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June 20, 2024

Mandatory sexual harassment training announced for hospitality industry

The state government today announced it will move to introduce mandatory sexual harassment training across South Australia’s hospitality industry.

  • Words: Isabella Kelly
  • Picture: Freepik

The government said industry and the broader community would be consulted on including the training as part of the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) program.


This article discusses sexual assault.

If this story raises issues for you, call LifeLine on 13 11 14.


Not So Hospitable

The Australian Hotels’ Association (AHA) already provides a bystander intervention program available to its approximately 600 members and Consumer and Business Affairs Minister Andrea Michaels used the training to announce the government’s intention to provide a broader training program for Adelaide’s hospitality industry.

Michaels commended the AHA for its program, saying “the Malinauskas Government wants to ensure this training is available more broadly to help stamp it [sexual harassment] out across the sector”.

“Mandatory bystander training would help empower hospitality workers to identify and respond to sexual harassment as well as play a role in changing disrespectful attitudes toward women which contribute to making them unsafe,” Michaels says.

The announcement comes after Not So Hospitable, founded by Adelaide sexologist and researcher Jamie Bucirde, released a report in May detailing the significance of sexual harassment in Adelaide’s hospitality industry.

The report found nearly 50 per cent of victim-survivors said nothing was done by management when they reported the incidents.

Bucirde welcomed the government announcement, saying the campaign now “really needs to kick into gear”.

“We are not there yet, and as the government moves closer to making this decision, we must keep pushing to ensure we provide our future hospitality staff as well as current ones, the education and training they deserve to keep themselves and others safe,” she says.

“The state government’s decision to consult on mandating the RSA model to include bystander intervention training and drink spiking training is an incredible step forward.

“This is relevant to anyone who goes out, drinks, eats or parties in our hospitality scene. Research continues to tell us that primary prevention of harassment is the best way to eradicate this behaviour within our society.”

The government said the training would help staff to identify and respond to sexual harassment, and that it would be consulting on a specific drink spiking training as well.

Minister for Women Katrine Hildyard said the “persistence of sexual harassment and violence is horrific”.

“No-one, no matter where they work, where they head to for a night out or whether they are at home, should ever be subject to it,” Hildyard says.

“Our Government is determined to use every lever we have to address gender inequality and the misogynistic, disrespectful attitudes that lead to sexual harassment and sexual violence.

“That means ensuring more people have an understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment and violence, what drives it and how to feel confident to speak up and act against it.”

The state government said it will soon begin consulting on the mandatory training.


If you’ve experienced rape or sexual assault, Yarrow Place is a free and confidential service for people over 16 and offers counselling, advocacy and medical support.
Call 1800 817 421 or 8226 8777 or visit their website.

You can also call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

If this story has raised issues for you, call LifeLine on 13 11 14.

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