Academic journal article Queensland Review

Gina Mather

Academic journal article Queensland Review

Gina Mather

Article excerpt

Gina Mather has been the president of the Australian Transgender Support Association (ATSA) for over 15 years. Her vociferous activism for social justice and equality has its roots in her work with Queensland Rail, which she joined in 1967. Gina quickly became entrenched in the union movement and soon afterwards became the secretary of the Australian Railways Union. During her time with the railways, Gina spent a considerable period of time in regional parts of Queensland, advocating for workers' rights. While her activities earned her the ire of the authorities--the police tapped her phone and the then premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, threatened to remove her as secretary of the union--she persevered undeterred.

Gina 'came out' while living in Rockhampton in 1987 after watching a current affairs program featuring a transgender airline pilot. 'Of course there were no gays or lesbians in Rockhampton at that time.' she recalls ironically. In those early days, it was very difficult to see a psychiatrist and no one readily discussed, or knew much about, Gender Identity Disorder (GID).

Gina came to her current position at ATSA in 1992 and was also instrumental in forming the Brisbane Gender Clinic, which was established in December 1994. …

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