An anonymous Facebook group designed for students at the University of Canberra has apologised for publishing a racist photoshopped image that offended staff, students and the indigenous community.
Earlier this month an image containing highly offensive and racist language was uploaded to the UC Confessions page, which is not affiliated with the University of Canberra.
The image, which was an altered version of the university website, prompted a number of distressed staff and students to contact the university with one calling for the perpetrators to be "thrown out on their ears".
After urging Facebook and the administrators to remove the post, the university threatened students with possible suspension should they be found guilty of uploading the image.
The post has since been removed.
But the administrator of the UC Confessions page said they did not succumb to pressure from the university to remove the post and would not reveal the identity of the submitter.
"The administrator responsible for posting the image has since been removed and banned from the page," said a statement.
"This page is not intended to be a politically correct circle-jerk.
"Confessions are submitted by various individuals and a single confessor's submission does not reflect the attitude of the whole community."
A University of Canberra spokeswoman said the academic community did not tolerate racism and would look to punish those responsible if they were found to be students.
"The university is highly offended by this image, which has caused distress to our staff and students," she said.
"Under the rules, a student may be suspended or excluded from all or part of the university or ordered to pay compensation if the student is found to have engaged in prohibited conduct as defined in the rules."
But despite the threats, the administrator said the group would not reveal the name of the person who created and submitted the image.
"We are still dedicated to preserving your anonymity; henceforth we will not be sharing any details that might reveal the identity of whoever submitted the image to us," said the statement.
The administrator said the group asked students to submit confessions by an anonymous survey and would "publish the ones that might interest the students unedited/uncensored".
The administrator also claimed the group believed the image was a legitimate hack of the university website.
"We would not have removed the post if the hack had been real because we believe people deserve to know the truth, but since it has been proven to be a hoax we have since apologised and omitted the post," said a statement.
Simon Hunter, a second-year student at the university, said the indigenous community at the Bruce campus were outraged by the post and demanded strong action be taken against the perpetrators.
"We are down here busting our asses to break the negative stereotypes about our people and then this happens."
Mr Hunter, who was also speaking on behalf of other indigenous students at the university, said the perpetrators were not representative of the university but their actions could undermine indigenous initiatives.
"The university is very supportive of us as a group and the mechanisms they have in place to help us succeed are great, but we want to see tangible outcomes from this," he said.
"We want to see people become aware that when they say things like this there are consequences for the indigenous community.