Support for rainbow students

Learn about one-to-one support, peer-support groups, gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy, and mental health services available for rainbow students.

One-on-one support

Sterling Jones (they/them) is the university’s Kaiārahi Kahukura—Rainbow and Inclusion Adviser. They are here to offer guidance to rainbow students while on their journey at university, including students who are questioning their gender or sexuality or who don’t like using labels.

Sterling is your first point of contact for advice. They can help students with issues like:

  • questions about gender and sexuality
  • family, culture, faith, and being queer
  • connecting with the community
  • legal and preferred name changes
  • finding rainbow-friendly supports in the community.

Conversations with Sterling are private and confidential. Email them at rainbow@vuw.ac.nz to make an appointment or visit them during one of their drop-in times.

Directions to Sterling's office, SU201

Kaiārahi Kahukura—Rainbow and Inclusion Adviser

Sterling is an Italian-born Kiwi who grew up in Tāmaki Makaurau. They identify as queer and non-binary, and are part of the neurodiverse community. Sterling has a degree in psychology from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and has worked in mental health and peer support roles. In their free time, Sterling can be found re-watching Star Trek, playing board games, or reading a good book.

Rainbow peer group

Our rainbow leaders in rainbow Te Herenga Waka t-shirts

Join us every Thursday at noon during teaching weeks in the Rainbow Room. We’re a social group for rainbow-identifying or questioning students, including people who don’t like using labels. Each week there’s a fresh activity or discussion topic to spark connections and foster a supportive community. The group is led by our rainbow student leaders Nick (they/them) and Monqtuya (they/them).

How to find the Rainbow Room

Gender-affirming care and counselling

We are proud to offer gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy in-house at Mauri Ora—Student Health and Counselling. Students can also access mental health support from our rainbow counsellors. Click here to find out more on the Mauri Ora website

Four brightly dressed members of the Mauri Ora gender-affirming team
The gender-affirming team at Mauri Ora includes (left to right) Bianca Sepulveda RN (she/her), Dr Rona Carroll (she/her), and our gender-affirming counsellors Mary Allan (she/her) and Anny da Silva Freitas (they/them).