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A message of support for our transgender community

Published: 28th March 2023

Authored by Rebecca Bennett, Pro Vice Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


Transgender Day of Visibility is internationally recognised each year on 31 March to celebrate transgender and gender-diverse pride, while raising awareness to transgender and gender-diverse experiences, achievements, and challenges. At Murdoch, we will be celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility in a number of ways, but first, we want to provide a message to our transgender community. 

Staff and students may have heard about the events of 18 March in Melbourne, where an anti-trans rights rally was attended by neo-Nazis. To see historical symbols of violence used against a large number of minority groups on the steps of the Victorian Parliament was an extremely concerning sight. Discrimination against the LBGTQIA+ community is affecting tens of thousands of people across the globe. Currently, there is a wave of anti-trans bills attacking LGBTIQA+ rights in the United States, and Uganda passed a law last week that criminalises identifying as LGBTIQA+. Seeing displays of transphobia and anti-queer protest and violence across the world in the past month has been a sobering and sometimes distressing experience, particularly for our staff and students in the LGBTQIA+ community.  

In a University committed to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and truth-telling, hate, stigmatisation, and violence against underrepresented communities is unacceptable. As asserted in our inclusion statement:  

Murdoch University strives to be a place of belonging for all staff and students. It is committed to supporting and celebrating community members who are sex, sexuality, and or/gender diverse, including but not limited to those who identify as LGBTIQA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer or Asexual). At Murdoch, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and ableism will not be tolerated. Pride at Murdoch means inclusion of LGBTIQA+ students, staff and community with a strong focus on addressing systemic and cultural barriers, so that everyone can be safe and supported to be their whole self at study and work. 

As Transgender Day of Visibility approaches, Murdoch University expresses our solidarity with members of our staff and student community who identify as transgender, gender-diverse, or LGBTQIA+. We recognise that reading  this news from across the world is disheartening and difficult. To display our support, we will be raising the transgender flag on Bush Court for the rest of the week.  

Read more about what we do to support the LGBTIQA+ community.

Transgender Day of Visibility: Student Voices Panel

For Transgender Day of Visibility, you can pick up a Pride at Murdoch sticker from the Geoffrey Bolton Library desk on the 31st of March, and attend our Trans Student Voices Panel in the Loft. Spaces are limited, so register for free.  

This event will give the stage to members of the Murdoch Queer Collective to explore growing up as transgender, the joys of a life outside of the binary, finding community, and overcoming challenges. The panel will be moderated by Pride and Respect Officer, Em Readman and will have room for questions from the floor. We will end with a group photo to share our support for our transgender colleagues and students.

Support services

If the events of the past few weeks have caused distress, or impacted your wellbeing or mental health, we are here to support you and connect you with the respective Support Services. 

  • Murdoch CounsellingFree to all enrolled students, our counsellors provide free, confidential counselling to support you.
  • Murdoch Queer Collective: A collective of LGBTIQA+ students who gather in person and online to provide support and community.
  • Trans folk of WA: A support service for all trans folk and their loved ones in WA, including support groups, events, and resources.
  • Black Rainbow: A national volunteer social enterprise for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQA+ health and wellbeing.
  • Q Life: Anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for Australians, on phone or chat from 3pm to midnight every day.
  • Lifeline: A national free crisis support line, open 24 hours a day. 13 11 14