LGBTIQ+ support and resources

Deakin University recognises the importance of having a richly diverse student and staff community and the need to actively and positively support this diversity. We know that there is a wide range of unique challenges facing members of our community who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer or questioning their gender or sexuality (LGBTIQ or people of diverse sexualities and genders).

To support you during any challenges you may be facing, we have compiled this list of LGBTIQ+ support and resources, to help you find the advice or assistance that you need.

At Deakin, you can seek assistance from Deakin counsellors, a Deakin LGBTIQ+ Ally or a Harassment and Discrimination Contact Officer (HDCO). There are also a number of other external support services and groups.

For urgent support see the 24-hour support and crisis services.

Career

LGBTIQ+ youth who are starting a career often have hesitations about being out in the workplace.Out for Australia provides visible role models, mentors and other support to aspiring LGBTIQ+ professionals, to strengthen the sense of community among professionals and students.

Coming out

So you have decided it is time to tell others about your sexuality. This can be an important milestone for every LGBTIQ+ person, however, it can be a daunting and often challenging process. Where do you start and how do you do it?

It is usually helpful to talk with someone you trust. You might want to talk to a friend, a qualified counsellor, nurse or doctor. If they don't understand or can't help then try someone else; don't give up. You are too important. There are many excellent resources available on campus and in the community.

If you are questioning or planning to come out, Deakin can support you through its counselling service. The Deakin LGBTIQ+ Community can also help, and local support groups, listed below, can also provide advice and a safe space.

Community and social groups

Becoming part of an LGBTIQ+ community can be an important step in building a support network and making lasting social connections with people who understand issues specific to LGBTIQ+ people.

Deakin has a number of social groups for staff and students alike:

These groups can also provide support:

Deakin LGBTIQ+ Allies

Deakin has a network of over 50 staff and students who are trained as LGBTIQ+ Allies (visible supporters and advocates). Allies are happy to chat to you and advise you on where to seek support. Read more about Deakin LGBTIQ+ Allies, or view the list of Allies to find someone in your area.

Events

Victoria is home to a number of major events each summer. Get to one or get to them all and take some coina to donate to your favourite LGBTIQ+ charities. Check out the Deakin LGBTIQ+ Allies page for Deakin events.

General LGBTIQ+ organisations and resources

There is a growing number of organisations working to secure a better future for the LGBTIQ+ community. These organisations are a great place to start if you want to know more about current LGBTIQ+ rights issues

Harassment, discrimination and your rights at Deakin

Deakin University prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, intersex and relationship status. Deakin fully supports your right to a safe and harassment free environment. Learn more about discrimination and harassment, including how to deal with it and making a complaint.

Deakin has a network of Harassment and Discrimination Contact Officers (HDCOs) who are volunteers from various Faculties and Divisions, who are trained to help as a first point of call in cases of harassment or discrimination. A number of HDCOs have received training in LGBTIQ+ issues (look for the asterisk by their name). View the list of HDCOs

Health

  • Deakin University Medical Centres offer accessible and confidential medical services, staffed by qualified medical doctors and nurses who understand your specific needs.
  • GLHV – Gay & Lesbian Health Victoria - a huge range of health resources
  • Thorne Harbour Health - the place to start for sexual health enquiries, no matter what your gender or sexual identity.
  • Students’ partner health cover: If the University has awarded a student with a Research Training Program Scholarship, the students’ partner (regardless of sex and gender) is included in the health cover, as well as any dependent. This health cover enables LGBTIQ+ students to have access to health services regardless of their relationship status and gender of their partner.

Intersex and diverse genders

Deakin is supportive of its gender diverse staff and students and recognises their right to work and study free of discrimination, sexual harm, victimisation and vilification.

LGBTIQ+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

LGBTIQ+ Disability

  • Out Together – a report, toolkit and resources to help recruit, train and support workers who identify as LGBTIQ+ and have their own lived experience of disability.
  • Being Seen and Heard - two films about members of Deakin's LGBTIQ+ community. Kevin Murfitt and Sherrie Beaver

LGBTIQ+ History

The hidden history of the LGBTIQ community is fascinating. The Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives make this history accessible. Look out for the gay and lesbian history walks held over Midsumma, bringing our history to life.

LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Practices Guide

The way we speak influences the way we think and the way we think influences how we behave.

Deakin University celebrates the diversity of our staff and students and aims to create an environment inclusive of people regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, cultural background and disabilities. The language that we use is one part of our inclusive work and study environment.

Please visit the LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Practices Guide to find out more about some of the ways we can use language and other practices to ensure our LGBTIQ+ Deakin staff and students feel safe and included.

Media

The LGBTIQ world has its own media. Australia is particularly fortunate to have such a wide scope. Get news from your perspective by radio, streaming, print or the web.

Rainbow Families

Family is important, be it your family of origin or your chosen family. Rainbow Families Victoria provides support while also fighting for the rights of LGBTIQ+ people to form legally equal families.

Parental Leave for students: Deakin University Students undertaking a higher degree by research can access parental leave if they are responsible for the care of a child either by birth (by themselves or their partner) or adoption. The Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Admission, Selection and Enrolment Procedure specifies the definition of partner regardless of sex and gender.  This is a quite comprehensive entitlement for LGBTIQ+ students and allows them to continue their studies independently of the nature of the relationship status and parental responsibilities.

  • Students’ partner health cover: If the University has awarded a student with a Research Training Program Scholarship, the students’ partner (regardless of sex and gender) is included in the health cover, as well as any dependent. This health cover enables LGBTIQ+ students to have access to health services regardless of their relationship status and gender of their partner.
  • Domestic and Family Violence in LGBTIQ+ Community

    The Deakin University recognises (Domestic and Family Violence Policy) that any person may be affected by domestic or family violence, regardless of, age, disability, race, religious activity, gender identity, sexual orientation, sex or intersex status, or any other protected attribute outlined in the Equal Opportunity Act.

    Domestic or family violence may occur in various relationship contexts, including but not limited to: adults in same-sex, gender diverse or heterosexual intimate relationships (current or former), an adult towards an older person, a young person towards parents or siblings

    A staff member, their partner and their family may be impacted by domestic and family violence, with this impacts being felt in a person’s private life, the workplace or the student environment.

    SpecialistLGBTIQ+ supportservices and examples of unique types of violence experienced by these communities can be found below.

    LGBTIQ+ DFV Support Services

    • 1800 RESPECT. Information and support for anyone in Australia experiencing DFV or sexual assault, 24hrs and 7 days a week. Phone: 1800 737 732

    Melbourne

    • With Respect . with respect is a new specialist LGBTIQ family violence service that provides support LGBTIQ communities and their families affected by family violence. Phone: 1800 LGBTIQ (1800 542 847)
    • QLife Australia. Australia’s first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for people of diverse sex, genders and sexualities. Provides nationwide early intervention, peer supported telephone and web-based services to support LGBTIQ+ people of all ages. Phone: 1800 184 527 (3pm-midnight, 7 days)

    Geelong Region

    Warrnambool

    • Bethany Community Support. Warrnambool Office (Bethany South West). Ground Floor Bayside Plaza, 24-36 Fairy Street, Warrnambool, VIC 3280. Phone: 1300 510 439 (freecall)

    Research

    Academics and students at Deakin are carrying out research of interest to LGBTIQ+ people all the time. Some of our most recent research:

    External research

    Australian Research Centre Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) - LaTrobe University
    ARCSHS is a centre for social research into sexuality, health and the social dimensions of human relationships. They work in partnership with communities, community-based organisations, government and professionals to produce research that advances knowledge and promotes positive change in policy, practice and people’s lives.

    Rights and crime

    We fully support your right to a safe and harassment free environment. These links outline your rights and what to do if you need to report discrimination, harassment, abuse or another violent crime.

    Teaching LGBTIQ+ students

    Teaching LGBTIQ+ students is available for all staff from Deakin's Inclusive Teaching Toolkit. This resource provides practical information around language use, curriculum design, teaching practices, and student engagement to build staff awareness and capacity that fosters safe and inclusive learning environments for LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Intersex, Queer plus) students.
    Deakin's Inclusive Practices Guide includes inclusive language guidelines for sex, gender and sexual orientation and a Guide to Data Collection.

    Wellbeing and counselling

    If you need someone to talk to in a crisis, or just some advice, there is help available, no matter where you are located.

    Deakin offers free confidential psychological support to Deakin students and staff. Our student counsellors are all highly skilled psychologists and social workers, trained in supporting the LGBTIQ+ community. Read more about the counselling service or make an appointment by contacting Student Life Reception. There is also an ‘Ask Counselling’ blog.

    Staff are also able to take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program.

    There are also a number of external support services and groups:

    • Lifeline (call 13 11 14)  if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or intentions, please call Lifeline immediately.
    • QLife/Switchboard: Australia’s first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for LGBTIQ people. Call 1800 184 527 between 3 pm and midnight, any day of the week. There is also an online chat service.
    • It Gets Better Project: aims to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTIQ+ youth around the globe through sharing 'It gets better' videos.
    • Headspace: the national youth mental health foundation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians. There are centres located all over Melbourne and Australia, and there is also an online chat.
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