Teaching LGBTIQ+ students

There's a place for everyone at Deakin banner

Group photo of participants at Deakin at Midsumma Pride March 2017
Deakin at Midsumma Pride March 2017 (Deakin Life 2017)



‘Deakin sees the diversity of its staff and students as a great strength and a much valued asset for our learning community. We support diversity in the higher education sector and we recognise the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex students and employees to learn, live and work, free of prejudice and discrimination, with all the essential freedoms enjoyed by other members of our University community and the broader population.’

Prof. Jane den Hollander, AO Vice Chancellor (Deakin University 2018)

An LGBTIQ+ inclusive approach may be unfamiliar ground for many staff, who, consequently could lack confidence in this area.  The following sections provide practical information around language use, curriculum design, teaching practices, and student engagement to build staff awareness and capacity that fosters safe and inclusive learning environments. To this end, we must ensure LGBTIQ+ students are wholly acknowledged, accepted and supported within university life, and that their concerns, experiences and narratives are sensitively and respectfully reflected in curriculum materials.

A note on terminology


At Deakin we have chosen the acronym LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersex, queer, plus) as the most readily understood by the general community. ‘Plus’ refers to the expanding variants, which include allies and those who choose to identify otherwise. We are inclusive of all individuals within our community irrespective of how they choose to self-identify or self-describe. We acknowledge that defining people according to particular categories is a contested area as no single term or group of terms adequately captures the diversity of human sexuality and gender and how such diversity intersects with other socio-cultural categories (ethnicity, age, religion, demography etc.).

Indeed, it is important to be aware that the terms ‘gay’, lesbian’, ‘bisexual’, ‘trans’, ‘queer’ and ‘intersex’ can be seen as foreign to those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.  It is good practice to consult with sex/sexuality/gender diverse people and communities about the use of terminology instead of imposing our understanding onto them. To learn more about the vocabulary of LGBTIQ+ please refer to the Glossary section.


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