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The Gender Centre Inc

Established in 1983, The Gender Centre is the largest transgender and gender diverse organisation in Australia. We specialise in crisis accommodation, education, support, advocacy, outreach and training. 
While our office is in Sydney, we offer services to regional NSW and are involved in advocating for the transgender community at the national level.
Our goal remains to help overcome the many challenges that trans and gender diverse people face in Australia. We work hard to improve awareness of trans and gender diverse people in the Australia community.
We’re primarily funded through the N.S.W. Department of Human Services and Community Services (under the Specialist Homeless Service  program as well as Sydney Local Health District.
Our website is the most comprehensive transgender resource in the world and sees about 18.8 million hits per year.

What is our vision

A world that is inclusive and accepting of an empowered transgender and gender diverse person.

What are our principals

To provide confidential, client centred services to the transgender gender diverse and gender questioning community which promotes a holistic, integrated and strength based approach to service provision, we operate within a strong transparent and accountable governance framework consistent with its constitution, vision statement, code of conduct policies and procedures and service agreements.

What We're 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. [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.

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


Transgender Day of Visibility 2023


Statement on Transgender Day of Visibility 2023 lw rez

The Passing of Aidy Griffin

Vale Aidy Griffin 1954-2021, by Norrie May Welby

AIDY GRIFFIN (1954-2021)
by Norrie May Welby

The Passing of Aidy Griffin

VALE Aidy Griffin

Aidy Griffin, strategic driver of law reform and social inclusion of sex and gender diverse people, passed away in a hospice on Thursday 7 October 2021, at the age of 67. Aidy worked with others and then local state MP Clover Moore in the mid nineties to draft the first transgender recognition and anti-discrimination bill in the western world. That bill lapsed when parliament rose for the next election, but the cause was taken up again to the government by Aidy and other activists, and it passed the Transgender (Anti-Discrimination and Other Acts Amendment) Act of 1996 (NSW). This is the Act that made possible the later ruling in the High Court recognising non-binary sex (NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie [2014].


I first met Aidy at an early meeting of the Transgender Liberation Coalition (aka Transgender Lobby Coalition) in the early 1990s, when they gave me advice about finding a doctor who supported non-binary choices with regard to hormone therapy. Aidy was studying at UTS, which was hosting Queer Collaborations, so they invited me along to co-present some workshops on sex and gender. Aidy gave an academic dissection, and I did a little song and dance, show and tell. Everything I know about Foucault and post-modern deconstruction I learned second hand from Aidy.

Aidy was fiercely intelligent, and spoke in a very quiet Irish voice. They were very street smart and politically savvy, and taught me a lot.

At Aidy’s instigation, the two of us took a proposal to the Sydney Star Observer for a regular column on gender and transgender issues, and this became Gender Agenda. We were hosted by Philip Adams on the panel of his ABC Radio National Late Show Live, along with avant-garde drag artiste Cindy Pastel and American feminist academic Jane Gallop. When Philip asked about their gender journey, Aidy replied,“ I took a taxi here”.

We took every opportunity to get in front of cameras and microphones to challenge gender norms and inspire social inclusion, and you can see and hear Aidy starring in the docudrama Sexing the Label, sitting on Gilligan's Island (corner Oxford and Flinders Street) as the 1996 Mardi Gras parade speeds by in fast motion.

A nightclub in Kings Cross that was part of Abe Saffron’s network was accused of discriminating against a transgender woman. In response, Aidy negotiated with the nightclub network for a free venue to use for a fundraiser to benefit the trans community. This led to the 'Trany Pride' Ball at the old Les Girls nightclub, which raised money for the first 'Trany Pride' float in the Mardi Gras Parade. This helped build enough community support for the successful law reform achieved in 1996.

There aren’t many people as caring and intelligent as Aidy, and their passing is a devastating loss. But too, Aidy was part of many invigorating heady and sometimes terrifying adventures, memories to cherish, or to just wonder at how we survived them.

Trans Community Call for DPP Appeal #JusticeforMhelody Bruno.

Click here to read the Response to Mhelody Bruno Appeal.

A letter to the TGD Community

Dear TGD folk and families,

As you are no doubt aware, the latest chapter in the Education Amendment (parental rights) Bill 2020 is currently underway. For many of us, if not most TGD people and families it is a distressing time. Yet again the legitimacy of trans people’s lives are being discussed across parliament and in the media. It is distressing for many of us that there is currently a focus in the NSW legislative assembly on the idea that a parent’s right to educate their children and instil their own values might necessitate a bill that requires a strict removal of any reference to trans and gender diverse people and forbids all teaching and non-teaching staff as well as volunteers from teaching, advising, instructing or counselling students on anything to do with gender diversity.

From the Gender Centre’s perspective there seems to generally be confusion and misunderstanding around the facts of the bill, around the way that organisations like the Gender Centre work to support schools, and how the Education Amendment (parental rights) Bill 2020 could work if passed.

The Gender Centre has been supporting NSW schools for a number of years. We advise and assist at least one school every week on the best way to help transgender and gender diverse children and families be treated like every other student and family. We work with schools in such a way that parent’s rights to decide values and beliefs for their child is respected and meets the Australian community’s expectations of good citizenship regardless of religious belief, ableness, gender expression or other diversity. It works. We continue to see that with the right kind of support families and students can thrive amongst a plurality of ideas, expressions, beliefs and lived experiences. We see that if you keep a TGD child within the safety of a loving supportive family then that child does well. If you keep that TGD family within the safety of a loving supportive community that child will excel.  We also see, through the various crisis services we provide, what happens when you don’t.

NSW TGD families and community members are anxious and frightened by what is happening around the education amendment bill. That’s understandable. However it’s worth considering a few things about living in NSW and Australia. Many of the major headline news stories we get about trans people and children comes from the US and the UK. In these countries things are extremely dire. The rights of trans people and families are under assault and the lives of trans people are at risk. In Australia trans people experience discrimination and violence across many issues, but there are also federal anti-discrimination laws in place, in schools and in workplaces that insure the rights of transgender adults and children.   

The Education Amendment (parental rights) Bill 2020 is currently working its way through the parliamentary process. However, there are important questions to be answered about how such a bill could work in light of existing federal anti-discrimination laws. Federal anti-discrimination law makes the central tenant’s of the Education Amendment (parental rights) Bill 2020 illegal. Federal legislation overrides state legislation (for further information about the bill you can read Ros Cook of the Inner City Legal Centre’s review of the law here,  as well as Professor Luke Beck’s article here.

The Gender centre encourages community and supporters to contact their state members to express any concerns that they have around the bill.

As usual, the Gender Centre is available to talk and can be contacted on 95199 7599.

COVID-19 information

Click on the files below to download helpful information for COVID-19:


New Speech Pathology Services

New bulk billing Speech Pathology Services will be operating at The Gender Centre, for more information contact the centre on 9569-2366 or click here to read more

What is breast implant associated cancer?

What is breast implant associated cancer?
Breast implant associated cancer, which is also known as breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), is a rare cancer of the immune system. It is not breast cancer, which forms from cells in the breast, but instead a cancer that grows in the fluid and scar tissue that forms around a breast implant. Less commonly, BIA-ALCL can take the form of a lump in the breast or a lump in the armpit.  BIA-ALCL has been known to occur as soon as one year after the operation and as late as 37 years after the operation. The average time to diagnosis is within 8 years of the operation.
Who can get breast implant associated cancer?
All reported cases of breast implant associated cancer in Australia involve patients who have had a textured implant at some point in their life. Based on current evidence, experts do not think breast implant associated cancer is related to either the contents (saline/silicone) or shape (round/teardrop) of the implant. Breast implant associated cancer is rare. Between one in 1000 and one in 10,000 people with breast implants are diagnosed with the condition. Breast implant associated cancer can occur after both cosmetic and reconstruction surgery, with 95% of cases occurring between three and 14 years after the insertion of an implant.
How is breast implant associated cancer diagnosed?
If you develop swelling of an implanted breast your doctor will send you for an ultrasound scan to see if this is due to a fluid collection. If fluid is present it will be removed and sent to the laboratory for analysis. Most fluid collections are not due to BIAALCL, but the laboratory test will be able to tell for sure. If confirmed, your specialist may also order an MRI scan or CT scan to assess the extent of local growth or distant spread of the cancer. Other tests such as a PET scan may be also used to assess spread. A mammogram will check for breast cancer, but is not useful for detecting BIA-ALCL.
What is the treatment and prognosis for breast implant associated cancer?
It is usual that care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team. A treatment plan may be developed with advice from a blood disease specialist with experience in lymphoma, a cancer specialist, and a surgeon with breast implant experience. In about 80% of cases, the disease is detected in the early stage, with cancer cells found only in the fluid surrounding the implant. Most of these cases are cured by removal of the implant and surrounding capsule. Over the last 10 years, four Australian women have died from breast implant-associated lymphoma. Usually, both implants are removed even if breast implant-associated ALCL has only occurred in one breast. This is because there is a small but real risk that breast implant-associated ALCL can develop in the opposite breast. If there is a solid lump or the cancer has spread, the patient may require additional treatment such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or additional surgery. Follow up monitoring may require additional CT scans.
How do I spot the symptoms?
It is important to know the symptoms of breast implant associated cancer. The most common symptom is swelling of a breast caused by fluid build-up around the implant, but in some cases it may appear as a lump in the breast or armpit. As this is a rare disease, changes in your breast are unlikely to be breast implant associated cancer. For example, swelling immediately after your breast implant surgery is normal. But you should raise all concerns with your surgeon, including the possibility of breast implant associated cancer. If the surgeon or clinic which performed your original implant operation is no longer available, you should see your GP for referral to another surgeon.
What if I have implants but no symptoms at all?
Get to know the normal look and feel of your breasts. Self-examine your breasts regularly, such as in the bath or shower, and include your armpits and up to your collarbone. If you think there are any changes, or if you have any concerns, see your doctor. Discuss with your surgeon whether in your case there should be any longer term monitoring.
Should my implants be removed even though I have no symptoms?
Generally, breast implants are not lifetime devices, regardless of breast implant associated cancer. Typically they are removed after 10-15 years. The longer you have the implant, the more likely it will need to be removed. Common reasons for removal are contracture (hard or painful implants) or movement of the implant. Breast implant associated cancer is rare, but the risk is higher with certain types of breast implants. If you do not remember whether your implants are smooth or textured, or what brand they are, your surgeon or the clinic that holds your operation record should be able to advise you on these details. It is best to discuss with your surgeon what they would recommend in their clinical opinion given the type of implant you have and the benefits versus risks of removal of implants in a healthy person with no symptoms. You can seek a second opinion to help you decide on options, or if you are unsure or concerned about the advice you receive from your surgeon.
Can I get Medicare benefits for tests and treatment of breast implant associated cancer?
Even if your breast implants may have been inserted for purely cosmetic purposes and so the implantation surgery did not attract a Medicare benefit at the time, services for investigation and treatment of breast implant associated cancer, as with any other cancer, are eligible for payment of Medicare benefits. In addition to benefits for diagnostic imaging and pathology services, there is also a Medicare benefit specific for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) investigation of patients diagnosed with BIA-ALCL. A Medicare benefit is payable for removal of each breast implant and its surrounding capsule. Other MBS items are available for lymph node procedures and for other types of breast surgery if required. Your surgeon will choose the appropriate items depending on the procedure that is clinically necessary for you.