UNSW aims to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students and staff. The University also recognises that LGBTQIA+ people continue to face challenges in the workplace and community that their non-LGBTQIA+ counterparts may not experience. This page provides LGBTQIA+ students and staff with access to a variety of support options on and off campus.
UNSW Support & Services
A network of students and staff, these members have completed training and are available to support LGBTQIA+ staff and students with confidential discussions and referral to support services and community organisations. There are times when a person may want to have a confidential conversation with an ally@UNSW about finding support, the possibility of coming out to colleagues or peers or ask a question regarding the network. The ability to contact someone outside of UNSW's Human Resources, Psychology & Wellness, Student Support Advisors, Teachers, Tutors, etc. allows those conversations to take place.
Student Specific Supports & Services
UNSW Psychology & Wellness provides free and confidential telehealth and face to face counselling sessions to all students at UNSW.
Student Support Advisors provide private and confidential support to help students overcome personal and professional barriers that are stopping them from reaching their academic potential.
Equitable Learning Services (ELS) – If you have a disability, medical condition, learning disability, mental health issue, or anything related to your diverse gender, sex and sexuality that affects your studies, Equitable Learning Services may be able to help. Register with ELS to chat about your concerns and the services available (such as educational adjustments). Find out more about this service and how to register.
The Nucleus: Student Hub – Advice and assistance with updates to your personal details, changes to student records and student ID cards. Call the Nucleus on (02) 8936 7005 between 10am and 5pm or Ask a Question online.
Arc Legal & Advocacy Services – An advice service that represents the rights of UNSW students. The service can provide referrals and answer questions about legal documentation involved for legally affirming your gender. Note: This service does not have any specialist knowledge on gender affirmation. Email email@example.com or call (02) 9065 0900.
Safety of students is of paramount concern at UNSW. If you experience any harassment on campus or do not feel safe please call Security Services.
If you have been discriminated against or harassed by a member of staff or another student because of your race, religion, sexuality, age, disability or gender and wish to make a complaint, it is important you follow the process as outlined in the Student Complaint Procedure.
The Arc Queer Collective supports and represents all students on campus who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, genderqueer, asexual or anywhere on the Queer spectrum. Look out for Queer Collective meetings, parties, events and more!
Get in contact if you would like to be added to the secret Facebook group (only other members will be able to see you are in the group and it won't be searchable).
If you have any questions, hot ideas, or anything else, shoot them an email.
Queerspace is a safe place to relax and connect with other LGBTQIA+ students. Meetings and other activities are run by the Queer Collective on a regular basis. You can find the Queerspace in Room 9.21, Level 9, Chemical Sciences Building.
Contact your Collective Officer or Arc Reception if you have any suggestions for the use of the space or to report any issues.
Staff Specific Supports & Services
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers free and confidential counselling services for LGBTQIA+ staff and their immediate family. The service can help you achieve better work-life integration, personal and family goals and assist with managing work and life experiences or concerns that arise from time to time.
Make a complaint
UNSW encourages a respectful, safe and diverse workplace. UNSW staff are responsible to act in a professional way and embrace our values in action.
If you have been discriminated against or harassed by a member of staff or a student because of your race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender and wish to make a complaint, it is important you follow the process as outlined in the UNSW Staff Complaint Procedure.
You can use this to report instances of homophobic, transphobic and other LGBTQIA+ phobic behaviour – from graffiti and verbal abuse to ongoing jokes, innuendos or commentary in regards to being intersex, or in regard to anyone's sexual orientation or gender identity. We ask the broader UNSW community to be active bystanders and safely speak out and support LGBTQIA+ staff to feel safe and respected.
If you would like confidential advice on making a complaint, you may contact University Diversity & Inclusion Officer Rebecca Freed (02 9385 8354), an experienced ally@UNSW trained in LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
UNSW recognises some of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ people in domestic and family violence situations and the limitation of support avenues available. UNSW's Domestic Violence Support Policy is inclusive of LGBTQiA+ people and their families. For comprehensive coverage, see these challenges and avenues for support as well as the publication Queer without Fear.
External Community Supports & Services
The below community supports and services may assist LGBTQIA+ staff and students with counselling, healthcare, legal support, connecting with community groups, and events. The supports and services below also offer resources for further learning and information.
QLife is a national telephone and web counselling service for LGBTQIA+ people, families and friends. Services are available 3pm to midnight, every day.
1800RESPECT Counselling Service 1800 737 732 National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Twenty10, incorporating the Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW – Specialised services for LGBTQIA+ young people aged 12-25 including housing, mental health, counselling and social support.
Minus18 – Australia's largest youth led organisation for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans youth, providing training, resources and events.
Headspace – Australia-wide online, phone and in-person support and counselling to young people, their families and friends. Call 1800 650 890 (9am-1am).
Out for Australia – Provides visible mentors, role models, thought leadership and targeted support to aspiring LGBTQIA+ professionals to strengthen the sense of community among professionals and students.
In addition to the below, check out this comprehensive list of social and support organisations that do valuable work for LGBTQIA+ people in Sydney and wider Australia.
The Gender Centre – Develops and provides services and activities to enhance the ability of transgender and gender diverse people to make informed choices. Its website contains articles and other educational material about the needs or transgender and gender diverse people.
Trans Pride Australia – Social and support group for trans and gender diverse people and their loved ones.
Bi+ Australia – Supporting people who are attracted to more than one gender and enhancing the understanding, acceptance, inclusion and celebration of bisexuality and pansexuality in Australia.
Intersex Human Rights Australia – A national body by and for people with intersex variations. They promote human rights and bodily autonomy for intersex people, and provide information, education and peer support.
Black Rainbow Australia – Australia's leading Indigenous suicide prevention and mental health support source for LGBTQIA+ people.
Australian Asexuals – Connects the wider Australian asexual community together and links communication within the smaller groups around the country.
Rainbow Families – A charity that works to reduce discrimination and disadvantage faced by children of LGBTQIA+ parents so they can thrive and shine and is a support network for parents and carers, as well as future parents and carers.
PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) – A non-profit voluntary organisation whose members have the common goal of keeping families together. PFLAG is here to give help, support and information to families and friends of all gay people.
Transcend Australia - The first parent-led peer support network for the families of transgender children in Australia.
In addition to the below, Beyond Blue offers a list of national help lines and websites.
Beyond Blue Mental Health support: Sydney: (02) 9819 6565; Outside Sydney: 1800 424 017
ACON (AIDS Council of NSW) – NSW based organisation specialising in HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTQIA+ health. Services include state-wide counselling, care coordination, substance support, peer education and health promotion. Free call 1800 063 060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia – The national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on LGBTQIA+ people and communities.
Inner City Legal Clinic – Offers a legal advice service for the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as the Trans and Gender Diverse Legal Service for transgender and gender diverse people experiencing legal issues. It is a free NSW legal service that operates by appointment only every second Monday from 2-6pm. Email email@example.com or call 02 9332 1966 to request an appointment.
While gender identity, sex and sexuality are protected attributes by Australian law, this is not always the case in countries around the world. UNSW advises any student or staff member travelling overseas for work, research, learning abroad or exchange to get the facts about countries in which they may be travelling and take steps to reduce risks. UNSW strongly urges LGBTQIA+ staff and students to review the resources below for more information on safety while travelling.
- SmartTraveller – LGBTQIA+ safety considerations while travelling internationally
- International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) Maps – Laws and customs by country
- Rainbow SIG – Provides resources for LGBTQIA+ students studying abroad
- GlobalGayz – Travel and culture website focused on LGBTQIA+ life worldwide.