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.
Deakin has a network of over 20 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.
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.
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
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.
- 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.
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
- Victorian Government – Equality
- Safe Schools Coalition Victoria
- Pride Inclusion Programs
- Free and equal United Nations campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality
- Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council
- TransGender Victoria
- Bisexual Alliance Victoria
- Intersex Human Rights Australia
- Queer Muslims in Australia
- Transcend Support
- Asexual Visibility and Education Network
- Australian Medical Lesbian Association
- 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.
- Black Rainbow
- Tokenism Belongs in the 90s Star Observer feature article (page 12). Also check out Star Observer for other interesting articles.
- New report highlights need for Indigenous LGBQTI suicide prevention strategies A new report from Black Rainbow founder Dameyon Bonson, hopes to change the conversation about Indigenous LGBWTI health, well-being and suicide prevention in Australia as reported on NITV
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.
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.
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.
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.
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+ 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.
Academics and students at Deakin are carrying out research of interest to LGBTIQ+ people all the time. Some of our most recent research:
- Erasure, exclusion by inclusion, and the absence of intersectionality: introducing bisexuality in education – Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, 2016
- Queer pedagogies out of place and time: redrawing the boundaries of youth, sexual and gender difference, and education – Daniel Marshall, 2016
- “And yet we are still excluded”: reclaiming multicultural queer histories and engaging with contemporary multicultural queer realities – Lian Low and Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, 2015
- A gender for change – Bree Carlton and Emma Russell, 2015
- Revisiting the Tasty raid: lesbian and gay respectability and police legitimacy – Emma Russell, 2015
- Beating space and time: historical gay sex and queer cultural geographies of masculinities – Daniel Marshall, 2015
- Psychological wellbeing among same-sex attracted and heterosexual parents: Role of connectedness to family and friendship networks – Jennifer Power, Margot J. Schofield, Davide Farchione, Amaryll Perlesz, Ruth McNair, Rhonda Brown, Marian Pitts and Andrew Bickerdike, 2015
- Building healthcare workers’ confidence to work with same-sex parented families – H. von Doussa, J. Power, R. McNair, R. Brown, M. Schofield, A. Perlesz, M. Pitts, and A. Bickerdike, 2015
- Putting “traditional values” into practice: the rise and contestation of anti-homopropaganda laws – Cai Wilkinson, 2014
- LGBT activism in Kyrgyzstan: What role for Europe? LGBT Activism and the making of Europe – Cai Wilkinson, 2014
- The dangers of a single story: heteronormativity in physical education – Leanne Coll, Eimear Enright, and Mary O’Sullivan, 2014
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.