Gender affirmation support and resources
If you are affirming, are seeking to affirm or have affirmed your gender, you can access a range of timely and tailored support at Deakin.
At Deakin, we are committed to providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for everyone. This includes the power to bring your whole and true self to your studies and university experience.
We welcome any student who is affirming, is seeking to affirm or has affirmed their gender as a valued member of our community and can help you with this process in a range of ways. Our Gender Affirmation Procedure sets out how we support students.
The gender affirmation process is different for everyone, but it may involve changing personal details such as your name and/or title, to align with your affirmed gender.
How to change your personal details
We fully support your right to use your chosen name and pronouns. You can use your preferred name in all Deakin’s general and administrative student communications where there is no legal requirement to show your given name. We still need to use your legal name on all formal documentation, including graduation documents.
You can change your preferred name in StudentConnect without formally having to change your legal name. Just navigate to ‘Personal details’ in the left-hand menu. Once this is recorded in StudentConnect, it will become the name used through most of our systems. You'll find that DeakinSync, StudentConnect, Cloud Deakin, Deakin library, STAR Timetable, online enquiries and many other smaller platforms will use your preferred name.
You can change other details using our ‘Change your details form’:
- Title: options include Mx (non-binary), Ms, Mrs, Miss or Mr.
- Gender: options include trans/gender-diverse, male and female
- Legal name: you must have the required certified documentation. One option is a birth certificate showing change of name details. If you were born in Victoria, Births, Deaths and Marriages has information on how to change your name and record of sex shown on your birth certificate without undergoing surgery.
- Email and username: these can only be changed under certain circumstances, including if you change your legal name or undergo gender affirmation. To request a change to your email address and/or username, contact an Inclusion Officer.
- New Deakin Card: contact a student adviser to request a new ID card.
It’s important that your Deakin records match those from government agencies such as the Australian Taxation Office, Student Identifiers Registrar or Centrelink. If you change any details, it is your responsibility to contact these and other relevant organisations.
If you’re an international student, there may be potential visa issues if your Deakin records do not match your passport, visa or Confirmation of Enrolment, so make sure you consider any ramifications to your future activities or laws in your home country.
Need some help with this process? We encourage you to contact an Inclusion Officer, who is trained to provide advice, support and referrals to other services.
If you’re a Deakin alumni wishing to update your details, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All-gender toilets on campus
All-gender toilets and change rooms are available at all Deakin campuses:
|Geelong Waurn Ponds
Need some help or support?
We want your gender affirmation journey to be a positive experience but understand that you may need support at times.
If you’re experiencing mental health or medical difficulties and require adjustment for your studies, the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) can help you to notify others about your gender affirmation and change of pronouns, and organise study support including alternative assessment arrangements, extensions, longer library loan periods, off-campus library services and timetable priority.
Remember that it’s illegal to discriminate against an individual based on their gender identity. Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, your gender identity and lawful right to live free from discrimination based on that identity extends to your self-identification with a gender other than your assigned gender.
We do not tolerate gender identity discrimination. If this happens to you, we have a network of harassment and discrimination contact officers (HDCOs) who are trained to help you with any enquiries about discrimination, harassment or bullying.
How to support someone who is affirming their gender
Here are some practical ways you can support someone who is affirming their gender:
- Think of the person as being the gender they want you to think of them as – and treat them accordingly.
- Use the name and pronoun that the person requests. If you’re not sure, respectfully ask. If you make a mistake, correct yourself, apologise and move on – don’t make a big deal of it.
- When writing about a transgender person, do not belittle their identity by putting their preferred name or pronoun in quotes or italics.
- Treat the person with the same level of respect and dignity you would accord any other staff member or student and that you would expect for yourself.
- Respect boundaries. Don’t ask intrusive or intimate personal questions that you wouldn’t ask another person or wouldn’t want others to ask of you (for example, about their body, relationships, sex life or any medical intervention). If you feel it is appropriate to ask a personal question, check first if it is okay to do so.
- Don’t assume that the person is automatically willing to discuss transgender issues with you or expect them to be an authority on such topics – do your own research if you want to know more.
- Respect privacy. Don’t tell others about a person’s trans status. Generally, when a person affirms their gender, they describe themselves in terms of their preferred gender (for example, as a man or woman), not as a transgender person. Some people may prefer other gender descriptions.
- Understand that the person is entitled to use the facilities appropriate to their preferred gender (such as bathrooms and change rooms), both during and after transition.
- Don’t condone or participate in gossip, jokes, flippant remarks or sexual innuendos about the person or their trans status – be active in confronting or naming comments or behaviours that are transphobic. The University expects staff and students to treat each other with dignity and respect and will not tolerate discrimination based on gender identity.
- Don’t make assumptions about the person’s sexual orientation or personal relationships. Gender transitioning is about a person’s core sense of their gender, not their sexual identity. The sexuality of transgender people can cover the full human spectrum – they may identify as heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual, pansexual, asexual or fluid, or they may use another term or choose not to label their sexuality.
- When a person has transitioned, appreciate that, while their gender may be different, their basic character and personality hasn’t changed – in most other respects, they are still the same person as before.