CQU supports transgender staff and students with published support guides

30 March 2022

CQUniversity has put its support behind its gender transitioning staff and students by providing access to basic transitioning guides.

Project leader and recently transitioned CQUniversity staff member Leah McCabe has been working on the guides with CQUniversity's ALLY network for the past nine months and officially launched the guides during Transgender Day of Visibility (Thursday 31 March).

Leah said her own experiences highlighted there was a need for people transitioning to have this sort of support to make their transitioning journey easier.

She said the guides provide staff and students with information on how to change name and gender within the CQU system' as well as other education systems' getting identity documents certified' and accessing transgender healthcare in regional Queensland.

"I came out as transgender last year and have been absolutely blown away by the level of support I've received from the whole university' especially my colleagues in Digital Services'" explained Ms McCabe.

"However' I found I was one of the first staff members here to transition in about 20 years' and so it was uncharted territory in some ways.

"As someone who is privileged to have so much strength and support' I feel it's important to spread that around however I can' and I hope that these guides will be of great help to others."

View the student guide here.

Ally Program coordinator Dr Gemma Mann said the guides were a tangible way for CQUniversity to live by its values of inclusiveness and openness.

"They are a practical tool to help people navigate systems and processes that can often be quite complex'" she explained.

"Along with staff training' these guides will go a long way to improving the University's practices so we can all work together to support people in their transition.

"Research shows that people who are able to live their authentic selves experience less stress and hence are more productive in the workplace."

Ms McCabe said the project was much more than just collating resources and documenting name-change procedures for her.

"The most important aspect of publishing these guides to me was the opportunity to spread trans visibility and make sure that our trans and gender-diverse colleagues and students know that they're not alone' and that there is great support and encouragement to be found in connecting with others in our community."

CQUniversity's Chief Wellbeing Officer Dr Bethany Mackay said CQUniversity was committed to supporting LGBTQI+ students throughout their learning journey and that an important aspect of this support was ensuring that the University's student services staff showed acceptance and advocacy for sexual and gender diversity.Transgender Day of Visibility 2022

"The mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQI+ students is paramount. As trained allies our Student Counselling and Wellbeing team is dedicated to providing inclusive' supportive services where diverse orientations and expressions of gender are acknowledged' embraced and celebrated."

CQUniversity's Director of People and Culture Barbara Miller said she was proud to be able support the publication of the guides.

"As one of our university values' I see Inclusiveness as a way of being; we demonstrate it in our words and our actions'" she explained.

"It is so important to me that everyone who is part of our CQUniversity community feels a sense of belonging and these guides will help to educate and reassure that everyone is welcome at CQU."