A message of inclusiveness and diversity

La Trobe University is a thought-leader when it comes to research into gender diversity, sexuality and inclusiveness, and next week’s Pride Week puts some of these ideas into action through a jam-packed program that aims to increase support and visibility for our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) students.


Pride Flag in the windThe event, which is unique to La Trobe and is now in its third year, is proudly presented by La Trobe University Counselling Services Queer Programs, in conjunction with the Student Union Queer Department and the Equity and Diversity ALLY Program.

‘Pride Week evolved out of the Counselling Service Queer Programs meeting a need for vulnerable queer students who wanted to connect and feel a sense of community,’ says Devorah Wynn, Queer Counsellor at La Trobe University.

‘We felt we had to think creatively to showcase ways that La Trobe University models and supports diversity in all its forms, especially for our rural and international students. Pride Week was born out of these aims.’

JOY94.9 will be broadcasting live from the Agora at La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus in Bundoora on Tuesday 26 March. Festival events will include an Indigenous Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy, radio conversations with queer students, live music and circus performances.

As well as the entertainment and fun promised by Pride Week, the event will also play host to two key events that focus on important issues surrounding homosexuality, diversity and non-traditional families.

One is Big FAT (Queer) Ideas, to be held on Tuesday 26 March, where La Trobe academics including Professor Dennis Altman will challenge local and global audiences to think differently about issues relating to sexuality.

The second event is the launch of new ‘Guidelines for healthcare providers working with same-sex parented families’, which will take place concurrently at The Bouverie Centre in Brunswick.

‘The Bouverie Centre and the Australian Research Centre for Sexuality, Health and Society are two parts of La Trobe University that conduct trailblazing research,’ says Ms Wynn.

‘The research findings speak to the importance of the health and wellbeing of all members of the GLBTIQ community, young and old.’

‘Through Pride Week, the Counselling Service supports that research by putting the ideas into practice,’ says Ms Wynn.

Current staff member and previously international student at La Trobe, Chukwudi Ogoh, says that Pride Week shows that La Trobe embraces its diverse community.

‘Pride Week was important to me as an international student dealing with my sexuality,’ says Mr Ogoh. ‘It was an opportunity to express myself openly and connect with other GLBTIQ students – I felt I could be myself.’

‘As a student, I volunteered at Pride Week. I was at first afraid of the world seeing me as gay, but I soon found out my fears were unfounded. Pride Week has been a very positive experience over the last two years, and I look forward to being interviewed by JOY94.9 during this year’s event.’

Mr Ogoh is also a member of the ALLY Network – ALLY Network members support GLBTIQ students and staff at La Trobe University.

Although the three days will have a Queer focus, all La Trobe students and staff are encouraged to take part and enjoy the festivities.

ENDS

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY

What? Pride Week
When? Tuesday 26 March – Thursday 27 March 2013
Where? La Trobe University, Kingsbury Drive, Bundoora

Media contact:

Joanne Barlow
Director, Counselling Services
T +61 3 9479 2956 | E j.barlow@latrobe.edu.au

Devorah Wynn
Queer Counsellor
T +61 3 9479 2956 | E counselling@latrobe.edu.au

Suzi Macbeth
Communications Officer
T +61 3 9479 5353 | E s.macbeth@latrobe.edu.au

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