History / Herstory / Themstory
I started affirming my gender 30 years ago in Brisbane QLD.
I helped start the ATSAQ (Australian Transgender Support Association of QLD) and was involved as their secretary for the first couple of years. I also trained wIth QUAC (Queensland Aids Council) and the GLCS (Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service) as a crisis telephone counsellor.
In '96 I volunteered with the Aids Council of NSW (ACON) and their Community Support Network (CSN) becoming a volunteer then later trained as a trainer and group facilitator. I also did cooking, shopping, cleaning and supporting people living with HIV/AIDS.
In '97 I came to Canberra and volunteered with the Aids Action Council (AAC) and again did volunteer work, training and facilitator training. In '99 I was back in Sydney and trained with LifeLine updating my counselling skills to include suicide prevention and alcohol and drug knowledge. I was a crisis telephone counsellor with the Gender Centre in Sydney for a couple of years.
About 11 years ago I became involved with A Gender Agenda (AGA) in the ACT and did their community dinners for 18 months or so and helping with christmas meals. I became part of the management committee for a couple of years and my interests are in business improvement, business transformation, education, counselling and support. I facilitated community drop in for AGA on a Wednesday for around 18 months.
My other management committee / board work has been in queer and straight organisations QRadio, Qwire, SpringOut and 2XXFM Radio. I have been convenor and co-convenor on the queer women's radio show Friday Night Lip Service (FNLS) on three occasions.
I am very visible and out within both the queer and straight worlds I inhabit, being on YouTube as TranzAustralia, Facebook as Tranz Australia, 8th highest hits on Google when you search for Jenni Atkinson (my Canberra Times articles etc), being on the SBS Insight Transgender youth show and on the queer women's radio show Friday Night Lip Service as a trans* presenter here in Canberra.
A few years back we started rolling out Trans* 101 Gender Diversity and Transgender (GDT) Education for business, government, community organisations, schools, clubs and anyone else who would like to know more about the wonderful world of GDT people.
This education includes doing speaking engagements for government and businesses and in 2016 being asked to do a TEDx talk.
In 2019, I was a finalist in the Lifeline Women of Spirit awards in the ACT.
I am now an established speaker on GDT themes and human rights and most recently spoke to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) on the subject of intersectionality.
Around five years ago, I and some collective colleagues started the free TranzAustralia collective makeover service, TranzAustralia Makeovers, bringing education and a new look to those people of all gender presentations who might want it.
I also offer support, someone to chat to, hang out with and help for GDT folks here in Canberra and more widely (free of course).
I identify as being on a spectrum of gender and ace (asexual) sexuality and I am here to strive for our right to be ourselves and to be able to live without fear and discrimination and to serve and help you, lovely GDT people of all colours and flavours.