UniSC backs Moreton Bay Region PrideFest

Published 12:00pm 21 April 2023

UniSC backs Moreton Bay Region PrideFest
Words by Jodie Powell

The Moreton Bay Region’s inaugural PrideFest is an opportunity to promote acceptance, understanding and unity, according to the University of the Sunshine Coast.

UniSC marketing solutions manager Phil van Zyl spoke about the university’s support for the June 10 event at this week’s Council meeting, saying it was proud to champion PrideFest and the LGBTQIAP+ community.

“Our university firmly believes in fostering an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment for everyone we deal with, particularly in our teaching and learning endeavours,” Phil says.

“We are proud to stand with our allies in the LGBTQIAP+ students and staff.

Powerful reminder

PrideFest not only offers a platform for our members of this community and its allies to celebrate their identity, but also serves as a powerful reminder of acceptance, understanding and unity for the wider Moreton Bay community.”

Phil says UniSC’s Pride Club, who are committed to demonstrating the maturity and growth of our region in embracing diversity, will be involved with the festival.

“In 2022 UniSC took a monumental step towards enhancing our commitment to equality for sexually and gender diverse identities by affirming our support of the Darlington Statement.

“This ground-breaking statement developed by intersex organisations and advocates articulates the human rights demands of people with intersex variations in Australia and New Zealand.

Promoting inclusivity

“Our university is proud to be recognised as an intersex ally as we strive to support the rights and wellbeing of every member of our community.”

Phil says the university’s ally network has an important role to play in promoting inclusivity.

“An ally is an individual who is informed about, empathetic towards and understands issues relating to diverse and personal identities, gender and relationship choices,” he explains.

“UniSC allies act as a point of contact for our staff and students to the LGBTQIAP+ issues and can discuss these area confidently.

“Through the ally network we aim to provide a strong, supportive and understanding community that empowers every individual to feel accepted and valued.”

To encourage students to foster understanding, UniSC offers a leadership bursary.

“This prestigious award recognises the tireless efforts and dedication of current students who actively contribute to promoting an inclusive culture on campus,” Phil says

“By shining a spotlight on the achievements of inspiring individuals we hope to encourage more students to become agents of change, help foster understanding and awareness of the diverse issues that affect people of diverse genders and sexualities.

How to buy tickets

“We understand that the journey towards true inclusivity and acceptance is an ongoing process, however through our commitment to initiatives like PrideFest, the Darlington Statement, the ally network and our leadership bursary we are taking meaningful steps towards fostering an inclusive and accepting environment for everyone at UniSC.

“Together, we celebrate the beauty of diversity and the power of unity.”

PrideFest is on Saturday, June 10 from 1.30pm at Pine Rivers Park. Find tickets here.

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