As the year is coming to a close, it’s worth reflecting on the achievements of the past year, and turning our attention to building our community further in the future.
At the beginning of the year, we saw the first official University of Sydney Mardi Gras Float, coordinated by the Students’ Representative Council, the University of Sydney Union, SHADES, and the Queer Revue Society.
This was the first time that the University had lent endorsement to a major queer initiative of this type, and the Queer Action Collective (QuAC) found itself not only on the front page of the University website, but also in the Sydney Star Observer.
Around this time, we also put together a submission to the New South Wales Legislative Council’s inquiry into same-sex marriage. The submission, over 7000 words, was one of only about 1000 submissions posted on the State Parliament website, and was quoted in the final report. The Queer Action Collective was the only university-based group to contribute to the inquiry, an achievement for which we are immensely proud.
We’ve been involved in this year’s Pride Festival celebrations, earning ourselves a spot in the SX magazine for our efforts. We’ve worked together with external organisations, such as the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL), the AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON), Twenty10, and Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) to build a better, more inclusive community.
The Queer Department has also been active in pursuing gender-neutral toilets on campus. Your Queer Officers have been in negotiations with the University on this point, and we have also been pushing for the establishment of a student and staff ally network, similar to those existing at UNSW, Macquarie, UWS, La Trobe, Monash, UTS, and Newcastle, among others.
We have built momentum this year, but we do not intend to stop. In the next year, we hope that QuAC will continue to flourish and grow, and we have helped insure this by laying the groundwork for a strong collective space, and building cooperation between other campus queer groups.
Our campaign in this year’s SRC elections promised to fight for improved mental health services, equity scholarships for queer students, and a well-maintained and well-stocked Queerspace. In order to get this through, we need every bit of support from the community. If you’re interested in helping us out, come join us QuAC meetings every Monday at 1pm in the Queerspace, Holme Building.
Feel free to send us an email as well—we’re a completely safe, confidential, autonomous space, and we’re open to everyone who’s queer or questioning.
Hope to meet you there!