In July 2021, the Victorian Government announced its commitment to developing an intersex protection system, including an oversight panel to ensure compliance with a prohibition on deferrable medical interventions modifying a person’s sex characteristics without personal consent.
Equality Australia was commissioned by the Victorian Government to provide legal policy advice on a proposal implementing this commitment, working in consultation with Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA), people with variations of sex characteristics and their families, and other key stakeholders including health professionals.
Public consultation on a draft legal proposal
In 2021, Equality Australia conducted a public consultation on a draft legal proposal for a Victorian intersex oversight scheme.
Our consultation heard from people with variations of sex characteristics, their parents and partners, clinicians and health professionals, and people with other legal or policy expertise. 102 people (including representatives on behalf of organisations) engaged with us through online workshops, private interviews and written submissions. 97 people also provided responses through our anonymous questionnaire.
Consultation documents and final report
To support the consultation, Equality Australia released two papers:
- Bodily Integrity, Physical Autonomy and Self-Determination, a background paper on the legal policy issues associated with protecting intersex people from medical interventions without personal consent
- A Victorian Intersex Oversight Scheme, a consultation paper with a draft legal proposal to protect intersex people from medical interventions without personal consent. We also provided consultation participants with a 2-page summary of the draft proposal.
The draft legal proposal in the consultation paper was the subject of extensive consultation, and was significantly amended as set out in the final report and recommendations made to the Victorian Government.
Following the consultation, Equality Australia produced two reports:
- ‘A Right to Be, Belong & Become‘, a listening report detailing what we heard in our consultations on a proposal for a Victorian intersex oversight panel
- Victorian Intersex Oversight Panel Proposal, our final report and recommendations to the Victorian Government.