Resources on sex discrimination


Whispers from the Bush

Skye’s book ‘Whispers from the Bush: The Workplace Sexual Harassment of Australian Rural Women’ (2015) is the first to focus on sex discrimination in rural Australian workplaces.

Drawing on 107 interviews with rural workers and employers, Skye’s incisive analysis reveals the pervasiveness of this crucial workplace issue and its lived experience.

Peer Reviews

“Skye Saunders has opened a lens on an aspect of our Australian community that has received too little attention up until now. Whispers from the Bush is carefully researched and wonderfully written. It is a clarion call to us all to listen with compassion and without judgment, to play our part in making Australia a better place for all.”

David Morrison AO

Former Chief of Australian Army

“What is to be done about sexual harassment in the Australian bush? Saunders’ answers to this question can inform policies in other countries, such as Canada and the United States…Her contribution is timely, much-needed, and policy relevant. It will also speak to readers on many levels, as it did to me.”

Dr. Walter S. De Keseredy

(Anna Deane Carlson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences, Director of the Research Center on Violence, and Professor of Sociology, West Virginia University)

“This book fills a gap in the existing body of knowledge around sexual harassment. It illustrates how dimensions of gendered harms can be better understood through applying a geographical and cultural lens. Were it not for this study, the low levels of reporting and few adjudicated cases could be interpreted to mean that sexual harassment was experienced similarly by both rural and city women. Yet it is starkly clear there is a long way to go to give rural women the safe working environments they are legally entitled to. This book has left me with a deepened understanding of the complex and powerful dynamics rural women negotiate, and a profound appreciation of the courage required to turn a whisper into a shout.”

Eliza Ginnivan, Alternative Law Journal, Vol 42:3 2017

“I welcome this book. When Dr. Saunders told me about it, my first thoughts were: at last. May ‘Whispers From The Bush’ break the silence of rural women. May it empower and strengthen them to speak out and no longer put up with mistreatment. May it contribute to solidarity among our sisters in dusty, remote places. All of us who live or lived in these places – and have parts of our heart remaining there even when we have moved on – owe Dr Saunders a debt of gratitude.”

Allison Ballard, Ethos, ACT Law Society, March 2017

“Whispers from the Bush.. should be mandatory reading for male (and female) employers. It provides a great list of practical recommendations for addressing and reducing the serious harms caused by sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, and particularly in rural workplaces.”

Melinda Tankard Reist, Advocate for Women and Girls

“Skye Saunders’ pioneering research publication speaks volumes about the extent of the ‘cultural epidemic’ of sexual harassment in rural Australian workplaces… Saunders’ triumph is her ability to siphon through the information and bring the most salient points to the reader’s attention in a thought-provoking way. It is a credit to the author that a topic so often drenched in statistics preserves the personality and experiences of those who contributed to it. At times the book is hard to put down, at other times the weight of personal stories can make it hard to read at all.”

Richard Bell, Bar News, NSW Bar Association, Winter 2016

Loading ...


Online training modules

What we understand about sexual harassment shapes what we think and what we do (and don’t do) about it. In her work with Insight Exchange, Skye has collaborated to develop to online, freely available modules on understanding and responding to workplace sexual harassment. These are available for everyone at no cost and you can apply to embed the modules into your learning platform through Insight Exchange.


Grace Under Fire

Based on Skye’s research, ‘Grace Under Fire’ is a short documentary film produced by the Victorian Women’s Trust. It sheds light on the hidden epidemic of workplace sexual harassment facing young women in regional and rural Australia. The film shares the story of 20-year-old law student Grace Bramwell, who confronted workplace sexual harassment in her hometown in Gippsland, Victoria.

Learn how we can help your organisation