Deakin LGBTIQ+ Staff and Students

There’s a place for everyone at Deakin

Wear it Purple Day 2020

photo of a woman wearing purple

In 2020, we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Wear it Purple, an international movement aimed at fostering supporting, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and gender diverse, Intersex and Queer/Questioning) young people.

Wear it Purple was established to show young people across the globe that there was hope, that there were people who did support and accept them, and that they have the right to be proud of who they are.

Wear it Purple day 2020 is being held on Friday 28th August, and the theme for this year is “We are the change”.

Diversity and Inclusion are partnering with the Geelong Cats Football Club to show our united support of LGBTIQ+ young people through a number of online activities and resources aimed at promoting the benefits of exercise and sport in helping improve people’s health and wellbeing and fostering a strong sense of community belonging and pride.

The LGBTIQ+ community make up an estimated 11% of Australia's population but research shows LGBTIQ+ people have some of the lowest rates of participation in sport, recreation and physical activity out of any community in society. Avoidance of participation is often linked to poor experiences in sport due to discrimination or harassment.

This year is the 10 year anniversary of Wear it Purple, the theme is “We are the change” which reflects everything Wear It Purple strives to achieve, however, it simultaneously represents how much impact YOU have. Together, we are the change.

Wear it Purple recognises that not everyone can feel safe to come out and this year they want to connect people to the stories of those who have lived their truth and flourished. This year we also recognise our LGBTIQ+ allies, friends, family and colleagues - Wear it Purple invites you to show support of LGBTIQ+ young people in 2020.

Deakin Vice Chancellor Iain Martin and Geelong Cats Darcy Fort show their support of Wear it Purple day in 2020

The Deakin Melbourne Boomers show their support of Wear it Purple day in 2020

Online Wear it Purple Panel Discussion

The live Wear it Purple Day Panel Discussion was held on Friday 28th August 2020 – facilitated by Diversity and Inclusion. View the recorded event, featuring guests:

Photo of Chyloe KurdasChyloe Kurdas

Chyloe Kurdas has a passion for cultivating cultural change and gender equality through sport. As Golf Australia’s Female Engagement Senior Manager, Chyloe is leading their long term strategy, Vision 2025, to enhance female engagement in golf.  She spent a decade at AFL Victoria building the AFLW, combining her skills in health promotion, psychology and education to build award winning high performance sporting programs for adolescent girls that focus on the whole athlete.

photo of Andrew Brennan playing soccerAndrew Brennan

Andy has been involved with football since his junior days, playing in Tasmania with South Hobart. Soon after his debut in senior football in Tasmania, Andy made the jump to Victoria, where after 6 months with South Melbourne, he was asked to trial and sign with Newcastle Jets in the A- League. Since his stint in the A- League, Andy has moved back to Melbourne and is currently playing with Hume City in the NPL along with studying psychology at Deakin University.

In May 2019, working closely with the PFA, Andy made his sexuality public, stating in an Instagram post that he was gay. Since his announcement, Andy has looked to visibly promote inclusivity and diversity in sport, by being open about the struggles of being gay and playing professional sport in a masculine environment.

photo of Meg McDonald holding footballMeg McDonald

Meg McDonald is an Australian rules footballer and vice-captain of the Geelong Football club women’s team. Since signing with the cats in 2018, her rise as a defender was acknowledged when she received Geelong’s best and fairest player award in 2019. Playing on the last line of defence, McDonald excels with her reading of the play and ability to rebound and was rewarded with a berth in the AFLW All-Australian team in 2020.

Wear it Purple Storytelling

Click through the links below for some powerful messages, interviews and stories from athletes and other LGBTIQ+ advocates, including:

Deakin lecturer Oscar Roos in conversation with Shannon Molloy, journalist and author of Fourteen

The above interview contains strong language and deals with themes that some people may find distressing. Lifeline provides confidential crisis support that is accessible 24 hours a day. We encourage any person in Australia who is contemplating suicide, experiencing emotional distress, or caring for someone in crisis to call or text Lifeline 13 11 14.

Photo of Shannon MalloyShannon Molloy

Shannon Molloy is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience working for major media outlets spanning print and digital, covering business, entertainment, celebrity and human interest. He is based in Sydney.

This is a story about his fourteenth year of life as a gay kid at an all-boys rugby-mad Catholic school in regional Queensland. It was a year in which he started to discover who he was, and deeply hated what was revealed. It was a year in which he had my first crush and first devastating heartbreak. It was a year of torment, bullying and betrayal – not just at the hands of his peers, but by adults who were meant to protect him.

Click here to purchase your copy of the book "Fourteen"

Diversity and Inclusion's Linden Raybould sitting down for an interview with Australian Winter Olympic snowboarder Belle Brockhoff

Belle Brockhoff

Skiing since she was three, Belle Brockhoff took up snowboarding at age ten and three weeks after first trying the sport, won her first interschool nationals title.

Belle has a rich history of winter sports in her family. Her uncle, Peter Brockhoff competed in Alpine Skiing at the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics, her grandfather Harold Brockhoff was one of the original pioneers of Mt Buller and her great aunt, Joyce Brockhoff has a run named in her honour at Mt Hotham, Victoria in recognition of her work promoting the involvement of women in snow sports.

Cassie Lindsay, Diversity and Inclusion manager at the Geelong Cats, interviews local footballer Carter O'Regan

Carter O'Regan is a 25 year old footballer and healthcare worker who is passionate about inclusion for Trans and gender diverse people in sport. Born in Scotland, Carter arrived in Australia with his family at a young age, he discovered Aussie rules football at the age of 11 and hasn't looked back since! Carter's story is an inspiring one which will hopefully create better pathways for trans and gender diverse people in football, as well as educate people on the importance of inclusion.

Meet Jem Wills, a talented young artist creating characters to express gender diversity and mental illness.

Jem Wills is a 12 year old trans male in Year 8. Jem came out to his family as a boy early in year 7. While Jem’s transition was supportive within his family and social circle, coming out at school was difficult and his mental health suffered. Throughout Jem’s transition, his artwork has allowed him to explore his mental health and gender as well as learn more about mental illness and gender diversity in general. Jem is keen to use his artwork to reduce the stigma of mental illness in young people.

Participate in a Vic Allies Network event

The Vic Allies Network is running a range of online activities throughout the week. All are welcome, so learn more and find out how to get involved:

  • Wednesday 26 August, 4pm: Wear it Purple Trivia – REGISTER NOW
  • Thursday 27 August, 1pm: Rainbow Stories – REGISTER NOW
  • Friday 28 August, 10.45am: The Importance of Allies – REGISTER NOW
  • Cross-University Bake-Off: Bake it, shoot it, post it to #bakeitpurple or #bakeitpurple2020 before Friday 28 August.

Digital resources

Click on the links below to download your own :

Wear it Purple Zoom background

Wear it Purple Posters

Wear it Purple Postcard

Wear it Purple Instagram Banner

Increase your awareness and knowledge

Increase your understanding of the issues faced by LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Trans and gender diverse, Intersex and Queer/Questioning) people. "Research informs us that 1 in 3 LGBTIQ+ people experience intimate partner and /or family violence from a partner, ex-partner, or family member, inclusive of family of choice." (Thorne Harbour health 2020).

Some recent initiatives in this space include Pride in Prevention: A guide to primary prevention of family violence experienced by LGBTIQ communities launched by Rainbow Health Victoria produced to inform primary prevention initiatives aimed at family violence experienced by LGBTIQ communities. and; Breaking the binary code has been announced, a 12-month project aimed at researching and developing a narrative for families (young people and their parents/carers) that supports healthy, safe and respectful relationships.

LGBTIQ+ Community

About Deakin's LGBTIQ+ Community network and Working Group.

Support and resources

Deakin support services including Allies and HDCOs, useful links and resources.

LGBTIQ+ Allies

Deakin's LGBTIQ+ community is supported by a network of trained allies.

LGBTIQ+ Discrimination and Complaints

Supporting the inclusion and wellbeing of Deakin’s LGBTIQ+ students and staff.


LGBTIQ+ awareness and ally training sessions for staff and students.

International students

Being LGBTIQ+ in Australia, laws, legal services and other support.

Intersex and diverse genders

Support for transgender, gender diverse, non-binary and intersex staff and students.

Working at Deakin

Benefits applicable to LGBTIQ+ staff and families such as leave and health care.

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