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Important Note: With daylight saving time in operation in New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, there will be variation in starting times for the Lab Online. Sessions in Queensland will now commence at 3.30pm local time. In South Australia sessions will commence at 4pm local time. In NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania, starting times will be 4.30pm local time. This will be in operation for Term 4, 2017 and the commencement of Term 1, 2018.

INTRODUCTION
The Lab Online was first piloted in 2016 and involved young people from across Australia who were unable to access a face to face Lab session. The pilot was funded by the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and ran during terms 3 & 4 in 2016.

Our review of the pilot indicated that the young people involved in the program saw themselves learning new skills that they clearly valued. The Lab and The Lab Online aim to encourage positive social and technical outcomes, but not in a school type formal learning program.

The Lab Online will offer participants an opportunity to discuss their own interests and to complete tutorials and project work covering a specific technique or technology, while working around a plan for the ten week term program. We’re aiming to provide a structure of activity based engagement, while at the same time leaving room for participants to develop their own interests.

In March 2017 the Lab Online pilot was the recipient of an NBN Co and Australian Information Industry Association award for innovative use of online technology.

SESSION DELIVERY
The Lab Online will run two sessions per week from the first week in August, 2017. Sessions will run on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. The Tuesday session will have a tech focus with an introduction to programming, Unity 3D and gaming, while the Thursday session will focus on animation, HTML/CSS/javascript and other web based media. The cost is $20 per session.


The Tuesday afternoon session is taken by Brad Hammond.
Brad has many years experience as a games and multimedia developer and a background in teaching. Brad is enthusiastic about helping young people to achieve their creative goals.

brad“I’ll taking classes that will use Unity 3D, one of the most widely used and modern games engines, to teach the students how to create a three dimensional painting tool. This task allows them to gain an understanding of the basic systems involved in a games engine, how to manage virtual cameras, scenes, texture and mesh assets as well as learning how to script/program these assets to have interesting behaviors using the C# programming language.
The painting tool that they create is easily extensible and allows for each student to have create their own unique brushes and visuals allowing them to create something that is more personalized and unique to them.”

The Thursday afternoon session is taken by Emma Baillie.
Emma has a long association with The Lab through mentoring at the Reservoir Lab. Emma has a degree in Computer Science and Physics, three children (including one on the spectrum) and a house with twice as many computers as people.

Emma

“I’ll be taking sessions on internet technologies – how to make content for websites, and how to make it look like you want it to. This includes knowing about the process of how you look at websites in the first place (just how does the information get from another computer to your computer? What does the web actually do?) as well as HTML (how the information in the webpage is organised), CSS (how you make it look pretty) and JavaScript (how you make it do stuff). In the coming term we’ll have a focus on animation and creating media content”.


Mentors will be available at all scheduled session times to discuss project work and any other technology interests. Mentors are experienced programmers, games developers and digital media artists who have all successfully completed Police and Working With Children Checks required by law in Victoria. The online video platform, Zoom, has been selected for its robust privacy provisions that include a high level of system security and individual privacy with participants being able to turn their video feed on or off, while still being able to see the screens of mentors and other participants.

REQUIREMENTS
Participant requirements for the sessions are simple; a headset with built in microphone is highly recommended and a quite space free from of ambient noise. A computer system capable of running games and video is important, though any reasonably new system will work well.

AWARDS
In March 2017 the Lab Online pilot was the recipient of an NBN Co and Australian Information Industry Association award for innovative use of online technology.

If you are interested in being involved in The Lab Online please complete the registration information via the link below.

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Or if you have any questions please use the form below.

Fields marked with an * are required

PRIVACY POLICY – June 2016
Click here to download a pdf of The Lab Online Information Privacy Policy

INTRODUCTION
The Lab Online is committed to protecting the personal information that we collect, use and disclose. This policy supports The Lab Online’s need to collect information and the right of all Lab participants to privacy. It ensures that The Lab Online can collect personal and health information necessary for its program and functions, while recognising the right of individuals to have their information handled in ways that they would reasonably expect and in ways that protect their personal information.

The extent of personal information collected by The Lab Online will be limited to contact information and session notes that will allow for the safe engagement for all participants and effective management of the online program. Session notes are made by mentors at the conclusion of each online session and are general in nature aiming to support the effective development and progress of online engagement.

NOTE: This information will not be disclosed to any parties beyond the operation of The Lab Online without consent of parents or carers and de-identification of participants.

SCOPE
This policy sets out how The Lab Online is to collect, store, manage, use, disclose or transfer personal and health information in accordance with the Information and Health Privacy Principles contained within the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).

These principles cover the valid reasons for the collection of information essential to the operation of the activity where consent must be obtained and confidentiality maintained.

The linked document below outlines the Victorian Health Privacy Principles and are extracted from the Health. Records Act 2001 (Vic). (http://www.health.vic.gov.au/hsc/downloads/hppextract.pdf)

AUDIENCE
All organisers and mentors involved in the delivery of The Lab Online program must act in accordance with this policy.

COMPLIANCE
The Lab Online must collect and handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) unless otherwise required by law.

KEY DEFINITIONS

  • Health information means information or opinion about a person’s physical, mental or psychological health or disability that is also personal information. This includes information or opinion about a person’s health status and medical history.
  • Personal information means recorded information or opinion, whether true or not, about a person whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information. The information or opinion can be recorded in any form.
  • Sensitive information means information or opinion (that is also personal information) about a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion, philosophical beliefs, sexual preferences or practices, membership of a political association, professional/trade association or trade union, or an individual’s criminal record.
  • Victorian privacy law means the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) collectively.

POLICY
Personal and health information is collected and used by The Lab Online for the following purposes:

  • to plan, fund, implement, monitor, regulate and evaluate The Lab Online’s services and functions
  • to fulfil statutory and other legal functions and duties
  • to comply with reporting requirements
  • to investigate incidents during sessions and/or defend any legal claims against The Lab Online or its employees

The Lab Online has adopted the Information and Health Privacy Principles in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) as minimum standards when dealing with personal and health information.

This means that, subject to some exceptions (see below), The Online Lab must not do an act, or engage in a practice, that contravenes an Information and/or Health Privacy Principle in respect of personal and/or health information collected, held, managed, used, disclosed or transferred by it.

INFORMATION & HEALTH PRIVACY PRINCIPLES
The Lab Online applies the key Information and Health Privacy Principles as follows. Refer to the Victorian privacy law for full details.

Collection of Personal Information

The Lab Online will only collect personal information if the information is necessary for one of its functions or activities.

Where the personal information of an individual is collected, reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that the individual is aware of:

  • the identity of The Lab Online and how to contact it,
  • the fact that the individual is able to gain access to the information,
  • who The Lab Online usually discloses information of that kind to,
  • any law that requires the particular information to be collected, and
  • the main consequence (if any) for the individual if all or part of the information is not provided to The Lab Online.

Collection of Health Information

The Lab Online will only collect health information if the information is necessary for one of its functions or activities and:

  • The Lab Online has gained consent from the individual, or
  • collection is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious or imminent threat to the life, health, safety or welfare of any individual, or
  • collection is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defense of a legal or equitable claim.

Where the health information of an individual is collected, reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that the individual is aware of:

  • the identity of The Lab Online and how to contact it,
  • the fact that the individual is able to gain access to the information,
  • the purposes for which the information is being collected,
  • who The Lab Online usually discloses information of that kind to,
  • any law that requires the particular information to be collected, and
  • the main consequence (if any) for the individual if all or part of the information is not provided to The Lab Online.

Use and Disclosure

The Lab Online must only use or disclose personal and health information for the primary purpose for which it was collected, unless:

  • use or disclosure is for a related secondary purpose and the individual would reasonably expect The Lab Online to use or disclose the information for that secondary purpose, or
  • the individual has provided consent, or
  • use or disclosure is necessary for research, or the compilation of statistics, in the public interest, or
  • use or disclosure is reasonably necessary to carry out a law enforcement function, or
  • use or disclosure is otherwise required, permitted or authorised by law. For example, The Lab Online may be required to share information to fulfill its duty of care to students, staff and visitors or The Online Lab may be required to share information to provide a safe workplace in accordance with occupational health and safety law.

In cases where the use or disclosure is necessary for research or the compilation of statistics, in the public interest, The Online Lab will usually only do so with the individual’s consent. Where it is impracticable to seek the individual’s consent, and when the research or the compilation of statistics cannot be undertaken with de-identified information, research or compilation of statistics will be carried out in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans[1] or, for health information, in accordance with the Statutory Guidelines on Research.

Data Security

The Lab Online is guided by the principle that all information is well governed and managed. Accordingly, The Lab Online must take reasonable steps to protect the personal and/or health information it holds from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. This includes destroying or permanently de-identifying personal and/or health information if it is no longer needed.

Openness

To enable greater access to government decisions, The Lab Online’s information should be easy to find, access and use. This means that The Lab Online must have, and make available, clearly expressed policies on its management of personal and health information.

On request by a person, The Lab Online must take reasonable steps to let the person know, generally:

  • what sort of personal information it holds,
  • for what purposes such information has been collected, and
  • how it collects, holds, uses and discloses that information.

Anonymity

Wherever it is lawful and practicable, individuals must have the option of not identifying themselves when entering into transactions with The Online Lab.

Transborder Data Flows

The Lab Online will only transfer personal and/or health information about an individual to someone who is outside Victoria in limited circumstances. Specifically, The Online Lab should only transfer personal and/or health information outside Victoria if:

  • the individual consents to the transfer, or
  • The Lab Online reasonably believes that the recipient of the information is subject to a law, binding scheme or contract which is very similar to the Victorian privacy law, or
  • The Lab Online has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the transferred information will not be held, used or disclosed inconsistently with the Victorian privacy law.

Complaints
The Lab Online will be efficient and fair when investigating and responding to information privacy complaints. The Lab Online will investigate and respond to complaints in accordance with the Department’s Information Privacy Complaints Handling Process.

 

This document is based on the Information Privacy Policy of the Victorian Department of Education and Training. Melbourne. February, 2016.
It has been amended under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence.

BULLYING & HARASSMENT POLICY – June 2016

 Click here to download a pdf of The Lab Online Bullying & Harassment Policy

INTRODUCTION
The Lab Online is committed to providing a safe, secure and supportive online environment where the creative and interpersonal aims of the program can be achieved. That environment should be free of harassment, bullying or discriminatory behavior. This policy aims to outline the framework within which these behaviours can be identified and resolved to the satisfaction of all stakeholders in The Lab Online.

Scope:  This policy applies to all Lab Online Organisers, Mentors and Participants.

Policy
The Lab Online is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and bullying. It aims for equality of opportunity for all Lab Online participants and staff.

Background
This policy is intended to ensure that there is a shared understanding of The Lab Online expectations in regards to acceptable and appropriate behaviour within The Lab Online environment.

Discrimination and Harassment is not only unacceptable, it is unlawful pursuant to State and Federal legislation. Bullying is unacceptable and may also be unlawful.

It is the primary responsibility of The Lab Online to provide a collaborative environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying. It is the responsibility of every Lab Online personnel to not participate in discriminatory or harassing behaviour within the online environment.

 The Lab Online Organiser/Moderator will treat all complaints confidentially, seriously and sympathetically. Appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against anyone found to have breached this policy.

No personnel will be penalised or disadvantaged as a result of raising legitimate concerns or complaints relating to discrimination, harassment or bullying.

 Definitions:

Discrimination
Unlawful discrimination occurs when a person treats or proposes to treat another person less favourably owing to an attribute (listed below) when compared with a person without that attribute.

Unlawful discrimination also occurs when there is a requirement or condition or practice that is the same for everyone but disadvantages a person because they have one or more of the following protected attributes.

Protected attributes in Victoria include:

  • Age;
  • Colour
  • Descent or national or ethnic origin;
  • Disability/impairment;
  • Industrial activity/inactivity;
  • Lawful sexual activity/sexual orientation or preference;
  • Gender identity;
  • Marital status, including de facto;
  • Physical features;
  • Political belief or activity;
  • Pregnancy/breastfeeding;
  • Race;
  • Religious belief or activity;
  • Sex;
  • Status as a parent or carer;
  • Personal association with someone of the above attributes;
  • Irrelevant criminal conviction (one that does not relate to an inherent requirement of the role).

Workplace discrimination can occur in:

  • The provision of support to Lab Online participants or staff,
  • Recruiting and selecting Staff;
  • Terms, conditions and benefits offered as part of employment;
  • Who receives training and what sort of training is offered;
  • Who is considered and selected for transfer, promotion, retrenchment or dismissal.

It is important to note that from a legal perspective it is irrelevant whether or not the discrimination was intended.

Harassment
A person unlawfully harasses another person if he or she makes that other feel offended, humiliated or intimidated because of one of the protected attributes listed above. It may involve inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments or physical contact that is objectionable or causes offense.

It is important to note that from a legal perspective it is irrelevant whether or not the harassing behaviour was intended.

Unlawful harassment may have occurred if the behaviour makes the victim feel:

  • Offended and humiliated;
  • Intimidated or frightened and/or
  • Uncomfortable at work

Unlawful harassment can include behaviour such as:

  • Telling insulting jokes about particular racial groups;
  • Sending explicit or sexually suggestive emails;
  • Displaying offensive or pornographic posters or screen savers;
  • Making derogatory comments or taunts about someone’s race or religion;
  • Asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life, including their sex life.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment occurs when a person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours to another person, or engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another person, in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated. It has nothing to do with mutual attraction or consenting friendships, whether sexual or otherwise.

Sexual harassment is unlawful in the workplace, which includes any place a person goes for the purpose of carrying out any function in relation to his/her role at The Lab Online. The workplace can also extend to social functions.

In Victoria, co-workers can be named sole respondents in cases of alleged sexual harassment.

Some examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Persistent, unwelcome demands or even subtle pressures for sexual favours or outings;
  • Staring or leering at a person or at parts of their body;
  • Unwelcome patting, pinching, touching or unnecessary familiarity, such as unnecessarily brushing up against a person;
  • Offensive comments or questions about a person’s physical appearance, dress or private life;
  • Sexually explicit pictures or posters or screen savers (words and images);
  • Sexually explicit telephone calls, letters, faxes, emails or voice mail messages;
  • Humour such as smutty or suggestive jokes or comments;
  • Innuendo, including sexually provocative remarks, suggestive or derogatory comments about a person’s physical appearance, inferences of sexual morality, or tales of sexual performance;
  • Requests for sex;
  • Insults or taunts based on sex;
  • Sexually explicit physical contact.
  • Some types of sexual harassment can also be offenses under the criminal law, such as:
  • Physical molestation or assault;
  • Indecent exposure;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Stalking;
  • Obscene communications (by way of online posts, telephone calls, emails etc.).

Bullying
Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed toward personnel, or groups of personnel, that creates a risk to their safe engagement with online activity or sense of personal well-being.

 Unreasonable behaviour” means behaviour that a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine or threaten the other person.

“Behaviour” includes actions of individuals or a group, and may involve using a system of work as a means of victimising, humiliating, undermining, punishing or threatening.

“Risk to health and safety” includes risk to the mental or physical health of personnel.

The following types of behaviour, where repeated or occurring as part of a pattern of behaviour could be considered to be workplace bullying:

  • Simulated physical or verbal abuse;
  • Intimidation;
  • Yelling, screaming or offensive language;
  • Excluding or isolating participants or Mentors;
  • Psychological harassment;
  • Assigning meaningless tasks unrelated to the current activity;
  • Directing impossible jobs;
  • Deliberately changed session times to inconvenience particular persons;
  • Undermining work performance by deliberately withholding information vital for effective work performance.

Other types of behaviour may also constitute bullying.

Workplace bullying can occur between Participants, Mentors or an Organiser/Moderator.

Bullying is not an acceptable part of The Lab Online activity culture. It is a significant occupational health and safety issue of concern if it occurs in the online environment or the working environment, as it can cause harm to a person’s health and wellbeing, both physical and psychological. Bullying may also be unlawful if it is linked to, or based on, one of the above-specified protected attributes covered by anti-discrimination legislation.

Bullying does not cover situations where an employee has a grievance about legitimate and reasonable:

  • Performance management processes;
  • Disciplinary action;
  • Allocation of work in compliance with systems.

Victimisation
It is unlawful for a person to subject to or threatens to subject another person to any detriment because the other person, or someone associated with the other person, has made an allegation or complaint of discrimination, harassment or bullying on the basis of a protected attribute.

Resolution of Complaints and Issues of Concern
It is in the interest of any person or group who believe they have been unlawfully discriminated against, sexually harassed, bullied or victimised to take action to prevent the behaviour from recurring. The Lab Online believes that all complaints and issues of concern should be resolved quickly, confidentially and wherever possible, at the lowest appropriate level. A range of internal issue resolution options are available including:

  • Self-resolution;
  • Non-report early resolution by immediate action of The Lab Online Organiser or Moderator;
  • Informal resolution involving mediation and conciliation;
  • Formal investigation/assessment by The Lab Online Organiser or external provider.

What can you do if you are being harassed or bullied?
Bullying and harassment is to be dealt with and should not be ignored, as ignoring the behaviour could be taken as tacit consent. Anybody who experiences or witnesses harassment or bullying is encouraged to either:

  • Inform the offender that the behaviour is offensive and unacceptable and against organisational policy; or
  • Seek assistance in having the behaviour stopped. This may include reporting the issue to The Lab Online Organiser or Moderator.

Who can assist you in making a report or complaint?
If you feel that you are unable to resolve the matter yourself, the following people will be able to assist you:

  • The Lab Online Organiser or Moderator.

In addition to the above listed person, you may approach the Equal Opportunity Commission for independent advice at any time.

What will happen if you make a Report or Complaint?
Any complaints or reports of discrimination, harassment or bullying will be treated quickly, seriously and sympathetically. They will be investigated thoroughly, impartially and where possible, confidentially (when investigating some complaints confidentially is not always possible). The Lab Online Organiser or Moderator must act immediately on any reports of harassment. Personnel will not be disadvantaged in their engagement conditions or opportunities as a result of lodging a complaint.

 What will happen to the person against whom you have made a complaint?
The Lab Online considers all forms of workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying to be unacceptable behaviour, which will not be tolerated. Accordingly, where such complaints have been substantiated, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Such action may range, based on severity of the complaint, from a formal warning to termination of relationship with The Lab Online for serious breaches of this policy.

Similarly, where necessary, action will be taken against anyone including Participants or Mentors who have been found to have discriminated against, harassed or bullied a co-worker, or any other person during the course of his/her engagement with The Lab Online.

Natural Justice
A complaint of discrimination, harassment and/or bullying is a serious allegation to bring against someone. For this reason, while advisers may have feelings of sympathy for the complainant, and quite possibly negative feelings towards the respondent when dealing with a complaint, it is crucial to continually bear in mind the rights of the respondent as determined by the principles of natural justice. The adviser must approach the problem with neutrality.

Defamation
A person should not be deterred from making a complaint of harassment by concerns about defamation laws. Generally if a complainant only discusses the complaint with appropriate people (Moderator/Organiser) and is acting in good faith (i.e. is not making complaint out of spite or malice), then the person will not be liable for defamation.

Flowcharts of resolution process
All complaints of bullying and harassment will be responded to in accordance with the procedures outlined in information below.

Schedule 1- Bullying Resolution Flowchart

Bully_Harass3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Report Early Resolution
The non-report early resolution option has been created to allow personnel to obtain assistance from the Organiser/Moderator about a bullying or harassment issue without having to report it.

 Non-report early resolution is confidential, quick and flexible course of action by which the Organiser/Moderator and the parties themselves choose a method of solution to assist in an amicable solution. This may include any or all of the following:

  • An early apology
  • Referring the parties to counselling, training or education
  • Programs
  • Meetings
  • Discussions

Informal Action Option
This option means that there is no investigation into the report and there is no decision made on whether bullying or harassment has occurred. The emphasis is on resolution only.

 Where the informal option is sought the Mentor/Participant reports the matter verbally to the Organiser/Moderator. Both the Mentor/Participant and other party can ask the Organiser/Moderator for support, if they wish.

The Organiser/Moderator assists in resolution of the matter by using the following methods:

  • Proposing solution such as an early apology
  • Facilitating a meeting between the parties
  • Providing training in appropriate behaviour
  • Provide supervision and support
  • Other suitable dispute resolution strategies
  • Personnel can cease informal option at any time or proceed with formal option.

Formal Option
Where a formal action is commenced the Participant/Mentor completes a Bullying and/or Harassment Report Form and delivers it to the Organiser/Moderator.
Click here to download a pdf of The Lab Online Bullying & Harassment Report Form

Conclusion
The Lab Online is committed to providing an environment that is safe and free of discrimination, harassment and bullying for all personnel and others with whom we associate at the Lab Online. This policy has the full support and commitment of management. Please ensure you give your support in monitoring and avoiding practices, attitudes and traditions that lead to harassment.