What Makes You..?

The Australian LGBT Happiness Survey

For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Australian Adults


The Participant Information Statement below is also available in an alternative format [PDF 147KB]

What Makes You..? is a national project that explores the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults and other sexually and gender diverse people in Australia. The survey seeks to understand what makes LGBT people happy, fulfilled, resilient and strong, as well as understand the challenges and obstacles that prevent happiness. It explores feelings about identity, coming out, helping behaviours like volunteering, family and friend relationships and many other things. It is conducted by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University.

What Makes You..? is the first Australian study to focus on the positive aspects of being LGBT.

Who can take part?

You are invited to complete the survey if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, same-sex attracted, or have another non-heterosexual identity. You are also invited to complete the survey if you are transgender, transsexual or gender diverse. This survey is only for LGBT people who are aged 18 years or older and who are living in Australia.

How long does it take?

The survey should take around 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

Why complete the survey?

Completing this survey will give you an opportunity to provide important information that helps researchers, health professionals, governments and other policymakers to better understand the unique strengths and positive experiences of LGBT Australians, as well as the challenges and obstacles they face.

Is it confidential?

All answers you give will be kept confidential. Nobody apart from the researchers involved in this project will see your answers. Completing this survey is also voluntary and anonymous; you will not be asked for your name or address. No information about your computer will be collected (e.g., in the form of cookies) nor will the researchers have access to your IP address.

What does the survey cover?

The survey first asks some general background questions about you, such as your age and education. It then follows with a number of sections that asks questions about your sexual orientation and your gender identity, your mental health and personal well-being, your feelings about your-self and your life, and some different activities you may do.

How will my survey information be used?

Data from the survey will help guide the development of government and community services that provide support to LGBT Australian adults. Your input therefore has the potential to influence how all kinds of service providers interact, assist and support LGBT people.

Some of this research will be reported in a PhD thesis, presented at conferences, published in journals and in research reports. All findings will be presented in a de-identified way. All data from this survey will be kept by La Trobe University for a minimum of 5 years. If follow up surveys are conducted, the data will be retained for longer for future use by researchers.

Will my identity be known to anyone if I participate?

No. You will remain anonymous. No identifying information will be collected. The survey has been set up at a secure website address provided by our net space provider. No staff at either the provider site or at ARCSHS will have access to your IP address.

At the start of the survey, we ask for your month/year of birth and your initials. It will not be possible to identify you based on this information, and you do not have to provide this information. However, this survey may happen again in the future, so if you choose to complete the survey in future years, your month/year of birth and initials will help us to tell which surveys belong to the same person while at the same time ensuring you remain anonymous.

How do I exit if I decide to end the session but haven't reached the end of the survey?

Should you wish to end the survey before completion, simply close your browser window. You may exit the survey at any time. Partially completed responses will not be recorded, so unless you completed the survey by clicking "Submit Answers", your responses will not be recorded or used.

Will I be able to withdraw my consent or access the information I give about myself after submitting my survey responses?

If you would like to withdraw your consent or access the information you give about yourself after you have submitted your survey responses, you must get in touch with the researchers within four weeks of completing the survey (see contact details below). The researchers will only be able to locate your survey responses if you have provided your initials and month/year of birth.

How can I obtain information about the survey results once they are completed?

The availability of any publications or presentations that result from this research will be advertised on the ARCSHS website in the future at www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs. So stay tuned! A summary report will also be posted on the ARCSHS website, following the completion of the study in 2017. You can also contact the researchers if you would like copies of any reports and publications (see contact details below).

Will there be a follow up survey?

We hope to conduct this survey again in the future. By participating in future surveys, you will help us keep track of the changing challenges and positive aspects of being LGBT in Australia. Of course, you do not have to participate in follow up surveys, but if you would like to be notified when future surveys are available, you have the option of providing your email address at the end of this survey.

Who is conducting this survey?

What Makes You..? is being conducted by Emily Bariola, PhD Candidate at La Trobe University. Emily is being supervised by Dr. Anthony Lyons and Professor Jayne Lucke of La Trobe University and they are both Investigators on this project. Some of the findings of this study will form part of Emily's PhD thesis.

There are questions in the survey that ask about sensitive and personal matters, including some mental health related questions. If you are uncomfortable about answering any question, simply move on to the next one. Skipping a question in the survey will not make your other answers less useful. If completing this survey brings up experiences that have been distressing or leads to further questions about the topics covered, we have provided some phone numbers below that you may use to contact people to discuss these.

What can I do if the survey raises any concerns?

If you have any questions about this survey, you can contact Emily Bariola, Anthony Lyons or Jayne Lucke at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University:

Ms Emily Bariola:Email: e.bariola@latrobe.edu.au; Phone: 03 9479 8743

Dr Anthony Lyons: Email: a.lyons@latrobe.edu.au; Phone: 03 9479 8719

Professor Jayne Lucke: Email: j.lucke@latrobe.edu.au; Phone: 03 9479 8813

If you have any complaints or concerns about your participation in the study that the researchers have not been able to answer to your satisfaction, you may contact the Senior Human Ethics Officer, Ethics and Integrity, Research Office, La Trobe University, Victoria, 3086 (P: 03 9479 1443, E: humanethics@latrobe.edu.au). Please quote the application reference number: S15/205.

If completing this survey brings up experiences that have been distressing or leads to further questions about the topics covered, you can also try discussing your concerns by contacting any of the following organisations:

National Services: QLife - Australia's national counselling and referral service for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex ( www.qlife.org.au) - 1800 184 527

Lifeline (www.lifeline.org.au) - 13 11 14

BeyondBlue (www.beyondblue.org.au) - 1300 22 4636

ACT: Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW (Available to people in the ACT) (www.glcsnsw.org.au) - 02 8594 9555 or 1800 184 527

NSW: Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW (www.glcsnsw.org.au) - 02 8594 9555 or 1800 184 527

NT: Northern Territory AIDS & Hepatitis Council (www.ntahc.org.au) - 08 8944 7777

QLD: Gay & Lesbian Welfare Association (www.glwa.org.au) - 1800 184 527

SA: Bfriend (www.sacommunity.org/org/202240-Bfriend ) - 08 8202 5190

Tas: Gay & Lesbian Switchboard (www.switchboard.org.au) - 1800 184 527

Vic: Gay & Lesbian Switchboard (www.switchboard.org.au) - 03 9663 2939 or 1800 184 527

WA: Living Proud LGBTI Community Services of WA (www.livingproud.org.au) - 08 9420 7201 or 1800 184 527