Vision and Values

Vision and Values

St Mark’s College is a values-based residential academic community.

Vision and Values

The following values guide our behaviour and choices in all things: respect, excellence, inclusion, integrity, service, and community.

At the heart of our values are emphasis on:

  • promoting academic excellence
  • respect and dignity for all, and
  • community service, both within the College community and in the wider community.

We place importance on being a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive community that:

  • promotes intellectual enquiry and rigour, a love of learning and a culture of continuous improvement
  • supports the wellbeing of each student to enjoy a healthy and happy College experience
  • fosters respectful relationships and lifelong friendships
  • expects personal and professional conduct characterised by fairness and integrity
  • encourages a willingness to serve others and to give back to the community in a spirit of thankfulness
  • cares about the environment and embraces the principles of ecological sustainability
  • values the vision of our founders, our Anglican foundation and the best traditions of the College
  • takes an active, progressive and outward-looking approach to life.

These values guide the way we live together, and underpin the best of St Mark’s College.

In line with its values, St Mark’s takes a whole-of-institution approach to promoting gender equality, respect, diversity, and inclusion.

There is a fuller outline of the Vision and Values of the College in the College Handbook (Appendix D) which is here.

St Mark’s Collegians’ Living Document of Values

Following extensive discussion among students, the College’s student leaders for 2023 drafted a “St Mark’s Collegians’ Living Document of Values” which sets out the principles that students see as fundamental to a positive and enriching College experience. These principles sit alongside the St Mark’s values stated above, and demonstrate what they might look like in a day-to-day College context.

The key values identified in the Living Document are:

  • Integrity
  • Collegiality
  • Respect
  • Growth, and
  • Generosity

The student leaders for 2024 have reviewed and slightly updated the Living Document.

As in 2023, St Mark’s students in 2024 have pledged their commitment to this student-written statement of shared values and behaviours, and undertaken to abide by it. The 2024 signed Living Document hangs prominently in the College (in Downer House near the entrance to the Junior Common Room).

For a short summary of the Living Document of Values, click here.

For the full Living Document of Values, click here.

"Towards our second century: a strategy for St Mark's College"

The College’s vision and values are reflected in the strategic plan - "Towards our second century: a strategy for St Mark's College" – which was adopted by the College Board in May 2022 and reviewed in May 2023.

In the strategic plan, the College commits to providing life-changing opportunities for students in coming years through focusing on seven areas of strategic priority:

1. Actively encouraging academic excellence and supporting career preparation

2. Promoting student wellbeing and belonging in a safe, respectful, diverse, and inclusive community

3. Working to support all students who need it, and to promote excellence and diversity, through a major expansion of scholarships and other financial support for students

4. Developing the strongest team of staff who contribute to an exceptional student learning experience

5. Providing outstanding facilities and services in an inspiring and sustainable physical environment

6. Developing the financial resources needed to achieve these priorities

7. Engaging our alumni and friends in lifelong connections and in positioning St Mark’s for its second century

For more information on the strategic plan, click here.

Upholding our values

The College is committed to upholding and living out its values. This is reflected in all we do, including through:

  • Clear statement of values
  • Extensive training for students
  • Clear policies, and
  • Acting appropriately when issues arise.

This is reflected, for example, in the College’s implementation of Professor Catharine Lumby’s 2022 report and of the 2018 Action Plan for Cultural Renewal.

2022 Report by Professor Catharine Lumby: “a gold standard approach”

In October 2022, the College received a Report from Professor Catharine Lumby of the University of Sydney on what we do and what we can do better to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct. Professor Lumby’s review was commissioned by the College in May 2022 as part of a proactive effort to assess what we do well in this area and identify what we can do better.

Professor Lumby’s report, following her detailed review over several months, describes the College’s approach as “gold standard”.

She also made a number of recommendations for how we can strengthen our practices further, which the College is implementing in full.

The College has prepared an Implementation Strategy for Professor Lumby’s recommendations, and has either fully implemented or made significant progress in implementing all of the recommendations.

For the Implementation Strategy and combined first and second progress reports on implementation of the Lumby recommendations (as of 6 February 2023 and 16 April 2024), click here.

For the College’s announcement on publication of the Report, click here.

For Professor Lumby’s Report, click here.

For the College’s work in the area of Cultural Renewal more generally, please see the information and links directly below.

2018 Action Plan for Cultural Renewal

An Action Plan for Cultural Renewal at St Mark’s was launched by the College’s Board in September 2018.

Some of the plan’s key actions include:

  • ensuring appropriate controls are in place for College events to reduce harmful drinking and reduce the likelihood of unacceptable activities and behaviour;
  • Introducing a new Welcome Week to replace Orientation Week. Welcome Week focuses on building an inclusive and diverse student body. Unacceptable past traditions and activities will not be tolerated;
  • Strengthening existing training for all students and staff on the College’s Values, sexual assault and harassment, consent, bystander awareness, drug and alcohol harm minimisation, mental and sexual health by increasing its frequency throughout the year and introducing cultural sensitivity training;
  • Monitoring and reviewing progress to ensure the Action Plan achieves its targets and adapts to leading evidence-based practice and feedback.

More detail is contained in the College’s Statement of Cultural Renewal and the Action Plan for Cultural Renewal.

Progress reports provide details on the work undertaken thus far and further work to do.

Implementation Strategy and combined first and second progress reports for Lumby Report, February 2023 and April 2024 - read here.

Progress report update on cultural renewal, February 2022 (updated May 2022) - read here.

Progress report update on cultural renewal, February 2020 - read here.

End of first year progress report - read here.

End of second quarter progress report - read here

End of first quarter progress report - read here