In 2003, Alex MacFarlane quietly became the first person in the country to obtain a passport with neither an M or an F in the sex field. Almost 50 at the time, they had spent much of their adult life pushing to obtain an X there instead, demarcating indeterminate, intersex, and/or unspecified.

Ten years later, in a move that Professor Gillian Triggs called "profoundly significant", the federal government introduced the "Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender", a publication that built on progress made in the decade prior and mandated that all federal institutions comply with standards of terminology, privacy, and care.