University of Melbourne advertises for 'gender affirmation' advisor'
7th November 2021

University of Melbourne advertises for new $110k ‘gender affirmation’ advisor role to help transgender students and teachers – after axing 450 jobs during the pandemic

  • University of Melbourne has advertised for a ‘gender affirmation’ senior advisor
  • The newly created job promising a six figure salary has sparked online backlash
  • Comes a year after the university axed 450 positions due to Covid-19 pandemic

One of Australia’s leading universities has advertised a new plum role with a six figure salary, just a year after it axed hundreds of jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

University of Melbourne is on the hunt for a ‘gender affirmation’ senior advisor, sparking a public backlash online. 

The role involves helping staff and students develop and implement their gender affirmation plan to ensure they have a safe and positive experience on campus. 

University of Melbourne has caused an uproar online after advertising a new role for a ‘gender affirmation’ senior advisor earning a six figure salary (stock image)

‘You will play a key role in liaising with university services and programs to ensure systems, processes and other elements are in place to support the implementation of an individual’s gender affirmation plan, and will seek to influence change or improvements as needed,’ the job description states.

The 12-month position also involves responding to reports made by transgender staff and students regarding discrimination, bullying, harassment and other ‘threatening or concerning behaviours.’

Applicants must demonstrate experience in supporting transgender and gender diverse individuals.

The institution also describes itself as ‘Australia’s number one university, consistently ranked amongst the leading universities in the world.’

Online reaction to the advertised position has been divided, where some critics described it as ‘insane’ after the university axed 450 jobs last year. 

‘Ripping off the young adults with high tuitions so you can pay a secretary 110k to talk about gender,’ one tweeted.

Another added: ‘Companies need to stop hiring people from these woke institutions, and new proper academic institutions need to be built. Places that aren’t captured by the woke, and the perpetually offended.’

Others jumped to the university’s defence.

‘Sounds like students are going to get support for their gender identities, awesome,’ one person commented. 

Another added: ‘ Why the moral panic and condescension? This is just a support officer for transgender students. I imagine that not many counsellors have a great deal of experience in dealing with such issues, so hence it’s a specialisation.’

University of Melbourne (pictured) describes itself in the job description as Australia’s number one university,

Online reaction  (pictured) to the advertised position has been divided

Some described the position as ‘the easiest job ever. 

‘I mean seriously, I’d love to just observe what they do minute-to-minute on the job, affirming people’s gender identities,’ one man commented.

 University of Melbourne defended the new role when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.

‘The university has a positive duty to prevent discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of gender identity,’ a spokeswoman said.

‘This role is a contact point for people seeking support in affirming their gender, helping them with this process and connecting them with relevant services, including psychological and medical where required, inside and outside the university.’

The university axed 450 positions in August 2020 as the institution grappled with a $1billion revenue shortfall as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.  

‘Staff were asked to vote on a proposal to forgo a 2.2 per cent pay increase, payable from 1 May,’ a university spokesperson said at the time.

‘Staff rejected the proposal, which the University estimates would have saved around 200 jobs.’

Online critics described the newly created role as insane, madness and excessive

Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell added job losses were necessary to cut down on expenditure after the pandemic stopped thousands of international students from heading to Australia to study.

‘The university is facing a loss of revenue of nearly $1 billion over the next three years. Our current rate of expenditure is not sustainable,’ he said.

In its 2019 annual report, the university said it had $4.43 billion in reserves.

The job was advertised (pictured)  a year after University of Melbourne axed 450 positions

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