What does it mean to be LGBTQIA+?

LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (plus) identities. It is a basic acronym to cover diverse gender identities and sexualities.

Youtuber Ashley Mardell’s videos has lots of information on diverse gender identities and sexualities:

Ashley Mardell has a number of videos on these topics that you can check out here and here.

If you have any questions, or need to talk to someone in a safe space about being LGBTQIA+, have a look at the following sites:

  • Reach Out LGBTIQ Support Services – check out this site if you’re not sure about your sex, sexuality or gender, you’ve been rejected or harassed, you feel alone or isolated, you (or someone you know) could do with talking to someone about sex, sexuality or gender.
  • QLife – discuss mental health, relationships, isolation, coming out and counselling on any other issues over the phone or online.
  • Out & Online – offers a list of places to contact for counselling and emergencies.

There is also the Safe School coalition, which “provides a range of resources to help school staff create safer and more inclusive environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families“. Click here to see if your school is a member (available in SA, WA, TAS and coming soon to VIC, NT & ACT).


I’m being bullied

Bullying is when one person (or a group of people) with more power than someone else repeatedly tries to upset or hurt them.

If you want more information on what bullying is, how it happens and why it happens, Bullying No Way! is a helpful website to check out. Click here to find out more.

If you are being bullied, there are lots of ways that you can find help. Most importantly, remember that you are not alone and you can talk to someone about what you are going through.

Talk to someone you trust. That could be a family member, friend, teacher or school counsellor. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, there are helplines you can call or email. The people you talk to on the helplines can offer you counselling.

If you would like to find a way to sort it out yourself, you can do that. It is still important to reach out to someone and talk about what you are going through, because remember, you are not alone. Here are a list of websites that have a number of things you can do:

  • Reach Out – what to do if you are being bullied, how to work it out yourself, ways to seek help and your lawful rights*.
  • Reach Out – also has a page that looks at different types of bullying and what to do about it (cyberbullying, bullying against LGBQTI, workplace bullying, conflict with friends, abuse and violence).
  • Bullying No Way! – what you can do at home, school, online and/or work.
  • National Centre Against Bullying – information on how to deal with bullies.
  • Stomp Out Bullying – this is an American website, so just look at the information, don’t call the contact numbers! It has a list of different types of bullying and what to do about it.

*Also refer to Your Rights for laws about bullying and how to seek legal advice.

Remember, you are not alone and you can always talk to someone about what you are going through.

Life after the HSC

Yes, believe it or not, there is life after the HSC! A lot of life!

And no, your ATAR does not determine what your life will be. Your marks do not define you.

In fact, there are many stories from people who didn’t get the ATAR score they wanted, who went on to do great things!

Read here about Sarah Henderson. She didn’t get the marks she wanted in the HSC, then she went on to be a mature age student at university and did well there. As Sarah said about her ATAR, “I didn’t get the marks for any course on offer, and yet I’m still standing. My world didn’t end. They didn’t come to take me away.” (Also check out The Mild Achievers: Five People From The Class Of 1995 Who Did Terribly In The HSC And Are Just Fine for more stories on people who had happy lives despite not getting the HSC marks they wanted).

As Sarah mentioned with being a mature age student, there are other ways to go to uni if you didn’t get the ATAR you needed for a course. Click here for a list of ways you can get into uni!

University isn’t the only path after the HSC either. No matter what marks you got, you are in control of your path. Take your time to decide what it is you want to do.


One idea could be to take a Gap Year! Get a job (tips on how to write a resume here), save some money, spend some money, go travelling, do what you want to do. This will be a great chance for you to figure out what you want, whether you want to continue studying at Tafe or university, maybe you want to take up an apprenticeship, or maybe you want to volunteer somewhere.

If you’re wondering if you should take a gap year and more tips on what you could do with your time, check out Youth Central.

So good luck, take your time and remember that there is life after the HSC!

If you have any further questions, or have information you’d like to add to this post, contact us through our contact form or email us at hsc4esl@gmail.com.

I’m feeling anxious/depressed

Anxiety and depression can take many different forms, and you can often feel alone with your feelings. But you are not alone, you can always talk to someone about how you’re feeling.

If you’re not sure if you have anxiety and/or depression, Beyond Blue provides a checklist you can fill out, available here. You can also book an appointment with your doctor and tell them how you are feeling, and they can direct you towards counselling or other strategies to help you.

Helpful websites to check out:

  • Beyond Blue – for information on depression and anxiety, different types of depression and anxiety, and how to get support. They also have a contact number/email/online forum that you can access.
  • Reach Out – for information on depression and anxiety and how to get help. They include a list of services to contact for help, which you can access here.
  • Headspace – for help with general mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. You can visit a Headspace centre for help, or call them, or have a discussion online.

Once again, remember that you are not alone and you can always talk to someone about how you’re feeling.