QUT teams up with Pride in Sport

QUT has teamed up with Pride in Sport for a new partnership that aims to boost support for university athletes who identify as LGBTIQA+.

September is Pride Month at QUT and QUT Sport is among the on-campus services celebrating their rainbow communities.

QUT’s Director of Student Services and Wellbeing, Adam Williams, said it was important to recognise and celebrate diversity at QUT.

“Inclusivity is a core institutional value and we’re striving to ensure that every member of the university can be their authentic self, whilst striving to achieve their full potential while studying or working at QUT,” he said.

“Empowering our students and staff who identify as LGBTIQA+ directly contributes to our strength as a higher education institution and it’s essential that we continue to maintain and further develop ourselves in this area.”

The partnership with Pride in Sport will include LGBTIQA+ awareness training for all QUT Sport staff, education programs on inclusivity on and off the field, and a review of sport policies to ensure they are inclusive of LGBTIQA+ staff, members, volunteers, officials and their families.

QUT Sport Coordinator Emily Rosemond said it was important to provide a safe, inclusive, and welcoming program for everyone within the QUT community, including students and staff who were athletes.

“Sport and recreation activities are an integral component of the student experience and it’s important that we are committed to providing an inclusive environment in all of our programs and activities,” she said.

“We’re really looking forward to working with the team at Pride in Sport to achieve better health outcomes underpinned by best practice as benchmarked by the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Pride in Sport Index.”

Pride in Sport’s national program manager, Beau Newell, said actual and perceived social exclusion was a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, highlighting the importance of creating a healthier and safer sporting culture for LGBTIQA+ people.

Data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance shows that LGBTI young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to the general population, with transgender people aged 18 and over nearly eleven times more likely.  The Out of the Fields study also found 80 per cent of 3000 Australian athletes surveyed reported witnessing or experiencing homophobia in sport.

In addition to the new Pride in Sport partnership, QUT also has a partnership with Pride in Diversity – an organisation focused on the workplace, HR and organisational change.

The chair of the QUT LGBTIQA+ Working Party, Jasmine Linton, said QUT’s membership of Pride in Diversity had been a positive step towards creating a more inclusive workplace and learning environment. 

“Over the past three years our working party has implemented several activities and strategies towards achieving better inclusion and equality for students and staff of diverse genders, sexualities, and sex characteristics, but we acknowledge there is always more work to do,” she said.

Since developing our LGBTIQA+ Action Plan, QUT has:

  • started a new LGBTIQA+ staff network (QPSN)
  • built all-gender facilities on campus
  • increased QUT’s ALLY training program (a network of staff who support the LGBTIQA+ community)
  • run campaigns and events recognising days of significance for the LGBTIQA+ community
  • run forums dedicated to sharing research on diverse genders, sexualities, and sex characteristics
  • ensured there are LGBTIQA+ voices providing direction at a universitywide level
  • led a united SEQ university presence at Brisbane PRIDE via University Unity