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Gender Affirmation procedure

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 24 January 2020.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure sets out how the University supports students and staff undertaking a gender affirmation.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to all students and staff of the University.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) This Procedure is pursuant to the Diversity and Inclusion policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(5) The University will provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all members of the University, including offering timely, tailored support to students and staff who are affirming or seeking to affirm their gender.

(6) Staff with supervisory responsibilities must exercise their leadership and authority to ensure an inclusive learning and work environment that is free from discrimination, victimisation and vilification against trans or gender diverse individuals.

(7) The University aims to foster an inclusive and vibrant culture where all members of the University are treated with respect, which includes being addressed according to the individual’s preferred names and pronouns.

(8) The University will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of gender identity and complaints of discrimination will be managed according to the Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Victimisation and Vilification (Staff) Complaints procedure  and the Student Complaints Resolution procedure.

(9) Individuals who have affirmed their gender or who are undergoing a gender affirmation will be treated on an equitable basis in relation to job applications and student admissions. Special arrangements may be made to promote the equitable access and inclusion of transgender students or staff in accordance with relevant legislative provisions.

(10) All students and staff including trans, gender diverse and non-binary students and staff are supported to dress in a manner that best reflects their gender.

(11) Information on gender affirmation and supporting a student or staff member who has affirmed their gender or who is undertaking a gender affirmation is available in the Gender Affirmation Guide.

(12) The University is committed to the responsible collection and management of personal and health information and recognises that information privacy is one of the foundations of human dignity, including in relation to students or staff who have affirmed their gender or who are undertaking gender affirmation. Disclosing information about the gender affirmation of a student or staff member without their consent may be a breach of the University’s Privacy policy.

Student Gender Affirmation Plans

(13) Students who have affirmed their gender, are undergoing or wish to undertake gender affirmation may contact Student Central, send an email to inclusion@deakin.edu.au or complete the Student Gender Affirmation Plan.

(14) Students will be designated an Inclusion Officer as a single point of contact in Student Central, within the Division of Student Administration, to work with them to implement their Student Gender Affirmation Plan. The Inclusion Officer will be trained in gender affirmation support for students and may assist with implementing the Plan.

(15) The single point of contact may support the student regarding provisions on:

  1. administrative matters including change of name, title, gender, email address and identity card;
  2. supports available to the student for academic, administrative and personal matters.

(16) Detailed information on developing a Student Gender Affirmation Plan is outlined in the Gender Affirmation Guide.

Staff Gender Affirmation Plans

(17) Staff who have affirmed their gender or who are undertaking gender affirmation are encouraged to develop a Staff Gender Affirmation Plan in consultation with the Senior project Adviser, Diversity and Inclusion by completing the relevant sections of the online Staff Gender Affirmation Plan Form.

(18) A Staff Gender Affirmation Plan may include provisions on:

  1. administrative matters including change of name, title, gender, email address and identity card;
  2. communication with manager and colleagues;
  3. changes to work arrangements;
  4. leave entitlements;
  5. supports available to the staff member for personal and work-related matters.

(19) Once a Staff Gender Affirmation Plan has been developed, the Senior Project Adviser, Diversity and Inclusion will contact the relevant HR Client Partner to arrange implementation of the Plan in agreement with the staff member.

(20) Arrangements may be made to provide gender affirmation training to the staff member’s work team in order to promote an inclusive work environment during and after the staff member’s affirmation, with the agreement of the staff member.

Staff leave

(21) The University provides a range of leave to assist staff undergoing a gender affirmation as set out in the Leave and Public Holidays procedure, including:

  1. Gender Affirmation leave. The University recognises the need for additional leave for staff undertaking gender affirmation and offers up to 10 days paid leave.
  2. Special leave. Staff experiencing difficult personal circumstances may be eligible for special leave as outlined in the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2017.

Changes to records

(22) Where a student or staff member request that gender information on their personal record be amended or it is necessary to verify their gender to confirm identity or determine eligibility for a service or an entitlement referred to in the appropriate Staff Gender Affirmation Plan or for students the Gender Affirmation Guide the University recognises any one of the following as sufficient evidence of the person’s affirmed gender:

  1. a statement from a registered medical practitioner or a registered psychologist;
  2. a valid Australian government travel document, such as a current passport, that specifies their affirmed gender;
  3. an amended state or territory birth certificate that specifies their affirmed gender;
  4. a state or territory gender recognition certificate;
  5. a recognised details certificate showing that a state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has accepted a change of sex.

(23) Changes to personal records will be made in line with Deakin Name Change Guidelines.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(24) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Affirmed Gender: an individuals’ gender self-identification, rather than the gender that was assumed based on the sex they were assigned at birth.
  2. Gender: refers to a person's sense of being as male, female or somewhere in between or neither.
  3. Gender affirmation: the process of adopting a gender that best defines the person regardless of their sex assigned at birth. This process may include social, medical and/or legal transition and may be undertaken in any order over a short or long period of time. For more information see the Gender Affirmation Guide
  4. Transgender or Trans: a person who identifies their gender as different to that assigned at birth. A trans person might identify as male or female, or as non-binary (and relate to terms such as gender fluid, gender queer, bigender, etc). Some women might use terms such as trans woman or Male-to-Female (MtF) and some men might use terms such as trans man or Female-to-Male (FtM) to describe their lived experience. Additionally, Indigenous trans women might identify as Sistergirl, and Indigenous trans men as Brotherboy.