Gender Affirmation at Deakin

‘Transgender’ is a word that covers a diverse range of people whose common experience is that their inner sense of gender is different to the sex they were assigned at birth.

An individual’s affirmed gender is the gender that matches their gender identity, rather than the gender they were assigned at birth. Often transgender individuals will feel more comfortable, confident or able to be their true selves when they are able to express themselves as their affirmed gender. Transitioning is the process an individual goes through when they to begin to live as their affirmed gender, rather than that assigned to them at birth.

Deakin Gender Affirmation Procedure and Guide

Deakin has launched a Gender Affirmation Procedure for students and staff who identify as trans or gender diverse and who are undergoing or considering an affirmation. The procedure outlines the University processes for supporting gender affirmation.

There is a comprehensive Gender Affirmation Guide which contains information about gender and gender affirmation and Deakin support available. The Guide also contains a section for Deakin staff who may be supporting staff or students undergoing transition.

Gender Affirmation Plan - Please complete and submit the appropriate Gender Affirmation Plan (online form) below and we will be in contact with you within 5 working days.

Deakin support

Deakin's support includes:

  • legal and preferred name change
  • updating gender, title and email
  • new ID card
  • advising the unit chair, manager or colleagues about the student or staff member’s transition
  • returning to work considerations and flexible working arrangements
  • gender affirmation leave: additional paid leave (up to 10 days)
  • paid or unpaid special leave (staff) or intermission (students)
  • special academic considerations
  • University counselling and support services.

There are also a number of off-campus services detailed in the gender affirmation guide.

Deakin support for students transitioning

For information about the support Deakin offers for students in their gender transition, read the Gender Affirmation Guide (PDF, 607.9KB) , particularly PART 2: DEAKIN SUPPORT FOR TRANSITIONING STUDENTS AND STAFF. Alternatively, email inclusion@deakin.edu.au to be contacted by an Inclusion Officer trained in gender affirmation support.

Deakin support for staff transitioning

Transgender staff are encouraged to fill in a Staff Gender Affirmation Plan to receive support with their gender transition process at Deakin. Alternatively, email the Senior Project Adviser in Diversity and Inclusion ramon.martinezmendoza@deakin.edu.au

Staff leave

The University provides a range of leave to assist staff undergoing a gender affirmation as set out in the Leave and Public Holidays procedure, including:

  • Gender Affirmation Leave: Deakin is the first organisation in the higher education sector to provide a separate category for Gender Affirmation Leave. Staff who are undergoing a gender transition or require time to define their gender can apply for up to 10 days at their discretion.
  • Special leave: Staff experiencing difficult personal circumstances may be eligible for special leave as outlined in the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement.

Transgender resources

  • Trans Medical Research is a great source of information about being transgender and transgender health and wellbeing. There is information for people who are transgender as well as people who are supporting or know someone who is transgender.
  • Transgender Victoria general resources - TGV educates organisations and workplaces on how to provide better services for TGD people, and seeks ways to provide direct services to the TGD community, whether in partnership with others or independently. Here you will find some downloadable resources, as well as links to online and video resources from Australia and Victoria
  • Let's talk Gender - Pride in Diversity publication. This is a closer look at gender diversity within the workplace. Appendix B makes a special reference to recruitment of gender diverse employees.
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