Human Resources

Diverse Sexualities and Genders

Further information

  • Allies of LGBTI
  • Equity and Diversity Advisers
AWEI 2015 Gold Tier Employer

If you wish to talk to someone confidentially in regard to LGBTI issues outside of formal grievance reporting, please contact UWA Human Resources LGBTI friendly representative: Malcolm Fialho.

The University of Western Australia is committed to providing leadership and vision in the areas of diverse sexualities and genders, and actively supports staff and students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI).

We recognise that sexuality and gender identity are different although inter-related areas; gender identity is not a binary construct and there are many variations along the dimension of human sexuality. For definitions and further information see the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender.

The University has assisted a number of staff to affirm their gender identity through transition. In keeping with a 2011 High Court decision, the University does not require staff to provide evidence of surgery as a pre-requisite for support to transition in the workplace.

Joining UWA

If you are thinking of joining the UWA community and have queries,contact Dr Duc Dau or Fiona Maley to discuss the campus climate before enrolling or applying, or for advice or queries on any diverse sexuality and gender matters including policies or procedures on harassment or adverse behaviour. See also the UWA LGBTI Inclusion Plan below.

If you wish to talk to someone confidentially in regard to LGBTI issues outside of formal grievance reporting, please contact:

UWA also features in Australia's first National LGBTI Recruitment Guide produced by Pride in Diversity. The Guide highlights organisations across all sectors that are actively engaged in making their workplaces truly inclusive of sexual and gender diversity.

Visit the Pride in Diversity Member Profiles page to view all profiles, including UWA.


UWA track record and current work

Australian Workplace Equality Index – Top 10 Employers

For six consecutive years, 2011 to 2016, UWA has been recognised as one of Australia’s Top Ten employers for people of diverse sexualities and gender identities.  The Index is managed by Pride in Diversity, a not-for-profit organisation specialising in GLBTI inclusion in the Australian workplace.

The Index is based on a similar model developed by the UK organisation Stonewall.

Staff LGBTI Network

The Equity and Diversity office has established an e-network where LGBTI-identifying staff can share items of interest and caucus around political and community strategies, such as marriage equity or further legal recognition. This group meets twice a year to informally network in a LGBTI-only space. For further information, contact Duc Dau or Fiona Maley.


UWA's ALLY Network has been adopted by 23 universities across Australia and New Zealand. The network of ALLIES across the University community support LGBTI staff and students, and promote awareness and visibility around their issues. ALLIES are agents of cultural change at the local level.

Parental leave and definitions of family

UWA's inclusive definition of family encompasses a wide range of relationships: blood, marriage, affinity, adoption, and dependency. Family responsibilities therefore include care for older people, people with a disability, children, partners and ex-partners, and responsibilities associated with extended families, irrespective of sexual gender or identity.

Parental leave is accessible to female and male staff and to staff in same-sex relationships.

Other initiatives

  • In 2016, a research project was conducted to ask LGBT students directly about their experience at UWA and to offer recommendations to the University and the Student Guild for improving the LGBT student experience. This research project was the first to focus solely on the LGBT student experience at the University and it was almost certainly a first for the Australian higher education sector. More information and a copy of the research report can be found on the project's website.
  • In 2013 UWA hosted the first Isabelle Lake Memorial Lecture in conjunction with the Equal Opportunity Commission. This annual lecture features a prominent speaker from the transgender community. In 2014, the lecture entitled "Making History: All the Places we've been and are still yet to go in the fight for Transgender & Intersex Rights" was delivered by Mr Aram Hosie. In 2015, the lecture entitled "Law and Culture: Australia's transgender awakening" was delivered by Tim Wilson who was the Human Rights Commissioner with the responsibility for Sexual Orientation, Sex and Gender Identity. 
  • The Rainbow Project (2001) assessed campus climate with respect to sexuality among staff and students using surveys and focus groups.
  • Transgender and intersex status has been recognised on student academic achievement records, personnel data and employee satisfaction surveys.  
  • Graduates of UWA who have been gender reaffirmed are entitled under the WA Gender Reassignment Act 2000 to have their degree reissued with the name adopted in their affirmed gender.