Sexual and gender diversity

Sexual and gender diversity


We celebrate and support sexual and gender diversity across our university community. Staff who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) are active and integral members of Macquarie University's workforce.

The University is a member of the Pride in Diversity LGBTIQ workplace inclusion program, which helps to inform best practice in this area. We consistently participate in the Australian Workplace Equality Index  annual national benchmarking initiative, in order to make sure we are doing all we can to improve the experience of our LGBTIQ staff.

LGBTIQ+ inclusive staff benefits

As part of our commitment to inclusivity, we have partnered with organisations that clearly support same-sex relationships in their product offerings and services.

We have ensured that the following staff benefits, provided by external partners are explicitly inclusive of same-sex partners and families.

  • Healthcare packages through our partner provider Medibank, who are also active members of Pride In Diversity
  • Superannuation, insurance and death benefits through UniSuper, the super fund for all university staff
  • Access to counselling services provided by the Employee Assistance Program, Through Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, who are also active members of Pride In Diversity
  • Travel and relocation assistance, in accordance with the university policy

Our policies, guidelines and procedures are reflective of state and federal anti-discrimination laws, which makes it illegal to discriminate in regards to employment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, relationship status and intersex status. Our leave policies and family/ carer provisions explicitly include same-sex families and their children.

Our policies are also governed by our enterprise agreements which state "Family member includes child (including an adult child, adopted child, foster child or stepchild); spouse or partner (including same-sex partner, de facto partner or former spouse or partner); parent, parent-in-law, foster parent or person who stands in that place; grandparent or grandchild; sibling, traditional kinship relation; or a person who stands in a bona fide domestic or household relationship with the staff member in which there is inferred some dependency or support role for the staff member."

Support for LGBTIQ+ staff

Ally Network

The LGBTIQ community at Macquarie is supported by the Ally Network, a visible group of informed staff and students who actively champion the acceptance of sexual and gender diversity and promote a safe campus for people to work and study. For more information and to get involved, see Ally Network.


The QueerSpace is a service provided by Macquarie University for all staff and students who identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and/or Queer (GLBTIQ), as well as their Straight Allies. It is designed to foster a sense of community, provide vital information and resources, as well as facilitate a space for discussion and personal development.

It is a safe space on campus to hang out, access resources, or relax. Most importantly, it is a space for all of its users to feel welcome, safe and comfortable. QueerSpace is located on level 3, 18 Wally's Walk (C7A) MAZE.

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential counselling, coaching and wellbeing service free for all for Macquarie University and entity staff and their immediate family members. Immediate family members include children, parents, partners (including same-sex partners), grandchildren and siblings. The service can help you achieve lifestyle, work, personal and family goals and assist you with managing work and life experiences, issues or concerns that arise from time to time. Our EAP service is provided by Benestar .

Benestar is a member of Pride In Diversity (Australia's first and only not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion) and it is mandatory for all staff clinicians to complete comprehensive LGBTI awareness training. Additionally, Benestar have over 100 clinicians with experience supporting LGBTI clients.

Support for Transgender, Intersex and Non-Binary identifying staff

We value the contribution that transgender, intersex and non-binary identifying staff make to the university and we aim to provide support and services that enable them to bring their full-selves to work every day. We understand that every individual and their journey is unique, so if there is anything that you require that you can't find please contact your HR Manager or one of our Workplace Diversity & Inclusion team members.

Trans staff and staff who wish to transition

Trans staff are valued contributors to the Macquarie University community and should be treated with dignity and respect. The attached guideline is designed to help staff who wish to transition and affirm their gender, navigate the university system and access the support that they need before, during and after. It also includes valuable information and resources for managers and colleagues of trans staff.

We are committed to supporting staff who are undergoing a gender transition process, both on an individual level and in terms of increasing understanding of gender identity and transgender issues among our community. We recognise that transitioning and affirming gender is a very significant step in a person's life, and will work with staff to look after their needs during this process.

Facilities and dress codes for non-binary/ trans staff

We recognise that some members of our community have a gender identity outside of the binary male/ female and who therefore may require extra support on campus. The university provides single sex and unisex toilet and changing facilities to provide choice and privacy for trans and non-trans staff, students and service users. Access to toilet facilities should be in line with the persons affirmed gender.

Unisex toilet and changing facilities on campus can be found here

We do not wish to put barriers around what staff can wear to work, as long as they dress in a manner that maintains respect and establishes credibility. Employees must ensure their personal appearance and presentation are clean, tidy and appropriate for their work role and take in to account the particular circumstances of their work place i.e protective clothing for staff working in laboratories etc.

Staff working in Campus Life (U@MQ entity) can find an inclusive dress code policy here.

Support for Intersex staff

Any intersex employee who wishes to speak to a representative from HR or any of our support services on campus can rest assured that their enquiries will be dealt with privately and their confidentiality will be respected. If you are an intersex person and you would like further assistance please contact the Workplace Diversity & Inclusion team at or by phone at 02 9850 1975.

LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the workplace

We want to ensure that our workforce is inclusive of all employees and that diversity of race/ ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status is welcomed and celebrated.

"The benefits of LGBTI inclusion in the workplace have been confirmed in a number of national and international studies, including the most recent AWEI findings. Diverse teams are better able to solve complex problems and exhibit a higher level of creativity and a broader thought process" - Pride In Diversity.

Please find here a range of resources that are useful for understanding LGBTI inclusion in the workplace.

Guides for managers and colleagues

Staff who would like a better understanding of what it means to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex or Queer (LGBTIQ) can read these comprehensive guidebooks from Pride In Diversity

Resources for Teaching Staff

Here are some example slides and statements that you can include in your introduction at the commencement of semester and your unit guides and course notes.

Lived experiences of LGBTI people

Here you'll find several informative and entertaining videos that are made by the people who live these experiences every day.

Need more help?

For more information about sexual and gender inclusion initiatives at Macquarie University, or to inquire about becoming a member of the Ally Network, please contact the Workplace Equity and Diversity Team on +61 (2) 9850 1975 or send an email to

Back to the top of this page