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MU Sport Sets Benchmark For Diversity And Inclusion Among Australian Sporting Organisations

T
he University of Melbourne(MU Sport) has been awarded the highest honour for LGBTQIA+ initiatives in Australian sport at the 2020 Australian Pride in Sport Awards.

The award is based on the results of the Aids Council of New South Wales’s (ACON) Pride in Sport Index (PSI), an initiative produced by the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian Sports Commission.

Melbourne University vice-chancellor, Duncan Maskell, said the honour was well-deserved recognition for MU Sport and all it does to make LGBTQIA+ people feel welcome and included.

“Diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of the University of Melbourne’s culture,” Maskell said.

“Everyone is welcome here regardless of sexuality or identity.

“These principles are embedded throughout the University, including at MU Sport which has set a benchmark for the second consecutive year,” he said.

The university runs a variety of inclusion programs including Pride in Sport, Indigenous Sport, Women in Sport and On Track, and an athletics development program for African Australian high school students.

The award came just hours after eight peak Australian sporting bodies unveiled guidelines for the inclusion for transgender and gender diverse people in their sports.

The AFL, Hockey Australia, Netball Australia, Rugby Australia, Tennis Australia, Touch Football Australia, UniSport Australia and Water Polo Australia have committed to landmark transgender inclusion measures with a focus on community sport.

This includes policies to ensure freedom to wear uniforms which match the gender a person identifies with and greater access to change rooms and bathroom facilities.

Pride in Sport, national program manager, Beau Newell said the organisations are showing the world that transgender people have a place to feel welcome in sport in Australia.

“Each sport has gone through their respective consultation process, and all of them are coming out the other end with a very unique guideline or policy that’s reflective of their specific sport,” Mr Newell said.

The announcement follows the lead of Cricket Australia, which launched its transgender inclusion guidelines last year.

Another 13 sporting bodies have also confirmed a commitment to developing trans and gender diverse inclusive frameworks.