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Melissa Griffiths

Successfully completed the Victorian Government’s first ever LGBTI Leadership Program in 2018.
Transgender Authority and Diversity & Inclusion consultant
I have had several years experience living as a transgender person as well as writing in the media and on social media on various topics including bullying, harassment, gender identity and transgender issues. I have also had experience as media commentator for radio and TV including been on Studio 10 in 2017.
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I am a transgender authority and advocate who lives in Melbourne. I am a consultant to businesses about how to deal with a transgender people transitioning in their workplace and also on diversity and inclusion.

I have managed to get a gender identity policy introduced at Brisbane Racing Club, Melbourne Racing Club and Victoria Racing Club.

I am a highly sought after inspirational/keynote speaker and mistress of ceremonies for events and conferences. She recently spoke at RMIT for International Women’s Day and last year was a keynote speaker at the National Employment Solutions Conference. I speak on a wide variety of subject matter/topics including but not limited to:

• Advocacy
• Bullying, harassment, intimidation and sexual harassment
• Diversity and Inclusion
• Leadership
• Networking
• Gender Identity and Organisational Gender Diversity
• Transgender from all angles.

I am also a media commentator who has raised a lot of awareness around how to make the workplace more inclusive for transgender people. I have also talked about about bullying and harassment through the media by writing an article for The Guardian Newspaper.

I also have done considerable study around hormones and mental health in relation to transgender people.

Reading, writing, walking, speaking, acting, sports, horse racing, mental health.
I was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand where I lived till I was 29 years old. I moved to Australia in 1999 and I transitioned from male to female in 2015. I always knew from a young age that I was different to the other boys always wanting to play with the girls rather than boys.

As a teenager I began dressing as woman though tried to bury this as a young adult and it wasn’t till my late 20’s and more so when I moved to Melbourne that I started to live part time as a woman.

It wasn’t till seeing my dad and cousin dying that helped me make the decision to transition later in life. During the early stage of my transition in 2015 I had a lot of interesting questions from people which were quite challenging to answer. I also suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. Whilst overcoming this and starting to live full time as a woman I managed to get a gender identity policy introduced at Victoria Racing Club where I am a member.

I began raising awareness back in 2017 on gender identity after managing to succeed in getting gender identity policy introduced at other race clubs. I did this by raising awareness about gender identity and how to make the workplace more inclusive for transgender people through social media and media. I spoke on radio in Florida, USA about sexuality and gender identity and last year on NOVA entertainment as part of podcast. I also shared did a blog post in Scout Jobs for how to make the workplace more inclusive for transgender people.

I have impacted the community over the last 2 to 3 years as being a role model for other transgender people and mentoring people in her community that are transitioning. I also successfully completed the Victorian Governments’s 1st LGBTI Leadership Program last where I further developed my leadership skills. This program assisted her in what I doe in the broader community by giving me the skills to be more confident in being a voice for the LGBTIQ+ community.

I recently spoke at RMIT for International Women’s Day on Organisational Gender Diversity Policy and in 2018 at Vic Roads in Bendigo sharing my story and journey of transitioning. By doing this I am educating the broader community what is like to be transgender on a day to day basis. The impact this has upon the LGBTIQ+ community it is making it easier for transgender people to be accepted by society.

I have also been featured in the Guardian recently about mine and other transgender people’s experiences of been bullied or harassed or assaulted. By doing this I am highlighting the issues that transgender people often face but sadly not often talked about in the media. It also makes people and employers more aware that LGBTIQ+ people do a voice which can be heard. The outcome of this is that society will acknowledge and respect the LGBTIQ+ community more. This is because they will we realise the challenges we face and that we deserve to be treated better.

I have also starting to influence society by being on the steering committee of NOW Australia which aims to end bullying and harassment in the workplace. By being on the steering committee I am able to ensure that part of NOW Australia’s focus will be also include assisting the LGBTIQ+ community as well. This will ensure in the future that LGBTIQ+ will face less issues around bullying and harassment in the workplace.

I was also an Ambassador for Flexible Working Day in 2018 and 2019 and in 2018 I shared my reasons in the HR Daily about why flexible workplaces are good for all of us and the economy. This shows that society is recognising that LGBTIQ+ people can be good role models for society when put in responsible positions. I am an influencer on LinkedIn where I am a Global Goodwill Ambassador and I quite often share stories/articles from around the world about transgender people or issues they are facing as well as writing articles myself.

In the local community I have also spoken at Brace Education and Youth Projects in Melbourne recently where I shared her journey. I also answered a lot of questions from students around gender identity, my impact in the community thus far and to lesser extent around sexuality. This is opening doors at the ground level in society for LGBTIQ+ people by being very open about the challenges I have faced in her journey thus far.

I aim to be a person of influence who is tireless in my efforts to make it easier for the transgender community to be accepted by society. I also continue to endeavour to work to erase any negative comments or influences that people may have about LGBTIQ+ community.