Chosen name, pronouns & gender

At VU, we recognise that some students and staff may choose to use a name that is different from their legal name.

Although legal verification requires you to use the name stated on your legal documentation, we can help make sure you are addressed by your chosen names and pronouns while studying and working at VU.

VU's initiative

The aim of the initiative is to enhance our student and staff experience by updating the following personal details across our online systems:

  • chosen first name
  • chosen last name
  • pronouns (she/her, he/him, they/them, ze/zir etc.)
  • affirmed gender (woman, man, trans man, trans woman, non-binary etc.).

It’s all about making sure the way you are addressed reflects who you truly are.

What is a chosen name?

A chosen, or preferred name, is different from your legal given name or family name. Often, you use a chosen name in all aspects of your life, including with friends, work colleagues and family.

There are many reasons why you may use a chosen or preferred name, including:

  • trans and gender diversity
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - stolen generation (e.g. rectifying adoption papers or incorrect birth certificate)
  • being from culturally and/or linguistically-diverse backgrounds
  • safety or privacy (e.g. family, or domestic violence)
  • professional reasons
  • nicknames or shortening long legal names.

How to change your details

Current students

  1. Login to your MyVU account.
  2. Navigate to your profile in the top right-hand corner.
  3. Click on “Personal Details”.
  4. Fill out the details you wish to change.
    • When changing your chosen first name, you must confirm this in the additional box.
    • When you update or change your chosen name, this will update your VU email address.
  5. Press “Save”.

To update your information on platforms linked to your MyVU account (including VU Collaborate, Microsoft 365 and Zoom), please log out and log back in. It may take up to 60 minutes for the updates to occur across these platforms.

New students

When you enrol, you will need to provide your legal details, including your legal name.

After you've enroled, you will be able to access the chosen name features via MyVU. Please follow the steps for current students.

We are working on giving new students access to chosen name details as they enrol.

Why these changes are important

Using someone's name and their correct pronouns is the easiest and simplest ways of showing them respect. Being addressed with the correct and affirming pronouns is an essential aspect of feeling seen, acknowledged, and validated.

When non-affirming names or language is used, people may feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, and unsafe. Routinely experiencing this can be exhausting and may result in individuals withdrawing from spaces where this occurs.

It may take a while to adjust to the new language someone uses to talk about themselves. However, using these words and celebrating these changes are excellent ways to show your care and respect for who they are.

Frequently asked question

If you have any other questions, visit our AskVU website.