Queer Officer’s Report – Week 1, Sem 2, 2016

Marcus Wong & Evan Jones

It’s been a busy year all-round and the past couple of months have certainly been no exception. We protested La Trobe University in the aftermath of Roz Ward’s dismissal. Following that we protested the Drummoyne Baptist Church’s event that hosted Brett Lee-Price who has expressed extremely transphobic views, including offering advice to deliberately misgender transgender individuals. We also had contingents to the Refugee and Marriage Equality/Safe Schools Rallies that were held in the weeks leading up to the election. It is important to stand in solidarity with refugees and stand for their rights, and the atrocities being committed against them by the Australian Government is absolutely deplorable. The Marriage Equality/Safe Schools Rally was absolutely fantastic, drawing a giant crowd with speakers including Roz Ward and Jess from The Veronicas.
Following the tragic shooting in Orlando many of our members also attended a vigil held in Newtown to honour the victims. It is important that we do not erase the fact that this was at an LGBTQIA+ club, and an attack against the Latinx Queer community, something overlooked by many news sources. It is also important to critique the role of Islamophobia in media coverage and stand against Islamophobia in all its forms. We cannot fight bigotry with bigotry.

In July, we sent a delegation to Perth for Queer Collaborations, an annual queer student conference. It was a fantastic opportunity for our members to network with other students across the country, and to acquire skills and knowledge from some fantastic activists. It’s also a good opportunity to get involved with some campaigns that are being run, and to see a variety of approaches to activism, something that we can help use to broaden our own activism. It was an intense week but an experience many will remember for a long time.
We’ve also been continuing work on the campaigns we’ve already been involved in. We took Rainbow Campus to the USU and will be taking it to the SRC at the next meeting. We’ve also been assisting with the Ending Queer Youth Homelessness Campaign and involved with groups like Community Action Against Homophobia and Defend Safe Schools.

Over the coming semester we have much to look forward to. Queer Honi will be out in a couple of months and preparation is already underway for it. We’re also very excited about Radical Education Week, a collaborative project we’ve undertaken with the other SRC Collectives that is shaping up to be incredibly promising. As part of Rainbow Campus, we are organising a Rainbow Wedding to protest the university’s refusal to endorse marriage equality. Finally, having successfully won a bid to run Querelle, an annual queer student magazine, we will be beginning work to launch at next year’s Queer Collaborations.

Overall, it’s been an incredibly exciting few months and we’d like to thank the ongoing support and commitment of our collective, as well as our supporters across the university. For any queeries please email us at queer.officers@src.usyd.edu.au.