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Guideline: Gender inclusive language


To provide guidance on the collection and use of gender inclusive language in communications and data collection.


  1. The University is inclusive, open and respectful, reflecting the diversity of our nation. It is important to ensure that all people in the University community are treated in a dignified and non-discriminatory manner regardless of their sex or gender.
  2. Communications and data collection are conducted in a manner that is inclusive of sex and gender diversity, and guided by the following:
  • All communications from the University use gender inclusive language.
  • Forms or surveys used by the University only collect sex or gender data where it is demonstrably relevant to the provision of University services or otherwise necessary for research or other purposes.
  • In all cases where sex or gender data is collected, the University provides an inclusive option in addition to ‘male’ and ‘female’. Further information on the collection of gender data is available through the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender.
  • From time to time, the University is required to collect sex or gender data as part of a survey or form distributed by a third party and failure to do so can result in a penalty. Where sex or gender data is collected in these instances, the University collects it in an inclusive manner (see point above), or where this is not possible, makes reasonable efforts to do so.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Gender inclusive language
Document Type Guideline
Document Number ANUP_000744
Purpose To enable students, staff and associates of the University to treat each other with respect and dignity regardless of their gender identity through the use of gender inclusive language practices.
Audience Staff, Students
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Equity & Diversity - Equity
Effective Date 24 Aug 2020
Next Review Date 31 Mar 2025
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief People Officer
Contact Area People and Culture Division
Authority: Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Discrimination Act 1991
Delegations 0

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.