SCANZ policy

SCANZ Diversity and Inclusion Policy

This Diversity and Inclusion Policy sets out our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our programs and activities; how we will achieve those objectives; and how we will measure those achievements.

It details the strategies we will use to ensure we value and respect the diversity of our members and the communities in which we operate, and what we will do to create programs and events that are fair, accessible, flexible, inclusive and in which discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation are not tolerated.

SCANZ aims to:

  • improve our ability to attract, develop and retain a diverse membership;
  • make equity, diversity and inclusion a central part of how our organisation and members work, and of our programs and events;
  • support and empower our members to be able to do their best and bring their whole selves to our organisation;
  • support and empower a diversity of our members to participate fully in our events and programs;
  • lead by example, so that our members and other organisations within our sector can see the tangible benefits of diversity and inclusion.


Diversity refers to all the characteristics that make individuals different from each other. It includes characteristics such as age, caring responsibilities, cultural diversity, disability, gender, indigeneity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and religion.

Diversity is about our commitment to creating an organisation that reflects our membership, and inclusion is about our commitment to equality and treating all individuals – our members, stakeholders and the communities in which we operate – with fairness and respect.


Inclusion refers to the act of creating environments, events and programs in which any individual or group feels welcomed, respected and valued to fully participate and contribute. Inclusive environments, events and programs incorporate new and different ways of thinking, interacting and working so that all individuals, whether members of majority or minority groups, are able to contribute.

Inclusion occurs when the diverse mix of people in our membership, programs, and at our events, experience:

  • Feeling valued and respected
  • Having a sense of belonging and connection
  • Being able to access opportunities and resources
  • Being able to contribute their perspectives and talents

Why is it important?

We recognise that inclusion and diversity play a key role in enabling us to achieve the object of the Society. Our efforts to create diverse and inclusive membership, programs and events:

  • Enable us to attract and retain members with the best skills and attributes
  • Leverage a diversity of perspectives to foster collaboration, creativity and innovation
  • Improve diversity and inclusion throughout wider STEM events, professions and workplaces.

How will we deliver diversity and inclusion?

Our work towards realising the benefits of diversity and inclusion will include a range of priority actions. We will:

  • Invite a diversity of speakers, presenters and facilitators to appear at our events (see the SCANZ Conference Policies)
  • Encourage our members to accept invitations to speak only at events in which there is gender balance and a diversity of voices on the program
  • Create opportunities and proactively call for applications from under- served members of the community to participate in our programs and events
  • Encourage diverse candidates to apply for membership, committee, council and executive positions.
  • Target a gender and geographically balanced SCANZ Council, facilitated by the Nominations Committee.
  • Encourage and support other STEM sector organisations to adopt and apply equity, diversity and inclusion guidelines and policies.
  • Establish a code of conduct for SCANZ events

How will SCANZ measure its own diversity and inclusion?

SCANZ will do the following things to measure its diversity and inclusion:

  • Report to the membership at each Business Meeting against progress towards our equity, diversity and inclusion goals as outlined above
  • Record and publish diversity and inclusion statistics through our website about each event held by SCANZ

SCANZ Code of Conduct

SCANZ is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all members and participants at its meeting and events. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, service providers and others are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct. This Code applies to all SCANZ meetings and meeting related events, including those sponsored by organisations other than SCANZ but held in conjunction with SCANZ events, in public or private facilities. Breaches of the codes should be reported to SCANZ Executive or Council members. Participants or members who breach this code will be requested to leave the meeting venue immediately. SCANZ Council will then take further action which may include but not be limited to, banning from future meetings, reporting of the behaviour and termination of membership.

Expected Behaviour

  • All participants, members, attendees and vendors should treat each other with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • They should be considerate, respectful, and collaborative with others.
  • They should communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • They should avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, members and suppliers/vendors.
  • They should be mindful of their surroundings and their fellow participants. SCANZ Executive or Council members should be alerted if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • They should respect the rules and policies of the meeting venues and hotels

Unacceptable Behaviour

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated including words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation, physical contact or violence.
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, member, service provider, or other meeting guest will not be tolerated.
  • Examples of unacceptable behaviour include, but are not limited to, illegal behaviour, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, public intoxication, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening or stalking, or harassing any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Recording or taking photography of another individual’s presentation without the explicit permission of SCANZ.
  • Disruption of talks at oral or poster sessions, in the exhibit hall, or at other events organised by SCANZ at the meeting venue or hotels.

SCANZ Conference Policies

SCANZ recognises the positive impact that a conference speaking invitation has on the track record and visibility of its delegates. We also recognise that some sections of the scientific community are often under-represented in conference programs, and that this can affect diversity in the long-term. Our policies were developed to ensure quality and equality.

Speaker Invitation Policy

Invitations for the SCANZ 1987 Plenary Lecturer, Keynote speakers and Invited speakers are made to high quality researchers that represent the broad diversity of our community. We aim to achieve a balance across geography, gender and experience. Because the number of invited keynote and symposia presentations are limited, invited speakers at each SCANZ conference will not include invited speakers at the four previous SCANZ conferences. Speakers selected from abstracts at the previous meetings may be invited to speak at the present conference. Invited speakers at the previous meetings may be selected from abstracts at the present conference. Rising Star speakers will be selected by a specific committee. The Bragg and Mathieson Medallist Lectures will be selected by the SCANZ Executive.

Funding Policy

The Plenary Lecture is supported by the SCANZ 1987 Fund. Keynote Speakers are supported through sponsorship. No funding is generally provided to invited or abstract-selected speakers. This funding policy means that SCANZ can keep the registration fee as low as possible for all attendees, to help ensure a successful conference. SCANZ provides funding support for the Bragg and Mathieson Medallists. SCANZ also provides funding support to students to attend conferences, but this is not tied to speaking invitations.


SCANZ welcomes feedback from members on this policy and how it might be improved for future conferences to better ensure quality and diversity.