Human Resources

University Policy on Diverse Sexualities and Genders

Policy No.
Human Resources
Authoring Organisational Unit
Equity and Diversity Office
Date Approved
Next Review Date
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Diverse Sexualities and Genders

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

The purpose of this policy is to affirm the expectations of the University with regard to inclusive behaviour towards individuals of all sexualities and genders, thus promoting equity and facilitating access for all members of the campus community. This policy applies to all Employees and Students of the University and may apply more broadly to members of the wider University community depending on particular circumstances.

Every individual member of the University has the right to safety, security and dignity on campus, as well as the opportunity to reach their full potential with access to all rights and opportunities. The University therefore promotes an inclusive campus culture that respects individuality and disdains behaviour that causes a detriment, including bullying and harassment, on the grounds of gender/sexual diversity.

The University recognises that sexuality and gender identity are different, though inter-related, aspects of human identity, and that there are many variations along the continuum of human sexuality, including heterosexuality.

The University is committed to leadership, vision and action in the areas of diverse sexualities and genders, and supports all Employees and Students who identify as LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex). The University demonstrates and promotes its commitment through its Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy Statement, through the scope of definitions in University Staff Agreements and policies, through specific networks (e.g. GLBTI Network, ALLY, Guild Queer Department) and other initiatives (e.g. flying the Rainbow flag).


Affirming Gender is the process by which a person adopts a way of life or body that matches their sense of gender.

Bisexual means a person who is sexually and emotionally attracted to members of both dominant sexual identities (male and female).

Employee means a person employed by the University who has an ongoing, fixed term or casual contract.

Gay means usually a man whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is towards other men and who chooses to identify as gay. Although the term is most commonly applied to men, some women use this term.

Gender Identity refers to a person's sense of identity defined in relation to the categories male and female. Some people may identify as both male and female while others may identify as male in one setting and female in another. Others identify as androgynous or intersex without identifying as male or female.

Heterosexuality sexual feeling or behaviour directed toward a person or persons of the opposite sex.

Intersex is a biological condition where a person is born neither exclusively male nor female. The previous term for intersex was hermaphrodite.

Lesbian means a woman whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is towards other women and who chooses to identify as lesbian.

Sexual identity - how people see themselves and how they present themselves to others.

Student means any person who is enrolled in a course through the University or University Extension.

Supervisor / Manager means the person who is responsible for supervision of Employees or Students.

Transgender refers to a person who identifies with a gender other than the one to which they were assigned at birth or soon after. The terms male-to-female and female-to-male are used to refer to individuals who are undergoing or have undergone a process of gender affirmation.

University means The University of Western Australia.

University Community refers to all people who frequent the University campus.

Policy statement:

1 Use of inclusive language

The University has adopted an inclusive definition of partner within the Collective Agreements (see and recognises same-sex partners and diverse family structures with regard to entitlements such as parental leave and carer's leave. The University acknowledges transgender and intersex status on student academic achievement records, personnel data, and employee satisfaction surveys. All Employees and Students are expected to use inclusive language when conducting the business of the University.

2 University Degree Documents and Gender Reassignment

Graduates of this University who have completed gender reassignment are entitled under the WA Gender Reassignment Act 2000 to a replacement certificate.


3 Standards of Behaviour

The University has A Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics by which all Employees and Students must abide, and which lays the foundations for acceptable conduct on campus. The University is also bound by legislation including anti-discrimination legislation and legislation affirming the rights of people of diverse sexual or gender identity. All Employees and Students are bound by the regulations and by-laws of this University. The Sexual Harassment and Prevention and Resolution of Bullying on Campus policies expressly reflect the commitment of the University to inclusivity for all genders/sexualities.

4 Supervisors and Managers

Supervisors/Managers have a particular responsibility to create and maintain an inclusive and welcoming culture and to promote and support the University's Diverse Sexualities and Genders policy. They must take appropriate action in circumstances where they become aware of behaviour which excludes or disadvantages Employees or Students. Managers/Supervisors shall respect individuals' identities, uphold the personal privacy of individuals and promote an inclusive campus culture.

Networks and other on-campus Support

GLBTI Network

ALLY Network

Queer Department at the Guild

Equity and Diversity

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Equity and Diversity

6488 3873

Related Policies or legislation:

The University's Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct

Academic Staff Agreement

Professional & General Staff Agreement

UWA Child Care Employees' Agreement 2009

UWA ELICOS Teachers Agreement 2011

University Statute 17

Regulations for Student Conduct and Discipline

Acts Amendment (Lesbian and Gay Law Reform) Bill 2001

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy Statement

WA Equal Opportunity Act (1984)

WA Gender Reassignment Act 2000