Trans rights legend Martine Delaney honoured for community work

martine delaney transgender tasmania advocate honour roll
Photo: Martine Delaney with Speaker of the House of Assembly Sue Hickey

Longtime Tasmanian transgender rights advocate Martine Delaney has been inducted into her state’s Honour Roll of Women.

The award goes to those for “outstanding accomplishments and contribution” to the state. The 63-year-old (pictured above left) is the first trans woman to receive the honour.

For many years in Tasmania, Delaney has advocated for trans equality and social acceptance of trans women, and also LGBTIQ people more broadly.

Delaney was instrumental in the state’s world-leading birth certificate reforms benefiting transgender and non-binary Tasmanians.

She told ABC News she started campaigning on that issue in 2004. The Tasmanian Parliament passed the laws in 2019.

“Fifteen years later, my campaign ended [with] the legislation being passed through both houses of parliament,” she said.

“Tasmania has possibly the world’s most progressive and inclusive birth certificate legislation.

“You’re not going to find anything better anywhere else on the planet.”

Tasmania was the last state in Australia to decriminalise homosexuality, in 1997. However transphobic laws outlawing “cross-dressing” stayed on the books even longer.

“In 1999, a trans woman was arrested in Hobart for being in female attire after dark because that was still illegal,” Delaney said.

“It was still a criminal offence in Tasmania up until 2000.

“We’ve come a hell of a long way in those 20 years. It’s nice to know that I played a part in that.”

Advocate Martine Delaney praised for ‘persistence, courage and success’

Martine Delaney has worked with state health and education departments on LGBTIQ inclusion policies.

She is a longtime member of the Tasmania Police LGBT reference group and also worked on trans-inclusive sports policies.

Tasmanian Matty Wright nominated Delaney for the Honour Roll, and said few realised how much she had contributed.

“I was blown away by how much she has done, how resilient she has been, and also how successful,” Wright said.

“All LGBTIQ+ people and all Tasmanians owe her a debt of gratitude.

“Martine’s induction will send a message to trans people and the broader LGBTIQ+ community that we are a valued part of Tasmanian society.”

Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome said Martine Delaney’s “persistence, courage, skill and success as an advocate” is an inspiration to LGBTIQ+ Australians.

“Martine’s induction recognises her profound impact [in] improving the lives of LGBTIQ+ people and making Tasmania a better place,” Croome said.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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