The Gender Centre Inc

The Gender Centre is committed to developing and providing services and activities, which enhance the ability of transgender, gender diverse and gender exploring people make informed choices.  The Centre is recognised as a centre of excellence in NSW through an ASES Award Accreditation, ( Australian Service Excellence Standards) and nationally in the delivery of front line specialist multi-purpose services aimed at supporting the transgender, gender diverse and gender questioning community across all stages of transition (pre- mid and post transition).
The service offers support from staff with highly specialised qualifications, skills, experience and capabilities. Allowing the team to respond to the unique needs of this client group through the provision of specialist counselling, psychological and other allied health services, outreach support, case-management, family and youth support, homelessness prevention and intervention services, and referrals to help people navigate the health care system in a safe and culturally competent space. The Gender Centre also undertakes advocacy work, resource development, stakeholder training and corporate education. We also operate as a secondary needle & syring program (NSP) outlet 

Vision, Purpose & Values

Our Vision:  is a society that is inclusive and respectful of transgender and gender diverse people, their families and allies celebrating them in all their diversities.     
Our Purpose: We are a frontline service that provides a unique perspective and is responsive to the needs of our community delivering a range of services to meet current and emerging psychosocial housing and other wellbeing needs
Our Values  The values we work by are the four core values that underpin good citizenship and human rights for everyone

What we are here for

Reducing Homelessness:

Transgender and Gender diverse people fall between the cracks at rates far higher than the general population. Homelessness for trans people is destabilising, and dangerous. Without a safe secure place to live employment, personal safety and hope for the future becomes nearly impossible.

The Gender Centre maintains three supported crisis housing facilities providing thirteen bed spaces and 21 supported transitional housing facilities providing twenty one bed spaces. In 2015/16 the Gender Centre provided over eleven thousand beds per night for the community.

For some trans people even a track record of paying rent, keeping house, and being a good neighbour are not enough to overcome discrimination. The Gender Centre provides tenancy support and currently helps approximately 84 trans people.

Improving Mental Health:

Adjusting and integrating to a new gender identity can be an incredibly stressful and confronting experience. Currently, the suicide rate amongst trans people is so high that almost half of all trans people attempt suicide at least once in their life[1]. The common experience is that being transgender is of itself not distressing,
[1] McNeil, J. et al. (2012) Trans Mental Health Study 2012. Scottish Transgender Alliance. Edinburgh. www.scottishtrans.org [viewed 8/3/13]

but rather suffering arises because family and society often fails to accept and support trans people’s in their identities.
In the past year The Gender Centre has offered 1289 counseling/support sessions. On average the Gender Centre offers counseling for over two hundred trans gender and gender diverse clients per year.

Helping Trans People Rise:

Helping trans people involves a wide range of services and assistance: from housing, income, health, employment, education and training, to counseling, support groups, advocacy and building the strength and resilience of the community itself. The Gender Centre is involved in all aspects of the trans and gender diverse experience. In 2015/16 The Gender Centre logged 10,500 hours of casework in support of clients.

Building Community:

We offer support, resilience and community for trans children and their parents. We work hard to give trans youth the resilience and confidence they need to take on the world. We care and support for over fifty-five year old trans people. The Gender Centre works in the inner city, in schools, hospitals, prisons, in Greater Western Sydney, in regional areas of NSW as well as on the national stage, advocating for and working with the transgender and gender diverse community. The Gender Centre held 1685 community building events in 2015/16.

Who funds us

The Gender Centre is funded by Sydney Local Health District, Department of Communities and Justice & supported by The Ministry of Health.

We are part of the community

We are commited in serving and strengthening the transgender community. We aim to work with all partners whether government, private sector, community health and welfare and importantly the general community

Management Structure

The Gender Centre Inc. is both an N.G.O. or a Non-Government Organisation funded in part by the N.S.W. Department of Human Services, Community Services under the Specialist Housing Service program (SHS), and Sydney Local Health District  and is an incorporated association. As an incorporated association, our constitution is bound by legislation under the "Associations Incorporation Act 1984" (N.S.W.).
The management committee is constituted in the terms of the "Associations Incorporation Act 1984" and the organisation in general, including the management committee functions as provided by the act and the regulations. The constitution and rules of the organisation comprise the "Model Rules" provided in the regulations, and these provide clear statements of structure, election and conduct of office bearers and committee, rights and responsibilities and the like, and provides the delegation of day-to-day managerial matters to the Executive Director  by the Board of Directors.

Board of Directors

The Directors hold the ultimate legal and managerial responsibility for the Gender Centre Inc. The Gender Centre recognises the importance of maintaining an effective and active Board. As such, clarity in the roles and responsibilities of Directors is essential.
The Board od Directors are  primarily responsible for the management of the affairs of the Gender Centre, including financial management and accountability, funding agreements and contracts, administration and accountability in matters relating to incorporation. internal operational policy development and implementation, ensuring adherence to legislation and other binding rules and regulations as well as staff employment and supervision.
The Gender Centre Inc. also recognises the expertise and knowledge of each individual staff member, and believes that it is vital for staff to occasionally provide input on issues that are being considered by the Directors. Staff attendance at board meetings is primarily for the purpose of resourcing Directors and providing the board with any relevant information and advice necessary. While the Gender Centre's Executive Director is required to attend meetings, other staff may attend these meetings as required. The Board of Directors may request other staff to attend all or part of a meeting and staff may request attendance to discuss a relevant issue. The board may request that staff absent themselves from the meeting for particular sessions or agenda items. Staff members are not entitled to move or second a motion or to vote at board meetings.
In order to ensure that management committee provides adequate support to the Gender Centre's staff and manager, the Gender Centre's manager ensures that the management committee is regularly and adequately informed of the activities of the Gender Centre and of any issues facing the Gender Centre, both internally and externally and informs the committee of any situations where a judgement or decision made by the Manager is contentious or may have repercussions for the Gender Centre Inc.



The Gender Centre is an Equal Employment Opportunity (E.E.O.) employer and employs both full-time and part-time staff. Position titles and duties vary slightly from time to time, however the service currently employs staff in the following positions:
  • Executive Director
  • Programs manager
  • Family support caseworker
  • Family peer support worker
  • Counsellor
  • Caseworker's
  • GWS Caseworker
  • Outreach Education caseworker's
  • Communication /Resource/Information
  • Allied Health staff funded by CESPHN
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Psychologist
Positions do occasionally become available, please check the "Positions Vacant" section of this website for further details.

Positions Vacant

Caseworker Contract Position

Outreach Caseworker 1 year contract

Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award, 2010

SACS Employee Level 2 Pay-point 4 (current)

$ 35.14 As per award + Salary packaging

  • 28 hours per week
  • 3 days 9am to 4.30
  • 1 day 4pm to 11.30 pm with preparedness to work flexible hours in order to accommodate client
  • service provision and inter-agency events


The Executive Director & Senior Programs Manager

Please download the files below

For more information and a guide to applying for a position at the Gender Centre contact the Executive Director on 90555341 or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


NGO & Incorporated Association

The Gender Centre Inc. is both an N.G.O. or a Non-Government Organisation funded in part by the N.S.W. Department of Human Services, Community Services under the Specialist Homelessnes Service program (SHS), and Sydney Local Area Health Service, and is an Incorporated Association.
The Gender Centre is committed to developing and providing services and activities, which enhance the ability of people with gender issues to make informed choices. We offer a wide range of services to people with gender issues, their partners, family members and friends in New South Wales. We are an accommodation and counselling service for our gender questioning clients from the age of 16 and up, we also act as an education, support, training and referral resource centre to other organisations and service providers. The Gender Centre is committed to educating the public and service providers about the needs of people with gender issues. We specifically aim to provide a high quality service, which acknowledges human rights and ensures respect and confidentiality.

Our Role in the Community

Transgender people are among the most marginalised in the community. As such, transgender people unfairly face many subsequent issues including higher rates of homelessness, unemployment, social isolation, prejudice and discrimination, family rejection and mental health issues.
With gender-identity being a fundamentally different concept to sexual orientation, other groups within the broader gay, lesbian and bisexual communities have fallen short of addressing the unique issues faced by transgender people and others with gender issues, and as such, since 1983, the Gender Centre, then known as Tiresias House, has undertaken to address these unique issues and also to educate those in the wider community about the needs, concerns and interests of people with gender issues.
We are committed to treating everyone with respect, our clients, partners and the broader community, and are also committed to serving and strengthening the transgender community. We aim to work with all partners whether government, private sector, community health and welfare and importantly the general community.
The Gender Centre is not a medical centre and as such we do not provide medical documents and/or medical care and we cannot make referrals to any medical services; we can, however, provide information regarding health care service providers for our clients to access independently. We do not give recommendations regarding particular service providers.
The Gender Centre also offers training, support and workshops to employers, service providers, students and other people interested in gender issues. Topics covered include implications for staff and clients in relation to anti-discrimination legislation and E.E.O. issues, workplace harassment and provision of goods and services as well as many personal aspects of the transgender process.

The Functions We Perform

The Gender Centre is committed to developing and providing services and activities which enhance the abilities of people with gender issues to make informed choices. We are committed to assisting clients reach their full personal potential through the provision specialised services and programs we are committed to achieving this with fairness and integrity.
The Gender Centre provides advocacy support for transgender and gender questioning people to help facilitate effective outcomes. The most common advocacy support provided is in dealings with the police when reporting a crime or being questioned in relation to a criminal matter, the Department of Housing to prevent evictions, Centrelink to establish payment of correct entitlements, aged care services to provide suitable supported care options and disability support programs to acquire suitable appliances and equipment for independent living.
We aim to provide a high quality counselling service which acknowledges human rights and ensures respect, dignity and confidentiality. It is of a particular concern to remove barriers to clients' achievements resulting from their gender, age, cultural and national background, socio-economic background or disability.
Our residential service provides temporary accommodation in a safe and supportive environment to transgender persons who are homeless, distressed or otherwise in need of accommodation. Case Management is also an integral part of our residential program and is provided to all residents in refuge accommodation to assist these clients to move through the refuge and into independent living. A case management service is also provided to community clients.
The Gender Centre's outreach service provides specialised case management and outreach to transgender people confined to hospital, correctional facilities within N.S.W., to all courts within the greater metropolitan area, and to all transgender street based sex workers in the metropolitan area of Sydney. The outreach education officer provides referrals to specialist medical, H.I.V./AIDS, education, legal, welfare, housing and other community services.
We also offer our gender questioning clients that are freely able to access the Gender Centre, a service that includes, workshops, support groups, outings and social events which are organised at regular intervals throughout the year.
The Gender Centre also produces a range of print and online resources on H.I.V./AIDS, medical and other information relevant to people with gender issues and their service providers. Information packages (kits) fact-sheets and other printed materials including "Polare". As part of the resources provided by the Gender Centre we have a library with an array of books and audio-visual material on the issues pertinent to gender questioning and transgender people available for loan free of charge.
The Gender Centre is committed to developing and providing services and activities, which enhance the ability of people with gender issues to make informed choices. We offer a wide range of services to people with gender issues, their partners, family members and friends in New South Wales. We are an accommodation service and also act as an education, support, training and referral resource centre to other organisations and service providers. The Gender Centre is committed to educating the public and service providers about the needs of people with gender issues. We specifically aim to provide a high quality service, which acknowledges human rights and ensures respect and confidentiality.


Who Funds Us?

The Gender Centre Inc. is both an N.G.O. or a Non-Government Organisation funded in part by the N.S.W. Department of Communities & Justice under the Specialist Homeless Service  program (S H S ), and Sydney Local Area Health District, and is  an incorporated association under the "Associations Incorporation Act 1984". We also periodically apply for government grants for different projects, receive the occasional donation and also hold occasional fundraisers.

Sydney Local Area Health District

The Gender Centre is generously funded, in part, by, Sydney Local Area Health District, a funding agreement that dates back many years. This funding has been provided under N.S.W. Health's "AIDS. and Infectious Diseases Scheme" and the Gender Centre Inc. is very grateful to the N.S.W. Health, Sydney Local Health District for this funding.

Over the years this funding has meant that we, as a service devoted to the well-being of transgender people, a most marginalised group within the community, have been able to promote the education and training of other service providers in the needs of transgender and gender questioning people, have also been able to operate an ever important outreach service that tends to thousands of transgender clients per year, we have been able to provide educational material including our bi-monthly magazine, "Polare", and have been able to generally operate other important programs which enhance the ability of transgender people to make informed choices.

The Gender Centre Inc. remains truly grateful for the funding that has been provided by the N.S.W. Health, Sydney Local Health District in the past and looks forward to maintaining a long and cohesive relationship in the future.

Department of Communities & Justice

The Gender Centre is also generously funded, in part, by the N.S.W. Department of Community  and Justice under the Specialist Homelessness Service program (S.H S .), a funding agreement that also extends back many years. In accordance with this funding agreement, the Gender Centre Inc. has devoted this income to the funding of our residential service and associated services such as the residential case management program.

Over the years this funding agreement has meant that we, as a service devoted to the well-being of transgender people, a group that experiences a high rate of homelessness, have been able to house many hundreds of transgender people in refuge accommodation, and provide them with appropriate resources to assist with their movement through the transgender process.

The Gender Centre Inc. remains truly grateful for the funding that has been provided by the N.S.W. Health Department of Human Services, Community Services in the past and looks forward to maintaining a long and cohesive relationship in the future.

Government & Private Sector Grants

From time to time during the course of our operations, the need often arises to apply for small to medium government and private sector grants to fund individual projects that may not have been budgeted for previously. Some examples of the grants that the Gender Centre Inc. has been successful in applying for in more recent times include grants from The Aurora Group, Sydney City Council and Marrickville Council "Street Smart" and N.S.W. Clubs for projects such as the compilation of our kits and fact sheets, and the purchase of furniture and appliances for our refuge houses.

Donations & Fundraisers

The Gender Centre is registered with the N.S.W. Department of Registered Charities as a registered charity, and is therefore able to receive donations and conduct occasional fundraisers. The Gender Centre Inc. would like to thank all parties that have made generous donations to us in the past and ask that any interested donor contact the centre on (02) 9519 7599 or go to our Donation Page and make a Donation. 


Our Strategic Planning Processes

The Gender Centre's Board of Directors have primary responsibility for both approving the Gender Centre's Strategic Plan and for ensuring its implementation.
A major review has been undertaken of all the organisation's services, activities, governance and partnerships based on input from N.S.W. Health, Department of Family and Community Services, Government and Non-Government Organisations, the Gender Centre's Board of Directors, Staff, Volunteers, and Service Users.

Method used

The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) method was used to conduct the planning process. A combination of external and internal stakeholders were interviewed by an external consultant.


Interviews were conducted with the following stakeholders:

  • Metro Housing
  • Wentworth Community Housing
  • Headspace in Dubbo
  • Sydney Local Health District 
  • Primary Health Network
  • Regional LHD
  • NSW Police

Stakeholders were asked to respond to a series of questions including:

  • A description of their service and role.
  • Their agencies relationship to GC e.g. referral, partner, funding.
  • What GC services were they aware of?
  • What additional services they think the agency could provide?
  • What should be the agencies priorities over the next three years? 
  • What did they see as the overall strengths of the service?
  • Were there any areas where the service could improve? If so, what were they?
  • How should GC position itself to achieve long term sustainability?


The consultant met with the following client groups:

  • two clients in an interview discussion
  • two clients’ submitted surveys
  • Parents group – fifteen participants
  • Young person’s group – 18 participants

The following questions guided discussion: 

  • What activities and services at GC have been helpful to you?
  • How would you describe your experience of being a client at GC?
  • What staff support has been helpful to you?
  • Is there anything additional staff could do to assist you?
  • How can GC improve its services?
  • Is there anything you would like to add?

SWOT: Emerging themes from stakeholders consultation

Many of the identified strengths highlighted  the GC’s, ability to provide a specialist response. This specialisation included the following: the Centre’s strong relationship with local community, passionate, friendly and skilled staff, strong advocacy skills, excellence in service provision and delivering the client centred approach into case management practice.

External stakeholders identified the GC’s strong relationships with local community positions the service in a leadership role when advocating for the dignity and rights of transgender and gender diverse people. GC’s variety of programs such as, counselling, parents group, young person’s group, case management, access to information and resources supports clients with the skills and knowledge to increase their capacity for independence and self-empowerment. 

The young person’s group found access to the group particularly helpful in developing strong relationships and challenging social isolation.

The parent’s group highlighted the staff as supportive, valued the social support aspect of the group and access to information. Parents identified the support from GC as crucial to the ongoing wellbeing of their family, particularly the mental and social wellbeing to their children.  

Download our Strategic Plan for 2022-2025


  • 21 February 2015: Gender Centre Stalwart, Paula Hartigan Dies

    One of Paula's favourite sayings, heard often around the corridors of the Gender Centre "Contrary to popular belief, rumours of my demise are grossly exaggerated" ... unfortunately cannot be uttered with truth nor the good-hearted humour that it always was, for this time - your ultimate demise - saddens us terribly. Paula joined the Gender Centre when it was known as Tiresias House, in the unenviable position of Residential Support Worker a position she made her own, despite the many attempts by our sometimes wayward, mischievous clientele to undermine or 'put one over' on her – something they, of course, never succeeded in doing. One of life's great story-tellers, Paula's version of incidents long passed including the 'Tranny Wars' of the early 1990s, kept her fellow staff-members both amused and dismayed at how someone in her position could have withstood so much turmoil. Her stories of golfing triumphs at Massey Park and her punting success almost matching the multiple upon multiple dings she had in the Gender Centre car adding to her character and charm. Her generosity and humble nature a virtue, admired by all who crossed paths with Paula from the thousands of transgender and questioning clients she helped and mentored, her co-workers at the Gender Centre through the decades to her retirement in 2010 and her fellow volunteers on the board of many other N.G.O.s including Foley House and Badlands where she continued to keep an eye-out for transgender people in need. The end of an era – the Sydney transgender community has lost an irreplaceable elder in Paula Hartigan – we'll forever be in her debt.

  • 18 October 2014: Gender Centre Relocates to Annandale

    Just over six years since the Centre relocated from Morgan Street to Bent Streets, Petersham, the latest relocation to 41-43 Parramatta Road, Annandale took place. The move became necessary because the New South Wales State Government required the Bent Street premises for another service, meaning for the first time in the Gender Centre's history, we were forced onto the open rental market.

  • 2 April 2014: High Court Rejects Outdated Notions of Gender

    The High Court has delivered a landmark judgment that recognises sex other than male or female, representing a victory for growing numbers of gender diverse people across Australia. The decision is of profound importance, given that identity documents such as birth certificates were an important foundation for ensuring equal recognition before the law for gender diverse and intersex people. The High Court upheld the decision of the N.S.W. Court of Appeal that allowed Norrie, an androgynous person, to be recognized as a sex other than male or female. Norrie had originally sought to be identified as 'non-specific' rather than 'male' or 'female' on identity documents. N.S.W. Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie [2014] H.C.A. 11 (2 April 2014) .

  • 20 March 2014: Landmark Victory for A.C.T. Trans* and Intersex Residents

    Trans* and intersex residents of the A.C.T. can officially change the sex on their birth certificates without requiring reassignment surgery after a landmark win in the territory's parliament. The amendments to the Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, which passed without opposition, allow individuals to alter their birth certificate to identify as male, female or X, and all that is required is for a doctor or psychologist to certify they have received "appropriate clinical treatment" - which has not been defined so as to leave it open to the doctor or psychologist. The time limit for births to be registered in the A.C.T. has also been extended to six months under the approved amendments, giving parents time to decide how to register the sex of their child in cases when they are not clearly male or female.

  • August 2013: Vale Lesley Anne Findlay

    It is with our deepest regret that we report the passing of Lesley Anne Findlay on Thursday 29th August 2013. Leslie was one of the hardest working, and most loyal members of the Sydney transgender community, her many years service to the Gender Centre's Management Committee and on the Board of the Seahorse Society of New South Wales are greatly appreciated and valued by those within our community who have benefited from her commitment and dedication to providing a safer and more enjoyable space for our community.

  • June 2012: Frank Walker Dies

    Frank Walker, who died on the 12th June 2012 at the age of sixty-nine, entered politics when he won the seat of Georges River for the A.L.P. in the New South Wales State election of 1970. Six years later N.S.W. Premier Neville Wran appointed Frank Attorney-General, a position he held until 1983 when he accepted three ministries, Youth and Community Services, Aboriginal Affairs and Housing. He held these portfolios until he lost the seat of Georges River in the State election of 1988. In 1983 Frank called Roberta Perkins to his office having read about the plight of transsexual people in Sydney in her book The Drag Queen Scene. This meeting lead to a refuge in Petersham and funding being provided and so Tiresias House, now known as The Gender Centre, was born. Frank Walker M.P. was a true champion of transgender people.

  • December 2011: Carmen Rupe, Transgender Icon, Rest in Peace

    Carmen Rupe has left us. Often referred to as a transgender icon on both sides of the Tasman, this remarkable woman died on 15th December 2011, following some months of ill-health following a fall earlier in the year. Cause of death was given as kidney failure. After a period of vigil during which she lay in state at Redfern's Te Warua Tapu Church a service was held on Wednesday 21st December, well attended by friends and admirers from the drag, Maori, straight and L.G.B.T.I communities.

  • July 2011: Farewell Rose Jackson

    One of the Sydney gay scene's most loved theatre artists died peacefully early on Thursday morning 21st July 2011 at St Vincent's Hospice. Perhaps best known as the star performer at Capriccios, the first gay club to open in Oxford St in the early-nineteen-seventies, Rose's career as both a costumier and entertainer boasted many highlights.

  • June 2011: Weekly Evening Drop-In Ends

    The long-standing Wednesday night drop-in have been part of the Gender Centre for almost as long as anyone can remember, but times change and as such there had been a growing feeling that there may be better ways to utilise our resources. The original intention for the drop-in was to provide a first-access experience for transgenders new to their transgendered situation, in a safe place where they could meet others in the informal atmosphere of a shared meal, and that as these people gained confidence they could move on. Over the years the character of the drop-ins had changed and in light of complaints received from some clients concerning the behaviour of others, and following the development of a situation where some users of the service criticise the quality of the free meals they were being given, the Wednesday night drop-in became a thing of the past.

  • May 2011: New Passport Awarded Without Reassignment Surgery

    Marcele, a transsexual woman from the A.C.T. has won the right to a full, ten-year passport in her transitioned identity, without the need for undergoing sex realignment surgery first. After a battle lasting seven long months, she has received her updated Australian passport indicating her true gender-identity on her passport as female. Marcele was able to successfully expand on prior cases, fought and won by a large number of others in the transsexual community, and pointed out that nobody was qualified to make this decision: the Passport Office had no basic understanding of what the humanitarian guidelines really were because they eventually admitted there was "no policy document, guidelines or any other information in existence that expands on the meaning of the expression "rare and unique circumstances of a compelling humanitarian nature". Eventually after the preliminary hearing Passport Office conceded the case and it was settled with them issuing Marcele with my ten-year female passport.

  • March 2011: Transgender Anti-Violence Project Begins

    The Transgender Anti-Violence Project is an initiative supported by the Gender Centre, the City of Sydney Council, Inner City Legal Centre and the N.S.W. Police. The aim of the exercise is not only to prevent violence against transgenders, but also to gather statistics concerning that violence. The Transgender Anti-Violence Project mission is to provide education, support, assistance referrals and advocacy for transgenders suffering all forms of violence based on gender-identity. Superintendent Donna Adney of the N.S.W. Police and members of the Steering Committee have been active in setting the framework for the project. One of the essential foundations for the project will be the creation of a data file of reports on transgender-oriented violence.

  • September 2010: Gaye Stubbs Resigns as Gender Centre Counsellor

    Gay Stubbs resigned as the Gender Centre's Counsellor, having initially been employed by the Gender Centre in January 2006. Her place was taken by new counsellor, Anthony Carlino.

  • February 25th 2010: Gender " Not Specified"

    norrie mAy-welby made world headlines by having hir recognised details certificate (issued to people born overseas) re-issued by the N.S.W. Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages with the gender marked "Not Specified". Born in Scotland and raised as male, norrie went through gender affirmation as a female in hir twenties but later realised that zie was neither male nor female, ceased hormone therapy and proclaimed hir intention to be unspecified as to gender. After obtaining medical support for this zie was issued with a gender "not specified" recognised details certificate setting an example for the many people like hir around the world. For a while it looked as if a significant change had been made in the way Australian bureaucrats look at gender, but within days the Attorney-General's Department intervened and forced the Registry to reverse its position and cancel the certificate, stating that "legal advice" had shown that the "sex not specified" annotation was illegal because the registrar "may only issue a recognised details certificate or a new birth certificate following a change of sex in either male or female gender." norrie has appealed to the Human Rights Commission

  • February 2010: Inaugural Transgender Film Festival

    In February 2010 the Gender Centre in conjunction with Inner City Legal Centre presented the inaugural "Transgender Film Festival" at the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts. The festival ran from late in the morning until around 9:00pm and the many featured the French movie "L'ordre des Mots" ("binding words"), a film addressing gender-identity issues head on by analysing the nature of oppression and repression faced by the trans and intersex communities in France. Also on the bill were "Screaming Queens", the story of the riots at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco in 1966, three years before the famous riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York. "Still Black", an alternative feature documentary on the lives of six black transmen; "She's a Boy I Knew" a gender bending feel-good film directed by a transsexual lesbian; "Unravelling Michelle" the gender-bending highs and lows of Michelle's male-to-female metamorphosis and "Trained in the Ways of Men", an eye-opening documentary about the tragic murder of Californian teenager Gwen Araujo and the subsequent court trials.

  • October 2009: Australian Passport Office Apologises to Stefanie Imbruglia

    The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has agreed to issue appropriate passports to sex and gender diverse people and change offensive terminology in its training material, to be more inclusive of diversity following the embarrassment and humiliation caused to Stefanie Imbruglia who was forced to travel to Thailand on a "male" passport following the conservative Howard Government's decision to rescind the twenty year-old practice of issuing one-year limited passports to people who travel overseas for affirmation surgery. Stefanie was successful in her action against D.F.A.T. and as a result they have agreed to a complete unreserved written apology to Stefanie, restoration of the right for people travelling overseas for sex realignment surgery to be given a passport in their appropriate sex and/or gender, recognise that some people who are intersex, transexed, transsexual, transgendered or any of the other sex and gender diverse identities may not be candidates for genital surgery and that as such still live in their preferred sex and/or gender roles and these people upon presentation of a letter from a medical professional would be able to obtain a permanent passport in the appropriate sex and/or gender and that people presenting with no sex or gender on their cardinal documents may be considered for a passport that does not state sex or gender. This clears the way for parents of intersex children who do not want to be forced into registering their children as male or female when that child may be neither or both. Some adults identify as neuter and wish their documents to reflect that status.

  • July 2008: Petersham Office Relocation

    After 25 years based at Morgan Street, Petersham, the Gender Centre relocated to 7 Bent Street Petersham. The Bent Street property had previously been occupied as one of our refuge houses but actually provided a much improved location for the administration of the service as it provided much higher security with regard to client access and was overall a more professional location for the Gender Centre to operate. The Morgan Street property reverted to refuge accommodation, as it had been 25 years earlier when the Gender Centre was known as Tiresias House.

  • February 2008: Does The T Belong in L.G.B.T.?

    The Gender Centre held a debate about whether the T belongs in L.G.B.T. at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. The evening was compered by former television and radio personality Julie McCrossin and the participants were Katrina Fox (freelance journalist), Mark Orr (President of ACON), Katelund Povey (owner of Jellyfish Furniture), Dr. Tracie O'Keefe (psychotherapist, author and editor), Roberta Perkins (founder of Tiresias House, now the Gender Centre) and Rachael Wallbank (lawyer and advocate). More than a hundred people attended, among the guests on the night were the Honourable Penny Sharpe (M.L.C.) and Superintendent Donna Adney from the Surry Hills Police Local Area Command.

  • September 2007: Grace Abrams Gains Female Passport While Married to Female Partner

    In September 2005, Grace Abrams, who had already undergone sex reassignment surgery, married her partner, Fiona Power. Grace's birth certificate at the time recorded her sex as "male" and thus their marriage had taken place in accordance with current law that only two people of opposing sex were eligible to marry. In April 2006, Grace applied to have a passport issued however the Australian Passport Office and thus the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade declined her application on account of her inability to provide the amended birth certificate. As a married person, Grace was unable to change the sex recorded on her birth certificate on account of the provisions in the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 (N.S.W.). The Administrative Appeals Tribunal recognised that Grace was a person of the female gender, an Australian Citizen and that she had demonstrated a genuine need for a passport which noted her proper gender and that her inability to provide a birth certificate that records her female gender is not a valid ground for rejecting her passport application. Accordingly, she was entitled to be issued with a full validity Australian passport, as a female person.

  • April 2007: Thailand's Rainbow Sky Visits the Gender Centre

    Rainbow Sky, the Thai equivalent to ACON visited Sydney for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and requested an information-sharing visit with the Gender Centre. Staff gave the 20 Rainbow Sky visitors an overview of the services that the Gender Centre provides to our clients as well as an explanation of the history of the Gender Centre. The visit provided an important opportunity for the Gender Centre to develop Asia-Pacific transgender networking and it was also a great opportunity for us to build partnerships at an international level. The day was a wonderful success.

  • January 2006: Gender Centre Passes Q.M.S. Accreditation

    After several months of engagement with the Gender Centre's accreditation process, and a great deal of time and effort from staff and management committee the "Q.M.S.Accreditation Report" has been extremely favourable. The Gender Centre has achieved a resounding endorsement from the auditor. The report examined in detail the Gender Centre's responses and achievements in all of the twenty-two quality improvement council standards that were addressed. Seventeen of these standards were "core" standards and five were additional standards drawn from the "community services" module. Where relevant the reports on each of the standards were accompanied by recommendations on actions that we can undertake to further improve the quality of our operations. In all, only nine of the twenty-two standards were accompanied by recommendations and most of these were relatively straightforward and have been implemented.

  • January 2006: Centre Restructure

    A decision was made to review how the Gender Centre was structured to provide services and what steps could be taken to improve the delivery of those services. After much discussion and planning a new model was developed that aimed to address identified problem areas in service provision. In particular it was agreed that a greater emphasis be placed on targeting positive outcomes for clients. By focusing on outcomes we have been able to develop a system of pathways that provide clients with structured access to programs and services within the Gender Centre, and through external referral, that optimise the likelihood of success. Since positive outcomes differ from one client to another the system is driven by the needs and goals identified by each client.

  • December 2005: Elizabeth Anne Riley Resigns as Counsellor

    The Gender Centre's Counsellor, known to clients and staff as Elizabeth Anne (so as to not be confused with Gender Centre Manager, Elizabeth Riley), who had been employed with the Centre since 1999, resigned to begin her private practice in Macquarie Street. During her time at the Gender Centre, Elizabeth completed her Masters in Counselling, served on the Executive Committee of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association (C.A.P.A.) and attended the H.B.I.G.D.A. XVII Biennial Symposium in Ghent, Belgium. She was replaced by new counsellor, Gaye Stubbs.

  • May 2005: Polare Magazine Published Quarterly

    Changes to our regularly published magazine "Polare" were inevitable following a reduction in funding. This funding reduction coupled with escalating postage and printing costs meant that changes the magazine's distribution had to occur. While a number of options were canvassed it seemed that the only viable one, in maintaining the quality of the magazine, was to reduce the frequency of its publication from bi-monthly to quarterly.

  • October 2004: Lee Brown Passes Away

    Lee Anderson Brown died of cancer on 29th October, 2004. Lee was an admirable man, born intersexed, and with ambiguous genitalia, with all the uncertainty involved in those conditions, he overcame early confusion and worked for understanding and appropriate treatment for people, not only intersexed, but with all forms of gender diversity. Lee was an academic and his doctoral thesis concerned itself with transgendered and intersexed life.

  • June 2004: Mission Australia Granted Exemption from N.S.W. Anti-Discrimination Law

    On 24th June 2004, the N.S.W. Attorney General granted Mission Australia an exemption under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (N.S.W.) to allow it to exclude non-recognised transgender women from three of its key services, A Woman's Place, Lou's Place and Women in Supported Housing. At a subsequent meeting, Mission Australia's representative informed Gender Centre Manager, Elizabeth Riley, that it was now their policy to exclude pre-operative transgender women from the affected accommodation services and that this position was non-negotiable. Her request to be furnished with a copy of their policy was also refused. The Gender Centre opposed the exemption, and continued its opposition through all available channels, on the grounds that it exposes the most vulnerable members of the community to an increased risk of homelessness and the myriad of risks associated with this.

  • April 2004: Re: Alex

    "Re Alex" was a legal case decided in the Family Court of Australia on 13th April 2004. It examined the rights of a transgender thirteen-year-old to transition from female-to-male. The courts gave him the alias of "Alex" to ensure his protection and anonymity. At birth and at the time of the case, Alex was, in the eyes of the law, a girl however Alex had had a longstanding wish to undergo a transition. An application was made asking the Family Court to authorise medical treatment involving the administration of hormonal therapies to begin a sex-change procedure. In a landmark decision, Chief Justice Nicholson ruled in favour of allowing Alex to change gender and name written on birth certificate, to be administered hormone treatment until he reaches eighteen years-old. At eighteen Alex is free by law to make this decision without permission of the court, and to allow Alex to enrol in school under a male name.

  • September 2003: H.B.I.G.D.A. XVIII Biennial Symposium

    Gender Centre Counsellor, Elizabeth Anne Riley attended the H.B.I.G.D.A. XVIII Biennial Symposium in Gent, Belgium between 10th-13th September 2003 where she presented her paper "Counselling Clients with Gender Dysphoria: An Ethical Approach". Other presenters included - Friedemann Pfaefflin (Germany), Vern Bullough (U.S.A.), Pamela Connolly (U.S.A.), Professor Louis Gooren (the Netherlands), Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis (the Netherlands), Ken Zucker (Canada), James P. Thomas (U.S.A.), Joris Hage (Netherlands), Stan Monstrey (Belgium), Dr. Preecha Tiewtranon (Thailand), Stephen Whittle (U.K.), Richard Green (U.K.), Tom Mazur (U.S.A.) and Kate Bornstein U.S.A.

  • June 2003: Community Identity Josephine Williams Dies

    Josephine Williams, known to everyone as Josie, died on 29th June 2003. A memorial service was held for Josie at Redfern's Te Warua Tapu Church on 5th July, attended by many of her friends. Josie was a friend to all, and will be missed. The eulogy was delivered by Carmen, a close friend with many ties to Josie.

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