LGBTIQ+ Working at Deakin

Deakin prides itself on being an inclusive workplace, embracing diversity. LGBTIQ+ staff are welcomed and valued.


Deakin University policies are inclusive of LGBTIQ+ staff and students and their families (where families are included within policies/benefits). Deakin protects the attributes related to  LGBTIQ+ and ensures the inclusion of the Deakin LGBTIQ+ community.

Equity and diversity policies

Definitions in the Policies

To comply with the 2017 amendments to Marriage Act 1961 (Cth. Equal access to marriage) and the Australian Workplace Equality Index (the national benchmark for LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion in Australia), Deakin University has amended the following definitions to be inclusive for Deakin LGBTIQ+ staff:

Partner: A person who (regardless of sex or gender) lives in a relationship as a couple with another person on a genuine domestic basis. The definition also includes a former spouse or de facto partner of the staff member.

Immediate family: Partner (regardless of sex or gender); child, parent or sibling (including step relatives) of the staff member or of the partner of the staff member; a grandparent, grandchild, aunt or uncle of the staff member or of the partner of the staff member; person for whom the person has caring responsibilities arising from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship relationship of equivalent status to those listed above.

Carer: A person on whom a member of their immediate family or household is wholly or substantially dependent for personal care, support and assistance because of an illness, injury or emergency. A person is not considered a carer if the care is provided on a commercial basis.

Parent: A person who has responsibility for the care of a child and includes a step-parent, adoptive parent, foster parent or guardian.

Staff benefits

All staff commencing at Deakin are made aware of the benefits that apply to them as part of the induction process. The leave benefits include parental leave and paid partner leave. Find out more about parental leave

Deakin’s Enterprise Agreement 2017 defines family as being inclusive of same or different sexes or gender identities and therefore benefits flow on to those staff members who have a same sex partner/family.

Gender Affirmation leave

Deakin is the only University in Australia to provide a Gender Affirmation Leave category and recognises the need for additional leave for those undergoing or wishing to undergo a gender affirmation.

This entitlement provides up to 10 days leave to be used at the discretion of the staff member who is transitioning. To access to this leave get in contact with your area’s HR Client Partner. Who is my HR client partner?


Deakin’s Superannuation/Death Benefits are provided through UniSuper. The UniSuper website is explicit in its inclusion of same sex partners/families in their policies.

Health insurance

HCF, which is a benefit health insurer through Deakin, provide IVF benefits to same sex couples. Staff can claim their excess back through the HCF Deakin Health Insurance pool.

Deakin has multiple preferred healthcare providers, so all staff can assess which provider is the best option for their own family needs, regardless of LGBTIQ+ or other status.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a counselling service available to all Deakin staff. The program is designed specifically to address and resolve both work related and personal problems that may be adversely affecting work performance.

All staff can access the EAP, which provides confidential, short-term, professional, voluntary and free counselling by qualified external providers/counsellors (social workers or psychologists).

The external provider/counsellors maintain strict confidentiality. No information regarding what is discussed within any counselling session is relayed to any other person or organisation without your consent. Personal details and your participation in the program remain confidential.

Deakin’s EAP providers are listed on the Employee Assistance Program page. Deakin recognises the importance of providing LGBTIQ+ inclusive EAP providers so that LGBTIQ+ staff members can speak with someone who has a clear understanding of the barriers and issues they might be facing. LGBTIQ+ inclusive EAP providers are identified on the Employee Assistance Program by the rainbow flag next to their name.

Travel and relocation reimbursement

Travel and relocation reimbursement, by virtue of Deakin University’s Enterprise Agreement 2017 recognising same sex partners, provides for any benefit to extend to the partner regardless of gender.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Deakin Flexible work arrangements are available for staff who are a parent or have responsibility for the care of a child.

In the Flexible Work Arrangement Procedure, the definition of parent is explicit for same-sex relationships mentioning lesbian co-mothers(s) and gay co-father(s).

Travel policy and procedure

Deakin's travel policy and procedure supports LGBTIQ+ University travellers who are visiting destinations (for academic or professional purposes) where there may be specific precautions or dangers to consider. As part of the process for requesting approval for travel, staff (and PhD students) must read the information on the Risk Management and Insurance page of the Deakin SharePoint site. When requesting approval for travel through the Travel Request Portal staff (and PhD students) must fill out the Risk Assessment Declaration form where they will be required to read and acknowledge the following: 'If relevant, I will familiarise myself with Deakin’s policy and procedure regarding women and LGBTIQ+ travellers". For advice and support please consult International SOS or the DFAT Smart Traveller website – Advice for Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex travellers.

Deakin International Travellers will be covered for Chubb insurance automatically as long as their travel is approved via the online Travel Approval System​ before they depart. This also applies to externally funded travel. For further information see the Insurance SharePoint​ site. Please note that Chubb is an LGBTIQ+  inclusive employer.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading (DFAT) has four levels of travel advice. Level 2, ‘Exercise a high degree of caution’, specifies: ‘Familiarise yourself with the destination, especially dangerous areas of a city, types of crimes, risky modes of transport, specific precautions for women or LGBTI travellers and any behaviour that may offend or break the law.’

In some destinations, same-sex acts are criminalised and travellers could face imprisonment, corporal punishment or the death penalty if they don’t take a high degree of caution. The University supports LGBTIQ+ travellers in considering the respective dangers before going to these destinations. International SOS should be contacted before travelling to consider individual exposure to specific destinations.

If an incident occurs while travelling internationally that specifically relates to the traveller's LGBTIQ+ status, it is imperative that the traveller get in contact with International SOS immediately. International SOS is Deakin's contracted medical and travel assistance company and can be contacted from anywhere in the world in order to provide advice and assistance.

Women travelling to these destinations have been included as some countries’ legislation imposes restrictions upon women in relation to gender expression and social behaviour.

LGBTIQ+ travellers can check the DFAT smartraveller website for LGBTIQ+ travellers and the maps of sexual orientation laws in the world provided on the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association website. Women travellers can check the DFAT smartraveller website for female travellers.

The travel policy and procedure also provides support to intersex and gender diverse staff who hold a sex and gender diverse passport. University travellers with this type of passport should be aware that while Australian travel documents are issued in accordance with international standards, those travelling on a passport showing 'X' in the ‘sex’ field may encounter difficulties when crossing international borders given these passports are not commonly used. These University travellers should contact the Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate nearest to their destination, who will be able to provide further information.

If you require advice and support in understanding this policy or when travelling to a country designated as DFAT level 2, consult the DFAT Smart Traveller website – Advice for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex travellers and Deakin Travel Guidelines ordinal 12.5 (women and LGBTIQ+ travellers) and 12.6 (sex and gender diverse passport).

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