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University of Melbourne

PAR-Sidney Myer Asia Ctr-B02 (Carrillo Gantner Theatre)

Parkville, VIC 3010

Australia

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Recently the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages Act 1996 was amended to allow transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people to change the sex on their birth certificate without first being required to undergo invasive and potentially unwanted surgeries. The reform was met with some public debate and backlash, including from a small number of feminists and conservatives.

Taking the birth certificate law reform and its significance to TGD communities as a starting point, this event will interrogate:

  • ‘Bigger picture’ questions relating to TGD communities, such as how we work towards building a community that is inclusive, welcoming and safe for TGD people;
  • The politics and colonialism of dominant approaches to understanding sex and gender; and
  • The relationships and tensions between transgender and queer scholarship and contemporary feminist thought.

The discussion aims to progress discussion on these issues in an inclusive way, without shying away from challenging or contested issues. It also aims to bring academic debate into conversation with the lived realities of TGD individuals in a space of mutual learning and respectful engagement.

Panellists for this event are:

  • Professor Emerita Raewyn Connell (University of Sydney)
  • Associate Professor Angela Dwyer (University of Tasmania)
  • Dr J.R. Latham (Event Moderator, Deakin University)
  • Amao Leota Lu (Fa’afafine & Trans International Speaker & Advocate)
  • Michelle McNamara (University of Melbourne & Transgender Victoria)
  • Associate Professor Sandy O’Sullivan (USC)

The panel discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A. Questions for the Q&A will be submitted via an online platform to help ensure that the event is respectful and inclusive, and a diverse range of questions can be posed.

Everyone is welcome to attend this event, however transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, sexism, ableism and racism will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Anyone engaging in such behaviour will be asked to leave.

This event is free, but bookings are essential. This public panel event will be held in the Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sydney Myer Asia Centre. A map reference is available here.

Accessibility requirements: The building is wheelchair accessible, and contains a hearing loop. For additional requirements, please email: biancaf@unimelb.edu.au

Content note: this event will likely contain some discussion of transphobia, racism, and sexual and other violence.

This event is co-supported by the Criminology and Gender Studies disciplines in the School of Social and Political Sciences.

Panellists

Emeritus Professor Raewyn Connell

Raewyn Connell is Professor Emerita, University of Sydney, and Life Member of the National Tertiary Education Union. She has taught in several countries and is a widely-cited sociological researcher. Her recent books include The Good University; Gênero em termos reais; and Gender in World Perspective (with Rebecca Pearse). Her work has been translated into nineteen languages. Raewyn has been active in the labour movement, the peace movement, and work for gender equality. Details at www.raewynconnell.net and Twitter @raewynconnell.


Associate Professor Angela Dwyer

Dr Angela Dwyer is an Associate Professor in Police Studies and Emergency Management, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, and the Deputy Director of the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies. Angela conducts research on the intersection between sexuality, gender diversity, and criminal justice and is lead editor of Queering Criminology, edited with Matthew Ball and Thomas Crofts, and published with Palgrave.

Dr J.R. Latham

Dr J.R. Latham is Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Deakin University, and Honorary Fellow in Cultural Studies at The University of Melbourne, Australia. His expertise combines critical concepts of ‘drugs’, ageing and narrative with bioethics, queer theory, and science and technology studies (STS) via a focus on gender, sexuality and medicine.


Amao Leota Lu

Amao Leota Lu is a proud Samoan fa'afafine and trans woman of color. She is an international speaker, performing artist, writer, activist and storyteller who infuses the intersectionality of gender, culture and life experiences in her performance works and talks.


Ms Michelle McNamara

Michelle is an out and proud transgender woman living on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people which were never ceded. Michelle teaches a postgraduate biotechnology course at the University of Melbourne and is also active in diversity and inclusion at the university. Michelle chairs the School of Biosciences Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Comittee, is a member of the Faculty of Science Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is staff co-representative on the Pride in Action Network Committee. Outside of the university, Michelle is a committee member of Queers in Science, Transgender Victoria and the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council. She is Transgender Victoria representative on the LGBTI Police Reference Group and the City of Banyule LGBTIQ+ Reference panel. Michelle was one of 10 LGBTI elders featured in the full length documentary "The Coming Back Out Ball Movie" which was the closing movie of the 2018 Melbourne International Film Festival and was nationally released in December last year. Michelle is a committed Buddhist and is a contributor to the groundbreaking anthology "Transcending: Trans Buddhist Voices" which will be published in October this year by North Atlantic books. She is also an ambassador for the This Girl Can Vic campaign run by Vic Health to promote women's involvement in physical exercise.


Associate Professor Sandy O’Sullivan

Associate Professor Sandy O'Sullivan is a Wiradjuri (Aboriginal) academic, researcher and creative practitioner in the School of Creative Industries, USC. Their research and teaching include queer studies, art and design, built environment, music, performance, and cultural representation, with a particular focus on First Nations’ agency and aspiration. Sandy was the inaugural director of the Centre for Collaborative First Nations’ Research and across that role completed an ARC funded review of 470 national and international museums that examined their capacity to engage and represent First Nations’ Peoples; continues to work across the museums, curatorial and interpretation space. Sandy is the recipient of multiple national competitive ARC and OLT grants and awards and has given keynotes nationally and internationally.

Date and Time

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University of Melbourne

PAR-Sidney Myer Asia Ctr-B02 (Carrillo Gantner Theatre)

Parkville, VIC 3010

Australia

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