We are committed to building a culture that respects and embraces diversity, including differences around sex and/or gender identity and sexuality.
This is to ensure staff and students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning and asexual (LGBTIQA+) are able to participate openly and freely, to achieve their full potential without fear of discrimination or harassment.
LGBTIQA+ and Ally Champions
Our LGBTIQA+ and Ally Champions advocate and promote matters related to inclusion and safety for LGBTIQA+ employees with all university stakeholders. They support the university’s strategic objective of promoting a healthy, equitable and inclusive culture and outcomes within the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2023-2025.
Our current LGBTIQA+ and Ally Champions are:
- Professional Staff Champion: Sandra Sharpham, Executive Director, Student Experience
- Academic Staff Champion: Professor Megan Smith, Executive Dean, Faculty of Science
Current staff can learn more at LGBTIQA+ - People and Culture (log-in required).
Charles Sturt's Ally Network is an informal visible network of students and staff who are identified allies to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual, or members of related communities (LGBTIQA+). The Network acknowledges and supports sexual, sex, and gender diversity at Charles Sturt University.
Charles Sturt University’s Ally Network was established in 2014. Since this time, the Ally Network has contributed to:
- Charles Sturt’s Institutional Support for Marriage Equality
- Marking and celebrating key dates of significance to the LGBTIQA+ community
- Sponsoring and participating in regional LGBTIQA+ events
- Permanent signs of visibility on campus
- Continued advocacy and advancement of inclusion for LGBTIQA+ staff and students.
LGBTIQA+ Awareness and Empowering Allies training
We offer LGBTIQA+ Awareness and Empowering Allies training to any staff and students who would like to learn about LGBTIQA+ inclusion, gender diversity, gender expression, sexual orientation, attraction and allyship.
Staff and students can attend an LGBTIQA+ Awareness session to learn more, or they can attend both the Awareness and Empowering Allies sessions to become a member of the Charles Sturt Ally Network.
Each session runs for 1.5 hours via videoconference in a safe and respectful learning environment.
LGBTIQA+ Awareness training provides participants with a foundational understanding of key terms and concepts, some of the unique challenges faced by the LGBTIQA+ community and actions they can take to be active LGBTIQA+ allies.
Empowering Allies training is available to participants who have completed LGBTIQA+ Awareness training who wish to join the Ally Network. This session covers the importance of visible allies, the role of allies and actions that allies can take to foster a safe and inclusive university for the LGBTIQA+ community.
Pride in Diversity
Charles Sturt University is a member of Pride in Diversity, Australia's not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTQ workplace inclusion. Pride in Diversity specialises in human resources, organisational change and workplace diversity.
Charles Sturt staff have access to a range of member resources including e-news, training, events and videos. Access Pride in Diversity member resources
Charles Sturt also participates in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), a national benchmarking instrument for LGBTQ workplace inclusion that is published by Pride in Diversity.
Support at Charles Sturt
We recognise that sex and gender identity are different. We also recognise that not everyone's gender identity aligns with their biological sex.
Sex and gender is more complex than is the binary classification 'male/female'. The University follows the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender.
Although Charles Sturt does not have any formal dress codes, all employees are supported to dress in a manner that best reflects their gender including transgender, gender diverse and/or non-binary employees.
If you would like to talk to someone or require further information, contact the Division of People and Culture Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team or Business Partners, a trained Ally member, or a senior staff member.
Gender-Neutral/All Gender Facilities on campus
Charles Sturt University has a number of all-gender facilities available to students and staff across our University campuses.
Gender affirmation support
The University provides support where a staff member affirms their gender identity. Working alongside the staff member, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team within the Division of People and Culture can help to coordinate a workplace transition plan and appropriate workplace training.
Current staff and supervisors can access information, resources and support at LGBTIQA+ - People and Culture (log-in required).
ACON has created a useful language guide for trans and gender diverse inclusion.
Inclusion at Charles Sturt
Our Enterprise Agreement provides for an inclusive definition of family. Immediate family refers to an employee's partner/spouse or former partner/spouse, de facto spouse or former de facto spouse (includes same-sex, transgender, intersex and heterosexual partnerships); or their child or adult child (including their adopted child, step child, ex-nuptial child or foster child), parent, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law. Other kinship and family networks may be considered on a case by case basis, including persons for whom the employee has significant carer responsibilities.
All policies at Charles Sturt are fully inclusive of LGBTIQA+ people are their families. Examples include:
- Parental leave
- Carers leave
- Adoption and permanent foster care leave
- Compassionate/bereavement leave
- Domestic Violence leave
- All employee benefits (i.e. health care packages, superannuation/death benefits, travel and relocation packages, and insurance benefits).
Protection from bullying, discrimination, and harassment
Legislation protects the rights of LGBTIQA+ individuals to be free from discrimination and harassment. Charles Sturt is committed to preventing discrimination and harassment of staff or students based on sex characteristics, sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This is outlined in our:
- Equal Opportunity Policy
- Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy
Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Procedure
- Complaints Management Policy
- Complaints Management Procedure
These policies provide students or staff members experiencing harassment and/or bullying with guidance on seeking resolution.
Complaints and grievances
If you would like confidential information or assistance on how to deal with bullying and harassment, or report bullying and harassment, please contact the Equity & Diversity team, Division of People and Culture Business Partners, or a senior staff member.
In line with Charles Sturt's equity policies of a higher education environment that is inclusive, safe and respectful of all persons, we support a culture that acknowledges and supports sexual, sex and gender diversity.
Up to 2% of people are born with sex characteristics that don't fit male/female medical norms.
Of serious concern, stigma continues to influence medical professionals who are forcing Intersex people to have surgery to conform to these binary norms. This needs to stop. Everyone has the right to determine what happens to their body. Many intersex people suffer the physical and emotional effects from such interventions, and related shame and secrecy.
More information and resources can be found at: