Human Ethics


The Human Ethics Officers will commence onsite consultations from 13 February 2018. They will be at Bankstown, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury and Parramatta South campuses 2 days each per month. For Werrington and Kingswood campuses appointments can be made as required. To make a booking, email the human ethics team or phone 4736 0493 (Ext 2493).

Human ethics review

The purpose of human ethics review

Western Sydney University fosters responsible research, protecting the welfare, dignity and safety of research participants while maintaining the reputation of the University and its researchers, and minimising claims for negligence against individual researchers or the University.

Research involving humans includes, but is not restricted to, the use and/or collection of personal, collective or cultural data from participants or from their records, and may include their oral testimony or observed cultural activities and the testing of responses to conditions devised by researchers as set out in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (opens in a new window)

The University protects the welfare and rights of research participants by ensuring research projects undergo ethics review to establish that they meet the requirements of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (opens in a new window) and the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (opens in a new window) when relevant, and conform to any relevant legislative requirements as well as University policies.

For a step-by-step guide on how to commence human ethics review, please see How to Apply for Human Ethics Review

The human ethics committees

The Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee is an accredited HREC under the terms of the NHMRC. It follows the accreditation guidelines and reports annually to the NHMRC. Committees are comprised of mandatory members as per the NHMRC's required composition, and additional members with expertise relevant to Western Sydney University research.

The HREC Chair is Adjunct Professor Elizabeth (Liz) Deane. Western Sydney academic staff and their areas of expertise are listed below:

Chairperson / Executive memberElizabeth Deane
Deputy Chair / Executive memberMichele Simons
Deputy Chair / Executive memberKristy Coxon
Deputy Chair / Executive memberGeir Henning Presterudstuen
Deputy Chair / Executive memberBrett Bowden
EducationAnne Power
PsychologyGabrielle Weidemann
SCEMPayam Rahnamayiezekavat
Health ProfessionalPeter Lewis

The committee is supported by a lawyer and members from the community including two lay people (one man and one woman), and a pastoral care professional.

All correspondence between researchers and committee members is to be directed through the Human Ethics Officers

The full committee meets once a month, except in January, for the assessment of Low 2 and High Risk applications, amendments and responses.

The HREC delegates the assessment of some amendments and responses to its Executive committee which meets approximately weekly.

The HREC delegates the review of projects rated Negligible or Low 1 to the Low and Negligible Risk (LNR) committee which meets approximately weekly. Liz Deane is also the Chair of the LNR.

Related documents


Complaints and adverse events

Researchers: If an adverse event occurs during your research you must stop gathering data, secure the existing data, and where appropriate, make the research site safe and advise us immediately.

Participants and researchers: If any person has a complaint about the conduct of a research project approved by the University's Human Research Ethics Committee, please contact

For more information on how complaints are reviewed by the University see Guidance on Complaints (PDF, 58.62 KB) (opens in a new window)

On-campus consultations

The Human Ethics Officers are available to meet with academic and student researchers on each campus for one-to-one 30 minute consultations – February through November. We can also speak to groups of students if advised in advance.

To make a booking for a consultation, please email

Contact us

For assistance and advice on human ethics and applying for ethics approval, please contact us on 02 4736 0493 (Ext: 2493) or at

Our postal address is:

Human Ethics Officer
Research Services
Western Sydney University
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751