Check out some of our most common questions below. Have a different question? Submit it through the form at the bottom and we’ll get back to you.

Our duty of care

In certain circumstances, if your communication with us raises safety concerns we will try to contact you to check that you and/or others are safe. If necessary, we may need to pass on your contact information (if you have supplied it) to authorities who can help protect you and/or others, such as a crisis service or the police. Where possible we will always work with you openly, letting you know if our concerns reach the point where we need to involve other services.

We are obliged to try to protect you and/or others if the information you submit tells us that:

  • you are being seriously hurt by someone else
  • you are thinking of seriously harming yourself
  • someone else is being, is likely to be, seriously hurt by you or another person

We are absolutely committed to protecting your information and the conversations you have on our platform.  Our website and our chat system are designed to be robust and only operate on https:// secure pages.

Further, our website and chat platform are hosted in world-class Australian data centres in Melbourne and Sydney.  For more information, we use ME1 and SY3 at Equinix.

If you’re using a credit card on our site, you can be assured that we do not store credit card data on any StartOut system.  Depending on your choice, your credit card data is sent directly to NAB, Stripe or Paypal.

Your account on startout.org.au lets you setup your profile, share stories and access content that we target for you. It also is the starting point for connecting you with a role model.  Some of the details we ask for in your account are so that our system works (like notifications) and others are to help us connect you with the correct role models.  Some of the information we ask for is NOT disclosed to anyone else.

Information Mandatory Used by StartOut Shared with Role Model
Full Name X
Preferred Name X X X
Mobile Number X X
Email Address X X
Age X X X
Post code X X
How would you describe your gender? X X
How would you describe your sexuality? X X
What sort of challenges do you think you’d like to work through with your StartOut role model? X X X
How would you describe your personality? X X
Are there role models on our site you think are the kind of people you want to talk to?  Who/Why? X

A StartOut Role Model is a mentor, or more simply, someone who has been through many of the things you might be going through and can be there to support you.  Once you’re connected with your role model, they are there to chat to, guide you through challenging periods and be someone you can trust to talk confidentially to about your sexuality, gender or other challenges.

Their role isn’t to do things for you, nor are they going to have all the answers but your role model is someone who is in your corner and ready to support you.

We thought you’d never ask!  Head back to the home page and click Request a Role Model – we’ll get the process in motion for you.

No. You can expect your role model to be available to you a few hours a month, either at times you’ve agreed or by messaging them.

Unfortunately our volunteers are not available 24/7 – many have other commitments that mean they can’t always respond immediately.  If you need to talk to someone urgently, we recommend someone like Lifeline or Kids Helpline.

Generally speaking, a role model and their mentee will establish the boundaries of their mentoring relationship early on. There are however a few basic limitations that you should know upfront:

  • StartOut role models are not crisis counsellors, psychologist, social workers or psychiatrists.  They can not provide you with clinical advice.
  • StartOut role models can not discuss issues of a direct sexual nature with you.  They can talk to you about sexuality, sexual health and a range of related topics and will let you know if your question is outside what they can talk to you about.  We will have a range of resources that we can refer you to where a role model isn’t able to help.
  • StartOut role models are not able to meet with you face to face.  Our program is 100% to protect you and our role models.
  • StartOut role models are absolutely awesome but they’re not experts in everything.  They will help you to find answers, have access to a range of resources and are keen to learn with you.

You will also agree when you can be available to each other.  Your StartOut role model is not on call 24/7 and may have commitments that make them difficult to contact at random times.  You should talk about this up front.

Absolutely!  We want StartOut to be a community of people who share their stories, journeys and insights, good and bad!  We are stronger when we are together and StartOut creates a place where you can learn, share, connect and reach your potential!

Have a Different Question?

Send us your question below and we’ll get back to you.