Equal opportunity policy statement

Flinders University is committed to achieving equality of opportunity in education and employment and affirms the value of social and cultural diversity that is reflected in the community.

Sexuality discrimination
Behaviours inclusive of sexual diversity
Behaviours considered prejudicial
Sexual diversity @ Flinders
What to do if you experience harassment and discrimination
About this information

Sexuality discrimination

Discrimination on the ground of sexuality means unfair treatment of a person on the basis of their sexuality. In the South Australian Equal Opportunity Act 1984, a person’s sexuality refers to whether they are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transsexual.

Direct discrimination
occurs when people are treated less favourably because of their actual or perceived sexuality eg denied employment because of actual or perceived sexuality.

Indirect discrimination occurs where a policy, procedure or practice, applied equally to all regardless of sexuality, has a disparate impact on people as a result of their sexuality. eg, defining family as heterosexual in family policies.

Harassment is behaviour that offends, humiliates, intimidates or creates a hostile environment and is a form of discrimination.

Behaviours inclusive of sexual diversity

  • Commonly used terms that encompass sexual diversity include, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, questioning and queer (GLBTTIQQ), even though transsexualism, transgender and intersex are not sexualities.
  • Using language that recognises and affirms the existence of diverse relationships and family structures.
  • Challenging heteronormative assumptions.
  • Including representations of non-heterosexual people in educational material.
  • Avoiding words and language that perpetuate negative stereotypes about diverse sexualities.
  • Challenging jokes and derogatory comments about GLBTTIQQ people.
  • Reflecting on any stereotypical attitudes and beliefs you may hold in relation to people who identify as GLBTTIQQ and not allowing these to cloud your professional judgement or workplace decisions.
  • Openly supporting and promoting the University’s Equal Opportunity Policy.

Behaviours considered prejudicial

  • Removing posters promoting events for GLBTTIQQ students from University notice boards.
  • Damaging property or icons associated with GLBTTIQQ people.
  • Revealing the sexual orientation of a person without that person’s consent.
  • Calling people ‘faggot’, ‘poofter’, ‘lemon’, ’leso’, ‘tranny’ or ‘dyke.’
  • Telling jokes that insult, trivialise, or stereotype people on the basis of their sexual or gender identity. For example, using the expression “that’s so gay.”
  • Using language that presumes everyone’s partner is of the opposite sex.
  • Using generalisations that refer to stereotyping eg “gay men are not masculine” or “lesbians do not like men.”
  • Assuming that all family structures comprise of mother, father and children.

Sexual Diversity @ Flinders

Visit sexual diversity @ Flinders for: 

  • Information about appropriate use of words and language.
  • A comprehensive list of services and supports both on and off campus.
  • Suggestions for creating inclusive work and study environments.
  • Useful educational material on a range of issues relating to sexual and gender identities.
  • A list of academic staff at Flinders available to guest lecture on diverse sexualities and gender identities.
  • Research material by Flinders academics about sexual and gender identities.
  • A list of subjects about sexual and gender identities taught at Flinders.
  • A link to information about the Flinders ALLY Network.

What to do if you experience harassment and discrimination

  • Tell the person concerned that you object to the behaviour.
  • Speak with your workplace or departmental supervisor.
  • Discuss your experience with a member of the ALLY Network or an Equal Opportunity Contact Officer or any of the services listed on the Sexual Diversity web page.
  • Contact the Equal Opportunity Unit if you wish to make a complaint.
  • Complaints can also be taken directly to an external agency such as the South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission or the Ombudsman.

If you believe your personal safety is threatened contact Security 8201 2880 or police 000 for emergencies or 131444 for attendance.

About this information 

Whilst every care has been taken in developing this brochure and its contents, no part of it should be taken as formal legal advice.