Posts for the queer dept
Jazzlyn Breen and Ray Prout
Hello semester 2, the queer action collective would just like to reiterate to all conservatives reading this that we are still angry communists intent on destroying all that is good.
Over the break members of our collective attended 3 separate conferences; the National Education conference in Adelaide, Students of Sustainability conference in Melbourne and Queer Collaborations in Queensland. These conferences provided the opportunity for student representatives and collective members alike to acquire new information which will aid them in their future activism and leadership. The opportunity to connect with activist and student leaders on a national level is an opportunity which will allow for grater organising and activism across campuses in the future.
In week one of uni collective members and office bearers attended and spoke at the National Day of Action rally against sexual violence on campus. As a collective we continue to provide our support to survivors. We condemn the universities lack of real, meaningful action to stamp out sexual violence on campus.
Our plans for the rest of the semester include interaction with the anti Ramsay centre campaign. As a collective we understand that it was western imperialism and capitalism which allowed homophobia and transphobia to grow and spread throughout the globe. It was spread to places such as Australia and the countries of Africa which previously enjoyed a wide gender diversity and freedom of sexual expression, but now carry the colonial legacy of homophobia which exists in laws and social norms. These imposed structures erase the indigenous cultural acceptance of diverse gender and sexual identities. This is just one of the reasons we are opposed to a centre buying a slot in the education system to teach content which is “not merely about Western civilisation but in favour of it” as explained by Tony Abbott, who happens to be a director of the Ramsay centre.
As a collective we will also continue our support of refugee activism as the crisis of offshore detention centres continues to remain unchanged and as horrific as ever.
In love and rage,
Jazzlyn Breen and Ray Prout
The queer action collective this semester has had a much less controversial first sem than last year—our main drama’s have come from right wing Zionists doxing us, which we take as a sign that we are doing a good job. We have organised frequent contingents to rallies, providing support to campaigns against all the terrible things capitalists have been doing to the world. We ran a film screening of ‘riot’ which was a massive success because people actually turned up. Queer Honi went off, even though both the queer officers almost died from lack of sleep (psa, 12 coffees in one night will make your nose bleed). After a well-deserved hibernation period we are back into the swing of things, planning attending conferences later on this semester, as well as lots of other fun and controversial activities. I’ve run out of things to say so here is a list of interesting facts.
- Israel is a terrorist state occupying Palestinian land.
- White Australia has a black history, present and future.
- The choice to have an abortion is a decision that should be made by an individual, not the state.
- Gender equality will not be achieved through more female CEOs.
- Climate change is real and it will impact you.
- We need to stop Adani.
- No human is illegal.
- Everyone deserves the right to seek asylum.
- Borders are fake.
- The University of Sydney invests in arms companies.
- 1% of the populations own half the world’s wealth. They don’t have your best interest at heart.
- Ethical consumption isn’t the way to save the world.
- You can’t buy, work or vote your way out of capitalism.
- Communism will win.
Connor Parissis and Will Edwards
Everything is fine. Semester one has been successful for the Queer Action Collective (QuAC), with some obvious hiccups only standard for such an active group. With assistance from the USU, we created a terrific Pride Week that was educational and enjoyable! Our best events included an educational, inspiring Queer&A Panel, comedy and karaoke, and an impressive rainbow flag chalking on Eastern Avenue. We’ve been collaborating immensely with groups on certain actions, including the Chechnya rally, the National Day of Action and the Palm Sunday rally, and have participated in on-campus actions involving anti-fascist actions and protesting the Red Pill screening. QuAC were delighted to have collaborated with the Wom*n’s Collective on an effective stunt against the politicians who voted against decriminalizing abortion.
The collective are working closely together to rectify internalized issues that have become publicized. The Queer Officers are very passionate about maintaining a collective that is safe and productive. Additionally, keep your eyes peeled for an impressive, large-scale ‘Students for Safe Schools’ campaign, a protest at the Indonesian Consulate standing in solidarity with queer people overseas (16th June), and a sexual assault campaign addressing same-sex attracted people. We look forward to future actions, and remain awe-inspired by the amount of member engagement remaining at this time of semester. We hope to see you joining us for End of Semester Queer Beers at Hermann’s Bar, 7 June 5pm.
Connor & Will
Andrea Zephyr, William Edwards and Connor Parissis
Upcoming events (LGBTI only):
Next Meeting: 3pm Monday, 20th of March
Queer Honi Meeting: 2pm Wednesday, 22nd of March
Upcoming events (for everyone):
Rainbow Campus Meeting: 4pm Monday, 27th of March.
Trans Day of Visibility: Friday, 31st of March (Stay tuned for our events!)
Pride Week: Week 6, 10th – 14th of April.
The Queer Action Collective began growing at Mardi Gras! We had involvement in the No Pride In Detention float, as well as the University of Sydney float for both floats second year in the parade! Since O’Week, we’ve had an incredible amount of sign-ups and interest in getting involved. Our O’Week stall and events were fantastic. Thanks to all who came by for a chat and a drink. The Queer Space is active for semester 1. Please come by level 2 of the Holme Building if you identify as LGBTQIA+.
The Rainbow Campus campaign is kicking goals already. We’ll be specifically helping the inclusion of transgender students inside classrooms at our week 4 workshop. Transgender Day of Visibility is coming up on the 31st of March. The collective will educating and creating awareness around non-binary, trans feminine and transgender experiences. As a community, we’ll be running a few events and a party at the LGBTI-friendly STUCCO Housing Co-op near uni. Pride Week is approaching in week 6, and we’ve already begun organising a number of events. But we need your ideas and help to pull it off! Our collective, SHADES, Queer Revue, the SRC, SUPRA, the Ally Network, and the USU will collaborate on making the campus rainbow, literally! Get in touch if you’d like to run an event!
Get in touch:
Facebook: USyd Queer
Connor, Will and Andrea.
Evan Jones and Marcus Wong
The first month of the semester has been just as strong as any this year and we’re lucky to have remained so active. We attended the rally called by Community Action Against Homophobia on the anniversary of the 2004 amendment that specifically defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Some of our members attended various other rallies including the SCA Rally on the 17th of August, and then the NDA the week after. Members also came along for the immensely successful Wom*n’s Collective Protest held at Open Day. Massive congratulations to Anna Hush for putting this action together.
This month we were also lucky enough to see Radical Education Week happen and after seeing all the hard work that was put into organising it was an incredibly rewarding experience and we’re excited to see it grow over the next few years. With a variety of incredible workshops, there was something for everyone to learn. Thank you to everyone who put in so much time and effort into running the week.
Probably one of our biggest highlights so far was our Rainbow Wedding. Thank you to all who came along to support us and to watch us get married, I’m sure you’ll agree it was a truly exciting and fabulous day. We hope the SRC will continue to support the Rainbow Campus Campaign and our continued struggle against inequality at this university.
Looking to the future we have Queer Honi coming up. This launches in a couple of weeks and we’re excited to see it all come together. We have also been lucky that many of our members are now becoming more and more active and are bringing projects of their own. Amongst other initiatives we will be working on for the remainder of the year include putting together a library, and holding regular discussion groups to really focus on communal education, something that is immensely valuable in collectives and activism.
This has been an incredibly solid start to the second semester. Where this time of year is often a time that sees decreased engagement, we have seen our activism and involvement sustained which is very promising for the long term functioning and growth of the collective.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcus Wong and Evan Jones
The past few weeks have been extremely busy and exciting for the Queer Action Collective. We’ve been present at a number of actions such as the National Day of Action protesting the cuts by the federal government to our education that will disproportionately affect queer students, the Nakba Rally in solidarity with Palestine and against the pink-washing of Israel, the occupation of Wesley College by Wom*n’s Collective, recognising that queerphobia and misogyny are not separate issues, and an action of support for Safe Schools to amplify the voices of high school students who stand to lose the most from the gutting of the Safe Schools Program. We also went along to listen to the panel that was run by The Ally Network in celebration of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on the 17th of May, as well as their screening of Gayby Baby that evening.
The highlight of the month for many was our protest against the Sydney University Catholic Society’s event at Life Week entitled ‘Men + Women = Made for each other?” Their guest speaker was a known advocate of conversion of queer people through therapy and spoke out against queer lifestyles. The event also relied on heavily essentialist conceptualisations of gender, which erases the identities of transgender students who already face a great deal of discrimination, leading to significantly higher levels of violence and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. The protest was well-attended and gained considerable attention and support from people along Eastern Avenue on the day, as well as people from other collectives and we’d like to thank all who attended.
This month we also met with University management to begin discussion with them about the Rainbow Campus campaign that was officially launched at Pride Week last month. Although a slow, bureaucratic response from them, we are optimistic that we will be able to get through all of our demands and turn the University of Sydney into a Rainbow Campus.
We have a lot coming up in the next few weeks. On the 26th of May we will be joining a protest against Cory Bernardi from the Liberal Party and Joe de Bruyn of the ALP who have played significant roles in furthering attacks on queer people. We are also preparing for the pre-election marriage equality rally on the 25th of June and we invite all to come along to both protests and show your support for queer students on campus. We are also pleased to announce that we have begun work on a publication to educate people on transgender issues to be released later in the year. Work to send delegates to Queer Collaborations in July is also underway and promises to be a very exciting week for some of our members.
For more information or if you have any queeries get in contact with the Queer Officers at
In the past few weeks the collective has been incredibly active. Pride week was an interactive weekthat comprised of many workshops hosted by collective members as well as a time for us all to let our hair down. The week started off with a rainbow campus launch. We called on the university to implement six steps to alleviate the daily injustices LGBTIQA+ and questioning folks experience.
These steps included: an accessible LGBTIQA+ space on campus, to commit a portion of the Student services and amenities fee to LGTBIQA+ services, comprehensive LGBTIQA+ staff training, giving transgender students their names back, signing onto marriage equality and gender neutral bathrooms. Students and staff marched down Eastern avenue, then up to the Vice Chancellor’s office, amid bubbles and a large rainbow flag. Greeted at the door by Ms. Jane Oakshott, chief of staff to the
Vice Chancellor who was welcoming of our requests. Since the launch, a meeting has been organized for the Vice Chancellor to meet with the SRC queer department, the ally network, SUPRA, the
Australian Queer students network and the NSW Queer students network. We look forward to informing you on the outcomes of this meeting. We would like to thank Rachel Evans, Andrea Zephyr, and many others for their hard work in launching the campaign.
Many workshops and panel discussions were also held throughout the week. An interactive safe sex workshop was a fun, and informative start to the week. Held by ACON representatives, participants learned a range of invaluable skills, and we would like to thank Tim Wark and the crew for their time.
Along with the workshops, we all had a blast singing at Queer Karaoke. Amid the free drink vouchers and Britney Spears, it was a great way for collective members to bond and share a laugh or two. Thank you to Tess and Eden for the liquid confidence and being great organizers.
A couple other highlights of the week included a massive rainbow cake provided by the USU at the Pride picnic. It was great sustenance for the national day of action we attended afterwards with our fluorescent ‘Queers against cuts’ banner. Queer Action collective has also been collaborating with various other campus collectives, including the conservatorium and Rozelle, with the aim of setting up safe spaces and collectives on those campuses.
We look forward to continued engagement with other groups including the Ally Network and Safe Schools working group in light of cuts to the safe schools program by the liberal government. With radical education week coming up in semester two and queer collaborations, we are sure to be keeping busy over the next few months.
If you have any questions or want to be involved with Queer Action Collective or QueerKats, please do not hesitate to email us, Evan and Marcus, on email@example.com
Evan Jones and Marcus Wong
This month has been extremely eventful and we are pleased to see some really fantastic engagement with the collective this year. Since the last report we marched in Mardi Gras, always a highlight of the year. We were pleased to see the hard work that went into organising was worthwhile. We would like to say thank you to the Australian Queer Students Network and the various universities who contributed to the float. We would also like to extend a special thank you to Dylan Lloyd, for their hard work, and without whom the float would really not have been possible.
It has been delightful to see members of our collective become very involved with activism this year, with representatives at the Fight the Restructure rally on the 16th of March, as well as at two rallies in support of the Safe Schools coalition. Last week was Transgender Day of Visibility where we held a sticker run for the ‘We All Need to Pee’ campaign, aimed at helping transgender students use the bathroom that they are comfortable with, as well as a photo campaign and chalking along Eastern Avenue. Despite being a peaceful event, we were followed by campus security that seemed unable to provide us with a legitimate reason to why they were tailing us. Overall we have had an incredibly promising start to the year and there will be a strong focus on maintaining the momentum from an incredible group of young queer students. Next week we will also be relaunching our sub-collective Queerkats (autonomous to people who are not cis-men) and hope that it will be met with the same success as QuAC.
We do have a lot of exciting things to look forward to this year, including Pride Week from the 12th-14th of April, and International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on the 17th of May, and we’re pleased to be collaborating with various organisations on campus including SUPRA, the USU and The Ally Network on these events. Queer Collaborations (QC), an annual conference for queer students around the country, is also fast approaching, and will be held in Perth this year from the 4th – 7th of July. This will give our members a great opportunity to meet queer students across the country, and to learn key skills and obtain some wonderful knowledge around activism and queer issues. To prepare we conducted our first bake sale this week, which we are pleased to say was incredibly successful, earning enough to pay for a student’s entire registration, including accommodation and food for the week. Thank you to all of those who donated food, money or time to the sale.
If you have any questions or would like to get involved with the Queer Action Collective or Queerkats please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.