Pride week at La Trobe

Pride week at La Trobe

10 Aug 2011

The Rainbow Flag will be raised over La Trobe University for the first time in the spirit of promoting a healthy and supportive Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (GLBTIQ) community on campus and beyond during the inaugural Pride Week on 16, 17 and 18 of August.

Pride PosterThe three day festival will include a live broadcast by Joy FM, roving circus performers, sports demonstrations, BBQ and stalls by a number of Queer and Queer-friendly social and sporting organisations.

There will also be a free Queer movie in the Agora cinema at 5pm on Wednesday 17 August and the great nature vs. nurture debate at 12.30pm in the Agora on Thursday 18 August.

The events also aim to increase visibility for the community and further raise awareness of the counselling services already available for students and staff at the University says Queer Counsellor, Devorah Wynn.

‘Pride Week will also showcase the range of Queer Programs currently provided by our counselling services, including, Queer Counselling, Queer Chat group, and Queer Peers.

‘We developed the Queer Program in response to recent research from La Trobe’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) and Beyond Blue around the mental health of young people within the GLBTIQ community,’ says Devorah.

This research has concluded that 75 per cent of same-sex attracted young people have experienced some form of homophobic abuse and 80 percent of those incidents occur in schools and that 61 per cent of same sex attracted or gender questioning young people in Australia experience verbal homophobic abuse and 18 per cent experience physical homophobic abuse.

These programs provide individual counselling, support and connection within the La Trobe community and a bridge to the wider community.

‘Our Queer Counsellor and Queer Peers are also part of the University wide ALLY network, and work in collaboration with the Student Union,’ Devorah says.

The Queer Peer roles encourage living life authentically and openly whilst providing information and assisting those to participate in broader GLBTIQ activities on campus.

‘Part of what we do is run a weekly group for students who are questioning their sexuality, and/ or who are feeling isolated or vulnerable because of their sexuality. 

‘The group is called Queer Chat and the aim is to support the students to foster connectedness and develop resilience through weekly chats,’ says Devorah.

The Rainbow Flag will be raised on the flag pole outside the David Myer Building by the Director of La Trobe Counselling Services Joanne Barlow at 12pm on Tuesday 16 August to commence Pride Week.

This will be followed at 12.15pm by an official indigenous welcome to country by Aunty Joy Murphy-Wandin, Elder of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations and an opening speech by Dr Kerry Ferguson, PVC Equity and Student Services, in the Agora.

A closing ceremony will be held at 2pm Thursday 18 August by the Director of La Trobe Counselling Services, Joanne Barlow.

Pride Week is an initiative of La Trobe University Counselling Services http:www.latrobe.edu.au/counselling/ with collaboration from the ALLY network https://www.latrobe.edu.au/equality/ally/ and the La Trobe Student Union Queer Department.

For any media enquiries please contact:

Meghan Lodwick

Media Communications Officer
T (03) 9479 5353 M 0418 495 941 E m.lodwick@latrobe.edu.au

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