The successful launch of the ANU LGBTIQ Alumni Network-fittingly held on 31 August, Wear it Purple Day-demonstrated the University's strong community of LGBTIQ alumni and allies, and furthered the University's commitment to a future of increased inclusivity in which everyone can thrive and feel supported.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr, the Network’s inaugural patron and an alum with a long history of advocacy for LGBTIQ rights and inclusion, officially launched the Network in front of a crowd of alumni whose time at ANU ranged from the 1970’s onwards.
The stories the alumni shared with one another included the moments they first accepted their personal identities at ANU, their memories of reading the articles and opinion pieces in the ANU student newspaper Woroni during the time of its first openly gay Editor, and the studies they completed on LGBTIQ topics in years when those subjects were not often openly discussed.
During his speech, Chief Minister Barr reflected on his own time at ANU and commented on the University’s development as a place where LGBTIQ+ people could feel supported in expressing their identities. The MC for the evening, George Vallance, expanded on this, conveying the importance of celebrating ‘the wins’ while recognising how far there still was to go. The speeches were live streamed via Facebook, and the full video is available for viewing on the Alumni Facebook Page.
The LGBTIQ Alumni Network welcomes all ANU alumni who identify as LGBTIQ+ and encourages them to stay connected, either by joining the Network’s Facebook Group or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and asking to be added to the LGBTIQ Network email list.