On Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV), The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is celebrating the achievements, presence and community of transgender (trans) and gender-diverse people and highlighting the immediate need to address the health gaps they experience.
“Today, I would like to acknowledge the persistent contribution trans and gender-diverse people make to our society and especially those who are my colleagues in the nursing profession,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.
“It is unconscionable that this group continues to experience discrimination in accessing many of our areas of society such as health, education and sports. The flow on effect means trans and gender diverse people are more likely to experience much higher rates of violence, mental health problems and homelessness – just to name a few examples.
“These statistics are even more troubling for those in already marginalised groups, such as people of colour, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and young Australians. Our society must not tolerate discrimination based on gender or any other form.
Adjunct Professor Ward also highlighted how the nursing profession has a leading role to play in tackling the systemic issues trans and gender-diverse people experience.
“Nurses are the starting point for those looking to enter the health system, not just in hospitals but in all settings of care delivery across the community,” she said.
“We see first-hand the devastating health impacts of discrimination against trans and gender diverse people. Nurses are dedicated to advocating for the most vulnerable in our society and we know there is an urgent need for reform to address the disparities they face.
“As a profession, we are also continually learning and reflecting on how we can evolve to ensure the consumer experience with the health system is as positive as possible. In consultation with nurse leaders in the area, ACN developed Guiding Principles on Nursing Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion in 2021 to provide nurses with the tools and knowledge to establish culturally safe and inclusive work environments.
“ACN is firmly committed to leading a diverse and inclusive organisation that is dedicated to social impact and shaping the health of all Australians, and these principles are central to all areas of our organisation including staff, students, members and stakeholders.