For the first time, the rainbow flag will be raised at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) this week.
Â The flags will fly proudly at USQ Toowoomba (May 17) and USQ Springfield and USQ Ipswich (May 18) to show the Universityâ€™s support of the LGBTQI community and the Ally Network.
Â The USQ Ally Network aims to provide a safe-zone and a visible support network for students and employees who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual or intersex.
The program is a collaboration between USQ Human Resources and Student Services.
The Ally Network is conducting training sessions for all USQ students and staff to become â€˜Alliesâ€™ â€“ acknowledging the importance of a community free from discrimination and harassment.
Â Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Jan Thomas said this was an important occasion for the USQ community. â€œThe flag will fly in recognition of a day that celebrates all people who contribute to USQ, and take a stand against prejudice towards those of different sexual identity and orientation,â€ Professor Thomas said.
Â USQ Associate Lecturer and Ally Network member Dr Geoffrey Parkes said flying the symbolic flag showed the University was a safe and welcoming environment. â€œIt is also a recognition of the fifty years of LGBTQI students and staff who have contributed to enriching USQ with their talent and skills and dedication, and their bravery in the face of discrimination,â€ Dr Parkes said.
â€œIt is a great day to say I work at USQ because USQ is standing up in opposition to homophobia and transphobia. IDAHOT also reminds us that we are not alone in Australia â€“ the struggle for equality and justice is an international one.â€
For more information on USQâ€™s Ally Network visit: www.usq.edu.au/current-students/support/ally.