General Secretary’s Report – Week 9, Sem 2, 2016

Georgia Mantle

When a lot of people think about queer rights I have noticed they tend to think solely about marriage equality, while of course the right to marry the person you love in so important I find that non-queer people don’t understand the full extent of discrimination and margination that comes from being apart of the LGBTQIA community. Access to adequate health and support services are essential for everyone’s well being yet to often queer people are neglected when it comes to these services as health practitioners are woefully under trained in regards to LGBTQIA issues.

I have found during my term as General Secretary that there is still such a need for a better understanding of marginalised identities too often I see people forgot that queer people, women, Indigenous people are people and the issues that we face are not limited to our identities but also that our marginalization is often intersectional.

University management needs to do more to support Queer students, the rainbow campus initiatives have been amazing while the Ally Network has been making huge improvements yet there is still so much more to be done. At the beginning of this semester Sydney Student allowed students to enter preferred names however there is still no place to indicated a person’s preferred pronouns. Also for a student to have their real name on their graduation certificate they  need to go through the lengthy and costly process of official name change. Students continuing to work and push management for meaningful change is so important but we also need management to facilitate these changes and meet us students half way. I hope that the University of Sydney will not only pledge their official support for marriage equality but will also commit to making the lives of Queer students better through increased mental health and support services on campus.

As always please remember that our casework and legal service are here to help you. This is a free service provided by the SRC for all undergradutae studnets.