfully discriminate can also be held legally liable.

9. Document & Version Information

Document Title: Hillsong Harassment, Unlawful Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy Version: 1.0

Version Approved: Executive Vice President, Hillsong College

Document Authorised by: Executive Vice President, Hillsong College

Document Maintained by: General Manager, Hillsong College

Issue Date: 1 October 2021

Review Date: September 2023

Related documents

Hillsong College Complaints & Appeals Policy

Hillsong Whistle Blower Policy

Staff Grievance Policy

Hillsong Harassment, Unlawful Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Procedures



1.1 General

If a staff member, student, or volunteer is the victim/survivor of sexual assault or sexual harassment, the first priority is the safety and wellbeing of the individual. As such, the individual is encouraged to seek support from a trusted source such as a family member, counsellor, campus pastor, College Pastoral Care, First Responder, or external provider before taking any formal action. The reporting person is advised to limit the number of people they inform about the incident/s so as not to jeopardise the impartiality of any future investigation.

The below procedure applies to any incident involving a College student. Hillsong College also recognises that victims/survivors all respond in different ways and may not approach this procedure in a linear or sequential way. First Responders will exercise maximum flexibility and care while guiding a victim/survivor through this procedure.

If the victim/survivor or anyone involved with Hillsong (collectively “participant”) wishes to receive support or chooses to take formal action, the following procedures are in place:

1.2 Report

There are three ways that a participant can make a report of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

  1. A participant can make a report by completing the online Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment Incident Form. The report will be added to the confidential Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Incident Register which only the Student Wellbeing Officer has access to. When completing an online Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment Incident Form, participants have the option of making an anonymous, or a third-party report.
    If the participant provides their personal details, the Student Wellbeing Officer will contact the participant to discuss options and create action plan (step 2). Participants are entitled to have a support person present if they wish.
    If a report is submitted anonymously, it will be retained on the Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Incident Register, however, Hillsong College may not be able to take further action arising out of anonymous reports. This includes but is not limited to when little or no information is available to identify the parties involved, or the subject of the report.
  2. If a participant prefers, they can directly approach a Hillsong College First Responder to inform them of the incident. All training/teaching staff, and College Pastoral Care staff are designated as First Responders. A list of First Responders can be found on the student portal.
    If the participant desires, the First Responder can assist them in providing a formal statement to be submitted to the Student Wellbeing Officer, or assist them in completing the online Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment Incident Form. If a participant does not wish to complete an incident form or provide a formal statement, but is rather seeking information about resources or support, Hillsong College staff are still obliged to confidentially document any given details about the incident on a students’ record. As long as it does not present with a conflict of interest, the Student Wellbeing Officer will be informed to ensure the College fulfills its duty of care to all Hillsong participants. Details can be provided anonymously except for when there is a legal obligation to report.
  3. If a participant identifies a potential conflict of interest by talking to a member of Hillsong College staff, a report can be made by contacting the Safe Church Office. Safe Church is a department existing within Hillsong Church, and therefore separate to Hillsong College. Contact can be made via email on safechurch@hillsong.com or on +61 2 8853 5352. For a comprehensive overview of Hillsong’s commitment to safety and the function of the Safe Church Office, see https://hillsong.com/australia/safechurch/

1.3 Discuss options and create an action plan

Once a report is received, the supporting staff member will discuss with the participant further reporting and ongoing support options whilst keeping the wellbeing of the participant as the first priority.

Reporting options can include submitting a formal complaint as part of the ‘Hillsong College Complaints Policy’ (which depending on the report, will be received by the Hillsong legal function, Safe Church team, or the Hillsong College General Manager and initiates an internal investigation) and/or making a report to the police or other authority. Any internal investigations and/or corrective action taken is not a substitute for a criminal process. If a criminal investigation occurs following reporting to the police, Hillsong College will exercise its discretion as to whether to proceed with an internal investigation or suspend such processes, seeking advice from police as appropriate. Where an internal investigation is suspended, appropriate support and guidance will continue to be provided to the participant.

Ongoing support options can include arranging academic special consideration and connecting to pastoral care and/or professional care. A participant does not need to make any formal reports in order to access such support.

Any further details of the incident that are collected during such meetings are recorded confidentially. Whilst the participant may be asked to put further details in writing, Hillsong College is aware of the impact that re-telling an experience can have on an individual and therefore will endeavour to minimise this as much as possible. Throughout this process, it is important to remember the ‘rights and responsibilities’ that Hillsong College participants have in terms of confidentiality and any disciplinary action that looks to serve the wellbeing of the College community.

1.4 Interim Protective Measures

As part of creating an action plan, the staff member will also work with the participant in deciding how they would like to proceed to ensure safety and reduce any potential ongoing risks where possible. In the case of sexual discrimination or sexual misconduct, the College reserves the right, at the direction of the General Manager of College, or approved delegate, to suspend or place on immediate administrative leave any member of the campus community accused of violating this policy, or to take any other interim measures the College deems appropriate, pending the outcome of an investigation and/or disciplinary proceedings. Such interim measures can include but are not limited to, placing an employee on paid or unpaid administrative leave, removing a student from current classes, modifying course schedules, arranging a change of College Accommodation or serving areas in Hillsong Church, and issuing a “no contact” order, among many other remedies.

To do so, this will likely involve the Student Wellbeing Officer, who will then liaise with relevant Hillsong College staff and departments but will always be done with the participant’s consent, and in a way that protects the wellbeing of the victim.

1.5 Reporting Criminal Offences

In accordance with section 316 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), the College may have an obligation to report information about a ‘serious indictable offense’ to the police. The College will use its best efforts to protect the confidentiality of information relating to the participant’s disclosure or complaint while meeting its legal obligations.

If a matter is reported to the police and it will interfere with the police investigation/action to continue to deal with the matter under Hillsong College procedures, the College will suspend action. If there is no risk of interference with a police investigation the matter may be dealt with under the College’s grievance procedures.

In some limited circumstances, the College may need to report an incident of sexual assault to the police against a participant’s wishes, to ensure the safety of students, staff members, or other members of the College community, or to meet its legal obligations. The College will inform the participant before reporting an incident of sexual assault to the police.

1.6 Incidents Outside Hillsong College

Where participants disclose incidents, either current or historic, where the alleged perpetrator is not part of Hillsong, which occurred outside the domain of Hillsong College, such as in their home or an external workplace, the support options remain the same as listed above, with the exemption of the College’s ability to implement protective measures. Victims/survivors still have the option to report to the police.

1.7 Support for the accused

Persons accused of sexual misconduct are able to access a range of support services included in the related documents. Where persons accused of sexual misconduct have been directed to stay away from a Hillsong College campus or a Hillsong Church campus, they may draw upon the services of external providers. A list of support available on campus and off-campus is listed in ‘Appendix 1: Support Available.’

The principles of natural justice and procedural fairness require the assessment and investigation of misconduct to be undertaken in a fair, impartial, and equitable way.

An individual accused of breaching this policy has the right to know the details of a report about them, the opportunity to make representations to the College investigator, and be treated without bias. Information will be provided without breaching a participant’s confidentiality request.

Further information including, referrals to support services, and navigating the investigation process will be provided including regular and timely communication regarding the investigative process and resolution.

1.8 Review and close

Once appropriate actions have been taken, the participant will be informed of any relevant outcomes and invited to review the report. Once the matter is considered closed, the report will be reviewed in summary form by select members of the College Executive team (College Principal, Executive Vice President, and General Manager) to determine the effectiveness of procedures for continuous improvement. Personal information will not be disclosed without permission. Throughout any course of action, the participant may contact the supporting staff member regarding the report at any time, including up to or after the matter is considered closed.


2.1 General

The first priority is the well-being of the individual. As such, the reporting person will not be victimised or treated unfairly for reporting an incident. If the reporting person is not satisfied with the way in which the College has dealt with a complaint, the reporting person can seek further advice from an outside agency such as the Human Rights Commission or the Equal Opportunity Commission, or other relevant government agencies.

2.2 Notifying and Reporting Breaches

If a staff member, student or volunteer believes that they are being harassed, bullied, unlawfully discriminated, or sexually discriminated against, there are a number of important steps they should take:

  • the individual is encouraged to seek support from a trusted source such as a family member, counsellor, campus pastor, student support or external provider before taking any formal action. The reporting person is advised to limit the number of people they inform about the incident/s so as not to jeopardise the impartiality of any future investigation;
  • report the behaviour or incident to campus leadership, to their manager, or the People & Development representative; the individual can lodge a grievance under the College’s Complaints and Appeals Policy (if a student) or under the staff personal grievance policy (if staff);
  • if the alleged perpetrator is a manager then the report about the manager should be directed to a senior manager, and if this is not available, to the General Manager of Hillsong College; and
  • when made aware of such a matter under these procedures, an authorised officer for grievances may assist the person to make a report to police. A criminal investigation into allegations does not relieve Hillsong College of its duty to resolve complaints promptly and equitably. If a matter is reported to police and it will interfere with the police investigation/action to continue to deal with the matter under Hillsong College procedures, the College will suspend action. If there is no risk of interference with a police investigation the matter may be dealt with under grievance procedures.

2.3 Support for the accused

Persons accused of bullying, discrimination, sexual discrimination are able to access a range of support services included in the related documents. Where persons accused of sexual misconduct have been directed to stay away from a Hillsong College campus or a Hillsong Church campus, they may draw upon the services of external providers. A list of support available on campus and off-campus is listed in ‘Appendix 1: Support Available.’

The principles of natural justice and procedural fairness require the assessment and investigation of misconduct to be undertaken in a fair, impartial, and equitable way.

An individual accused of breaching this policy has the right to know the details of a report about them, the opportunity to make representations to the College investigator, and be treated without bias. Information will be provided without breaching a participant’s confidentiality request.

Further information including, referrals to support services, and navigating the investigation process will be provided including regular and timely communication regarding the investigative process and resolution.

Appendix 1 : Student Available


Support On Campus for Students

Pastoral CarePlease contact your core trainer or discipleship group leader.
Urgent Matters: Phone or ask at Reception to be connected with a pastor.
T: (02) 8853 5200
E: college@hillsong.com

Hours Monday -Friday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM 
After hours (7 days a week) T: 1300 53 53 53
Orange County
Pastoral CarePlease contact your core trainer or discipleship group leader.
Urgent Matters: Phone or ask at Reception to be connected with a pastor.
T: 1-949-889-1880
E: Collegeusa@hillsong.com
Hours Monday -Friday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM 
After hours (7 days a week) T: 1300 53 53 53

Support Off Campus for Students

HeadspaceFree counselling services: https://headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/
NSW Rape CrisisFree 24/7
Telephone and online crisis counselling service for anyone who is at risk of or who has experienced sexual assault.

T: 1800 424 017  

Online Counselling: https://www.rape-dvservices.org.au/about/ourcounselling-services
1800 RESPECTRape & Domestic Violence Services Australia
Counselling is available 24/7, whether you’re seeking help for yourself, a friend or relative, a colleague or client.

T: 1800 737 732
InterpretersFree interpreters can be provided over the phone or in person. Interpreters must keep confidential information which they interpret.

T: 131 450  

MensLine AustraliaFree telephone and online counselling services available to men 24/7  

T: 1300 78 99 78  

National Relay ServiceFree 24/7 telephone service relaying information for people who are deaf or have speech impairments.

TTY/ Voice Calls: 133 677
Speak & Listen: 1300 555 727
SMS Relay: 0423 677 767  

Orange County
National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE

Appendix 2: First Responders

Adam Dodsonadam.dodson@hillsong.comHigher Education Lecturer and TutorSydney – Hills
Alistair McNallyalistair.mcnally@hillsong.comPastoral / Theological Trainer Online
Amanda Fergussonamanda.fergusson@hillsong.comLecturer Sydney – Hills
Angela Bachtle angela.bachtle@hillsong.comStudent Dean Sydney – Hills
Blake Robinsonblake.robinson@hillsong.comExecutive Dean USAUSA
Bryden Faziobryden.fazio@hillsong.comChristian LeadershipUSA
Christopher Parkeschris.parkes@hillsong.comExecutive Dean AustraliaSydney – Hills
Daniel Najeradaniel.najera@hillsong.comWorship Trainer USA
Duncan Corbyduncan.corby@hillsong.com General ManagerSydney – Hills
Haydn Nelsonhaydn.nelson@hillsong.comSenior Lecturer & MA Programme Coordinator Sydney – Hills
Heather Roffheather.roff@hillsong.comPastoral / Theological TrainerOnline
Judy Fisherjudy.fisher@hillsong.comPastoral / Theological TrainerOnline
Julia Cuthbertsonjulia.cuthbertson@hillsong.comAcademic DeanSydney – Hills
KatieBeth Bowerskatie.bowers@hillsong.comOperations ManagerUSA
Katie Dodsonkatie.dodson@hillsong.comWorship Stream Coordinator & TrainerSydney – Hills
Kathy Squillacekathy.squillace@hillsong.comPastoral / Theological TrainerSydney – City
Keren Fullerkeren.fuller@hillsong.comCampus Dean (City) Sydney – City
Lee Burnslee.burns@hillsong.comExecutive Vice PresidentSydney – Hills
Lina Rodrigueslina.rodrigues@hillsong.comPastoral / Theological TrainerSydney – Hills
Michelle Leaneymichelle.leaney@hillsong.comPastoral / Theological TrainerSydney – Hills
Qianwen Renee Dengrenee.deng@hillsong.comExecutive Dean OnlineOnline
Raymond Badhamray.badham@hillsong.comPastoral / Theological TrainerSydney – Hills
Remo Castagnoremo.castagno@hillsong.comPastoral / Theological TrainerSydney – Hills
Rena Brownrena.brown@hillsong.comWorship Leadership Department HeadUSA
Robin Boschrobin.bosch@hillsong.comPracticum CoordinatorSydney – Hills
Stephen Taylorstephen.taylor@hillsong.comHead of Student ServicesSydney – Hills
Tracy Barrelltracy.barrell@hillsong.comPastoral / Theological TrainerSydney – City
Wes Germanwesley.german@hillsong.comWorship Trainer USA

Complaints, Concerns & Suggestions

Complaints, Concerns & Suggestions

This is your college and we desire to create an environment in which students flourish and learn to the best of their potential. This means that we are open and committed to receiving and acting upon suggestions, complaints and reports of concerns. We have mechanisms available for each of these.

Reporting a Concern
Sometimes a student may have a serious concern about part of the College or church experience that they wish to be independently and confidentially investigated. We appreciate the need for safety, privacy and effective processes in these matters. Hillsong has several key policies and reporting mechanisms that can be found here.

Complaints and Appeals
For appeals relating to specific assessment results, see the ‘Assessment Appeals’ policy. For all other matters, including discipline, finances, and interpersonal issues, the following steps apply:

  • The student should first discuss the issue with his/her tutorial leader. (Students need to feel free to discuss any issues about any College related matter with their tutorial leaders.)
  • If the issue cannot be resolved informally in these initial discussions, the student should lodge a formal complaint or appeal. This is done by downloading, completing and submitting a Complaints or Appeals form, available on the Student Portal. These forms must be submitted within 20 days of the initial complaint/appeal.
  • Once the student completes the Complaints or Appeals form, they must submit the form to the Campus Manager. The College Executive Team will review the complaint/appeal within 10 working days of receipt of the form and will take all reasonable measures to finalise the process as soon as practicable.
  • As the College Executive Team processes the complaint, the student has the opportunity to formally present their case to the team at no cost to themself.
  • If a student chooses to access the complaints and appeals process, HILC will maintain the student’s enrolment while the complaint/appeal process is ongoing.  To “maintain the student’s enrolment” means that the College does not notify DIBP of any change to the student’s enrolment status through PRISMS.
  • Students are also permitted to bring to any meetings, a person of their choice as moral support.
  • If the College cannot resolve the issues to the satisfaction of all parties, an independent arbitrator will be asked to oversee the case. The College has arrangements in place for independent arbitration. However please note that students have the right to have their complaint/appeal heard by an independent arbitrator at any time.
  • A student can request for an independent arbitrator to be involved. These services are provided by the Overseas Students Ombudsman for international students or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for domestic students.
  • The cost of having an independent arbitrator involved will be borne mostly by the College. An amount from $0 up to $50 may be passed on to the student. The student will be advised of this prior to any cost being incurred.
  • If the internal or any external complaint/appeal handling process results in a decision that supports the student, HILC must immediately implement any decision and/or corrective and preventative action required and advises the student of the outcome.
  • The outcome will be communicated in writing to the student.
  • If the student is not happy with the outcome they can contact the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) 1300 701 801 or email on complaintsteam@asqa.gov.au or the Educations Services for Overseas Students Helpline (02) 6240 5069. Alternatively, the Ombudsman’s office in each state can be accessed.

The availability of complaints and appeals processes does not remove the right of the student to take action under Australia’s consumer protection laws.


The College welcomes any practical suggestions or ideas from students that will assist the improvement of the college. If you do have any constructive feedback, please speak with the Head Students, email college@hillsong.com (Hills),  cityadmin.hilc@hillsong.com (City), CollegeUSA@hillsong.com (USA), or make an appointment with a staff member. Appointments can be arranged via email or through the College Office.

Contact Points
All appointments with college staff are usually made via email. Staff members are available to assist students in a variety of areas. Individual email addresses are available in the staff directory at the beginning of this document. Make an appointment with the following:

  • Pastoral, academic, financial and enrolment issues – Tutorial leaders
  • Academic issues – Trainers, Tutorial Leaders
  • Housing issues – Accommodation Co-ordinator
  • Student Visa/International Student issues – International Student Contact Officer

Student Code of Conduct

One of the College’s most important goals is to facilitate the growth and development of Christian character in line with biblical principles. The College also seeks to build a safe and healthy community that supports and fosters the well-being and growth of each student. Furthermore, the College is a member of its local community and connected to the world at large, seeking to reflect the love and character of God and enact the commission of his church. It is expected, therefore, that College students live in such a manner that brings glory to Christ in their behaviour and attitudes both inside and outside College settings.

Since students are also being trained for Christian ministry, and are engaged in ministry as part of their course, it is expected that they will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the moral, ethical and behavioural standards expected of Christian leaders and ministers, and the churches in which they are ministering and being trained. With these issues in mind, the College expects students to conduct themselves in a way that reflects the moral and ethical standards generally required of ministers in like-minded churches, and by Australian Christian Churches (Assemblies of God in Australia) in particular, the denomination with which Hillsong is affiliated within Australia.

The College also operates as an accredited educational institution that conducts its training and assessment in line with generally accepted standards of academic quality and integrity. Students are expected to engage in their studies in line with these standards.

Therefore each student is expected to:

  • Adopt attitudes (such as generosity, love, humility, forgiveness, fair-mindedness and inclusivity) and behaviour (such as confidentiality, peacemaking, positivity and encouragement) that promote the unity and health of the College body.
  • Show respect and consideration for other members of the student body and their property.
  • Show respect for staff and faculty and co-operate with the aims, witness, culture and endeavours of the College and Hillsong Church. This includes not engaging in advocacy for positions or causes contrary to those held by the College or Hillsong Church.
  • Attend all prescribed College classes, ministry sessions and activities required by the College program unless formally excused (on a compassionate basis).
  • Engage in honest academic practices as outlined in the Academic Misconduct policy (see Academic Policies and Procedures).
  • Be neat, clean and modestly dressed.
  • Abstain from biblically immoral practices including: drunkenness, illicit drug use, criminal behaviour, stealing, slanderous or profane language, dishonesty, occult practices, sexual sins or any other behaviour that is considered detrimental or contrary to Christian character and witness.
  • Refrain from bringing firearms into Hillsong Church and College facilities and accommodation.
  • Abstain from alcohol and smoking (including vaping) for the duration of studies at College (This applies to all college breaks, including those between finishing one course and commencing another.)
  • Follow the guidelines in the Student Handbook.

Like Christian churches throughout history and across the globe, both Hillsong College and Hillsong Church affirm the biblical understanding of sexuality as a gift from God, expressed through purity in singleness and faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman. Students are expected to adopt practices and viewpoints that reflect this understanding. (See Hillsong Collected for a statement on these matters).

The College will provide the framework and support needed to facilitate personal growth. If students find that they are genuinely struggling with personal, pastoral, or academic issues we advise they speak to College staff for counsel, support and, where needed, correction to the situation. Behaviour that fails to comply with the Student Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action (see Student Behaviour and Course Progress Policy). Any behaviour that compromises the welfare of other students will result in immediate termination of enrolment.

Since it reflects the standards expected by churches of those in ministry, behaving and ministering consistently with the Student Code of Conduct is also a requirement for several assessments across the College’s courses. Breaching this Code will result in a student being judged as Not Yet Competent for the relevant subjects/ units/assessments. A student will subsequently need to provide verifiable evidence of meeting the requirements of the Code of Conduct for a reasonable period in order to achieve Competence.