Students and staff wear it purple to support LGBTIQ people

3 September 2018

ANU students and staff have come together to celebrate diversity and inclusion on Wear it Purple Day, by giving out free cupcakes at the ANU Pop-Up Village.

Wear it Purple is an annual awareness day to recognise LGBTIQ people, and involves supporters wearing purple to celebrate diversity.

To keep with the theme, students were handing out free cupcakes with purple icing as well as information on how to become a member of the ANU Ally Network.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (University Experience) Professor Richard Baker said the day was all about straight and queer people standing together to support queer students and staff.

"It's also a way to celebrate the ANU Ally network, which is well over 460 people now - staff and students - who are allies to our LGBTIQ students and staff," he said.

Professor Baker said it's important to show support for everyone in the ANU community, including queer students.

"There's ongoing homophobia and transphobia on campus and we need to address that and stand in solidarity with our queer students and staff and make it clear that it's totally unacceptable. Sadly in 2018 we still have some issues. I am proud of what ANU is doing in this space but we need to be vigilant and supportive of queer students and staff."

ANU is also strengthening its commitment to Indigenous inclusion and gender equity through initiatives such as the Reconciliation Action Plan and the SAGE (Science and Gender Equity) Athena Swan project, Professor Baker said.

"At the moment, we're going for bronze accreditation but Australia plans to follow what Athena Swan did in the UK and have silver and gold accreditation which will also look at student equity issues," he said. "So the SAGE process is about identifying where there are ongoing blockages to the advancement of women's careers and trying to address that.

"The Reconciliation Action Plan is a detailed plan about how we're going to increase the number of Indigenous students and staff on this campus, celebrate Indigenous cultures more fulsomely and pay respect to the local people and their cultures and the diversity and strength of Indigenous cultures across the country."

Wear It Purple Day is also a chance to remind students and staff about joining the ANU Ally network, Professor Baker said.

"To become an Ally, you need to do some training which is run for us by Pride and Diversity, an Australia-wide consultancy that does diversity-wide training.  

The next ANU Ally training session for students is scheduled for Tuesday 18 September.

ANU Allies can be recognised by having a rainbow poster located on their door or within their work or study space.

To coincide with Wear It Purple Day, ANU has also launched the LGBTIQ Alumni Network which is designed to provide better support networks to alumni, staff and students who identify as queer.

The Network will also be an opportunity for members to have regular catch ups at ANU-supported social events and get-togethers.

Information about the ANU Ally Network and supporting LGBTIQ students and staff, including resources such as how to become an ANU Ally, can be found under Respect and Inclusion on the ANU Services website.

Keep an eye out for upcoming student Ally training sessions under Ally Training under Current Students>>Health and Wellbeing>>Diversity and Inclusion, on the ANU website.