Supporting LGBTQI Inclusivity

The Association is committed to supporting a Bar that reflects and is inclusive of the diverse composition of Australia’s society, which includes people from the LGBTQI communities. The Association’s LGBTQI Principles on Inclusiveness (the Principles) have been developed for the benefit of the Association’s members and their Chambers/Floors.

To attract the best candidates and retain the best talent at the Bar, diversity should be celebrated and all barristers, Chambers/Floors and the Association should be committed to engaging in respectful conduct toward all those with whom we deal.

It is clear that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) people in Australia continue to experience discrimination, harassment and hostility, including at work.

A recent national inquiry conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission concluded that workers who may be more likely to experience sexual harassment in the workplace include LGBTQI individuals. A 2016 report by PwC concluded that most people (53%) had seen or heard homophobia (including jokes, harassment and discrimination) within the workplace in the previous year. Concerningly, a 2016 survey of LGBT+ English and Welsh barristers found that over half of the respondents had experienced discrimination and a third had been bullied or harassed on account of their sexuality.

Discrimination can have significant adverse effects on an individual’s personal and professional development. A 2021 report by LGBTIQA+ Health Australia indicated that a disproportionate number of LGBTQI individuals experienced poorer mental health outcomes and had a higher risk of suicidal behaviours than their peers. These health outcomes were directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse on the basis of being LGBTQI.

As such, it is important to implement measures to promote respect and inclusion of LGBTQI people at the NSW Bar and to send a message that unlawful discrimination and harassment on the basis of a person being from the LGBTQI community have no place at the Bar.

At their core, the Principles seek to:

  • ensure that everyone is treated equally under the law;
  • build inclusive and safe workplaces; and
  • improve and support diversity at the Bar, and assist Chambers/Floors to attract and retain the best candidates.

The current obligations under State and federal law applicable to Chambers/Floors and barristers include:

  • the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), which prohibits discrimination in workplaces, education and in the provision of goods and services;
  • the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) which makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, family responsibilities or relationship status; and
  • the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), under which it is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

The Principles promote respect and assist barristers and their Chambers/Floors to work effectively and respectfully with LGBTQI colleagues, clients and litigants.

A workplace which is free of discrimination attracts talent, gets the best out of existing workers and provides the best client outcomes. For Chambers/Floors, adopting the Principles or an equivalent policy offers a mark of distinction and source of competitive advantage. 

Chambers/Floors may also wish to contact Pride in Diversity, which is Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit training support program for all aspects of LGBTQI workplace inclusion, including for major law firms. The New South Wales Bar Association became a member of Pride in Diversity on 1 June 2016. Please contact the Association (Policy and Law Reform team at if you or your Chambers/Floor would like access to additional membership resources.

LGBTQI Resources

Services and Supports


NSW based community organisation with a focus on community health, inclusion and HIV responses for people of diverse sexualities and genders.

Beyond Blue

Mental health organisation focused on supporting people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide. Their free telephone and online counselling service is open 24/7 for everyone in Australia.

Black Rainbow

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Sistergirl & Brotherboy (LGBQTI+SB) organisation in the pursuit of positive health and wellbeing for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI+SB people.


24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services, including online chat services.

Out for Australia

Champions authenticity in the workplace, empowering Australia’s LGBTIQA+ students and young professionals to thrive.


QLife provides Australia-wide anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.

The Gender Centre Inc

NSW multidisciplinary centre developing and providing a broad range of services and activities which enhance the ability of transgender, gender diverse and gender exploring to make informed choices.

Trans Pride Australia

Advocate for trans and gender diverse rights and community connection for trans and gender diverse people across Australia.