23rd November 2021
GSA welcomes the recruitment of Senior Adviser (Gender Affirmation) at UoM
GSA supports the University of Melbourne’s policies and affirmative actions to ensure an inclusive environment for transgender and gender diverse students and staff. GSA President Jeremy Waite continues to advocate and states – “the University’s policies and processes should support students and staff to have their gender and gender expressions accommodated in a safe environment. GSA is in support of other universities establishing similar gender affirmation policies and processes to be inclusive of all students and staff”.
GSA Women’s Officer Madeleine Charisis has lobbied for specialised support for students who are seeking to affirm their gender and added – “It is very encouraging to note UoM has advertised the Senior Adviser (Gender Affirmation) role. GSA would like the role to work collaboratively with the students and develop sustainable student centric programs, policies and services designed to meet the diverse needs of our student community”.
The GSA Policy and Advocacy team developed a submission in April 2021, in response to the University of Melbourne’s gender affirmation policy consultation, based on feedback we obtained from graduate students. One of the key recommendations highlighted that students should be provided with resources and guidance to navigate University processes on gender affirmation (link: https://gsa.unimelb.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/20210419-Submission-to-gender-affirmation-policy-v2.pdf).
Recently in November 2021, GSA conducted a survey on graduate LGBTQIA+ inclusion. The survey found that students require more support from the University on providing suitable policies and services for LGBTQIA+ students. This initiative was supported by GSA LGBTIQ Officer, Rick Spencer (a transgender woman) who continues to further GSA’s advocacy on the implementation of the University of Melbourne’s gender affirmation policy.
Key findings from graduate students from the LGBTQIA+ community include:
- Only 39% believe that University of Melbourne diversity and equity policies are inclusive of LGBTIQIA+ students.
- Only 24% find University of Melbourne services and opportunities always meet the needs of LGBTQIA+ students.
- Only 20% believe the University of Melbourne community provides appropriate representation for LGBTQIA+ students.
- Many students commented on the need for increased awareness about what support services are offered to LGBTQIA+ students.
The detailed results will be published on our website soon.
We encourage graduates to continue the dialogue, discussion and express your views with GSA’s key contacts listed below and join our advocacy for a free equitable safe community.
GSA President: firstname.lastname@example.org
GSA Women’s Officer: email@example.com
GSA LGBTIQ Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Policy and Advocacy Team: email@example.com