Freedom of Speech Protocol

Updated November 2021

At Goodenough College, free speech is the lifeblood of our intellectual community. It enables the pursuit of knowledge. It helps us approach truths. It allows us to become better acquainted with the variety of beliefs, theories and opinions prevalent in the world.

Recognising the vital importance of free expression for the life of the mind, the College, while reserving the right to determine rules concerning the conduct of debate, shall never prevent speech that is lawful.

Inevitably, this will mean that College Members, staff and visitors may be confronted with views that some find unsettling, extreme or offensive. The College must therefore foster freedom of expression within a framework of robust civility.

Not all theories deserve equal respect. Our College community values expertise and intellectual achievement as well as openness. But, within the bounds set by law, all voices or views which any member of the community considers relevant should be given the chance of a hearing. Wherever possible, they should also be exposed to evidence, questioning and argument.

As an integral part of this commitment to freedom of expression, we take steps to ensure that all such exchanges happen peacefully. With appropriate regulation of the time, place and manner of events, neither speakers nor listeners should have any reasonable grounds to feel intimidated or censored. It is this understanding of the central importance and specific roles of free speech in an intellectual community that informs and underlies the policies and procedures regarding presentations, lectures and debate at the College.